Mike Mills is a famous New York graphic artist who designed promotional material and album covers for such acts as Beastie Boys, Beck, Sonic Youth, and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. He moved on to directing music videos for such artists as Moby, Yoko Ono and Air, and became a very successful commercial director. Mills made his feature directorial debut in 2005 with a big screen adaptation of Thumbsucker, a novel by Walter Kirn. The film was met with moderately positive reviews, but was considered a disappointment by those who had been following Mills’ short films (watch one of my favorite of his short films, Architecture of Reassurance).
His second feature film, Beginners, premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. The movie is an independent drama about a young man (played by Ewan McGregor) who “is rocked by two announcements from his elderly father: that he has terminal cancer, and that he has a young male lover.” Christopher Plummer plays Oliver’s father Hal, and Inglourious Basterd’s Mélanie Laurent plays a young French actress whom he meets at a costume party and develops a relationship. I screened the film at TIFF this year but for some reason or another didn’t write a proper review for the site. I can tell you that this film is both well made and touching. Great performances, but a less-than-mainstream plot. I especially love the more quirky touches, like montages that Mills uses to express a sense of year and time (which you’ll see in the trailer). Watch the trailer embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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It seems like only yesterday that the American Film Institute released their 100 Years…100 Movies list. Actually though, it was over 10 years ago when we first got our look at that “definitive” list of the 100 best American movies. They then did a ten year anniversary of it in 2007 with only minor adjustments and both years Citizen Kane held the number one place as the best American movie. Of course, the problem with those lists is that they only list American films. While Hollywood might be considered the epicenter of film, the art form itself spans the globe, way beyond American borders.
That’s why the Toronto International Film Festival came up with their Essential 100 movies. Created by merging lists made by Toronto Film Festival supporters along with another made by their programmers, these are supposed to be the 100 essential movies every cinephile must see. And it starts off with a bang as Citizen Kane has been toppled. So bust out your printer and check list, the full list is after the jump. Read More »
Risky Business has learned that Magnolia Pictures has acquired the US distribution rights to Max Winkler‘s feature directorial debut Ceremony, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. This means that the film will be shown theatrically and will likely have a day-and-date video on demand availability on nationwide cable.
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Oscar® and Emmy® Nominated Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me, The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special in 3-D) is set to premiere a new one-hour documentary special titled “Committed: The Toronto International Film Festival“ by on AMC this Tuesday October 12th at 11pm eastern.
Narrated by AMC News correspondent Jacob Soboroff and commissioned by AMC, the show highlights the personal journeys of four filmmakers at the world renowned Toronto International Film Festival this past September. Committed follows four filmmakers who spent 12 days at this prestigious event presenting their works to the most discerning critics, buyers and audiences from across the globe. Each filmmaker hopes that his/her film will be the next big thing. From first time filmmakers to an Oscar® nominated auteur to an indie director trying to make the leap to commercial success, this eye opening documentary brings you front and center in the middle of the excitement, the anxiety and the joys of being committed to getting your film seen, sold and accepted. Committed takes you through their ride of a lifetime from their first day at the festival to their last, through the negotiations that may lead to selling their film, as well as the potential devastations and unpredictable glory that may or may not come their way.
The filmmakers featured in the special include: first time documentary filmmaker Sarah McCarthy (The Sound of Mumbai: A Musical); newbie fiction director Shawn Ku (Beautiful Boy); Academy-nominated directed John Sayles (Amigo); and indie veteran George Hickenlooper (Casino Jack). I’ve always found the concept of film festivals interesting, and have had aa simular idea to this revolving around the Sundance Film Festival, in my mind for years. I’ do find it strange that we haven’t heard anything about this project until days before it airs, and the fact that no trailer or television commercial is available online. Read the full press release after the jump.
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The top prize awarded at the Toronto International Film festival is an interesting one, because unlike many other festivals which use a jury to award the biggest prizes, TIFF’s top honor is an audience award. This year, audiences in Toronto gave the People’s Choice Award to The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth as King George VI of Britain, “who overcame a nervous stammer to deliver a crucial address on the eve of that country’s entrance into World War II.” Read More »
It’s been a big Toronto Film Festival for Harvey Weinstein, as The Weinstein Company picked up films like Dirty Girl, Sarah’s Key and the surprise hit of the fest, Submarine. But there’s another Harvey-related buy that might not make him as happy: IFC has picked up Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project, a documentary about the industry titan.
The Barry Avrich-directed and produced film is said by IFC to be “a powerful, uncensored, no-holds-barred account that traces Weinstein’s path from concert promoter on the cold streets of Buffalo to his first trip to the Cannes Film Festival, where he arrived with one pair of pants and closed his first movie deal, to winning an Oscar, and breaking the bank with his first $100 million film.” Avrich previously claimed the film would be balanced, rather than a hatchet job.
The film isn’t yet finished, and a release date hasn’t been reported.[Deadline]
After the break, sales deals for John Cameron Mitchell’s Rabbit Hole, the Korean thriller I Saw the Devil, and pre-sales for Almodovar’s next and Dredd. Read More »
Danny Boyle‘s new film 127 Hours premiered at the Telluride Film Festival to rave reviews (including my own). Last week we published an interview with Aron Ralston, the man who survived 127 hours after a boulder trapped him in an isolated canyon and inspired the film. Today we bring you an interview with filmmaker Danny Boyle, who brought Ralston’s story to the big screen.
127 HOURS is the new film from Danny Boyle, the Academy Award winning director of last year’s Best Picture, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. 127 HOURS is the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston’s (James Franco) remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah. Over the next five days Ralston examines his life and survives the elements to finally discover he has the courage and the wherewithal to extricate himself by any means necessary, scale a 65 foot wall and hike over eight miles before he is finally rescued. Throughout his journey, Ralston recalls friends, lovers (Clémence Poésy), family, and the two hikers (Amber Tamblyn and Kate Mara) he met before his accident. Will they be the last two people he ever had the chance to meet? A visceral thrilling story that will take an audience on a never before experienced journey and prove what we can do when we choose life.
Earlier this week, Alex from FirstShowing and I got the opportunity to sit down with Boyle and discuss the film. Watch the video interview after the jump.
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Things are starting to look up at The Toronto International Film Festival. Before today, you could count the amount of films that had been picked up by studios on your hand. One of the lucky ones was Super, James Gunn‘s dark comedy about a misfit superhero. The film performed so well with audiences at its midnight premiere that studios immediately showed interest in buying it, spawning an all-night bidding war.
Now writer/director James Gunn has come forth with his first-hand account of the events that took place, providing a rare glimpse into the part that a filmmaker plays in the process of finding a distributor. Even if you have little interest in the film at hand, this is worth the read. Read More »