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Review: In ‘Nostalgia,’ Mark Pellington and Alex Ross Perry Reflect on Life’s Memories

About thirty minutes into Nostalgia, a handful of neighbors–each affected by a recent fire–reflect on all of the things they’ve lost. A strangely complacent insurance agent (John Ortiz) sits with them. When asked how he can hear their woes and not appear affected, he explains his everyday encounters with people just like them, who’ve lost everything and are forced to go on and live life. It’s the most interesting moment in the film’s most interesting scene. From here, we follow Ellen Burstyn, playing one of the neighbors, who travels to Las Vegas to sell a Ted Williams-signed baseball that was a prized possession of her late husband’s. There she meets a memorabilia shop-owner (a lovely Jon Hamm), who we then follow. Such is the intersecting structure of the picture, with the second half unfortunately giving way to some tragic melodrama that undermines what’s come before.
See full article at The Film Stage »

“Everybody Can Make Their Money Back and You Get to Make the Movie”: Mark Pellington on Nostalgia

Director Mark Pellington has long been one of the American cinema’s foremost chroniclers of the connection between mortality, memory, and identity; questions related to how we define ourselves in life and how those lives define our legacies have been key in films as diverse as The Mothman Prophecies (a thriller in which Richard Gere becomes obsessed with the supernatural ramifications of his wife’s death), Father’s Daze (a documentary about Pellington’s father’s struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease) and Of Time and Memory (an unconventional adaptation of Don Snyder’s novel about Snyder’s attempts to know his deceased mother). In Pellington’s last several features, […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

‘Nostalgia’ Trailer Looks Like It’s Ready To Make You Cry

‘Nostalgia’ Trailer Looks Like It’s Ready To Make You Cry
With Nostalgia, Mark Pellington helms a script co-written by Alex Ross Perry. The star-studded drama focuses on several different stories about loss, and the relationship between objects passed down through generations. The first weepy Nostalgia trailer has arrived to make you feel as if you need a tissue or two. Watch it below. The Mothman Prophecies and Arlington Road filmmaker Mark […]

The post ‘Nostalgia’ Trailer Looks Like It’s Ready To Make You Cry appeared first on /Film.
See full article at Slash Film »

Jon Hamm Feels ‘Nostalgia’ in Trailer for Alex Ross Perry-Scripted Drama

February finally brings the long-awaited release of Golden Exits, but it’s not the only Alex Ross Perry film to be hitting theaters next month. The Queen of Earth director also penned the script for Nostalgia, the latest film from director Mark Pellington (The Mothman Prophecies, Arlington Road), and now the first trailer has landed.

Starring Jon Hamm, Catherine Keener, John Ortiz, Nick Offerman, Chris Marquette, James Le Gros with Bruce Dern and Ellen Burstyn, it tells a series of stories about memories and regret. It certainly looks more sentimental than Perry’s previous work and we’ll find out the first reactions soon as it premieres at Palm Springs International Film Festival this weekend.

See the trailer and poster below.

A mosaic of stories about love and loss, Nostalgia explores our relationships to the objects, artifacts, and memories that shape our lives.

Nostalgia opens on February 16.
See full article at The Film Stage »

[Podcast] We Need To Talk About Horror Episode 12: Recommendations for 31 Days of Halloween

Andy, Mike, Joseph and Jeremy join forces to come up with some recommendations for 31 Days of Halloween. We also do a double-up on Horrorlimination with 4 years of films to argue about.

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Show Notes:

00:02:45 – Discussion about disgusting assholes in our community.

00:09:40 – What We’ve Been Watching

Mike – Little Evil, The Houses That October Built 2 (review), Leatherface

Joseph – It (2017), read the comic My Friend Dahmer, Let Me Make You A Martyr (review), Compliance

Jeremy – It (2017), Poltergeist III, The Strain Season Finale, Firestarter, Blood Drive

Andy – mother!, Psycho III, The Killing of America, Better Watch Out, Synapse Films’ 4K Restoration of Suspiria

00:48:20 – #GetUpInDemGuts: 20 film recommendations for 31 Days of Halloween:

Sleep Tight, Rebirth, Hell House LLC, Lady In White, Compliance, Shutter Island, Marebito, The American Scream, The Eclipse, Funny Games (1997), Halloween III: Season Of The Witch, Murder Party, Grabbers, The Mothman Prophecies, Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon
See full article at Destroy the Brain »

The Last Word movie review: wealthy white privilege, unchecked

MaryAnn’s quick take… Cantankerous old grump teaches directionless young people about life… in a way that is totally obnoxious and not in the least bit convincing. I’m “biast” (pro): I’m desperate for stories about women

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

It is not impossible to tell a story about a nasty character and make us like him or her. This is not a movie that achieves that. I will credit The Last Word, however, for flipping on its head that old cliché about a cantankerous old grump finally learning the true meaning of Christmas/life/love/whatever from a spunky young person: here, it’s cantankerous old grump Harriet (Shirley MacLaine: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Bernie) who teaches some timid and directionless younger people the true meanings of things… though in a way
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

The Last Word movie review: wealthy white privilege, unchecked

MaryAnn’s quick take… Cantankerous old grump teaches directionless young people about life… in a way that is totally obnoxious and not in the least bit convincing. I’m “biast” (pro): I’m desperate for stories about women

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

It is not impossible to tell a story about a nasty character and make us like him or her. This is not a movie that achieves that. I will credit The Last Word, however, for flipping on its head that old cliché about a cantankerous old grump finally learning the true meaning of Christmas/life/love/whatever from a spunky young person: here, it’s cantankerous old grump Harriet (Shirley MacLaine: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Bernie) who teaches some timid and directionless younger people the true meanings of things… though in a way
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

‘Better Call Saul’: Why That Blockbuster Video Scene Was Important, But Also a ‘Nail-Biter’ to Make

  • Indiewire
‘Better Call Saul’: Why That Blockbuster Video Scene Was Important, But Also a ‘Nail-Biter’ to Make
[Editor’s Note: Mild spoilers for Season 3, Episode 10, “Lantern” follow.]

It’s at times easy to forget that “Better Call Saul” is a period piece, if only because its 2002-2003 setting isn’t always noticeably distinguishable from the present day. But then every once in a while, creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould slap us in the face with a reminder that this show is happening in the past. It can be as simple as a trip to a video store — but not just any video store.

Read More: ‘Better Call Saul’: The 7 Times Jimmy and Kim Kissed On Screen, And How That Makes It The Most Rewarding Romance on TV

It’s something we all accepted as routine, just 15 years ago: Want to watch a movie? Go to Blockbuster Video. So in the Season 3 finale, “Lantern,” Kim (Rhea Seehorn) asks her assistant Francesca (Tina Parker) for a ride to what was once the dominant source for Americans in search of movie rentals, and we then get to see her browse the aisles in search of the perfect comfort viewing, following her near-fatal car accident the episode prior.

Executive producer Gennifer Hutchison, who wrote the season finale, told IndieWire that the decision to have Kim visit a video store came in the writers’ room, as the team discussed what Kim might possibly do after deciding to relax following her accident. “I just really loved the idea of her renting a bunch of videos and sitting around watching movies and eating junk food. Just because it’s something I relate to, it’s something I like to do when I destress. And I feel like it’s not something you see a lot of on TV and in movies,” she said.

And as a result, Gould — who directed the finale — got very excited about the idea of Kim going to not just any video store, but Blockbuster in particular. However, don’t think that this was an easy choice for the show — because according to production designer Michael Novotny, “it was a total nail-biter.”

Novotny told IndieWire that as soon as he received word that “Saul” wanted to recreate a Blockbuster, he got his team to work — specifically, the graphics department. “I can always do a set. A set’s the easy part. The hard part is the graphics and all of the art work you’re going to turn out,” he said.

But that process started before the show had actual permission to recreate a Blockbuster. “We started to build it without approval. That’s part of the nail-biting process,” he said. “It wasn’t until the day before we shot it that we got approval.”

This is because, as anyone who works in production might tell you, trying to depict a real brand on screen can be an incredibly difficult task. And the “Saul” team wanted to actually use Blockbuster iconography, which isn’t the easiest thing given that it’s a brand name you haven’t probably seen in the wild in years.

Blockbuster went bankrupt in 2010, and “roughly a dozen” stores currently exist today. Thus, the set was built on one of the show’s Albuquerque soundstages, and in fact, a great deal of what was on screen was made from scratch by the “Saul” production team, including the big Blockbuster sign hanging in the wall and the period-accurate movie covers.

One thing they were able to buy: the shelving units came thanks to an ironic stroke of luck and an Albuquerque video store that was going out of business. The production was thus able to buy those displays, which Novotny made sure were shortened so that, as they shot the scene, Kim and Francesca could be seen walking through the aisles. That framing was based on Gould’s storyboards, which were altered slightly during the production process, but otherwise didn’t require any major additional construction.

But really, here’s what people care about — the movies that are being considered, as Kim prepares for an epic binge in the pre-Netflix days. None of the titles are fake, and Novotny did work carefully with his team to carefully curate the movies that appeared on screen during the scene, all of which were drawn from a list provided by Peter Gould and the writers. Here are just some of the ones we happened to spot while freeze-framing:

“A Knight’s Tale” “Lawrence of Arabia” (the 40th anniversary special edition) “Love Liza” “The Mothman Prophecies” “Punch-Drunk Love” A Richard Pryor stand-up special “Beverly Hills Ninja” “The Cheap Detective” “Hanky Panky” “Blue Thunder” “American Sledge” “Darkness Falls” “Night of the Living Dead

They’re all movies that feel appropriate to the era at least within a year or two or as classics, though unfortunately a quick Internet search can reveal whether a film in question would have been available on DVD in the year 2003. Perhaps the most glaring oversight is the appearance of Tim Burton’s “Big Fish,” which was released in theaters December 10, 2003 and made available on DVD April 27, 2004 — something Hutchison’s husband (who actually worked at Blockbuster in the past) noticed while watching the final product. “We don’t always get it right,” she admitted.

Novotny acknowledged the “Big Fish” error, but he was relatively zen about it, given the intense pressure of making the scene happen in the first place. “It really was a down to the wire thing,” he said. “If that’s as much as I’m wrong… I’m sad to hear that but at the same time I’m happy that it went as good as it did.”

Update: On Twitter, Gould offered a little clarity as to why “Big Fish” might have time traveled back a year:

And that #BigFish they mention? Could be a shoutout to my former student @johnaugust… #YesYouReadThatRight

Peter Gould (@petergould) June 23, 2017

Hutchison couldn’t remember every one of the 10 films Kim officially rented, though such a list was made during production. Beyond “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Monty Python,” she said the rest were mostly legal dramas, though she did make sure to include the Luc Besson sci-fi romp “The Fifth Element.” “That was one for some reason I was really stuck on making sure was in her stack,” Hutchison said.

While hardly the most memorable scene of the finale, it still sticks in the mind because of how it triggers memories of an experience we’ve largely lost, traded in for the convenience of Netflix.

“I like the idea of physically walking around and choosing movies,” Hutchison said. “There is something about actually going into a store, having everything broken down by genre. Sometimes with the streaming services it’s a little overwhelming, but having that physical space… I don’t know. It was like a ritual.”

And depicting that ritual was just more proof that “Better Call Saul” will always find a way to surprise us with the seemingly mundane.

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Related stories'Better Call Saul': The 7 Times Jimmy and Kim Kissed On Screen, And How That Makes It The Most Rewarding Romance on TVThe 20 Best-Directed TV Drama Series of the 21st Century, Ranked'Better Call Saul' Review: Season 3 Finale Proves A Good Man Knows When to Give Up
See full article at Indiewire »

The Berlin International Film Festival and the European Film Market, Part 2

The Berlin International Film Festival and the European Film Market, Part 2
As the film-business-crowds move through meetings designed to meet all sorts of movie-related objectives in this vast mix of people, and the movie-going public lines up for films in the Competition, Out-of-Competition, Panorama, Forum and Retrospectives; and families attend the Generation series, some for kindergarteners and others for preteens and some for those 14 and up, and as the constant exchange of ideas continues, there is lots of buzz, mostly positive about the Hungarian Competition film “On Body and Soul”.“On Body and Soul” by Ildikó Enyedi

Buzz continues the next day both pro and con about Oren Moverman’s Competition film, “The Dinner” which is definitely a must-see for each to decide on one’s own response to it. As Scott Roxborough in The Hollywood Reporter says, it “looks like just the political dish the times demand.” Produced by Caldecot Chubb, the script was originally to be written by Moverman for Cate Blanchett to direct.
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Guest Post: A Look Back at The Mothman Prophecies by Tom Deady

Fifteen years ago this month, The Mothman Prophecies hit the theaters. Based on a 1975 book by John A. Keel, it is the story of strange events that took place in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, in the late 1960s. Richard… Continue Reading →

The post Guest Post: A Look Back at The Mothman Prophecies by Tom Deady appeared first on Dread Central.
See full article at Dread Central »

Is 'Slender Man' Coming To Haunt A Movie Theater Near You?

  • LRM Online
Ever since it first popped up onto the web, the internet meme Slender Man has scared up quite a sensation. A few months ago it was rumored that the next season of Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story would feature the creepy character created by Something Awful forum contributor Eric Knudsen. Now comes word that there'll actually be a full-blown movie based on the character.

ComicBook.com is reporting that David Birke (13 Sins) has turned in a script and that Screen Gems is looking to go into production this fall for a 2017 release. Knudsen, who created the character as part of a 2009 forum contest where posters were asked to contribute photos of everyday life that included a supernatural twist, gave Slender Man a backstory when it became an online sensation. Knudsen's lore for the character is that he abducts small children and convinces people to do awful things.

Slender Man
See full article at LRM Online »

Shirley MacLaine-Amanda Seyfried Dramedy ‘The Last Word’ Bought by Bleecker Street

Shirley MacLaine-Amanda Seyfried Dramedy ‘The Last Word’ Bought by Bleecker Street
Bleecker Street has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the Shirley MacLaine-Amanda Seyfried dramedy “The Last Word.”

The project was unveiled in September at the Toronto Film Festival.

Myriad Pictures will finance and handle international sales. Mark Pellington, whose credits include “Arlington Road” and “The Mothman Prophecies,” is directing from a screenplay by Stuart Fink.

MacLaine plays a retired successful businesswoman who wants to control everything around her until the bitter end, so she decides to write her own obituary to make sure her life story is told her way. Seyfried will portray a young writer at the local newspaper assigned to writing the obituary who insists on finding out the truth — resulting in a reawakening of passions for MacLaine’s character.

Producers are Pellington, Anne-Marie MacKay of Wondros and Myriad’s Kirk D’Amico, with Aaron Magnani serving as an executive producer.

Myriad is selling international rights at the American Film Market,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Amanda Seyfried, Shirley MacLaine Starring in Comedy-Drama ‘The Last Word’

Amanda Seyfried, Shirley MacLaine Starring in Comedy-Drama ‘The Last Word’
Amanda Seyfried and Shirley MacLaine have boarded comedy-drama “The Last Word,” with Mark Pellington directing.

Myriad Pictures announced Saturday at the Toronto Film Festival that it will finance and handle international sales. Pellington, whose credits include “Arlington Road” and “The Mothman Prophecies,” is directing from a screenplay by Stuart Fink.

MacLaine plays a retired successful businesswoman who wants to control everything around her until the bitter end, so she decides to write her own obituary to make sure her life story is told her way. Seyfried will portray a young writer at the local newspaper assigned to the task who insists on finding out the truth — resulting in a reawakening of passions for MacLaine’s character.

Producers are Pellington, Anne-Marie MacKay of Wondros and Myriad’s Kirk D’Amico, with Aaron Magnani serving as an executive producer.

“This is a funny, heartwarming and emotionally tender tale of life,” Pellington said.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Myriad Pictures Will Finance Shirley MacLaine, Amanda Seyfried Starring ‘The Last Word’

Myriad Pictures stepped up to finance and handle international sales for the comedy-drama The Last Word from director Mark Pellington (Arlington Road, The Mothman Prophecies) and starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried. Written by Stuart Fink, the story is about a retired businesswoman named Harriett (MacLaine) who wants to control everything around her until the bitter end and decides to write her own obituary to make sure her life is told the way she wants it to…
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

Fifty Shades Darker attracting Glengarry Glen Ross director

James Foley looks set to direct the new Fifty Shades film, taking over from Sam Taylor-Johnson.

Well, help yourself to a few quid from the prize pot if you saw this one coming. Assuming there’s a few quid in there. Universal is keen to get up and running on Fifty Shades Of Grey follow-up Fifty Shades Of Darker early next year, but there’s the small matter of a new director to find.

Sam Taylor-Johnson, who helmed Fifty Shades Of Grey, opted out of the sequel, and all the pointers are in the direction of a not very happy working relationship with the book’s author, E L James. That notwithstanding, the studio has a working shortlist of three directors, and at the top – and apparently the frontrunner by distance – is James Foley.

Foley, in recent times, has been directing episodes of Hannibal and House Of Cards, but his
See full article at Den of Geek »

Icons of Fright Talks Sinister 2/Citadel With Director Ciaran Foy!!

Hollywood is one interesting place. You take meetings for projects, you shop your projects around and getting your next gig typically happens that way…and then there’s Sinister 2. How many people can thank Twitter for their next big directorial project? Ciaran Foy can. The Citadel director was approached via Twitter by Sinister co-writer/director Scott Derrickson just to say that he enjoyed Ciaran’s awesome agoraphobic thriller, and one thing led to another, and faster than you can “you’re hired”, the Irish filmmaker was hired by Blumhouse to helm the follow-up to Derrickson’s 2012 horror hit, dealing with a malevolent spirit that targets children and typically leaves the rest of the family brutally murdered.

While we were eternally happy to sit down with Foy at Sinister 2‘s press junket and chat with the director about the film, a last minute bump left Icons somewhat high and dry,
See full article at Icons of Fright »

7 Upcoming Horror Movies Inspired By Real-Life Stories

MGM

Look through the history of horror movies and it’s plain to see the ones that sent us cowering behind the Ben & Jerry’s contained an element of truth, were at least based on a creepy yarn that had been spun around town, or an ancient tale from folklore. Frights from fiction are a blast and all, but nothing sets the spine tingling quite like those immortal words: ‘based on a true story’.

Over the decades there have entries in the genre all based on truth; from those inspired by legendary killers (Silence Of The Lambs, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer), fabled monsters (The Mothman Prophecies, Jaws), cases of possession (The Exorcist), as well as ghosts (The Conjuring, Paranormal Activity).

To this day Hollywood writers and studio heads continue to seek out something new and real to frighten us with. Only recently Sony optioned a script titled The Bringing,
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

Januaryween: The Curious Young Tradition of Starting the Year with Bad Horror

In the first week in January, The Woman in Black: Angel of Death made a respectable $15.8m at the box office, and is now quietly fading from our collective memories forever. Thus, another year of proud cinematic tradition is complete. Seriously, that’s actually a tradition. Each January, on the first box-office weekend of the year, comes a new horror movie. More often than not, that film is extremely cruddy (“extremely cruddy” being extremely generous, “hated by every single person who saw it” might be more accurate). And it’s usually the only new film to hit theaters that weekend — the only competition coming from the last holdovers of Christmas prestige season. It’s not the most cherished tradition, but it’s tradition nonetheless. And it’s a phenomenon that really doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Just why, exactly, has January become a low quality micro-Halloween? Let’s find out. First
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Rep Sheet Roundup: 'Falling Skies' Star Will Patton Signs With Apa

Rep Sheet Roundup: 'Falling Skies' Star Will Patton Signs With Apa
Who got signed, promoted, hired or fired? The Hollywood Reporter’s Rep Sheet rounds up the week in representation news. To submit announcements for consideration, contact rebecca.sun@thr.com. The Skies the limit Falling SkiesWill Patton has signed with Apa. He was previously with Paradigm. Patton plays Colonel Daniel Weaver on the alien drama, which TNT has renewed for a fifth and final season. The veteran actor recently appeared in Relativity’s espionage thriller The November Man, and his screen credits also include Remember the Titans, Armageddon, The Mothman Prophecies, The Postman and No Way Out. On stage, he received Obie

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See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

A conversation with Mark Pellington (part two):

Mark Pellington needs little introduction to film fans. Getting his start working for MTV in its heyday producing interstitial promos led to music videos for such heavyweights as Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Foo Fighters, Nine Inch Nails and Moby. Beginning his feature film career with the period drama Going All The Way led to atmospheric, frightening thrillers like Arlington Road and The Mothman Prophecies; and most recently the uplifting, earnest Henry Poole is Here and the palpably bleak I Melt With You. On top of that he’s created personal documentaries, commercials, TV pilots; and gone where his creative needs take him.

Mark graciously made time for us to have a candid conversation encompassing his recent film work; bouncing back from loss; his trust in intuition through the making of his abstract, creepy/beautiful musical film Lone, and ultimately the healing and cathartic rewards of the creative process. Some of
See full article at Icons of Fright »
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