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Podtalk: Writer/Director Paul Schrader Blesses ‘First Reformed’

Chicago – Paul Schrader can absolutely claim the title of Cinema Icon with his 40 plus years of influence and involvement as writer or director in memorable films such as “Taxi Driver,” “American Gigolo,” “Raging Bull” and “Auto Focus.” His latest written-and-directed-by film is “First Reformed,” featuring Ethan Hawke.

First Reformed” centers on Reverend Toller (Hawke), whose past includes a role as a military chaplain, and later as a father of a soldier who dies in battle. He ministers at a First Reformed Christian church, but the ministry is carried out mostly through historical tours (the church was a prominent stop for the Underground Railroad of the American Civil War era) and less through church membership. Toller’s life is altered when the wife (Amanda Seyfried) of a troubled environmentalist (Phillip Ettinger) seeks counseling for her husband. The results of that counsel upends all their lives, especially the minister who suddenly cannot face his own difficult circumstances.
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

‘First Reformed’ Trailer: Paul Schrader Revisits A Spiritual ‘Taxi Driver’ With Ethan Hawke

Paul Schrader might be one of the great American writer/directors of all time with a slew of classics under his belt like penning Martin Scorsese pictures like “Taxi Driver,” The Last Temptation of Christ.” “Bringing Out the Dead” and helming “Blue Collar,” “Hardcore” and the crime drama “American Gigolo,” but let’s face it, his career has been terribly uneven in the aggregate.
See full article at The Playlist »

7 hugely underrated Nicolas Cage films

Simon Reynolds Mar 2, 2018

Beyond Jerry Bruckheimer's The Rock and Con Air, here are a handful of Nicolas Cage films worth seeking out.

It’s very easy to get lost with Nicolas Cage. With ‘Cage Rage’ memes, the tales of celebrity eccentricity (remember when he turned on Bath’s Christmas lights?) and the continued fascination surrounding his unmade Superman film, you’d be forgiven for losing sight of the fact that he’s a bona fide, megawatt movie star. On March 9 he’s back with a new role in Brian Taylor’s Mom and Dad, playing a father who violently turns against his own offspring during an outbreak of parental mass hysteria.

In the hands of Crank co-director Taylor we get to see two sides of Cage: the understated everyman and the off-the-scale rage machine. It’s this kind of role, beyond the blockbuster carnage of The Rock and Con Air,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Paul Schrader Explains Why “I Don’t Need To See Another ‘Justice League’ “

Filmmaker Paul Schrader isn’t exactly a contrarian, but his opinions about contemporary films don’t always flow with the common wisdom. But as the man who gave us “Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull,” “The Last Temptation of Christ,” “Mishima,” and “Bringing Out the Dead,” he’s earned the right to ruffle a few feathers. Looking out over the current blockbuster, four-quadrant landscape, it’s not hard to imagine that Schrader dispirited by what he sees, but believe it or not, he’ll go so superhero movies.
See full article at The Playlist »

Pete’s 2017 Media Diary

This is the fourth year publishing the list of television, movies, and books that I read throughout the year. It’s always interesting to look back on the content you have consumed with your viewing and reading habits laid out in front of you. It can be pretty scary for those not ready to truly look inside their own mind. For me, my biggest takeaway is always… “I need to read more books”. Looking through my 2017 media diary it’s hard to deny the fact I read zero books. I did however watch plenty of great television, and a few great movies. (Here’s to changing that in 2018).

2017 was the year in which my excitement for new television far exceeded my excitement for new movies. I continued my trend from 2016 where I felt I watched more television than movies. Television had a far larger impact on me, and sure there
See full article at Age of the Nerd »

John Goodman’s Dream List: 3 Filmmakers He Wants to Work With After ‘Roseanne’

John Goodman’s Dream List: 3 Filmmakers He Wants to Work With After ‘Roseanne’
John Goodman and Bruce Willis have been friends since 1979, but somehow never worked together before “Once Upon a Time in Venice,” the action-comedy that hits theaters and video-on-demand on Friday, June 16. The directorial debut of writer-producer Mark Cullen, “Once Upon a Time in Venice” stars Willis as a Venice Beach P.I. who teams up with his surf shop-owner best friend (Goodman) to track down a drug dealer’s stolen cocaine. The film co-stars Jason Momoa​, Famke Janssen​, Thomas Middleditch​ and Adam Goldberg.

Read More: ‘Roseanne’ Revival in the Works As Stars and Producers Plot 8-Episode Event Series

For Goodman, who received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame in March, being able to finally work with Willis on a movie was an offer he couldn’t refuse.

“They said it was a Bruce Willis movie, so I was prone to say yes before I even read the script,” Goodman said during a recent interview,
See full article at Indiewire »

The Tao of Nicolas Cage: The Cage Cage

Step inside a wonderful cage where all your wildest fantasies become reality.All the Cage.

Earlier this week the esteemed and never grumpy Christopher Campbell brought to my attention a brand-new Vr simulation called ‘The Cage Cage.’ At Cage my interest was piqued, but at double the Cage my full attention turned towards this new creation.

My first step was to visit TheCageCage.com and so that’s what I did. Upon my arrival I was greeted with a wonderful picture of Nicolas Cage and the following note: “This is a Vr simulation of what it’s like to be trapped in a cage and forced to watch Nic Cage movies.”

This is exactly as it sounds. ‘The Cage Cage’ places you in the center of a cage and you’re surrounded by a wall of Nicolas Cage clips.

As I tried to take this all in I was overwhelmed with a wave of emotions. Watching
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Nicolas Cage surprises Nic Cage celebration with special appearance

Say what you want about Nicolas Cage, we all think that the man is a living legend. The star of such recent films as Dog Eat Dog (which we loved) and Army Of One turned up at his own film festival at the iconic the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, and even stayed behind to do a 45 minute-plus Q+A, followed by a special reading.

The organisers of the festival have apparently invited Cage down to the festival (named C4ged) every year for its four year history, and this year he actually made an appearance.

Fans were treated to showings of films Bangkok Dangerous, Joe, Bringing Out the Dead, Army of One and Lord of War – all chosen by him- and then the Q+A and reading of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story The Tell-Tale Heart.

With the internet being the internet, footage of the event has managed to find its way online.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Nicolas Cage Makes Surprise Appearance at Nicolas Cage Movie Marathon

For the past three years, Alamo Drafthouse film programmer Greg MacLennan has paid tribute to Nicolas Cage in the form of Caged, a marathon of movies starring the actor, partly in the hope that the Oscar winner would attend. While that plan may seem to be about as ludicrous as the plot of Face/Off, it is one that had a happy ending yesterday when Cage actually did turn up at the fourth annual event in Austin, Texas.

The actor also personally selected the five films being shown at C4GED — a lineup which included Martin Scorsese’s Bringing Out the Dead
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Nicolas Cage Surprises Alamo Drafthouse at Fourth Annual C4GED Marathon

  • Indiewire
Nicolas Cage Surprises Alamo Drafthouse at Fourth Annual C4GED Marathon
Nicolas Cage fans in Austin, Texas got what can only be described as a gift from the movie gods over the weekend when Cage made a surprise appearance to C4GED, the fourth annual marathon of Nicolas Cage movies screened in celebration of the month of his birth.

Read More: Isabelle Huppert, Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe Star in Abel Ferrara’s New Film ‘Siberia

While a packed theater was singing the happy birthday song, Cage walked out on stage and immediately launched into a reading of “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe. The next 12 hours were spent watching Cage films that the actor personally programmed. Cage also presided over an in-theater marriage proposal.

C4GED was first programmed by the Alamo Drafthouse’s Greg MacLennan four years ago, and the annual marathon has become one of the most popular events at the Alamo Drafthouse. This year’s marathon
See full article at Indiewire »

Underrated Scorsese film Bringing Out the Dead praised by its editor Thelma Schoonmaker

During a recent interview with Den of Geek, Martin Scorsese's long-time editor Thelma Schoonmaker gave praise to one of her and the director's more underrated films, 1999's Bringing Out the Dead, which stars Nicolas Cage as a night-time ambulance-driver in one of the most notorious areas of New York, whose sleep deprivation and guilt over the lives he's lost causes him to go a bit crazy (in the usual Nicolas Cage style). "It's the only one of his [Scorsese's] films, I think, that hasn't gotten its due," says Schoonmaker. "It's a beautiful film, but it was hard for people to take, I think. Unexpected. But I think it's great." She claims that the film initially was mis-marketed as a car-chase film: "What happened was, that...

[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Thelma Schoonmaker interview: editing Silence, Scorsese, Michael Powell

Ryan Lambie Dec 23, 2016

Editor Thelma Schoonmaker talks to us about Martin Scorsese’s new film, Silence, taking risks in filmmaking and lots more...

Name a great Scorsese movie, and it’ll almost certainly have been edited by Thelma Schoonmaker. From 1980 onwards, the pair have been inseparable, with Schoonmaker cutting such classics as Raging Bull, The King Of Comedy, After Hours, Goodfellas, Casino and Gangs Of New York. Scorsese’s latest film is Silence, a powerful, heartfelt period piece about the limits of faith. Starring Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver as a pair of Jesuit priests who witness the torture and execution of Christians in 17th century Japan, the movie is a stark tonal contrast to The Wolf Of Wall Street, Scorsese’s wilfully gaudy, giddy account of drug-addled millionaire corporate crook Jordan Belfort.

See related John Carney interview: Sing Street, X-Men, Hitchcock & more Den Of Geek films of the year:
See full article at Den of Geek »

Paul Schrader’s Last Stand: How a 70-Year-Old Titan of American Cinema Is Fighting to Stay Relevant

Paul Schrader’s Last Stand: How a 70-Year-Old Titan of American Cinema Is Fighting to Stay Relevant
Paul Schrader has the outsized personality of a cigar-chomping studio mogul, the soul of a cinephile, and the Diy filmmaking ethos of a millennial. His career stretches back decades, but he never stops living in the moment.

He wrote “Taxi Driver” 40 years ago, kickstarting a collaborating with Martin Scorsese that continued with “Raging Bull,” “The Last Temptation of Christ,” and “Bringing Out the Dead.” The former film critic also has forged his own path as a director, with seminal portraits of intense masculinity like “American Gigolo,” “Affliction” and the astonishing epic “Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters.” He’s never really slowed down.

His latest movie, “Dog Eat Dog,” might not look like the work of a veteran director. A wacky, discursive adaptation of Eddie Bunker’s 1995 novel (scripted by Matthew David Wilder), it takes the elements of a grimy heist movie and turns them inside out.

Read More: ‘Dog Eat Dog
See full article at Indiewire »

Interview: Paul Schrader on staying creative and being bored by strip clubs

Raised in a strict Calvinist household, Paul Schrader didn’t see his first film until he was 17 years old, a late and inauspicious start (the movie in question was The Absent-Minded Professor) to what would become a lifelong obsession. Under the mentorship of Pauline Kael, Schrader became a film critic before shifting his attention to screenwriting. The seminal Taxi Driver proved to be a breakthrough for both Schrader and director Martin Scorsese, and the two would collaborate again on Raging Bull, The Last Temptation Of Christ, and Bringing Out The Dead.

Since making his debut with Blue Collar, Schrader has built up a wide-ranging body of work as a director, which includes everything from personal projects like American Gigolo and Mishima: A Life In Four Chapters to oddball one-offs like the made-for-hbo supernatural gumshoe riff Witch Hunt and the music video for Bob Dylan’s “Tight Connection To My ...
See full article at The AV Club »

Does Setting Dictate the Success of Martin Scorsese-Directed Films?

Martin Scorsese (Courtesy: Getty Images)

By: Carson Blackwelder

Managing Editor

It’s a known fact that Martin Scorsese is one of America’s most prolific directors — and one who has proven to be inspired by his birthplace of New York City as well as other places up and down the East Coast on numerous occasions. With Silence set to be released on December 23 (with a wider release in January 2017), will this filmmaker see success with a film leaving behind this iconic backdrop?

Stephen Galloway, The Hollywood Reporter’s executive editor of features, questioned in a recent chat with this site’s namesake, Scott Feinberg, whether or not Scorsese — in all his years of making movies — had ever made a great film that had left these settings behind.

Of Scorsese’s lengthy résumé — which, before Silence, contains 23 feature-length movies — the majority have been set in either New York City or somewhere on the East Coast.
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

‘The Departed’ Turns 10: In Praise of Martin Scorsese’s Fiercely Entertaining High-Wire Act

When The Departed won both Best Picture and Best Director at the 79th Academy Awards, the degree to which the film itself deserved this accolade was largely drowned out by the film community’s collective, exasperated utterance of “Finally!” in reaction to the long-overdue recognition of Martin Scorsese. Indeed, it was incredible — even criminal — that this titan of cinema was just now being awarded for his genius. One of New Hollywood’s reigning figures, Scorsese had been working powerfully and prolifically for nearly 40 years prior to The Departed, building one of the finest filmographies in the history of cinema. When the 2006 film brought the long sought-after gold statuettes, there persisted a received wisdom that the awards were being granted more for a lifetime of exceptional achievement than for this achievement in particular.

On this day, which marks the tenth anniversary of The Departed‘s theatrical release, let us look at
See full article at The Film Stage »

Dog Eat Dog Trailer Sends Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe on the Run

  • MovieWeb
Dog Eat Dog Trailer Sends Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe on the Run
Do you love Raising Arizona? Then you're going to love this! Nicolas Cage pays homage to the Coen Brothers classic in his latest movie Dog Eat Dog. Today, we have a first look at the movie. From Rlj Entertainment comes the hilarious and action-packed trailer along with the official poster.

Legendary filmmaker Paul Schrader directs this "sordid and engaging crime drama" (The Hollywood Reporter). Dog Eat Dog stars Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage. The pair previously worked together on the much maligned drama Dying of the Light back in 2014. Paul Schrader also wrote the screenplay for Nicolas Cage's acclaimed Emt drama Bringing Out the Dead, which was directed by Martin Scorsese.

Academy Award nominee Willem Dafoe (Platoon) joins Nicolas Cage in Dog Eat Dog. The pair first worked together in David Lynch's cult hit Wild at Heart. Though the pair hasn't been seen on screen together since 1990, Nicolas Cage
See full article at MovieWeb »

‘Dog Eat Dog’ Trailer: Nicolas Cage & Willem Dafoe Get Violent in Paul Schrader’s Dark Comedy

  • Indiewire
‘Dog Eat Dog’ Trailer: Nicolas Cage & Willem Dafoe Get Violent in Paul Schrader’s Dark Comedy
By all accounts, Paul Schrader and Nicolas Cage’s most recent collaboration turned out more favorably than their last. While “Dying of the Light” ended up being disavowed by both director and star after studio meddling, “Dog Eat Dog” closed this year’s edition of the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, and Schrader has told Indiewire‘s Anne Thompson that he “got to make the film [he] wanted.” Watch the trailer for that film below.

Read More: Cannes: Paul Schrader’s ‘Dog Eat Dog’ Deserves a Buyer

Willem Dafoe co-stars in this adaptation of Eddie Bunker’s novel of the same name, a crime thriller that also marks Schrader’s first onscreen appearance after decades of writing and directing. “Once you were in,” Cage says in the trailer’s opening moments, “staying out was all but impossible.” What follows is a violent, darkly comic look at the one-last-heist movie that also features Louisa Krause,
See full article at Indiewire »

13 great modern thriller directors

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They’ve made some of the best thrillers of the past six years. We list some of the best modern thriller directors currently working...

Director Guillermo del Toro once described suspense as being about the withholding of information: either a character knows something the audience doesn’t know, or the audience knows something the character doesn’t. That’s a deliciously simple way of describing something that some filmmakers often find difficult to achieve: keeping viewers on the edges of their seats.

The best thrillers leave us scanning the screen with anticipation. They invite us to guess what happens next, but then delight in thwarting expectations. We can all name the great thriller filmmakers of the past - Alfred Hitchcock, Carol Reed, Brian De Palma - but what about the current crop of directors? Here’s our pick of the filmmakers who’ve made some great modern thrillers over the past six years - that is, between the year 2010 and the present.

Jeremy Saulnier - Blue Ruin, Green Room

To think there was once a time when Jeremy Saulnier was seriously quitting the film business.

“To be honest," Saulner told us back in 2014, “Macon and I had really given up on our quest to break into the industry and become legitimate filmmakers. So what we were trying to do with Blue Ruin was archive our 20 year arc and bring it to a close. Really just revisit our stomping grounds and use locations that were near and dear to us and build a narrative out of that.”

Maybe this personal touch explains at least partly why Blue Ruin wound up getting so much attention in Cannes in 2013, signalling not the end of Saulnier and his star Macon Blair’s career, but a brand new chapter. But then again, there’s more than just hand-crafted intimacy in Saulnier’s revenge tale; there’s also its lean, minimal storytelling and the brilliance of its characterisation. Blue Ruin is such an effective thriller because its protagonist is so atypical: sad-eyed, inexperienced with guns, somewhat soft around the edges, Macon Blair’s central character is far from your typical righteous avenger.

Green Room, which emerged in the UK this year, explores a similar clash between very ordinary people and extraordinary violence. A young punk band shout about anarchy and aggression on stage, but they quickly find themselves out of their depth when they’re cornered by a group of bloodthirsty neo-Nazis. In Saulnier’s films, grubby, unseemly locations are matched by often beautiful locked-off shots. Familiar thriller trappings are contrasted by twists of fortune that are often shocking.

Denis Villeneuve - Sicario, Prisoners

Here’s one of those directors who can pack an overwhelming sense of dread in a single image: in Sicario, his searing drug-war thriller from last year, it was the sight of tiny specks of dust falling in the light scything through a window. That single shot proved to be the calm before the storm, as Villeneuve unleashed a salvo of blood-curdling events: an attempted FBI raid on a building gone horribly awry. And this, I think, is the brilliance of Villeneuve’s direction, and why he’s so good at directing thrillers like Sicario or 2013’s superb Prisoners - he understands the rhythm of storytelling, and how scenes of quiet can generate almost unbearable tension.

Another case in point: the highway sequence in Sicario, where Emily Blunt’s FBI agent is stuck in a traffic jam outside one of the most violent cities in the world. Villeneueve makes us feel the stifling heat and the claustrophobia; something nasty’s going to happen, we know that - but it’s the sense of anticipation which makes for such an unforgettable scene.

Prisoners hews closely to the template of a modern mystery thriller, but it’s once again enriched by Villeneuve’s expert pacing and the performances he gets out of his actors. Hugh Jackman’s seldom been better as a father on the hunt for his missing child, while Jake Gyllenhaal mesmerises as a cop scarred by his own private traumas.

Lynne Ramsay - We Need To Talk About Kevin

Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin may be the most effective psychological thriller of recent years. About the difficult relationship between a mother (Tilda Swinton) and her distant, possibly sociopathic son (Ezra Miller), Ramsay’s film is masterfully told from beginning to end - which is impressive, given that the source novel by Lionel Shriver is told via a series of letters. Ramsay takes the raw material from the book and crafts something cinematic and highly disturbing: a study of guilt, sorrow and recrimination. Tension bubbles even in casual conversations around the dinner table. Miller is an eerie, cold-eyed blank. Swinton is peerless. One scene, in which Swinton’s mother comes home in the dead of night, is unforgettable. Here’s hoping Ramsay returns with another feature film very soon.

Morten Tyldum - Headhunters

All kinds of thrillers have emerged from Scandinavia over the past few years, whether on the large or small screen or in book form. Morten Tyldum’s Headhunters is among the very best of them. The fast-paced and deliriously funny story of an art thief who steals a painting from the wrong guy, Headhunters launched Tyldum on an international stage - Alan Turing drama The Imitation Game followed, and the Sony sci-fi film Passengers is up next. It isn’t hard to see why, either: Headhunters shows off Tyldum’s mastery of pace and tone, as his pulp tale hurtles from intense chase scenes to laugh-out-loud black comedy.

Joel Edgerton - The Gift

Granted, Joel Edgerton’s better known as an actor, having turned in some superb performances in the likes of Warrior, Zero Dark Thirty and Warror. But with a single film - The Gift, which he wrote, directed, produced and starred in - Edgerton established himself as a thriller filmmaker of real promise. About a successful, happily married couple whose lives are greatly affected by an old face from the husband’s past, The Gift is an engrossing, unsettling movie with superb performances from Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall as well as Edgerton.

A riff on the ‘killer in our midst’ thrillers of the 80s and 90s - The Stepfather, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle and so on - The Gift is all the more effective because of its restraint. We’re never quite sure who the villain of the piece is, at least at first - and Edgerton’s use of the camera leaves us wrong-footed at every turn. The world arguably needs more thrillers from Joel Edgerton.

If you haven’t seen The Gift yet, we’d urge you to track it down.

David Michod - Animal Kingdom

The criminals at play in this true-life crime thriller are all the more chilling because they’re so mundane - a bunch of low-level thieves, murderers and gangsters who prowl around the rougher parts of Melbourne, Australia. Writer-director David Michod spent years developing Animal Kingdom, and it was worth the effort: it’s an intense, engrossing film, for sure, but it’s also a believable glimpse of the worst of human nature. Ben Mendelsohn and Jacki Weaver play villains of different kinds; the latter a manipulative grandmother who looks over her brood of criminals, the former a spiteful thief. Crafting moments of incredible tension from simple exchanges, Michod launched himself as a formidable talent with this feature debut.

Ben Affleck - The Town, Argo

Affleck’s period drama-thriller Argo won all kinds of awards, but we’d argue his earlier thrillers were equally well made. Gone Baby Gone was a confident debut and an economical adaptation of Dennis LeHane’s novel. The Town, released in 2010, was a heist thriller that made the most of its Boston setting. One of its key scenes - a bank robbery in which the thieves wear a range of bizarre outfits, including a nun’s habit - is masterfully staged. With Affleck capable of teasing out great performances from his actors and staging effective set-pieces, it’s hardly surprising he’s so heavily involved in making at least one Batman movie for Warner - as well as playing the hero behind the mask.

Anton Corbijn - The American, A Most Wanted Man

The quiet, almost meditative tone of Anton Corbijn’s movies mean they aren’t necessarily to everyone’s taste, but they’re visually arresting and almost seductive in their rhythm and attention to detail. Already a celebrated photographer, Corbijn successfully crossed over into filmmaking with Control, an exquisitely-made drama about Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis. Corbijn took a markedly different direction with The American, a thriller about an ageing contract killer (George Clooney) who hides out in a small Italian town west of Rome. Inevitably, trouble eventually comes calling.

Corbijn’s direction remains gripping because he doesn’t give us huge action scenes to puncture the tension. We can sense the capacity for violence coiled up beneath the hitman’s calm exterior, and Corbijn makes sure we only see rare flashes of that toughness - right up until the superbly-staged climax.

A Most Wanted Man, based on the novel by John le Carre, is a similarly astute study of an isolated yet fascinating character - in this instance, the world-weary German intelligence agent Gunther Bachmann, brilliantly played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Tragically, the film proved to be one of the last before Hoffman’s death in 2014.

Paul Greengrass - Green Zone, Captain Phillips

Mention Greengrass’ name, and the director’s frequent use of handheld cameras might immediately spring to mind. But time and again, Greengrass has proved a master of his own personal approach - you only have to look at the muddled, migraine-inducing films of his imitators to see how good a director Greengrass is. Part of the filmmakers’ visual language rather than a gimmick, Greengrass’ camera placement puts the viewer in the middle of the story, whether it’s an amnesiac agent on the run (his Bourne films) or on a hijacked aircraft (the harrowing United 93). While not a huge hit, Green Zone was an intense and intelligent thriller set in occupied Iraq. The acclaimed Captain Phillips, meanwhile, was a perfect showcase for Greengrass’ ability to fuse realism and suspense; the true story of a merchant vessel hijacked by Somali pirates, it is, to quote Greengrass himself, “a contemporary crime story.”

John Hillcoat - Lawless, Triple 9

We can’t help thinking that, with a better marketing push behind it, Triple 9 could have been a much bigger hit when it appeared in cinemas earlier this year. It has a great cast - Chiwetel Ejiofor, Norman Reedus, Anthony Mackie and Aaron Paul as a group of seasoned thieves, Kate Winslet cast against type as a gangland boss - and its heist plot rattles along like an express train.

Hillcoat seems to have the western genre pulsing through his veins, and he excels at creating worlds that are desolate and all-enveloping, whether his subjects are period pieces (The Proposition, Lawless) or post-apocalyptic dramas (The Road). Triple 9 sees Hillcoat make an urban western that is both classic noir and entirely contemporary; his use of real cops and residents around the film’s Atlanta location give his heightened story a grounding that is believable in the moment. Nowhere is this more in evidence than in the scene in which Casey Affleck’s cop breaches a building while hunkered down behind a bullet-proof shield. Hillcoat places us right there in the scene with Affleck and the cops sneaking into the building behind him; we sense the claustrophobia and vulnerability.

Hillcoat explained to us in February that this sequence wasn’t initially written this way in the original script; it changed when the director and his team discovered how real-world cops protect themselves in real-world situations. In Triple 9, research and great filmmaking combine to make an unforgettably intense thriller.

Jim Mickel - Cold In July

Seemingly inspired by such neo-Noir thrillers as Red Rock West and Blood Simple, 2014‘s Cold In July is a genre gem from director Jim Mickle (Stake Land, We Are What We Are). Michael C Hall plays an ordinary guy in 80s America who shoots an intruder who breaks into his home, and becomes drawn into a moody conspiracy that takes in crooked cops, porn and a private eye (who's also keen pig-rearer) played by Don Johnson. Constantly shifting between tones, Mickel’s thriller refuses to stick to genre expectations. In one scene, after Hall shoots the burglar dead, Mickel’s camera lingers over the protagonist as he cleans up the blood and glass. It’s touches like these that make Cold In July far more than a typical thriller.

Mickel’s teaming up with Sylvester Stallone next; we’re intrigued to see what that partnership produces.

Martin Scorsese - Shutter Island

As a filmmaker, Scorsese needs no introduction. As a director of thrillers, he’s in a class of his own: from Taxi Driver via the febrile remake of Cape Fear to the sorely underrated Bringing Out The Dead, his films are full of suspense and the threat of violence. Shutter Island, based on the Dennis LeHane novel of the same name, saw Scorsese plunge eagerly into neo-noir territory. A murder mystery set in a mental institution on the titular Shutter Island, its atmosphere is thick with menace. Like a combination of Robin Hardy's The Wicker Man and Adrian Lyne’s cult classic Jacob’s Ladder, Shutter Island’s one of those stories where we never know who we can trust - even the protagonist, played by Leonardo DiCaprio.

David Fincher - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl

After the trial by fire that was Alien 3, David Fincher found his footing in the 90s with such hits as Seven and The Game. In an era where thrillers were in much greater abundance, from the middling to the very good, Seven in particular stood out as a genre classic: smartly written, disturbing, repulsive and yet captivating to look at all at once. Fincher’s affinity for weaving atmospheric thrillers continued into the 2010s, first with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, a superb retelling of Stieg Larsson’s book which didn’t quite find the appreciative audience deserved, and Gone Girl, an even better movie which - thankfully - became a hit.

Based on Gillian Flynn’s novel (and adapted by the author herself), Gone Girl is both a gripping thriller and a thoroughly twisted relationship drama. Fincher’s mastery of the genre is all here: his millimetre-perfect composition, seamless touches of CGI and subtle yet effective uses of colour and shadow. While not a straight-up masterpiece like the period thriller Zodiac, Gone Girl is still a glossy, smart and blackly funny yarn in the Hitchcock tradition. If there’s one master of the modern thriller currently working, it has to be Fincher.

See related John Hillcoat interview: Triple 9, crime, fear of comic geniuses Jim Mickle interview: Cold In July, thrillers, Argento Jeremy Saulnier interview: Green Room, John Carpenter Jeremy Saulnier interview: making Blue Ruin & good thrillers Denis Villeneuve interview: Sicario, Kurosawa, sci-fi, ugly poetry Morten Tyldum interview: The Imitation Game, Cumberbatch, Headhunters Paul Greengrass interview: Captain Phillips & crime stories Movies Feature Ryan Lambie thrillers 15 Jun 2016 - 06:11 Cold In July Triple 9 Shutter Island Gone Girl David Fincher Martin Scorsese John Hillcoat Directors thrillers movies
See full article at Den of Geek »

John Goodman on his awkward Kristen Wiig encounter: 'I'll never speak to her again'

  • Hitfix
John Goodman on his awkward Kristen Wiig encounter: 'I'll never speak to her again'
John Goodman was the big guest on today's Howard Stern Show, and the sleepy-voiced Roseanne icon was endearing, forthright and funny throughout. During the sit-down he opened up about his struggles with alcoholism, related feeling like an outsider on the Hollywood scene and, hilariously, forgot not only the name of his 10 Cloverfield Lane co-star Mary Elizabeth Winstead but the title of the 1999 film he made with Martin Scorsese. Also: why he feels he let SNL down during his last guest-hosting appearance. Here are all the highlights from the chat. His attempt at conversation with Kristen Wiig at a social gathering didn't go well. "She was talking to somebody else, and I was just -- I think she's so great, and the social barriers broke down and I interrupted the conversation. And I would just hate for somebody to do that to me. And she goes, 'yeah, I'll talk to you in a minute.
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