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‘Mudbound’: Dee Rees, Faith, and the Long Path She Took to Make Her Epic Oscar Contender

‘Mudbound’: Dee Rees, Faith, and the Long Path She Took to Make Her Epic Oscar Contender
Dee Rees is a tall woman of fierce charisma. She’s the kind of director who talks fast, ideas coming so quickly that those less inclined can barely keep up. And yet her output has been slow: After Focus Features snapped up her breakout 2011 feature debut “Pariah” at Sundance, it was four years before HBO Film’s Emmy and DGA-award-winning 2015 biopic “Bessie.”

“There’s an assumption that men who do small personal movies can leap to deliver larger things,” said “Bessie” producer Shelby Stone. “It’s much harder for women.”

Finally, we get to see Rees fulfill her promise with “Mudbound,” a Sundance triumph that set the 2017 festival sales record with its $12.5 million sale to Netflix, and opened AFI Fest November 9 after wowing crowds at seven film festivals.

When Rees received the Sundance Next Fest Vanguard Award in August, her presenter, “Pariah” star Kim Wayans, said it best: “The introverted,
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

‘Mudbound’: Dee Rees, Faith, and the Long Path She Took to Make Her Epic Oscar Contender

  • Indiewire
‘Mudbound’: Dee Rees, Faith, and the Long Path She Took to Make Her Epic Oscar Contender
Dee Rees is a tall woman of fierce charisma. She’s the kind of director who talks fast, ideas coming so quickly that those less inclined can barely keep up. And yet her output has been slow: After Focus Features snapped up her breakout 2011 feature debut “Pariah” at Sundance, it was four years before HBO Film’s Emmy and DGA-award-winning 2015 biopic “Bessie.”

“There’s an assumption that men who do small personal movies can leap to deliver larger things,” said “Bessie” producer Shelby Stone. “It’s much harder for women.”

Finally, we get to see Rees fulfill her promise with “Mudbound,” a Sundance triumph that set the 2017 festival sales record with its $12.5 million sale to Netflix, and opened AFI Fest November 9 after wowing crowds at seven film festivals.

When Rees received the Sundance Next Fest Vanguard Award in August, her presenter, “Pariah” star Kim Wayans, said it best: “The introverted,
See full article at Indiewire »

James Franco Explains Why He Couldn’t Stop Working, Slowed Down, and Got Better As a Result

James Franco Explains Why He Couldn’t Stop Working, Slowed Down, and Got Better As a Result
James Franco is one of the six names in entertainment being celebrated at the inaugural IndieWire Honors on Nov. 2. Franco is recognized here for his transformative portrayal of the star and director of “The Room” in A24’s upcoming “The Disaster Artist” (In theaters nationwide December 8), which Franco also produced and directed. He will receive the IndieWire’s Vanguard Award (Film).

For a few years, James Franco was everywhere: Hosting the Oscars. Getting college degrees. Teaching college courses. Directing movies. Acting in movies. Writing about movies. Making art. Writing novels. Starting a band. Every now and then, he would penetrate the mainstream, with commercial releases like “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “The Interview.” By and large, however, the affable face from “Freaks and Geeks,” Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” movies, and “127 Hrs” had grown so ubiquitous it had become difficult to discern the big picture.

Now, he’s
See full article at Indiewire »

Detective Thriller ‘The Zero’ Adds Matt Rager to Adapt

Passage Pictures’ movie version of Jess Walter’s detective thriller “The Zero” is gaining momentum with Matt Rager on board to adapt, Variety has learned exclusively.

Veteran producer Uri Singer picked up rights to “The Zero” in August to produce through Passage. Singer’s credits include two Michael Almereyda films — “The Experimenter,” which starred Winona Ryder and Peter Sarsgaard, and the recently released “Marjorie Prime,” starring Lois Smith, Geena Davis, and Jon Hamm.

The Zero,” a finalist for the National Book Award, centers on a cop who wakes up to find he’s shot himself in the head in a city and a country shuddering through the aftershocks of a devastating terrorist attack. As the smoke slowly clears, he finds that his memory is skipping, lurching between moments of lucidity and days when he doesn’t seem to be living his own life at all.

Singer said, “‘The Zero’ paints a moving character portrait of loss, trauma
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Morning Joe:’ Scarborough Calls Trump’s NY Times Interview ‘William Faulkner on Acid’ (Video)

  • The Wrap
‘Morning Joe:’ Scarborough Calls Trump’s NY Times Interview ‘William Faulkner on Acid’ (Video)
Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough said Thursday that President Donald Trump’s rambling, stream of consciousness interview with the New York Times sounds like “William Faulkner on acid.” Also Read: 'Morning Joe' Rips Trump While Praising John McCain (Video) “I mean the sentences just keep going on, but they’re garbled and make absolutely no sense,” the host said, referring to the Nobel Prize laureate’s distinctive writing style. Faulkner is known for novels like “As I Lay Dying” and “The Sound and the Fury,” and known for his frequent use of “stream of consciousness” — a character’s
See full article at The Wrap »

Paramount, Lorne Michaels Developing Autism Book ‘Neurotribes’ as Movie (Exclusive)

Paramount, Lorne Michaels Developing Autism Book ‘Neurotribes’ as Movie (Exclusive)
Paramount has acquired movie rights to Steve Silberman’s science book “Neurotribes” and set up the project with Lorne Michaels at his Broadway Video production company.

Silberman’s book, “Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently,” was published in 2015, won the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction, and was named one of the best books of 2015 by the New York Times, the Economist, and the Guardian.

“Neurotribes” covers a history of the changing perceptions of autism over the past 80 years, going back to the research of Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger. It also explores why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

What is James Franco Reading?

A extensive look at all those movies James Franco directed.

James Franco has done a lot of things, we’ve heard. Following a successful turn on Judd Apatow’s Freaks and Geeks and a well-received starring spot on a TNT biopic on James Dean, he turned immediately to a litany of pursuits: from playwriting and English degrees to painting and directing no less than ten feature-lengths. The latter project interested me. Were they any good? In Franco’s Rolling Stone profile last year, Jonah Weiner ran around a thesaurus of words like “dizzying,” “indefatigable“ and, wait for it, “multihyphenate” to describe his subject but none of those words mean very much. Paul Klee painted over a thousand paintings in the penultimate last year of his life. So could I. So what?

“What did we do to deserve James Franco?,” asked Rex Reed in a slightly different era. Back then, even the The Guardian agreed with Jared Kushner
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

‘In Dubious Battle’ Review: A James Franco Period Protest Drama, Dubiously Made

‘In Dubious Battle’ Review: A James Franco Period Protest Drama, Dubiously Made
In Dubious Battle” is not the first movie about a labor strike with Robert Duvall as the antagonizing boss man; that honor goes to the 1992 Disney musical starring Christian Bale, “Newsies,” in which Duvall portrayed Joseph Pulitzer. “Newsies” went on to receive five Golden Raspberry Award nominations, but it contained more drama and gusto than this humorless dirge from director-star James Franco.

This smug period drama follows the conventional narrative of an idealistic revolutionary and his fearless leader as they incite a strike among apple pickers in California’s fictional Torgas Valley. Matt Rager adapted the script from John Steinbeck’s 1936 novel, and the film is largely based on events that occurred during the California labor strikes of 1933.

Read More: ‘In Dubious Battle’ Trailer: James Franco Takes on John Steinbeck in His Latest Literary Adaptation

Franco is Mac, a spirited labor rights activist (some say Communist) who takes young Jim
See full article at Indiewire »

In Dubious Battle Review

Let it be known that I genuinely like James Franco. Given the choice between ‘yer average pretty boy movie star and a ludicrous avant-garde polymath jester, I’ll pick the latter every time. Problem is, while the self-titled Mayor of Gay Town gleefully smashes through cultural/social/artistic boundaries like a steam train, the art that’s produced at the end of it is… not great.

And so to In Dubious Battle, an adaptation of John Steinbeck’s 1936 novel of the same name and the latest in Franco’s quest to put his favorite books on screen. This weighty literary project has, thus far, borne little of value. His adaptations of Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying were “nearly unwatchable” and “stale and jumbled,” and his take on Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God “tedious and meandering”. Sadly, this trend remains unbroken.

Set during the Great Depression,
See full article at We Got This Covered »

Tim Lambesis, As I Lay Dying Frontman, Released From Prison

  • Uinterview
As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis has been released from prison two years after he unsuccessfully tried to have his estranged wife killed by a hitman. As I Lay Dying Frontman Tim Lambesis Released From Prison Lambesis was arrested in May 2013 for trying to hire a hitman to murder his wife, Meggan Lambesis, for $1,000. As […]

Source: uInterview

The post Tim Lambesis, As I Lay Dying Frontman, Released From Prison appeared first on uInterview.
See full article at Uinterview »

Movie Review: James Franco has directed some bad movies, but none as boring as In Dubious Battle

James Franco’s death march through the American literary canon continues with In Dubious Battle, a John Steinbeck adaptation so conventionally dismal that it makes one better appreciate the artsy, dawdling garbage that is the actor turned dilettante’s usual stock in trade. Every Franco personal project—from his unintelligible, low-budget adaptations of William Faulkner (As I Lay Dying, The Sound And The Fury) and Cormac McCarthy (Child Of God) to his novels and assorted experiments in self-fellatio—is born with a “Kick Me” sign on its back, begging critics to punt it in the keister for making artistic ambition look lame. This one even comes with a freebie: It’s got “dubious” right there in the title. But instead of being sloppily miscalculated (the “Franco touch”), this attempt at a Depression-era labor drama in the vein of John Sayles just bores its way through almost two hours of screen
See full article at The AV Club »

James Franco may have a small role in Alien: Covenant

It turns out that one more actor may be boarding the Covenant and exploring a new world in Alien: Covenant, as Alien vs. Predator Galaxy has reported that Oz the Great and Powerful and Spring Breakers actor James Franco is the latest cast addition to the film.

The website says they have learned exclusively that Franco will appear in “the first ten minutes or so of the film with later small appearances.” He will play a character named Branson, the captain of the Covenant and husband to the film’s main protagonist, Katherine Waterston’s Daniels.

Reportedly, he is also set to make appearances in “viral footage that has been shot” for the film.

If the article is indeed true, the film will reunite him with his longtime co-star Danny McBride. The two have worked together on Pineapple Express, This is the End, Your Highness and Sausage Party, and Franco
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

James Franco to Direct ‘80s Romantic Drama ‘The Pretenders’ Starring Jane Levy

James Franco to Direct ‘80s Romantic Drama ‘The Pretenders’ Starring Jane Levy
James Franco is adding a new project under his directing tab. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the filmmaker will be helming “The Pretenders,” a film set in New York in the ‘80s.

The movie will star Jane Levy, Jack Kilmer and Shameik Moore, and follow two college friends who fall in love with the same girl. The love triangle creates a decade spanning, unique relationship between the threesome. “Horns” actress Juno Temple and Brian Cox (“Morgan”) will also co-star.

The script, written by “The Fault in Our Stars” director Josh Boone, has been circulating since 2013, with various actors previously attached.

Read More: James Franco’s Movie Column: ‘The Love Witch’ Is a Feminist B-Movie

The project is a co-production between Rabbit Bandini Productions, Sss Entertainment and Yale Productions. Producers for the film include Vince Jolivette and Jay Davis at Rabbit Bandini, Shaun Sanghani at Sss Entertainment, Jordan Yale Levine and Scott Levenson from Yale Productions,
See full article at Indiewire »

James Franco Directs Short Film ‘Do it Right’ Starring Gigi Hadid — Watch

James Franco Directs Short Film ‘Do it Right’ Starring Gigi Hadid — Watch
James Franco is currently working on a few upcoming films that he will star in and direct, including “Zeroville,” based on Steve Erickson’s 2007 book by the same name, and “The Masterpiece” about the making of Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room.” Though busy with many projects, Franco also directed a black-and-white short film entitled “Do It Right” starring fashion model Gigi Hadid. The film promotes a collaboration between Hadid and fashion designer Stuart Weitzman on new footwear “The Gigi Boot,” which is featured prominently in the video. Watch it below.

Read More: James Franco Endorses ‘Most Interesting Woman in the World’ Hillary Clinton in Funny Video

In the video, Hadid stars as a boxer who strikes poses as well as she spars against her masked opponents in the ring. All the while, she’s wearing The Gigi Boot while she’s taking down the men who enter into battle with her.
See full article at Indiewire »

In Dubious Battle review: James Franco hobbled by John Steinbeck

This admirably-intentioned adaptation of the 1936 industrial strife novel suffers from a tin ear, flat feet and overweening vanity

There’s something worryingly stolid and self-congratulatory about this new movie directed by James Franco: a drama about a (fictional) Californian apple-pickers’ strike in the Depression-hit Us, adapted by Franco’s longtime screenwriting partner Matt Rager from the 1936 novel by John Steinbeck. High-mindedness, ambition and seriousness are things to cherish, and I admired a good deal in Franco’s recent Faulkner adaptation, As I Lay Dying. But this is ultimately just so heavy-footed and stodgy, with each performance punched out on a single, earnest, unvarying note. The dialogue lands with a heavy thud, and the rhetoric is often a matter of shouting at deafening volume “They’re treatin’ us like pigs, the sonsabitches, the pigs are crackin’ our heads with clubs, the sonsabitches and we’re gonna fight back! Aren’t we?
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Venice Film Review: James Franco’s ‘In Dubious Battle’

Venice Film Review: James Franco’s ‘In Dubious Battle’
It’s easy to mock James Franco for the polymath showiness of all his extracurricular endeavors (actor! filmmaker! poet! collector of academic degrees! the world’s first and last postmodern Oscar host!). Yet if you leave the snark aside, there is something half-crazy/admirable about the scale of his ambitions. Besides, it’s no easy task to pull together a feature film, and Franco has directed close to a dozen of them. Up until now, he hasn’t been very good at it. Whether it’s a sexually “transgressive” (but actually cautious) documentary curio like “Interior. Leather Bar.” or one of his two (count ’em) Faulkner adaptations, Franco as a filmmaker has been more diligent than competent. At Cannes in 2013, as the audience sat dying through Franco’s “As I Lay Dying,” I tried to relieve the tedium by glancing to my left, and saw that half the people there were asleep.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'In Dubious Battle': Venice Review

'In Dubious Battle': Venice Review
Continuing his brave effort to ensure that future students of American literature can just buy the VOD equivalent of a box set instead of ever having to read another Great American Novel again, actor-director James Franco has moved from adapting Faulkner (As I Lay Dying, The Sound and the Fury) and McCarthy (Child of God) to Steinbeck with In Dubious Battle. The author's novel is the first of what would become Steinbeck’s Dustbowl trilogy (which also includes Of Mice and Men and Grapes of Wrath) and recounts a Great Depression-era strike that apple pickers in California organized to get

read more
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Coming Distractions: James Franco does Steinbeck in the In Dubious Battle trailer

James Franco may or may not be a promising filmmaker, but he’s not afraid of failure. You’ve got to give him that. Twice, the 38-year-old multi-hyphenate has attempted to rope the byzantine narratives of William Faulkner into a cinematic structure—2013’s As I Lay Dying and 2014’s The Sound And The Fury—and both times he came up short. So, he’s doing the only logical thing and moving laterally over to Faulkner’s contemporary in bleak Americana, John Steinbeck, with an adaptation of In Dubious Battle.

The 1936 novel gives a fictionalized account of an apple pickers’ strike in central California three years earlier. Along with his supremely impressive cast, including Robert Duvall, Bryan Cranston, Selena Gomez, Sam Shepard, Ed Harris, and Vincent D’Onofrio, Franco seems to be gunning for an epic. The cinematography, by newcomer Bruce Thierry Cheung, is certainly holding up its ...
See full article at The AV Club »

James Franco Adapts John Steinbeck in First Trailer for ‘In Dubious Battle’

When he’s not having fun with Seth Rogen and company, James Franco is spending part of his time adapting classic novels. After directing adaptations of Cormac McCarthy and William Faulkner landmarks, he’s now turned his sights to John Steinbeck with his take on the 1936 novel In Dubious Battle. Ahead of screenings at Venice and Tiff, the first trailer has now arrived for the drama which follows a pair of labour organizers attempting to unionize neglected California fruit pickers.

Featuring the eclectic cast of Nat Wolff, Selena Gomez, Vincent D’Onofrio, Robert Duvall, Ed Harris, Sam Shepard, Josh Hutcherson, John Savage, Ashley Greene, Zach Braff, Bryan Cranston and, of course, Franco in the lead, this looks to be his most polished directorial work thus far. Check out the trailer, extended synopsis and poster below ahead of the premiere soon.

Tiff synopsis:

Where does James Franco find the time? Between
See full article at The Film Stage »

James Franco Developing Crime Movies ‘Smonk,’ ‘Poachers,’ ‘Hell at the Breech’

James Franco Developing Crime Movies ‘Smonk,’ ‘Poachers,’ ‘Hell at the Breech’
James Franco is developing three movies based on novels by crime fiction writer Tom Franklin — “Smonk,” “Poachers,” and “Hell at the Breech,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Franco and partner Vince Jolivette are producing through their Rabbit Bandini Productions, which recently obtained the movie rights in a deal put in place by Joel Gotler of Intellectual Property Group on behalf of Nat Sobel of Sobel Weber Associates. The company has tapped screenwriters for each project.

“We plan on shooting all three of them in the next one to three years,” Jolivette told Variety. “There are no plans at this point for James to act or direct, just for us to produce. We feel the material is rich enough to attract A-level talent.”

Playwright David Van Asselt is working on a script for “Poachers” and Franklin will write the “Smonk” script. Ian Olds and Paul Felton are penning the adaptation of “Hell at the Breech.
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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