The first time we hear Roger Ebert talk in Life Itself, a deeply enthralling documentary about the late film critic who changed film criticism, he’s giving a speech (which he did quite often — sometimes, I can testify, when he was just standing in a room with you), and he observes that every one of us is more or less trapped inside the person we are. It is therefore our job, says Ebert, to attempt to understand who other people are; that’s basically the premise of civilization. And that, for Ebert, is where movies come in. Movies, he says, are “a machine that generates empathy,” and that’s just about as perfect an evocation of the primal appeal of movies as I have ever heard. It’s also a great example of why Roger Ebert was such a compelling writer, thinker, talker, and human being. It didn’t even matter whether you agreed with him — he had a way of putting things that was pithy and practical and philosophical all at the same time. He stopped drinking in 1979, but the easy, flowing panache of the barroom raconteur never left him. His thoughts, and the way that he expressed them, were catchy, infectious, contagious. Even when you did disagree with him (which, in my case, was often), the way he put things created a logic of enchantingly fused thought and passion. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Sundance Film Festival (31-40 of 425)
Sundance 2014: Ryan Reynolds does not like cats, especially the one that tells him to kill in 'The Voices'
Iranian filmmaker Marjane Satrapi is known best for Persepolis, the award-winning 2007 animated film based on her own graphic novel about growing up during Iran’s Islamic Revolution. But she’s turned that reputation upside down with the Sundance film The Voices, a twisted, disturbing horror-comedy that stars Ryan Reynolds as Jerry, a man with few friends — but two talking pets. During the day, Jerry is the sweet but slightly-off warehouse worker who catches the eyes of the office girls at a bathroom factory in a small blue-collar town called Milton. At night, he comes home to discuss his life with Bosco, his loyal bull mastiff, and Mr. Whiskers, a brogue-accented tabby who fans the flames of Jerry’s darker urges. When Jerry sorta accidentally-on-purpose kills one of his pretty co-workers, he finds it difficult to cap those tendencies, and before long, his apartment is full of body parts packed neatly in Tupperwear and a fridge full of severed heads.
Um, what gives, Marjane?
“When first I read the script and I said to my producer, ‘We are not going to do any gore,'” the director said on Sunday after the film’s world premiere in Utah. “I don’t like blood. No way I’m going to do this kind of stuff. Then there was that first scene where there’s blood all over [Gemma Arterton] and I was like, ‘More blood! More blood!’ And I realized actually that I really liked that. I showed my mom a version of the movie, and she told me, ‘You’re completely sick in your brain.'” READ FULL STORY
EW’s Sara Vilkomerson sat down with Infinitely Polar Bear stars Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana, as well as writer/director Maya Forbes, to talk about the film at Sundance.
Check out the video below! READ FULL STORY
Going in to the first Sundance showing of The Skeleton Twins, in which Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader play a troubled sister and brother coping with the legacy of their screwed-up family, I knew nothing about the film except that it was being billed as the movie that reunited the two former SNL teammates but wasn’t a comedy. Glancing at that photo above, I thought to myself: Hmmmmm, I hope it’s not one of those glum dysfunctional-family indie specials in which gifted comedians blank themselves out for the sake of art. I needn’t have worried. The Skeletons Twins is very much a drama, but it has lots of laughs, too — the kind of good, soul-ticking laughs that emerge, organically, from dramatic situations. Its tone is comparable to that of The Kids Are All Right or Alexander Payne’s films. The Golden Globes would have no problem nominating The Skeleton Twins in the Best Comedy or Musical category. Yet as directed and co-written by Craig Johnson, this is a tenderly sincere, and smart, and beguiling, and penetrating movie about the way that ordinary messed-up people can wind up stumbling through their lives. And let me say right up front: The two actors are fantastic together, every bit as powerful as Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo were as the woundedly bound siblings of You Can Count on Me. But then, we already know from Bridesmaids what a knockout of a leading lady Kristen Wiig can be. It’s Bill Hader who’s the revelation. I think he could become a major screen actor. READ FULL STORY
In director Lynn Shelton’s Sundance film Laggies, Keira Knightley’s character Megan is having a quarter-life crisis until she meets Annika (Chloe Grace Moretz) and her dad Craig (Sam Rockwell).
So what does Star Wars have to do with all this? We’ll let Rockwell, Moretz, and Shelton explain it, in this Sundance interview with EW’s Sara Vilkomerson:
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Ten years after Garden State became a breakout hit — and the unofficial soundtrack — of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, Zach Braff returned to Park City yesterday with his long-awaited, Kickstarter-financed follow-up, Wish I Was Here. Braff said when he made Garden State that he “just wanted to write a movie that describes how I felt about being 28 in 2004.” With Wish I Was Here, which he co-wrote with his brother Adam, he’s taken a similar approach. He plays a struggling commercial actor whose judgmental, conservative Jewish father (Mandy Patinkin) is dying of cancer. When he and his overburdened working wife (Kate Hudson) can no longer afford tuition for their two children’s private school, he decides to home-school them in an unconventional way while clinging to hopes for a resurgence in his acting career.
“Garden State was all the things me and my [20-something] friends were obsessing about and talking about and worrying about, and I put it into a movie,” Braff told the audience after the film’s premiere. “And with this, my brother and I were sharing the things that we’re talking about. He’s got two young children. What are the things he’s wrestling with in teaching them. And with me, it’s my own spirituality. I find the films that I love the most — as a film lover — are the ones that are someone’s unique story. This isn’t a film that anyone else could’ve directed, or something that got passed around and got eventually made. No one else could tell this story that my brother and I wrote.”
When you lose someone special, it’s rather common to feel severe pangs of regret. Regret that you held back, that you never told that person how you really felt when they were still alive. If only you could go back — or if they could come back — for just one more day or even one last moment together.
In Life After Beth, which premieres on Jan. 19 at the Sundance Film Festival, Zach (Dane DeHaan) gets that opportunity. His dead girlfriend (Aubrey Plaza) has been miraculously resurrected and she has no memory of her recent demise. She looks as fresh and pure as a minister’s daughter on Sunday, but Zach isn’t yet ready to praise Jesus. After all, one person’s “resurrected” is another person’s, um, zombie.
In this exclusive video from the horror-comedy, Beth’s parents (John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon) deem that contradiction a minor semantic quibble. For Zach, he’s stuck in the rarely diagnosed stage of grief some medical professionals describe as Freaked Out. READ FULL STORY
EW’s Anthony Breznican chats with the cast of Love is Strange at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, about the film that follows a gay couple — Alfred Molina and John Lithgow — whose marriage causes Molina’s character George to lose his job. Watch the view below: READ FULL STORY
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