Images from the Young Guns

driving.jpgIs it unfair to lump four directors together as The Great Gen X Hope(s), or “Inveterate Hipsters”, as The Guardian’s Danny Leigh refers to two of them? Will Michel Gondry’s ongoing YouTube transgressions delay his next proper release indefinitely? Can Wes Anderson dress a film cast without raiding his own closet? The following stills answer none of these questions.

— Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind – First it was Jack Black and Mos Def, Ghostbustin’, now they’re outfitted for Driving Miss Daisy. Via Worst Previews.

Noah Baumbach’s Margot at the Wedding with Nicole Kidman and Jack Black, Kidman and Leigh, Kidman and Tree (more).

— From last week, EW provided new stills from The Darjeeling Limited (via SlashFilm) and a few words of wisdom from Wes Anderson: “You can’t trust what you read on the [gossip sites].”

— Also, earlier: much jean-creaming was done over the first image from Spike Jonze’s live-action adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are. First dug up by the likes of Film Ick, enhanced and high-rez’d later by the MTV Movies Blog.

Posted by Ted Zee on June 26th 2007 | 2 Comments

Trailer: Noah Baumbach's 'Margot at the Wedding'

With well-received trailers for the No Country for Old Men (Coen Brothers) and There Will Be Blood (P.T. Anderson) just made available last week, Paramount Vantage is sitting pretty, awash in positive buzz for their Fall 07 releases, and it just keeps going, now with this morning’s released trailer for Noah Baumbach’s Margot at the Wedding. His newest film since The Squid and the Whale stars Nicole Kidman as Margot, who with son in tow, pays a visit to her sister Pauline (played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, married to Baumbach) to meet her loutish, hotheaded fiancé, played by the seemingly well-casted Jack Black. Look for John Turturro in the mix as well when Margot at the Wedding premieres in limited release on October 12th.

Anne Thompson scooped the trailer release first, but here’s an embeddable version for your enjoyment and/or distribution. Also note the mention in the trailer of the not yet live site:

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Posted by Ted Zee on June 21st 2007 | 1 Comment

'The Fantastic Mr. Fox' - Another Leaked Wes Anderson Script?

You may remember that the script for Wes Anderson’s upcoming film The Darjeeling Limited surfaced online back in April. Again, it appears that another Anderson project, the animated adaptation of children’s book The Fantastic Mr. Fox has made the rounds and has been posted online. Anderson and Noah Baumbach re-teamed after The Life Aquatic to hash out a screenplay based on the Roald Dahl book, first published in 1970. Dahl, who died in 1990, crafted a handful of books that have transitioned to the big screen, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (twice over), and James and the Giant Peach, and his stories and scripts have been produced for television over the past 50 years. Anderson’s version of Fox will incorporate a few different animation techniques, but will largely be stop-motion based.

George Clooney and Cate Blanchett are already attached (confirmed) for voice work on Fantastic Mr. Fox, while Jason Schwartzman and Anjelica Huston’s names have also been floating out there for about as long as this project has been around. Anderson has been said to be in pre-production for Fox even during shooting for Darjeeling Limited in late 2006/early 2007, and will find time to start production in earnest now that Darjeeling shooting has wrapped. (Release for Darjeeling is scheduled for Christmas Day, 2007. Life Aquatic was also released on Christmas Day.)

The (alleged) Fantastic Mr. Fox script was dug up at Oh No, who also outed the Darjeeling script.

Previously: Clooney and Blanchett, Foxy.

Posted by Ted Zee on June 20th 2007 | 32 Comments

Trailer: P.T. Anderson's 'There Will Be Blood'

Director Paul Thomas Anderson sticks his head out, five years since. This preview is a stunner.

Based on the Upton Sinclair novel Oil!, set during the 1920’s oil boon in Southern California, There Will Be Blood stars Daniel Day Lewis as Plainview, an oil developer whose greed and corrupted disposition has turned a town full of disfranchised workers and his own flesh and blood (Paul Dano, last seen in Little Miss Sunshine) against him.

Dates are subject to change, but at the moment both There Will Be Blood and Joel & Ethan Coen’s No Country for Old Men are slated to debut on November 21st. And they’ll likely be paired together just as closely once the year’s end top ten lists come rolling out. Maybe a telling sign why P.T.’s trailer appeared out of thin air a scant 24 hours or so after No Country‘s did.

Video brought to you by Cigarettes and Red Vines, via AICN.

Posted by Ted Zee on June 16th 2007 | 3 Comments

Video: Michel Gondry's MTV Crib

“I hate you Chris Cunningham! I hate you Spike Jonze! I hate you David Fincher!”

Without being privy to the laundry list of acts leading to the self-induced overexposure of one music video/film/YouTube director Michel Gondry, the nuts and bolts of this parody by the sketch comedy group Olde English will breeze over your head. Which makes it a love letter of sorts (that even the intended target will appreciate, and very likely, respond to in kind). Which makes it all the more brilliant. Video via Best Week Ever.

Old Hat: Rubik’s Feet | Rubik’s Nose | Gondry Talks Funny, Dreams Funny

Posted by Ted Zee on June 15th 2007 | 1 Comment

Trailer: The Coen Bros. 'No Country for Old Men'

nocountry.jpgIn a return to form for The Coen Brothers, No Country for Old Men absolutely bowled over critics at Cannes this year, evoking quotes like “The best thing the Coens have ever done” (Alison Willmore), and “on a plane so far above your typical drug-money, hired-gun-on-the-prowl bloody crime pic that [it’s] beyond my descriptive powers at this point” (Jeffrey Wells. More reactions chronicled at GreenCine). Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, and Woody Harrelson, the adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel also features Javier Bardem in a villainous role deemed Oscar worthy by Anne Thompson (who initially posted the trailer over at Variety).

No Country for Old Men Trailer.

More Country. Clips one and two.

Related: Steve Buscemi alert. The Coen’s standout, 6 minute contribution to the who’s who directors’ collaboration: Paris, je t’aime.

Posted by Ted Zee on June 14th 2007 | 3 Comments

'Sopranos' Creator Speaks Up on Finale

chaseIn an exclusive interview with Alan Sepinwall of the New Jersey Star-Ledger, conducted just after the nation had taken a final collective gasp and befuddled double-take on the conclusion of The Sopranos, creator David Chase gives his one and only (for now) take on the series finale. Chase had already fled to France by the time the show aired Sunday night, intent on avoiding “all the Monday morning quarterbacking.”

While he had plenty to say about the show, the prospects of a film, the fans, and their across-the-board takes on the ending, Chase offered no interpretation of his own, leaving it at this: “I have no interest in explaining, defending, reinterpreting, or adding to what is there…No one was trying to be audacious, honest to God,” he adds. “We did what we thought we had to do. No one was trying to blow people’s minds or thinking, ‘Wow, this’ll (tick) them off. People get the impression that you’re trying to (mess) with them, and it’s not true. You’re trying to entertain them.”

Other topics top-of-mind:

— Chase on the prospects of continuing the story on the big screen: “If something appeared that really made a good ‘Sopranos’ movie and you could invest in it and everybody else wanted to do it, I would do it. But I think we’ve kind of said it and done it.”

– Due to the cut-in-half season and an order for an additional episode, added midway through production, it’s fair to say that some of the peripheral story lines (Johnny Cakes) were bolstered. Chase: “If this had been one season, the Vito storyline would not have been so important.”

— On how the bloodletting in last week’s ‘The Blue Comet’ may have led to some unrealized expectations amongst fans for the finale – Chase: “I’m the number one fan of gangster movies…Martin Scorsese has no greater devotee than me. Like everyone else, I get off partly on the betrayals, the retributions, the swift justice. But what you come to realize when you do a series is, you could be killing straw men all day long. Those murders only have any meaning when you’ve invested story in them. Otherwise, you might as well watch ‘Cleaver.’

Read the full interview.

Related: “Some will win, some will lose, some were born to sing the blues. Oh, the movie never ends. It goes on and on and on and on … ” – Journey members were “jumping up and down” when they learned that “Don’t Stop Believin'” had been licensed by Chase for the final episode. Also, what’s next for: James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, Meadow, Paulie Walnuts, Silvio, and Dr. Melfi?

Posted by Ted Zee on June 12th 2007 | 4 Comments

Interviews: Francis Ford Coppola, Charlie Kaufman

coppola”I have no interest in the mob. I never did. I was offered the job because gangster movies were not particularly hot, and they took a chance on a young Italian-American director. When I make a movie I try to find something about it that I can love. When you’re paid to do something, you can either be hating it, or you can find something about it.” Francis Ford Coppola , as told to The Miami Herald. When asked for thoughts about HBO’s now-defunct mob-workhorse, Coppola said, “I never saw The Sopranos, but I like that actor.

kaufman1.jpg“Spike [Jonze] and Michel [Gondry] have been very generous in allowing me to be a part of their movies. Most often, that is not the case. There tends to be a competitiveness between writers and directors on some projects. I must say, I do like the idea of making all the decisions.” Screen Daily with celebrated screenwriter (Being John Malkovich, ), now first-time director, Charlie Kaufman , as he began production for Synecdoche, New York in late May. Spike Jonze is producing, and was originally intending to direct Kaufman’s script for the film. As Kaufman tells it: “What happens is that this script took quite a while for me to write and directors usually have to wait for me because I take a while. Meanwhile Spike was developing Where The Wild Things Are and that came into a definite state of being first. So I asked if he would mind if I could direct this. Very graciously, he let it go.” Synecdoche stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as a theater director who, amidst a life crisis, dreams to create a life-size replica of New York city in a warehouse (Leave it to Kaufman to script such a logistically nightmarish narrative. Toss in the notion that the story begins in 2005, and according to Kaufman, spans 40 years.) for a new play, while trying to juggle the many women in his life. Completing the dream cast are Catherine Keener, Michelle Williams, Tilda Swinton, Samantha Morton, Hope Davis, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Posted by Ted Zee on June 12th 2007 | 1 Comment

Items: 'Sopranos', Bill Murray, Zoe Cassavetes

— The Sopranos: Don’t Stop. Steven Van Zandt at a cast send-off party for the final episode: “We’re not sure it’s ending…a couple of years from now, who knows?”

— Bill Murray: joins the cast of City of Ember, a live-action family fantasy-adventure from the director of Monster House.

zoe.jpgZoe Cassavetes: Jeffrey Wells with a short review of Broken English and an audio sit-down with Zoe on growing up Cassavetes, and the development of her debut film. Includes a cameo appearance by Parker Posey.

iTunes movie rentals: Apple is in talks to with Hollywood studios in an effort to launch a $2.99 for 30 day movie download service.

Posted by Ted Zee on June 11th 2007 | 4 Comments

Film Browsing: 6/6

Featured in The New Yorker’s Summer Fiction issue – 9 essays from literary notables, including Dave Eggers and Miranda July, on their favorite summer movie memories. (via GreenCine).

— “It was the summer of 2000. Cinemarati was my brainchild, and I brought in a handful of other online film critics whose sensibilities were in tune with me. We launched in January 2001. The Web was a different place, one with lots of loud voices shouting at one another about movies, but few speaking quietly and intelligently. We aimed to change that… and I think we did.” – Cinemarati’s MaryAnn Johanson. The collaborative site is shutting down, effective June 12th.


I Watch Stuff unearths a one-sheet for Todd Hayne’s I’m Not There, the biopic-bender with a team of Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Ben Whishaw – all as Bob Dylan in distinct phases in his lifetime. More from Solace in Cinema: Cannes posters for The Coen Bros. No Country for Old Men and Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York.

— MovieMaker of the week: Steven Soderbergh. Confession of the week: I have a secret film-crush on Full Frontal, alright? And you’ll just have to accept that.

This list from Premiere (the now online-only) Magazine, The 20 Most Overrated Movies of All Time, is a few months old, but it’s new to Awards Daily, and they take exception.

Sophia Loren responds (Filmstalker) to Quentin Tarantino’s remark that “New Italian Cinema Is Just Depressing“.


Twitch digs up the first production still for Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind, showing Jack Black and Mos Def in what appear to be makeshift Ghostbuster outfits. Plus, another from David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises.

— Industry: Regal Theaters will allow one lucky film-goer per screening to play watchdog with the Guest Response System. Plus, Landmark Theater’s “Public Living Room” experience (Chutry), and “Internet Killed the Adult Movie Star?” (Filmmaker ).

Casting/In Development: Last seen together, sort of, in Stranger Than Fiction, Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson to have a proper on-screen relationship in the romantic drama, Jump Tomorrow. Big Love‘s Ginnifer Goodwin joins the cast of Laws of Motion (Hollywood Reporter). Anna Faris in an untitled project as a “Playboy bunny who gets kicked out of the Playboy mansion and becomes the house mother to the lamest sorority on campus.” Faris may also join Justin Long in a never anticipated, never necessary sequel to 2005’s restaurant comedy, Waiting.

Mike Tyson to take on Bollywood. Naturally.

— The world needs four Sammy Davis Jr. films. And I mean that, man.

Posted by Ted Zee on June 06th 2007 | 0 Comments

Television Briefing: 6/5


— Watch a free preview of the pilot for Showtime’s Meadowlands (password – “secret”). Co-produced with the U.K.’s Channel 4, featuring David Morrissey (“The Deal,” “State of Play,” “Viva: Blackpool”) and Lucy Cohu (“The Queen’s Sister,” “Becoming Jane”), Meadowlands follows a family in a witness relocation program, who soon encounter the dangers they were on the lamb from. Series premieres June 17th.

— “The story is not over…It’s still something that’s evolving and we want to keep on top of it.” – Spike Lee will return to Katrina-torn New Orleans for a follow up to HBO’s When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.

— Bravo’s continued strategy for reality dominance. Related: More celebrated than Sasquatch sightings in the Northwest – Austin Scarlett in Seattle.

The Thick of It , ABC passed on Mitch Hurwitz’s (writer/producer of Arrested Development) pilot for the political comedy, based on the BBC series of the same name, but HBO, Showtime, and NBC are all interested in picking the series up.

— Fox’s On the Lot : SlashFilm asks: “Wha Happen to Brett Ratner?”, who made a quick and early exit from the judges’ table.

— “A deputy prime minister with a stutter weds the mother of a taste tester who wants to join the circus. Stars Tom Sizemore and Suzanne Summers. Genre: Sci-Fi”. Or what about “A patent clerk with narcolepsy writes a TV pilot with a jockey who refuses to bathe. Stars Rosanne Barr and Charles Durning. Genre: Sci-Fi”. – The TV Show Pitch Generator (Lost Remote)

New York Magazine catches up with Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under), and gets an update on her current and future projects: motherhood, Romeo and Juliet, a couple of indies, and The Return of Jezebel James (Fox, with Parker Posey). (Pop Candy)

—  HBO has assembled the cast for Iraq drama Generation Kill, a seven part miniseries from The Wire creators David Simon and Ed Burns.

— “If we can’t restrict the use of the words ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ during primetime, Hollywood will be able to say anything they want, whenever they want” – FCC chairman Kevin Martin.  Cynthia Littleton on the FCC’s losing battle on four letter words, receiving a “smackdown” via ruling from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

— “No shit” news of the day: Nielson says DVR’s are to blame for viewership drops. Also: good TV encourages face-stuffing.

Posted by Ted Zee on June 05th 2007 | 2 Comments

Dirk Diggler Does the Galaxy

A P.T. Anderson/George Lucas production (via Fraktastic).

Posted by Ted Zee on June 04th 2007 | 3 Comments

Re: The Emmys - From Johnny "Drama" Chase

drama1.jpgThe Emmy season is upon us and let me tell you, I won’t be getting much sleep. My publicist promised to wake me if I get the nod, but I’m not taking any chances on sleeping through the moment I’ve been waiting for my whole career. I’m pulling an all nighter….

(From the desk of Johnny Chase, to Variety)(via)

Posted by Ted Zee on June 01st 2007 | 0 Comments

SIFF Trailers: Week 2

Another selection of trailers for SIFF. Click on titles for showtimes and venues. (Back to week 1.)

2-days.jpg2 Days in Paris (France, Germany) 6/2, 6/5 – Julie Delpy returns to familiar territory, though this time as a first time director, as well as writing and co-starring with Adam Goldberg in this romantic comedy. “Though the set-up sounds similar to the the two pics Delpy made with director Richard Linklater (“Before Sunrise,” “Before Sunset”), the tone is much livelier and more offbeat. A fest crowdpleaser” – Variety. [Trailer]

American Shopper (U.S.) 6/7, 6/10 – Documentary/comedy. Film follows eight participants in training for The 1st National Aisling Championship – a “a competitive shopping contest complete with costumes, customized carts, dancing and $10,000 first prize.” [Trailer]

The Banquet (Hong Kong) 6/7, 6/11 – Zhang Ziyi in “[Feng Xiaogang’s] adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Banquet is every inch an epic scaled art film – deeply theatrical, stunningly beautiful, filled with intriguing contradictions, and a surprisingly faithful adaptation of the source material…it also will not take long to be greatly impressed by the martial arts choreography. Though the film is actually significantly more focused on drama and palace intrigue than it is with hand to hand combat it opens with a simply stunning sequence and all subsequent sequences show every bit as much verve.” – Twitch. [Trailer]

Black Sheep (New Zealand) 6/2 – Midnight Show. Think Shaun of the Dead, with sheep. Duh. [Trailer]

posey.jpgBroken English (U.S.) 6/8, 6/10 – Directorial debut by Zoe Cassavetes (Yes. Offspring of John C. and Gena Rowlands.) Parker Posey does the single, thirty-something thing in this romantic comedy. After a number of bad to worse dating encounters, maybe she’s found the one in Frenchy Julien. Also features Drea de Matteo, Justin Theroux, and Rowlands. [Trailer]

Cashback (U.K.) 6/2, 6/5 – Suffering from insomnia, and recovering from break-up trauma, Ben imagines he can stop time whilst among other quirky late-night supermarketers. IMDB keywords for Cashback are Nude Girl/Nudity/Female Nudity/Love/Time Freeze. [Trailer]

Dasepo Naughty Girls (South Korea) 6/4, 6/6 – Wacked-out sex-farce, based on the Korean web-novel, “Multi-Cell Girl”. High-schoolers get their rocks off. [Non-subtitled trailer]

Day Watch (Russia) 6/8, 6/10 – Part 2 of Russian director Timur Bekmambetov’s fantasy/sci-fi Night Watch trilogy. [Trailer]

Kurt Cobain About a Son (U.S.) 6/2 – 25-plus hours of audio interviews with Cobain about his life and times, taped by Michael Azerrad for his book “Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana”. “It’s almost exactly an hour into About A Son before the first image of Kurt Cobain hits the screen….technique and wit turn out to be the main attraction…[director A.J] Schnack’s images combine into an unlikely alloy that upholds Cobain’s legend even while tearing it down…A Nirvana song never graces the soundtrack, which is instead packed with Creedence, Springsteen, Big Black and The Vaselines.” – CHUD. [Trailer]

La Vie En Rose – (Czech Republic, France, U.K.) 6/1, 6/2 – Edith Piaf biopic. “For those that grew up listening to Piaf magically transform poetic lyrics written for her into unforgettable pieces of history, La Vie en rose will most likely grab hold of your heart…Marion Cotillard’s performance is one that should not be missed” – Cinematical. [Trailer]

The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema (Austria, Netherlands, U.K.) 6/8, 6/9 – Slovenian-born political philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Zizek mines classic films for psychological subtext. “Zizek’s ideas can be at times long-winded and academic. But they also are frequently amusing and provocative, whether using Norman Bates’ multilevel house in “Psycho” and the Marx Brothers to illustrate Freud’s theories about the superego, ego and id or the films of David Lynch to explore, well, pretty much every aspect of human sexuality.” – Hollywood Reporter. [Trailer]

syndromes.jpgSyndromes and a Century (Thailand) 6/4, 6/7 – Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Mysterious Object at Noon, Tropical Malady) directs two hospital stories, based on memories attached to his parents’ relationship. Contributing critics to Film Comment named Syndromes the Best Film of 2006 not yet distributed in the U.S. [Trailer]

Woman on the Beach (South Korea) 6/3, 6/5 – “A wonderful, serious-minded romantic comedy-drama about a film director’s uncertain relations with two successive women while trying to write a script at an off-season beach resort, this is Korean buff favorite Hong Sang-soo‘s most accessible film.” – Variety. [Trailer]

Posted by Ted Zee on June 01st 2007 | 3 Comments