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If Cannes’ Thierry Frémaux doesn’t snag it away first, we might be chalking this unsettling piece of cinema as yet another Park City homecoming for the Borderline films crew. Ever since Afterschool was launched in Cannes back in 2008, their string of feature films Martha Marcy May Marlene (Sean Durkin), Antonio Campos‘ sophomore film Simon Killer, James White (Josh Mond) plus the award-winning short Mary Last Seen all got their starts at this January set fest. While creative collaborators such as dp Joe Anderson and composers Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans return to the fold, Campos’ third film is a departure of sorts as he works from a screenplay other than his own, and very busy filmmakers in their own right in Durkin and Mond are on board in the executive producer roles. Production on Christine took place last May, so this will indeed to fit to go. Rebecca Hall »
- Eric Lavallee
If included, it would count as one of the rare Venice preemed North American premiere debuts and uncommon 35mm treats at the fest. After doubling up at the Venice Film Festival with the Luigi de Laurentiis” award for a Debut Film and the Best Director Horizons award, The Childhood of a Leader‘s Brady Corbet recently picked up another Best Director award at the Lisbon & Estoril Film Fest. A regular figure at the festival as an actor in both short and features from Gregg Araki’s Mysterious Skin era up until Antonio Campos’ Simon Killer, Corbet also had his short debut (2009’s Protect You + Me.) and writing credits on Mona Fastvold’s The Sleepwalker (2014) and last year’s short Rabbit from Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre all premiere at the festival. The available acquisitions title has had its share of extremely convinced supporters and even the detractors acknowledge the genius in Corbet’s debut oeuvre. »
- Eric Lavallee
By the end of James White’s 85 minutes, you will know every last detail of Christopher Abbott’s face: how it looks, how it moves, how it registers all of the emotions that you or I are capable of having. It’s the first thing you see, bleary and wired, at the movie’s beginning, the camera with Abbott in close-up, so tight it feels invasive. And at the end, after his character has been wrung out, Abbott looks a lot like you probably feel: distraught, exhausted, but a little amazed by the stuff of what just went down — sort of a life’s journey in concentrate. Written and directed by Josh Mond, a member of the Borderline Films collective — which has also been responsible for Martha Marcy May Marlene and Simon Killer — James White tells the deeply personal story of a mother, played masterfully by Cynthia Nixon, succumbing to cancer. »
- Kevin Lincoln
One-third of Borderline Films, comprised of his writing/producing/directing partners and general best friends Antonio Campos and Sean Durkin, Josh Mond has been a understated yet essential collaborator in some of the most effective dramas and independent films in recent memory. Lending his producing talents to Durkin’s “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and Campos’ “Simon Killer” among many others, the trio’s directorial role rotation has landed on him at last with “James White,” a personal stunner of a film starring Christopher Abbott (“Girls”) that feels visceral and confidently realized (our review). It’s far from Mond’s first turn behind the camera — he’s directed commercials; music videos; and short films including “1009,” which starred Abbott and sampled a number of visual motifs that would later play into his feature debut. One of those is an intimate handheld style that sticks close to the actor’s face, following his »
- Charlie Schmidlin
Previously working as a producer on darkly realized indies like "Afterschool," "Simon Killer" and "Martha Marcy May Marlene" with his Borderline Production partners Antonio Campos and Sean Durkin, Josh Mond's first directorial effort "James White" stands apart from his previous work as a dreamy and devastating look at illness and loss. Read More: 'James White' Breakout Christopher Abbott is the Oscar Dark Horse You Need to Know Starring the immensely talented Christopher Abbott, "James White" centers on a young man whose collective vices keep him locked in a pattern of pathological lies and personal failures. The drama also stars Cynthia Nixon as his ailing mother, whose health begins a steady decline after her previously eradicated cancer returns. What follows is a slow and devastating look at his mother's disintegration and James' attempts to stay together in the wake of destruction. The film also stars Scott Mescudi »
- Aubrey Page
He's a fuck-up, but he's here now, mopping the sweat off his mother's forehead, carrying her frail body to the bathroom — "like a princess," he jokes — doing everything he can to make it through the night with her. She's deep into Stage IV cancer, and he's finally giving a hard look to that 24-hour hospice number taped to the refrigerator. There will be time later to think about whether he did the best he could for her, but for now he can only pray the morning comes soon.
It's a »
In the five months found within James White, our title character is at the most difficult chapter of his life thus far. Grieving the loss of his father and attempting to assist his ailing mother, the drama authentically depicts the brutality of the process. After producing the gripping Sundance dramas Martha Marcy May Marlene and Simon Killer, Josh Mond diverts in some ways with his directorial debut. Providing yet another intimate character study of a fractured individual, James White also has a perhaps unexpected enveloping warmth.
I had the chance to speak with Mond upon the release of his debut, which arrives in limited theaters on November 13th. We discussed the personal connection everyone had on set, the intense camerawork, crafting one of the year’s most emotional scenes, finding the ending, being inspired by James Gray, Joachim Trier, Denis Villeneuve, and Wong Kar-wai, and more. Check out the full »
- Jordan Raup
James White is a powerful new drama entering on the troubled title character, played by Christopher Abbott, an exciting young actor known recently for his work on the TV series Girls, and in the superb 2011 indie movie, Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene. After an impactful debut at Sundance earlier in the year, the film arrives in the UK at the BFI London Film Festival, with it firmly wedged in the Love category. Told from an almost first-person perspective, the story begins in his native New York City, where it immediately becomes apparent that White’s father has recently passed, and the young man isn’t coping particularly well with it, or life in general. As well as grieving his father’s death, White also has his mother’s battle with cancer to contend with. With the treatment affecting her memory, »
- Paul Heath
The debut feature from Josh Mond, producer of Simon Killer and Martha Marcy May Marlene, is a tough coming-of-age tale featuring a couple of top-notch showboating performances. However, the desperate circumstances alone do not make for an engaging drama, and the desperately unlikable central character always keeps the audience at arm's length.James White is a fuck-up, a rich kid from the upper west side of New York City, who has never taken responsibility for his life or anything that he's done. After living most of his life hedonistically indulging himself on his parents' cash, James is thrown into a tailspin when his long-absent father dies, and his mother's cancer relapses.Josh Mond steps into the director's role for the first time here, while Borderline Films co-founders...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
★★★☆☆ The guys at Borderline Films are making something of a habit of striking, complex psychological dramas such as Antonio Campos' After School and Simon Killer, or Sean Durkin's excellent Martha Marcy May Marlene. The third member of this cinematic triumvirate is Josh Mond who having served as producer on the aforementioned films makes his directorial debut with James White (2015). A rigorous and austere drama, it's ostensibly a coming-of-age movie, albeit on in which the catalyst for change is the crippling cancer of the protagonist's mother. Christopher Abbott and Cynthia Nixon both give splendid performances, lending clear-eyed tenderness to this maternal bond.
- CineVue UK
"So I'm just going to come right out and say this - you're a mess." The Film Arcade has debuted the official trailer for James White, a film that premiered at Sundance this year to some raves from a few of my critic friends. From the same guys who made Martha Marcy May Marlene and Simon Killer previously, this directing debut of Josh Mond tells a story about a New Yorker "that explores loss and the deep relationship between a mother and son". Co-starring Cynthia Nixon, Scott "Kid Cudi" Mescudi, Ron Livingston and Makenzie Leigh. This starts out a bit odd, but the end of the trailer actually makes this worth seeing. Here's the first official trailer for Josh Mond's James White, originally from Yahoo: A coming-of-age story about a young New Yorker (Christopher Abbott) struggling to take control of his reckless, self-destructive behavior in the face of momentous family challenges. »
- Alex Billington
After generating buzz at Sundance this year, indie drama James White will be making a stop at Tiff and has finally received a trailer. Directed by Martha Marcy May Marlene and Simon Killer producer Josh Mond, the film stars Christopher Abbott as the title character and Cynthia Nixon as his dying mother. The film also stars Ron Livingston, Scott ‘Kid Cudi’ Mescudi, and Mackenzie Leigh. Here’s the synopsis:
James White (Christopher Abbott) is a troubled twenty-something trying to stay afloat in a frenzied New York City. He retreats further into a self-destructive, hedonistic lifestyle, but as his mother (Cynthia Nixon) battles a serious illness James is forced to take control of his life. As the pressure on him mounts, James must find new reserves of strength or risk imploding completely.
Stories of tortured twenty-somethings in a big city are popular these days, but James White looks like it goes deeper into this concept. »
- Sarah Pearce Lord
Here’s the first trailer for James White, which marks the feature directorial debut of Josh Mond, who produced Martha Marcy May Marlene and Simon Killer. The film was a source of constant conversation at Sundance this year, where we all sadly missed every screening. Much of the talk about the film centered on the lead […]
- Russ Fischer
The “Martha Marcy May Marlene” collective keeps producing interesting talent. Antonio Campos (“Simon Killer”) and Sean Durkin are already well on their way, and have returned the producing favor for their friend Josh Mond, a producer on ‘Martha Marcy.’ He's made his feature-length directorial debut at Sundance with “James White” and it won the Next award in Utah. Read More: Sundance Review: ‘James White’ Starring Christopher Abbot & Cynthia Nixon Is A Bruising Portrait Of Self-Destruction “James White” is one of the few Sundance films to also play at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. Starring Christopher Abbott, Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi, Cynthia Nixon, Ron Livingston, David Call and Mackenzie Leigh, the film is a coming-of-age story about a young New Yorker struggling to take control of his reckless, self-destructive behavior in the face of momentous family challenges. Here’s the official synopsis: Martha Marcy May Marlene producer Josh »
- Edward Davis
“Which one?” is the obvious question prompted by the title in “The Childhood of a Leader,” a overweening, maddening but not inconsiderable directorial debut for actor Brady Corbet, which plays as something of a straight-faced parody of a well-upholstered historical biopic. For anyone going in blind, it won’t take long to deduce that the nascent leader in question is a product of Corbet’s heavily Sartre-fueled imagination: a toxic pawn in a grueling bad-parenting parable that only reaches its rather inevitable punchline in the final frames. Distinguished by some virtuosic craft — including a cacophonous orchestral score by Scott Walker that will have certain viewers scrambling for the exit in the opening minutes — but significantly shakier on the writing and performance fronts, this “Leader” won’t find many followers in the distribution racket. Still, it’s an aggressive statement of intent from a filmmaker who, one senses, is just getting started. »
- Guy Lodge
James WhiteFour films by Truffaut, one each by Kubrick, Kazan, Mackendrick, Donen, Lumet, Aldrich, Spielberg, Henry King, John Huston, Hawks, Hitchcock, Tourneur, William A. Wellman, John Ford, Brooks Mel (two films) and Richard (one), Michael Mann, and two by David Lynch. Classic Arabic movies, Pakistani movies, Romances & Musicals, Indonesian and Vietnamese films, films in Tagalog, Sinhala, Bengali, Mandarin and Cantonese, and six contemplative long take studies ranging in length from ten minutes to an hour. No, this is not the line-up for the Locarno Film Festival; it is but a taste of what was offered on demand on the video screen on my flight from New York to the small Swiss town's nearest large international airport, in Milan. Seeing as I was en route to a festival with several 35mm retrospectives, a competition section of adventurous fare anticipated and unknown, and scads of other program strands I've yet to fully understand, »
- Daniel Kasman
A furious slew of titles in the works would seem to prophesize a robust main competition slate for Cannes 2016. Though our initial list will eventually be pruned down as the year progresses (Berlin may snag something in here, especially if their 2016 lineup looks anything like their landmark selection from this past January), we’re confident that we will be seeing another round of heavy hitting auteurs unveiling their latest bits on the Croisette.
Absent from the main competition in 2015 were the Romanians (Muntean and Porumboiu were assigned to Un Certain Regard) and any trace of Latin filmmakers. The 2016 edition looks to make up for lost ground. For the Romanians, a couple heavy hitting titans from the New Wave will be ready. Cristi Puiu, who previously won Ucr in 2005 with The Death of Mr. Lazarescu should hopefully be getting a competition invite for Sierra Nevada. Meanwhile, previous Palme d’Or winner »
- Nicholas Bell
“Cinderella” has crossed the $500 million mark worldwide, and so Lily James is using that momentum to land herself a new gig. Edgar Wright has cast James opposite Ansel Elgort in “Baby Driver,” Wright’s follow-up to 2013’s “The World’s End.” Penned by Wright, the movie focuses on a burgeoning getaway driver (Elgort) who endangers himself and the life of his love interest (James) when he fails to complete a heist for a crime boss. [The Wrap] Director Antonio Campos (“Simon Killer”) has a new film in the works titled “Christine,” and he’s bagged Rebecca Hall and Michael C. Hall in the lead roles. It’s a drama about a Florida newscaster (Rebecca Hall) who methodically plans her suicide to occur on camera. Michael C. Hall stars as a co-worker who develops a crush on the news anchor. The supporting cast includes Maria Dizzia (“Orange Is The New Black”), writer/actor »
- Edward Davis
James White is a coming-of-age story about a young New Yorker who struggles to take control of his self-destructive behavior as his mother battles with serious illness.
The Film Arcade negotiated the deal with UTA Independent Film Group.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
The distributors are planning to release the film theatrically and will mount an awards push for the two stars.
“James White” centers on a hard-partying young man struggling to take care of his mother after her cancer returns. Arthouse company Memento Films acquired international sales rights to the picture earlier this month.
The film marks the directorial debut of “Martha Marcy May Marlene” producer Josh Mond. It is the latest feature film from Borderline Films, a New York City-based production company formed in 2003 by Tisch film school alums Mond, Antonio Campos and Sean Durkin. »
- Brent Lang
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