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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“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas