This will be the last post on this site. Please head to bigscreenlittlescreen.com for the new blog (design by Jen Myers), with a new backend (Tumblr), and new contributor (Joanna). The two and a half years of posts here have also been moved to the archives there, so no reason to linger.
RSS subscribers, please grab the new feed.
- Posted by Ted Zee on December 20th 2008 | 19 Comments
The broadcast premiere airs on HBO on January 18th.
- Posted by Ted Zee on December 17th 2008 | 4 Comments
Just a note that activity will be relatively light over the next few days as we work to relaunch this sucker with new…everything.
- Posted by Ted Zee on December 15th 2008 | 0 Comments
Mark Ruffalo is out and Ben Stiller is in for Noah Baumbach’s upcoming dramedy, Greenburg. The Hollywood Reporter notes that Amy Adams has also dropped off the casting for the under wraps project that Baumbach is both writing and directing.
- Posted by Ted Zee on December 11th 2008 | 9 Comments
When done right, they pique curiosity and heighten the anticipation level, but the added value in great one-sheets for great films comes in unraveling them months and years later when you think you have all the answers.
DVD endorsement: Andrea Arnold’s Red Road (2006) knocked my socks off – washed, repackaged, priced them – and placed them back on the sales floor.
- Posted by Ted Zee on December 11th 2008 | 31 Comments
What do you get when you assemble a comedy team of Amy Poehler, Parker Posey, Rachel Dratch, Amber Tamblyn, Will Arnett and Jane Lynch?
A direct-to-DVD release. The trailer for Spring Breakdown says available now, but is it now now, or later now? And if it’s now now, where? (via Film Junk)
- Posted by Ted Zee on December 10th 2008 | 6 Comments
- Posted by Ted Zee on December 10th 2008 | 79 Comments
“The first conference was a pep talk intended for me. This was going to be the big movie for Paramount. This picture would save Paramount. I love that kind of stuff – it makes me feel important and I work twice as hard. We talked casting. I suggested Marlon Brando for the role of the Godfather. They were kind to me but I got the impression my stock had dropped 50 points. Al Ruddy suggested Robert Redford for the role of Michael, and I didn’t care how nice a guy he was, his stock dropped 50 points.”
The Godfather author Mario Puzo on how he came to write the record setting bestseller and screenplay for the film, how he pushed for Brando, Al Pacino’s early struggles in casting (and how Coppola kept him on despite the studio’s wishes), and the trouble with Frank Sinatra – an excerpt from the new, 700 dollar Taschen coffee table book, The Godfather Family Album, featuring over 400 previously unseen images from the set by photographer Steve Shapiro.
- Posted by Ted Zee on December 08th 2008 | 5 Comments
Roger Ebert sez, “I am violating the age-old custom that film critics announce the year’s 10 best films, but after years of such lists, I’ve had it. A best films list should be a celebration of wonderful films, not a chopping process. And 2008 was a great year for movies, even if many of them didn’t receive wide distribution… These 20 stood out for me, and I treasure them all. If it had been 19 or 21, that would have been OK. If you must have a Top 10 List, find a coin in your pocket. Heads, the odd-numbered movies are your 10. Tails, the even-numbered.”
His top 20, in alphabetical order: Ballast, The Band’s Visit, Che, Chop Shop, The Dark Knight, Doubt, The Fall, Frost/Nixon, Frozen River, Happy-Go-Lucky, Iron Man, Milk, Rachel Getting Married, The Reader, Revolutionary Road, Shotgun Stories, Slumdog Millionaire, Synecdoche New York, W., and Wall*E
Another favorite is Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg, plus five documentaries he ranks “in equal first place”: Encounters at the End of the World, I.O.U.S.A., Man on Wire, Standard Operating Procedure, and Trouble the Water
The best films of 2008… and there were a lot of them – RogerEbert.com
- Posted by Ted Zee on December 07th 2008 | 6 Comments
Tell me this doesn’t look like a good time. Sure, Stephen Chow immediately comes to mind, but don’t let comparisons get in the way of admiring Nikhil Advani’s Dehli to Shanghai flattery by Bollywood seasoning. Scheduled release: January 16, 2009.
- Posted by Ted Zee on December 06th 2008 | 1 Comment
The site relaunch for Interview Magazine (December 2008 issue) yields Jack White with Cate Blanchett, Spike Lee talking up Martin Scorsese, David Cronenberg and Charlie Kaufman, Brigitte Lacombe with Christopher Doyle and Wong Kar-wai, Thurston Moore with Spike Jonze, Gus Van Sant, Josh Brolin, more, more, and more still. (via GreenCine)
Related: The A.V. Club with renowned set and costume designer, Wes Anderson.
- Posted by Ted Zee on December 05th 2008 | 53 Comments
A morbid sense of humor, a working knowledge of Curb and contemporary cinema, a broadband connection, and patience.
- Posted by Ted Zee on December 05th 2008 | 0 Comments
Sundance – or more specifically, the corporate entities that cast a shadow upon the Park City festival – they like Michael Cera and what he represents: a bit aloof but playfully so, untarnished, attracts young audiences who aren’t clinging to their pocketbooks as tightly as those of us in self-imposed spending freezes, hoping for layoff-proof winter hibernation. Ten, even five years ago, a non-imposing, lightweight, good kid like Cera, or a conversely cuddly bear like Seth Rogen wouldn’t have had a legit shot as a romantic lead or a heavy-lifter in an ensemble cast. In 2008 he’s a New Hollywood Cutie, and no one is complaining.
And then there’s Charlyne Yi – a comic who’s been compared to both Andy Kaufman and Pee Wee Herman, and was on Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch list last year. Premiering at Sundance, the half-documentary, half scripted comedy, Paper Heart – in which the 32 year-old embarks on a quest (involving real-life boyfriend Cera) to find the meaning of true love (even though she doesn’t believe in it) – is just as much a Charlyne Yi vehicle as it is a Michael Cera vehicle.
For the sake of debate, let’s just say the film will be well received – not thinking in terms of whether it’s a Sundance hit – just that it’s funny and heartwarming and cozy and the filmgoers and critics who caught it at the festival walked away satisfied. Now, let’s pretend that in place of Michael Cera there was some cute, but not-as-famous face, and the still well received film relies mostly on Yi’s talents. Would it still have a chance to become the next Juno or Little Miss Sunshine – the crossover hit that the studios will gladly bankroll with the millions required to jam the name of this film down your airpipe and in your ear? I really want to know.
I have it in my mind that audiences are ready for a still sorta-young lead actress that falls outside the parameters of what we’re used to seeing in a teen magazine photoshoot subject, but can the same be said of the moguls? It’s not likely that the unapologetically geeky Yi is going to remove her glasses and shake her hair loose in one motion to reveal some other person in Paper Heart, or in any off-screen situation for that matter. Are the faux-indie studios grownup enough to back a quirkster comedienne like Yi in roles that transcend “Partygoer” (Cloverfield), Stoner Jodi (Knocked Up) and Wheelchair Jody (Semi-Pro)? If she wants it, could she join the boys of the New Hollywood Cutie elite as a bankable starlet? Could a Charlyne Yi type ever make Michael Cera type money? Let me know how and when.
2009 Sundance lineup (Variety)
- Posted by Ted Zee on December 04th 2008 | 18 Comments
A two-for-one trailer of Steven Soderbergh’s split-down-the-middle Che Guevara biopic(s), Che. Scheduled Release: January 9, 2009 (Part 1).
- Posted by Ted Zee on December 03rd 2008 | 0 Comments
Lance Hammer’s Ballast came up big in nominations for the 2009 Spirit Awards on Tuesday. The awards presentation takes place on February 21st on IFC. Hammer and his Ballast cast and crew were nominated in five categories, including Best Feature and Best Director.
Other Best Feature noms were Frozen River, Rachel Getting Married, Wendy and Lucy, and The Wrestler. Nominated for Best Director were Ramin Bahrani (Chop Shop), Jonathan Demme (Rachel Getting Married), Lance Hammer (Ballast), Courtney Hunt (Frozen River), Thomas McCarthy (The Visitor).
Complete list (IFC)
- Posted by Ted Zee on December 03rd 2008 | 2 Comments
“Too many people in the film and TV industry were not even aware of The State when it was on TV, it was such a cult thing for high school and college kids. So this new show is my way of saying, Heads up motherfuckers! Even if you didn’t see me back then, you’ll damn well start seeing me now. On top of that, The State is doing a special for Comedy Central in 2009, and we’re finally releasing the box-set of our MTV series in the spring.”
– Kevin Allison on his one-man show and the chronically upcoming DVD release that’s been on many a hypothetical Amazon wish list, since Amazon wishlists existed. 1993 marked the on-screen debut of the future proud parental units of Wet Hot American Summer, Reno 911, Stella, Wainy Days, The Michael Showalter Showalter… (The Apiary, via Pop Candy)
- Posted by Ted Zee on December 02nd 2008 | 7 Comments
— “Criterion’s Blu-ray of [Wong Kar-wai’s] Chungking Express is a revelation. It should thrill cinephiles and tech wonks in equal measure… Pretty much every frame of the film is packed with vivid, contrasting colors, and one of the strengths of the high-def version is how fixed and solid the colors are… Film grain, a bedbug of certain high-def advocates, is spectacularly intact… Indeed, Chungking Express is one of those films that thoroughly vindicates something film preservationist Robert Harris once said to me: “The grain is the picture.” – Glenn Kenny
— Paper Planes: M.I.A., whose songs can be heard throughout Slumdog Millionaire, said that she tried to talk Danny Boyle out of using traditional Bollywood numbers, and initially hoped that the closing dance sequence would be cut. In hindsight, she remarked, “I’m glad he didn’t listen to me.” She’s considering the release of an “alternative soundtrack” of 10 songs she would have liked to put in the film. (LAT)
— Paper Hearts: Michael Cera’s “part-documentary, part-scripted comedy” centered on Cera and real-life girlfriend and funny freakazoid Charlyne Yi (Knocked Up stoner girl) is being primed as a Sundance surprise. (HR)
— NYT on Elvis Costello his new, hour long music series for The Sundance Channel – “Spectacle: Elvis Costello With …” Costello will both interview and perform with guests over season one, including Tony Bennett, Lou Reed, Rufus Wainwright, Smokey Robinson, and Bill Clinton.
— Schadenfreude time: minus Ebert & Roeper, ratings for the revamped and de-classy-fied At The Movies are down 23 percent from last year. (LAT)
— Ricky Gervais is prepping an animated series based on his Ricky Gervais Show podcast, as well as a new Extras special with rumored cameos from Al Pacino, Danny DeVito and Michael Douglas. (Film Junk)
— A new book by Florence Ben Sadoun – the real-life lover of Jean-Dominique Bauby who stayed at his bedside until his death – has an entirely different take on the events portrayed in the film adaptation of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. (The Guardian)
- Posted by Ted Zee on December 01st 2008 | 11 Comments
Researchers have begun documenting recent cases of people who are convinced that the world is a stage and their lives are the center of a clandestine reality show. A few years back, New York psychiatrist Joel Gold initially met with five patients that suffered from reality TV related delusions that he later dubbed as “Truman syndrome.” As Gold and his brother, a psychologist, began to share their findings with the psychiatric community, they eventually learned of close to 50 similar cases that their peers had encountered. (Hollywood Reporter)
- Posted by Ted Zee on November 26th 2008 | 5 Comments
- Posted by Ted Zee on November 26th 2008 | 2 Comments
How much time do you have? The new Criterion Collection site, or Online Cinematheque, with its new store and innumerable diversions – blogs and essays and streaming online titles (5 bucks for a week’s “rental”) – is a rabbit hole you may not come back from. Tip: Join their Auteurs network and stream five films (including a personal Top-Tenner, Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher) from their Cruel Stories of Youth Festival for free.
- Posted by Ted Zee on November 26th 2008 | 55 Comments