7 items from 2016
Everyone knows a couple whose behavior prompts the question, “How are they still together?” Clea DuVall’s debut feature film “The Intervention” takes that question to the next level by actually staging a couple intervention. The film follows Annie (Melanie Lynskey) and her fiancé Matt (Jason Ritter) who plan a getaway weekend as an excuse to confront Ruby (Cobie Smulders) and Peter (Vincent Piazza) about their toxic relationship. They invite along two other couples — Jessie (DuVall) and Sarah (Natasha Lyonne) and Jack (Ben Schwartz) and his 22-year-old girlfriend Lola (Alia Shawkat) — in order to ease the tension, but everyone’s presence inevitably ratchets up the awkwardness. Soon, problems arise, secrets are revealed, and relationships are tested as they all start to examine their own lives and connections with others. Watch an exclusive clip from the film below.
- Vikram Murthi
Two movies about women at crossroads in their lives explore the sort of personal crisis — lost mojo! — typically reserved for men onscreen. I’m “biast” (pro): desperate for movies about women
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Women at crossroads in their lives. Women who feel their worlds falling apart and don’t know what to do about it. Women who’ve lost their mojo… or never even found it in the first place. These are not the sorts of personal crises that we typically see women experiencing onscreen (though men have countless cinematic examples to follow when they find themselves in a rut). So I was delighted to discover two films that fall into the sparsely populated subgenre of Women Who Go in Search of a Kick in the Butt (Though They Might Not Realize That’s What They »
- MaryAnn Johanson
If filmmaker Jeff Baena had his way, this interview wouldn’t exist. The filmmaker behind films like “Life After Beth” and the soon-to-be-released “Joshy” isn’t a fan of playing to the press or penning long synopses of his films or, really, releasing any kind of information about his projects before they hit the big screen.
Unsurprisingly, Baena breathed a sigh of relief during a recent interview, when I mentioned that a first act plot point in his Sundance premiere “Joshy” genuinely surprised me. It’s a major element of the story – and one that won’t be spoiled here – that’s neatly obscured by the film’s upbeat marketing and a very well-worded official synopsis.
“That was intentional,” Baena said. “Ideally, I don’t necessarily want to talk about it. It’s so rare when marketing »
- Kate Erbland
“Lace Crater” follows twenty-something Ruth (Lindsay Burdge) who’s just getting over a breakup as she and her friends head to the Hamptons for a weekend of mild debauchery at their friend Andrew’s parents’ summer home. With all the bedrooms in the main house taken, Ruth agrees to sleep in the guest house that is supposedly haunted. One night while everyone is having a good time, Ruth stumbles to her bed and ends up encountering a mysterious figure – a burlap sack-wearing, light-sensitive otherworldly entity, Michael (Peter Vack). Ruth and Michael have a one-night stand, but when she returns home, she develop a ghostly Std, with symptoms that include frequent vomiting, light sensitivity, and spewing black ooze. When her friends all but abandon her, she’s left in isolation to deal with her problems and must decide on her own whether she wants to return to normal society. The film »
- Vikram Murthi
Now this will be irresistible! Jessica Simpson gave fans the ultimate tease late Wednesday when she shared black-and-white photos in the recording studio. Six years after her last album, Happy Christmas, which was released in November 2010, Simpson seems to be indicating that she'll give her fans a big treat sometime soon: new music. The mom-of-two took several years off from the music industry to create a fashion empire—no big deal. She has an incredibly successful shoe line, clothing line, swimsuit line and even a handbag line. No wonder she hasn't had time to sneak back into the studio! In one picture Simpson is sitting next to legendary Linda Perry. In another photo Simpson rocks bare feet while »
London — Mark Webber (“Green Room”), Rachel Hurd-Wood (“An American Haunting”) and Lorant Deutsch (“The Visitors: Bastille Day”) have signed on to star in chiller “Labirintus,” which is directed by “The Howling” and “Gremlins” helmer Joe Dante. Goldcrest Films is handling international sales.
“Labirintus” tells the story of a paranormal investigator (Webber), psychiatric researcher (Hurd-Wood) and engineer (Deutsch) who join forces to explore an abandoned subterranean Soviet research facility, hidden within the dark twisting catacombs beneath Buda Castle. When supernatural forces confound and torment the group they begin to question their own sanity. To escape they must quash their fears and lead their team to find and destroy the dark heart of the maze.
Written by Alan Campbell, “Labirintus” is produced by Fabrice Lambot of France’s Metaluna Prods., Lucy Mukerjee-Brown of Mukerjee-Brown Prods., Elizabeth Stanley of Elizabeth Stanley Pictures and Jean-Charles Levy of Forecast Pictures. Nick Quested and Pascal Degove, »
- Leo Barraclough
Joe Swanberg's career has moved to the beat of his own drum. While he can't seem to shake the now passé mumblecore tag, the writer/director/jack of all trades has developed from his own hyper-indie early works to attracting well known actors to feature in movies like "Drinking Buddies," "Happy Christmas" and "Digging For Fire." And his next career leap finds him going to Netflix, where he'll bring his strong work ethic to a brand new series. Read More: Interview: Joe Swanberg Talks Personal Filmmaking, Paul Mazursky & The Inspiration Of "Friday Night Lights' Orlando Bloom, Malin Akerman, Michael Chernus, Marc Maron, Elizabeth Reaser, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jake Johnson, Aya Cash, Dave Franco, Jane Adams and Hannibal Burress are lining up for "Easy." Swanberg will write, direct and executive produce the half-hour anthology comedy that will focus on Chicagoans dealing with love, sex, technology and culture. So I'd »
- Kevin Jagernauth
7 items from 2016
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