ENJOY THE SHOW
One of my favorite documentaries, in fact one of the very best documentaries this year, is one called The Overnighters from director Jesse Moss. The film follows a wild, almost unbelievable story set in North Dakota about a local Pastor named Jay Reinke who risks everything to help his new neighbors. It won over crowds at the Sundance Film Festival this year, picked up a Special Jury Prize, before going on to play at the Tribeca, Sheffield, Montclair, Sydney and New Zealand Film Festivals, winning awards at Full Frame, Miami and San Francisco, too. Drafthouse Films bravely picked up the doc and it's now playing in select theaters. I was lucky enough to meet up with Jesse Moss for an interview in New York last week and it was wonderful.
We're only a few weeks away from the release of Christopher Nolan's Interstellar, which will be opening four days early in film only (35mm/70mm projection). The announcement caused quite a stir in the cinema community, as the response from some movie theater chains was not unexpected. Many of them got upset, many of them were pissed off that they weren't a part of this deal, the big reason being that they just gave up their 35mm projectors to transform to digital and now they're missing out on some of the best money of the year. So they blame the studios, and the filmmakers, but never themselves. In response to all of this, Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League (who owns a handful of theaters himself) wrote a passionate essay/response and published it on Deadline. It's brilliant, it gets everything right, and at the end of it all, it's inspiring too.
Now that fall is upon us, it's starting to get a little chilly out (at least if you live somewhere with all four seasons), and that means it's time for warmer clothes. Thankfully, if you're a cinephile who just always has to represent what you love with what you wear, then the folks at Mondo have you covered. After unveiling their 237 Collection inspired by The Shining, the collectible arthouse has now released two knit sweaters that will be perfect for fans of the cult classic holiday film Gremlins from director Joe Dante and producer Steven Spielberg and Joel & Ethan Coen's Fargo (though it's more of a tribute to the TV series). Look now!
"A journey should always be mysterious…" One of the best films of 2014 is Birdman, the fifth feature from Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu, following up Biutiful four years ago. Birdman premiered at the Venice Film Festival and Telluride Film Festivals, and will also play at the New York Film Festival before landing in theaters this October. After catching the premiere up in the mountains in Telluride (my review), I met up with Iñárritu for a 15 minute chat about all things: from life to filmmaking to laughter to turning 50 and the lessons he has learned. It happens to be one of the best chats I've had with a filmmaker, and it's rejuvenating to listen to him talk. "If you don't do something that does not terrify you, why do it?"
Birdman 4?! I honestly try not to use hyperbole in headlines (anymore), but this time I just couldn't help it. It's Birdman! And this little piece of movie swag is actually quite awesome. It's unquestionably one-of-a-kind and I'm so glad to see Fox Searchlight make something so special for the release of this film. I am one of the lucky few who has received an action figure maquette of Birdman, from the new film by Alejandro González Iñárritu titled Birdman, now playing in select theaters. Michael Keaton plays Birdman, and the film is about how his ego is manifested in the form of this superhero character who follows him around. I love the film and this swag is a great way to get press, and fans, more excited for its opening. Photos below.
"Action is a magic trick… And good editing and good sound are your friend." In theaters this weekend is Fury, the latest from writer/director David Ayer, following-up his Schwarzenegger flick Sabotage and the LAPD movie End of Watch before that. This time he brings us a movie set during World War II, following one American tank as it continues to work its way through Germany near the end of the war. I really loved the movie, it's brutal yet emotional and was everything I was hoping to see out of this kind of tank action movie. I met up with David Ayer in New York City earlier this week for a chat about making action movies. "Action takes time, and it takes articulation. And you've got to think of it like stop-motion photography."
"Like any journey, it's not what you carry, but what you leave behind." Continuing our latest feature, the Monthly Must See profile, this time around I'm highlighting an extraordinarily beautiful film called Tracks, set in Australia directed by John Curran of We Don't Live Here Anymore and The Painted Veil previously. Tracks is now playing in limited theaters and first premiered at the fall film festivals in 2013, where I first caught it. Actress Mia Wasikowska stars as Robyn in the true story of an independent young woman who decides to hike 1,700 miles across the Australian desert on her own. Aside from her dog and three camels.
This past weekend it was New York's time to geek out. The New York Comic-Con took place at the Javitz Center on the west side, with over 100,000 geeks/nerds/fans of all ages attending. On Friday evening I was invited to participate in a panel called Your Opinion Sucks! Rotten Tomatoes Critics vs. Fans where a small group of "professional critics" sit in front of a room full of fans and argue about what they like/didn't like. This isn't the first time this panel has appeared, as Rotten Tomatoes has been hosting it in San Diego and at conventions like CinemaCon for years, but it was my first time on it. I really wanted to have fun, see what people wanted to debate, and enjoy the experience of being on a panel instead of covering it (for once).
He's back! No, not Pharrell, director Edgar Wright. Ever since dropping out of Marvel's Ant-Man movie, we've been wondering where he would end up and what he would be directing next. Would it be Star Wars maybe? Or something else? No, actually, his next project is a music video for a Pharrell Williams track with Daft Punk. Hell yes! The video has finally debuted in full after Edgar teased it on his blog recently. The track is titled "Gust of Wind" by Pharrell Williams featuring a little bit of Daft Punk, which is a promo for Pharrell's new album "G I R L" released March on iTunes/Amazon. It's perfect for autumn as it takes place in a forest with lots of red & orange (& white) colored dancers and giant rock Daft Punk masks. Oh it's fun.
There's a film festival that takes place down in Austin, Texas at the Alamo Drafthouse (the one on South Lamar) every fall that is one of the best in the world. No it's not the overrated and overcrowded SXSW, it's a "genre" festival conceived by and run by Tim League, CEO and mastermind of the Drafthouse. The festival is called Fantastic Fest, now in its 10th year, and I have been attending since 2007, its 3rd year. For the last few years I've let The Golden Briefcase guys Tim and Jeremy (an Austin local) go wild and cover the fest on their own while I return from Telluride and Toronto back-to-back, but this year I had to go back. And I'm so glad I did. It was like coming back to my home again after years of being away. I missed you, Fantastic Fest.
Director David Fincher has directed truly great feature films, mesmerizing music videos and even intriguing commercials. As his latest film Gone Girl heads into theaters with select evening shows tonight before hitting theaters everywhere tomorrow, why not take a deeper look at the filmmaking style and and craft of a gifted director like Fincher. The man behind films like Se7en and The Social Network describes his process as "not what I do, but what I don’t do," and Every Frame a Painting has decided to dive into what makes Fincher's films tick with a fascinating and fantastic seven-minute video essay. Watch now!
Today we get to exclusively debut the official release poster for Bad Turn Worse, formerly known as We Gotta Get Out of This Place, a gritty Texas crime thriller that marks the debut of brothers Zeke & Simon Hawkins. The film premiered at TIFF 2013 and picked up the Audience Award at AFI, hitting theaters this fall. Compared to this year's acclaimed thriller Cold in July, the plot follows three Texas teens (played by Jeremy Allen White, Logan Huffman and Mackenzie Davis) who get caught up in organized crime trying to escape their dead-end existence in a cotton-mill. The film, produced by Brian Udovich and Justin Duprie of Rough & Tumble Films, also had a gorgeous hand-drawn poster for its festival run last year. New art below.
It's official - after scooping the early release news yesterday, a press release today confirms that Christopher Nolan's Interstellar will be released two days early. Screenings will begin on Tuesday, November 4th starting at 8PM all over the world (info on tickets here), mostly in 70mm IMAX locations. The press release reveals that many locations, including 35mm film and digital IMAX, will be screening starting November 5th before the full opening on Friday, November 7th. To compliment the announcement, the official site is now updated and includes a guide for the formats that Interstellar is available in. Most movie fans know the differences anyway, but it's a helpful guide for anyone still confused by the choice of format. Read on!
"It was all very difficult…" It's not surprising that it is as wonderful to sit down and talk with the people from Studio Ghibli as it is to watch the wonderful movies they make. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to interview Hayao Miyazaki prior to his retirement during a trip over to the US to promote Ponyo. While up in Toronto at TIFF 2014 this year, I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet up with and interview Isao Takahata, the director of the beautiful film The Tale of Princess Kaguya, which was released in Japan last year and arrives in US theaters this fall. He was wonderful to speak with, making my entire trip worth it.