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Usually when I go to a Live Read, I know the movie like the back of my hand. Ghostbusters, Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspects, American Beauty, these are all movies I’ve seen dozens of times and know backwards and forwards. However, the November reading was a film I’d never seen until this week: Barry Levinson‘s Diner. It totally deserves to be mentioned among those films, but it somehow fell through the cracks in my years as a film fan. It’s as timeless, funny and poignant as any movie I’ve ever seen.

Watching the film, I began to worry about the Live Read. Sure this was a movie with dynamic characters based on a razor sharp script, but Levinson’s film also created such a perfect atmosphere. The movie was 1959 Baltimore, from the weather to the locations, outfits and the music. Oh, the music. Diner is a jukebox full of awesome tunes and the Live Reads don’t play music during the read. Was it going to work out?

Presenter and director Jason Reitman had an answer for that. To make the script move at a clip worthy of its amazing original cast, and to make the audience forget there was no music or settings to enhance it, he’d need actors who are incredibly familiar with each other. Actors with an ability to deliver filthy dialogue very fast, have perfect chemistry, talk a ton of crap and dish about football. How about the cast of FXX’s The League?

Yes, almost the entire cast of The League read Barry Levinson’s Diner at latest Jason Reitman Live Read, presented Film Independent at LACMA. Below, read what the cast brought to the script and what the script revealed about itself.  Read More »

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Married couple Katie Aselton and Mark Duplass have worked together on a range of projects, including The Puffy Chair and The League, but their latest collaboration looks like a pretty sharp change of pace. Unfortunately for them, different doesn’t always mean better.

Directed by Aselton (The Freebie) from a script by Duplass, Black Rock centers around three women (Aselton, Kate Bosworth, and Lake Bell) on a camping trip on a remote island. They cross paths with a trio of war vets (Will BouvierJay Paulson, and Anslem Richardson) who happily take up the girls’ invitation to join their cozy party. After one sexual encounter takes a very nasty turn, however, the ladies find themselves running for their lives. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Let’s hear it for film as the people’s medium! Katie Aselton, who made The Freebie, is directing and starring in a thriller called Black Rock, written by her husband, Mark Duplass (Baghead, Cyrus). The film is about “what happens when three childhood friends meet for a weekend getaway on an isolated island and discover that they have company.” The cast is pretty much set, and also includes Lake Bell, Kate Bosworth, Jay Paulson, Anslem Richardson and Will Bouvier. But this isn’t a big-budget deal; as the involvement of Mark Duplass would suggest, it’s a pretty small film that comes from a personal space. And it is looking for audience help to take the final step to creation. Read More »

Movie Trailer: The Freebie

Phase 4 Films has released a movie trailer for the acclaimed 2010 Sundance Film Festival entry The Freebie. Written, directed and starring Katie Aselton, The Freebie is a romantic drama about a young couple in Los Angeles who try to spice up their marriage by allowing each other a one-night “freebie.” You might recognize Aselton from the Duplass brothers films The Puffy Chair, Cyrus, short films such as Scrapple and The Intervention, and the television series The League. She also produced The Puffy Chair and is married to Mark Duplass. I missed this film at Sundance, and have been kicking myself ever since. Watch the trailer now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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