A Star is Born is a story that has been told multiple times, in different eras, with the story changing a bit each time to reflect the time in which it was made.

Now a new version is in development with Clint Eastwood set to direct, and Beyonce meant to play the up and coming singer who is groomed for stardom by an older musician on the downside of his career. Tom Cruise has been reported as being the top choice to play the male lead, but we don’t know whether that will happen.

What we do know now makes part of the film sound rather interesting, however. This current version is being written to factor in the great state of flux in which the music industry has been mired for the last decade. And the older male character is inspired by one of the major musical figures of the ’90s: Kurt Cobain. Read More »

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I loved the hell out of The Messenger. Oren Moverman‘s film about two soldiers assigned to notify next of kin about soldiers’ deaths was tense, empathetic and moving. It dealt with trauma better than Brothers and boasts a trio of fantastic performances. So I’ve been excited to hear about Moverman’s future films, and now it seems that in addition to his mysterious film This Side of the Looking Glass he will rewrite and direct a biopic about Nirvana singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain. Read More »

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In his new book of essays, Eating the Dinosaur, pop culture critic Chuck Klosterman posits that “as a species we have never been less human than we are right now.” Part of the reason why this has happened, he says, is that our growing consumption of media, movies, and entertainment has made it so that “we can’t really differentiate between real and unreal images.” He concludes that we thus, “no longer have freedom to think whatever we want.” For instance, the words, “basketball game,” instantly trigger a mental image of the NBA before (rather than?) a memory of a real experience. The Klosterman twist is that while “reading about Animal Collective on the Internet has replaced being alive,” he’s generally okay with this cultural and social development. I should add that he admits that the Unabomber’s Manifesto and its author had several really good and scarily prescient points.

In his second interview with /Film, many of Eating the Dinosaur‘s ideas are discussed within the context of modern television series like Mad Men and 30 Rock. We also discuss the significance of the odd documentary-style used on The Office and now Modern Family, and why he believes pop-culture writing/blogging on the internet unfortunately has become “an institutional voice” that rivals academia. Is this where I type, “Hopefully the next trailer is better?” For our first interview round with Chuck Klosterman, click here.  For Klosterman’s updates on film adaptations of his books Fargo Rock City and Killing Yourself to Live, click here.

Hunter Stephenson: What’s your biggest problem with 30 Rock?

Chuck Klosterman: [pause] Does it seem like I have one?

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Wow. After watching The Carter, the new all-access documentary on Lil’ Wayne, one might consider recommending it as the best doc about a hip hop icon ever. The problem with this superlative lies in its limitation. Similar to labeling Lil’ Wayne a rapper—even “the best rapper alive” as many profess—and leaving it at that, labeling this a great hip hop doc restricts it to the confines of a niche or genre coated in personal taste and stigmas. That is to say The Carter is foremost a fascinating portrait of a remarkable, modern artist and celebrity who has cooked most if not all bridges for comparison.

In The Carter we experience the exact moment when Wayne calmly finds out, overseas and perma-high, that his latest album, Tha Carter III, has sold one million plus physical units in its first week. As his friend and manager, Cortez Bryant, tells the camera, Wayne now undisputedly ranks with the world’s top pop stars; and this doc ranks with the best of the year. It’s also highly difficult to cite precedent for a film so privy to a superstar’s love of, and possible dependency on, drugs. Clearly, the recent, This Is It, failed in this regard.

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