Posted on Tuesday, January 19th, 2016 by Angie Han
With Slamdance and Sundance happening concurrently, Park City is going to be the place to be for fans of indie cinema for the next two weeks. One of the most intriguing titles set to debut at the former is Director’s Cut, Adam Rifkin‘s very meta horror movie starring Penn Jillette.
A crowdsourced movie about a crowdsourced movie gone awry, Director’s Cut centers on Herbert Blount (Jillette), an unhinged cineaste who decides to take over control of a film project he helped fund. He kidnaps the lead actress (Missi Pyle) and forces her to act out the scenes he’s written, while her co-stars (Harry Hamlin and Hayes MacArthur) wonder about her disappearance. The entire film takes the form of a director’s cut of Blout’s finished masterpiece. Like I said, it’s very meta. Watch the Director’s Cut trailer after the jump. Read More »
Anyone who has been reading this site for any length of time probably knows that I’m a magic geek and two of my idols are the magic duo of Penn & Teller. Not only do they have a magic career spanning 40 years, but their many television shows and movies are equally impressive. So I’m excited to introduce this exclusive short guest post from Penn Jillette himself, presenting a behind the scenes video from his upcoming film Director’s Cut.
The film itself looks really interesting, the kind of story that could only come out of the democratic crowdsourcing process. The supercut-like clip gives you a fast-paced look at the making of the movie, but from the perspective of the clapboard that gets clapped before every single take of the film. Through this perspective, we get to see the film’s shooting locations, we even get a glimpse of Penn in costume as well as the other actors/characters in the film. Read Penn’s guest blog and watch the Director’s Cut clapboard video embedded after the jump.
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Posted on Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 by Angie Han
Everyone knows Toy Story has a very recognizable cast under all that colorful CG — Tom Hanks and Tim Allen voice the leads, and Don Rickles and Wallace Shawn help fill out the supporting cast. But one of the very first actors cast for the groundbreaking project was actually Penn Jillette, of the magician duo Penn & Teller.
Jillette has a cameo as the announcer in the Buzz Lightyear toy commercial that finally convinces Buzz he’s actually a toy. In the most recent episode of his podcast, Jillette revealed exactly how the role came to be, what the experience was like, and what the one wish was that John Lasseter wouldn’t grant him. Hit the jump to get all the details on the Penn Jillette Toy Story appearance. Read More »
You may have seen all the Oscar bait December releases, but here is a best of the year candidate that probably isn’t on your radar. Tim’s Vermeer is one of 2013’s best films – A funny, maddening & inspiring journey that may even change art history.
The film, crafted by Magician duo Penn & Teller, has nothing to do with magic or magicians at all (at least in the obvious sense). Remember, Penn Jillette also produced the hilarious 2005 documentary The Aristocrats. Although it should be noted that this film is Teller‘s feature directorial debut.
Tim’s Vermeer tells the story of one man’s obsession to accomplish the near impossible, and paint a Vermeer with almost no art skills what-so-ever. Along the way he may prove that one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age could have used unforeseen technology advances to create some of the greatest regarded paintings of all time. And while the film is about one man’s journey, it is also an exploration of the intersection of art and technology — If Vermeer invented and used advanced technology to help create his art, was he “cheating”? Is the art somehow less incredible knowing the process? Watch the trailer now embedded after the jump.
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Magician and entertainer Penn Jillette appeared on Reddit today to help promote his crowdsourced movie Director’s Cut. In the AMA, Jillette offered some updates on some of the television projects he currently has in the works with his partner Teller. The projects include the return of Bullshit, and one of my favorite UK tv series, Penn & Teller: Fool Us, finally coming to the states (possibly even with new episodes). Details after the jump.
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Of all the films that got incredible buzz out of last week’s Telluride Film Festival (12 Years A Slave, Labor Day, Gravity, etc.) one stood out just because it sounded so very different. That film was Tim’s Vermeer, a documentary by noted magicians Penn and Teller. Penn produced and Teller directed the film, which follows inventor Tim Jenison on his attempt to duplicate the famous painting The Music Lesson by Johannes Vermeer. Jenison surmises that Vermeer may not have painted all his famous works by hand, instead using technology to aide in the creation. By attempting this, Jenison (as well as Penn and Teller) question the very nature of art itself.
Below, we’ve got a clip from the film that makes that above paragraph a bit more clear, as well as some early buzz from noted film critics. Read More »
Rodrigo Cortés made a name for himself with a film that premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival: Buried, based on Chris Sparling’s black list script about a man buried alive who has to figure a way out of his coffin before his air supply is used up. The film starred Ryan Reynolds, and was critically praised for it’s direction, a tough task considering the 95-minute film takes place completely inside a casket.
Cortés returns to Sundance two years later with the $15 million thriller Red Lights, which he also wrote. The story follows Psychologist Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) and her assistant Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy) as they study and disprove paranormal activity, parascience and psychics. But can they take down world-renowned psychic Simon Silver (Robert De Niro), who has come out of retirement after three decades?
This is a 21st century Ghostbusters. What if Venkman, Stantz and Spengler never got fired from their parapsychology professor jobs? What if they took their research seriously and mounted a serious fight against the world of paranormal scams (a la skeptics James Randi and Penn Jillette), busting “ghosts” through scientific research. Or you might even be ale to think of it as a Ghostbusters spin-off — what if Dana Barrett (Weaver’s character in GB) left the company of the Ghostbusters and became a skeptic?
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