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Updated: 2 hours 29 min ago

First Images From Ryan Gosling’s Directorial Debut ‘Lost River’

April 18, 2014 - 6:00pm

Ryan Gosling spent some of the last year making his first feature as a director. Originally called How to Catch a Monster, the film is now called Lost River, and is set for the Un Certain Regard sidebar at Cannes. That’s the place where films that are either the product of newcomers to Cannes, or that are a little more unusual than the typical Competition titles. So that tells us something right there.

This film features Christina Hendricks as Billy, “a single mother of two who is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town.” So, yeah. that gives us more to go on, and there’s also been a comment about Hendricks finding a “very surreal club,” which is presumably what that door leads to. Check out another image below.

The full synopsis that came out a while ago is:

Set against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city, Billy, a single mother of two, is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. Both Billy and Bones must dive deep into the mystery, if their family is to survive. 

In addition, Hendricks said last year that,

[My single mother character is] supporting two children and trying to provide a home for them and a place of comfort in a continuously harder place to be… And I find myself working in this very surreal club that gets me into a sort of predicament, and in the meantime, these boys are off on their own adventures and they discover this underground city.

Recently, Iain De Caestecker, who plays Bones, said the following about the film:

All I can really say is that it centers around a family. There’s my character, Bones, his mother and his younger brother. There’s also a girl next door played by Saoirse Ronan, called Rat. It’s about this family living in a town called Lost River, which is perhaps a place that was once full of family and happiness and love, and is now this town that’s slowly descending into a place without any hope. This family is holding onto the foundations of their house and everything they think they need to hold onto.

It all sounds like doing two films with Nicolas Winding Refn has really had an influence on Gosling. We’ll see, but in the meantime you can puzzle out the image below. Click that and the one above to enlarge.

The film also features with Saoirse Ronan, Eva Mendes and Ben Mendelsohn.

The post First Images From Ryan Gosling’s Directorial Debut ‘Lost River’ appeared first on /Film.

This Week In Trailers: Summer of Blood, Korengal, Amanda F***ing Palmer On The Rocks, Misconception, Healing

April 18, 2014 - 5:30pm


Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we go back to the Korengal Valley, have a kid or two, consider Amanda Palmer’s celebrity, get bitten by a hipster, and head into the Australian outback with Agent Smith.

Korengal Trailer

I know I don’t usually start with Kickstarter projects but this one deserves a little attention.

Sebastian Junger’s Restrepo stands out as one of those rare documentaries that felt visceral because it was visceral. There were no catchy graphics, animated PowerPoint slides, interesting sleight of hand with facts and photos, it was just the camera and the men of the U.S. Army he was following and their stories. It was raw, emotionally impactful, and, rightly, was nominated for an Academy Award. Junger’s back and this trailer/pitch for your cash couldn’t be more straightforward. The footage we see here might as well be for a sequel that should be kept being made for as long as there are soldiers on foreign soil. The images are both visceral and banal, a portrait that will never change its composition no matter how many different wars are being fought in the next week, next year or next century. Junger makes the case succinctly and without showing any prostrations or chinks in the armor of why you should donate. It is what it is, it certainly doesn’t need our help now that it’s well over its goal, but the message could not have been made more clear than it is right here.

Summer of Blood Trailer

Onur Tukel certainly has a different way of looking at the undead.

Tukel has directed what looks like a pastiche of hipster navel gazing with a sense of humor about vampires. Our protagonist seems like a schlubby every man who doesn’t have many aspirations in life or any motivations to be in tune with the emotional signals being sent out by the opposite sex but it doesn’t seem so much concerned with that as it does with selling us on the very strange way this moves from being a movie about a guy who’s oblivious to the obvious to a monster movie that takes on a whole new tone as we head towards the finish line. I can’t say that this looks like groundbreaking filmmaking but it does have a certain simplicity about the value proposition it’s making.

Amanda F***ing Palmer On The Rocks Trailer

It took me some time this week before I understood who Amanda Palmer even was.

No, I don’t know who the Dresden Dolls were/are and, no, I had no idea about the kerffuffle surrounding her requests for musican fans to be unpaid participants at her concerts. She seems like a cultural lightning rod for some but being unaware of her achievements makes me a less than qualified person to comment on the merits of her art. Either way though, I did see director Ondi Timoner’s documentary We Live In Public which was released in 2009 and appreciated its style and the manner in which it presented that story. With documentary filmmaking it is about capturing those small nuances of the subject that get beyond the rote question and answers. It’s about getting to those slivers of insight that really show someone for who they are without the artifice of the face they’re presenting to the world. Whether Timoner was able to get to that moment, and whether she can get to it in the very compact time frame we have for this short, is not clear but it’s certainly an interesting foray into the life of this very divisive figure.

Healing Trailer

You’ve got to marvel at this guy’s resume.

Director Craig Monahan has made only four films. One in 1989, 1998, one in 2004, and, now, 2014. The most interesting of the bunch was the one that introduced me, and the rest of the world, to this small Australian actor no one stateside had ever heard of: Hugo Weaving. The Interview, in a way, stands shoulder to shoulder with The Usual Suspects as one of those films where it’s not until the final moments when everything snaps into full focus. Weaving is completely in control of that movie and his rise to prominence was on full display. It’s here, then, we find ourselves reunited with the team that made that movie once again, almost 16 years later. The result is a movie that looks, honestly, drenched in melodrama and bombast. The saccharine sweet score that rises like a huge cresting wave, and the over-the-top writing about how we all hurt, is almost too much to bear. However, that said, I am absolutely going to see this one and hope upon hope that 16 years has only helped Weaving completely run the table here and we get a real gem of a film that shows how effective he can be with just himself to lay bare for all of us to see.

Misconception Trailer

Fertility has been on my mind lately.

So, I’ve done you all a favor by stopping my ability to reproduce by medically stopping it from it ever happening again. It’s an interesting thing to confront the end-of-the-line discussion you have with yourself about completely shutting off a part of yourself that is a natural, biological function because of what you perceive as a “We can’t have more kids because we can’t economically afford it.”  These are the kinds of topics that get thought about and discussed for those of us at a certain age and director Jessica Yu is taking on something that isn’t normally put out there in the ether. I’m particularly intrigued by one of the movie’s subjects who lives in China and is a man. Their one child policy has been so effective, and has had the indirect effect of swinging the balance of men versus women, that we see this substrata of men who are essentially “leftovers.” Global population growth and the facts/myths surrounding a burgeoning populace and our ability to sustain them all is ripe with ways in which we could slice this debate. The trailer gets to the quick without being dry and suggests a fascinating exploration through the lens of a few different perspectives. Snip snip.

Nota bene: If you have any suggestions of trailers to possibly be included in this column, even have a trailer of your own to pitch, please let me know by sending me a note at Christopher_Stipp@yahoo.com or look me up via Twitter at @Stipp

In case you missed them, here are the other trailers we covered at /Film this week:

The post This Week In Trailers: Summer of Blood, Korengal, Amanda F***ing Palmer On The Rocks, Misconception, Healing appeared first on /Film.

Amy Berg Making Hollywood Sex Abuse Documentary; Bryan Singer Allegations May Factor In

April 18, 2014 - 5:00pm

This week, a civil suit named director Bryan Singer as one of several defendants in allegations of sexual abuse that took place in 1999. Now details have emerged that the producers of a film about sex abuse in Hollywood have reached out to the plaintiff in that suit about participating in the film. Amy Berg, director of Catholic church sex abuse doc Deliver Us From Evil and the West Memphis Three movie West of Memphis, has been working on the Hollywood sex abuse film for two years, but details on the project are scarce.

The Daily Mail (via Variety) reports the work on the film. Berg confirmed the project but would not comment further. She has a lot of experience with the subject, and her film Deliver Us From Evil was nominated for an Oscar and was part of a cumulative effort to get the Catholic Church to face past and ongoing abuses.

A source tells the Daily Mail that Berg’s team had reached out to Michael Egan, who filed the case against Singer. That source said “The film company said they were working on numerous children, now adults, now coming forward about this.” Whether or not there has been any further contact between Egan and Berg is unclear, though the source says they did not follow up on the initial contact. The Daily Mail reports that Berg “seemed surprised” that Egan had gone public with his suit.

Egan’s suit alleges several instances of sexual assault in the late ’90s. Egan had previously filed a similar criminal suit in 2000 against some of the same defendants in the current civil suit. That suit is likely what led Berg to Egan. (Bryan Singer was not named in the 2000 filing.) Singer’s attorney has called Egan’s lawsuit ”absurd and defamatory,” and promises a counter-suit.

The post Amy Berg Making Hollywood Sex Abuse Documentary; Bryan Singer Allegations May Factor In appeared first on /Film.

‘LFO’ Trailer: A Man Manipulates Others With Sound

April 18, 2014 - 4:30pm

Hypnotism is a pretty classic concept in films, especially when it is used to change peoples’ behavior, at times against their will. But the strange Swedish sci-fi thriller LFO takes it a step further — here, a man finds he can use sound to influence the people around him. And then he pushes the concept a little too far. The first LFO trailer (kinda) shows how.

This trailer is not new, but we haven’t featured it in the past. With Dark Sky Films banner setting a fall 2014 theatrical release date, with Elijah Wood’s company SpectreVision as exec producers and “presenters,” there’s good reason to promote it now. So if you missed the film when it did some festival appearances last year, this is a good time to get to know what it’s all about.

Deadline has the news about the distribution deal and has this quote from Wood: “One of the reasons we started this company was to get behind great new genre films that deserve to be discovered by broader audiences. This is a subversive, funny and deeply unnerving low-techno thriller we’re proud to present.”

LFO is a Swedish dark comedy/drama/Sci-Fi about a man who realizes that he can hypnotise with sound. He starts experimenting on his neighbors, where the abuse of power takes over and, eventually, severe consequences for mankind are at stake.

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The post ‘LFO’ Trailer: A Man Manipulates Others With Sound appeared first on /Film.

‘Two Days, One Night’ Trailer: Marion Cotillard Stars for ‘The Kid With a Bike’ Directors

April 18, 2014 - 4:00pm

The Kid With a Bike, the last film from sibling directors Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, was one of the best films of 2011, and will probably end up standing as one of the best films of the decade. So we’d be excited at the prospect of any new film from the brothers. The fact that their new movie, Two Days, One Night, stars Marion Cotillard is just a lovely bonus. The film will premiere at Cannes next month, and the first new Dardenne Brothers trailer film is below.

In the film, Cotillard plays woman who, in one weekend, must save her own job by convincing her colleagues to give up their bonuses. Co-stars include Fabrizio Rongione and Olivier Gourmet.

There are no English subtitles in this trailer, sadly, but you’ll be able to get an idea of the tone even if you don’t know the language. And it’s always good to see Cotillard work. 

Sundance Selects has US rights to the film, but we probably won’t have a release date until after Cannes. Poster via Thompson on Hollywood.

The post ‘Two Days, One Night’ Trailer: Marion Cotillard Stars for ‘The Kid With a Bike’ Directors appeared first on /Film.

The 850th Edition of Page 2

April 18, 2014 - 3:00pm

Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 36 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness.


 The 10 Most Anticipated Documentaries of the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival

How 2 Animators Independently Recreated Pixar Magic

Miyazaki beer label

‘Star Wars’: Help save the original Tatooine while a new one is being built in Abu Dhabi

George R.R. Martin Explains How The Game Of Thrones Got Started

Captain Kirk And Spock Body Pillow


Director Jonathan Glazer: His 10 Best Commercials

Number 5 is ALIVE!!! t-shirt

5 Best Spaghetti Westerns Ever Made

Oh Myyy! A Conversation with George Takei – SXSW Interactive 2014 (Full Session)

The 10 Best Karaoke Songs From Movie Soundtracks


10 Art House Films About Religion

Continue Reading Page 2 >>
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The post The 850th Edition of Page 2 appeared first on /Film.

‘The Normal Heart’ TV Trailer: You Wouldn’t Like Mark Ruffalo When He’s Angry

April 18, 2014 - 2:30pm

With each new breakthrough, HIV/AIDS becomes more treatable. But it wasn’t so long ago that the disease was completely new and utterly terrifying. In the first full-length The Normal Heart trailer, Mark Ruffalo plays an activist who witnesses the start of the AIDS crisis in the early ’80s. He’s so outraged by the public’s clueless, callous response that he decides to do something about it.

Julia Roberts plays a doctor who treats many of the disease’s first victims, Matt Bomer plays Ruffalo’s journalist boyfriend, and Taylor Kitsch and Jim Parsons play other activists who get wrapped up in the cause. Watch the new The Normal Heart trailer after the jump.

HBO posted the trailer on YouTube.

One of the criticisms frequently raised against Dallas Buyers Club was that it focused on a straight protagonist when, in fact, most of the disease’s earliest victims were gay men. So it’s nice to see The Normal Heart cover similar ground from a gay perspective. Even better, it’s nearly a first-hand account. Ryan Murphy‘s HBO film is an adaptation of the acclaimed play by Larry Kramer, who based it on his own experiences as an AIDS activist in the ’80s.

The Normal Heart will premiere May 25 on HBO.

Academy Award® nominee Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Emmy® winner Jim Parsons and Academy Award® winner Julia Roberts star in THE NORMAL HEART. Directed by Emmy® winner Ryan Murphy and written by Academy Award® nominee Larry Kramer, adapting his groundbreaking Tony Award-winning play of the same name, the drama tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s, taking an unflinching look at the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial. THE NORMAL HEART will debut on HBO on May 25 at 9 p.m.

Ruffalo portrays Ned Weeks, who witnesses first-hand a mysterious disease that has begun to claim the lives of many in his gay community and starts to seek answers. Matt Bomer plays Felix Turner, a reporter who becomes Ned’s lover. Taylor Kitsch plays Bruce Niles, a closeted investment banker who becomes a prominent AIDS activist. Jim Parsons plays gay activist Tommy Boatwright, reprising his role from the 2011 Broadway revival. Roberts plays physician Dr. Emma Brookner, a survivor of childhood polio who treats several of the earliest victims of HIV-AIDS.

The post ‘The Normal Heart’ TV Trailer: You Wouldn’t Like Mark Ruffalo When He’s Angry appeared first on /Film.

‘Godzilla’ TV Spot: The Monster Roars

April 18, 2014 - 2:00pm

Trailers and TV spots for Godzilla have been doling out information about the film in small chunks over time. That especially goes for the monster, which has been seen in the distance, through fire and smoke, and in fractured form. But Warner Bros. and Legendary aren’t being shy with the creature; there are quite a few full images out there — we just haven’t seen much in motion so far. This new TV spot gives up some new footage, including a great shot of Godzilla as he roars the “bending girder” sound that is so familiar. Check out the spot below.

If all this seems incredibly serious so far, that’s very much by design. Director Gareth Edwards explains some of his approach in this featurette:

Godzilla opens on May 16.

An epic rebirth to Toho’s iconic Godzilla, this spectacular adventure, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, pits the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence. Gareth Edwards directs “Godzilla,” which stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Kick-Ass”), Oscar® nominee Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai,” “Inception”), Elizabeth Olsen (“Martha Marcy May Marlene”), Oscar® winner Juliette Binoche (“The English Patient,” “Cosmopolis”), and Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”), with Oscar® nominee David Strathairn (“Good Night, and Good Luck.,” “The Bourne Legacy”) and Bryan Cranston (“Argo,” TV’s “Breaking Bad”).

The post ‘Godzilla’ TV Spot: The Monster Roars appeared first on /Film.

Avi Arad Says a Spider-Man Crossover Film Will Only Happen When They’re Out of Ideas

April 18, 2014 - 1:30pm

At one point, the idea of characters crossing over between Marvel and DC Comics titles seemed like an impossibility. But it happened, just as fans of the cinematic versions of those characters think such a thing will happen on movie screens eventually — even if there are more companies involved now, all of which are bigger, more complex corporate entities. Still, it’s not going to happen soon, and original Marvel Studios co-founder and Spider-Man film producer Avi Arad isn’t even able to be straight about the reason why. Arad says Spider-Man won’t end up in a film with the X-Men or Avengers until “we’ve run out of ideas.”

Read Arad’s quotes, and watch a video of the interview, below.

Speaking to IGN, Arad talked about the potential for a crossover film:

I think I’m probably a little bit of the militant here. I think it will take a moment in which we’ve run out of ideas. There’s so much to tell about Spider-Man. There’s so much to tell about the Sinister Six. The relationship between Spider-Man and Venom will bring a whole other world in.

This is the guy who turned the new Spider-Man series into a reboot — the same sort of reboot that has fans saying Sony is already out of ideas for the series. If only Arad could be more openly honest about this — it won’t be when they’re out of ideas, but when they’re out of money. Studios will talk “team-up” when the business starts to dip across the board. They’ll treat it as a plot to rope people back in. Arad even hints at that with another comment: “you know, in the toy business we used to make toys glow in the dark when they weren’t selling well and it gave at least another Christmas. We don’t need it yet.”

Co-producer Matt Tolmach echoes that take:

You know Avi always refers to that question as a stunt. If you were to do that, you know, Spider-Man in the Avengers is a stunt. And I get why everybody – you know, fans and audience members and movie goers – I understand it. When you think about the Sinister Six and you think about Venom and you think about Carnage and you think Spider-Man in whatever way you want in association with those movies, they feel like they’re built for Spider-Man. Like that’s where his story needs to go and wants to go and it has to be about more than a stunt.

Thing is, like some of those old Marvel/DC crossovers, it can be a stunt. But especially with heroes that all came from Marvel in the first place, and which are now scattered to Fox and Sony in addition to Marvel, there are good story reasons to bring them together. Fans like those stories; audiences would respond to them. It feels totally natural to people that there would be an X-Men tag at the end of a Spider-Man film, because in an ideal world they all do take place in the same space.

Sadly, more than anything else, these comments reinforce the idea that when a crossover does happen, it probably won’t be for a story reason. It won’t be because fans want it. It will be a stunt, a cheap ploy to keep the superhero movie business going.

As Tolmach continues,

Stunts can be cool but it’s also a business, and so the other side of the answer is they’re owned by different companies. And there’s a ton left in Sony’s world; there’s a lot of business left because there’s a lot of story left. So for them to want to take this character and put it with Marvel and Disney is a huge undertaking and probably, as Avi’s saying, isn’t necessary until you feel like, ‘Wow, we’re sort of out of ideas. What should we do?’ And we’re far from out of ideas.

Here’s the video interview:

The post Avi Arad Says a Spider-Man Crossover Film Will Only Happen When They’re Out of Ideas appeared first on /Film.

Joss Whedon and Brin Hill’s ‘In Your Eyes’ Unveils a Clip

April 18, 2014 - 1:00pm

Joss Whedon‘s next movie as a director is about as mainstream and big-budget as movies get. But his next release as a writer is more Much Ado About Nothing than Avengers. Directed by Brin Hill, In Your Eyes follows two people (Zoe Kazan and Michael Stahl-David) who’ve never met and are separated by thousands of miles. Nevertheless, they share a metaphysical connection that neither of them can quite explain.

Tribeca Film Festival attendees will get to watch the full movie when it premieres this weekend, but the rest of the world can watch the opening scene right now. Watch the first In Your Eyes clip after the jump.

EW has the clip, which does an efficient job of laying out the premise.

While this particular scene follows the characters in childhood, it seems the bulk of the movie takes place later in their lives. Kazan plays Rebecca (the little girl on the sled, we’re assuming), the pampered but neglected wife of a wealthy East Coast doctor. Stahl-David is Dylan, a charming ex-con in New Mexico who’s trying to get his life back together with a new job and a new girlfriend (Nikki Reed).

It’s unclear how exactly these two very different people wind up crossing paths. But when they do, they quickly realize that they share this weird connection, and begin to fall for each other. It is, as the Tribeca Film Festival synopsis puts it, ”Joss Whedon does Nicholas Sparks.”

Which is a pretty appealing description, even if you’re not huge on Sparks. Whedon knows his way around a bittersweet romance, as he’s demonstrated in BuffyFireflyAngel, Dr. HorribleMuch Ado… pretty much everything he’s done besides The Avengers.

In Your Eyes makes its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York this weekend. There’s no word on how or when it’ll be released to the rest of the world, but given Whedon’s track record it’s sure to make its way to theaters or iTunes in the near future.

The post Joss Whedon and Brin Hill’s ‘In Your Eyes’ Unveils a Clip appeared first on /Film.

Superhero Bits: Superman Returns, Amazing Spider-Man 2, Agents of SHIELD, X-Men Days of Future Past

April 18, 2014 - 12:00pm

Want to see some new behind the scenes footage from X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Amazing Spider-Man 2? What does Patton Oswalt do on next week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D? Is Jonathan Nolan behind Ben Affleck in Batman vs. Superman? If Michelle Rodriguez could be any superhero, who would she be? How much has Captain America: The Winter Soldier now grossed? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits.

A new international poster for X-Men Days of Future Post has been revealed.

Badass Digest surmises The Amazing Spider-Man 2 release says something major about the new distribution system.

Speaking of international and Spider-Man, Superhero Hype has now spotted him in Tokyo. Is this actually Andrew Garfield?

Coming off the news Andrew Garfield believes Spider-Man to be Jewish, The I Bang posted a funny alternate version of the Spidey-theme song.

Norton Antivirus (via SHH) posted three new featurettes for X-Men Days of Future Past.

Patton Oswalt puts the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. through his lie detector in this new clip via Facebook.

The always awesome Film Sketchr posted a bunch of Superman Returns by Jeff Julian.

Daily Motion (via CBM) spoke to Jonathan Nolan about casting Ben Affleck in Batman vs. Superman.

Continue Reading Superhero Bits >>

Due to the amount of graphics and images included in Superhero Bits, we have to split this post over TWO pages. Click the link above to continue to the second page of Superhero Bits.

The post Superhero Bits: Superman Returns, Amazing Spider-Man 2, Agents of SHIELD, X-Men Days of Future Past appeared first on /Film.

Jay Baruchel and Sharon Stone Sizzle at ‘The Graduate’ Live Read

April 18, 2014 - 11:22am

Early on in The Graduate, there’s that iconic moment. Ben Braddock, a recent college grad, is talking with the beautiful older family friend Mrs. Robinson. Ben says, “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.” It’s iconic thanks to director Mike Nichols’ choice of angle, the delivery of the line by Dustin Hoffman, and the way that one sentence sets the entire story into motion.

At Jason Reitman‘s final live read of the season, actor Jay Baruchel played the role of Ben Braddock. When he got to that line, delivered next to his Mrs. Robinson, Sharon Stone, the 32-year-old actor broke character, cocked his right arm on his side and whispered, “Yes!” He was excited, not just because he nailed the legendary line, but maybe he got the feeling what was to follow was going to go very well. Reitman’s casting of Baruchel as the nervous, unsure, yet charming and likable Ben couldn’t have been more perfect. The same could also be said for Sharon Stone, whose Mrs. Robinson was sexy, confident and cool.

Though both actors were merely sitting in chairs, reading lines of dialogue, their body language created an electric chemistry that turned the combination of a great cast and a flawless script into a memorable event. Below, read more details about the Film Independent at LACMA Live Read of The Graduate.

About half way through The Graduate live read, the night came into focus. It happened after Ben’s first date with Elaine, played by a live read regular, the magnificent Mae Whitman. There was Baruchel, hunched on the edge of his seat, filled with all the nervous energy and excitement you’d expect in that moment. To his right, Sharon Stone as Mrs. Robinson sat with her legs crossed towards him, ever so slightly turned towards him. On his left, Whitman did the same: legs crossed towards Baruchel, leaning in towards him. The physical symmetry of the two ladies, legs crossed towards nervous Ben in the middle was The Graduate in a nutshell and an encapsulation of the entire evening.

Of course, they weren’t the only actors Reitman assembled. In addition to Baruchel, Stone and Whitman, Kevin Pollak played Mr. Robinson, Paul Scheer played Mr. Braddock and Tig Notaro played Mrs. Braddock. Each provided strong support to the three leads and helped elevate the already fun night.

But the evening was really all about Baruchel and Stone. Baruchel is two years older than Hoffman was when he was nominated for the performance. While it’s impossible not to imagine Hoffman in the role, Baruchel did the best thing possible: he made it his own. Baruchel used his whole body to build and release energy; visually tensing up, gesticulating, and stumbling through dialogue effortlessly when the script called for him to do so. We really felt the character’s unease all the way through the piece.

In Mrs. Robinson, Stone had a less complex character, but she used her singular desire as an advantage. She played with the timing and the delivery of the dialogue, leaning back in her chair, her gaze often somewhere else, creating a Mrs. Robinson that was seductive, yes, but also a little colder than Anne Bancroft’s. That’s saying something. She was a perfect foil to Whitman, whose Elaine was so damn sweet and innocent, but easily hurt and broken. How Mae Whitman isn’t cast in every movie ever after participating in these live reads is beyond me.

Throughout the evening, it was almost as if Stone and Baruchel rehearsed these lines for days. The back and forth banter sounded like beautiful music. Each often turned to the other while talking, sometimes touching and addressing each other directly. At one point, when the characters meet in the hotel room for the first time, Stone turned to Baruchel basically daring him to kiss her like in the script. And he did, which got a huge applause from the crowd.

That crowd included Buck Henry, one half of the team who wrote the film, which certainly gave the evening some intensity. Some of the atmosphere was also derived from the lack of music by Simon and Garfunkel. The folk duo had multiple songs in the film; without them, the story lacks a certain sense of wonder imparted in Nichols’ film. It feels decidedly more serious. On the page, The Graduate is a beautifully written masterpiece with fantastic descriptions and stunningly poignant dialogue, but the Oscar-winning direction elevated it to the classic status it continues to enjoy to this day.

Jason Reitman’s Live Read of The Graduate, presented by Film Independent at LACMA pulled off the impossible. It did justice to one of the best films of the 1960s. Unfortunately, it was the last live read of the season but Reitman promised he’d be back in October. You can be sure we’ll be back too.

Photo credit: WireImage

The post Jay Baruchel and Sharon Stone Sizzle at ‘The Graduate’ Live Read appeared first on /Film.

Cool Stuff: Marvel Portraits By Mike Mitchell At Mondo Gallery

April 18, 2014 - 9:00am

We love superheroes, you love superheroes, most everyone loves superheroes. Superhero movies have become so incredibly popular, sometimes it’s easy to forget their roots on the ink-covered pages of comic books. If it wasn’t for men like Stan Lee or  and Bill Finger, we’d never have movies like The Dark Knight or The Avengers.

To pay respect to those original iterations of comic book characters, the Mondo Gallery in Austin TX has begun to reveal images from their next show, Mike Mitchell x Marvel x Mondo. It features over 60 different portraits of Marvel Comics characters from Spider-Man, X-Men, and Avengers stories as well as many more by popular artist Mike Mitchell. The show opens April 25 and stays on display through May 17. Below, check out just a fraction of the Mike Mitchell Mondo work being released next week.

Here is a gallery of Mike Mitchell’s Mondo Marvel work:

These portraits will mostly be $60 each with runs varying from under 100 to over 200. It depends on each piece.

And here’s how Mondo decorated the gallery for the show:

Yes. That’s Modok.

Finally, here’s the press release.

Mondo announces “Mike Mitchell x Marvel x Mondo” a comics-themed show featuring artist Mike Mitchell’s iconic portraits of Marvel’s huge stable of heroes and villains, running from April 25th through May 17th. The characters of The Avengers, X-Men and Spider-man will be represented along with many others from Marvel’s incredible library. The opening night event will be Friday, April 25th from 7 – 10pm at the Mondo Gallery, located at 4115 Guadalupe St. in Austin, TX. Artist Mike Mitchell will be in attendance. “My love for Marvel Comics was an integral part of growing up. Not just the comics, but the action figures, video games and cartoons. My intention with this show was to take those characters out of their action-oriented world and give them a moment of silence to catch their breath. There’s a humanizing quality to that which I find extremely interesting. This has easily been the most ambitious project I’ve ever taken on, and it’s due in part to my love for their universe; which is fictional by definition, but real in my mind and in the minds of others,” said Mitchell.

The post Cool Stuff: Marvel Portraits By Mike Mitchell At Mondo Gallery appeared first on /Film.

First Look: Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in ‘Macbeth’

April 18, 2014 - 8:00am

That shot above shows off Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender as they appear in the new version of Macbeth. The film is directed by Justin Kurzel, the Australian filmmaker behind Snowtown, and stars Michael Fassbender in the title role of the William Shakespeare adaptation. Another, more striking shot is below. 

Both images from from the Daily Mail, to which Fassbender explained his take on Macbeth:

He’s suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. It makes total sense, when you think about it. Justin set the seed of the idea in my head. This trauma is something we know about. In World War I they called it battle fatigue, and it was probably more horrific in Macbeth’s days, when they were killing with their bare hands, and driving a blade through bodies. He’s having these hallucinations, and he needs to return to the violence to find some sort of clarity, or peace.

The original period setting of the play remains intact, as you can see, and the script is more or less in the original verse; Fassbender says ‘There’s a vibrancy and intelligence to the script.”

Macbeth also stars Paddy Considine, David Thewlis, Sean Harris, Jack Reynor and Elizabeth Debicki. It should hit the UK in early 2015, and will be in US theaters… sometime, perhaps late this year, via The Weinstein Company.


The post First Look: Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in ‘Macbeth’ appeared first on /Film.

Watch a Video Rundown of 12 Impressive Long Takes

April 18, 2014 - 7:00am

The long take is a certain mark of cinematic achievement, particularly when the shot in question really works in a film. Anyone can show off — well, not anyone, but a good crew can put together an impressive long take. But to have it make sense for the story, and not draw attention to itself purely for the sake of doing so, is an achievement. So here’s a good video rundown of twelve particularly impressive long takes.

You might think you could name all the likely entries for this list off the top of your head, but chances are that’s not the case. Sure, there are the expected entries and usual suspects such as Touch of Evil and Children of Men, especially as we hit the top half of the list. But there are some surprises, such as a Tony Jaa movie, Tarkovsky’s The Mirror, and Godard’s traffic jam from Weekend. See the full video below.

[Cinefix via Laughing Squid]

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The post Watch a Video Rundown of 12 Impressive Long Takes appeared first on /Film.

Let It Go(T): The Game of Thrones/Frozen Mashup Song You Never Knew You Always Wanted

April 18, 2014 - 12:15am

What do you get when you combine a hit song from the highest grossing animated film of all time with one of the most insanely popular TV shows of all time? A “Let It Go” mashup for the ages, of course.

My Cast of Kings co-host Joanna Robinson approached me to put together a music video of “Let It Go”, but using some fun Game of Thrones inspired lyrics performed by her talented friend Gail. Check out the results after the jump, and subscribe to A Cast of Kings to get your regular Game of Thrones podcast fix.

The post Let It Go(T): The Game of Thrones/Frozen Mashup Song You Never Knew You Always Wanted appeared first on /Film.

The ‘Sinister 2′ Director is ‘Citadel’ Filmmaker Ciaran Foy

April 17, 2014 - 8:24pm

Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill wrote Sinister, which starred Ethan Hawke as a writer who taps into an unusual cycle of violence, and Derrickson directed. We’ve known that a sequel is in the works, with the two again handling script duties. Now a director has been named: Ciaran Foy, who made his feature debut with the film Citadel, will be the Sinister 2 director.

Derrickson made the announcement on Twitter:

Sinister 2 news! The script, written by me & @massawyrm, will be directed by the talented Ciaran Foy. I will produce w/Jason Blum @blumhouse

— Scott Derrickson (@scottderrickson) April 17, 2014

The film will shoot this July, with eOne putting up the cash. Jason Blum, who produced the original, is also producing the sequel. We don’t have any word on the story or cast for the sequel. Obviously there’s reason to expect that the pagan god Bughuul, called Mr. Boogie by the children he victimizes, will return in some manner, but we don’t know exactly what to expect.

The post The ‘Sinister 2′ Director is ‘Citadel’ Filmmaker Ciaran Foy appeared first on /Film.

Steven Spielberg To Direct ‘The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara’

April 17, 2014 - 7:35pm

Steven Spielberg‘s last collaboration with screenwriter Tony Kushner was so successful, the pair are teaming up again. Spielberg plans to direct The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara based on a screenplay by Kushner. Mortara was an Italian Jew who made international headlines when he was removed from his home and raised as a Catholic in 1858.

The film will not be Spielberg’s next film, however. He’s still deciding between going back to Robopocalypse or Montezuma. The former much further along having just completed a total rewrite.

Variety broke the news of Spielberg and Kushner’s latest collaboration (the last being Lincoln). The film will be an adaptation of a David Kertzer novel and Kushner has only just started writing. Here’s a description of the book from Amazon:

Bologna: nightfall, June 1858. A knock sounds at the door of the Jewish merchant Momolo Mortara. Two officers of the Inquisition bust inside and seize Mortara’s six-year-old son, Edgardo. As the boy is wrenched from his father’s arms, his mother collapses.  The reason for his abduction: the boy had been secretly “baptized” by a family servant.  According to papal law, the child is therefore a Catholic who can be taken from his family and delivered to a special monastery where his conversion will be completed.

With this terrifying scene, prize-winning historian David I. Kertzer begins the true story of how one boy’s kidnapping became a pivotal event in the collapse of the Vatican as a secular power.  The book evokes the anguish of a modest merchant’s family, the rhythms of daily life in a Jewish ghetto, and also explores, through the revolutionary campaigns of Mazzini and Garibaldi and such personages as Napoleon III, the emergence of Italy as a modern national state.  Moving and informative, the Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara reads as both a historical thriller and an authoritative analysis of how a single human tragedy changed the course of history.

Sounds incredibly powerful and right in that Spielberg wheelhouse, with an inspirational story drawn from history. But, with writing just underway, it’s a ways off.

So what’s next? The Variety story says the following:

Some people close to Spielberg insist that he has not committed to what he will direct next, though others say “Robopocalypse” is the frontrunner. Of all his current projects, sources say “Robopocalypse” is the farthest along, with one person noting that the budget is close to being finalized.

Either way, add another movie to the huge stack of films the world’s most popular director is attached to direct. What do you think of Steven Spielberg doing The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara?

The post Steven Spielberg To Direct ‘The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara’ appeared first on /Film.

‘Jersey Boys’ Trailer: Clint Eastwood Adapts Tony-Winning Broadway Musical

April 17, 2014 - 6:33pm

Though Clint Eastwood is one of our finest and most prolific directors, his decision to adapt a Tony award-winning, worldwide smash hit musical always felt odd. A macho, old-school actor/filmmaker making an upbeat rags-to-riches movie filled with popular songs? Not the obvious move. Well, the first Jersey Boys trailer is finally out and things now seem much clearer.

In this short look at the film, which opens June 20, we finally get an idea of Eastwood’s version of the musical version of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the group that went from the street corners of New Jersey to one of the biggest musical acts in history. Check out the Jersey Boys trailer below.

Thanks to Apple for the Jersey Boys trailer. Here’s an embed:

Based on the trailer, Jersey Boys definitely has the Eastwood look to it. Dark blacks and bright bright colors, but there is something different afoot. Maybe it’s the direct camera address, maybe it’s the songs we know and love, but I definitely think Eastwood’s realistic approach to the glossy story is going to make for a successful film. It doesn’t feel like a Broadway adaptation. It feels slightly more gritty and that’s the key. Whether or not audiences turn up for a movie with seemingly no stars, except for the title, however, is a bigger question.

In addition to the trailer,  here’s the first poster:

Jersey Boys stars John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza and Christopher Walken. It opens June 20. Here’s the official synopsis:

From director Clint Eastwood comes the big-screen version of the Tony Award-winning musical “Jersey Boys.” The film tells the story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons. The story of their trials and triumphs are accompanied by the songs that influenced a generation, including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Dawn,” “Rag Doll,” “Bye Bye Baby,” “Who Loves You,” and many more.

The post ‘Jersey Boys’ Trailer: Clint Eastwood Adapts Tony-Winning Broadway Musical appeared first on /Film.

‘Maleficent’ Featurette and Images: Who’s Afraid of Angelina Jolie?

April 17, 2014 - 6:00pm

From some angles, the fact that Maleficent retraces a familiar path is the whole point. The Sleeping Beauty villainness has remained popular over the decades, and Disney’s counting on that to turn her movie into a hit. At the same time, though, the studio would like to stress that Maleficent isn’t just more of the same-old same-old.

A new Maleficent featurette plays up what’s fresh about this take on the tale. It’s not a retelling but a “reinvention” of the story, according to screenwriter Linda Woolverton — but one that “respect[s] the classic,” star Angelina Jolie reassures us. Basically, as star Elle Fanning puts it, it’s “the classic story of Sleeping Beauty plus so much more. Watch the video and check out some new photos after the jump.

Disney unveiled the Maleficent featurette on YouTube.

[via Screen Crush]

The film’s aim is to tell Maleficent’s side of the story, but this particular featurette may go too far in softening her image. When Sleeping Beauty herself (Fanning) laughs that she never thought Maleficent was all that scary, the whole “Mistress of All Evil” title starts to seem like a joke.

Directed by Robert StrombergMaleficent lands in theaters May 30Sharlto CopleySam Riley, and Brenton Thwaites also star.

“Maleficent” explores the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic “Sleeping Beauty” and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king’s newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever.

The post ‘Maleficent’ Featurette and Images: Who’s Afraid of Angelina Jolie? appeared first on /Film.

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