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(2006)

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‘Hannah Takes the Stairs’ and the Coalescence of Mumblecore

Looking back on this still-young century makes clear that 2007 was a major time for cinematic happenings — and, on the basis of this retrospective, one we’re not quite through with ten years on. One’s mind might quickly flash to a few big titles that will be represented, but it is the plurality of both festival and theatrical premieres that truly surprises: late works from old masters, debuts from filmmakers who’ve since become some of our most-respected artists, and mid-career turning points that didn’t necessarily announce themselves as such at the time. Join us as an assembled team, many of whom were coming of age that year, takes on their favorites.

Declaring 2007 to be the year mumblecore came of age would be equally as fair as labeling it the year mumblecore collapsed. The signs of ascendance and coalescence—group coverage in high-profile publications, series programmed at art houses,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Video Essay. Greta Moves

  • MUBI
There are a few actors whose prowess stems in equal measure from their training or innate talent, and from their physiognomy. In the past we had Humphrey Bogart and Anna Karina. Today, Denis Lavant is one of those actors. Adam Driver also comes to mind. Greta Gerwig, with her lanky figure and mesmerizing expression, belongs to a category all her own.There’s a particular quality that comes to life when she moves. The movement might be as slight as bend in the lips, or as large as a star-figured jump in the air. Both are, in equal measure, unmistakably hers. Throughout her career, Gerwig has worked with directors who’ve captured her physicality by letting the film run long enough to capture the uniqueness of her movement. It took Joe Swanberg the entirety of Lol (2006) and 20 minutes of Hannah takes the Stairs (2007) to ask Gerwig to dance in front of the camera. This can only be explained by the director’s inexperience at the time. Noah Baumbach never made the same mistake, filming her twisting, twirling, and swirling, or just slightly bobbing for 17 seconds, to the tune of Paul and Linda McCartney’s “Uncle Albert”. Even for her small role in No Strings Attached (2011), Ivan Reitman had the good sense to shoot two scenes where Greta’s dancing held center stage. In Greta Moves, I endeavored to find patterns in the movements throughout her filmography, interweaving them with an abundance of match cuts. To create a dance tapestry that heightened those connections, the piece of music was fundamental. The inspiration for that choice—as well as the structure of the video essay—came from Wim Wender’s Pina (2011). The work was built almost entirely around the second performance in the movie and the lovely melody of Jun Miyake, “The Here and After”.
See full article at MUBI »

Magic Carpet Link

NY Times talks to David O. Russell about Joy... which still is not screening. The mystery of it all

Playbill Aladdin flew through the streets of NYC on his magic carpet recently. How's that for marketing?

Gold Standard Character actors get their own award "The Carneys"... we wouldn't need this if the Academy remembered why they invited the Supporting Acting categories. The first recipients:  Bob BalabanMichael EalyBruce McGillDavid Paymer and Cch Pounder

THR wishes Toni Collette a happy birthday with fun facts

/Film Jennifer Aniston hasn't made a good film in 10 years. Can What Alice Forgot change her course?

Guardian suggests that appointment franchise cinema will end with Hunger Games: Mockinjay Part 2. "If Only!" says all of us who year for movies to be movies rather than expensive television series

Variety talks to Karl Glusman about his first day on the set of Gaspar Noé's Love
See full article at FilmExperience »

25 great directors working outside mainstream cinema

  • Den of Geek
Meet some of the best directors working today, who haven't gone down the blockbuster movie route...

Ever find it a bit lame when the same big name directors get kicked around for every high profile project? Christopher Nolan, Jj Abrams, maybe the Russo Brothers? With so much focus on blockbuster films these days, getting a major franchise job seems like the main acknowledgement of success for a filmmaker. And yes, both the financial and creative rewards can be great. But there are plenty of other directors out there, doing their own thing, from art house auteurs to Dtv action specialists.

Here are 25 examples.

Lee Hardcastle

Even if you don’t know his name, you’ve probably seen Lee Hardcastle’s ultraviolent claymations shared on social media. He first started getting noticed for his two-minute remake of The Thing, starring the famous stop motion penguin Pingu. Far from just a cheap one-joke mash-up,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Review: Joe Swanberg's Excellent 'Digging For Fire' Marks a New Stage of His Career

  • Indiewire
Review: Joe Swanberg's Excellent 'Digging For Fire' Marks a New Stage of His Career
[Editor's Note: This post is presented in partnership with Time Warner Cable Movies On Demand in support of Indie Film Month. Today's pick, "Digging for Fire," is available now On Demand. Need help finding a movie to watch? Let TWC find the best fit for your mood here.] Read More: Rosemarie DeWitt on How Joe Swanberg's 'Digging for Fire' Reflected Her Own Life Experience The unearthing of a rusty gun and dirty bone from a backyard bank seems like a surface setup to a murder mystery, but as the latest entry in Joe Swanberg's oeuvre, "Digging for Fire" has an ulterior motive. Swanberg has always explored relationship dynamics in his films, from long-distance challenges ("Lol," "Nights and Weekends") to ambiguous workplace romances ("Hannah Takes the Stairs," "Drinking Buddies"), but none of his films have been as symbolically meaningful or emotionally mature as this one. "Digging"...
See full article at Indiewire »

Review: Joe Swanberg's 'Digging for Fire' Marks a New Stage in His Career

  • Indiewire
Review: Joe Swanberg's 'Digging for Fire' Marks a New Stage in His Career
Read More: Podcast: Joe Swanberg and ‘Jurassic World’ Are Kindred Spirits. No, Really. The unearthing of a rusty gun and dirty bone from a backyard bank seems like a surface setup to a murder mystery, but as the latest entry in Joe Swanberg's oeuvre, "Digging for Fire" has an ulterior motive. Swanberg has always explored relationship dynamics in his films, from long-distance challenges ("Lol," "Nights and Weekends") to ambiguous workplace romances ("Hannah Takes the Stairs," "Drinking Buddies"), but none of his films have been as symbolically meaningful or emotionally mature as this one. "Digging" finds Swanberg taking a different narrative tack by pitting Jake Johnson against Rosemarie DeWitt in an adventure tale about marriage, parenthood, and complacency. Tim (Johnson) and Lee (DeWitt) are a married couple with a three-year-old son named Jude (Jude Swanberg), house-sitting for a colleague in the country for a weekend....
See full article at Indiewire »

Interview: Greta Gerwig, Lola Kirke Discover ‘Mistress America’

Chicago – Greta Gerwig’s persona as a character actress has blossomed in the last three years, as she has taken on three women in their twenties at the crossroads of life, in that life decade of consequence. In addition to her title roles in “Lola Versus” and “Francis Ha,” her latest is “Mistress America,” which she also co-wrote.

Directed by Noah Baumbach, the film is essentially a buddy comedy, if the buddies are two women – one a Freshman in college and aspiring writer named Tracy (Lola Kirke), and the other (Gerwig) a overwrought urban survivalist named Brooke – living with uncertainty, guile and pomposity in New York City. Like the Greta Gerwig characters of Lola and Francis, Brooke is an achiever in a different way, as they all learn to understand what their purpose is, when challenged with life altering change that is not necessarily what they wanted.

Greta Gerwig and
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Kevin Hart Dominates Celebrity All-Star Game, But Win Butler’s Shoes Are the Real Winners

  • VH1.com
-Renaud Jean Baptiste Jr.

NBA All-Star Weekend kicked off in high gear yesterday, as various celebs from the sports and entertainment world put their athleticism on display in the 2015 Sprint Celebrity game. Kevin Hart, Ansel Elgort, Anthony Anderson, and Common were just some of the names on hand trying to lead their respective team to victory.

The game was played at the world famous Madison Square Garden and was nothing short of entertaining. Nick Cannon squared off with Hart in an old-school dance battle prior to tip-off, Keke Palmer gave an impressive rendition of the National Anthem and there was even a Dave Chappelle sighting. Check out our thoughts on the night, along with some pics and social media highlights.

The Real Mvp

Wnba star Skylar Diggins, scored 13 points and lead her West squad to the promise land. But that wasn’t enough to land her Mvp, as Hart took
See full article at VH1.com »

Sundance Review: Joe Swanberg's Excellent 'Digging For Fire' Marks a New Stage of His Career

  • Indiewire
Sundance Review: Joe Swanberg's Excellent 'Digging For Fire' Marks a New Stage of His Career
The unearthing of a rusty gun and dirty bone from a backyard bank seems like a surface setup to a murder mystery, but as the latest entry in Joe Swanberg's oeuvre, "Digging for Fire" has an ulterior motive. Swanberg has always explored relationship dynamics in his films, from long-distance challenges ("Lol," "Nights and Weekends") to ambiguous workplace romances ("Hannah Takes the Stairs," "Drinking Buddies"), but none of his films have been as symbolically meaningful or emotionally mature as this one. "Digging" finds Swanberg taking a different narrative tack by pitting Jake Johnson against Rosemarie DeWitt in an adventure tale about marriage, parenthood, and complacency. Tim (Johnson) and Lee (DeWitt) are a married couple with a three-year-old son named Jude (Jude Swanberg), house-sitting for a colleague in the country for a weekend. Tim is disillusioned about his relationship with Lee, which is only being kept alive...
See full article at Indiewire »

Review: Jake Johnson, Rosemary DeWitt charm and mature in 'Digging For Fire'

  • Hitfix
Review: Jake Johnson, Rosemary DeWitt charm and mature in 'Digging For Fire'
Joe Swanberg is 33. I don't know whether to be amazed by how high or low that number is.  On one hand, that's ridiculously young for a filmmaker who broke out back in 2006 and 2007 with "Lol" and "Hannah Takes The Stairs" and has been absurdly prolific since then. On the other hand, though, the filmmaker who made his name -- and, depending on your generosity, made a genre -- chronicling the dramatically limited foibles of recent college graduates has reached the "thirtysomething" phase of his career. The erratic and misdirected youths at the center of Swanberg's earlier films have become the pesky nubiles who show up to make Swanberg's new leads feel either old or optimistically mature. It's a transition that has been in the works for a little while. Last year's Swanberg Sundance entry "Happy Christmas" featured the director and Melanie Lynskey as a grown-up, responsible couple whose house nearly
See full article at Hitfix »

Indie Spotlight: Director Joe Swanberg

  • LRM Online
You’ve probably seen his work before.

Director Joe Swanberg is best known for directing “Drinking Buddies” last year that starred Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson and Anna Kendrick. He was one of the collaborators in the cult favorite horror compilation “V/H/S” with the segment called “The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger.”

And maybe you’ve seen him on the big screen like the recent horror thriller “You’re Next,” in which he played as one the family victims.

Swanberg made his directorial debut with the 2005’s indie film “Kissing on the Mouth,” a film about recent college graduates on sex. And then he followed up with “Lol,” that starred with Greta Gerwig. With Gerwig, they further collaborated with 2007’s “Hannah Takes the Stairs” and 2008’s “Night and Weekends.”

In 2010, Swanberg became extremely busy directing seven films with “Uncle Kent,” “Caitlin Plays Herself,” “The Zone,
See full article at LRM Online »

Dread Central's Best and Worst of 2013

Another year has come to an end, which means it's time for the Dread Central staff to weigh in with their picks of the best and worst of 2013's horror offerings. We're giving you a full dozen lists this time, and per usual they come in a variety of formats, each reflecting the unique styles of our writers.

We've also compiled them to come up with the year's overall winners and losers. We averaged out the top and bottom five vote getters on everyone's lists, and here are the results:

Best: Maniac

Runners-up: The Conjuring, Evil Dead

Worst: Texas Chainsaw 3D

Runners-up: The Purge, The Last Exorcism Part II

Check out the Dread Central staff's Best of and Worst of lists for 2013 by following the links below!

[Andrew Kasch]

[Anthony Arrigo]

[Brad McHargue]

[Buz "Danger" Wallick]

[Debi "The Woman in Black" Moore]

[The Foywonder]

[Gareth "Pestilence" Jones]

[Jinx]

[MattFini]

[Scott "Doctor Gash" Hallam]

[Staci Layne Wilson]

[Uncle Creepy]

Andrew Kasch's Picks

Stoker: Chan-wook Park delivered some next-level filmmaking and his best film since Oldboy with his U.
See full article at Dread Central »

Interview: Joe Swanberg Dares to Cross the Line in ‘Drinking Buddies’

Chicago – It takes a special sort of filmmaker to hit it big without compromising any artistic principles. This month marks a career high for Chicago’s own Diy trail-blazer, Joe Swanberg, whose microbudget gems have influenced everyone from Lynn Shelton (“Touchy Feely”) to Lena Dunham (“Girls”).

On Friday, August 23rd, two of Joe’s buzzed-about pictures will receive a limited theatrical release.

One is Ti West’s darkly satirical horror lark, “You’re Next,” which is currently being advertised at every creepy subway station in the Windy City (Swanberg plays an amusingly hatable character with a smug disregard for indie flicks). The other film is Swanberg’s 15th feature effort, “Drinking Buddies,” featuring an all-star cast, cinematography from a Cannes prize-winner (“Beasts of the Southern Wild” Dp Ben Richardson) and an actual budget. Yet Swanberg’s improvisational style and observant eye for naturalistic nuance remains entirely intact. Olivia Wilde is
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Three Quickies: Mud, Identity Thief, Frances Ha

In an effort to say at least a few words on everything I see this year, here are three short takes on recent pictures we haven't discussed much. I'd love to hear your thoughts if you've seen 'em (or want to).

Frances Ha

Modern dancer Frances (Greta Gerwig), suddenly apartment hunting when her best friend Sophie (Mickey Sumner) moves out, struggles to get her act together while her friends are increasingly settling into career and relationship grooves

Quickie Take: Less an explicit psychological mural than a suggestive sidewalk sketch but what artistry! Palpable energy and magical color. [In black and white]. A-

Frances Ha tickles me

Best in Show: Greta Gerwig but then she Is the show. The supporting cast is fine too including newcomer Mickey Sumner as best friend Sophie, Broadway star Charlotte D'Amboise as a dance guru, and Grace Gummer as an irritated former classmate.

Oscar? I'd love to emphatically promise
See full article at FilmExperience »

Why Greta Gerwig (hopefully) Won't Be the Next Big Thing

Tim here, hoping that we're all okay with talking about Greta Gerwig a little bit more. The 29-year-old actress and her career has been discussed to the point of distraction throughout the internet ever since she erupted onto the indie scene in 2006 and 2007 in a pair of Joe Swanberg films, Lol and Hannah Takes the Stairs, but on the eve of her new collaboration with director Noah Baumbach, Frances Ha, it seemed the right moment to take stock of where her short but impressively-stocked career has taken her so far. It's also a great moment to look head-on at the question that has hung around the new film like a shroud: is Frances Ha going to be Gerwig’s “breakout” film, the one that finally makes her a movie star?

My feeling, without having seen the movie (where I live in Chicago, it's not opening for a while yet) is that it almost certainly won't.
See full article at FilmExperience »

Lol (Letting Out Less)

  • MUBI
“The finacialization of the capitalist economy implies a growing abstraction of work from its useful function, and of language from its bodily dimension. Desire is diverted from physical contact and invested in the abstract field of simulated seduction, in the infinite space of the image.”

—Franco “Bifo” Berardi in The Uprising, On Poetry and Finance

For those who came of age in the nondescript 2000s, an era characterised by securitarian paranoia and lack of future prospects, Joe Swanberg’s Lol (2006) might as well read as their very own (purposeless) existential manifesto. A generational pamphlet that, in tune with its times, neither affirms nor negates, let alone criticizes, its predicament, but simply registers the vacuum within which it occurs. It is the Western vacuum of the 21st century whose first decade was marked by a tangible curb in the forward surge of pop cultural history. Cinema, but also music and literature,
See full article at MUBI »

Damsels in Distress | DVD Giveaway

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will be releasing Damsels in Distress on DVD in the United States on September 25th, 2012. Since we consider Damsels in Distress to be a film with a "timeless quality" we were more than happy to give our loyal readership a chance to win a free DVD copy when presented with the opportunity. It goes without saying that Damsels in Distress succeeds because of Greta Gerwig (though Analeigh Tipton and Adam Brody are excellent as well). I could discuss the talents of Gerwig ad nauseum, but I will spare you that lecture; instead I will hone in on the fact that she is the one (and only) actress who can simultaneously channel Alicia Silverstone and Katharine Hepburn, which is why she is perfectly cast as Violet in Damsels in Distress. Like the film, Gerwig has a timeless quality about her. She could be a George Cukor dame
See full article at SmellsLikeScreenSpirit »

Olivia Wilde and Ron Livingston Make Great 'Drinking Buddies'

  • NextMovie
Jay and Mark Duplass went from microbudget mumblecore like "The Puffy Chair" to more mainstream fare -albeit still quirky- like "Cyrus" and "Jeff Who Lives At Home."

Now with "Drinking Buddies" it's time for the grand marshal of the mumblecore parade, Joe Swanberg, will have his shot (or shots) at mass appeal, according to Deadline, by adding Olivia Wilde, Ron Livingston and Jake M. Johnson to a cast headlined by the thinking man's hottie crush, Anna Kendrick.

Swanberg practically founded the mumblecore movement with chatty improv-a-thons like "Lol" or "Hannah Takes the Stairs," and "Drinking Buddies" will also incorporate a ton of loose ad libbed dialogue as it recounts a fun and flirtatious friendship between Livingston and, presumably, Kendrick that goes off the rails.

Livingston is best known for "Swingers" and his slackerific lead role in cult classic "Office Space." Wilde is fresh off of two so-so blockbusters, "Tron Legacy" and "Cowboys and Aliens,
See full article at NextMovie »

Interview: ‘Your Sister’s Sister’ Director Lynn Shelton on Fast-Paced Production

Chicago – The characters in a Lynn Shelton movie live relatively content lives until an unexpected event ruptures their sense of self. A self-absorbed writer awakens to the fact that he’s been a terrible friend in “My Effortless Brilliance.” Two heterosexual buddies test the boundaries of their relationship by attempting to film a porno together in “Humpday.”

In Shelton’s latest film, “You Sister’s Sister,” three close friends threaten to destroy their close bond when the truth proves to be difficult to accept. As in “Brilliance,” “Sister” takes place in a remote location. Jack (Mark Duplass) is still reeling from the death of his brother when he’s invited by his best friend, Iris (Emily Blunt), to stay at her family’s remote cabin. There he meets Iris’ half-sister, Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt), a lesbian who isn’t above experimenting beyond her sexual boundaries, especially after a few drinks.

Just
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

'Lola Versus' Puts the Fun in Dysfunctional Love

  • NextMovie
Remember when you were 10, and you thought by 22 you'd be married, with a big house (that has a white picket fence) and two perfect children? Maybe a dog and a cat to complete the family? But when you hit 30, you may start to realize that all those dreams won't necessarily come true. Welcome to the suck, sucker.

"Lola Versus" is the story of a girl who didn't get everything she wanted, at the time she wanted it -- and how she deals with that. Greta Gerwig is Lola, who's fixing to marry the man of her dreams, Luke (played by future RoboCop and current Detective Stephen Holder on AMC's "The Killing," Joel Kinnaman). Things are going well for Lola. She's about to finish school, the wedding planning is coming along nicely ... and then kerplunk, Luke calls off the engagement just three weeks before the wedding.

Also Check Out: 5 Questions With
See full article at NextMovie »
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