Richard Linklater‘s new film Bernie is a strange thing: a sort of comedy based on a true story in which a well-liked small town mortician, played by Jack Black, befriended a not-so well liked older widow, played by Shirley MacLaine… and reportedly murdered her. But it isn’t just the story that is strange: Bernie is co-written by Skip Hollandsworth, who wrote the Texas Monthly article that inspired the film, and it features interviews with the residents of the town where the actual story took place.

The new trailer for the film, which premiered last year at the LA Film Festival and will soon play SXSW, shows the movie’s comic tone, but also points to a more interesting aspect, thanks to the inclusion of some of the interviews with actual residents. Read More »

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This one’s too good to hide after the break, so let’s begin this roundup of sequel news with a killer quote from Nicolas Cage. The actor often seems to go off the deep end with respect to movie roles, and one of his crazier ones in recent memory is the Neil LaBute remake of The Wicker Man. There’s no way to sum up the madness of the film; if you haven’t seen it, get that sucker now.

During a recent web chat with Empire, Cage was asked about revisiting old characters, and he said

I would like to hook up with one of the great Japanese filmmakers, like the master that made ‘Ringu,’ and I would like to take ‘The Wicker Man’ to Japan, except this time he’s a ghost.

Hideo Nakata is the director of whom he speaks, and it took me a couple extra seconds to call his name to memory as my mind was busy exploding. Was Cage serious? Hard to tell of late, given the other films he’s been doing. But I would watch that Ringu Man movie, whatever it turned out to be, without thinking twice.

After the break lurks a variety of news about an incredibly disparate collection of films:  the theoretical follow-up to Before Sunset; Grown Ups 2;  a possible R.I.P.D. sequel, and Riddick. Read More »

The technology used to make films has been changing at a rapid pace for the past twenty years. Digital video has gone from being an upstart media to a primary means for creating movies. Major companies are no longer producing new film cameras. Native 3D requires shooting on digital, but the popularity of IMAX keeps some film purists going. Companies like Kodak are experiencing tougher times than ever.

Side by Side is a documentary directed by Chris Kenneally in which Keanu Reeves (who also produced) talks about film and video with a wide variety of filmmakers, including Steven Soderbergh, James Cameron, David Lynch, Richard Linklater, Martin Scorsese, Andy & Lana Wachowski, Christopher Nolan, Walter Pfister, David Fincher and many, many more.

See a trailer below. Read More »

On paper, Before Sunset, Richard Linklater‘s 2004 sequel to his delicate 1995 film Before Sunrise, shouldn’t have worked. The ambiguity of Sunrise‘s ending was what left the story, which follows French Celine (Julie Delpy) and American Jesse (Ethan Hawke) as they spend one perfectly romantic evening roaming the streets of Vienna, feeling so bittersweet. To actually answer the question of what had happened to the characters seemed like it would only ruin the mystery.

Instead, Before Sunset proved to be another rich, textured love story every bit the equal of its predecessor, as an older and wiser Celine and Jesse reunited in Paris — with, of course, another deliciously open ending. And now Hawke reveals that he, Delpy, and Linklater may be returning to that well a third time, with another movie revolving around the couple. More details after the jump.

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Wes Jones‘ script College Republicans, a dramedy which centers on the early days of Republican strategist Karl Rove, made the Black List in 2010 and was soon rumored as a Richard Linklater film with Shia LaBeouf possibly starring.

Some things have changed, but it looks like the film is definitely going to happen. Rather than Shia taking the lead, it looks like Paul Dano will play the young Rove as he has some of his early experiences in national politics with Lee Atwater, who later became advisor and strategist to Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Read More »

Richard Linklater has put out several films over the last decade — School of Rock, Before Sunset, Me and Orson Welles and the upcoming Bernie, just to name a few — but during all that time, he’s been slowly working on another, quietly epic project as well. Linklater began shooting Boyhood (formerly called Growing Up) back in 2002, following one young actor (Ellar Salmon) as he ages naturally from first grade to the start of college. Linklater recently reported that he has three more years of shooting left to go, which, yup, sounds about right — a six-year-old in 2002 would be eighteen in 2014. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette also star Salmon’s parents. Read more about the project after the jump.

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I’m hoping that the reunion of Richard Linklater and Jack Black turns out to be a very good thing. The picture above is the first still from Bernie, the director’s new film in which Jack Black plays a small-town mortician who befriends an old woman (played by Shirley MacLaine) and then… well, I’ll give you slightly more spoilerish info after the break, but all you really need to know is that Mr. Linklater has called the film his own Fargo. The film is now slated to premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 16, and I’m looking forward to the first reviews. See another image and get some additional detail on the film after the break. Read More »

Without Richard Linklater‘s slice of life film Slacker, the independent film boom of the 1990s might not have happened. Unlike almost anything American audiences had seen before, it inspired a generation of filmmakers to go out and make their own movies. Kevin Smith often credits seeing the film at the Angelika Film Center in New York as his inspiration to make Clerks, the film’s success gave Linklater the ability to make Dazed and Confused and so much more. First released in 1991, Slacker celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and the Austin Film Society and the Alamo Drafthouse are teaming up for a remake.

In typical Austin and Drafthouse style, though, isn’t a by the book remake. There aren’t any big special effects or A-list actors. Instead, 23 Austin filmmakers will reshoot scenes using the same dialogue and locations from the original film and string them together as a meta-homage. Read who the filmmakers are and more about it after the break. Read More »

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