Is Jack Black trying to make a serious career course correction? First he’s working with Richard Linklater and Shirley MacLaine on the strange true-life comedy Bernie, and now he is set to star in Bailout, a dramedy to be directed by Michael Winterbottom. Read More »

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A new trailer has been released for Michael Winterbottom‘s The Trip, starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as fictionalized versions of themselves — similar to what they did in 2006′s Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story. When Coogan’s (fictional) foodie girlfriend dumps him, he reluctantly invites Brydon to join him on a ten-restaurant tour of North England as part of an assignment for The Observer. Much bickering, sniping, and mimicking of Michael Caine ensues. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Michael Winterbottom sure does love author Thomas Hardy. He has made two adaptations of the author’s work — Jude and The Claim, neither sadly among the director’s best work — and now is at it again. He’s doing a version of Tess of the d’Urbervilles with the action transplanted to Rajasthan and Mumbai, and has cast Freida Pinto in the lead role. The film, which could end up being quite the dispiriting examination of rigid social and sexual rules, if it faithfully follows the novel, is called Trishna. Read More »

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It’s been a busy year for Michael Winterbottom. He made it to Sundance with The Killer Inside Me, which hit theaters earlier this year. He put together The Trip, which reunited him with actor Steve Coogan. That film appeared at the Toronto International Film Festival and was just picked up by IFC. And now Winterbottom may have a project going to dramatize the story of murdered British exchange student Meredith Kercher, with an offer for one role out to Colin Firth. (The image above is from The Trip.) Read More »

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If you haven’t already seen the UK trailer for Michael Winterbottom‘s The Killer Inside Me, go watch that now. Then come back here. Because IFC has released a domestic trailer and poster for the film, which adapts Jim Thompson‘s daylight noir novel of the same name, but this new trailer isn’t nearly as effective as the UK version. Read More »

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Michael Winterbottom‘s adaptation of Jim Thompson‘s novel The Killer Inside Me has long seemed like one of the best bets of 2010. There was the lead casting: Casey Affleck as secretly sociopathic sheriff Lou Ford could be perfect . And then that sales trailer that suggested all the actors, including Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson, might be just right. Festival reactions made the film out to be a truly serious and possibly horrifying affair, which is just as it should be. (Check out David Chen’s review.)

And now there is a trailer, and it’s just a fantastic piece of work that makes the film look enthralling and scary as hell. Read More »

IFC Buys Michael Winterbottom’s The Killer Inside Me

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Despite a level of violence that has proved controversial within the context of the Sundance Film Festival, IFC Films has purchased Michael Winterbottom‘s new film The Killer Inside Me, and will distribute the film within the United States. (Check out David’s review of the film.)

No release date has been set for the film, though in the company’s press release about the deal IFC Entertainment President Jonathan Sehring said, “We are incredibly excited to be working with Michael and Andrew Eaton again and we look forward to bringing this film to America via our theatrical and video-on-demand platforms.”

Based on the novel by Jim Thompson, the film stars Casey Affleck as Lou Ford, a small-town sheriff’s deputy within whom a dark, violent instinct has awakened. The controversy around the film arose due in particular to two graphic killings, and we don’t yet know if IFC will request any edits to those sequences, or indeed to the film as a whole. (You can get some idea of the tone of the film here.) The company did release Lars Von Trier’s violent and controversial Antichrist uncut, so there’s reason to expect we’ll see a version of The Killer Inside Me very similar to the one that played Sundance. [Screen Daily]

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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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