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Steven Soderbergh’s site Extension 765 hosts a handful of items for sale, from photos to shirts and other ephemera. Occasionally Soderbergh will also deliver some other unusual items, and today’s post is a video called Psychos, which cuts together footage from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Gus Van Sant’s much-maligned remake. Read More »

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true_detective_matthew_mcconaughey

Briefly: The past couple years have seen Matthew McCaonaughey evolve into a barometer of quality — in short, if the guy’s in a movie (or TV show) you should probably see it. His True Detective is owning HBO right now, and he’ll appear in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar later this year.

Now McConaughey is part of another new project: Gus Van Sant’s new film Sea of Trees. The story was scripted by Chris Sparling, and sounds a bit like a Haruki Murakami novel. The plot sees one man (McConaughey) planning to kill himself in the forest at the base of Mount Fuji. There, in the “sea of trees,” he finds another man (Ken Watanabe) who has been contemplating his own suicide. The two men “begin a journey of reflection and survival.”  [The Wrap]

 

Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments

Bible-based projects are hotter than ever. This year alone, we’ll see Ridley Scott’s Exodus, Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, and the Jesus tale Son of God. But while most are taking the familiar form of an historical epic, WGN America is going a different way with their religiously inspired new miniseries.

Produced by The Weinstein Co., 10 Commandments will consist of ten episodes, each of which will focus on a different commandment. Different is the key word here. Each installment will be helmed by a different director, with Gus Van Sant, Lee Daniels, Jim Sheridan, Wes Craven, and Michael Cera among those attached right now. (Yes, that Michael Cera.) Hit the jump for more details on the project.

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There aren’t a whole lot of women working as feature animation directors, but now Disney is giving a leg up to someone new. Jennifer Lee, who was a co-writer on Wreck-It Ralph, has also worked on the script for the upcoming Disney animated feature Frozen, which will feature the voices of Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel in a take on the old tale The Snow Queen.

Now Lee has been named as co-director of Frozen, alongside Chris Buck (Tarzan director, Surf’s Up co-director).

After the break, get the plot recap of Frozen, and read about how Gus Van Sant is writing a strange superhero movie, and The Disappearance of Alice Creed director is going post-apocalyptic. Read More »

Amongst even the most fervent Quentin Tarantino fans, the subject of Death Proof is touchy — is it a good film, or not? I love the movie, seeing it as precisely the sort of grindhouse movie that it hoped to replicate, with a layer of commentary thrown in for good measure. But Tarantino stirred up new conversation about the film today with comments in a long interview about the fact that he hopes Death Proof ends up judged as the least of his films.

The beginning of awards season each year sees THR assembling talent in one room for great roundtables, and this year the director roundtable features Ang Lee, Tom Hooper, Ben Affleck, David O. Russell, Gus Van Sant, and the dominating presence of Tarantino.

The comment about Death Proof may have been the most attention-getting thing Tarantino said, but he had a lot more to offer, from a breakdown of his own writing and directing process, to plans to write books (novels and film criticism) after he stops actively directing. And the end of his directorial career seems prompted by technological change, as the move to digital projection leaves him cold.

And there’s a lot more, too — while Tarantino tends to dominate the conversation, each of the participants has great stuff to add about the business of directing. It’s worth an hour of your time to watch the whole thing. Read More »

‘The Canyons’ Trailer: Atrocious Acting, 1950s-Style

Paul Schrader and Bret Easton EllisThe Canyons was never going for subtlety or elegance, and the marketing seems to be having some fun playing up that fact. The first trailer was cut to mimic grindhouse and exploitation movies of the ’70s, whereas the latest one has been done up like black-and-white ’50s pulp. No indication yet on what style the actual movie will take — presumably it’ll be something a bit more contemporary — but for now we can give them kudos for trying something a little different with the teasers.

What we might not be able to give them credit for, if these trailers are any indication, is making a good movie. All the cheeky wink-winks can’t cover up the fact that The Canyons looks genuinely terrible. Perhaps we should’ve expected that when Schrader and Ellis cast porn star James Deen and the notoriously troubled Lindsay Lohan as the leads. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Gus Van Sant‘s Promised Land became a surprise awards contender when Focus Features decided relatively late in the game to give it an Oscar-qualifying limited run, but this first trailer suggests it’s more than worthy of the competition. Matt Damon stars as Steve, a likeable corporate salesman who arrives in a small rural town to pick up drilling rights. The locals, struggling to recover from the economic recession, initially appear more than eager to oblige — until a grassroots campaign against the purchase, led by Dustin (John Krsasinski) and local teacher Frank (Hal Holbrooks) starts picking up steam.

OK, I’ll admit that the synopsis sounds pretty dry when described that way. But between Van Sant’s steady direction and Damon and Krasinski’s engaging performances, Promised Land looks like a powerful, thought-provoking piece. Frances McDormand and Rosemarie DeWitt round out the excellent supporting cast. Check out the trailer after the jump.

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Danny Elfman often seems to be everywhere, and this year in particular he’s omnipresent with several films under his belt in 2012 already. (Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows and Frankenweenie; Men in Black III; and Silver Linings Playbook.) And while he’s already set for some films that hit in the next few months, like Sam Raimi’s Oz: The Great and Powerful, Elfman is still lining up more films.

Two new movies that will bear music from Elfman are Gus Van Sant‘s Promised Land, starring Matt Damon and John Krasinski, and Hitchcock, which chronicles the efforts by the Master of Suspense to make Psycho. Read More »

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