Attendees of South by Southwest 2012 are in for a treat. 130 feature films will screen at the Austin, Texas festival taking place March 9-17. Among them are 65 World Premieres, 17 North American Premieres and 10 U.S. Premieres. The organization already announced Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s The Cabin in the Woods would open the festival (the movie is phenomenal) and today the majority of the remaining line up has been revealed. One of the highlights is the unbelievably smart and hilarious 21 Jump Street, directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller. Both of those are World Premieres.

Other highlights include The Hunter, Killer Joe, The Babymakers, frankie goes boom, God Bless America, The Imposter, The Raid, Bernie and Casa de mi Padre just to name a few.

After the jump, read descriptions of all the films that have been announced so far. Read More »

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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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Our first word on The Hunter came late last year when we learned that Daniel Nettheim would direct Sam Neill, Willem Dafoe, Frances O’Connor and more in an adaptation of Julia Leigh‘s novel of the same name. Willem Dafoe plays a character who claims to be on the hunt for one thing, but is in reality working for a larger entity and seeks a more specific game: the last Tasmanian tiger.

Now there is a little bit of extra weight behind the project, as Julia Leigh has emerged as the director of the unusual Cannes entry Sleeping Beauty, featuring Emily Browning as a very specific sort of prostitute. Julia Leigh, as best I know, had nothing to do with this adaption of her novel, but the fact that this novel is from her pen certainly adds a layer of interest to The Hunter for me.

The Hunter has been announced as a Toronto Film Festival entry, and a teaser trailer is now available. Check it out below. Read More »

If you’re more interested in the typical fall slate of festival entrees than summer’s glut of tentpole action fare, this is a great week. The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first wave of films that will play the fest in September. This is a batch of about 50 titles, which makes up only a small chunk of the programming. Usually TIFF features between two and three hundred films. But these are some of the highest-profile entries.

Below you’ll find rundowns on the new films from George Clooney, Bennett Miller, Jay & Mark Duplass, Todd Solondz, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Sarah Polley, Fernando Meirelles, Lars von Trier, Marc Forster, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, and Lynne Ramsay. No announcement yet of the Midnight Madness programming choices, always some of my faves, but this is a great start. Read More »

After the long Fourth of July weekend we don’t have a lot of news on the casting front, but there are a few good stories to share, and they’re all in a similar vein. Today, the theme is crime pictures. After the break you’ll find info on the following:

  • John Malkovich is taking the lead in Siberian Education, which chronicles the culture of crime in a small community near the Ukraine.
  • Parker, the new screen version of Richard Stark’s classic crime character, gets two supporting players.
  • And French film The Lookout casts Daniel Auteuil as a cop out to catch a sharpshooter who ruined a well-laid police plan. Read More »

What does Jason Statham have in common with Lee Marvin, Chow Yun Fat and Mel Gibson? Soon he could be the fourth actor to play a screen version of Parker, the principled thief created by Donald Westlake (under the alias Richard Stark) in a series of pulp novels. The previous three films (Point Blank, Full Contact and Payback) have all been pretty loose translations of the novel The Hunter, which introduced Parker in 1962 and kicked off a series that now includes twenty-four books. For this new version, simply called Parker, John J. McLaughlin (Black Swan) scripted based on The Hunter, and Taylor Hackford is slated to direct. Read More »

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?
Read More »

As I understand it, Julia Leigh‘s novel The Hunter is doing quite well in Australia. Ostensibly about a search for the last Tasmanian tiger, the thriller has a bit more going on than that. A film has gone into production this week under the direction of Daniel Nettheim, and it has a great cast, including Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill and Frances O’Connor. More details after the break. Read More »

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