I think Ben Wheatley, together with partner/writer/editor Amy Jump, is one of the most interesting directors working now. He makes genre films that are, thanks to Jump’s scripts, very sharp and perceptive, but also very weird, and not at all afraid to push audiences out of their comfort zones. A Field in England is emblematic of the films they make together. It’s a story about a few men during the English Civil War, some coerced to work for others, and how they all come together in a mad frenzy of power and influence.
I spoke to Wheatley a while ago about A Field in England, and for those who have seen the film, which is in US theaters and on VOD now, you might be happy to know that he explains a few plot points that might seem pretty obscure. But he also talks about why he doesn’t like explaining story elements, within his films or in interviews, and what he and Jump had in mind for audiences as they were putting this story together. Read More »
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Last summer Ben Wheatley‘s film A Field in England started to see release, with a simultaneous drop in theaters, on disc, and on cable and VOD in the UK. It went on to play festivals and finally opened in the US last week. Along with the film’s UK release last year was a “digital masterclass” on the making of the movie — a thirty-minute behind the scenes doc that is really terrifically detailed. This isn’t fluffy filler, but rather a nuts and bolts look at making an indie movie with relatively few resources. It’s fantastic stuff, but loaded with spoilers (naturally) about the film.
So now is a great time to point it out to you once more, as the film is in release pretty much everywhere at this point. Below you’ll find a good deal of behind the scenes footage, and links to even more. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 by Angie Han
It’s not like Down Terrace, Kill List, and Sightseers were safe and conventional to begin with, but Ben Wheatley‘s latest feature is by all accounts his weirdest yet. A quick glance at the new trailer, and you’ll see exactly what we mean.
Set during the English Civil War, A Field in England centers around a group of soldiers who follow an alchemist on his search for treasure. They come into a strange field with a mushroom circle, and then things take a turn for the intensely bizarre. Watch the latest promo and a new poster after the jump.
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Cheap Thrills is one of my favorite movies of 2013. It’s a genre fan’s paradise: one messed-up idea, explored to the limit of its potential, with some supremely squirm-inducing moments. It is also a damn good movie, period — a killer directorial debut from E.L. Katz, with good performances all around, and work from Pat Healy and David Koechner that you won’t forget. If you’ve ever sensed that Koechner has a weird mean streak running through his comedy, this is the movie for you, because he taps into that and turns it into a river that propels this movie along.
Healy and Ethan Embry play a couple of guys, both facing hard times, who reconnect at a bar. Then a couple at the bar, played by Koechner and Sara Paxton (who co-starred with Healy in The Innkeepers) offers them a potential economic windfall. All the guys have to do to win some big bucks is follow through on the dares proposed by the couple. And then things get weird.
Watch a red-band trailer below. Read More »
We all love a good top ten list, but the Alamo Drafthouse has gone ten times better. They’ve taken the end of 2013 as an opportunity to create the “Alamo 100,” the 100 favorite films of all time according to the theater’s programming team. These films, which predictably run the gamut from undeniable classics to super-specific genre gems, will begin screening at Alamo locations nationwide in the new year. Each month will bring a new slate of films and January gives a great cross section of the list. In January, Drafthouses will screen Brazil, City Lights, The Goonies, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Raging Bull, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Sixteen Candles. And that’s just the start. See the full list below. Read More »
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How the hell did John Huston and Sam Peckinpah end up in a ’70s sci-fi mind-bender about an intergalactic warrior and an alien Christ analog and their battle with a demonic 8-year old girl? That question has an answer, of course, but in the long run, it’s more fun just to enjoy the fact that they did end up in the movie.
Even better, Drafthouse Films has revived the effort, called The Visitor, and is releasing it in shiny remastered form. A trailer has been released that shows the pure dripping melted grey matter that swirls through this phantasmagoric trip, and I very much encourage you to watch it below. Read More »
The Alamo Drafthouse have announced they will be taking Austin’s Fantastic Fest on tour, showing movies from the festival at all Alamo Drafthouse markets over three weekends in November. Films include Big Bad Wolves, Borgman, Cheap Thrills, Confession of Murder, The Congress, Grand Piano, Journey to the West: Conquering The Demons, and Why Don’t You Play In Hell. Tickets are now available on the Alamo website. After the jump you can learn more and read the press release announcement.
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I Declare War is a great indie that takes an unusually perceptive look at the games kids play, and how they can be a lot more than a simple way to pass time. The film follows two factions of kids playing “war” in the woods, and sees the game through their eyes — so sticks and balloons used as weapons are visualized on screen as guns and grenades.
Sure, it’s all a game, but the meaning behind it, and the ways the kids interact as they try to nab a win, turns into pretty big deal for each one as they try to forge and fit into friendships.
The film made its debut at Fantastic Fest last year and is on VOD/ iTunes/ digital download now, and in theaters on August 30. We’ve got an exclusive clip below.
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The ABCs of Death film concept is back with 26 more ways to die based on letters of the alphabet. A sequel to the 2012/2013 release is well under way aiming at a 2014 release. Much like the approach taken with the first film, the producers are now in search of an unknown filmmaker to fill the 26th spot.
Along with the contest to pin down the final director, the rest of the full director list has been revealed. It expands on the already announced names such as animator Bill Plympton, Day of the Beast and The Last Circus director Álex de la Iglesia, Room 237 director Rodney Ascher, Japanese director of Cold Fish Sion Sono, Vincenzo Natali (Splice), indie icon Larry Fessenden and The Collection‘s Marcus Dunstan. Read more about both below. Read More »