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By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

A24 Acquires Sundance breakout THE SPECTACULAR NOW

Park City, UT (January 21, 2013) – A24 announced the acquisition of North American rights to Sundance favorite THE SPECTACULAR NOW.  The James Ponsoldt directed film, from a script by Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber, has become one of the darlings of the Sundance Film Festival and features breakout performances by Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley. Film also features wonderful turns by Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kyle Chandler and Andre Royo. Film premiered on Friday night at Sundance in US Dramatic Competition. A24 will release the film this summer.

“We fell in love with this film the minute that we watched it and we know the rest of the country will embrace this timeless love story. James has directed a wonderful film that depicts young love with complete authenticity and has two young stars giving incredible performances with Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley.” says A24.

Producer Andrew Lauren says, “I am so thrilled that the film has found a home with a company that has such passion for it.  It’s been an amazing Sundance and we are so gratified by the incredibly warm response here.”

THE SPECTACULAR NOW was produced by Tom McNulty, Shawn Levy, Andrew Lauren, and Michelle Krumm.

The deal was negotiated with A24 by UTA Independent Film Group on behalf of the filmmakers. James Ponsoldt is also represented by UTA.

FILM SYNOPSIS:

This adaptation of Tim Tharp’s novel The Spectacular Now captures the insecurity and confusion of adolescence without looking for tidy truths. Young actors rarely portray teens with the maturity that Teller and Woodley display, and they are phenomenal together.  THE SPECTACULAR NOW is a funny, compassionate and poignant love story written by (500) DAYS OF SUMMER scribes Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, directed by James Ponsoldt (SMASHED) and produced by Tom McNulty, Shawn Levy, Andrew Lauren and Michelle Krumm.

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ABOUT A24

Launched in the summer of 2012 is a New York-based media company focused on the distribution, financing and production of feature films. The company will distribute, in all media, eight to ten films per year; its initial titles include Roman Coppola’s star-studded comedy A GLIMPSE INSIDE THE MIND OF CHARLES SWAN III, starring Charlie Sheen, Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman, and Sally Potter’s critically acclaimed GINGER & ROSA starring Elle Fanning, Annette Bening, Alessandro Nivola and Christina Hendricks. The film is also releasing Harmony Korine’s highly-buzzed about SPRING BREAKERS starring Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine, and James Franco. They also just announced the pick-up of Sofia Coppola’s latest THE BLING RING.

Facebook.com/A24Films

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“The core fear is what can happen to you, personally. Your body. That’s what horror films deal with, precisely. We are a very thin skin wrapped around a pumping heart and guts. At any given moment it can come down to that, be it diseases, or somebody’s assault, or war, or a car wreck. You could be reduced to the simple laws of physics and your body’s vulnerability. The edged weapon is the penultimate weapon to disclose that reality to you.”
~ Wes Craven, 1996, promoting Scream

MAMET
Well, that, to me, is always the trick of dramaturgy; theoretically, perfectly, what one wants to do is put the protagonist and the audience in exactly the same position. The main question in drama, the way I was taught, is always what does the protagonist want. That’s what drama is. It comes down to that. It’s not about theme, it’s not about ideas, it’s not about setting, but what the protagonist wants. What gives rise to the drama, what is the precipitating event, and how, at the end of the play, do we see that event culminated? Do we see the protagonist’s wishes fulfilled or absolutely frustrated? That’s the structure of drama. You break it down into three acts.

INTERVIEWER
Does this explain why your plays have so little exposition?

MAMET
Yes. People only speak to get something. If I say, Let me tell you a few things about myself, already your defenses go up; you go, Look, I wonder what he wants from me, because no one ever speaks except to obtain an objective. That’s the only reason anyone ever opens their mouth, onstage or offstage. They may use a language that seems revealing, but if so, it’s just coincidence, because what they’re trying to do is accomplish an objective… The question is where does the dramatist have to lead you? Answer: the place where he or she thinks the audience needs to be led. But what does the character think? Does the character need to convey that information? If the answer is no, then you’d better cut it out, because you aren’t putting the audience in the same position with the protagonist. You’re saying, in effect, Let’s stop the play. That’s what the narration is doing—stopping the play… It’s action, as Aristotle said. That’s all that it is—exactly what the person does. It’s not what they “think,” because we don’t know what they think. It’s not what they say. It’s what they do, what they’re physically trying to accomplish on the stage. Which is exactly the same way we understand a person’s character in life—not by what they say, but by what they do. Say someone came up to you and said, I’m glad to be your neighbor because I’m a very honest man. That’s my character. I’m honest, I like to do things, I’m forthright, I like to be clear about everything, I like to be concise. Well, you really don’t know anything about that guy’s character. Or the person is onstage, and the playwright has him or her make those same claims in several subtle or not-so-subtle ways, the audience will say, Oh yes, I understand their character now; now I understand that they are a character. But in fact you don’t understand anything. You just understand that they’re jabbering to try to convince you of something.
~ David Mamet

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