Author Topic: Resurrecting the Movies thread...  (Read 467079 times)

Offline Lynne

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #610 on: January 10, 2008, 03:49:59 pm »
Mark (jpwagoneer) and I saw ATONEMENT yesterday afternoon and I absolutely loved it...not to be missed, IMO.

Lynne
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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #611 on: January 11, 2008, 10:03:48 am »
Has anyone here seen "Breakfast on Pluto"? Opinions?
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Offline MaineWriter

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Sundance Film Festival begins January 17th
« Reply #612 on: January 12, 2008, 10:18:11 am »
From the Wall Street Journal:



Play It Again, Sundance

Families in crisis, high school and rock 'n' roll. At this year's installment of the Utah-based film festival, the themes may sound familiar, but the crowds should be larger than ever and the bidding for movies is expected to hit new heights.

By LAUREN A.E. SCHUKER
January 12, 2008; Page W1

At Sundance, "Once" isn't enough. Many of the movies at this year's Sundance Film Festival echo the themes of past festival hits, such as the family drama-comedy "Little Miss Sunshine" and the rock musical "Once."

Familiar subjects like family dysfunction, high-school melodrama and classic rock are dominating the festival, which opens Thursday. The lineup reflects the increasingly blurred line between the studio and independent film worlds, as indie filmmakers repeat tested formulas to appeal to the mass audiences that studios covet. As the writers' strike drags on and studios search for fresh material, bidding wars for Sundance movies are expected to break records.

While music-inspired films can sometimes spell box-office trouble, Sundance 2008 includes a number of music-focused flicks. Showing in the festival's high-profile closing slot is "CSNY Déjà Vu," which looks back critically at the 1960s by focusing on the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young "Freedom of Speech Tour" of 2006. "U2 3D" presents the Irish rock band's 2005-2006 global "Vertigo" tour in 3D. And "Patti Smith: Dream of Life" is a documentary about the acclaimed punk poet.

From the same producers who made "Little Miss Sunshine" comes a film with a similar title about difficult familial relationships: "Sunshine Cleaning" tells the story of two troubled sisters who enter the biohazard waste removal business. Other films about distressed families include the drama "Sleepwalking," which traces what happens to a 12-year-old girl when her mother (Charlize Theron) takes off and her uncle (Nick Stahl) raises her on his own, and the comedic "Smart People," with Sarah Jessica Parker and "Juno" star Ellen Page.

Geoffrey Gilmore, director of the Sundance festival, says that inevitably some films will repeat themes. "The industry is exhausted," he says. But he adds that there are "a million fresh takes on an issue."

He says that many of the films focus on quirky, dysfunctional families not because they are trying to copy the recipe behind "Little Miss Sunshine" but because it's easiest to address the world's troubles "by not directly engaging in issues, and instead telling a personal, family story."

Additional highlights this year include Robert De Niro as a frenzied film producer in Barry Levinson's comedy "What Just Happened?," Mos Def in director Michel Gondry's "Be Kind Rewind" and Morgan Spurlock's documentary "Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?" Irish playwright Martin McDonagh's "In Bruges," starring Colin Farrell, opens the festival.

More than 50,000 people are expected to attend Sundance this year, up from 36,000 four years ago. Routinely, cellphones at Sundance stop working because so many people crowd Main Street during opening weekend. Studio executives say that when closing multimillion-dollar deals to purchase film rights, they have to drive six miles down the highway to the interstate to regain service.

Harvey Weinstein, the studio head and producer behind major indie and mainstream hits like "Pulp Fiction" and "The English Patient," says that buying a film at Sundance is "an endurance test. You see the film at 8, start bidding at 10 and finish at 6 a.m. There is another tone at the other festivals -- at Cannes, you see the film, but then there are other things to do before buying, there's a fabulous party to go to and you're in a tuxedo rather than a ski jacket."

Nearly half of the 64 films in competition at Sundance this year were made by first-time directors. Nevertheless, some say that the festival has changed in the past couple of years.

"It used to be a launching festival," says Tom Bernard, co-president of Sony Pictures Classics -- meaning that Sundance is now a better place to buy a film than to generate publicity for a movie that's already been purchased. "It's changed dramatically -- now it's all about the middlemen, about the deal that closes at 4 a.m. while other buyers are banging down the door and sitting out in the cold."

This year, only slightly more than a dozen of the films at Sundance boast distributors before the festival begins -- in part because sales agents are holding out for on-site bidding wars.

Sundance's Mr. Gilmore says that last year the films that sold at the festival itself went for more money than ever before: about $45 million in total, he estimates.

Studio executives worry that this year some prices will get pushed up into the range of $12 million to $15 million per film owing to increased demand for material, persistence of the writers' strike, and prospective director and actor strikes.

Buyers say they are looking carefully at three star-packed films aimed at young audiences: "Hamlet 2" (with Elisabeth Shue), about a high-school drama course that puts on a musical sequel to Shakespeare's play; "The Wackness" (with Mary-Kate Olsen), about a high-school kid growing up in New York who pays his therapist with marijuana; and "Assassination of a High School President" (with Mischa Barton), about a newspaper nerd and popular girl at a Catholic high school who investigate stolen SAT exams.

A number of documentaries are commanding buyers' attention, including "American Teen" (about high-school seniors in the Midwest) and newcomer Chris Waitt's "A Complete History of My Sexual Failures," which chronicles its director's love life through doctors, ex-girlfriends and his mother.

Mr. Spurlock, who scored a Sundance hit with "Super Size Me" in 2004, returns with "Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?," which features the filmmaker's whimsical journey through the Middle East to track down the al Qaeda head.

There are a record seven films from the Middle East, but many of them focus on the fringes of society there rather than the war in Iraq. "Slingshot Hip Hop" examines the rap scene in Palestine, where the music is charged with lyrics about poverty and politics. "Be Like Others" chronicles the lives of Iranian transsexuals and the rise of gender-reassignment surgery in the country. And "Strangers," an Israeli film, follows the love story between an Israeli man and Palestinian woman who meet during the World Cup finals in Germany.

Sundance began in 1978 as the Utah/US Film Festival; Robert Redford took it over in 1985 to showcase American independent film; it was renamed the Sundance Film Festival in 1991. Many of today's most famous filmmakers got their big break at Sundance, including Kevin Smith, Quentin Tarantino and Jim Jarmusch. The event has also launched such films as "sex, lies, and videotape," "Clerks" and "The Blair Witch Project."

Social activities pack the Sundance calendar, including concerts and presentations featuring some of the singers from this year's films (Patti Smith and U2's Bono are expected) and late-night parties beginning at 3 a.m. and ending only after the first screenings start around 8 a.m.

Not everyone enjoys the hoopla. Errol Morris, the Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, likens Sundance to "spending a week in a meat locker. ... I'd rather be eviscerated by the Iroquois than go," he says. Mr. Morris's film "A Brief History of Time" won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 1992. "Sundance has been very kind to me," he says, "but I have logged my time."

Write to Lauren A.E. Schuker at [email protected]

     URL for this article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120008195567084409.html
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Offline MaineWriter

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Sundance Film Festival begins January 17th
« Reply #613 on: January 12, 2008, 10:23:16 am »
"In Bruges" opens the film festival. I was actually 'in Bruges' with Fabienne last March and saw some of extras of the movie 'in Bruges'! I am looking forward to the reviews. Here's a synopsis:

Martin McDonagh, an award-winning playwright and Academy Award winner for his short Six Shooter, makes his feature debut with a work that is deliriously funny, pointed, and perverse, yet sad, thoughtful, and infused with a moral vision that resonantly reflects today's surreal world. The film takes place in a storybook setting, the preserved medieval Flemish town of Bruges, where two hit men, Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson), have been ordered to cool their heels among holiday tourists after a botched execution. Though he feels out of place amid the Gothic architecture, canals, and cobbled streets, Ken is drawn to the serenity of the place as he tries to soothe Ray's haunted psyche. As they wait for their boss Harry's (Ralph Fiennes's) call, they are caught up in a series of weird encounters with locals, tourists, a dwarf American filmmaker, and Dutch prostitutes, and a romantic liaison that is not what it seems. When the call finally comes, it prompts a life-and-death struggle that is violent, darkly comic, and surprisingly touching.

The Irish are without peer in making us laugh about ourselves, life, and especially things that aren’t supposed to be funny. The profane brilliance of McDonagh’s writing is all that and more. Galvanized by perceptive performances and framed by a unique beauty, this is filmmaking at its most exhilarating.

Director(s): Martin McDonagh

Screenwriter(s): Martin McDonagh

Executive Producers: Jeff Abberley, Julia Blackman, Tessa Ross
Producers: Graham Broadbent, Peter Czerin
Cinematographer: Eigil Bryld
Editor: Jon Gregory

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Offline MaineWriter

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Sundance Film Festival begins January 17th
« Reply #614 on: January 12, 2008, 10:24:54 am »
Here's the website for the festival:

http://www.sundance.org/festival/
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Offline BelAir

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #615 on: January 12, 2008, 11:18:23 am »
I watched Queen Margot last night... 1994 French film based on the novel by A. Dumas.  Being rather ignorant about French history at the time, I didn't exactly know what I was in for - it was more shocking and violent than I was expecting, but still good.  (Parts of it are fictitious, so that helped me sleep a little easier, lol...)

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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #616 on: January 13, 2008, 01:11:35 am »
I saw Charlie Wilson's War this afternoon and liked it much more than I had expected. I forgot, until the credits rolled, that it was written by Aaron Sorkin, which explains the snappy dialogue and colorful, likable characters. It reinvigorated my faltering faith in Tom Hanks, who is excellent. And it reinforced my consistent faith in Philip Seymour Hoffman, who is excellent also.

It's moving but also unexpectedly subtle. I think I recall a discussion about it a few pages back where we noted that people see this movie different ways depending on their politics. Well, I would say that it is mostly a feel-good movie about fighting Communists, so conservatives can enjoy that. But it has a decidedly ironic, foreshadowing tone at the end that unmistakably points to the future blowback.

"We'll see ..." as PSH's character says.




Offline belbbmfan

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #617 on: January 13, 2008, 02:12:44 pm »
"In Bruges" opens the film festival. I was actually 'in Bruges' with Fabienne last March and saw some of extras of the movie 'in Bruges'! I am looking forward to the reviews. Here's a synopsis:



Thanks for that Leslie. I'm wondering whether the scene we saw will be included in the movie.

Imdb isn't saying much about this film. I don't even know whether it will be released in Belgium. I sure hope so.

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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #618 on: January 13, 2008, 02:58:03 pm »
Thanks for that Leslie. I'm wondering whether the scene we saw will be included in the movie.

Imdb isn't saying much about this film. I don't even know whether it will be released in Belgium. I sure hope so.



I would think, just for national pride, it would be released. People will want to see the scenery, if nothing else!
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #619 on: January 13, 2008, 05:46:09 pm »
Mark (jpwagoneer) and I saw ATONEMENT yesterday afternoon and I absolutely loved it...not to be missed, IMO.

Lynne
Sounds like a great film and great company!!

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