Now playing in NY and LA is St. John of Las Vegas, the debut feature of writer-director Hue Rhodes. The picture gives Steve Buscemi a too-rare leading role as John Alighieri, a man with a gambling problem who is sent to investigate an insurance claim on the outskirts of the Nevada casino capital. Also amongst the cast are Romany Malco, Sarah Silverman and Peter Dinklage.

The film is pricked with references to Dante’s Inferno, though certainly has it’s own narrative which requires no knowledge of the Divine Comedy to understand – think how the Coen Bros. and Homer blended into O Brother Where Art Thou. And whereas the Coens’ film stood on the shoulders of Preston Sturgess, the equivalent influence on St. John would appear likely to be Ozu or Milos Forman.

After the break you can read my edited transcript of some of what Hue has said to me in our conversations over the last few weeks, sharing some of his thoughts on both this movie specifically and films and filmmaking in general.

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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: 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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Saint John of Las Vegas

Steve Buscemi has been doing a lot of indie films recently, and his latest is no different. Saint John of Las Vegas is a dramedy directed by another first time feature film director Hue Rhodes. The film follows “the wild and funny trip a guy has to take to discover there’s more than one way to hit the jackpot in life.”

After a run of bad luck, John (Steve Buscemi), a compulsive gambler, runs away from Las Vegas and toward a normal job and life. Taking a nondescript position in an auto insurance company in Albuquerque, he tries to get ahead in the straight world, amid the ever-present temptations of scratch-off lotto tickets. When his boss, Mr. Townsend (Peter Dinklage), asks John to accompany his top fraud debunker, Virgil (Romany Malco) on an investigation of a dubious car “accident” near Vegas, John sees an opportunity to get a promotion , though he’s concerned about returning to the gambling game. Before leaving he becomes involved with his eccentric co-worker Jill (Sarah Silverman), a dalliance that has the potential to become a real relationship. Soon John is on the road with Virgil, where they encounter a series of offbeat characters. Through the journey, John’s confidence builds, and he realizes that he can’t escape his gambling addiction by running away from it—it will follow him wherever he goes. It’s only when he returns to Vegas and his experiences there finally send him on the path to breaking free.

The movie also co-stars Emmanuelle Chirqui, Tim Blake Nelson and John Cho. The film played at Cinevegas and the Starz Denver Film Festival and was met with mixed reviews. Watch the trailer now after the jump, and as always, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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Stand-Up Comedian Cameos in Judd Apatow’s Funny People

It’s beginning to look like Judd Apatow is trying to fill his new Adam Sandler dramedy Funny People with an all-star list of stand-up comedian cameos playing themselves. Dave Attell appeared on the Howard Stern Show today, and revealed that he filmed a scene for Funny People with Sarah Silverman and Norm MacDonald. Andy Dick has also filmed a cameo as himself

He said that the scene was filmed pretty quickly and was highly improvised, which makes me believe that its one of the scenes where dying comedy legend George Simmons (Adam Sandler) and his assistant and budding young comedian Ira (Seth Rogen) are hanging out with some of Simmon’s “friends” (more of acquaintances, as Simmons doesn’t really have any friends).

You can read more about the plot of the film in our previous script review. What other comedians make appearances in Funny People?

Sacha Baron Cohen is F**king with Ben Affleck

Sacha Baron Cohen as Bruno

Sacha Baron Cohen‘s alter ego Bruno has recently been causing trouble in Kansas, shooting the follow-up to Borat, titled Brüno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt (now try to say that five times fast). FilmDrunk reported earlier this week that security was put on red alert when “a German film crew member” started “stripping down to tight shorts and dancing in the lobby of Wichita Airport” (see video of this at the bottom of the post). A church in Kansas also reported that a strange European camera crew showed up to their Easter play with the on air personality in chains.

Mike Walker of the National Enquirer reported the following on the Howard Stern Show on Thursday: Ben Affleck called comedian friend Sarah Silverman after completing a sit-down interview with a person he was told was a “very famous openly gay fashion journalist”. Ben called the interview “the weirdest sit-down he has ever had with a reporter” explaining that the interviewer’s (wholm he refered to as an “idiot”) first question was “How Do You Like Niggers?” After a stunned silence, Silverman asked Affleck “Was this guy’s name Bruno?” Then and only then did Affleck actually realize that the whole thing was a gag. There is no doubt that this interview will be featured in the final cut, which is currently scheduled to hit theaters in October 2008.

As for the airport incident mentioned in the first paragraph, arbafart69 was able to catch some of the scene on camera. Is that Bruno?

[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/brunoairport.flv 320 240]

Discuss: What other celebrities do you want Bruno to interview?

Elizabeth Banks is F*cking Seth Rogen

In Kevin Smith‘s new movie Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Elizabeth Banks has sex with Seth Rogen (or so we assume from the title. Sarah Silverman‘s music video “I’m F*cking Matt Damon” resulted in Jimmy Kimmel’s response “I’m F*cking Ben Affleck“. Kevin Smith has figured out a genius way to capitalize on this recent viral craze to promote his new movie, and has released the first parody with Elizabeth Banks singing “I’m Fucking Seth Rogen”.

It doesn’t have the production values and superstar cameos, but is laugh out loud funny. The video features cameos from Zack and Miri co-stars Jason Mewes, Traci Lords, Craig Robinson, Jeff Anderson, Katie Morgan and Ricky Mabe. Watch the NSFW video below.

[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/imfingsethrogen.flv 460 274]

source: QuickStopEnt

Jimmy Kimmel is F*cking Ben Affleck

Jimmy Kimmel is Fucking Ben Affleck

Earlier this month Sarah Silverman recorded a music video announcing to the world that she’s F**king Matt Damon. Damon has long been the punchline of a running joke in Silverman’s boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel’s sign-off (“Apologies to Matt Damon, we’ve run out of time!”).

As a retaliation, Kimmel has recorded a music video himself, announcing that he’s F**king Ben Affleck! The video features cameo appearances from Brad Pitt, Harrison Ford, Cameron Diaz, Joan Jett, Macy Gray, Robin Williams, Don Cheadle, Pete Wentz, Perry Farrell, Benji and Joel Madden, Lance Bass, Huey Lewis, Josh Groban, McLovin, Meatloaf, and former announcer and Mighty Mighty Bosstones frontman Dicky Barrett. Check it out after the jump.

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Sarah Silverman and Matt Damon

Didya hear? Sarah Silverman is F–king Matt Damon. Damon has long been the punchline of a running joke in Silverman’s boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel’s sign-off (“Apologies to Matt Damon, we’ve run out of time!”). To celebrate their 5th anniversary, Silverman performs a song abiout her torrid affair with The Bourne Identity star.

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