A24 is making school cool again. The indie studio is holding special free screenings for Bo Burnham‘s acclaimed coming-of-age flick Eighth Grade at 100 middle schools across the country this fall. Now this is the kind of school outreach I could get behind.
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Film festival season is officially underway, and while movies that emerge from fests like Venice, Toronto, and Telluride often become Oscar contenders, the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society isn’t ready to look that far ahead just yet. Instead, they’ve looked back at the films of the past few months and issued their Summer Movie Awards, with Mission: Impossible – Fallout and performers like John Cho (Searching), Toni Collette (Hereditary), and Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians) winning big.
Take a look at the full list of winners below.
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Blockbuster summer is almost over, and while you might have seen a lot of big studio movies in theaters over the past few months, hopefully you also caught some of the indie gems that hit the big screen in between all the explosions, superheroes and general noise of tentpole releases.
For those of you lucky enough to catch lower profile releases like Blindspotting, Eighth Grade, Sorry to Bother You, Puzzle, The Miseducation of Cameron Post and Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, now you can watch a batch of Q&A videos from special screenings at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences featuring the filmmakers and casts of these acclaimed indie movies. Read More »
The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, find out how realistic the shark attacks we’ve seen in movies like Jaws over the years actually are. Plus, check out one of the most extensive lists of Ready Player One Easter eggs now that the movie is out on home video, and check out a discussion with Eighth Grade director Bo Burnham and young star Elsie Fisher. Read More »
Despite its title, eighth graders probably won’t be able to see Eighth Grade in theaters. Bo Burnham‘s incisive, incredible film about coming of age in the digital age was saddled with an R-rating thanks to a few errant curse words that the MPAA is unreasonably strict about. But it’s a film that eighth graders should see. And A24 agrees. This week, the studio will be hosting free screenings across the country that won’t enforce the movie’s R-rating to encourage all ages to see this pivotal and powerful movie.
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If you’re familiar with the stand-up comedy of Bo Burnham, you might not peg him to be the first candidate to write an emotion-driven comedy about a socially awkward eighth-grade girl who is trying to find her place in a world that she feels has no interest in getting to know her. But ever since its premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, Burnham’s Eighth Grade has been one of the most eagerly anticipated and critically acclaimed independent movies of the year, making its way through the festival circuit and now finally opening to wider audience beginning this weekend (the film is currently in very limited release in New York and Los Angeles).
Eighth Grade doesn’t adhere to a conventional, plot-driven structure, instead allowing Burnham and acting newcomer Elsie Fisher to piece together a compelling and inspirational character study of young Kayla, who lives with her well-meaning, single father (Josh Hamilton) and makes what she probably believes are inspirational YouTube videos about being yourself and having confidence—neither of which Kayla feels comfortable doing. But it becomes clear that these videos are more about boosting her own sense of worth in the world. Burnham places Kayla in a series of scarily authentic and believable situations, some of which make her wildly uncomfortable, while others give her (and the audience) hope that she’s on the verge of breaking out of her shell and becoming the young woman she imagines she is once she hits high school. It’s a film that walks the line between tragedy and comedy with such grace that you might think a more seasoned filmmaker had pulled it off.
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I didn’t discover Bo Burnham when his YouTube videos went viral and he began performing at age 16. I saw him sing “Art is Dead” on The Green Room with Paul Provenza and loved the music and statement so much that I bought his stand-up album, Words Words Words, to hear more. I thought his wordplay was the second coming of George Carlin, so I’ve followed him ever since and went back and caught up his pre-Words releases, too.
So when Bo Burnham became a filmmaker, I couldn’t wait to see what he had to say in this medium. Eighth Grade deals with the same sort of youth issues as Burnham’s early work – Kayla (Elsie Fisher) is graduating eighth grade and trying to get accepted by high school kids.
Burnham spoke with /Film in Los Angeles about his feature film and stand-up work. He’s actually played short sets since directing to begin working new material. Previous stand-up, including his latest full show Make Happy, are streaming on Netflix. Eighth Grade is in theaters Friday, July 13, 2018.
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Any adult will tell you that middle school is one of the most awful parts of adolescence. Faces explode with acne, hormones are raging, conversations are awkward, and everyone sucks. So comedian Bo Burnham decided to make his feature writing and directorial debut recounting just how awful that time in all of our lives was with a wonderful, lively movie called Eighth Grade, and just like that we have a fresh new voice on the page and behind the camera. Read More »
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While the fresh hellscape that is every day of 2018 brings a new nightmare multiple times a day, the movies this year have provided us some kind of escape. As usual, some of those movies have done it better than others, and that’s why members of the /Film team are counting down their favorite movies of the year at the halfway point of 2018. Now it’s my turn.
In order to qualify for our lists, obviously we had to have seen the movie already, but the movie didn’t have to be released before the midway point of the year. As long a movie has a release date for 2018, it’s eligible. So let’s get down to the wide variety of movies that impressed me enough to make my Top 10 Movies of 2018 So Far, including a #1 pick that will probably stir the pot just a little bit. Read More »
One of the breakout hits from the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in January was the coming-of-age comedy Eighth Grade. Marking the directorial debut of YouTube star-turned-professional comedian Bo Burnham, the film throws us right into the middle of the final week of the last year of middle school for Kayla Day (played spectacularly by Elsie Fisher). What unfolds, as you’ll see in the first Eighth Grade trailer, are all the trials and tribulations that come with the hormones, embarrassment and awkwardness that we’ve probably all desperately tried to forget. Read More »