The thought of interviewing Rob Reiner is daunting. As a director, he’s responsible for some of the most popular and influential films of the past thirty years. Films like This Is Spinal Tap, When Harry Met Sally, The Princess Bride and Stand By Me. As an actor, he started his career on one of television’s most important shows of all time (All In The Family). Now he’s part of Martin Scorsese‘s impressive ensemble in The Wolf Of Wall Street, playing Max Belfort, father of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio).
That’s a lot of history and talent wrapped up in one man, so when I spoke to Reiner I focused on what his directorial expertise tells him about Scorsese, what it was like being one of three directors who act in the film and how his latest two films, Flipped and The Magic of Belle Isle, inform his current view of the Hollywood landscape. Read the full interview below. Read More »
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Posted on Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 by Angie Han
In an age when the phrase “teen drama” suggests hardscrabble dystopias or lovelorn werewolves, what’s extraordinary about The Spectacular Now is how ordinary it is. The leads are two kids that could be from any town in America, and their romance is neither epic nor star-crossed. Stories like this one surely play out dozens of times a day all over the world.
But despite that ordinariness, or more likely because of it, The Spectacular Now is also one of the best teen dramas of recent years. Under the direction of James Ponsoldt (Smashed), The Spectacular Now is a pitch-perfect depiction of adolescence, warm and funny and sad without ever veering into forced sentimentality.
It’s a tough balance to pull off, and during a recent press stop in New York I got the opportunity to ask him how he managed to get it right. We also talked about why the kids in The Spectacular Now drink so much, how he took advantage of Kyle Chandler‘s Coach Taylor image, and which Arrested Development star he’d love to work with. Hit the jump to read the full interview. (Some spoilers for The Spectacular Now follow.)
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Jacob Gentry has been making movies for a long time; he made his first feature almost ten years ago, and hit the Sundance jackpot as one of the creators of The Signal in 2007. Earlier this fall we featured Gentry’s two-part short film / music video – both parts embedded below –for the forthcoming Broken Bells album ‘After the Disco.’ (The album arrives in early January.)
The short features Anton Yelchin and Kate Mara as a couple who find one another through a sort of science fiction dreamscape. Together with the performances, Gentry uses great visuals and Broken Bells’ cinema-ready music to create a vision where dreamers can get lost in their own desires.
I sat down with Gentry in LA not long ago to talk about the process of creating the video, and we ended up talking a lot about core concepts of directing. I always love hearing how a small project comes together to be more than the sum of its parts, but it was Gentry’s talk about the actual craft of directing that I think are really great for other young directors to read. Read More »
A few weeks back I got a chance to talk with Kelly Marcel, the screenwriter of Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks. After seeing the movie it would be hard to imagine it not being a Disney movie, but many of you might be surprised to learn that Saving Mr. Banks was originally written on spec outside of the mouse house. So “outside” in fact, it was written across the pond in England.
Marcel has a fascinating history as an aspiring British actress who found herself writing screenplays while working at a London video store. One of her television ideas got the attention of Steven Spielberg, and was made into a series that she was not proud of. We talk to Marcel about her career, how she developed Saving Mr. Banks outside of the Hollywood system, the opportunity to dig deep inside Disney’s vault, and the dramatic license of brining a true story to the big screen.
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Scott Cooper isn’t a director with mainstream interests. His first film, Crazy Heart, was about a grizzled old musician; it won an Oscar for Jeff Bridges. His second film, Out of the Furnace, tells a methodical story of crime and revenge set in and around a blue collar Pennsylvania town during 2008, just as the American economy began to crap the bed. Christian Bale stars at Russ, a man with plenty of hardship in his life, who is forced to deal with even more problems when his brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) disappears. Throughout, Cooper is interested in the setting and characters, and subtly suggesting information to an audience, instead of huge setpieces and obvious reveals.
We spoke to Cooper about the difficulties of bringing a smaller story like this to the big screen. We also talked about how he changed the original screenplay, the rising trend of rural noir, some of the film’s questionable decisions and ultimately why he decided not to make The Stand. Read the full interview below. Read More »
There are many misconceptions about IMAX. What films are shot in the format? What films are exhibited in the format? Why are some screens certain sizes and others so much smaller? One fact is, with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire now in theaters, it’s officially the first time two studio features shot in IMAX have been released in the same year. To mark the occasion, we spoke to Hugh Murray, the SVP of Film Production at IMAX as well as Adam Davis, the Executive Director of Corporate Communications at IMAX, to discuss some of these misconceptions and talk about the innovations and choices being made, both in Catching Fire, and at IMAX in general. Read More »
There’s one major downside to the way Adam McKay and Will Ferrell make movies. Eventually, they have to go through the footage and pick out one joke for any given moment. When making a film like Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, the director and star shoot so much footage that, once they finally made it into the editing room, the difficult work finally began.
Back in October, a group of journalists visited the Paramount Pictures lot in Hollywood and met with McKay and his editor Brent White while they were still working on the film. During our discussion we learned how long the initial cut was, about that rumored second version of movie, the test screening process, and how Seth Rogen almost ruined the film in post-production. We heard of an alternate ending and musical numbers, and saw two hilarious scenes from the December 20 release.
Below, read about all that and more as I present 12 fun facts from a visit to the edit bay of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Read More »
At 23, Jennifer Lawrence has reached heights most of us never even dream of. She won the Oscar for Best Actress with her second nomination, for Silver Linings Playbook. She stars in a superhero franchise and toplines another of the biggest franchises in Hollywood, The Hunger Games. Without a doubt, she’s one of the biggest stars in the world, yet has somehow managed to remain genuine, funny and unfiltered. Jennifer Lawrence isn’t only America’s sweetheart, she’s everyone’s sweetheart.
So, in short, sites like /Film usually don’t get to speak to her, especially not for a film as highly anticipated as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. But you ask nicely, expect to get turned down, and then somehow find yourself outside a hotel room, the only online outlet who’ll be speaking one on one, in person, with Hollywood’s darling. No pressure.
While I can’t gauge my performance, Lawrence did not disappoint. Even after two full days of non-stop press, Katniss Everdeen herself snuggled up on her hotel room chair, slippers and all, and spoke eloquently about the pathos in Catching Fire, its political messages, shooting with IMAX cameras, her duties as reigning Best Actress, how often she gets out to the movies, Short Term 12, “texting Fassbender” (yes, that one), why promoting X-Men movies can be better than Hunger Games and the insane Internet notion she could play a female Han Solo. Read the full interview below. Read More »
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