(Welcome to The Disney Discourse, a recurring feature where Josh Spiegel discusses the latest in Disney news. He goes deep on everything from the animated classics to the theme parks to live-action franchises. In this edition: a look at Escape From Tomorrow and the newly released The Florida Project, both of which explore the peripheries of the Disney experience.)
The Disney theme parks are built upon a foundation of agreed-upon lies. We tell ourselves that we can afford a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth even if we should spend that money on more reasonable expenses, because we value our enjoyment or the enjoyment of our family members more than the strength of our bank accounts. We tell ourselves when we walk through the gates of the Magic Kingdom that we’ve been transported into a world of fantasy and future, a land where our real-world problems don’t exist. We tell ourselves that the theme parks are a place where the Cast Members who operate the attractions, shows, and restaurants have no real-world problems — really, no outside lives — of their own. Each winding walkway, each touch of atmosphere, each architectural choice is, in its own special way, a lie. They are mostly beautiful lies, but lies nonetheless.
The beautiful lies of the Disney theme parks, and how those lies have an uglier ripple effect towards the periphery of the cities that house them, are part of the fuel behind two independent, tonally very different, films from the past few years: Randy Moore’s Escape from Tomorrow and Sean Baker’s The Florida Project. Each film deals with the specter of the Disney theme parks in its own way. Moore’s 2013 film built buzz because he and his cast had shot a majority of the Lynchian film inside the parks without Disney’s knowledge. Baker’s is focused on the fraying edges of the community that borders Walt Disney World. Despite being radically different, the directors each attempt to confront the parks and their impacts through these stories.
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It’s that time again. You know, the time where we gather around the list of movies leaving Netflix next month and start making desperate lists of what we need to see before it vanishes. With more and more movies leaving the world’s most popular streaming service than ever before, this ritual has become an imperative. Time is running out.
But before we get to the full list of what’s leaving Netflix, let’s run down the priorities. The stuff you have to see no matter what.
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This weekend, director Brad Bird takes into a whole new world with the Disney sci-fi adventure Tomorrowland. The film starring Britt Robertson and George Clooney is influenced and inspired by the real-life Disney theme park attraction of the same name (even if references to Walt Disney were cut out of the movie). Therefore, this seems like the perfect time to take a look back at some of our favorite theme park movies and scenes from the big screen.
Below we have a countdown of the Top 15 Favorite Theme Park Movies & Scenes. Frankly, there aren’t an overwhelming number of theme park-based movies before you start getting into bad movie territory (such as Beverly Hills Cop III or Final Destination 3). That’s why we’ve included some great scenes from films that might not be entirely set at a theme park. We’ve also expanded the concept to include carnivals, fairs and water parks, because it just makes sense. Check out the list after the jump! Read More »
One of the craziest movie stories of 2013 was Escape From Tomorrow. The film quietly premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and, overnight, became the talk of the industry. People were amazed that this psychological thriller about a man on vacation with his family at Disneyland covertly shot at the theme park without permission from the company. Most believed Disney would never let it see the light of day. But as buzz continued to build, and the film was picked up for distribution, Disney seemed to think not addressing the film would be the best course of action.
So they let it go. Now Escape from Tomorrow is coming to Blu-ray April 29. We’re excited to exclusively debut a clip from the film’s making-of documentary, discussing the complicated legal issues surrounding the release of the film. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Posted on Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 by David Chen
Dave, Devindra, and Germain discuss the latest (and last?) Miyazaki film, praise the mad genius of Escape from Tomorrow, and explore how Catching Fire improves on its predecessor in every way. Be sure to read Germain’s interview with Jennifer Lawrence, learn what was going on at the end of Thor: The Dark World, and see why Marvel has a villain problem.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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Posted on Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 by Angie Han
Escape From Tomorrow looks plenty interesting in its own right, but its origin story seems every bit as intriguing as the movie itself. Randy Moore‘s film, which depicts a nightmarish trip to Disney World, was shot right inside Disney’s parks without knowledge or permission from Disney itself.
The daring move had Sundance attendees predicting that the film would never see the light of day, but the Mouse House, surprisingly, decided not to take any legal action. It’s now rolling out into theaters, and new behind-the-scenes video offers some insight into how exactly it got there. Check it out after the jump.
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The film Escape From Tomorrow delights in waving its junk right in Disney’s face, and the Mouse House, in an unusual move, seems willing to let that happen.
There’s been a lot of talk about the film since its Sundance premiere, and especially since the first official trailer premiered not long ago. The film was shot “illegally” (read: without corporate knowledge or approval) in Disney theme parks, and makes liberal use of registered Disney trademarks in a manner that isn’t at all consistent with Disney’s own use. There’s a Disney Princess prostitute, for example.
The marketing materials for the film (as seen above) also trade heavily in Disney iconography, to the point where a non-discriminating viewer could potentially mistake Escape From Tomorrow as a Disney product. OK, a very non-discriminating viewer.
So what’s up? Why hasn’t Disney slammed the hammer down on the movie? The answer is rooted in common sense and the Streisand Effect, but now there’s some unofficial talk backing up Disney’s strategy.
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Posted on Wednesday, September 11th, 2013 by Angie Han
One of the most intriguing Disney films to come out this year isn’t a Disney film at all. In fact, Disney had no idea it was getting made, and now that they do, it’s honestly a wonder that the people behind it aren’t getting sued.
Escape From Tomorrow attracted a lot of attention at Sundance for its daring connection to the Mouse House. Director Randy Moore and his cast and crew had shot the entire feature film within Disney parks without the knowledge or permission of Disney, narrowly escaping discovery at one point.
That insane history had many assuming that Disney would never let Escape From Tomorrow see the light of day, but somehow the film has managed to secure a domestic distributor and (so far) avoid legal trouble. Now it’s headed for an October release, and the first trailer has just hit the web. Check it out after the jump.
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The first wave of films for Fantastic Fest 2013 was good. The second wave looked great. And now the third one proves why this little film festival in Austin is truly one of the best in the country.
Escape From Tomorrow (above), The Zero Theorem, Metallica Through The Never, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Gatchaman and Jodorowsky’s Dune are just a few of the new films announced for the festival, which takes place September 19 – 26 at Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline in Austin, Texas.
Below, check out the full list of the third wave as well as some new stills. Read More »
Since its premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, Randy Moore‘s micro budget film Escape From Tomorrow has been a beacon of controversy. The film dramatizes a father’s descent into madness at a Walt Disney theme park and was shot, without the company’s permission, at the actual parks. Few thought the film would ever see the light of day, but it will be released in October by PDA (minus 15 minutes of footage).
The first official poster for the film has now been released and, unlike the one before it, this takes dead-aim on Disney’s most iconic character: Mickey Mouse. Check it out below. Read More »