"It's rare that you find a script with so much affection for its characters…" As promised, following our Ed Helms interview, here's the second half of our chat with the team behind Fox Searchlight's Cedar Rapids (watch the trailer), hitting limited theaters this weekend. At Sundance a few weeks ago, we got to interview Miguel Arteta, the Puerto Rican filmmaker also of Chuck & Buck, The Good Girl and Youth in Revolt, who directed Cedar Rapids. He was a fun guy to talk with, and we talked about how they shot the film and made it so entertaining yet charming. Watch the interview below! "This is kind of the Wizard of Oz of insurance."
We're a bit behind on some Sundance coverage, but we're catching up now, and the first thing I wanted to bring you guys was our interview with actor & comedian Ed Helms, who stars as Tim "Timbo" Lippe in Fox Searchlight's Cedar Rapids (watch the trailer) that is coincidentally arriving in theaters this very weekend! Ethan and I sat down with Helms for a 15-minute discussion about all things from his work on Cedar Rapids (watch our video review from Sundance) to staying sharp with jokes to his other comedian friends appearing the film and much more. It's a fun and funny interview, we hope you check it out! Video is embedded below.
In the seemingly glamorous town of Hollywood, dreams are brought to life on the big screen thanks to the miracle of show business. But far away from Tinseltown, in the mountains of Park City, Utah, dreams come true in a way that is much more about the show and much less about the business. Yes, I'm talking about the Sundance Film Festival. While the showcase of independent film has become a breeding ground for the next big talent to launch their career, directors, writers & actors come to Sundance because they all share a passion for storytelling. This was the first time I was able to share that passion, and damn was it splendid.
"This is the end, my only friend, the end, of our elaborate plans, the end…" Another Sundance comes to a close today, and while it's always sad to finish up another fest, it's a necessary ending, as after being in Park City for 10 days trudging through snow and cold to watch fantastic independent films, it is time to go home and get some rest. But as another fest wraps up, for anyone who wasn't out here with all of us, Sundance has debuted a great video called Live@Sundance '11: 10 Days of Different. It's a truly beautiful look back at Sundance 2011 and what it's like to be at this wonderful fest. A look back at 10 amazing days of different.
The official awards for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival were announced tonight at a ceremony in Park City. The Sundance awards are always very interesting to follow, because the winners are either completely unexpected or totally deserving, and we've got quite a mix of both this year. However, the big winner and my personal favorite of this year's fest is Drake Doremus' Like Crazy, a wonderfully touching relationship drama that could very well be this year's Blue Valentine (that's Doremus above winning the award). The full list of winners, including the five Audience Awards, can be found below. Congrats Drake, you deserve it.
This year Kevin Smith returned to Sundance with his second religion focused film Red State (read my review here). Also at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival this year is another film taking on religion called Salvation Boulevard from director George Ratliff (Joshua). Since Smith's Red State is a horror film and Salvation Boulevard is a comedy, the two films couldn't be more different. However, they both seem to have one trait in common: neither of them are funny. Yes, despite a cast that includes Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Jim Gaffigan, Jennifer Connelly, Marisa Tomei and Ed Harris this movie needs a comedy miracle.
Last year at Sundance, they brought a movie set entirely in a coffin and it was one of the most intense films of the fest. This year, they brought a movie about stocks, numbers and equations that is also one of the most thrilling movies here that had the entire audience on the edge of their seat. J.C. Chandor's ensemble drama Margin Call is a thriller set mostly in an office building on the eve of the 2008 financial crisis. It was one of my most anticipated films at Sundance and although it didn't knock me on my ass, it definitely delivered. Riveting, engaging, compelling, fascinating are interchangeable words I could use to describe this great flick.
The end of the world has been foretold over and over in many movies, and more often than not, it really does end with a bang. But in Perfect Sense, the world, or at least humanity, feels the effects of a crippling epidemic. We first meet Susan (Eva Green) after a tough break-up, suddenly a more immediate concern presents itself in her scientific field of epidemiology. A Glasgow man has turned up after experiencing a hysterical crying fit only to discover that upon calming himself, he was suddenly without the sense of smell. Then she learns similar cases have turned up in Britain, France and Italy all within the past 24 hours.
After installing some new sod in their backyard, Dr. Jeff Lang (Tobey Maguire) suddenly has a problem with raccoons lifting up the layers of dirt and grass for whatever grub they can rustle up. But this is just the beginning of Dr. Lang's problems as these nocturnal creatures set off a chain of events that lead to stress, infidelity, pregnancy and even death. Yeah, these are ruthless raccoons. The Details follows the ludicrous and twisted happenings when a series of mistakes cause Dr. Lang to make some pretty unethical decisions that slowly begin to tear his family apart. Never has suburban turmoil been so perversely hilarious.
The "coming-of-age" story has become a genre unto itself. Stories of teen angst, young love, and reckless mischief show up every single year, especially at the various film festivals. Therefore, it's no surprise that Little Birds, the feature film debut of writer/director Elgin James finds itself at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. This time around the characters coming into their own are 15-year old girls Lily (Juno Temple of Kaboom) and Alison (Kay Panabaker of "No Ordinary Family") living in a desolate town on the shores of the Salton Sea. Their friendship is tested by hormones and danger, but unfortunately, so was my patience.
We've already heard about plenty of sales for films premiering at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival (see all our coverage right here). From comedies like My Idiot Brother to dramas like Martha Marcy May Marlene, there's plenty of Sundance films getting picked up. Now we have a couple more to add on as Fox Searchlight announced yet another acquisition today with Another Earth, a science fiction sort of romance starring Brit Marling and William Mapother ("Lost"). Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Classics decided to pick up the new crime thriller The Guard starring Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda) and Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges).
The magic of "Sesame Street" is a part of many children's lives. Broadcast in dozens of languages and many countries around the world, the span of lovable characters like Big Bird and Cookie Monster are iconic and loved everywhere. But one particular man seems to have been born for the likes of "Sesame Street." Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey tells the story of Kevin Clash, the voice and hands behind the red, furry creature Elmo. This new documentary follows Clash from his childhood days of crafting a puppet out of his father's trench coat lining to the present where he's one of the most respected puppeteers working today.
Here at the Sundance Film Festival the people at Fox Searchlight have had a pretty big week. Not only did they debut their hilarious comedy Cedar Rapids, but they've also already acquired the indies Homework and Martha Marcy May Marlene. Now the distributor has made another Sundance deal, but this one is a little different. Fox Searchlight announced that they have picked up the rights worldwide feature remake rights to the documentary The Bengali Detective. The original film follows intrepid private eye Rajesh Ji as he investigates Calcutta's criminal underworld and pursues his dream of dancing on Indian television.
Don't believe anyone who says otherwise, it's a hell of a year for sales at Sundance 2011. Now that the first weekend is over, sales have been coming in full force and non-stop recently. Just yesterday we reported on a big batch of acquisitions, now we have another big batch. Leading the pack is Fox Searchlight once again, who picked up Sean Durkin's film Martha Marcy May Marlene, starring Sundance sensation Elizabeth Olsen (the third Olsen sister), which is one of the most buzzed about films at this fest. To find out about that project as well as the sale of the documentary Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times, read on!