Shailene Woodley and Gregg Araki Discuss the “Teenage Apocalypse” and the Adaptation Process of WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD

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Gregg Araki revisits the adolescent wasteland that defined his career in the mid 90s with his newest feature White Bird in a Blizzard. On the outset – the film feels at piece with Araki’s oeuvre (The Doom Generation, Nowhere, Totally F***ed Up) in that all focus on a dissatisfied youth (here played by Shailene Woodley) coming to terms with their place in a seemingly meaningless world. But there’s something darker and a bit more melancholy at play with Araki’s latest. The anarchic spirit of those earlier films has been replaced with a forlorn world-weary outlook. Woodley as Kat Connors isn’t the same unruly protagonist of Araki’s early work. Instead Kat’s a character desperately trying to regain any semblance of normalcy after her mother disappears one fateful morning. It’s a character intent on NOT rebelling, living in a self-imposed ignorance to the truth that is plainly in front of her.

In the following interview with Gregg Araki and Shailene Woodley, the duo discuss the process of adapting Laura Kasischke’s novel to the big-screen, working together to create many of White Bird in a Blizzard’s emotionally raw scenes and the movie’s place within Araki’s filmography. For the full interview, hit the jump.

Visiting AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN Buckner Mansion and the Costume Designs of Lou Eyrich

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This past weekend, Collider was invited to the set of American Horror Story: Coven in New Orleans for an event honoring the work of Costume Designer Lou Eyrich just in time for the show’s release on Blu-ray.  The Emmy Award winning costume designer was on hand to discuss her work on both Coven & the current season Freak Show, as well as the demanding schedule of being a costume designer for TV and the most challenging aspects of her job.  For a rundown of the event and interview highlights with Eyrich, in which she discusses the original designs for Freak Show’s villain Twisty the Clown, hit the jump.

Naomi Grossman Talks Orgies, Deleted Scenes, and Major Character Deaths in AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW & ASYLUM

by     Posted 9 days ago


From Murder House to Asylum to Coven, American Horror Story has redefined itself each season with no connective tissue between them. The premiere of the series newest incarnation Freak Show brought with it a curious new wrinkle. Naomi Grossman returned to the series, not playing a different character as all returning actors have prior; but instead reprising her role from Asylum as Pepper, the ‘pinhead’ inmate abducted by aliens and turned into a savant. From Pepper’s standpoint, Freak Show then becomes a prequel to Asylum, an origin tale of sorts and the first suggestion that perhaps all the seasons occur in a singular universe.

In the following interview with Naomi Grossman, she discusses being the first actor to play the same character through multiple seasons, what’s to come for Pepper on Freak Show and shooting the carny orgy from last week’s premiere episode. For the full interview, hit the jump.

Ryûhei Kitamura Reveals the Arduous Three-Year Journey to Bring LUPIN THE THIRD to the Big Screen

by     Posted 17 days ago


Lupin the Third is an icon in Japan. The manga by Monkey Punch has inspired a slew of content – five animated films, four anime television shows, two live-action films, a video game and even a musical. Yet until about three weeks ago, I had never even heard of the property. How can something be so omnipresent in Japan yet so niche here in the US? It’s strange in that Lupin – a pretty straightforward comedic caper – seems very easily translatable to these here shores. Think Ocean’s 11 except a little bit goofier and with a lot more swords and gunplay. The basic plot follows the world’s greatest thief, the titular Lupin III, as he and his motley crew (an expert marksman, a Buddhist swordsman & his on-again-off-again traitorous paramour) plan and steal the world’s greatest treasures.

Filmmaker Ryûhei Kitamura, who got his start with the Japanese indie Versus before coming over to the states to direct the cult horror films Midnight Meat Train and No One Lives, returned to Japan to helm the second live-action version of Lupin The Third. It’s a breezy and light adaptation – one that’s as accessible to fans of the series as it is to those discovering it for the first time. In the following interview with Kitamura, he chronicles the arduous three-year process to bring the film to the big-screen, the difficulties of working within the Hollywood and Japanese film systems, and what projects he’s currently trying to get off the ground now. For the full candid interview, hit the jump.

Alfre Woodard Talks Adding ‘Reality’ Into Supernatural Horror in ANNABELLE

by     Posted 21 days ago


Alfre Woodard has the unenviable task of playing ‘that character’ in Annabelle.  The one who knows much more about the supernatural shenanigans than appearances would suggest.  The one with a mysterious past prone to grave looks in the background of scenes.  The one given to long monologues explaining just what’s been happening in the third act.  Typically ‘that character’ is played by a distinguished slightly-too-good-for-this character actor, relishing the opportunity to go big and ham it up for ten or so minutes of screen-time.  See Vincent D’Onofrio in Sinister  or Kelly McGillis in The Innkeepers or Lin Shaye in Insidious.  Woodard though takes an interesting approach to such an archetype.  Instead of going big, she underplays each of her scenes bringing (dare-I-say-it) a certain naturalism to the otherworldly theatrics the role is partial to elicit.  It’s a welcome turn on the familiar and a testament to Woodard’s moxie and reserve as an actress.

In the following interview with Woodard, she discusses her more grounded approach to the character, dealing with long monologues and the effect (or lack thereof) genre has on performance.  Hit the jump to watch. 

Producer James Wan and Director John R. Leonetti Discuss Skepticism, Spiritualism, and the Blank Terror of Dolls in ANNABELLE

by     Posted 23 days ago


The killer doll film, an oft-derided sub-genre of horror, can very easily fall into tongue-in-cheek camp.  There’s just something innately funny about a small little toy attempting and often succeeding at killing a bunch of grown adults. Child’s PlayPuppet Masters, and, hell, even James Wan’s own Dead Silence have all walked that fine line between the horrific and the simply ludicrous sight of a homicidal doll.  Annabelle tips way over that line – but not in the way one would naturally expect. This is a very serious film with not even the slightest hint to the arch or humorous. In fact, the film owes very little to the killer doll genre or even the demonic possession genre of its predecessor The Conjuring.  Instead Annabelle fits more at home with the psychological ‘Yellow Wallpaper-esque’ horror of early Polanski. Think less Dolls or Demonic Toys and more Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby.

In the following interview with producer James Wan and director John R. Leonetti, the duo discuss what they learned from working on previous killer doll films (Wan on Dead Silence; Leonetti on Child’s Play 3), adding a more serious tone to the genre, and using Rosemary’s Baby as the cornerstone influence for Annabelle. For the full interview, hit the jump.

Annabelle Wallis & Ward Horton Talk ANNABELLE and How ROSEMARY’S BABY Influenced Their Performances

by     Posted 25 days ago


Yes – Annabelle for all intents and purposes is a spinoff of last year’s surprise success The Conjuring, taking that film’s stand-out side character (the eponymous creepy doll) and placing an entire film around it/her; but what the marketing and previews have failed to fully reveal – is that Annabelle, at heart, is much less a cash-grab Conjuring offshoot but more so an extended homage to early era Polanski, in particular Rosemary’s Baby & Repulsion.  Annabelle Wallis and Ward Horton star as Mia & John, a couple coping through the repercussions of a vicious attack. The newfound family (she having just given birth to a daughter) move into an apartment complex wherein in her husband’s absence (he’s much too busy with his burgeoning medical career), she begins to experience violent supernatural forces all seemingly stemming from that good-for-nothing doll.  You don’t even have to look at the character names to see that Wallis and Horton are doing their damnedest to channel Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes.

In the following interview with Wallis and Horton, the two discuss playing and subverting the Farrow/Cassavete’s archetypes, establishing a familial bond and revisiting the classic Polanski films.  For the full interview hit the jump.

Director Josh Boone Talks THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, the Extended Cut, Making the Material His Own, the Painful Writing Process, and PRETENDERS

by     Posted 38 days ago


The Fault in Our Stars is far more than just YA-appeasing schmaltz, deftly weaving romanticism with deeper philosophic undercurrents.  Josh Boone’s sophomore effort (post Stuck in Love) is a fairly straight adaptation of John Green’s novel – and keeps with the book’s strange tonal feat at once both tragic yet uplifting.  It’s sort of the feel-good movie about dying young; but Boone’s deft touch with the material and the cast somehow makes the juxtaposing tones mesh.

In the following interview with Josh Boone in anticipation of film’s Blu-ray release, he discusses the Extended Cut of The Fault in Our Stars, why he’ll never write a novel, and injecting his authorial stamp onto the adaptation.  You can read Boone’s previous thoughts and comments on his upcoming adaptations of The Stand and Lestatright here.  For the full Fault in Our Stars interview, hit the jump.

Harry Connick Jr. Talks DOLPHIN TALE 2, Balancing His Music and Movie Career, AMERICAN IDOL and His New Album

by     Posted 40 days ago


There’s something conducive about musicians becoming actors. Perhaps it’s attributable to the performance-based nature of their work – going out on a stage, entertaining millions of folks, putting on a show… The number of musicians who have transitioned to acting and done so successfully is a surprisingly large pool. David Bowie, Justin Timberlake, Will Smith, Elvis Pressley, Frank Sinatra… The list goes on. Harry Connick Jr is not often mentioned alongside such flashier personalities, but the singer/songwriter has quietly built up a steady resume of eclectic performances be it as a serial killer in Copycat or as the romantic lead in Hope Floats.

In this week’s Dolphin Tale 2, Connick Jr reprises his role as Dr. Clay Haskett, the lead marine biologist of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Much of Connick Jr’s scenes are centered on the imbalance of at once running an aquarium while at the same time treating the animals in the most humane fashion possible. It’s one of many more adult storylines in the darker sequel. In the following round-table interview with Connick Jr, he discusses balancing his musical & theatrical career, working alongside Winter [the dolphin] and his newest job — judging on American Idol. For the full interview, hit the jump.

Director Charles Martin Smith Talks DOLPHIN TALE 2, His Career as a Character Actor and the Transition to Filmmaking

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The career trajectory of Charles Martin Smith has been a fascinating one to watch. The perennial character actor (supporting roles in American Graffiti, Starman & The Untouchables) slowly transitioned behind the camera, helming such genre fare as Trick or Treat and Fifty/Fifty.  Since then, Smith has transitioned to directing more topical dramas: The Snow Walker & Stone of Destiny – before finding commercial success with the family-friendly Dolphin Tale.  The surprise success of Dolphin Tale, the film grossed more than 70 million domestically, has not only spawned a sequel opening this weekend but also helped to establish an aquarium (The Clearwater Marine Aquarium) that houses Winter and Hope, the titular aquatic stars of both Dolphin Tale films.

In the following interview with Charles Martin Smith, the writer/director discusses the darker adult themes of Dolphin Tale 2, the writing process behind the sequel and his approach to working with child-actors.  In addition, Smith discussed his career as an actor and what precipitated his shift away from acting towards directing.  Hit the jump more my Dolphin Tale 2 interview with Smith.

Director Josh Boone On THE STAND, Fidelity to the Novel, Script Status, and Whether He’ll Direct LESTAT

by     Posted 45 days ago


Josh Boone is far from the obvious choice to direct a feature length version of The Stand; but The Fault in Our Stars filmmaker is an ardent Stephen King fanatic, a whole subplot in Boone’s debut Stuck in Love is dedicated to the prolific writer’s output.  A bevy of filmmakers have tried and failed to bring King’s seemingly un-adaptable post-apocalyptic novel to the big screen.  George A. Romero, David Yates, Ben Affleck & Scott Cooper have all been attached at some point or another.  But it seems Boone has finally done the seemingly impossible – the writer/director is now gearing up to direct a “three hour version with an A-List cast across the board.”

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Boone, in anticipation of the Blu-ray release of The Fault in Our Stars, about the status of The Stand.  In the following interview with Boone, he discusses Stephen King’s reaction to the finished screenplay, when he hopes to start filming, how closely it will stick to the novel and what he had to excise from the 1000 page book for the film adaptation.  In addition, Boone briefly touched upon recent reports that he is in talks to direct Lestat, the second in Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.  Hit the jump for the full interview.

READING RAINBOW Live Show Recap: LeVar Burton and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA Cast Read Space Books

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reading rainbow life levar burton slice

The feel-good Internet story of the year, the resurrection of Reading Rainbow finally came to fruition this weekend.  The show ran for twenty-three years on PBS before being unceremoniously cancelled in late 2006.  Since then, host LeVar Burton & co have launched a Reading Rainbow app – an education tool for children, allowing them to read and view a vast number of books and interviews; though it wasn’t until earlier this year, with Burton’s impassioned plea via Kickstarter, that Reading Rainbow truly returned into the national consciousness.  Burton’s Kickstarter campaign sought to raise funds to launch the app on the web, smart-phones and other streaming devices, as well as for free for needy impoverished schools.  Within eleven hours, one million dollars had been raised for Reading Rainbow – and when all was said and done, over five million in sum had been donated.

To honor the many people who contributed to the cause, LeVar Burton hosted the very first Reading Rainbow live show last Saturday afternoon.  The cast of Battlestar Galactica (Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos, Jamie Bamber, Tricia Helfer, James Callis & Michael Trucco) helped Burton read from a trio of books to a group of attentive children and Gen Y parents.  For highlights and pictures of the event, hit the jump.

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS Extended Cut Review: On Meaning and Meaninglessness

by     Posted 48 days ago

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS Extended Cut Review

The sweetest film ever made about existential nihilism, The Fault in Our Stars under the pretense of tween YA adapted romance smuggles in a heavy dose of post-Kierkegaardian philosophy.  As such the film’s sort of a scam job – advertised with its pretty cherubic young actors’ faces with the promise of an epic doomed love story (a la well… Love Story) but actually more interested in what life means when everything you do is inherently meaningless and how can you possibly leave a mark in a world where inevitably everyone you know (and more importantly everyone who knows you) fade away into infinite nothingness.  All those date-night kids didn’t quite know what they were getting themselves in to.  Hit the jump for my The Fault in Our Stars extended cut review.

Bob Ladouceur & Terry Eidson Talk Bringing WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL to the Big Screen, Fact vs. Fiction, and Avoiding the Limelight

by     Posted 58 days ago


There’s a strange duality inherent to When the Game Stands Tall.  Much of the film focuses on Head Coach Bob Ladouceur’s humble philosophy, which emphasizes avoiding the limelight that often comes from ‘winning’.  However isn’t the very act of making a movie glorifying humility intrinsically contradictory?  Doesn’t exalting humility somehow discredit the thought?  To be fair, Bob Ladouceur and Assistant Coach Terry Eidson seem well aware of such inconsistencies, both freely admitting that the accolades they’ve received for their admittedly exceptional work puts them ill at ease.  It’s ironic in that Ladouceur by placing teamwork and modesty above ‘winning’ led his high-school students to a record 151 consecutive football wins — which then prompted a book to be written about such an exceptional record — which now, of course, has drawn the attention of Hollywood to make a movie starring Jim Caviezel as him.  But as Ladouceur himself says – what was he supposed to do?  Say ‘No’?

In the following interview with Ladouceur & Eidson, the two men talk about watching their story told via film, reconciling their humble values with a film made about them and giving advice to Jim Caviezel & Michael Chiklis on how to play their roles (i.e. them).  Hit the jump to watch.

Alexander Ludwig and Ser’Darius Blain Talk Drills, Tears & Tires in WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL, VIKINGS Season 3, and More

by     Posted 62 days ago


Based on the true story of the longest winning streak in high-school football, When The Game Stands Tall focuses on how the historic team deals with loss both professional and personal. Anchoring the team-side of the film, young actors Alexander Ludwig and Ser’Darius Blain do much of the emotional heavy lifting, Blain as a former star-player struggling to move on & Ludwig as the current running back whose personal life threatens to derail his high-school career. It’s a film with just as many tears as snaps – and both Ludwig & Blain are just as convincing in the hard-hitting football scenes as they are in the off-the-field personal drama.

In the following interview with Ludwig and Blain, the duo discuss getting to the heart of their many emotionally raw scenes, the intense football training process and their various upcoming projects (for Ludwig – the 3rd season of Vikings & for Blain – the docudrama Bolden, based on Jazz musician Buddy Bolden’s life). For the full interview, hit the jump. When the Game Stands Tall is currently in theaters everywhere.

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