12 OClock Boys

The Wire with wheelies” is how one outlet described Lotfy Nathan‘s documentary 12 O’Clock Boys. That’s pretty accurate. The film, shot over several years on the streets of Baltimore, follows the titular group, a band of young black men who ride up and down the streets on dirt bikes and four-wheelers. Members attain status by riding wheelies high and long. For the most part, the gang keeps youths off the street and focused on something positive.

Unlicensed motorcycles speeding down city streets isn’t considered to be the safest thing, however, and Baltimore Police have their hands full with the 12 O’Clock Boys. Nathan’s documentary shows how the group was created, and follows a young man named Pug who is desperately trying to join  his hometown heroes.

The film is currently playing in several markets and is on all major on-demand outlets. Below, check out an exclusive clip from the film and read an interview with Nathan about his impressive, interesting documentary. Read More »

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Our Day Will Come, from music video director Romain Gavras (‘No Church in the Wild’), is a strange road trip movie about two very messed-up guys, played by Vincent Cassel and Olivier Barthélémy, each with his own problems and a total inability to connect to pretty much anything. Cassel’s character is a charming but possibly demented psychologist,  and Barthélémy’s is a bullied kid with some deep-seated sexual issues. As a duo, they are unpredictable, possibly toxic, and occasionally very drily funny.

The funny aspect is shown in this exclusive clip from the film, which shows the two characters as they run across a couple would-be rappers and the two teen girls who end up seeming more interested in Cassel than anyone else. Can you blame them? He’s the only one who seems like he’s got his own thing going on, even if that “thing” isn’t exactly in their best interests. Read More »

James Franco is everywhere. This week he’ll be travelling to Oz with Sam Raimi, and next week he’s heading to Spring Break with Harmony Korine. A few years ago, he was at 30 Rock shooting a documentary about Saturday Night Live. The film, Saturday Night, offered viewers unprecedented access behind the long-running sketch comedy show and garnered rave reviews when it hit the festival circuit in 2010. Since then the movie seemingly disappeared, leaving documentary and comedy fans clamouring for some kind of update.

Franco has finally given us that update, and the news is encouraging. Though the film was wrapped up in some rights issues, it has a new distributor and they’re currently figuring out how to release it. “It will come out,” said Franco. Read More »

“From the moment it launched just three short weeks ago, it was so clear to us that six-second loops of video, edited in-phone, and posted in real time was and will be the future of film distribution.” So says Oscilloscope’s “Minister of Informative Updates” Bruce Farnsworth, who is currently releasing the upcoming film, It’s A Disaster, on the Vine video app.

Obviously, he’s joking.

What’s not a joke is that the Oscilloscope Vine account (accessible through their Twitter @OscopeLabs) is releasing a sizeable amount of It’s A Disaster, Todd Berger‘s upcoming apocalyptic comedy starring David Cross and Julia Stiles. Check out a few examples below and read the full release. Read More »

Ever been the new person at a small party where there are awkward tensions and undercurrents of conflict that you’re aware of, but have no part in? That’s where the character played by David Cross finds himself in Todd Berger‘s film It’s a Disaster. Cross’s character shows up to a “couples brunch” with his new girlfriend, played by Julia Stiles.

Things are obviously weird, and they progress to a point where a lot of people would wish for just about any excuse to get out of the situation. And then the attendees find out that the party might be their last. That changes the uncomfortable scenario just a bit, as decorum and inhibitions fully dissolve.

Check out a trailer below. Read More »

American Psycho, Big Love, and American Horror Story actor Matt Ross makes his feature writing and directing debut with 28 Hotel Rooms, which played Sundance this year to considerable acclaim and is soon opening via Oscilloscope. The film follows the tumultuous courtship of a couple played by Chris Messina (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Away We Go) and Marin Ireland (Homeland), and this first trailer for the movie is an occasionally raw illustration of the life they try to lead together. It is quiet, rough, and slightly not safe for work (thanks to a bit of sex) but also fairly compelling.  Read More »

Today Adam Yauch, originally known to many as MCA of the Beastie Boys, passed away at 47. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and was declared cancer-free months later. The precise cause of his passing is yet to be reported.

We don’t often comment on the passing of figures in the music scene, but for several generations Yauch was part of the gateway to great films and music. Years ago I loved picking apart the ingredients in sample-heavy songs. Beasties tracks were a treasure hunt; if something had stuck with them long enough to make it into a track, it was probably worth looking into. Way before the internet was an easy to way to learn about forgotten media, Yauch and the Beastie Boys (with help from Spike Jonze) pointed the way to films like The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three, and Danger: Diabolik. There was a bigger lesson in there, too: everything was fair game, every experience fed back into others. It’s all connected.

Yauch also founded Oscilloscope Laboratories, part of which is the film label that in the past few years has consistently distributed movies worth seeing: We Need to Talk About Kevin, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Bellflower, Dear Zachary, A Film Unfinished, The Messenger, and William S Burroughs: A Man Unfinished, just for starters. Oscilloscope has Wuthering Heights, Samsara, and Shut Up and Play the Hits coming up. Being part of the effort to bring those movies to audiences would be a great legacy even without the decades of influence Yauch had with the Beastie Boys.

We’ve reached a point where we see stunning images every day. Current camera technology combined with the instant delivery method of the internet means there is no shortage of eye-popping visuals to take in on a regular basis. We’re constantly being given new ways to look at the world around us.

Because our world is truly wondrous, there is still power in the magnificent image. In the documentary Samsara, Baraka director Ron Fricke uses 70mm photography to explore and define “the links between humanity and the rest of nature.” A trailer for the film is below, and it is stunning. Read More »

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