Here’s to a school of dagger-propelled, orange barracuda siccing any listmeister who jumped the gun and failed to consider A Town Called Panic for his or her top ten films of 2009. Undeniably the most entertaining and energetic movie of that now-caput year, I found myself funstruck from film’s start to its fireworks-laden finish; ATCP is also 2009’s best animated film, somehow scurrying and climbing past other visionary, grand entries from the oh-nine like Wes Anderson’s fireside-classic Fantastic Mr. Fox, Pixar’s latest crown jewel Up, and Disney’s strong, under-appreciated The Princess and the Frog. This superlative—and I realize how questionable it may seem to those unimpressed by the accompanying image—is not fueled by contrarianism or ostentatious indie preferences; this Fantastic Fest Audience Award winner is simply that effing good. Seek it out.
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Author Stephen King has published his annual listing of the top 10 films of the year. This year King agreed with the mainstream critics in naming The Hurt Locker as the best film of the year, but the rest of his list is the opposite of conventional. His list for 2009 is bound to spawn as much debate and outrage as previous years (last year’s list included Death Race, Lakeview Terrace and The Ruins). For example, #2 is The Last House on the Left, which he claims is “on par with The Silence of the Lambs” and that it’s “easily the most brilliant remake of the decade.” Other films include District 9, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and 2012. Check out the full list after the jump.
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Chris Appelhans has created concept art work on Monster House, City of Ember, Coraline, and Princess and the Frog. Appelhans has uploaded some of the awesome work he crafted for Wes Anderson‘s Fantastic Mr. Fox, which I have included after the jump.
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Posted on Tuesday, December 1st, 2009 by David Chen
This week, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley check out Dan Eckman and Derrick Comedy’s Mystery Team, wonder how Hollywood was able to make ninjas boring, question the directing talents of Shawn Levy, and reflect on the possibility of a Greengrass-less Bourne film. Special guest C. Robert Cargill joins us from a bunch of different sites, including Aint It Cool News.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Tuesday at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review The Road.
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A couple of unusual interviews have hit the web today.
The is first from our friends at FilmSchoolRejects, who talked to director Jason Reitman, not about his new movie Up in the Air, but instead quizzed the filmmaker on the pie chart he keeps of all the questions asked while on his press tour. Rejects Managing Editor Dr. Cole Abaius wrote the following: “Instead of asking the usual, boring questions that have clearly been retread as much as 83 times, I decided to take the one word or two word codes for each entry and base my questions off of those. Even though he’s a talented director, and I’m a complete moron, Reitman was magnanimous enough to play along.”
The second of which was conducted by MoviesOnline.ca, with Fantastic Mr. Fox star Jason Schwartzman pretending to be director Wes Anderson, in a movie website first — an interview which was conducted entirely in stop-motion animation. The great thing about this interview is they don’t even talk about Fantastic Mr. Fox… at all.
I love both of these interviews because they are both funny in their own way, the participants seem to be willing (even if they didn’t know entirely what they were getting themselves into), and both go uncomfortably awry near the end. Check out both interviews, embedded after the jump.
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Last month, while I was in London, I had the wonderful opportunity to talk to filmmaker Wes Anderson (Rushmore, Bottle Rocket, Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic) about his new film, the stop-motion animated adaptation of Fantastic Mr. Fox. Yesterday we posted our interview with Jason Schwartzman. Today I bring you my interview with Wes, in which he discusses how he discovered Roald Dhal’s book, the decision to shoot the film using stop-motion animation, the set of ruls he created for this film, and Anderson’s take on the 3D movie craze.
This was filmed as a TV interivew at the London Film Festival junket, so it’s much shorter than I’m use to, and a much different pace than a normal one on one print interview that has appeared on the site previously. Also of note, the interview was filmed at the Roald Dahl’s esstate, The Gipsy House in Great Missenden. Watch the interview embedded after the jump, and check out Fantastic Mr. Fox, which I highly recommend, now in theaters.
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We don’t have a review of Fantastic Mr. Fox this weekend (I haven’t even seen it yet, being in Atlanta rather than on the coast) but this is a nice alternative. There was that whole uproar over the fact that Wes Anderson directed some of the film via email, but he also used a lot of video direction. And, as the video embedded below demonstrates, his direction was often followed to the letter. Read More »
It is unfortunate that the impending release of Wes Anderson‘s Fantastic Mr. Fox has been overshadowed to some extent by the controversy over his directing technique for the film. A few weeks ago, word came out that Tristan Oliver, the film’s director of photography, was less than impressed with Anderson’s choice to remain away from set much of the time. The initial storm was minor, but blew up more in the last few days after the LA Times ran an article featuring some incendiary quotes from both the DP and director of animation Mark Gustafson. Anderson responded tersely at first, and now Jeff Wells has got him on video talking about the kerfuffle. Read More »
The production process of stop-motion animation has always fascinated me. It’s such a time intensive process that I’ve never really understood how a director manages it all. Last month some people were shocked to learn that Wes Anderson wasn’t even on set much for the filming of Fantastic Mr. Fox. The fuss was caused by a comment Cinematographer Tristan Oliver made in Empire Magazine, which insinuated that the director was not on set directing the animators, but would instead send over notes after reviewing footage.
A new featurette on the making of Mr. Fox titled “Cutting Edge” indeed acknowledges the absence of the director on set, but also offers some insight into the process, and shows the technology that made it possible for Wes to direct 30-something stages at once from a different location.
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