Heroes Day meeting

The first season of The Leftovers ended the same way Tom Perrotta‘s book did, with a powerful, potentially hopeful image we won’t spoil here. But what we can say is that all of the source material for the show is gone. So what are the producers to do for a second season? It seems The Leftovers season 2 will change settings from its quaint upstate New York town to a yet-to-be announced location. Plus, while the main cast will return, most of the supporting cast will not. Read more about The Leftovers season 2 below. Read More »

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A cornerstone story aspect of the thriller, codified on film by Alfred Hitchcock, is fear of persecution. Hitch was famously afraid of police, and a constant element in his films was the horror of being pursued and/or persecuted for an infraction real or imagined. The Law — the “capital-L” version — can seem like an unfathomable force that guides our behavior, and the persuasive power of that force can make one feel incredibly vulnerable.

The power of that particular perception of Law is at the heart of Compliance, too. The indie became notorious at Sundance this past January for expanding on real-life stories in which an anonymous caller impersonated police officers and talked business managers into strip-searching and violating employees. The instigating factor would be a reported infraction of the law, with the caller reasoning that the fastest way to deal with the situation was for the manager to do some of the work of the cops before officers were able to arrive. Inevitably, the caller would push the situation deep into scary territory, and those on the other end of the line would comply.

The real-life stories are chilling, in part because it is horrifying to consider that anyone would follow the instructions of someone who purports to be a law officer without attempting to verify the caller’s identity. Compliance seems to exploit that horrifying behavior quite well, and now you can get a glimpse of just how weird things get in a new trailer for the movie. Read More »

Craig Zobel‘s Compliance made me want to walk out of the theater. Not as a reaction to the film’s quality, however. On the contrary, Compliance is actually quite accomplished. Actually, it’s so effective it made me want to walk out because the real life events portrayed were so enraging, so unbelievable, so easily avoidable and painted such a bad light on humanity that I could almost not stomach sitting in the theater.

In the film, a man posing as a police officer calls a local fast food restaurant and accuses an employee named Becky (Dreama Walker) of stealing from a customer. The man asks her manager Sandra (Ann Dowd) to at first detain, and later search her employee. From there things devolve to almost unbelievable and upsetting depths. I say “almost unbelievable” because the film is based on true events that happened at a Kentucky McDonald’s in 2004. (In the film, however, McDonald’s isn’t mentioned for obvious reasons.)

At the first public screening of Compliance, Zobel was screamed at by audience members and accused of misogyny. Other Q&A’s also featured awkward and uncomfortable questions/comments as people wrestled with the disturbing events in the film. Read more about the film and its purpose after the jump. Read More »

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