Blockbusters dominate the summer movie season, and some will definitely be worth your time. You’ll pre-order your ticket, get together with friends for the earliest possible screening, and probably have a grand time. But there are some smaller films this summer that shouldn’t escape your attention. I’ve compiled a list of ten worthwhile indie films I saw at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and SXSW 2013. The list includes coming of age comedies, moving romances, brutal dramas, and more. There are other smaller films this summer that might be worth a look such as The Bling Ring and Blue Jasmine, but I haven’t seen them yet. I can vouch for these ten. Hit the jump for the list.
Magnolia Pictures has released the first teaser trailer and poster for director David Gordon Green’s (Pineapple Express) upcoming dramedy Prince Avalanche. The film stars Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch and follows two workers as they spend their summer repainting traffic lines in the middle of a country highway. I caught the pic at Sundance and it’s a wonderfully peculiar film with two fantastic performances from Rudd and Hirsch. There are literally only four characters that appear onscreen in the entire movie, with Rudd and Hirsch sharing the lion’s share of the pic’s screentime alone. It’s really the perfect blend of Green’s indie and commercial comedy sensibilities, as the film’s scenes alternate between hilarity and heartbreak. This trailer does a nice job of showcasing the chemistry between Rudd and Hirsch while playing up the pic’s funnier moments, but there are plenty of nice dramatic beats to be found in the full feature as well.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to read Matt’s review of the film from Sundance. Prince Avalanche will be available in theaters and on VOD August 9th.
Earlier this month, we reported on the first wave of SXSW 2013 films, which includes The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and Evil Dead. Today, the full line-up has been announced, and it feels like Sundance all over again when it comes to plenty of unknown films. The chance of discovering a gem is high, and I look forward to hearing the buzz that arises from some these movies. There’s also a second chance at festival films I missed like The Act of Killing (from TIFF) and Pit Stop (from Sundance). I thought Toy’s House would make it in to SXSW, but I’ll see it eventually since it picked up distribution.
Hit the jump for the full line-up. The 2013 SXSW Film Festival runs from March 8 – 17th.
As the 2013 Sundance Film Festival winds down to a close, a few more high profile acquisitions are taking place.
- Before Midnight – Director Richard Linklater’s simply incredible sequel to Before Sunrise and Before Sunset earned rave reviews following its premiere at the festival, and now Deadline reports that Sony Pictures Classics is making the acquisition in what’s shaping up to be one of the biggest deals of Sundance. Read Matt’s review here.
- Prince Avalanche – Director David Gordon Green’s refreshingly subdued and touching tiny-budget comedy starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch also earned great reviews, and Magnolia Pictures has acquired distribution rights for a summer 2013 release. Read Matt’s review here.
- Ain’t Them Bodies Saints – This Casey Affleck/Rooney Mara period crime film has earned comparisons to the work of Terrence Malick, and IFC Films has nabbed the U.S. rights for a multi-platform release later this year, per Deadline. Look for an awards season push.
- S-VHS – This horror anthology sequel earned better reviews that its predecessor, and Variety reports that Magnolia Pictures (who distributed the first film) has acquired the rights to release this pic as well.
Hit the jump to read the press releases and for images.
One of the more interesting movies I saw at this year’s 2013 Sundance Film Festival was director David Gordon Green’s Prince Avalanche. One might think that a movie from the director of Pineapple Express and starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch would be a big, brash, laugh-a-minute comedy, but Prince Avalanche is a surprisingly subdued and touching dramedy that consists of only 4 characters and takes place entirely in the woods.
While at Sundance promoting the film, Green recently participated in a couple of interviews where he dropped some interesting information about upcoming projects. In addition to revealing that his horror remake Suspiria is stuck in legal woes at the moment, Green said that he wants to do three more Prince Avalanche remakes in the future. Hit the jump for more.
Director David Gordon Green broke through with indie films such as George Washington and All the Real Girls, and then seemed like he would make a strong transition to larger budget features after the success of Pineapple Express. However, the quality of pictures decreased as the concepts increased. The stoner medieval comedy Your Highness was painfully disappointing, and the mean-spirited The Sitter was even worse. His new film, Prince Avalanche, is a welcome return to form as it puts Green back inside an indie budget but lets him hold onto the goofy humor of Pineapple Express and Eastbound and Down (he has directed ten episodes over the course of the series). The result is a quiet, sweet, and funny picture about loneliness featuring noteworthy performances from stars Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch.
The 2013 Sundance Film Festival just announced an absolutely stacked lineup of films for their Premieres program, and we’ve got some new/first images from a few of the included films to share. Briefly:
- The Look of Love – Directed by Michael Winterbottom, written by Matt Greenhaigh, and starring Steve Coogan, Anna Friel, Imogen Poots, and Tamsin Egerton.
- Lovelace – Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, written by Andy Bellin, and starring Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Hank Azaria, Adam Brody, James Franco, and Sharon Stone.
- Prince Avalanche – Written and directed by David Gordon Green, starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch.
- Stoker – Directed by Park Chan-wook, written by Wentworth Miller, and starring Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Dermot Mulroney, Jacki Weaver, and Nicole Kidman.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 17 – 27th.
Last week we saw the 2013 Sundance Film Festival announce lineups for its competition and Spotlight/Park City at Midnight programming, and today they have unveiled the list of films that will screen as part of the Premieres lineup. It’s one hell of a program, as films that will screen include the Ashton Kutcher-fronted Steve Jobs biopic jOBS, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut Don Jon’s Addiction, director Richard Linklater’s trilogy-completing Before Midnight with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, the ensemble comedy A.C.O.D., director Park Chan-wook’s English-language debut Stoker, and much, much more.
Hit the jump to check out the full lineup for the narrative and documentary premieres. The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs January 17 – 27th.
Premiering at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was director Sergio Castellitto‘s Twice Born. Based on the novel of the same name by Margaret Mazzantini, the film stars Penelope Cruz as a single mother who returns with her teen son to present-day Sarajevo where her son’s father (Emile Hirsch) died during the Bosnian conflict of the 1990s. As she tries to repair the relationship with her son, new revelations force her to rethink everything. The film also stars Mira Fulran and Jane Birkin and you can watch the first trailer here.
Before the world premiere, I landed an extended video interview with Hirsch. We talked about premiering at TIFF, why he signed on for the role, how the finished film compares to the script, his research, and more. In addition, with Hirsch about to start filming Peter Berg‘s Lone Survivor (which films in Mexico for three months), he discussed how he’s getting ready for the role, David Gordon Green‘s Prince Avalanche, and Speed Racer. Hit the jump to watch.
Opening this weekend, in limited release, is director William Friedkin‘s controversial thriller Killer Joe based on the play by Tracey Letts. The NC-17-rated film centers on a son (Emile Hirsch) and his father (Thomas Haden Church) who hire a cop moonlighting as a hitman (Matthew McConaughey) to murder their mother in order to get her insurance policy. The film also stars Juno Temple as Hirsch’s sister and Gina Gershon. Loaded with great performances and an insane third act, Killer Joe is definitely worth checking out. For more on the film, here’s the trailer and a clip.
The other day I sat down with Emile Hirsch here in Los Angeles. We talked about how he got involved in Killer Joe and his initial reaction to the script, favorite movies, how he prepares for a role, and he talks about director David Gordon Green‘s comedy remake Prince Avalanche, which he filmed completely under the radar in Austin without word getting out. He says “it’s based on an Icelandic movie called Either Way and it’s going to be, I think, awesome. It’s a story about these two guys who work on the road crews in Texas after these horrible fires. It’s just a small movie about these two guys, but it’s going to be really interesting.” Hit the jump for more.
Well here’s something that rarely happens anymore: director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) has just wrapped production on a secret remake of the Icelandic comedy Either Way. Twitch reports that Green’s iteration, titled Prince Avalanche, stars Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch, and he filmed the whole thing in Austin without word getting out about the project. The Icelandic film centers on two men who spend the summer painting lines on the road, but “noon the barren wilderness becomes a place of adventure, disaster and discovery as both men find themselves at crossroads in their lives.” Hit the jump for more, including a trailer for Either Way.