With writer/director Max Winkler’s feature debut Ceremony opening this weekend in limited release, I recently got to speak with Winkler and Michael Angarano. Ceremony tells the story of a young man (Angarano) who falls in love with an older man’s fiancée (Uma Thurman) while spending a weekend at the older man’s beachside estate. The film also stars Lee Pace, Rebecca Mader and Reece Thompson.
During the interview, Winkler and Angarano talked about what films influenced Ceremony, how Angarano got cast and how Jesse Eisenberg was originally the lead, what it was like to make the film and the way Angarano disappeared into the role, their go-to karaoke songs, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch.
The trailer for Ceremony has gone online. Here’s the official synopsis:
Sam Davis (Michael Angarano) convinces his former best friend to spend a weekend with him to rekindle their friendship at an elegant beachside estate owned by a famous documentary filmmaker (Lee Pace). But it soon becomes clear that Sam is secretly infatuated with the filmmaker’s fiancee, Zoe (Uma Thurman), and that his true intention is to thwart their impending nuptials. As Sam’s plan begins to unravel, he is forced to realize how complicated love and friendship can be.
The movie looks like it could be a nice, light indie comedy and Pace seems like he’s having an absolute blast. Hit the jump to check out the trailer. Ceremony is available On Demand on March 4th and opens in theaters on April 8th.
Shortly after the poster premiere earlier this week, Magnolia Pictures has posted seven images for Ceremony. Michael Angarano stars as a budding child ren’s book author who talks his former best friend (Reece Thompson) into a weekend at the beach house of a famous documentary filmmaker (Lee Pace): “It soon becomes clear that Sam is secretly infatuated with the filmmaker’s fiancée, Zoe (Uma Thurman), and that his true intention is to thwart their impending nuptials.”
Written and directed by Max Winkler, Ceremony premiered to positive notices at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. View the images after the break.
We’ve got three posters tonight from films that have hit the festival circuit in the past few months. Max Winkler’s Ceremony premiered to positive notices at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, led by Michael Angarano, Uma Thurman, Lee Pace. Like Ceremony, Homework centers around a young writing talent, but wasn’t received quite as well at Sundance despite the affable presence of Freddie Highmore and Emma Thomas. Fellow Sundance entry The Devil’s Double isn’t about youth so much as it’s about Saddam Hussein’s son Uday and his body double Latif Yahia, but by all accounts it’s a solid twist on the gangster genre. If that sounds interesting, you should definitely check out Steve’s interview with Dominic Cooper, who plays both Uday and Latif in the film. View all three posters after the break:
Confidence is a crucial quality in a filmmaker. Unlike the artistic expression of a painting or a novel, a film requires marshaling a small army to execute thousands of decisions in order to achieve a filmmaker’s vision. Kevin Smith is not a filmmaker who exudes confidence. After the noble failure of Jersey Girl, he retreated to the safety of Clerks II and then followed it up with the simple-yet-enjoyable Zack and Miri Make a Porno and the widely-despised Cop Out. His new film, Red State, is a radical departure for Smith and yet he lacks the confidence to properly execute the action-horror-thriller he’s devised. Visually and aurally impressive and featuring a phenomenal performance from Michael Parks, the film never completely comes together as it’s undermined by poorly-timed humor, clumsy exposition, and a refusal to trust the audience with ideas more complex than “fascism is bad.”
Take every awful indie coming-of-age movie cliché, cram it into one film, fill it with terrible dialogue and bored-looking actors and you are starting to approach the disaster that is Gavin Wisen’s Homework. If someone were making a parody of the modern art-house coming-of-age film, this would be it. Despite a relatively-short 84 minute runtime, Homework is an interminable slog as we’re forced to suffer yet another movie about a privileged teenage who’s life is so perfect that he’s forced to conjure his own misfortune.
Kevin Smith has released the first teaser trailer for his upcoming horror movie Red State. Premiering at next month’s Sundance Film Festival, Red State is a huge departure for Smith as the flick is about “a group of misfits [who] encounter extreme fundamentalism in Middle America.” The film stars Michael Parks, Michael Angarano, Kyle Gallner, John Goodman, Melissa Leo, Kevin Pollak, Anna Gunn, Stephen Root, and Smith’s Hit Somebody lead Nicholas Braun. Parks is said to play a Fred Phelps-type preacher who leads a family of followers.
If you’ve been following the development of Red State, you know Smith had a really tough time getting the financing together due to the difficult subject matter. And after watching the trailer, I can see why. Red State looks nothing like his previous films and I’m definitely catching this at the first press screening at Sundance. While I loved Smith’s first few films, I’ve been very disappointed with his recent output. And his attitude about critics hasn’t helped his cause. Saying all that, I’d love for him to rebound with Red State. Judge the trailer for yourself after the jump.
Hot off the heels of news that Kevin Smith’s upcoming horror film Red State was recently accepted into the Sundance Film Festival, new images have been revealed from the film and a new poster has been unveiled by Smith himself. The poster was released by Smith via Twitter as a “thank you” to fans who pledged $1000 to The Wayne Foundation in less than 30 minutes. The Wayne Foundation is a charity devoted to stopping pederasts, with a mission to provide young women who have fallen victim to commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking with a means of leaving the sex industry for good.
The poster unveiled by Smith features Red State actress Kerry Bishe, and is one of four posters that Smith plans to release next week starting Monday. The headline of the poster, “The Virgin”, asserts Smith’s statement on his “Red State of the Union” podcast that the film begins very much like an 80’s horror film. Smith’s podcast has been the source of a great deal of news concerning the film, particularly his description of the flick as essentially about “sex, religion, and politics.” The images from the film that were released showcase Smith’s stellar cast, and confirm that the film is a drastic departure from his previous catalog of films. Hit the jump the check out the poster and images, as well as a bit more on the flick.
Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire has reportedly landed a release date. According to The Playlist, the film is set for release on April 22, 2011. The movie boasts an outstanding cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Bill Paxton, Michael Angarano, Matthieu Kassovitz, and Antonio Banderas. MMA fighter Gina Carano leads the film as a “black ops soldier on mission of revenge after she’s double crossed by one of her team-mates.” The Playlist says that the script by Lem Dobbs (The Limey) was “taut, lean, and mean.”
If the April 22, 2011 holds, Haywire will be going up against the documentary African Cats, the Adam Sandler-penned comedy Born to be a Star, the Steve Carell/Ryan Gosling comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love, and Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family.
In a recent interview, Kevin Smith talked about the divide between the type of actors he was looking to cast in the horror film Red State (“not complete unknowns,” but not “name recognizable” either), and the caliber of thespian actively seeking roles (“grade A talent”). Judging from the list of actors who are currently in talks for the project — Dermot Mulroney, Kyle Gallner, Michael Angarano, Stephen Root, and Melissa Leo according to TheWrap — Smith may not be able to ward off all worthy suitors.
Root and Leo are well-respected veterans in the field, and there’s a 78% chance that Mulroney can be classified as a recognizable name; it seems likely that the seasoned trio are eying supporting roles. The younger Gallner and Angarano, on the other hand, may be candidates for lead roles opposite star Michael Parks (Grindhouse) in the film, “loosely based on Reverend Fred Phelps of the hateful Westboro Baptist Church.” According to a Smith tweet, Red State starts shooting on September 22nd. If your interest is piqued, make sure to check out the full interview for more on the film’s production — dude can talk.
After months of rumors, speculation, and news coverage regarding who will be taking over the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the reboot of the franchise, it’s starting to sound like Sony’s Columbia Pictures will be making their decision real soon.
As we recently reported, both Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass) and Anton Yelchin (Star Trek) were added to the list of contenders. Now, a report from Deadline reveals that studio decision makers spent Friday reviewing the screen tests of most of the actors who are finalists for the much coveted role. Hit the jump to find out which actors had their screen tests viewed and also for a bit more on the current state of production.
Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland) and Emma Roberts (Nancy Drew) are finishing the filming of their new film Homework this week in New York. Variety is reporting that the movie is currently underway, with a supporting cast that includes Alicia Silverstone, Elizabeth Reaser, Blair Underwood and Rita Wilson, with Michael Angarano (Gentlemen Broncos) set to play one of the graduates of the High School Roberts and Highmore attend. This is the first movie for writer-director Gavin Wiesen, which is about a young boy’s relationship with a girl he’s fallen in love with from a distance. Gigi Films’ Gia Walsh and Kara Baker, Darren Goldberg and Mint Pictures’ P. Jennifer Dana are producing. There is no release date yet for the movie.
Along with being the producer of Jared and Jerusha Hess’ latest film, “Gentlemen Broncos”, Mike White also plays the role of Dusty. In the film’s unusual world, in which 17-year-old Benjamin Purvis (Michael Angarano) has his prized science-fiction story stolen by his idol, Dr. Ronald Chevalier (Jemaine Clement), at a writers camp, Dusty is an odd, scraggly-haired member of the Purvis’ church who takes his giant albino snake with him everywhere.
At the press day for the film, Mike White talked about working with his friends, the Hesses, and bonding with the snake, known as Peaches.
Writing and producing partners Jared and Jerusha Hess, who are also husband and wife, have made a career out of championing the underdog. With their quirky sense of humor and their inspiration from the unlikeliest of places, the duo’s success with “Napoleon Dynamite” and “Nacho Libre” have carved them a niche in Hollywood that they are quite happy with.
At the press day for “Gentlemen Broncos”, the Hesses talked about working with special effects for the first time and assembling the cast for this film about an outsider with big dreams trying to achieve what he wants to do in life. Continued after the jump:
Opening on October 30th is director Jared Hess’ (“Napoleon Dynamite”) new movie “Gentlemen Broncos”. While the reviews out of Fantastic Fest were not pretty, this is one of those movies I still want to see due to the cast. After all, who isn’t a fan of Sam Rockwell and Jemaine Clement. Anyway, Fox Searchlight has released two clips from the movie and you can watch them after the jump. I’ve also posted the synopsis if you’re not familiar with the film.