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Tag: Gus Van Sant (1-7 of 7)

Titus Welliver on 'Promised Land' fracking issue, his wife's death, working with Affleck and Damon

Titus Welliver may be known to Lost fans as the ominous “Man in Black,” and to others for tough-faced parts in Supernatural, Grimm, Deadwood, Sons of Anarchy, and Ben Affleck-directed movies Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and now Argo, but in Gus Van Sant’s new film Promised Land, he plays a regular guy store owner, a refreshing change for Welliver.

The movie, starring and co-written by Matt Damon and John Krasinski, has shone a spotlight on the continued debate surrounding hydraulic fracking – an environmentally controversial method of extracting natural gas from the ground that has prompted energy companies to buy drilling rights in rural towns such as the one at the heart of the movie. Damon plays Steve, a company guy who arrives in the small farming town with his co-worker Sue (Frances McDormand) to get landowners to sign off drilling rights to their land. Welliver plays Rob, the owner of an aptly-named local store called Rob’s Guns, Groceries, Guitars and Gas, who strikes up a flirtation with Sue, and is less overtly direct about his own stance on fracking.

Welliver, though, is very clear. He’s anti-fracking, but also sees the movie as a Frank Capra-esque look at the human relationships involved, more than politics. As well, in the midst of promoting the movie, the gravel-voiced actor has been dealing with the devastating loss of his wife, producer Elizabeth W. Alexander, who died from complications due to breast cancer in October. Now a single father to their 6-year-old daughter, and two sons from a previous relationship, Welliver spoke to EW frankly and emotionally about Alexander, her firm belief in him being involved in Promised Land even while she was sick, about the controversy over fracking, and working with both Damon and Affleck, hopefully for years to come.

Harris Savides, cinematographer for 'Milk' and 'Zodiac,' dies at 55

Harris Savides, the cinematographer behind some of the most visually striking films and music videos of the last 20 years, passed away today. He was 55.

A native New Yorker, Savides started out his career as a fashion photographer. Moving into music videos, he collaborated with director Mark Romanek on his iconic videos for Madonna’s “Rain” (for which Savides won a Video Music Award), Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer,” Michael and Janet Jackson’s “Scream,” and Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” — giving each video its own sleek, burnished cinematic bearing.

Harris also worked on music videos and commercials with David Fincher and Gus Van Sant, a partnership that would continue into feature films, including Fincher’s The Game and Zodiac, and six movies with Van Sant: Finding ForresterGerryElephantLast DaysMilk, and Restless. READ FULL STORY

'Promised Land,' starring and written by Matt Damon and John Krasinski, gets Oscar-qualifying release

The first time Matt Damon teamed up with a fellow actor (Ben Affleck) on a feature screenplay (Good Will Hunting), Gus Van Sant directed it, Damon and his writing partner starred in it, and Damon and said partner walked away with an Academy Award. Fifteen years later, could the same thing happen again this Oscar season?

That appears to be the hope of Focus Features, which announced today it will release Van Sant’s newest film Promised Land — written by and starring Damon and John Krasinski — for an Oscar qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles on Dec. 28, expanding in a platform release through Jan., 2013. READ FULL STORY

Matt Damon postpones directing; Gus Van Sant steps in

Matt Damon has postponed the opportunity to direct his first film, handing the project he co-wrote with John Krasinski and Dave Eggers off to Good Will Hunting director Gus Van Sant. Entertainment Weekly can confirm a New York Magazine report that Damon, who will still star opposite Krasinski and Frances McDormand in the film, stepped back when he realized he was unable to commit to the extensive preproduction that would be required of him as the director. Production is tentatively slated to begin this April.

Read more:
Matt Damon to make the leap
When will Matt Damon direct?

Taylor Lautner teaming with Gus Van Sant for new project

With the action film Abduction fizzling out in theaters, Taylor Lautner appears to be forging a new post-Twilight career path. EW has confirmed that Lautner is teaming up with indie director Gus Van Sant (Milk, Good Will Hunting) for a film adapted from a New Yorker article optioned by the young star. (The Hollywood Reporter first reported on the story.)

Plot and screenwriter details have yet to be announced.

'Restless' trailer: Gus Van Sant's cancer-based drama stars Mia Wasikowska

One of the more polarizing entries at the Cannes film festival this year was Restless, director Gus Van Sant’s first film since Milk. The atmospheric drama follows a death-obsessed Oregon teenager (Henry Hopper, son of Dennis) who crashes funerals where he meets a terminally-ill cancer patient (The Kids Are All Right‘s Mia Wasikowska). Some viewers found the film a bit precious, but I still found Wasikowska’s character’s matter-of-fact reaction to her diagnosis inspiring. Sony Pictures Classics will release Restless on September 16; here’s a new trailer in the meantime: READ FULL STORY

Cannes Film Festival: Gus Van Sant's 'Restless' and the romance of photogenic movie cancer

She’s Annabel, quirky and vivacious and dying of terminal cancer. He’s Enoch, broody and angry at the world because his parents died in an accident. She’s played by the great young actress Mia Wasikowska and he’s played by the unformed, well-pedigreed young actor Henry Hopper, son of Dennis Hopper. Annabel and Enoch meet cute and morbid — it turns out they both like to crash the funerals of strangers. They fall in love. They have Feelings. Occasionally Enoch is visited by his imaginary friend Hiroshi (Ryo Kase), the ghost of a WWII Kamikaze fighter pilot. The point: Love cannot prevent death, but it’s sweet for young people to laugh and weep and act quirky together in the time remaining.  READ FULL STORY

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