August (2008) - News Poster



Josh Hartnett Is Back in Business in ‘Bunraku’ Trailer

It’s been a few years since we’ve seen Josh Hartnett on the big screen – few people saw his decent indie drama “August” in 2008 – but the grown-up heartthrob appears to be back in the deranged-looking action flick “Bunraku.”

Film Stage tipped us off to a promo reel that has debuted on YouTube.

The movie, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year, takes places in a futuristic dystopia where guns have been outlawed and the people are run by a villainous man known as The Woodcutter and his gang of sword-wielding thugs. Hartnett plays The Drifter, a Clint Eastwood-type “Man with No Name” who comes to town to rustle some of The Woodcutter’s feathers.

Sounds like your archetypical action drama – not a bad thing for a guy like Hartnett who could use a solid piece of entertainment on his resume.

The film was directed by Guy Moshe and,
See full article at NextMovie »

Hartnett Refused To Buy Phone

Hartnett Refused To Buy Phone
Actor Josh Hartnett is so terrified of technology, he spent years avoiding the purchase of a cell phone.

The 29-year-old star - who plays gadget-savvy character Tom in new film August - admits that in real life he hates technological advances.

And Hartnett insists his resistance has left him unreachable in the past.

He says, "I'm not an early technology adapter. I resisted having a cell phone for a long time."


It's "August" of 2001 in the New York City tech world; cue a story that staggers under the weight of its attempt to signal heavy end-of-an-era-ness.

Josh Hartnett skulks his way through this weak, wee picture as an arrogant CEO whose stock's share price has tumbled from $70 to less than a buck. The film never explains what exactly his company does, which is meant to be a surreal Bret Easton Ellis-like touch. Instead, it leaves the impression of a screenwriter who couldn't be bothered to find out what tech companies do or why they fail.
See full article at New York Post »


Ah, the halcyon days of 2001. The tragic death of Aaliyah shocked a nation, a boozy Ben Affleck did a stint in rehab, and a peerless mangler of the English language named George W. Bush had just started bumbling his way into the history books. Austin Chick's August takes audiences on a magic carpet ride back to that bygone age, but the era it's obsessed with began at the tail end of the previous millennium. August is a brooding, boring indie drama about the death of the culture-wide hallucination that was the dot-com bubble, and the moment when countless dot-com millionaires on paper became real-life paupers. Sporting a deeply unflattering pubic-hair mustache/tiny-goatee combo, Josh Hartnett stars as a cocky online entrepreneur whose world is collapsing as one impractical new venture after another dies an unmourned death. Hartnett is desperate to stay afloat in a toxic business environment, but his...
See full article at The AV Club »

Josh Hartnett's 'August' at First Look

Josh Hartnett's 'August' at First Look
NEW YORK -- Producer-actor Josh Hartnett's dot-com drama August is being picked up by First Look Studios for a July release.

First Look is acquiring North American rights to the Sundance Film Festival premiere, which centers on a high-rolling Web startup founder (Hartnett) struggling to resuscitate his company and personal life on the eve of Sept. 11.

Austin Chick's New York-based feature also stars Naomie Harris, Adam Scott, Robin Tunney, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Rip Torn and David Bowie, who plays a corporate raider.

August is one of several star-driven projects to slowly emerge with distributors from January's disappointing Sundance market.

Charles Corwin, Hartnett, Elisa Pugliese, David Guy Levy and Clara Markowicz produced the film, a 57th & Irving presentation of an Original Media production made in association with Periscope Entertainment. Howard A. Rodman wrote the screenplay.

First Look has tentatively set a limited July 11 theatrical release. CAA is repping the filmmakers in the deal.


Sundance Film Festival

PARK CITY -- August is another among this year's crop of features that demonstrates that having a cast with indie cred can sometimes do little to buoy a film's miscalculated execution.

The film's identifiable actors and the modest boxoffice performance of director Austin Chick's previous release, "XX/XY," might attract a buyer, but the film is unlikely to see salutary theatrical returns.

In mid-2001, Tom Sterling (Josh Hartnett) is riding the apogee of the dot-com bubble as CEO of New York-based Landshark, an Internet startup with a vaguely defined business model. While Tom hard-sells the company's services to dubious clients, his brother, Josh (Adam Scott), actually creates Landshark's broadband products.

Tom's life is full of the trappings of easy wealth -- a cash-green convertible Camaro, fancy restaurants, willing women and lavish spending. His obvious yearning for ex-girlfriend Sarrah (Naomie Harris) hints at his dissatisfaction with this extravagant lifestyle, but he's too focused on getting ahead to try to resuscitate their failed relationship.

When the cracks begin to show in Landshark's faulty business plan and the company's stock plummets, provoking a cash-flow crisis, Tom prefers to ignore the impending signs of catastrophic failure while his management team -- COO Melanie Hanson (Robin Tunney) and CFO Dylan Gottschalk (Andre Royo) -- scrambles to cover the mounting losses.

Despite the exigencies of his character's situation, Hartnett appears to be sleepwalking through the film, displaying a frustratingly narrow range of expression and emotion. Principal castmembers are broadly outlined and minimally motivated, and even a couple of intriguing supporting roles -- particularly Rip Torn as Tom's father and David Bowie as a supercilious corporate raider -- can't lift the performances out of the doldrums.

The actors are not well supported by Howard A. Rodman's self-satisfied script, which would rather tell than show, relying at several points on long, smug speeches that bring the narrative to a grinding halt. Chick appears confident that his cast plays convincingly enough without revealing much enthusiasm and neglects to lend a distinctive style on the technical side.


57th & Irving presents an Original Media production in association with Periscope Entertainment


Director: Austin Chick

Screenwriter: Howard A. Rodman

Producers: Charlie Corwin, Elisa Pugliese, David Guy Levy, Clara Markowicz, Josh Hartnett

Executive producers: Patrick Morris, Austin Chick, Howard A. Rodman

Director of photography: Andrij Parekh

Production designer: Roshelle Berliner

Music: Nathan Larson

Costume designer: Erika Munro

Editor: Pete Beaudreau


Tom Sterling: Josh Hartnett

Joshua Sterling: Adam Scott

Melanie Hanson: Robin Tunney

Morela Sterling: Emmanuelle Chriqui

Sarrah: Naomie Harris

Dylan Gottschalk: Andre Royo

David Sterling: Rip Torn

Cyrus Ogilvie: David Bowie

Running time -- 88 minutes

No MPAA rating

Sundance Premieres section sees changes

Sundance Premieres section sees changes
At the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, the gala Premieres, which used to take place in the chilly nighttime, will begin as early as 3 p.m. And there will be more Premieres than ever.

As the Sundance Institute announced the lineup of films screening out of competition at its 2008 edition, organizers said that the Premieres section has significantly expanded. This year, 24 films will play as galas, occupying the 3, 6 and 9:30 p.m. slots at the Eccles Theater in Park City, the festival's largest venue. By contrast, there were 17 Premieres at this year's Sundance.

Although he admitted he was tempted, festival director Geoffrey Gilmore said the size of Sundance has not expanded. The festival will again screen 121 feature films, which includes 81 world premieres. What organizers have done, director of programming John Cooper said, is to reposition films in the Spectrum category, which previously played in the 3 p.m. slot, into the Premiere section.

"These are films that deserve that (Premiere) position inside the Eccles," Cooper said.

The announcement rounds out the rest of the 2008 program, which includes Premieres, Spectrum, New Frontier and Park City at Midnight sections. The 2008 Sundance Film Festival runs Jan. 17-27 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

The Premieres section showcases highly anticipated films from the American indie world and from international filmmakers. Perhaps the two most highly anticipated films are music related.

Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington's 3-D film of U2's Vertigo world tour -- snippets of which were shown in May at the Festival de Cannes -- will be presented in its entirety. The only question is: What 3-D glasses will be used?

Gilmore said the festival must decide between two different kinds of glasses or goggles. "Either way, there will be a single projector putting a split film image on the screen that are read by the (3-D) goggles," he said.

This year's closing-night film will be the world premiere of Bernard Shakey's CSNY Deja Vu, which looks at the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young reunion tour and the musicians' connection to its audience in political and musical terms. Young is credited as a co-writer on the project.

Pellington performs a twofer this year as his Henry Poole Is Here also is in the Premieres section. After discovering he has a mere six weeks to live, Henry Poole (Luke Wilson) retreats from his everyday life for the comfort of booze, junk food and solitude until a "miracle" and his oddball neighbors intervene.

Another person who will be doing Q&As more than once will be actress-director Amy Redford, daughter of Sundance Institute founder Robert Redford. As an actress, she stars in Sunshine Cleaning, an irreverent comedy that will play in Dramatic Competition. As a first-time director, she will present The Guitar, which like Henry Poole, centers on a person diagnosed with a terminal illness. Amos Poe's Guitar screenplay is about a woman (Saffron Burrows) without long to live who blows her savings to pursue her dreams.

Michel Gondry came to Sundance two years ago with his mind-blowing The Science of Sleep. He now returns with his Be Kind Rewind, in which Jack Black plays a man whose brain has become magnetized, leading to the unintentional destruction of all the movies in a friend's video store. In order to keep the store's one loyal customer, the pair re-create a long line of films including The Lion King, Rush Hour and Ghostbusters.

" 'Be Kind Rewind' will tax people's patience but has a wonderful payoff," Gilmore said.

As previously announced, the festival opens Jan. 17 in Park City with the world premiere of In Bruges, written and directed by first-time filmmaker and award-winning playwright Martin McDonagh. The film, which stars Ralph Fiennes, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, revolves around two hitmen ordered to take a forced holiday in Bruges, Belgium.

Two films about filmmaking should amuse the in-crowd. In Barry Levinson's What Just Happened? Robert De Niro plays a desperate producer struggling with a desperate film shoot. In Steven Schachter's The Deal, William H. Macy co-writes and stars in a tale about another similarly desperate producer who cons a studio into financing a film that actually has no script.

The tongue-in-cheek latter film "brings back Meg Ryan to the kind of romantic roles she plays so well," Gilmore said.

Premieres also is the section containing several films seen at earlier festivals such as writer-director Tom McCarthy's The Visitor and Alan Ball's Nothing Is Private -- movies that deal with immigrants in America -- which debuted at Toronto, and Tom Kalin's Savage Grace, which rocked Cannes with its themes of dynastic decline, incest, madness and death.

Sundance 2008 will throw an even brighter spotlight on documentaries by creating a sidebar within the Spectrum category for seven docus.

"The professional career of documentarians has changed dramatically," Gilmore said. "Documentaries were once a small world. Now it's a much broader spectrum of professionals and of people who move back and forth between features and documentaries, making films on subjects they are passionate about."

The Spectrum section also is where returning Sundance alums are to be found. To wit, Made in America by Stacy Peralta, who enjoyed a hit at the 2001 festival with Dogtown and Z-Boys; Blind Date from Stanley Tucci, who has come to Sundance with such interesting films as Big Night (1996) and Joe Gould's Secret (2000); August from Austin Chick, who made 2002's "XX/XY"; Baghead by writer-directors Mark and Jay Duplass, who brought Scrapple in 2004; and Bottle Shock, a retelling of the famous 1976 blind wine tasting in Paris that rocketed California wines to fame and glory, from Randall Miller, whose Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing & Charm School played in 2005.

Park City at Midnight usually is the repository of the strange and the bloody. This year, though, Gilmore insisted, "the genre films are very fresh with a strong quality of execution."

Quentin Tarantino, absent from Park City for a few years, returns to "present" Larry Bishop's modern-day take on 1960s biker flicks, Hell Ride. A German-Canadian Midnight entry, Otto (Up With Dead People), is described by Gilmore as "an incredibly odd but interesting mix of gay zombies and a European setting."

The British Donkey Punch, named after a risky sexual practice, is a thriller that takes place aboard a luxury yacht. And Michael Haneke will bring Funny Games, an almost shot-by-shot remake of his 1997 Austrian chiller, only this time in English and in a Long Island setting.

Scott, Torn make plans for 'August'

Scott, Torn make plans for 'August'
Adam Scott and Rip Torn have marked their calendars for August, joining Josh Hartnett and Naomie Harris in the indie feature being directed by Austin Chick.

The script, by Howard A. Rodman, follows an aggressive, young dot-com entrepreneur (Hartnett) in New York struggling to keep his head above water as the bottom of the market begins to fall out in the weeks leading to Sept. 11.

Scott will play Hartnett's brother, while Torn is their father.

Hartnett, David Guy Levy, Elisa Pugliese of 57th and Irving Prods. and Clara Markowicz of Original Media will produce alongside Original's Charlie Corwin.

August is being financed by Pugliese's 57th and Irving Prods. and was packaged by CAA. CAA is handling domestic sale.

The film will be shot on location in New York, with principal photography to begin April 16.

Scott, repped by Gersh and Untitled, next appears in Knocked Up opposite Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl. He recently finished shooting The Great Buck Howard with John Malkovich and will be heard in the upcoming Pixar animated movie Ratatouille.

Torn most recently appeared on the big screen in Zoom and Marie Antoinette. He also appeared in a recent episode of NBC's 30 Rock.

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