In 2011, writer/director Sean Durkin left his mark on the Sundance Film Festival with Martha Marcy May Marlene, an intense cult drama that introduced the world to Elizabeth Olsen and won Durkin the festival’s U.S. Dramatic Directing Award. It’s been nine years since he’s made a movie, but he hasn’t missed a beat. Durkin has finally returned with his second feature, The Nest, which turns his focus to money – more specifically, one man’s desire for it and the chances he’ll take to get it. Read More »
It’s easy to look at a Sundance lineup with rose-colored glasses and think that there’s going to be some major breakout hits. We do it every year because, after all, hope springs eternal! 2020’s edition looks like the rare slate to premiere in Park City that will truly earn all of the pre-festival drooling.
A glance at the directors unveiling their new films at the first Sundance of the new decade looks like a veritable “who’s who” of filmmakers who were just on the cusp of breakthrough in the 2010s: Eliza Hittman, Josephine Decker, Janicza Bravo, and countless others. It’s also a welcome return for many directors who have been dormant for far too long: Miranda July, Julie Taymor, Benh Zeitlin. Many other names that, unfortunately, barely register upon scanning the lineup may leave Utah with a million-dollar distribution deal for their film and a star on the rise.
But none of them came from nowhere. Even if their feature directing debut nabbed a spot in the Sundance lineup, they all have some prior work that portends – or at least contextualizes – their ascendancy. If you’re not attending the festival, here’s how you can get in on the ground floor of some of these directors on the rise without even leaving the comfort of your home cinema.
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A Janis Joplin biopic has drawn interest from plenty of talent over the years, including actresses Amy Adams, Renee Zellweger, Reese Witherspoon, the late Brittany Murphy, and filmmakers Lee Daniels (The Butler), Jean-Marc Vallee (Wild), and Catherine Hardwicke (Lords of Dogtown). Another name to go on that list is Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea), who’s currently in talks to star in director Sean Durkin‘s Janis, which will depict the last six months of the musician’s life.
Below, learn more about the Janis Joplin biopic.
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Posted on Friday, October 10th, 2014 by Angie Han
Martha Marcy May Marlene director Sean Durkin is heading back to the farm again, but for a very different type of story. He’s entered negotiations to direct Little House on the Prairie, taking over after David Gordon Green fell away. Hit the jump for more on the Little House on the Prairie movie.
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A TV series based on The Exorcist has been in the planning stages for a while, with Martha Marcy May Marlene director Sean Durkin once set to oversee the development of a ten-episode series that would be directly linked to William Friedkin’s film. That actually seemed like a pretty great idea.
Now some things have changed. The show is still moving forward, but Durkin is out and Fantastic Four and Fables screenwriter Jeremy Slater is in, with producer Roy Lee (The Departed, The Ring) still working on the project. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 by Angie Han
Despite plenty of attempts, Hollywood’s had quite a bit of trouble getting a Janis Joplin biopic off the ground. But that’s not going to stop enterprising young filmmakers from trying anyway. The latest director to take a stab at bringing the rock icon’s story to life will be Sean Durkin, director of last year’s indie hit Martha Marcy May Marlene. He’ll be teaming up with another name who’s almost as new to Hollywood as he is, as Tony-winning stage actress Nina Arianda has signed on to play the lead role in the unimaginatively titled Joplin. More details after the jump.
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The Exorcist is a landmark movie. Along with Psycho, it legitimized horror as a genre — what had previously been relegated to drive-in and second-feature filler was now big business. William Friedkin‘s adaptation of William Peter Blatty‘s novel (scripted by Blatty) scored a Best Picture Oscar nomination and nine other Oscar nods. (Best Picture went to The Sting, but The Exorcist did take Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay.)
But all things are now ripe for re-adaptation, and so producers are turning towards Blatty’s novel once more. This time, the book is to be adapted into a ten-episode TV series, and the director in charge will be Sean Durkin, who made Martha Marcy May Marlene. It’s actually such a good fit that I can’t even muster the urge to be upset about a remake. Read More »
One of the big favorites among Sundance attendees this year was Martha Marcy May Marlene, in which Elizabeth Olsen plays a young woman dealing with the aftereffects of cult brainwashing.
Fox Searchlight has released a US trailer for the film, which will open in October, but now there is a UK trailer that offers a slightly different — and no less compelling — look at the movie. This was in my top five anticipated films of the fall, and nothing has changed after watching this trailer. Check it out below. Read More »
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If the title Martha Marcy May Marlene is too hard to remember, call it “The Four M’s.” That’s what virtually everyone who was in Park City, UT for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival did and the phrase was on everyone’s lips. Many felt “The Four M’s” was one of, if not the, best films at the entire festival. Directed by Sean Durkin, it centers on a young woman (Elizabeth Olsen) who leaves her home and joins a strange cult. Her experiences there are inter cut with her return trip home and, over the course of the film, we see how her time with the cult both forced her to leave and changed who she is.
It’s one of those tense, slow burn films fueled by great performances (including one by John Hawkes as the cult leader) which you’ll appreciate even if you don’t love. After the jump, check out two character trailers and posters for the film, which Fox Searchlight will release on October 21. 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 »