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As Angie said this morning, the mini-trend this year seems to be films featuring doubles or dopplegangers. She mentioned that while covering the trailer for Richard Ayoade’s The Double, which offers a blackly comic look at a man who finds a much more successful version of himself.

Enemy, from director Denis Villeneuve, is something a little more weird. The film is the second pairing of the director and his Prisoners star Jake Gyllenhaal, and it’s a cold, unnerving nightmare in which a mild, stagnating teacher comes face to face with his own double. Both men look the same, and sound exactly the same, but each has a slightly unique nature. The film is a low-key and beautifully shot hallucination that could be interpreted in a few different ways. I loved it, and would encourage anyone intrigued by the premise and tone to check it out.

Below, you can watch a making-of featurette that shows the old-school techniques used to allow Gyllenhaal to play both lead roles. There’s nothing important given away here; certainly the most striking and odd moments of the film remain hidden away. Read More »

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Yesterday we showed you the great poster for Enemy, the second film from the director/actor pair of Denis Villeneuve and Jake Gyllenhall. (They also made Prisoners together.) Now we’ve got the film’s trailer, and it’s a terrific piece of work. Gyllenhaal plays a teacher who finds a man who seems to be his exact double. But tracking him down doesn’t lead to quite the sort of interaction the teacher expects.

The film looks like a small thriller, and a very moody one. Visually, it is oppressive, and feels completely different from Prisoners. This looks like a chance for Gyllenhaal to take some of his Zodiac impulses and push them into new territory. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

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Last year director Denis Villeneuve and actor Jake Gyllenhaal finished two films together. One of them, Prisoners, hit in the fall and was notable for the incredible cinematography of Roger Deakins. The other played TIFF and will be released in a limited theatrical run on March 15. That one is Enemy, and it is said to be the better of the two movies.

Gyllenhall plays a paranoid teacher who begins to think he has found his own doppelgänger, and his efforts to learn more about the person take him to dark places. The film is based on the novel of the same name by José Saramago, and features actors such as Mélanie Laurent, Isabella Rossellini and Sarah Gadon in supporting roles.

A new poster for the film has been released, and it’s a great classic design that relies on a simple graphic illustration rather than a photo-collage mishmash of big heads and sparks. Check it out below. Read More »

Enemy

This weekend, the pairing of star Jake Gyllenhaal and director Denis Villeneuve equaled the number one movie in the country, Prisoners. Next, the pair will team up again in a story with not one, but two Gyllenhaals. That film is called Enemy, and following a premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month, a mysterious teaser clip has now come online.

Based on a novel by Jose Saramago, Gyllenhaal stars as a downtrodden college professor who comes to realize there’s a younger version of himself somewhere in the world. It also stars Mélanie Laurent, Isabella Rossellini and Sarah Gadon. Check out the teaser below. Read More »

From the Set: An Oral Pre-History of ‘Prisoners’

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Everyone on the set of Prisoners looked exhausted. Some of that was makeup, but some of the drain and fatigue was quite real. When I visited the production, it wasn’t working on a constructed set, but in a location. A real hospital, complete with physical dimensions that aren’t all that friendly to wide lenses and large groups of film crew, was the site of the shoot towards the end of the film’s schedule back in March.

The location wasn’t helping the mood, but it wasn’t just cramped quarters that was grinding down the cast and crew. Prisoners, scripted by Aaron Guzikowski and directed by Denis Villeneuve, is not a cheery film. It follows two families whose children are abducted on Thanksgiving, and examines the different coping mechanisms employed by the two adult couples as they wait for any news. Ironically it was quite nice outside on the day of our visit, but Prisoners is the sort of movie that retreats from sunshine. When the weather got good, the crew shot indoors.

The couples are played by Hugh Jackman and Maria Bello, and Viola Davis and Terrence Howard. Garbed in realistic costume and styled like people rather than movie starts, several looked like they’d been put through the wringer. Slightly more energized was Jake Gyllenhaal, playing the detective who takes charge of the missing persons case. In conversation, each outlined their approach to the difficult material, and after the break you’ll find a lightly edited oral pre-history of Prisoners, assembled from their comments.  Read More »

Terminator 2

He went from Westeros to the Nine Realms and now Game of Thrones and Thor: The Dark World director Alan Taylor is going past Judgement Day. He’s just signed on to direct the new, rebooted fifth Terminator film, which is set for a June 26, 2015 release. He reportedly beat out Ang Lee, Rian Johnson and Denis Villeneuve. Read More »

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Summer only officially started a few days ago, but for those who don’t want a long procession of super-powered tentpoles, summer movie fatigue is here in full force. If you’re in that crowd the fall festival season may seem like a great promise on the horizon, and one of the first films in that season is Denis Villeneuve‘s Prisoners. The story follows a family (Hugh Jackman and Maria Bello) whose daughter is kidnapped; Terrance Howard and Viola Davis play another couple whose child is also missing. Melissa Leo, Paul Dano, and Jake Gyllenhaal factor in to the plot, too.

We just saw one fairly heavy trailer for the film a few weeks ago, but now there is already a second. Like the first look at the movie, this positions Prisoners as a tense and very promising fall entry.  Read More »

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The films of Denis Villeneuve stick with people. Movies like Incendies, Polytechnique, and Maelstrom demonstrate a knack for plunging recognizable characters into difficult situations (some based in reality, some purely fictional) and exploring the outcome in ways that most audiences won’t readily forget. His work is strong enough to attract an incredible cast to Prisoners, a drama in which two young girls go missing, shattering the complacent lives of their parents.

Hugh Jackman, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Viola Davis, Melissa Leo, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Paul Dano are the core cast, and the film was shot by the stunningly talented Roger Deakins. This first trailer for the movie is very intense, but may also give away more than you’d like to know. (Or it gives that impression, at least; I bet there’s a lot more than we see here.) I stopped watching 2/3 through, but what I saw was enough to confirm the September release as a must-see. Check out the footage below. Read More »

Looks like that film Prisoners we talked about the other day, starring Hugh Jackman with Denis Villeneuve directing, is going to have to keep waiting to be made. Villeneuve has signed to make an indie called An Enemy, based on the novel The Double by Jose Saramago.

The film follows a history teacher who discovers that he has a double out in the world, and tries to find the other man. As one might expect, there are some repercussions for that. Now Jake Gyllenhaal has been cast in both of the lead roles. Read More »