the endless influences

As a film critic or journalist, you’ll often find yourself assigning influences to specific movies without creator clarification. That’s part of art – an audience drawing their own connections from singular perspectives – but recently I had the chance to ask two of my favorite working filmmakers if we’re getting it right. Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead were my subjects, a cinematic duo who’ve run a gamut of “x meets y” comparisons over their career.

Spoiler alert, we (critics) were wrong…and right? Chalk up mystery of life.

In specific, Benson and Moorhead got down to exploring their most recent release, The Endless. With their heady brand of poke-around exhibitionism, it’s anyone’s guess as to where their cult-based universe came from (aside from beaming creativity). Do “Lovecraft and Linklater” play as big a role in their inspirations as critiques make it seem? Are their styles more aligned with other directing icons? Do classic films even play a part in their formation as filmmakers?

Those questions and more were answered over coffee and conversation. Welcome to the minds of Benson and Moorhead.

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the endless interview

The Endless is Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s third movie. They star as Justin and Aaron Smith, two brothers returning to Camp Arcadia, the cult from which they escaped, to help Aaron get some closure. One there, they find themselves encountering a series of endless time loops.

The film has earned raves at Tribeca, Fantastic Fest and other prestigious film festivals, including one from /Film. Their previous films Spring and Resolution did well on the festival circuits as well. Moorhead and Benson spoke with /Film in Los Angeles about the themes of The Endless, including some spoilers we saved for the very bottom. The Endless opens in New York today and Los Angeles on April 13 before expanding further.

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Green Band Trailer

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising?

This week we get all shook up over Elvis, look at a low-budget horror-comedy, see what Rachel Bloom is up to, take some photos in a war zone, and end up drinking the Kool-Aid. Read More »

The Endless Trailer

A new The Endless trailer has arrived, loaded with pull-quotes, intense music, and what looks to be one of the most interesting genre thrillers of the year. Watch the new The Endless trailer below.

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Spring trailer

The surprising and totally freaky film Spring opens this week after winding its way through a few festivals, including TIFF and Fantastic Fest, and making fans along the way. The film will be in some theaters, and on VOD and even available via BitTorrent Bundle, making it the second film distributed in that manner. But with more films available to viewers every week, even a unique film has to take every chance it has to reach out to new people. Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, the directors of Spring, have put together their own little video showing off their grass-roots promotion for the film; check it out below. Read More »

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Spring trailer

Spring was one of the movies that had the most people talking at Fantastic Fest last year, and it was the one I was most bummed to miss. It comes from writer/directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, who previously made the intense and unsettling film Resolution, and features Lou Taylor Pucci as an American backpacker who meets a beguiling young woman (Nadia Hilker) in Italy… and then discovers that she has secrets that set her apart from every other girl he’s ever met. This Spring trailer is pretty great, starting off with a pretty normal tone before getting really weird. Check it out below. Read More »

‘V/H/S: Viral’ Red-Band Trailer

VHS Viral red band trailer

As a format, VHS is dead, but as a horror movie franchise, V/H/S is doing very well. For the third year in a row, we’re getting one of these found-footage anthologies, with another new crop of filmmakers. And it looks every bit as nutty, creepy, gross, and bizarre as the earlier installments did. Check out the new V/H/S: Viral red-band (i.e., NSFW) trailer after the jump.

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V/H/S: Viral international trailer

The second film in the V/H/S series really upped the ante with energy and pure visceral insanity, and now you can get your first taste of the third movie. V/H/S: VIRAL features segments from directors Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes, Extraterrestrial), Marcel Sarmiento (ABCs of Death segment “D is for Dogfight”), Gregg Bishop (The Birds of Anger), Justin Benson (Wrecked) and Todd Lincoln (The Apparition).

This first international trailer recaps the series, and then launches into a prolonged blast of horror images from the new movie. You won’t know anything about story here — there’s barely even a sense of the framing segments — but there’s a lot that will make horror fans want to see the film. (And the official synopsis, which we’ve included after the break, does have story info.) Check out the V/H/S: VIRAL international trailer below. Read More »

VHS 2 (1)

Gather ’round the screen, kids, it’s time for another V/H/S. The first details have been revealed about the third V/H/S movie, now titled V/H/S Viral.

That includes the names of the new directors, writers, stars, and producers, new plot info, and a sexy-scary first-look image. Hit the jump to get all the latest info on the horror sequel.

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we learn what it’s like to live with James Bond, we get weird with something paranormal, visit Scotland to meet with a gangster, run over a psychopath with our chopper, and look at what might be 2013’s worst film so far.

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