No matter how old you are, you remember the moment you were introduced to The Wachowskis. For me, it was February 1999. I was sitting in a screening of what I figured was some dumb new Keanu Reeves movie with about 1,000 of my fellow college students. A girl in black leather started to get into a fight and as she jumped in the air she froze. The camera spun around her, and she delivered a bone-shattering blow. Every single person in the room cheered wildly at the iconic visual moment at the beginning of The Matrix and, for the next two hours, we continued to be amazed at what was unfolding on screen.
The Matrix went on to gross almost $500 million worldwide and spawn two hugely anticipated sequels. More importantly, it supercharged the careers of Lana (then Larry) and Andy Wachowski. The filmmaking siblings have since gone on to make several films that are technical marvels and intellectual thrill rides. This past weekend, their latest film, Jupiter Ascending, finally hit theaters, so we saw a perfect opportunity to rank the films of The Wachowskis. Read More »
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Most of the time, art galleries do either group shows with a single theme or one artist’s complete vision. The latest exhibit at the Hero Complex Gallery in Los Angeles is a bit of both. The Young Guns of Print features the work of 18 individual up and coming artists, each of whom did two to fifteen pieces on a specific theme. That means instead of one cool piece for a film or filmmaker you like, you get multiple takes by artists who are still being established. Some examples of theme are superheroes, Tim Burton; the guns of Harrison Ford; Los Angeles; Harry Potter; and Lord of the Rings.
The exhibit opens Friday September 20 in Los Angeles and will go online Saturday September 21. Below, check out a sampling of work including an amazing series of Cloud Atlas posters by Paul Shipper. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 by Angie Han
While imperfect, the Bechdel Test has proven a handy tool for surveying the general shape for women in cinema. It’s been surprising and disappointing to see how few titles pass the three criteria, that a film have 1) more than two female characters, 2) who talk to each other, 3) about something other than a man.
But women aren’t the only underrepresented group in Hollywood, and GLAAD has devised an analogue for LGBT characters called the Russo Test, named after The Celluloid Closet author Vito Russo. The organization applied the test to the 101 films released by major studios in 2012, and have now published their findings in their first-ever Studio Responsibility Index. Hit the jump to read the results.
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2012 was an incredibly good year at the movies. Looking back at the almost 200 films I saw that were released this calendar year, many were in contention for this list. But in the end, there can be only 10. These ten films, ranked in reverse order, are the ones that most stuck with me during 2012 and will continue to do so in 2013 and beyond. Some were pure jolts of entertainment. Others nestled their way into my brain and made me think for weeks on end. But either way, like most top 10 lists, mine is extremely personal and exceedingly different. From Jump Street to Neo Seoul, check it out below. Read More »
Posted on Friday, December 28th, 2012 by Angie Han
The Alamo Drafthouse brand is beloved among moviegoers for their plush theaters, but it’s revered for their impeccable taste in movies. Whether programming a film festival or picking up indies for distribution, they’ve demonstrated an eye for films that aren’t just good, but unique.
With 2012 on its way out, the company has just released its list of their ten favorite movies from the year. Some of the titles were as successful at the box office as they were with critics, while others are more off the beaten track, but all are well worth checking out. Read their picks after the jump.
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This morning Megan Fox, Ed Helms, and Jessica Alba announced the nominations for the 2013 Golden Globes. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization behind the event, is famous for nominating films and performances simply based on their star factor — if there’s an actor that members of the HFPA want to hang out with, they’re sure to get a nomination.
But the HFPA is great at putting on a show, and so the Golden Globes generate a lot of attention every year. And, as the NY Times points out, with the Globes nominations coming just days before Oscar nomination voting starts, there’s a possibility that nominations here could affect Oscar voting. The Best Picture nomination set includes what is already becoming a standard set of awards favorites, such as Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty, but there are also nominations for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, and Django Unchained. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen picked up a few nominations, actually, which was one of the big surprises.
The Golden Globes will air on January 13, 2013, hosted by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. The full nomination list is below. Read More »
Here’s my full interview with the writers and directors of Cloud Atlas: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowksi and Tom Tykwer.
Last week, we broke up this long interview into four parts to make it both more digestible and to keep in spirit with the film, which comprises six radically different, but related, stories. The film jumps from story to story to story, with the last scene informing and enlightening the first, even though they’re set in totally different time periods and genres. Actors portray upwards of six roles each giving the viewer an hint of how these beings relate to each other, only to effect the others – and human history – in radical and exciting ways.
While the Wachowskis have done little to no press since the release of The Matrix, it was my honor (and horror) to be able to sit down with them, and Tykwer, for thirty minutes to discuss the movie. I was frightened, nervous, intimidated but in the end all three filmmakers not only enhanced my (immense) enjoyment of the movie, but were themselves fascinating and brilliant subjects. I wish I could have talked for an hour more.
I can’t recommend Cloud Atlas highly enough. You may not emotionally connect to it as much as I did, but it’s such a different, expertly crafted experience, you’d be doing a disservice to yourself, and big budget, risky films in the future, by not seeing it.
After the jump, read a full transcript of my interview with Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowki and Lana Wachowski, the writers and directors of Cloud Atlas. Read More »
With six stories spanning nearly three hours, told by an ensemble cast and three directors, the sheer amount of information presented by and discussions one can have about Cloud Atlas is staggering. Co-writers and directors Tom Tykwer, Andy and Lana Wachowski took David Mitchell‘s novel, which nests six stories within each other, and broke it down into one forward-flowing mosaic. Set in several time periods from the 1800s through the 2300s, the film blends genres and tones to show the human soul moving from century to century, and explore how our actions in one life might affect the next.
And that’s just a very superficial interpretation. There’s much, much more to the movie, which is why it’s one of the year’s best.
As one might expect on a production so massive, there are tons of bits of behind the scenes trivia and on-screen secrets. Were there additional stories meant for the film or novel? Were the directors ever on set together? How did characters get cast? Which actress thought she’d be fired? And what exactly happens at the end of the film? We’ve complied 15 things you probably didn’t know, or notice about Cloud Atlas. After the jump, read all about them. Read More »
Posted on Friday, October 26th, 2012 by David Chen
Dave, Devindra, and Adam dive into Cloud Atlas, one of the most ambitious films of the year. Drew McWeeny joins us from Hitfix. Be sure to check out Drew’s epic interview with the Wachoskis and Tykwer. Tasha Robinson’s interview is also pretty great.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993.
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