6 items from 2015
Teenage Wasteland: Ellis & Martini Join Forces for Derivative Teen Angst
Check your expectations at the opening credits with The Curse of Downers Grove, a muddled teen scream mix of urban legend meets self-fulfilling prophecy metaphor. Many will be unable to bypass taking a look, however, upon learning the schlocky titled genre effort was penned by Bret Easton Ellis, his first cinematic project following the infamous and ultimately ill-fated Paul Schrader/Lindsey Lohan experiment The Canyons (2013). An ambitious thread of something greater sometimes resonates in this adolescent angst tale spiked with violence and a smattering of watered down sexuality (at least compared to what we know Ellis can imagine), but is ultimately lost in the tonally awkward jumps between genre elements and out-of-touch flourishes as concerns law-enforcement and teenagers.
The eponymous suburb of Chicago is the home of a deadly curse, or at least that’s the urban legend of the »
- Nicholas Bell
There is no doubt that Bret Easton Ellis has a distinct voice. We've seen his characters come alive in "American Psycho," he's brought his own worldview to movies like "The Informers" and "The Canyons," and his latest script is for the horror flick "The Curse Of Downers Grove," and today we have an exclusive peek at the film. Read More: Watch The Trailer For Bret Easton Ellis-Penned 'The Curse Of Downers Grove' Starring Bella Heathcote Starring Bella Heathcote, Lucas Till, Penelope Mitchell, Tom Arnold, and Kevin Zegers, with Derick Martini ("Lymelife," "Hick") directing, the story is set in the titular suburb where every year, someone from the graduating high school class meets a gruesome death. Chrissie Swanson fears she might be next, but as you'll see in this clip, she's also got other things on her mind. "The Curse Of Downers Grove" opens on August 21st and hits VOD on September 1st. »
- Edward Davis
Through numerous adaptations of his work, such as Less Than Zero, American Psycho, and The Rules of Attraction, novelist Bret Easton Ellis has become a familiar name to film fans over the years. In 2008, however, the novelist stepped into the film realm himself, co-adapting his book The Informers for the big screen. He followed it up with an original screenplay in 2013 for The Canyons, and his next foray into features will see him adapt another person’s novel.
Titled The Curse of Downers Grove, the screenplay is adapted from the Michael Hornburg novel Downers Grove. Ellis co-wrote the screenplay with Derick Martini, and the latter takes the directing reins for the feature, whose synopsis can be read below.
A teen angst thriller at a high school gripped by an apparent curse that claims the life of a senior every year. Story follows a senior, Chrissie, who is skeptical, and another, »
- Deepayan Sengupta
Veteran director and screenwriter Paul Schrader will receive the San Francisco International Film Festival's Kanbar Award for storytelling. He will be honored alongside fellow Sfiff awardees Richard Gere and Guillermo del Toro on Film Society Awards Night, which goes down Monday, April 27 at The Armony on Mission Street. Schrader's long and storied career began with writing Sidney Pollack's 1974 "The Yakuza" before Martin Scorsese's Palme d'Or winner "Taxi Driver." As a director his films have included "American Gigolo," "Affliction," "Auto Focus, "Light of Day" and more recently "The Canyons," written by Bret Easton Ellis and starring Lindsay Lohan, and "The Dying of the Light," which the director washed his hands of after losing final cut. Read More: Warning: "Dying of the Light" Is Not a Paul Schrader Movie Paul Schrader will also be honored at An Evening with Paul Schrader at the Sundance »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Dying of the Light, 2014.
Written and Directed by Paul Schrader.
Burned out CIA operative Evan Lake (Nicolas Cage) is forced into early retirement due to a degenerative medical diagnosis. Aided by an up and coming field agent Milton Schultz (Anton Yelchin) he uses his limited time to track down an old adversary.
Given what has been made of the latest Cage-rage low budget effort in many quarters you could be forgiven for thinking this’ll be on a par with that The Wicker Man remake for overall- albeit hilarious- lameness.
In truth, it’s not quite as bad as all that. It’s just a bit weird really, with Schrader and the cast recently disowning the finished product and claiming something of a studio takeover from the creatives in control. »
- Robert W Monk
Paul Schrader’s latest directorial effort is a solemn CIA tale, with darker undercurrents lost in a woolly cut
Paul Schrader has a hell of a pedigree: screenplays for Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, a director’s filmography that includes gems like American Gigolo and Mishima, and an occasional sideline as an erudite film historian. But his career has languished in the doldrums of late, and his follow-up to The Canyons, his Lindsay Lohan–starring semi-succès de scandale, sees him coming a cropper. It’s an espionage thriller about a CIA man (Nicolas Cage) dashing from Bucharest to Mombasa in pursuit of the terrorist who tortured him years earlier. At one time mooted as a project for Drive man Nicolas Winding Refn, who now has an executive producer credit, the film was reportedly recut by its backers, with Schrader’s intended expressionistic colour scheme massaged down to a drab functionality. »
- Jonathan Romney
6 items from 2015
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