Sundance 2015: First Images from DIGGING FOR FIRE, DON VERDEAN, THE END OF THE TOUR, and EXPERIMENTER

by     Posted 14 days ago

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Our Sundance 2015 pre-coverage continues with some first look images and synopses from a collection of films that will have their world premiere in the Premieres category at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Briefly:

  • Digging for Fire – Directed and co-written by Joe Swanberg; starring Jake Johnson, Rosemarie Dewitt, Orlando Bloom, Brie Larson, Sam Rockwell, and Anna Kendrick.
  • Don Verdean – Directed and co-written by Jared Hess; starring Sam Rockwell, Jemaine Clement, Amy Ryan, Danny McBride, Leslie Bibb, and Will Forte.
  • The End of the Tour – Directed by James Ponsoldt; starring Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Segel, Anna Chlumsky, Joan Cusack, Mamie Gummer, and Ron Livingston.
  • Experimenter – Written and directed by Michael Almereyda; starring Peter Sarsgaard, Winona Ryder, Jim Gaffigan, Kellan Lutz, Taryn Manning, and John Leguizamo.

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2015 Sundance Film Festival runs January 22nd – February 1st.

Sundance 2015: First Images from HELLIONS, REVERSAL and TURBO KID

by     Posted 18 days ago

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The Sundance Institute just announced the eight films chosen for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival Park City at Midnight program and we’ve got some brand new images from three of them.  Here’s what’s coming at a glance:

  • Hellions - Directed by Bruce McDonald; starring Chloe Rose, Robert Patrick, Rossif Sutherland, Rachel Wilson, Peter DaCunha and Luke Bilyk.
  • Reversal - Directed by J.M Cravioto; starring Tina Ivlev, Richard Tyson and Bianca Malinowski.
  • Turbo Kid – Written and directed by Anouk Whissell, Francois Simard and Yoann-Karl Whissell; starring Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf, Michael Ironside, Aaron Jeffery and Edwin Wright.

Check out the images and synopses for Hellions, Reversal and Turbo Kid after the jump.  The 2015 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 22nd to February 1st.

Sundance Announces Spotlight, Midnight, and New Frontier Films for 2015 Festival; Includes Eli Roth’s KNOCK KNOCK Starring Keanu Reeves

by     Posted 18 days ago

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Yesterday, Sundance unveiled the titles that will be screening at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Competition, World Competition, and NEXT categories.  Today, the festival has announced a slew of films that will be screening next month in Park City in the Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, and New Frontier categories.  Highlights include the new Keanu Reeves-fronted film from director Eli Roth, Knock, Knock and the feature directorial debut of new The Crow director Corin HardyThe Hallow, as well as Spotlight consideration for films that have previously premiered elsewhere like the Andrew Garfield-fronted housing crisis drama 99 Homes and the historical drama ’71, starring Jack O’Connell.

Check out the full list of Sundance 2015 films screening under the Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, and New Frontier categories after the jump, and be sure to come back next month for our full coverage of the festival, including reviews and interviews.  The 2015 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 22nd – February 1st.

Sundance 2015: First Images from SLOW WEST, STRANGERLAND, GLASSLAND, and UMRIKA

by     Posted 18 days ago

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The lineups for the competition categories at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival were recently unveiled, and along with them some debut images were released.  Today we’ve got first look images at a few of the films that will screen in the World Competition category:

  • Slow West – Directed by John Maclean; Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Rory McCann, Ben Mendelsohn, Brooke Williams, and Caren Pistorius.
  • Strangerland – Directed by Kim Farrant; Starring Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes, Hugo Weaving, Lisa Flanagan, Meyne Wyatt, and Maddison Brown.
  • Glassland – Written and directed by Gerard Barrett; Starring Jack Reynor, Toni Collette, Will Poulter, and Michael Smiley.
  • Umrika – Written and directed by Prashant Nair; Starring Suraj Sharma, Tony Revolori, Smita Tambe, Adil Hussain, Rajesh Tailang, and Prateik Babbar.

Check out the images and synopses after the jump.  The 2015 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 22nd to February 1st.

Sundance 2015: First Images from ADVANTAGEOUS, THE BRONZE, DOPE, and PEOPLE, PLACES, THINGS

by     Posted 19 days ago

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Our Sundance 2015 pre-coverage continues with some first look images and synopses from a collection of films that will have their world premiere in the U.S. Dramatic Competition category at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.  Briefly:

  • Advantageous – Directed and co-written by Jennifer Phang; starring Jacqueline Kim, James Urbaniak, Freya Adams, Ken Jeong, Jennifer Ehle, and Samantha Kim.
  • The Bronze – Directed by Bryan Buckley; starring Melissa Rauch, Gary Cole, Thomas Middleditch, Sebastian Stan, Haley Lu Richardson, and Cecily Strong.
  • Dope – Written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa; starring Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Blake Anderson, Zoe Kravitz, and A$AP Rocky.
  • People, Places, Things – Written and directed by James C. Strouse; starring Jemaine Clement, Regina Hall, Stephanie Allynne, Jessica Williams, Gia Gadsby, and Aundrea Gadsby.

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses.  The 2015 Sundance Film Festival runs January 22nd – February 1st.

Sundance 2015: First STOCKHOLM, PENNSYLVANIA Image Reveals Saoirse Ronan; Plus First Images from SONGS MY BROTHERS TAUGHT ME

by     Posted 19 days ago

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We’ve been sharing a number of first look images at the films that will be showcased in the U.S. Dramatic Competition category at the upcoming 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and here are two more:

  • Stockholm, Pennsylvania – Written and directed by Nikole Beckwith; Starring Saoirse Ronan, Cynthia Nixon, Jason Isaacs, and David Warshofsky.
  • Songs My Brothers Taught Me – Written and directed by Chloé Zhao; Starring John Reddy, Jashaun St. John, Irene Bedard, Taysha Fuller, Travis Lone Hill, and Eleonore Hendricks.

Check out the debut images and synopses for the aforementioned films after the jump.  The 2015 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 22nd to February 1st.

Sundance 2015: First Images from THE D TRAIN, ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL, I SMILE BACK, and THE OVERNIGHT

by     Posted 19 days ago

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Sundance just announced the lineup for its U.S. Competition category for the upcoming 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and in the process they unveiled first look images from some of the films that will debut in Park City.  Briefly:

  • The D Train – Written and directed by Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel; Starring Jack Black, James Marsden, Kathryn Hahn, Jeffrey Tambor, Mike White, and Kyle Bornheimer.
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon; Starring Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton, and Molly Shannon.
  • I Smile Back – Directed by Adam Salky; Starring Sarah Silverman, Josh Charles, Thomas Sadoski, Mia Barron, Terry Kinney, and Chris Sarandon.
  • The Overnight – Written and Directed by Patrick Brice; Starring Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman, and Judith Godreche.

Check out the images and synopses after the jump.

Miles Teller Talks WHIPLASH, the Film’s Themes of Sacrifice and the Price of Greatness, the Fast Production Schedule, and More at Sundance

by     Posted 321 days ago

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One of my favorite films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was writer/director Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash.  The film stars Miles Teller as an aspiring jazz drummer who aspires to greatness under a ruthless instructor, played brilliantly by J.K. Simmons.  While the film focuses on musicians, it’s really about anyone trying to become great at something and the cost of achieving said goal.  Trust me, it’s a great movie, and one you’ll be able to see by the end of the year because Sony Pictures Classics picked up the film for domestic distribution.  Whiplash also won both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize for the U.S. Dramatic competition at Sundance.  For more on the film, read Matt’s review.

The day after the world premiere, I landed a video interview with Teller.  He talked about being at Sundance two years in a row, how he only wrapped on Whiplash in October, working with J.K. Simmons, the film’s themes of sacrifice and the price of greatness, the Divergent sequel, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Director Damien Chazelle, Paul Reiser and Austin Stowell Talk WHIPLASH at Sundance 2014

by     Posted 325 days ago

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One of my favorite films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was writer/director Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash.  The film stars Miles Teller as an aspiring jazz drummer who aspires to greatness under a ruthless instructor, played brilliantly by J.K. Simmons.  While the film focuses on musicians, it’s really about anyone trying to become great at something and the cost of achieving said goal.  Trust me, it’s a great movie, and one you’ll be able to see by the end of the year because Sony Pictures Classics picked up the film for domestic distribution.  Whiplash also won both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize for the U.S. Dramatic competition at Sundance.  For more on the film, read Matt’s review.

While at Sundance, I landed a short video interview with director Damien Chazelle, Paul Reiser (who plays Teller’s dad) and Austin Stowell (another drum student).  They talked about the positive reaction to the film, whether the project changed during development, the making of the film, getting it ready for Sundance, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Kurt Russell and Directors Chapman Way & Maclain Way Talk THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL, the Feature Adaptation, and More at Sundance 2014

by     Posted 327 days ago

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One of the more talked-about documentaries from this year’s Sundance Film Festival was The Battered Bastards of Baseball.  Directed by Chapman Way and Maclain Way, the film chronicles Bonanza actor Bing Russell’s formation of the independent baseball team the Portland Mavericks and the ensuing confrontation with organized baseball.  Quite a few people—including our own Matt Goldberg—were fans of the documentary, and it’s incredible story led Justin Lin to purchase narrative remake rights with the intention to produce via his Perfect Storm banner.  Early word has Todd Field (Little Children) in talks to write and direct, which is perfect since Field was one of the bat boys for the Mavericks and is featured in the documentary.  Who better to write and direct the adaptation than someone that saw the events unfold first hand?

While at Sundance, I landed an exclusive interview with the Ways and Bing Russell’s son Kurt Russell, who is also featured in the film, and served as the team’s vice president and designated hitter.   They talked about premiering at Sundance, making the film, how they put together the financing, the crazy true story of the Mavericks, how they acquired the footage, if Russell would consider playing his dad in a feature remake, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what they had to say.

Gareth Evans Talks THE RAID 2, Deleted Scenes, the Budget, the MPAA, John Woo, THE RAID 3, IRON FIST, Future Projects, Hollywood, and More at Sundance

by     Posted 328 days ago

gareth-evans-the-raid-2-interview-sliceOne of my favorite films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was writer-director Gareth Evans’ The Raid 2.   Picking up right where the first film left off, the sequel follows Rama (Iko Uwais) as he goes undercover and infiltrates the ranks of a ruthless Jakarta crime syndicate in order to protect his family and uncover the corruption in his own police force.   Loaded with some of the best action sequences I’ve ever seen, The Raid 2 is truly a must-see movie.  Thankfully, with a March 28th release date, you won’t have to wait too long to check it out (although it might be trimmed down a bit because of the extreme violence).  The film also stars Julie EstelleAlex AbbadMarsha TimothyArifin Putra, Mathias MuchusTio Pakusadewo, and Cecep Arif Rahman.

The morning after the world premiere, I landed an extended video interview with Evans.  During our wide-ranging conversation (which is spoiler free), he talked about the pressure to raise the bar with the sequel, his writing process, the length of the shoot (132 days), the size of the budget ($4.5 million), deleted scenes, if he’ll release an extended cut on Blu-ray, how the MPAA might react to the film, how close the Sundance cut will be to the final version released in theaters, the status and subject of The Raid 3, his thoughts on the Marvel superhero Iron Fist, if he’s interested in directing it, future projects, his favorite John Woo movie, and so much more.  If you’re a fan of Gareth Evans, I promise you will love this interview.  Hit the jump to watch.

Songwriters Jenny Lewis & Johnathan Rice Talk SONG ONE, the Emotional Importance of the Songs, and More at Sundance 2014

by     Posted 328 days ago

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One of the many films to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was Song One, the directorial debut of Kate Barker-Froyland.  The film stars Anne Hathaway as a young woman who returns home after her brother is injured (Ben Rosenfield) and romantically connects with his favorite musician (Johnny Flynn).  Set against the backdrop of the Brooklyn music scene, Song One also stars Mary Steenburgen as Hathaway’s mom, which is perfect casting.

The day after the premiere, I landed an exclusive video interview with songwriters Jenny Lewis & Johnathan Rice. They talked about how they got involved, their songwriting process for the film, the emotional importance of the songs, being at Sundance, and much more.  Hit the jump to watch.

John Michael McDonagh Talks CALVARY, the Heavy Themes of the Movie, How No Movie Should Go over 100 Minutes, Future Projects, and More at Sundance

by     Posted 329 days ago

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One of the many films to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was writer-director John Michael McDonagh‘s Calvary.  The dark comedy stars Brendan Gleeson as a good priest who wants to do well by his community, but his life is threatened by an unknown assailant during confession.   As Matt wrote in his review, “Calvary is a dark, complex, and demanding meditation on faith, the limits of forgiveness, the necessity of compassion, the possibility of absolution, and inevitable reckonings.”  It’s also got a great script and fantastic performances, which explains why Fox Searchlight bought the film.  Calvary also stars Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, and Marie-Josée Croz.

Shortly after he premiere, I landed an exclusive video interview with McDonagh.  He talked about his writing process, where the idea for Calvary came from, putting the project together, the heavy themes of the movie, how no movie should be over 100 minutes unless it has a “pretty damn good reason,” some of the other scripts he’s written, his thoughts on doing a TV series, who attends his friends and family screenings, and much more.  If you’re a fan of McDonagh’s, I’m confident you’ll like this interview.  Hit the jump to watch.

THE COLLISION: Episode 74 – The 2014 Sundance Film Festival

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This week on The Collision, we talk about the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, our thoughts about what we saw, the lack of a breakout film, the overall feel of the festival, comparisons to the Toronto International Film Festival, and more.  As always, we finish up with our recommendations.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“Her“), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg, @AdamChitwood, and @DrClawMD (Dave Trumbore).

Sundance 2014 Awards Announced; WHIPLASH Takes Grand Jury and Audience Prizes for U.S. Dramatic Category

by     Posted 331 days ago

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The 2014 Sundance Film Festival has now officially come to a close, and the festival handed out its multitude of prizes earlier this evening.  Writer/director Damien Chazelle’s drama Whiplash won both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize for the U.S. Dramatic competition, a feat that was repeated by Fruitvale Station last year; this year’s U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury was headed by director Bryan SingerWhiplash is a tense, slightly terrifying drama about a young aspiring jazz drummer (Miles Teller) who aspires to greatness under his ruthless instructor (J.K. Simmons).  Simmons is outstanding in a role tailor-made for the actor and Teller turns in another solid performance as the drumming student, but the film isn’t quite as emotionally impactful as previous Grand Jury winners like Fruitvale or Beasts of the Southern Wild.  You can read Matt’s full review right here.

Elsewhere at the awards, the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary went to a film I failed to catch, Rich Hill, though I found the doc The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz to be quite remarkable.  Hit the jump to read the full list of awards winners, and click here to catch up on all of our Sundance 2014 coverage.

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