Movie City Indie Archive for August, 2013

Pegg & Frost Get Lucky (1’17”)

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Teasing AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS (0’51”)

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10 Questions For Elmore Leonard (2010) (6’34”)

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Interview: A Few Choice Details From Lee Daniels on THE BUTLER

LEE DANIELS' THE BUTLER

Lee Daniels is almost as entertaining an interview subject as he is as a filmmaker. We first talked about Precious, and a few weeks ago about The Butler. We spoke at the Waldorf-Astoria Chicago on July 30, 2013. Earlier in the day, Forest Whitaker told me that Daniels’ attention had extended to a special detail on one of the film’s three posters: the butler’s upraised, Black Power-like salute still wears a white glove. We talk about details like that, Presidential cameos, father-son issues, his love for John Waters, the importance of dirty jokes in the movie, the racial slur that the butler hears throughout the film, the first alternate title that came to Daniels’ mind and more. (Plot details are discussed.)

The previous interviewer had told Daniels about having admired his bold, eccentric work all the way back to 2006’s Shadowboxer.

DANIELS: You put your heart, your soul, your guts, your everything into your films and sometimes it’s embraced, and sometimes it’s not embraced, and so… I remember that my directorial debut was not embraced. And for him to say that… Helen told me, Mirren told me, she said, Lee, people will appreciate this in many years, I promise. And I said, ooooo-kay, well… I’ll living in the now! (A big laugh.) I’m living now! Anyway.

PRIDE: The film very quickly announced itself as a Lee Daniels film. There’s no public profile of the film right now, what the film is [at the end of July]. Nobody’s talked about it, because almost no one has seen it. Some people are predicting it’s going to be docile. It’s going to be very uplifting. [Daniels cackles, then breaks out in huge laughter.] What is it, five or six shots in before you see the shot of the two lynched men hanging from a branch, the American flag behind them, no breeze, draped down dead weight, just like them? I was, okay, we’re in for the ride.

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AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS Making-of By The Ross Brothers (13’29”)

These guys continue to be so, so good. [Via Film.com.]

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LOCKS (2009), from Ryan Coogler (6’11”)

A sweetly unexpected mix.

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Jer Answers THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED Question (1’34”)

I get a little teary hearing him say “Bad… Bad… Bad.” But! The punchline.

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WALTER MITTY In A Box

2013-08-12 15.47.38Five images from Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, in a 2MB thumb drive. ˙

mitty longboard
The always-poignant image of a 50-year-old man with a skateboard.

 

The_Secret_Life_of_Walter_Mitty_5

The always-poignant image of a 50-year-old man with prepared food on a plastic plate under plastic wrap.

“My wish is that we made a movie that people have a hard time categorizing,” Ben Stiller writers in “Some Thoughts.” “I hope it is funny and serious, epic and intimate, realistic while also being sort of a fantasy, too. Mainly I hope it connexts with the idea that we all have something inside of us waiting to get out, and all it takes it the courage to stop dreaming and start living.” Pleasant omens: the adaptation is by Steve Conrad (The Pursuit of Happyness, The Promotion); photographed by Stuart Dryburgh (The Piano, Lone Star, “Boardwalk Empire”).

 

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Werner Herzog’s FROM ONE SECOND TO THE NEXT Doc for Sprint, Verizon, AT&T (34’56”)

Heart-tugging, tear-jerking genuinely Herzog film: that last line is quietly spoken and ever so loudly Herzog. “I knew I could do it because it has to do with catastrophic events invading a family, In one second, entire lives are either wiped out or changed forever. That kind of emotional resonance is something that I knew I could cover. What AT&T proposed immediately clicked and connected inside of me. There’s a completely new culture out there. I’m not a participant of texting and driving—or texting at all—but I see there’s something going on in civilization which is coming with great vehemence at us.” (Via Sprint.)

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Ben Wheatley makes his first video: “Formaldehyde” for The Editors (4’13”)

“A lot of directors come up through making pop promos: I didn’t,” Wheatley says. “My route in was through advertising, internet and television. The pop promo is something I’ve always been interested in. Music plays a big part in my film work and I’ve always admired the work of Michel Gondry, Chris Cunningham, David Wilson and Dougal Wilson to name but a few. I was very flattered to be asked.” [From. Via @keyframedaily.]

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Movie City Indie

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“I don’t really believe in guilty pleasures. I like to subscribe to Susan Sontag’s thought of no highs and lows. I think dismissing popular culture and popular films can be really dangerous because they may seem innocuous, but some are works of art and even when they’re not they can say so much about the culture that they’re reflecting. This also gets into the idea of canon. What is good and isn’t good? Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about that. Specifically, who writes these canons? Mainly, straight white guys — which basically rigs the system. So, if you have a knowledge of female filmmakers, queer filmmakers, African or Asian filmmakers, some people won’t give them the same culture capital. They’ll say, “Oh, that’s nice niche knowledge.” No, it’s not. You’re just seeing it through the prism of something white and male. Like Shonda Rhimes’ ‘Scandal.’ I love that show, but is it a guilty pleasure because it’s a soap on TV? No. I think it has incredible writing, incredible thought and characters, so we should take it seriously. That’s a long-winded answer to say, “Yes, I love Titanic.” I was 10 years old when it came out and my mom took me to see it three times. I was so obsessed with it. A big thanks to my mom who’ll never get those nine hours of her life back.”
~ Toronto Int’l Programmer and Critic Kiva Reardon

“A lot of us felt blindsided,” Van Vliet told me. In the seventies, Van Vliet was drafted out of film school by Industrial Light & Magic, where he worked on The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Now 62 and semi-retired, he said, “Once you get into your fifties, you’re pretty disposable.” Van Vliet was in the middle of reviewing DVD screeners before casting his Oscar votes, a process he estimated would take a hundred and twenty hours. “The Academy is essentially asking us to give them three weeks of labor, and then they’re going to take our results, put them into a ceremony, and sell it,” he said, referring to the seventy-five million dollars that the organization earns from the television broadcast. “Then they’re turning around and kicking us in the teeth.”
~ “Shakeup At The Oscars”