pee-wee's big holiday john lee interview

Director John Lee seems, at first, to be an odd fit for a Pee-wee Herman movie. With writing and directing credits that include Wonder Showzen, Inside Amy Schumer, Broad City, and The Heart, She Holler, Lee seems to exist in a darker, more pointed universe than the colorful, silly world of Paul Reubens‘ iconic character. But as I learned when I sat down to interview him the day after the SXSW premiere of Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, his experience operating on the darker side of comedy had left him hungry and well-equipped for something sunny and silly.

Our sprawling conversation begins with a discussion of our favorite sounds, touches on the magic of Joe Manganiello, and explores what it’s like to work with Judd Apatow and Netflix.

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pee-wee's big holiday paul rust interview

For any comedy writer of a certain age, working on a new Pee-wee Herman movie is a dream come true. And you can clearly see just how giddy Paul Rust is to have written Pee-wee’s Big Holiday alongside Paul Reubens. Rust, an actor and writer whose credits include everything from Arrested Development and Comedy Bang! Bang!, didn’t even try to mask his enthusiasm when I sat down with him the day after the film’s world premiere at SXSW. He was a kid in a candy shop.

During the course of our interview, we discussed old school Pee-wee fandom, his new Netflix series Love, and how writing a Pee-wee adventure is so very different than writing for most comedies.

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best films of sxsw 2016

The 2016 SXSW Film Festival is over, so you know what that means: it’s time to sift through the wreckage and hand out imaginary awards created by a jury composed entirely of a single writer. Welcome /Film’s SXSW Awards, where the categories only exist as an excuse to talk about the best movies that I saw at this year’s fest.

This was a strong year for a typically strong festival – as usual, everyone involved outdid themselves. For a complete look at everything I saw, you can head over here. But now it’s time to take the stage and start handing out fake trophies to a bunch of movies that deserve actual accolades.

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Everything We Saw at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival

sxsw 2016 reviews

Few film festivals offer the breadth and variety of SXSW and this year was no exception. During my eight days there, I saw gentle comedies, brutal horror movies, fascinating dramas produced on shoestring budgets, inventive documentaries and even an R-rated animated film about talking food. It was one helluva week.

Here is everything that I watched, including the (often very good!) movies that didn’t get full reviews.

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2016 SXSW Preview: 10 Things We’re Excited to See

2016 sxsw preview

Year after year, SXSW proves itself to be one of the best film festivals in the world, offering an astonishing variety of programming that appeals to every taste. Emotional arthouse dramas? Yep. An always stellar documentary line-up? You betcha. An insane midnight program that offers a look at bonkers movies from all over the world? Of course. Gigantic premieres and previews for upcoming studio releases and high anticipated TV shows? Take a guess.

So when we decided to limit our 2016 SXSW preview to only ten titles, we knew we were leaving dozens of fascinating movies on the cutting room floor. But that’s the joy of any film festival – you go in with certain expectations, only to stumble over a whole slate of great films you never saw coming. /Film will be in attendance at SXSW, bringing you news and reviews straight from the fest, but here are the screenings we’re looking forward to seeing the most.

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Pee-wee's Big Holiday trailer

Nearly 30 years after he last hit the big screen in Big Top Pee-wee, Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens) is up to his old antics again this spring in Pee-wee’s Big Holiday. This time, he’s inspired to set out on his first-ever holiday, driving all the way to New York City. Along the way, he gets into all sorts of scrapes involving bank thieves, a snake farm, an Amish family, and much, much more. Watch the latest Pee-wee’s Big Holiday trailer after the jump.  Read More »

Pee-wee's Big Holiday teaser

Pee-wee’s Big Holiday finally has an official, confirmed, release date, and we have the first teaser to prove it. Netflix has announced the comedy will hit the service on March 18. Perhaps they know you’ll need something a little lighter to break up the grim and gritty second season of Daredevil, which debuts on the same date. Anyway, watch the first Pee-wee’s Big Holiday teaser after the jump. Read More »

Netflix defends Adam Sandler

The 2015 Television Critics Association summer press tour kicked off this morning with Netflix’s executive session with Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. Sarandos offered some updates during the panel on Marvel shows such as Daredevil, and spoke of Adam Sandler and the controversy over his Netflix film The Ridiculous Six, and awards plans for films like Beasts of No Nation and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II.

Afterwards, I approached Sarandos for an update on Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday, the long-awaited new Pee-Wee Herman movie. He assured me it would play year-round, not just at Christmas.
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Netflix buys Beasts of No Nation

Netflix recently began making inroads into distributing theatrical-quality films, and now they’re just about ready to show off the results. The company has announced scheduling for four upcoming movies: Cary Fukunaga‘s Beasts of No Nation, Adam Sandler‘s The Ridiculous Six, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend, and Pee-wee’s Big Holiday.

Get the Netflix movie release dates after the jump. Read More »

Ninja Turtles 2 Van large

We’ve got set photos, release dates and cast announcements. Lots of good stuff in this edition of Sequel Bits. Below, read about the following:

  • It Follows star Maika Monroe joins Independence Day 2.
  • Michael Bay posts images of several vehicles from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2.
  • Josh Gad explains how John Lasseter told him about Frozen 2.
  • Kevin Smith talks the number of characters and influences for Mallrats 2.
  • Kung Fu Panda 3 has been moved up two months.
  • Keanu Reeves says Bill and Ted 3 is closer than ever.
  • Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday is on Instagram.
  • See Penelope Cruz in Zoolander 2.
  • The Super Troopers 2 IndieGoGo campaign has ended.

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