One of the first big award season nomination sets went out this morning: the Independent Spirit Awards, which highlight achievement in (obviously) independent productions. The big films in this year’s nominations were Wes Anderson‘s Moonrise Kingdom; David O Russell‘s Silver Linings Playbook, and newcomer Benh Zeitlin‘s Sundance hit Beasts of the Southern Wild. Read More »

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/Filmcast Ep. 195 – The Watch

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This week, Dave, Devindra, and Adam reflect on the difficulty of making South Park, praise the Year of Matthew McConaughey, get skeptical about Cloud Atlas, and review Costco: The Movie.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. We’ll be reviewing Total Recall next week.

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Matthew McConaughey is one of those actors that isn’t afraid to try new things. He can go from iconic role (Dazed and Confused), to blockbuster leading man (A Time To Kill), anchor a romantic comedy (Failure to Launch), or give a stunning, award-worthy supporting performance (Magic Mike). And that’s not even the half of it. (Think Sahara, Tropic Thunder, We Are Marshall, The Lincoln Lawyer, etc. Actually, don’t think about Sahara.) You never quite know what he’ll end up doing next. In the case of William Friedkin‘s controversial thriller Killer Joe, the actor might end up sitting across from Juno Temple talking about mutilated genitalia.

That’s what you’re about to see in /Film’s exclusive clip from the shocking, NC-17 rated film version of the play by Tracy Letts. Killer Joe is about a young man played by Emile Hirsch who convinces his father (Thomas Hayden Church) to have a local policeman (the title character played by McConaughey) kill the mother of the family. The price? Cash, of course, and the virginity of the young sister, played by Temple. Yeah. It’s a screwed-up kind of movie, but that’s what makes it so insanely watchable. See for yourself on after the jump. Read More »

“Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap!” Wait. Hiring Matthew McConaughey to kill someone costs how much? Twenty-five grand? Ok, maybe not ‘dirt cheap,’ then. Anyway, The Exorcist director William Friedkin is back this year with Killer Joe, a Southern-fried thriller in which McConaughey is hired by Emile Hirsch to kill his mom (Gina Gershon). But complications arise when the killer wants money up front and the kid can’t pay. That’s where his sister (Juno Temple) comes in.

The film ended up being rated NC-17, and despite whatever intense stuff goes down to earn that rating, it seems like there’s a real appeal here when it comes to the performances from McConaughey and the supporting players. I’m thrilled, frankly, to see McConaughey getting a string of roles that really take advantage of his particular talents, and this one looks like a win for him. Check out a trailer below. Read More »

Attendees of South by Southwest 2012 are in for a treat. 130 feature films will screen at the Austin, Texas festival taking place March 9-17. Among them are 65 World Premieres, 17 North American Premieres and 10 U.S. Premieres. The organization already announced Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s The Cabin in the Woods would open the festival (the movie is phenomenal) and today the majority of the remaining line up has been revealed. One of the highlights is the unbelievably smart and hilarious 21 Jump Street, directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller. Both of those are World Premieres.

Other highlights include The Hunter, Killer Joe, The Babymakers, frankie goes boom, God Bless America, The Imposter, The Raid, Bernie and Casa de mi Padre just to name a few.

After the jump, read descriptions of all the films that have been announced so far. Read More »

Hot on the heels of the release of a massive batch of films that will appear in the Toronto Film Festival, we’ve got the main lineup for the 68th Venice Film Festival, which runs from August 31 to September 10.

We knew that George Clooney‘s The Ides of March would open the fest (the trailer premiered last night and you can see it here) and this list confirms quite a few films that we imagined would be playing Venice. Our very much anticipated spy thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy from Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson is on the list, as is Roman Polanski‘s tense closed-room drama Carnage, starring Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz. And there is Alps, the second film from polarizing Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, whose film Dogtooth shocked, entertained and angered festival audiences in 2009.

The full list is after the break. Read More »

If you’re more interested in the typical fall slate of festival entrees than summer’s glut of tentpole action fare, this is a great week. The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first wave of films that will play the fest in September. This is a batch of about 50 titles, which makes up only a small chunk of the programming. Usually TIFF features between two and three hundred films. But these are some of the highest-profile entries.

Below you’ll find rundowns on the new films from George Clooney, Bennett Miller, Jay & Mark Duplass, Todd Solondz, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Sarah Polley, Fernando Meirelles, Lars von Trier, Marc Forster, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, and Lynne Ramsay. No announcement yet of the Midnight Madness programming choices, always some of my faves, but this is a great start. Read More »

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One of the pictures with the most potential right now is William Friedkin‘s pitch-black comedy Killer Joe, written by Tracy Letts from his own play of the same title, which won Pulitzer and Tony prizes in 2008. The story is about “a brother (Emile Hirsch) and sister combo who plot the death of their mother for the insurance money and hire “Killer Joe” Cooper, a cop and contract killer (Matthew McConaughey) to do the deed.”

Now Thomas Haden Church is part of the cast, playing the father of Hirsch’s character. Church has also just joined Cameron Crowe’s new film We Bought a Zoo. Church will shoot this film first, then Crowe’s movie. [Variety]

After the break, new work for Melanie Griffith, and talent for Richard Linklater’s new film Bernie. Read More »

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