Like many others I presume, I can reduce my yesterday down to one common denominator: waiting. Waiting for my Xbox One to arrive in the mail, waiting for the “Day One” update to wrap-up, waiting for Call of Duty: Ghosts to install to my hard drive, waiting for Ghosts‘ mandatory 1Gb update to complete. All told, it was about a two and a half hour process from the time my console arrived at my door until I was able to fire my first virtual shot. Although I’d be lying if I said the delays weren’t tedious, at the end of the day it was absolutely worth it. Microsoft’s next-gen console isn’t perfect, but its ambition and by-and-large its initial execution are pretty damn impressive. Controlling the console via voice commands with Kinect is way smoother than I expected it to be. Directing my satellite television via the console is a feature that I believe, when mastered, I’ll wonder how I ever lived without. And that seems to be the general idea of the Xbox One: to make you reconsider what a video game console can and should do. Even if all of the pieces aren’t in place yet to make it a “must have” (I expect a steady barrage of software updates in the coming days, weeks, months, etc.), I’m having too much fun with it right now to care.
My initial Xbox One impressions aside, this week’s Top 5 includes The Hunger Games: Catching Fire interviews with Jennifer Lawrence and more, Dave’s Out of the Furnace set visit recap, Christopher Nolan strapping an IMAX camera to a Learjet for Interstellar, Delivery Man interviews with Vince Vaughn and more, and a new trailer for Lars Von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac that you’ll likely only feel halfway guilty for watching. Per the drill, a brief recap and link to each of the above rests after the jump.
Two years after coming under fire at the Cannes Film Festival for his questionable comments regarding Nazis, it appears that filmmaker Lars Von Trier might be making quite the return. Montages (via The Playlist) reports that the “hardcore version” of Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac will be premiering at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. The two-part, five-hour film stars Charlotte Gainsbourg as Joe, a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac who recounts her life story to Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard), an old, charming bachelor who finds Joe beaten up in an alley. The pic has already drawn considerable interest for its graphic depiction of sex, with the actors’ heads being digitally added to their porn stunt double’s bodies for maximum impact.
While Nymphomaniac is still on track to open in Denmark on Christmas Day, this will apparently be the “softcore” version of the film, as Von Trier wants to show Nymphomaniac in all its twisted glory at Cannes. Obviously nothing is certain, but the French festivalgoers may be in for quite an experience come next May.
A new NSFW image and clip from director Lars Von Trier’s upcoming two-part drama Nymphomaniac have been released online. Charlotte Gainsbourg stars as Joe, a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac who recounts her life story to Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard), an old, charming bachelor who finds Joe beaten up in an alley. Joe then recounts to him the story of her erotic life, from birth to the age of fifty. The film is broken up into eight different chapters, and today’s clip and image both come from Chapter Two, titled “Jerôme,” which stars Shia LaBeouf and Stacy Martin. The clip is rather tame compared to the image, though LaBeouf does appear to be playing a rather sleazy character.
Hit the jump to check out the image and clip. Nymphomaniac opens on Christmas Day in Denmark but doesn’t yet have a US release date.
If you were hoping to see some of your favorite actors going at it for real in Lars Von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac, I have some disappointing news for you. Producer Louise Vesth tells THR that the two-part feature will digitally blend the stars of the movie with their body doubles. Everything above the waist will be the name actor, and then their body doubles will handle the hardcore sex below. “We shot the actors pretending to have sex and then had the body doubles, who really did have sex, and in post we will digital-impose the two,” says Vesth. The producer added that Von Trier is also “using double exposures and imposing words and symbols over the action as part of his storytelling.”
Hit the jump for more. The film stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Shia LaBeouf, Jamie Bell, Connie Nielsen, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, Jean-Marc Barr, and Udo Kier. Although some footage was shown to potential buyers at the Cannes, the completed film will bypass the major festivals in the fall, and premiere in Denmark. Magnolia will distribute the movie in the U.S., but we don’t know if they’ll be distributing both the hardcore and the softcore versions.
A new promo image for director Lars von Trier’s very curious new film Nymphomaniac has been released. The drama picked up considerable attention last year when we learned that the film’s actors will be performing unsimulated sex acts in the pic, which stars Charlotte Gainsbourgh as a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac who recounts her life story to Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard), an old, charming bachelor who finds Gainsbourhough’s character beaten up in an alley. This promo image highlights the film’s cast—which includes Willem Dafoe, Shia LaBeouf, Uma Thurman, and Christian Slater—as they’re shown in various suggestive positions.
Von Trier is currently editing Part Two of the film, but Nymphomaniac is slated to debut on December 25th in Denmark, with a rollout in other territories (including the U.S.) to follow via Magnolia Pictures. Hit the jump to check out the image.
One of the many films premiering at that 2013 Sundance Film Festival this week is writer/director Michael Polish‘s Jack Kerouac adaptation Big Sur. The film is a wild ride as we’re taken through the author’s struggle with alcoholism and depression in the years following the publication of On the Road. Tackling the character of Kerouac would’ve been a daunting prospect for any actor, but Jean-Marc Barr brings an intimacy to Kerouac’s manic tendencies in the film that convey to the audience exactly what’s going on in his head.
I had the chance to speak with Barr earlier this week in Park City about his work in the film, and he talked about Kerouac’s influence on his life when he was younger, nailing down all the rhythmic Kerouac dialogue, how the principles behind the author’s beatnik movement are lost on the younger generations of today, and more. Barr also talked quite a bit about working with Lars von Trier on the much anticipated Nymphomaniac, describing the film as an ambitious working tackling all facets of sex. Read on after the jump, and click here if you missed by interview with Josh Lucas and Radha Mitchell about the film.
Director Lars von Trier is not exactly known for making tame films, and his upcoming pic Nymphomanic has drummed up a considerable amount of interest for a number of reasons. The filmmaker’s follow-up to the well-received Melancholia stars Charlotte Gainsbourg as Jo, a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac who recounts her life story to Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard), an old, charming bachelor who finds Jo beaten up in an alley. The film will feature its actors performing unsimulated sex on camera, and it also marks von Trier’s first movie since he got into a bit of hot water over some comments he made at the Cannes Film Festival.
I recently got the chance to speak with actor Jean-Marc Barr at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival for the upcoming Jack Kerouac adaptation Big Sur, and during the course of our conversation Barr also talked a bit about his work in Nymphomaniac and what we can expect from the pic, saying the film is unlike anything that’s ever been seen. Hit the jump to see read on.
We’ve got a couple of interesting casting stories to share this afternoon. First up, a trio of fine actors has joined Liam Neeson in the airplane thriller Non-Stop, raising my interest in the project significantly. Variety reports that Julianne Moore, Scoot McNairy (Killing Them Softly), and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) have joined Non-Stop for director Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) and producer Joel Silver. Neeson stars as a federal air marshal “who starts receiving text messages from someone claiming to be on the same flight, and who is threatening to kill its passengers.” Naturally, Neeson must discover the identity of the killer and stop him. Hit the jump for more, including casting news concerning Lars von Trier’s controversial Nymphomaniac.
Some major casting announcements to make today. Here they are in brief:
- Ewan McGregor (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) will join the stellar cast of John Wells’ August: Osage County, which already touts Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper among others, with George Clooney producing.
- Christian Slater (Broken Arrow) has been cast in Lars Von Trier’s pornographic duet, Nymphomaniac, two full-length features which will both be released in softcore and hardcore versions. The pictures star Charlotte Gainsbourg in the title role along with Shia LaBeouf, Stellan Skarsgard, Jamie Bell and Connie Nielsen.
Hit the jump for more info.
To say Shia LaBeouf has come a long way since his days as an adorable goofball on The Disney Channel’s Even Stevens is a bit of an understatement. After working in big budget fare with directors like Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay, LaBeouf has now sworn off franchise films for good. He’s perfectly content in the indie/dramatic world, and if you thought he’d gone a little far with his recent full-frontal appearance in a Sigur Ros music video, wait until you see him in Antichrist director Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac.
The outspoken director hasn’t shied away from talking about the explicit nature of Nymphomaniac, which follows the erotic events in the life of a woman (Charlotte Gainsbourg) from her youth to age 50. LaBeouf will star alongside Stellan Skarsgard, and the actor recently revealed that von Trier has no plans to “simulate” the sex happening in the film. He’s going for the real thing. Hit the jump for more.
Shia LaBeouf (Transformers) is the object of desire for director Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac. The erotic drama is the next project from the Danish director, whose previous efforts include 2011′s Melancholia and 2009′s Antichrist. It will follow the erotic events in the life of a woman from her youth to age 50; Charlotte Gainsbourg (Antichrist) will play the lead with Stellan Skarsgard (The Avengers) attached as her husband, who listens to her recount the adventuers. There is limited information as to how large (ha!) LaBeouf’s role will be. Hit the jump for more on Nymphomaniac.
A curious little website has popped up announcing a new documentary produced by Keanu Reeves that tackles one of the foremost issues facing filmmakers today: the advent of digital filmmaking. Entitled Side by Side, the documentary takes an in-depth look at the issue of film vs. digital, and “examines all aspects of filmmaking – from capture, to edit, to visual effects, to color correction, to distribution to archive.” Through interviews with numerous well-respected masters of the medium, Side by Side “explores what has been gained, what is lost and what the future might bring.” Take this sample quote from Christopher Nolan:
“No credible source really has been claiming to have invented something that is aesthetically superior to film at this point.”
The documentary will feature Reeves interviewing filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Lana and Andy Wachowski, George Lucas, James Cameron, Steven Soderbergh, and many more. Hit the jump for more details.
Exonerated of the charges concerning comments he made about Nazis at the Cannes Film Festival this past May, director Lars von Trier is moving forward with his next feature film. Variety reports that actress Charlotte Gainsbourg, who starred in von Trier’s last two films Antichrist and Melancholia, is in talks to reteam with the director for The Nymphomaniac. The film is described as “an explicit exploration of a woman’s erotic life,” and production is scheduled to get underway either next summer or fall. The pic will apparently be divided into eight chapters and, given the explicit subject material, released in two versions: a “softcore” cut for mainstream distribution and a “hardcore” one (I don’t even wanna know what von Trier has planned for the hardcore cut).
No other details about the project are known, but von Trier has previously stated that the film will cover the lead character’s erotic life from zero to the age of 50. Von Trier also apparently wants Stellan Skarsgard, who starred in Melancholia, to appear in the film as well. Gainsbourg won the Best Actress award at Cannes for her work in Antichrist.
[This review is a re-print of my review from the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival]
Lars Von Trier‘s Melancholia opens in magnificent, operatic fashion. Birds fall from the sky, strands of light stream forth from the finger tips of Kirsten Dunst, the ground sinks beneath Charlotte Gainsbourg‘s feet and then a bigger planet obliterates our planet. This is all beautifully shot, set to classical music from a booming orchestra, and played in slow motion. It’s a prelude to the film’s big ideas, terrific performances, and thoughtful examination of what it means to be happy and if happiness is even worth pursing. But for all of its grandiosity and introspection, Melancholia never manages to strike an emotional connection.
New posters have gone online for Steven Spielberg’s War Horse and Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia. War Horse continues to be a tough sell mainly because the lead character is a horse and the horse doesn’t talk. You can put Mr. Ed in your World War I drama, Mr. Spielberg, but a non-talking horse? How will that play in Peoria? At least the poster is pretty-looking.
As for Melancholia, it’s a collection of character posters plus one interesting addition. Von Trier gets his own poster. It’s the first time I’ve seen a director who wasn’t also an actor in the movie get his or her own character poster. Of course, Von Trier is a bit of a character and his poster even bears a fake seal proclaiming “Official Persona non Grata – Cannes 2011″. Hit the jump to check out the posters. War Horse opens December 28th. Melancholia hits OnDemand on October 7th and opens in theaters on November 11th.