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Fleming, a televised mini-series biography of James Bond creator Ian Fleming, is the product of a cooperation between Ecosse Films, BBC AMERICA and Sky Atlantic. The four-part series stars Dominic Cooper as the author and Navy intelligence man, and based on this first teaser there will be some attempt to directly link Fleming’s life to the  basic film image of his most famous creation. Check out a bit of footage below. Read More »

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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 try and understand what some kids from across the pond are saying, find fifteen reasons to keep a positive attitude, shortchange the government on our taxes, keep our hands off ourselves, I give you my one musical recommendation of the year, and find out what J.D. Salinger has been up to all those years in the dark. Read More »

In London, a new film called Ashes has pulled together an impressive core trio: Ray Winstone, Jim Sturgess and Lesley Manville. The film also features Jodie Whittaker (who’ll be a lot more known once people have a chance to see Attack the Block) and Luke Evans, and will be directed by Mat Whitecross.

We don’t have many plot details, but the script, by the director and Paul Viragh (the two also did the Ian Dury biopic Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll, starring Andy Serkis) is described as a ‘contemporary noir thriller.’ Good enough for me, especially with that cast. It’s a relatively low-budget affair ($8m), with part of the money coming from Coldplay. Yeah, that Coldplay. The film will begin shooting next week on the Isle of Man.[Variety]

Speaking of Attack the Block, one of the companies behind that movie is assembling another UK genre picture, called Cockneys Vs. Zombies. Details on that are after the break. Read More »

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: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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Directors Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross are premiering a new documentary at Sundance 2010 called The Shock Doctrine, based on the best-selling book by author Naomi Klein. The film posits that governments have used periods of crisis, or “shock,” in order to foist Milton Friedman’s free-market ideologies onto the people, often to negative consequences (e.g. poverty, an expanding class gap, etc.). It’s an interesting way to view world history, and if you’re not yet familiar with Klein or her theories, I think you’ll find it fascinating (although people not terribly interested in history may find it a bit dry). Winterbottom and Whitecross previously collaborated on the excellent film, The Road to Guantanamo, documenting the imprisonment and torture of three Guantanamo detainees. And, as I’ve previously mentioned, Winterbottom is one of the most interesting filmmakers around.

Almost as interesting as the film is its distribution method. The Shock Doctrine is one of the films available on video on demand right now via the Sundance Selects  program. In this interview, I talk with Winterbottom and Whitecross about the film’s release strategy, the difficulties of using archival footage, and the lessons of The Shock Doctrine. I also manage to sneak in a few questions about Winterbottom’s controversial new film, The Killer Inside Me.

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