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In the movie business, the label “art film” isn’t always a deal-breaker.
Nowhere is this more apparent than at Cannes, where films that might seem obscure to your average Hollywood studio executive rack up worldwide presales and receive the kind of attention devoted to Brad Pitt strolling down the Croissette.
Consider some of the filmmakers in this year’s lineup: Sofia Coppola, James Gray, Alexander Payne, Roman Polanski, James Toback. They’re not exactly synonymous with blockbusters, but in the realm of global film financing, their names attract coin — at the right budget and with key cast attached.
Producers and financiers say the principal ingredients to getting these movies made are much the same as they were in the past: packages that yield foreign presales, securing locations that provide soft money and tax incentives, and foraging around for ways to cover the risk against the lack of domestic distribution. »
- Anthony Kaufman
It's been a rocky couple of weeks for Reese Witherspoon. Everything looked nice and peachy as the wonderful "Mud" starring the actress was set for release. Then on April 19, she was arrested in Atlanta following a dispute with a police officer. Soon enough the infamous "do you know who I am" video made its way out and everyone naturally took their shots. Well, while it may have been a rocky couple of months, nothing turns it around like booking a gig on a Paul Thomas Anderson movie. And according to Deadline, Witherspoon has done just that, landing a role in »
- Kristopher Tapley
UK box office top ten and analysis for the weekend of Friday 10th to Sunday 12th May 2013...
After two weeks atop the UK box office chart, Marvel's Iron Man 3 was knocked into second place this past weekend as J.J. Abrams unleashed his eagerly-anticipated sci-fi sequel Star Trek Into Darkness. Captain Kirk and company pulled in an impressive £8,431,574 (including £1.6 million from Thursday previews), surpassing Star Trek's £6 million opening back in 2009 to give Abrams his best UK debut to date (expect Star Wars: Episode VII to have something to say about that in 2015). Read our reviews of Star Trek Into Darkness here and here.
Despite slipping to second, it wasn't all bad news for Marvel, with Iron Man 3 adding another £3.2 million to push it beyond £31 million here in the UK as the Shane Black-directed solo sequel edges towards the magical $1 billion mark worldwide. Meanwhile, the only other newcomer »
- Flickering Myth
When the Next Generation cycle of Star Trek movies sputtered to an end in 2003, Nemesis closed out its run with a mediocre £4.8m in the UK, down from previous episode Insurrection's £7.7m. Paramount and Jj Abrams craftily reinvented the brand with the 2009 reboot, debuting with a tasty £5.95m (including £872,000 in previews), on its way to a total of £21.4m. Now comes the sequel, Into Darkness. Given the expanded fanbase established by the 2009 film, and the addition of Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch as the Star Fleet's formidable new foe, it's no big surprise to see numbers rise. Even so, Paramount will be more than happy with the achieved result: £8.43m including previews of £1.57m. That's a 42% rise on the debut last time around. Sequels do usually »
- Charles Gant
Star Trek Into Darkness has topped the UK box office on its first weekend on release.
Video: Digital Spy's 'Star Trek Into Darkness' review
Iron Man 3 still has the biggest UK opening weekend of 2013, with its £13.7 million bow outpacing Into Darkness and musical Les Misérables (£8.1 million).
The UK box office top ten in full:
1. (-) Star Trek Into Darkness - £8,431,574
2. (1) Iron Man 3 - £3,182,108
3. (2) 21 & Over - £580,981
4. (4) All Stars - £498,334
5. (6) The Croods - £383,502
6. (3) Olympus Has Fallen - £362,772
7. (- »
When that fake list of Cannes titles went up a few weeks back, just a day or two before the official line-up was unveiled, I was hoping one particular title was true: David Gordon Green's "Joe." Alas, it wasn't. The film stars Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan (hot of an amazing performance in "Mud," directed by Green's former North Carolina school mate Jeff Nichols) and it's part of what I feel is a new period for Green as an artist, taking what he's learned (and the relationships he's built up) to date and finding more fertile creative territory. His next film »
- Kristopher Tapley
“It was a terrible time to start,” Samuels admits. “Everyone was in a preserve-and- protect mode and wanted to get out of their obligations. The silver lining is that we wound up revisiting all aspects of our (business) plans.”
Basner agrees, emphasizing that FilmNation needed to be flexible to get past the past — mainly by backing a few less-than-obvious projects rather than the panic approach of going for volume.
We started to operate in different ways that made better sense for the new world order,” he says. “We were focused on having a diversified slate of films — a mixture of commercial wide-release films like ‘Sanctum’ and specialty films such as ‘The King’s Speech.’”
In the five years since FilmNation debuted, the movie business has undergone deep changes, »
- Dave McNary
Written and Directed by Jeff Nichols.
Two teenage boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the bounty hunters on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.
A boat is discovered up a tree on an island off the Mississippi river by two young boys. How the boat got there is never explained, it is just there. It is a miracle. So begins Mud, the third film from director Jeff Nichols whose last feature Take Shelter was one of the best and most talked about films of 2011. Mud may have less to discuss but has more to sit back and admire, and is arguably the better film.
Mud is a near-perfect film. The acting from all involved, from the two young boys (Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland) to Oscar »
- Flickering Myth
Washington, May 12: Reese Witherspoon has purchased a new 3,053 square foot property in the plush Brentwood Circle area of Los Angeles for 3 million dollars - a third home in the city.
The 'Mud' star's new home, which includes four bedrooms and four bathrooms, has been described as a "warm and inviting... enchanted cottage" by the listing agent, Contactmusic reported.
The actress bought her first property in the area in 2003, while still married to Ryan Phillippe, and picked up a second home in the neighbourhood in 2009 following their divorce in 2007.
The 37-year-old star has a 13-year-old daughter Ava and nine-year-old. »
- Amith Ostwal
In the early 1930s, during a lengthy safari in Tanganyika Territory, Ernest Hemingway broke off a discussion of antelope hunting to provide a German expatriate with a disquisition on American literature from colonial times to the present. During this little lecture, included in his Green Hills of Africa, Hemingway made one of his most famous statements. "All American literature," he claims, "comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. If you read it you must stop where the Nigger Jim is stolen from the boys. That is the real end. The rest is just cheating. But it's the best book we have. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since."
- Philip French
Star Trek Into Darkness (12A)
Those cinemagoers won over by Abrams's first Star Trek movie (even if they can barely remember it now) won't be disappointed with this finely tuned follow-up, which deftly balances action crises, sci-fi repartee and the ongoing Kirk/Spock bromance, but adds enough surprises to keep things interesting, largely by way of Cumberbatch's shifty supervillain.
Another distinctive, beguiling southern parable from Nichols, this time tracking the friendship between two boys and the mysterious fugitive they find down by the river. It's like a mix of Stand By Me, Night Of The Hunter and Terrence Malick. »
- Steve Rose
Currently starring in Mud, McConaughey has been working his Southern charm since his rise to prominence in the 90s. Here are a few of his most memorable performances
Matthew McConaughey has been taking on more challenging roles of late, using the opportunity to flex his acting muscles, as well as the other ones. His breakthrough role was David Wooderson in Dazed and Confused, a popular choice for inclusion in his most memorable moments.
Here are five of those moments, including suggestions from @guardianfilm Twitter followers @PatrickJGamble, @BeasleyOnFilm, @rapunzelrobot and @JoshRamsden11. Spoilers and adult material feature in all of the following clips – what scenes would you add to the list?
Reading on mobile? Watching the clip on YouTube
2. Killer Joe
McConaughey shows the world his darker side as a corrupt detective, »
Writer/director Jeff Nichols and his intensely masterful muse Michael Shannon are now planning on their fourth feature film project together following the acclaimed work with Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter and Mud. Shannon, who we can’t wait to see in bad-ass mode as General Zod in Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot, Man Of Steel, will headline Nichols’ currently untitled science-fiction epic, rumoured to centre on a present-day chase.
Warner Bros. Pictures are set to finance and distribute the untitled thriller (possibly after bring impressed with Shannon’s work on their DC comic-book update, which should make him a household name) with Sarah Green and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones producing. We can’t wait!
Shannon can first be seen in well-receieved hitman biopic The Iceman, as notorious mafioso killer Richard Kuklinski, released in the Us last week and the UK 7th June.
- Craig Hunter
Set phasers to 'opine'! It's the Guardian Film Show with Xan Brooks. This week our critics review Jj Abrams' second Star Trek film, Into Darkness; Danish piracy thriller A Hijacking; Sarah Gavron's documentary Village at the End of the World; and Mud, directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Matthew McConaughey. With Peter Bradshaw and Andrew Pulver
Xan BrooksPeter BradshawAndrew PulverKen MacfarlaneThibaut RemyElliot Smith »
- Xan Brooks, Peter Bradshaw, Andrew Pulver, Ken Macfarlane, Thibaut Remy, Elliot Smith
As you'd expect, we have some Star Trek Into Darkness guests on the Empire Podcast this week, with writers Damon Lindelof, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and producer Bryan Burk all dropping by to discuss Star Trek 12 (this interview is spoiler-free, but look out for more from them in a couple of weeks once everyone's seen the film).We also invited Mud director Jeff Nichols to pop along, to talk McConaughey and the Mississippi, and also discuss the week's news and new releases. Don't miss it!P.S. Don't forget to check out our podcast photo gallery here and subscribe to the Empire Podcast via our iTunes page or this handy RSS feed. The first of our Star Trek Into Darkness spoiler podcasts will be up on Monday morning. »
Writer-director Jeff Nichols serves up a rich and traditional slice of Americana, a movie built on the time-honoured device of witnessing a crisis in the adult world from the viewpoint of children.
It's contrived but nicely shot, and has a strong performance from Matthew McConaughey, who is getting better all the time. Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) are teens who one summer take a boat out to a deserted island in the Mississippi where a flood has surreally dumped another boat up in the trees.
The boys are set to make it their own private treehouse, but find food and dirty magazines. Somebody else is there: a grinning, garrulous but tough-looking guy called Mud (McConaughey) who makes it clear he could be pretty scary if he wanted – but not with kids. »
Man of Steel star Michael Shannon is teaming back up with director Jeff Nichols to bring us a new sci-fi film. The two worked together on Take Shelter, in which Shannon gave one of the best performances of his career.
The movie is set up at Warner Bros. As of right now there's no title or detailed information on what the story is about. The only thing we have to go off of at this point is a description that calls it a "present day sci-fi chase film."
This will be Nichols' first big studio film. The last movie he made was called Mud, with Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, and it was fantastic! If you haven't seen Take Shelter or Mud, I suggest you take the time to see them. Nichols is a talented director, I like his style of storytelling and filmmaking. He and Shannon also make an amazing team. »
- Joey Paur
Mud director Jeff Nichols has announced his next excuse to hang out with Michael Shannon some more, just kickin’ back and staring intensely at the breeze. This time the director and his muse will join complementarily unsettling forces for an untitled “sci-fi chase film” set in the present day, continuing a working relationship that's also previously included Take Shelter and Shotgun Stories. Not much else is known about the Warner Bros. project, which marks the director’s first for a major studio. Though as Collider points out, Nichols was recently discussing a script called Midnight Special that he likened »
Catch up with the last seven days in the world of film
Now that Cannes is around the corner, the trailers and teasers, posters and flyers are piling up, ready for the great jamboree that is the Croisette competition. But the one that really got us going was the trailer for a little number that didn't get anywhere near the Palais du Festivals: The World's End, the new one from Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and director Edgar Wright. All of them have been stretching their wings a little since Hot Fuzz – Pegg in Star Trek, Wright with Scott Pilgrim, Frost in the TV adaptation of Money – but their reunion has sparked lots of interest, and fond memories of their previous work. No doubt that's what's behind the plotline – a bunch of middle-aged men get together 20 years after an epic pub crawl to repeat the experience – and find »
Midnight Special: Michael Shannon (aka the villainous Zod in the upcoming Man of Steel) will star in Jeff Nichols' sci-fi chase film Midnight Special, which has been acquired by Warner Bros. It will be the first studio project for Nichols, who has worked with Shannon on all three of his previous films -- Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter and the currently playing Mud. Production is scheduled to begin in February 2014; Nichols previously said he wanted to make "a 1980s John Carpenter movie," perhaps like the great Starman, which bodes well for Midnight Special. [Variety / Deadline / Collider] Jurassic Park 4: Just last week, director Colin Trevorrow tweeted a photo that seemed to indicate he was scouting locations for Jurassic Park 4, then scheduled for release on...
- Peter Martin
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