6 items from 2014
If there is a little Listen Up Philip in the cocktail that will be known as 7 Chinese Brothers, it may have been due to cosmic fate, a lark, creative confidence, or a little of everything. Stars aligned for this trio in a rather convenient way; unbeknownst to Bob Byington, his sixth feature managed to lasso Jason Schwartzman prior to Alex Ross Perry grabbing the Rushmore star for his definitive breakout moment in Park City this past January. It is after those playdates, when production began in February in Austin, and if it has legs like Somebody Up There Likes Me did back in 2012 with a showing at SXSW and at Locarno (was a winner of the Special Jury Prize), then there might be a collective sense of deja vu for Park City patrons. Look for Schwartzman to play off thesps such as Stephen Root, Olympia Dukakis and Tunde Adebimpe, with Perry making another Byington-film appearance. »
- Eric Lavallee
Satirize This: Bilandic’s Scruffy Send-up of NYC Art Scene
Though starting off on a stronger note than where it eventually ends up, Michael M. Bilandic’s sophomore feature, Hellaware is an entertaining satire of the ultra-pretentious art scene in New York. Filled with sharp one liners and skewering observations of the self-important hipster scene, it’s a group that’s easy to target, which may explain why it eventually feels a bit inconsequential once it fosters its full circle treatment. But Bilandic’s acerbic, hilarious wit is often more than enough to carry the narrative through a slim manifestation.
While at a ridiculous and utterly pretentious art gallery of what looks like a variety of depraved children’s’ paintings, jaded struggling artist Nate (Keith Poulson) miserably shares his critical hatred for such types with tagalong friends Bernadette (Sophia Takal) and Gauguin (Duane C. Wallace), apparently taking the name of the famed artist. »
- Nicholas Bell
Making it a double casting mention type of day in the trades, after being added to Reed Morano’s Meadowland, Elisabeth Moss will also be reuniting with Alex Ross Perry on a project that harkens to the tune of mid-sixties Roman Polanski. While we await the mention of a female co-lead, Queen of Earth is being described as a psychological thriller a la Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby and according to THR has Joe Swanberg on board to produce. Perry is currently on the fest circuit with Listen Up Philip — showings in Locarno and Next Fest are set for August.
Gist: This centers on two women who retreat to a beach house to get a break from the pressures of the outside world, only to realize how disconnected from each other they have become, allowing their suspicions to bleed into reality.
Worth Noting: Perry recently reteamed with helmer Bob Byington on 7 Chinese Brothers. »
- Eric Lavallee
Nearly a year ago, I devoted the Fund This Film column to an indie feature called Funny Bunny in part because it was to star Kate Lyn Sheil, one of the most interesting young actresses working today. You should know her from such movies as The Comedy, The Color Wheel, V/H/S, Sun Don’t Shine, Somebody Up There Likes Me and maybe Listen Up Philip if you were at Sundance this year. Unfortunately, she had to drop out of Funny Bunny (which was funded and then made, and we’re still looking forward to it), and now here I am to spotlight another Kickstarter project with Sheil’s name attached. I can guarantee she’ll be in this one, as it’s already been shot and is set to debut in competition at SXSW next month. It’s called The Heart Machine. Co-starring with Sheil in this romance thriller is Short Term 12‘s John Gallagher »
- Christopher Campbell
When he's away from his day job at Parks and Rec, Nick Offerman often finds himself in indie movies. And last night on Conan he sung about the secret to getting those movies into Sundance: pussy and weed. The song is essentially a folk-country sequel to the "Pussy and Weed" song he, Megan Mullally, and Alison Brie sang as a promo for Somebody Up There Likes Me. It appears the real secret is that weed rhymes with a lot of stuff. »
- Jesse David Fox
Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.
Austin filmmaker and Hammer to Nail editor Michael Tully is joining with Ion Cinema founder Eric Lavallee to found the American Independent Film Awards, which will honor "micro-budget" indies starting in 2015. Local filmmaker Bob Byington (Somebody Up There Likes Me) is planning to shoot his feature Seven Chinese Brothers in Austin in the next couple of months, according to The Austin Chronicle. The cast will include Jason Schwartzman, Tunde Adebimpe and Olympia Dukakis -- no word yet on whether Bob Schneider will play a wedding singer (as in Byington's previous two movies). Byington says he wrote the script in 2001, and received an Austin Film Society Grant in 2010 for the film.Louis Black, co-founder of SXSW and The Austin Chronicle, will serve as executive producer on Django Lives!, the sequel to the original Spaghetti Western Django. The star of the original film, »
- Jordan Gass-Poore'
6 items from 2014
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