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Tag: Sundance Film Festival (61-70 of 427)

Sundance 2014: Check out the poster for the Dan Stevens-starring thriller 'The Guest' -- EXCLUSIVE

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The next film from the makers of last year’s home invasion horror-comedy You’re Next? That would be action-thriller The Guest, which stars Dan Stevens from Downton Abbey. “It’s about this family who is grieving over the loss of their brother and son in a military conflict,” says You’re Next director Adam Wingard, who made The Guest in cahoots with his regular screenwriter Simon Barrett. “One day this guy shows up and claims to have been friends with him. He ends up integrating himself into the family and then we slowly learn more and more about this guy and who he really is. It’s got a sense of humor similar to You’re Next but then it takes an action-twist.”

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Sundance 2014: John Lithgow and Alfred Molina get married, learn that 'Love is Strange' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

It’s not unusual for a romance or relationship movie to culminate in a lavish wedding. But in Love is Strange, the plot is set in motion by a wedding — a gay marriage between Ben (John Lithgow) and George (Alfred Molina), who are taking advantage of New York’s marriage-equity laws and tying the knot after being together for 39 years. Unfortunately, the Catholic school where George teaches does not approve and they reluctantly fire him, forcing the couple to split up and stay with friends while they sell their apartment and look for cheaper housing. George crashes with two gay police officers, while Ben, who’s a painter, bunks with his nephew’s family in Brooklyn. “These men have flaws and their relationship has flaws,” says Molina, “and the central event of the movie in a way reveals them.”

Directed by Ira Sachs (Keep the Lights On), Love is Strange is obviously about a gay marriage, but it’s really more about marriage, period. “The starring role in this film is a marriage, and that role is played by both people,” says Lithgow, who like Molina, has been married to the same woman for more than 30 years. “It’s not really a relationship about two gay men,” agrees Molina. “This is a movie about a relationship. It’s about what happens in a marriage, and that is a kind of universal theme that I think everybody can relate to.”

If anything, the two actors found the most unique aspect of their movie their characters’ ages. “You don’t see many films about a married couple of this age,” says Lithgow. “Certainly not any films that I can think of about an old gay couple of this age.”

“There is the occasional exception, like Beginners, which is a wonderful example,” says Molina. “But usually, it tends to be about younger people, particularly when it’s about a relationship.”

The two actors have been friends for years and their easy camaraderie instilled their characters with an old-couple familiarity. “At one point, the director had to separate us because we were sort of giggling in the way school boys giggle at a dirty joke, snickering away like idiots,” says Molina. “All of that became incredibly useful.”

Lithgow wasn’t aware of the frequency of such teacher-firings when he first accepted the role, and he was surprised to read headlines about such occurrences.”There were newspaper stories piling in every day of exactly this thing happening,” he says. “It’s no judgement on Catholic doctrine at all, but it does address the reality that even though the law has made great strides and marriage equality is this almost voguish thing right now, there is still a gigantic proportion of the population that is very uncomfortable with the idea.”

But according to the actors, Sachs didn’t set out to make a politically-charged movie. “Ira Sachs’ view of it was very cool,” says Molina. “Not dispassionate, but objective. The film doesn’t have any particular axe to grind. I used to describe it as a sort of bittersweet romance and that description seemed to satisfy until we started making it and I realized actually there’s so much more to it than that: the end of the story is one of great hope and optimism and the power of how love can transcend everything.”

Click below for an exclusive video clip from Love is Strange. READ FULL STORY

Sundance 2014: What happened AFTER Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter on LSD? -- EXCLUSIVE POSTER

If you know the name Dock Ellis, it’s probably because of a particularly unorthodox athletic — and medical! — achievement he accomplished in 1970. In the history of professional baseball, there have been 282 no-hitters. Only one of them, as far as we know, was pitched while under the influence of LSD. On June 12, 1970, Ellis, then playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates, tossed a no-hitter against the Padres after dropping acid. If Ellis’s admission of being under the influence isn’t conclusive enough, the box score supports his claim: he beaned three batters and walked eight!

But Ellis was more than just some far-out oddball who must have struggled to remember his greatest moment — though he never grew tired of telling the no-hitter story. As a player, he advocated for African-American ballplayers, pushed for player free-agency, and despite his own struggles with substance abuse, he sobered up in retirement and became a counselor for other addicts. In No No: A Dockumentary, which premieres at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 20, director Jeffrey Radice paints a fuller picture of the man, on and off the field. “Dock was very outspoken and a friend of Muhammad Ali in that era where there was so much work still to be done in the civil rights area,” says Trevor Groth, Sundance’s director of programing. “He was this really larger than life character that, I think, even the people who know that one anecdote, don’t really have a sense of who he was and the impact he made. And I think this film will do justice to his legacy.”

The Dock-umentary has some eclectic collaborators, with the Beastie Boys’ Adam Horowitz providing the original score, and a vibrant poster from artist Ernesto Yerena (and advised upon by Shepard Fairey and Glen E. Friedman).

Click below for the Kickstarter video for the film, as well as James Blagden‘s animated interpretation of Ellis’s technicolor no-no. READ FULL STORY

Sundance 2014: Bill Hader can count on Kristen Wiig in 'The Skeleton Twins' -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTO

Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader spent seven years together on Saturday Night Live, so when you hear they’re starring in a movie together — playing twins no less — you might expect it to be an outrageous comedy. When you then hear it’s also a Sundance movie, you might conclude that it’s something quirky-funny like Adventureland, the 2009 festival hit in which they played the married couple that runs a rinky-dink amusement park. But The Skeleton Twins is something entirely different — a full-on drama. They play Maggie and Milo, twins who used to be close but now live on different sides of the country. Neither is particular happy with their lives, and when they both narrowly avoid death on the same day, they end up reuniting and confronting the issues that have kept them apart. “Yeah, I would say it’s the Nebraska route,” says Hader, referring to the toned-down performance by his former SNL colleague, Will Forte, in Alexander Payne’s recent movie. “It’s more dramatic than funny. The movie I can compare it to is You Can Count On Me.”

Hader filmed the movie during his final season of Saturday Night Live, a hectic time in his life that had him plumbing some pretty hard-core emotional depths on Skeleton Twins and then racing back to Studio 8H to do a sketch with a guest like Jamie Foxx or perform on Weekend Update as Stefon. “I always liked it when you’d see someone [from SNL] do something different,” he says. “I’m not comparing myself at all to Bill Murray, but I remember seeing Bill Murray in Mad Dog and Glory. I was like, ‘Wow, he was really scary in this.’ That’s so cool that he did that. Beating up Robert DeNiro? It was crazy. I thought that was so awesome.”

Before the 35-year-old actor heads back to the Sundance Film Festival — a special place for him and his wife, Maggie Carey, since they got engaged in Park City — Hader discussed working with Wiig on The Skeleton Twins and the scene that sent him to the emergency room. READ FULL STORY

Sundance 2014: Brendan Gleeson gets holy with Chris O'Dowd in 'Calvary' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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Writer/director John Michael McDonagh is re-teaming with Brendan Gleeson, his lead actor in the 2011 film The Guard, for the Sundance premiere Calvary. This time Gleeson, who played an unorthodox cop in McDonagh’s last movie, is putting on the priest’s clerical collar for the dark comedy about the complicated life of a country priest.

Gleeson’s priest receives a death threat from the first scene of the movie, and while there is humor running through the piece, the emotional assault wore on the veteran actor through the 29-day shoot. “I found it very difficult emotionally,” he said. “This has been a very intense shoot — a short, intense shoot. It’s been remorseless, absorbing all that contempt and hate and poison.”

Check out a bit of Gleeson’s work below. The following scene is between the local priest Brendan Gleeson and the town’s butcher, played by Chris O’Dowd. In it, Gleeson’s priest goes into the butcher shop to confront O’Dowd’s local butcher about sharing his wife with another man.

The film debuts Sunday, Jan. 19, in the Premiere section of the festival.
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Sundance 2014: Jason Schwartzman channels a jerk in 'Listen Up Philip' -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS

Philip is not the most likable guy. In the first few seconds of director Alex Ross Perry’s film, Listen Up Philip (premiering at Sundance on Jan. 20), we see Philip (Jason Schwartzman) rushing down a New York street as a narrator (Eric Bogosian) explains that he’s “characteristically not in a hurry, but perpetually enraged by slow foot traffic before him.”

It’s the perfect intro to the character that you’re about to spend the next 108 minutes with as the embittered, narcissistic writer navigates his life, the stresses behind the release of his second novel, and his crumbling relationship. But you can’t seem to look away.

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Sundance 2014: Kurt Russell goes deep for 'Battered Bastards of Baseball' -- EXCLUSIVE

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Before anyone thought of The Bad News Bears, Slapshot, and Major League, there were the Portland Mavericks. In 1973, after professional baseball had abandoned the Oregon city, Hollywood actor Bing Russell — Deputy Clem on Bonanza — jumped at a chance to organize the only independent minor-league team in the country. Facing skepticism from a city that had been hoping for an actual major-league team and starting from scratch without any players, Russell held open tryouts for any has-been or never-will-be. “He put this team together of misfits, a ballclub made up a bunch of crazy individuals,” says Bing’s son, Kurt Russell, who co-owned and played for the Mavericks. “There’s never been another ballclub like that. His favorite movie and the favorite part he ever played in the theater was The Music Man. And in real life, there was a lot of Music Man to Bing Russell.”

Baseball and Hollywood have always been dueling passions for the Russells — both father and son played minor-league ball — and both are at the heart of The Battered Bastards of Baseball, a documentary premiering at this week’s Sundance Film Festival. Bing’s grandsons, Chapman and Maclain Way, were inspired to co-direct the movie after uncovering old Mavericks memorabilia at their grandparents’ house, like the team photo that features players wearing backwards uniforms and guzzling beers (see below). READ FULL STORY

Bryan Singer headlines Sundance Film Festival juries

X-Men franchise director Bryan Singer, whose first two features debuted at the Sundance Film Festival — including The Usual Suspects in 1995 — was one of the industry figures named to the Sundance juries that will judge this year’s films when the festival begins next week. Singer, who has X-Men: Days of Future Past due in May, will be one of five members of the U.S. Dramatic Jury. Other members of the juries include Tracy Chapman, Lone Scherfig, Leonard Maltin, and screenwriter Jon Spaihts (Prometheus). A complete list of the juries, courtesy of the Sundance Film Festival, can be viewed after the jump.

Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, who both have projects at Sundance this year, will co-host the feature-film awards ceremony on Jan. 25. Parks and Rec‘s Offerman stars in the one-man show, Nick Offerman: American Ham, while Mullally voices a character in the animated film, Ernest and Celestine. READ FULL STORY

Check out the mayhem-filled trailer for 'The Raid 2: Berandal' -- VIDEO

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Are you the kind of person who likes to start the year with calming thoughts of cute kittens, beautiful sunsets, and scenarios in which someone isn’t getting savagely beaten by a metal baseball bat? Well, good for you! We would, however, suggest that you don’t watch the new, mayhem-filled trailer for The Raid 2: Berandal, writer-director Gareth Evans’ follow-up to his much loved 2011 actioner.

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Road to Sundance: Joseph Gordon-Levitt was the 'Don' of the festival -- VIDEO

Every Monday until the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, EW is celebrating a great success story from independent film’s most prestigious showcase. So far, we’ve revisited Lee Daniel’s Precious , Courtney Hunt’s Frozen River, Greg Mottola’s Adventureland, Today, we look back at Don Jon, the 2013 film from Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

The Sundance Film Festival is the place first-time directors aspire to go in order to be discovered. But sometimes, a rookie filmmaker arrives in Utah with a certain amount of fame already to his credit. Take Joseph Gordon-Levitt, for example, who premiered his first feature, then-titled Don Jon’s Addiction, at the 2013 festival. If his name wasn’t enough — as director and star — the movie also featured Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore; so even though it was “independent” in scale, it wasn’t exactly a make-or-break venture by some guy living out of his car.

But in other ways, Don Jon (as it was renamed for its theatrical release) was the epitome of what Sundance is all about. Gordon-Levitt, for all his success, is a Sundance kid. Not only did he launch his hitRECord website at the festival in 2010, but he played the boyhood version of Robert Redford’s narrator in A River Runs Through It. Since then, he’s been a major Sundance player, starring in festival movies like Mysterious Skin, Brick, and (500) Days of Summer. Throw in the film’s provocative subject matter — porn addiction — and Don Jon was as “Sundance” as any movie in recent memory.

In our clip from Sundance below, Gordon-Levitt and co-star Tony Danza discuss their characters and how media shape our obsessions. READ FULL STORY

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