Kings-of-Summer-6

When I sat down with The Kings of Summer director Jordan Vogt-Roberts to discuss his movie I expected to have the typical fifteen to twenty-minute block of time. We ended up talking for far longer than that. As a result, our Q&A turned into more of a talk than an interview.

I’m not going to present the whole thing, but what follows is a lightly edited transcript of the bulk of our conversation. The director goes into great detail about his ambitions for the film, which follows three high school kids as they run away from home and spend a summer building their own home in the woods.

We talked about his view of where the film industry stands now, and quite a lot about the use of music in the movie, and why the soundtrack ranges from classic rock to modern hip-hop to the influence of 8-bit video game sounds. And Vogt-Roberts explained just how he designed the house these kids build as something people could conceivably construct in real life.

Vogt-Roberts also detailed some of the happy accidents that ended up being defining moments for the film. The great “playing on the pipe” sequence released as the teaser trailer, for example, was something they just fell into shooting on a day off. As a filmmaker, Jordan appears to be organized and able to plan, but also able to seize a moment and properly work it into the film. Sounds easy, but it’s something that people don’t always do well. Our talk about some of those instances gives a good insight into the birth of this film.

The Kings of Summer is in theaters now, and it’s a great feature debut. Check out the long-read interview below.

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Toy's House

Briefly: Hey, LA, if you haven’t seen the very entertaining film The Kings of Summer, from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, tonight might be the best night to catch it. At 7:40 this evening, at the Landmark Los Angeles at 10850 West Pico Blvd, Doug Benson will be hosting a special edition of the ‘Doug Loves Movies’ podcast, with the director and cast in attendance.

The Kings of Summer features Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, and Moises Arias as three kids who take off into the woods to build their own house over the course of a summer. Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, and Alison Brie play family members, and along with comedians such as Kumail NanjianiMary Lynn Rajskub, and Hannibal Buress provide some of the film’s comedic highlights.

Jordan Vogt-Roberts will be at the show tonight, as will Robinson, Basso, and Arias. Other attendees are being set up as well, and some of that comedic supporting cast can be expected to show up. Get tickets here.

‘Kings of Summer’ Red-Band Trailer

Toy's House

This new red-band trailer for The Kings of Summer, from Jordan Vogt-Roberts, does a much better job of capturing the movie’s character, humor, and adolescent unease than the first trailer did. In fact, this is the look at the film that audiences should have had in the first place.

Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, and Moises Arias play three kids who take off into the woods to build their own house over the course of a summer, while Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, and Alison Brie play family of a couple of the kids, and actors like Kumail Nanjiani, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Hannibal Buress show up in comic supporting roles. You’ll see a lot of them in the trailer. A lot of the interaction of the core character trio here is limited to their forest shenanigans, but that’s a great way to get to know them. Read More »

Toy's House

Joe is sick of dealing with his depressed father after the death of Joe’s mother; Patrick’s cloying parents are getting him down, too. Sounds like the beginning of a typical teen comedy, but The Kings of Summer (which debuted at Sundance as Toy’s House) isn’t quite that. This is a coming of age story that calls back to certain tendencies from ’80s teen movies. Yet it has personality of its own to spare as Joe, Patrick, and a strange friend literally make their own home as as summer blooms.

Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, and Moises Arias play the lead trio of characters who escape to the woods where they can barrel into adulthood without parents. A host of comedic talent including Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Kumail Nanjiani, and Hannibal Buress show up to offer support.

We liked the movie a lot at Sundance, and the first teaser, while pretty limited, did a good job of getting the tone of the film into a minute of footage. This first trailer doesn’t do such a good job, however. Still, check it out below. Read More »

Toy's House

One of the hottest films at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival was a little movie called Toy’s House, which got purchased by CBS Films. The distributor has retitled the film to the less confusing The Kings of Summer, and slotted it for release May 31. That’s coming up quick, so a teaser trailer is out now too.

The Kings of Summer, written by Chris Galletta and directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, is about three friends (Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Aries) who run away from home and build their own house in the woods. Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie and Mary Lynn Rajskub co-star, none of whom show up in the tease you can see below. Read More »

Update: Toy’s House was renamed The Kings of Summer, so I’ve changed the title in this review.

Coming of age stories are a dime a dozen. Good ones are one in a million and The Kings of Summer, written by Chris Galletta and directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, is definitely the latter. It’s the story of Joe Toy (Nick Robinson) who along with his friend Patrick (Gabriel Basso) and oddball Biaggio (Moises Aries) decide to build their own house in the woods and run away from home. Not a tree house, mind you, a real house with everything except plumbing, electricity and running water.

The true joy in the film, though, comes not just from seeing these kids come into their own, it’s with the adult cast, which includes Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie and Mary Lynn Rajskub. Offerman and Mullally in particular are just spectacularly hilarious, which offsets some of the swings and misses on the part of the kids. Read more after the jump. Read More »

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