The Girlfriend Experience

Starz presented a panel on The Girlfriend Experience today for the Television Critics Association. Steven Soderbergh, who directed the film on which the series is based, is producing the limited series written and directed by Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz. Riley Keough stars as Christine Reade, a law student making extra money providing transactional relationships, giving customers a girlfriend experience including sex and emotional intimacy.  Read More »

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The Girlfriend Experience trailer

The Girlfriend Experience is a divisive Steven Soderbergh film, as his more experimental films tend to be. Written by David Levien and Brian Koppelman (Solitary ManRounders), The Girlfriend Experience has a fractured but sturdy narrative, showing its prostitute going from gig to gig, all building towards its gut punch ending. The episodic nature of the job is kind of tailor-made for a television show, which is probably why Starz, executive producer Soderbergh, and the creators have made 13 episodes based on the movie.

Watch the trailer for The Girlfriend Experience after the jump.

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Steven Soderbergh Haywire

It’s only been two years since Steven Soderbergh left behind filmmaking. Ever since “retiring,” though, Soderbergh has found a more than welcoming home in television. The last movie we saw from him was for TV, HBO’s Behind the Candelabra, and he’s about to debut the second season of his show The Knick. The news of an early Soderbergh retirement was saddening, to say the least, but understandable. Read his current thoughts on retirement and TV after the jump.

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Girlfriend Experience series

Steven Soderbergh‘s latest foray into television is the Cinemax series The Knick, but he isn’t stopping there. The filmmaker is now a producer for a series based on his film The Girlfriend Experience. Starz has given the show a 13-episode order; it will be written and directed by Lodge Kerrigan (Clean, Shaven) and Amy Seimetz (Upstream Color). The two will write all 13 episodes, and split directing duties. Read More »

Upstream-Color-1

What a beautiful thing, Upstream Color. Shane Carruth‘s second film is a melange of surprises and delights. For an audience familiar with Primer, Carruth’s time-layering ouroboros of a debut, one element may be more surprising than all others: simplicity. Though the telling of this new film is by no means conventional, the core is an elegant idea, yet one rich enough to foster myriad interpretations.

Crafted with an awe-inspiring confidence, Upstream Color establishes a strange and frightening sci-fi framework, then works within that frame to probe the nature of human relationships, and our proximity to and power over the forces that define us. The wild elements of the plot allow Carruth to examine love and destiny with unexpected sensitivity. Upstream Color belongs in the company of 2001 and Solaris; it stands with the very best that speculative fiction has to offer.

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youre-next-trailer

Almost two years ago, Toronto Film Festival and Fantastic Fest audiences made a lot of noise about the bloody home-invasion thriller You’re Next. Now everyone gets to see what those few people were talking about.

Director Adam Wingard (A Horrible Way to Die, V/H/S) and screenwriter Simon Barrett (A Horrible Way to Die) have come up with a great spin on the hoary old home invasion movie, and populated it with a cast that is ready get dirty and bloody. Indie and genre faves (Sharni Vinson, AJ Bowen, Barbara Crampton, Amy Seimetz) and filmmakers (Joe SwanbergTi West) play members of a large family who come together for a celebration dinner at a relatively remote home in the country. The clan quickly finds that it has been targeted by masked assailants who have staked out the house with very violent intent.

A great use of Lou Reed’s song ‘Perfect Day’ helps this trailer establish and then build tension. By the end you might be as impatient for the August release of You’re Next as the film’s creators must be. Read More »

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You're Next hallway

In 2011, one of the hits of TIFF and Fantastic Fest was Adam Wingard‘s home invasion thriller You’re Next. The film drew raves at just a couple of festival screenings and was snapped up by LionsGate. But rather than releasing the film quickly, the studio held on to it for a while. After appearing once at Fantastic Fest in September 2011, the film was dormant until just over a week ago, when it played at SXSW.

Now You’re Next has a release set for August 23 this year, and we’ve got the first wave of new promo materials for the film. The movie is built around a family reunion at a semi-remote mansion, and observes as a group of masked intruders attacks the family with murderous intent. The opening promo salvo is a set of teaser posters that show off the masks, and that give a sense of the dire atmosphere that pervades much of the film. Read More »

It’s pilot casting season! And as such, Rupert Grint, JK Simmons, Dylan McDermott, Billy Campbell, Jennifer Beals, and tons more have found new homes on the small screen. Also after the jump:

  • Peter Sarsgaard has joined AMC’s The Killing
  • Dexter Season 8 adds a Walking Dead alum
  • Ridley Scott is bringing The Terror to AMC
  • The About a Boy duo will tackle Neal Stephenson
  • FX is moving ahead with Diane Kruger‘s The Bridge
  • Up All Night will shoot just one multi-cam episode
  • ABC shifts Happy Endings to the Friday death slot
  • House of Cards is Netflix’s most-watched program
  • Comcast buys the other 49% of NBCUniversal
  • The first episode of The CW’s Cult hits the web
  • Jason Blum‘s Paranormal-esque reality show gets a trailer

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Today at Sundance saw the premiere of Upstream Color, the second film from Primer director Shane Carruth. Trailers for the movie position the film as an enigma, and while the film is hardly mainstream, I would argue that the feature isn’t nearly as impenetrable as those first looks suggested. That said, this film is quite a puzzle, and a very rewarding one.

It has been nine years since Primer made its festival debut, and in that time Carruth has polished his skills as a filmmaker. Upstream Color begins with a base in science fiction, but the sci-fi element is really just a launching pad for a story about two people trying to rebuild their identities after suffering severe trauma. It is an adventurous film, often playing with little dialogue, instead letting strong audio and visual components tell the story.

After the screening Germain and I recorded a video blog to get our first impressions on record. This isn’t a full-fledged review by any means; there’s a lot to think about, and a process to working out how to properly give the film its due without spoiling the mysteries within. That said, I’ve been thinking about Upstream Color constantly since the screening ended, and I don’t think my very positive view of the film is likely to change.

Check out the video below. We dance around the plot quite a bit in the video, and there isn’t anything given away here. Read More »