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Beach Rats review – Brooklyn bro faces his sexuality in quietly powerful drama
Broody tale of a young man struggling to come to terms with his own desires avoids cliche and provides a poignant and authentic character study
The fascinating complexities of the coming out experience have been largely underrepresented on the big screen, strange given the strong dramatic potential for both eroticism and torturous inner struggle. But recently, Barry Jenkins’ deservedly lauded heartbreaker Moonlight gave much-needed insight and tenderness to this journey while also exploring the damaging effects that performed hyper-masculinity can have.
Related: Call Me By Your Name review: A Bigger Splash director makes waves with superb gay romance
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- Benjamin Lee
‘Beach Rats’ Review: A Very Gritty Sex in the City From Director Eliza Hittman — Sundance 2017
Two movies into a promising career, Eliza Hittman has already developed a significant vision of restless urban youth troubled by their emerging sexuality and a society that hinders their development. Her feature-length debut, 2013’s “It Felt Like Love,” focused on the bumpy trajectory of an introverted teenage woman exploring her urges with dangerous results; with the markedly similar “Beach Rats,” Hittman brings the same tropes to the plight of a young man in a film that has the precision of a great short story and the uneasiness of body horror. Even as its plot suggests more traditional coming-of-age dynamics, the filmmaker doesn’t retread familiar territory so much as reinvent it.
Both eerie and exciting, “Beach Rats” finds its closeted protagonist hiding his gay dalliances from his masculine buddies against a grimy Brooklyn backdrop. His unnerving experiences take place against an uneven series of circumstances and occasional plot holes, but »
- Eric Kohn
“We Never Wanted to Treat the Film as a Comedy”: Dp Christian Sprenger on Brigsby Bear
In 2007 a group of four comics and creators joined to form Good Neighbor, a sketch comedy team that would go on to breach the ranks of Saturday Night Live. The group is known mostly for Kyle Mooney, a weirdo comic voice whose left-of-center SNL skits often get cut for time. Mooney stars in Good Neighbor’s feature film debut, Brigsby Bear, directed by fellow group member Dave McCary. The film tells the story of a secluded young man with an unhealthy obsession with a TV show literally no one has ever seen. Below, Dp Christian Sprenger speaks to the film’s tricky tone, which eschews […] »
- Filmmaker Staff
Sundance Film Review: ‘The New Radical’
For much of the 20th century, being a radical meant being left-wing. Starting in the ’80s, with the rise of the loaded-for-bear Christian right and then the 1994 Republican Revolution, being a radical started to mean being right-wing. Whoever’s out of fashion, in the minority, on the fringe is, by definition, radical. But that leaves out how sports, hip-hop, the consumer culture, and the Internet have all left their mark on radicalism. To be radical today isn’t merely to be left-wing or right-wing. Listening to the ultimate underground rap is radical. Getting the right tattoo is radical. Silicon Valley is radical. Anthony Bourdain is radical. Our solipsistic billionaire president is radical. Ryan Seacrest is radical. (Okay, Ryan Seacrest is not radical. I just wanted to see if you were paying attention. But at some point he probably will be.) And the shrewd and, in many ways, reprehensible outlaw/guru »
- Owen Gleiberman
Sundance Film Review: ‘Patti Cake$’
You’ve never met a rapper like Patricia Dombrowski. Her best friend calls her Killa-p, while the haters call her Dumbo, but to us, she will always be “Patti Cake$,” an overweight white hip-hop artist who announces her force-of-nature personality from her very first song, “mylifesfuckinawesome.” While Patti’s one-of-a-kind, it’s easy to recognize the type: a cross between Dawn Weiner and Precious — both Sundance discoveries as well. Every few years, an indie character comes along who so perfectly captures what it’s like to be mocked and marginalized, even as she refuses to let the bullies and abusers have the last word. That’s the kind of person Patti Cake$ is, and that’s why she stands to become one of the year’s most endearing discoveries, via a film that launches an equally compelling new directing talent.
No doubt bound to become a household-name, Patti is the »
- Peter Debruge
‘Lemon’ Review: A Bizarre Comedy of Confused People From Janicza Bravo and Brett Gelman — Sundance 2017
Ever since her 2011 short film “Eat,” filmmaker Janicza Bravo has presented a baffling vision of absurd circumstances that defy simple categorization. Throughout subsequent shorts such as “Gregory Go Boom” and “Man Rots From the Head” (both of which star Michael Cera, in the former as a suicidal paraplegic), Bravo’s peculiar style maintains an unnerving quality that feels like cringe-comedy but often takes a sharp turn into odd and alarming glimpses of angry, pathetic characters.
“Lemon,” her feature-length debut, continues that indelible tendency with its deranged portrait of a self-involved man (Brett Gelman, the director’s husband and co-writer) so ruthlessly unpleasant that everything he does contributes to the destruction of his life. Enhanced by a number of notable comedic actors entering uncharted terrain, it’s the kind of movie that makes you laugh and flinch in equal measures, and despite some messier twists, never ceases to move in surprising directions. »
- Eric Kohn
Here’s Why Geena Davis Doesn’t Want ‘Thelma & Louise’ Reboot (Watch)
The industry is in the age of reboots, where it seems nearly every pop culture phenomenon is being developed into a new television series or film.
But, if it’s up to Geena Davis, “Thelma & Louise” won’t be joining the growing list of remakes.
“I would be against somebody doing, let’s say, ‘Thelma & Louise’ without it being Susan and me,” Davis said, speaking of her co-star Susan Sarandon, on Monday at the Variety Studio at the Sundance Film Festival. “I wouldn’t like it. Maybe they’ll do it someday, but I wouldn’t like it.”
Davis is currently starring in an adaptation of “The Exorcist” on Fox, though the actress calls the series a “continuation” of the horror film 40 years later, rather than a reboot.
“Thelma & Louise” starred Davis and Sarandon as the title characters. The 1991 film also launched Brad Pitt’s career.
While Davis doesn’t »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
/Filmcast Ep. 402 – Split
David, Devindra and Jeff discuss M. Night Shyamalan’s latest. In the After Dark, we talk about top 10 lists, the fate of Twitter, and the psychological toll of Twitter. Also, we’re launching a Slack experiment! If you want to join our Slack, go to slackfilmcast.com and sign up. You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(At)gmail(Dot)com, or call and leave a […]
The post /Filmcast Ep. 402 – Split appeared first on /Film. »
- David Chen
“We Don’t Use Words to Tell a Story”: Directors Lily Baldwin and Saschka Unseld | Through You
During its development, production or eventual distribution, what specific challenge of communication did, or will your film, face? How did you deal with it, or how are you planning to deal with it? We don’t use words to tell a story. We use bodies, gestures, dance, color, music and sound as tools. Inherently with this, there is room for interpretation about what the work Is About. This is the beauty and of course the challenge around non-traditional narratives. Meaning its fluid. Vr is perfect for this. In Through You we worked hard to anchor the viewer in a couple key […] »
- Filmmaker Staff
The Polka King review – Jack Black shines in a weirdly enjoyable film
There are three things you can always count on: death, taxes and that any movie with Jason Schwartzman playing a clarinet can’t be all bad.
The Polka King, a return to Sundance for Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky after Infinitely Polar Bear, is definitely wacky, perhaps even a little zany, but as the pre-title card and closing credits photos remind us, this is based on a true story. That fact serves as a considerable engagement engine, as this is the type of story where, if someone told it to you, you might say, “Man, they ought to make a movie about that!”
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- Jordan Hoffman
How Jack Black Transformed Into ‘The Polka King’ – Sundance Studio
He has played an ape’s showman in King Kong, a sweet mortician-turned-murderer in Bernie and now a polka maestro/Ponzi scheme impresario in The Polka King. Larger-than-life characters seem embedded in Jack Black’s DNA, so playing the real-life Polish immigrant Jan Lewan — a Grammy nominee, friend of Pope John Paul II, gift shop owner, ex-con and loving husband — makes perfect sense. Black received a copy of The Man Who Would Be Polka King, the documentary on which Polka Ki… »
Netflix Acquires Sundance Closer ‘The Incredible Jessica James’
Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to Jim Strouse’s modern comedy, The Incredible Jessica James, ahead of its world premiere as the Closing Night film at Sundance. The pic will be branded as a Netflix original film and launch globally this year to Netflix viewers in 190 countries. Written and directed by Strouse, the film stars Jessica Williams (The Daily Show) as a young, aspiring playwright in New York City who is struggling to get over a recent breakup. She is… »
First Look at Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison in ‘The Current War’
Benedict Cumberbatch received an Oscar nomination for playing Alan Turing in 2014’s The Imitation Game, so it makes perfect sense that he’s seek out another movie with an awards-friendly premise where he gets to play a fascinating historical figure. The Current War gives him one hell of a role: Thomas Edison, the prolific American inventor and […]
- Jacob Hall
Netflix Acquires ‘The Incredible Jessica James’ — Sundance 2017
Netflix has acquired the worldwide rights to the comedy “The Incredible Jessica James” ahead of its January 27 premiere in the Sundance Film Festival’s Premieres section. The film will be branded as a Netflix original movie and will premiere later this year on the streaming service.
Written and directed by Jim Strouse, the film stars Jessica Williams (Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”) as a young, aspiring playwright in New York City who’s recovering from a recent breakup. After a date with a divorcee named Boone (Chris O’Dowd) Williams learns how to navigate the “social media obsessed post-relationship universe.”
“We are honored to get to work with Jim Strouse as we introduce film lovers around the globe to ‘The Incredible Jessica James,’ which marks the arrival of Jessica Williams, a true star in the making,” Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix, said in a statement.
The film »
- Graham Winfrey
Jill Soloway on the Audacity of ‘I Love Dick,’ and How It Might Create ‘Radical Feminist Sleeper Cells’
“But I also have a secret dream, that some red state daughters will turn it on, just wanting to see Kevin Bacon,” she said Monday at the Sundance Film Festival, “and they’re like, ‘I Love Dick,’ what is this? And little by little they grow this radical feminist sleeper cell.”
The series, which premiered to a packed house at the Marc Theater in Park City, stars Bacon as the title character, the prickly (and somewhat mysterious) leader of an artists’ enclave in the tiny town of Marfa, Texas. Kathryn Hahn plays Chris, a filmmaker who comes to town with her husband, author Sylvere (Griffin Dunne).
“I Love Dick »
- Michael Schneider
Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta On New Doc ‘Dolores’: “It’s Really The Story Of A Movement” — Sundance Studio
One of the buzziest documentaries coming out of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Peter Bratt’s Dolores premiered Friday just in time for the doc’s inspirational subject, civil and labor rights leader Dolores Huerta, to speak at events surrounding the Park City Women’s March. Executive produced by legendary musician Carlos Santana, alongside consulting producer (and Star star) Benjamin Bratt, Dolores tells the story of Dolores Huerta, who bucked 1950s gender conventions… »
Jordan Peele Horror Film ‘Get Out’ is Sundance Secret Screening
The Universal and Blumhouse release centers on a young African American man who gets invited to his girlfriend’s family’s estate and becomes ensnared when he discovers the real reason for the invitation. Peele, who is best known for creating Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele,” has been spotted around Park City. He wrote the film and it marks his directorial debut.
In an interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Peele said the film was a mix of genres, offering that “At its most comedic, it’ll be like ‘Scream’ or the original ‘Stepford Wives.’ So, no, it’s a horror movie, but it’s a satirical premise.”
Sundance: 13 Must-See Films That Have the Indie World Talking
Sundance is a center of indie film, »
- Brent Lang
Universal/Blumhouse’s Jordan Peele Horror Film ‘Get Out’ Is Sundance’s Secret Screening
Exclusive: Universal and Blumhouse are coming off of an excellent weekend with M. Night Shyamalan’s Split taking No. 1 at the box office with $40M, and they’re going to keep the party going with this year’s secret screening at the Sundance Film Festival: the first look at Jordan Peele’s feature directorial debut, Get Out, which will premiere at midnight at the Library Theater. Get Out is a pure horror film from the Emmy-winning creator-star of Comedy Central’s sketch… »
Sequel Bits: ‘Bad Boys 3,’ ‘Jurassic World 2,’ ‘Goosebumps 2,’ ‘Ocean’s Eight’
In this edition of Sequel Bits: Bad Boys 3 may in trouble after some drama at Sony. Bryce Dallas Howard talks about preparing for Jurassic World 2. The Goosebumps sequel has a release date. Tremors 6 is set to begin filming next week. Reese Witherspoon would be down for a third Legally Blonde movie. Jeepers […]
The post Sequel Bits: ‘Bad Boys 3,’ ‘Jurassic World 2,’ ‘Goosebumps 2,’ ‘Ocean’s Eight’ appeared first on /Film. »
- Jacob Hall
“Communicating with Respect and Openness”: Director José María Cabral | Woodpeckers
During its development, production or eventual distribution, what specific challenge of communication did, or will your film, face? How did you deal with it, or how are you planning to deal with it? Communication was the key for writing, shooting and making the movie, particularly this one. Woodpeckers explores communication and language in a very specific level. First of all the writing process was about making contact and understanding the prisoners, getting to create relationships, not only for the script but also because I wanted them as actors too. It was also kind of a social experiment, where I was […] »
- Filmmaker Staff
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