The Amazon series Undone is the last significant film or television project I can think of that used rotoscoping to push the television medium forward, but an upcoming SXSW film is using that labor-intensive technique to capture a sense of the past.
The Spine of Night, a new ultra-violent fantasy horror film that debuts at next week’s virtual film festival, is made in the style of artists like Ralph Bakshi and Frank Franzetta and recalls projects like Heavy Metal and Fire & Ice. And it has a great cast to boot: Richard E. Grant (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker), Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess), Patton Oswalt (A.P. Bio), and more lend their voices to this movie. Take a look at the trailer below.
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Actor Logan Marshall-Green’s directorial debut Adopt A Highway feels tailor-made for Austin’s South by Southwest Film Festival. It has nothing to do with horror, mind you, despite Blumhouse’s production banner. What could double as an acoustic country ballad whispers a nomad folk tale about one simple task: getting by. Indie bloodlines run through Marshall-Green’s jailhouse poetry without overly romanticized narratives, more appropriately about passing moments than revelations. It’s about muttered dialogue, directionless trajectories, and a most relatable assessment of life not going as expected.
In other words, humanity as we know it. Read More »
Picture this: a group of friends get together for their weekly game night. It’s all fun and games until they get entangled in a mess they can’t get out of and their innocent worlds collide with the dark underbelly of crime. If this sounds like the plot of Game Night, then you’re half right, because it’s also what happens in Unfriended: Dark Web (previously titled Unfriended: Game Night). The major difference between the two (and it’s not the fact that only one is a comedy, because Unfriended is pretty funny) is in its form. The film takes place entirely on a laptop screen. In that sense, it’s a sequel in form only to 2014’s Unfriended (there is no haunted dead girl in this one). Read More »
Each year during Austin’s SXSW Film Festival, press attendees (like myself) must pick-and-choose amidst a Texas-sized whirlwind of conflicting screening times and maximum exhaustion. In 2018, that meant (excitedly) interviewing Upgrade writer/director Leigh Whannell alongside stars Logan Marshall-Green and Betty Gabriel instead of catching a buzzy midday showing…like it was even a hard choice? Upgrade won the Midnighters Audience Award and ended up being one of my festival highlights with good reason. Check out my glowing review.
When sitting down with three talented parties such as Whannell, Gabriel and Green, there’s never enough time to ask even half the questions you prepare, but that doesn’t stop an interviewer from trying. Whannell opened up about time-hop filmmaking on a budget, Gabriel exposed the mindset of her character, and Green permitted the same. There was plenty to be said about where society is headed and how Upgrade takes that into consideration along with sci-fi discussions about existing examples of cultural deconstruction. Ideas have to come from somewhere – social influences or past Hollywood classics.
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Are you ready for some hyper-violent science fiction starring a guy who looks like Tom Hardy, but isn’t? Leigh Whannell, the writer of Saw and creator of the Insidious franchise, is here to scratch your itch with Upgrade, a piece of hardcore pulp entertainment starring Logan Marshall Green that won the Midnighter Audience Award at this year’s SXSW film festival.
Blumhouse Tilt just released a red-band Upgrade trailer, and if you’re even remotely interested in sci-fi or action filmmaking, stop what you’re doing, because you need to see this right now. Read More »
HBO’s Westworld season 2 cast has just grown by three. But will these new additions be previously-unseen androids in the western-themed park, fodder for the robot uprising, or something else entirely? Read on to find out.
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