February 14, 2013 12:47pm EST
Having your head repeatedly banged against a table by Jonathan Rhys Meyers is all in a days work. At least, it is if you're Lily Collins and you're playing Clary Fray, the protagonist in the long-awaited adaptation of Cassandra Clare's beloved YA saga The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
Clary is no ordinary girl (a New York City teen whose world gets turned upside down when she learns about her connection to a group of demon fighters called the Shadowhunters) and Collins is no ordinary Hollywood starlet.
"I’ve had many experiences on this set of intense, emotional, physical… I’m doing stunts in these [high heels] the whole time, sometimes in a mini dress, so it’s been maneuvering myself around the sets. I’ve gotten so many bruises at 4 in the morning, all hours of the night, so it’s been an intense ride, but it’s been really fun," Collins told Hollywood.com on the Toronto set of The Mortal Instruments last October.
On this particular day (which marked the 40th day of the TMI shoot) Collins had been filming a scene with Meyers, who plays rogue Shadowhunter Valentine Morgenstern who holds a major key to Clary's past, in which he tries to get an important piece of information from Clary by, well, slamming her head against a table. And while Collins had a stunt double stand in for the actual choreographed act of violence, it doesn't mean the 23-year-old actress didn't get down and dirty for this particular fight sequence.
RELATED: 'The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones' Trailer
"On that last take, I actually did smack [my head] against the table," she revealed. "It really helps, I have to say, with a lot of the stunt stuff...something is bound to go a little awry, and most of my reactions have genuinely been me saying, 'Ow!' and screaming." Perhaps the main reason why Collins — whose previous credits include Priest, The Blind Side, Abduction, and Mirror, Mirror — was willing to get a little banged up on the job, is because, as she put it, "I was actually a fan of the series before I was cast. Having read the books and being really familiar with Clary, and just kind of admiring her as a character."
Collins' fandom over the project was only matched by her relief of how the movie version of The Mortal Instruments — which had been two years in the making, as the Screen Gems feature had been passed over by Sony and has since undergone frequent rewrites — had turned out. "I think everything happens for a reason because the team we got together for this is so amazing. Everyone has brought something new to the table. Harald [Zwart] is the ultimate director for this project because it’s not really his genre, but he’s all about character and emotion. And it’s taking the project that could have been so CGI-based, and he’s made it a story about real people in this fantasy world."
Of course, it probably didn't hurt that the very things that got a fan like Collins excited for the big screen adaptation (the actress said she "got emotional" when she saw the movie's replica of The Institute, a major hub in the story, and that it was "literally is exactly how I pictured it in my head....as a fan, I think the world is encapsulated really, really well") got the approval from Clare, who was on set for filming and worked as something of a consultant. "It's been really great to have her here, see her reaction to stuff and to have her input on the way we are changing up certain scenes for film. Just really hearing her laugh and her enthusiasm on set is really awesome."
Next: Working with her TMI cast mates, including real life love Jamie Campbell Bower
Still, Collins (who producer Don Carbody said is "the most natural I've ever seen" and that "she observes and she lives the character in her own psyche"), credited the collaborative effort of the entire ensemble — which also features Jared Harris, Lena Heady, Kevin Zegers, Jemima Wood, and Robert Sheehan, among others — for making it all come together after all this time. Even the ones that knock her head against a table. "Wit this movie, all the cast have an amazing rapport. It actually makes it really cool because we’re all going through this together. Even someone like Jonathan, who is so incredible and so intense and so seasoned, he still likes to have fun as well. And that makes it a really group experience and very family-like."
RELATED: Kevin Zegers as Alec in 'The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones' — EXCLUSIVE PHOTO
One person Collins certainly liked having on the set of TMI is her real-life beau, Jamie Campbell Bower, who plays her on-screen love interest, a mysterious Shadowhunter named Jace. Collins recalled meeting Bower during the auditions back in 2010. "I read with a couple of different guys. Jamie just came in and... that was it. He was just himself. He had this perfect mixture of being this witty, kind of jokey, cocky in the best sense of the word. But also extremely vulnerable, emotional and this great mixture of emotions. And that’s what Jace is. He has to walk in a room and make people turn their heads and that’s what Jamie does."
Sure, this could sound all too familiar: an off-screen couple playing a supernatural on-screen couple, but Collins insisted TMI is no Twilight. Especially when it comes to comparing her Clary Fray to that of Bella Swan. "She’s thrown a new twist every five minutes and it’s this constant battle against herself of, 'How do I overcome this?' Collins said of her character. "She’s dealing with creatures that she’s never even believed in or thought existed. She’s got this new superhero power...she’s a teenager growing up trying to discover herself. That’s enough of a worry. Now she has to find out she’s a Shadowhunter. So I think what makes her different is just this sense she’s constantly finding out new information about herself."
Collins also noted that throughout the script's rewrites ("One thing I wasn’t expecting on this project is how collaborative it is with the actors and Harald," she admitted, "We're kind of able to reword our own scenes as we go to see how things flow in the moment...and then also having Cassandra here to help clean up things that need to be fine-tailored and stuff) Clary's character has only gotten more fierce and independent.
RELATED: A First Look At 'The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones '
"Clary has become way more proactive since the beginning, since the first script. She really fuels a lot of the scenes. It’s less about being thrown all this information and floundering: she gets thrown a lot of information now and she’s actively pursuing an outcome. I felt like she’s gotten stronger and stronger in the rewrites." But it's not just Clary's strong-willed nature that Collins thinks sets her aside from the YA pack: "She doesn’t rely on any guys, but the guys [do] end up helping her discover herself more."
"It's not a movie about a love triangle," the star insisted, regarding the relationship between Clary, Jace, and her platonic pal Simon (Sheehan), "The romance is only one portion of this kind of epic adventure. Yes, it fuels certain scenes and it’s an undertone, but it’s in no way a love story that has action in it. It’s a full-blown action/adventure fantasy film that is based in reality that has this romance in it." Now that's worth fighting for.
[Photo credit: Screen Gems]
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December 07, 2012 7:12am EST
The yellow one at the top of the White House Christmas tree was not the only star in the vicinity at this year's annual White House Christmas tree-lighting ceremony. The first family was joined by some of Hollywood's finest for the event.
Modern Family's Rico Rodriguez joined the First Lady Michelle Obama for a reading of the Christmas classic poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas," more popularly known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." Rodriguez even joked that he would be joining the Obamas on their holiday vacation in Hawaii. Now, that's one modern family outing we'd like to see!
How I Met Your Mother's Neil Patrick Harris hosted the event, welcoming Barack, Michelle, and their two daughters Sasha and Malia to the stage. Is it just us, or does it look like Harris is giving the POTUS a once-over? We can't blame him — that man is one fine prez.
Barack led the countdown, and then his daughters pressed the button to light up the big tree as the 17,000 people in attendance oohed and ahhed. The event also featured festive musical performances from Jason Mraz, Phillip Phillips, James Taylor, and Babyface.
Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum
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December 03, 2012 4:20pm EST
While the annual Sundance film festival continues to be a place that launches young filmmaking talent, over the years it's also become a star-studded publicity machine attracting big names looking to debut their new films. The list of celebs attending the 2013 festival for the out-of-competition premieres of their new movies should not disappoint.
The most anticipated premiere won't happen until the end of the festival, when the Steve Jobs biopic jOBS, starring Ashton Kutcher as the Apple guru, is honored as the closing night film.
Oscar-winning screenwriters (and sometime sitcom stars) Nat Faxon and Jim Rash will make their directorial debut with a film they wrote called The Way, Way Back, starring Steve Carell and Toni Collette.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt will take it one step further by starring in his self-penned directorial debut, DonJon's Addiction, alongside Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore.
There's also Lovelace, with Amanda Seyfried as the titular '70s porn star, the third union of Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in Before Midnight, and Jane Campion's six-hour epic Top of the Lake, among many others.
The documentaries premiering out of competition cover diverse topics, including Wikileaks, Jeremy Lin, multiple sclerosis, Dick Cheney and more.
The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs from Jan. 17-27, 2013.
A.C.O.D. / U.S.A. (Director: Stuart Zicherman, Screenwriters: Ben Karlin, Stuart Zicherman) — Carter is a well-adjusted Adult Child of Divorce. So he thinks. When he discovers he was part of a divorce study as a child, it wreaks havoc on his family and forces him to face his chaotic past. Cast: Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins, Catherine O'Hara, Amy Poehler, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clark Duke.
Before Midnight / U.S.A. (Director: Richard Linklater, Screenwriters: Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater— We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna. Before the clock strikes midnight, we will again become part of their story. Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Xenia Kalogeropoulou, Ariane Labed, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick.
Big Sur / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michael Polish) — Unable to cope with a suddenly demanding public and battling advanced alcoholism, Jack Kerouac seeks respite in three brief sojourns to a cabin in Big Sur, which reveal his mental and physical deterioration. Cast: Jean-Marc Barr, Kate Bosworth, Josh Lucas, Radha Mitchell, Anthony Edwards, Henry Thomas.
Breathe In / U.S.A. (Director: Drake Doremus, Screenwriters: Drake Doremus, Ben York Jones) — When a foreign exchange student arrives in a small upstate New York town, she challenges the dynamics of her host family's relationships and alters their lives forever. Cast: Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones, Amy Ryan, Mackenzie Davis.
Don Jon's Addiction / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Joseph Gordon-Levitt) — In Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s charming directorial debut, a selfish modern-day Don Juan attempts to change his ways. Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly, Rob Brown.
The East / U.S.A. (Director: Zal Batmanglij, Screenwriters: Zal Batmanglij, Brit Marling) — An operative for an elite private intelligence firm goes into deep cover to infiltrate a mysterious anarchist collective attacking major corporations. Bent on apprehending these fugitives, she finds her loyalty tested as her feelings grow for the group's charismatic leader. Cast: Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, Toby Kebbell, Shiloh Fernandez, Patricia Clarkson.
The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete / U.S.A. (Director: George Tillman Jr., Screenwriter: Michael Starrbury) — Separated from their mothers and facing a summer in the Brooklyn projects alone, two boys hide from police and forage for food, with only each other to trust. A story of salvation through friendship and two boys against the world. Cast: Skylan Brooks, Ethan Dizon, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks, Anthony Mackie, Jeffrey Wright.
jOBS / U.S.A. (Director: Joshua Michael Stern, Screenwriter: Matt Whiteley) — The true story of one of the greatest entrepreneurs in American history, jOBS chronicles the defining 30 years of Steve Jobs’ life. jOBS is a candid, inspiring and personal portrait of the one who saw things differently. Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons, Matthew Modine. CLOSING NIGHT FILM
The Look of Love / United Kingdom (Director: Michael Winterbottom, Screenwriter: Matt Greenhalgh) — The true story of British adult magazine publisher and entrepreneur Paul Raymond. A modern day King Midas story, Raymond became one of the richest men in Britain at the cost of losing those closest to him. Cast: Steve Coogan, Anna Friel, Imogen Poots, Tamsin Egerton.
Lovelace / U.S.A. (Directors: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, Screenwriter: Andy Bellin) — Deep Throat, the first pornographic feature film to be a mainstream success, was an international sensation in 1972 and made its star, Linda Lovelace, a media darling. Years later the “poster girl for the sexual revolution” revealed a darker side to her story. Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Hank Azaria, Adam Brody, James Franco, Sharon Stone.
The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman / U.S.A. (Director: Fredrik Bond, Screenwriter: Matt Drake) — Traveling abroad, Charlie Countryman falls for Gabi, a Romanian beauty whose unreachable heart has its origins in Nigel, her violent, charismatic ex. As the darkness of Gabi’s past increasingly envelops him, Charlie resolves to win her heart, or die trying. Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Rupert Grint, James Buckley, Til Schweiger.
Prince Avalanche / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: David Gordon Green) — Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind. Cast: Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch.
Stoker / U.S.A. (Director: Park Chan-Wook, Screenwriter: Wentworth Miller) — After India's father dies in an auto accident, her Uncle Charlie comes to live with her and her mother, Evelyn. Soon after his arrival, India suspects that this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives but becomes increasingly infatuated with him. Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Dermot Mulroney, Jacki Weaver, Nicole Kidman.
Sweetwater / U.S.A. (Directors: Logan Miller, Noah Miller, Screenwriter: Andrew McKenzie) — In the late 1800s, a fanatical religious leader, a renegade Sheriff, and a former prostitute collide in a blood triangle on the rugged plains of the New Mexico Territory. Cast: Ed Harris, January Jones, Jason Isaacs, Eduardo Noriega, Steven Rude, Amy Madigan.
Top of the Lake / Australia, New Zealand (Directors: Jane Campion, Garth Davis, Screenwriters: Jane Campion, Gerard Lee) — A 12-year-old girl stands chest deep in a frozen lake. She is five months pregnant, and won't say who the father is. Then she disappears. So begins a haunting mystery that consumes a community. Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Holly Hunter, Peter Mullan, David Wenham. This six-hour film will screen once during the Festival.
Two Mothers / Australia, France (Director: Anne Fontaine, Screenwriter: Christopher Hampton) — This gripping tale of love, lust and the power of friendship charts the unconventional and passionate affairs of two lifelong friends who fall in love with each other’s sons. Cast: Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, Xavier Samuel, James Frechevile.
Very Good Girls / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Naomi Foner) — In the long, half-naked days of a New York summer, two girls on the brink of becoming women fall for the same guy and find that life isn't as simple or safe as they had thought. Cast: Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Olsen, Boyd Holbrook, Demi Moore, Richard Dreyfuss, Ellen Barkin.
The Way, Way Back / U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash) — Duncan, an introverted 14-year-old, comes into his own over the course of a comedic summer when he forms unlikely friendships with the gregarious manager of a rundown water park and the misfits who work there. Cast: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph, Liam James.
2013 DOCUMENTARY PREMIERES
ANITA / U.S.A. (Director: Freida Mock) — Anita Hill, an African-American woman, charges Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas with sexual harassment in explosive Senate hearings in 1991 – bringing sexual politics into the national consciousness and fueling 20 years of international debate on the issues.
The Crash Reel / U.S.A. (Director: Lucy Walker) — The jaw-dropping story of one unforgettable athlete, Kevin Pearce; one eye-popping sport, snowboarding; and one explosive issue, traumatic brain injury. An epic rivalry between Kevin and Shaun White culminates in a life-changing crash and a comeback story with a difference. SALT LAKE CITY GALA FILM
History of the Eagles / U.S.A. (Director: Alison Ellwood) — Using never-before-seen home movies, archival footage and new interviews with all current and former members of the Eagles, this documentary provides an intimate look into the history of the band and the legacy of their music.
Linsanity / U.S.A. (Director: Evan Leong) — Jeremy Lin came from a humble background to make an unbelievable run in the NBA. State high school champion, all-Ivy League at Harvard, undrafted by the NBA and unwanted there: his story started long before he landed on Broadway.
Pandora's Promise / U.S.A. (Director: Robert Stone) — A growing number of environmentalists are renouncing decades of antinuclear orthodoxy and have come to believe that the most feared and controversial technology known to mankind is probably our greatest hope.
Running from Crazy / U.S.A. (Director: Barbara Kopple) — Mariel Hemingway, granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway, strives for a greater understanding of her family history of suicide and mental illness. As tragedies are explored and deeply hidden secrets are revealed, Mariel searches for a way to overcome a similar fate.
Sound City / U.S.A. (Director: Dave Grohl) — Through interviews and performances with the legendary musicians and producers who worked at America's greatest unsung recording studio, Sound City, we explore the human element of music, and the lost art of analog recording in an increasingly digital world.
We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks / U.S.A. (Director: Alex Gibney) — In 2010, WikiLeaks and its sources used the power of the Internet to usher in what was for some a new era of transparency and for others the beginnings of an information war.
When I Walk / U.S.A., Canada (Director: Jason DaSilva) — At 25, filmmaker and artist Jason DaSilva finds out he has a severe form of multiple sclerosis. This film shares his personal and grueling journey over the next seven years. Along the way, an unlikely miracle changes everything.
Which Way is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington / U.S.A. (Director: Sebastian Junger) — Shortly after the release of his documentary Restrepo, photographer Tim Hetherington was killed in Libya. Colleague Sebastian Junger traces Hetherington's work across the world's battlefields to reveal how he transcended the boundaries of image-making to become a luminary in his profession.
The World According to Dick Cheney / U.S.A. (Directors: R.J. Cutler, Greg Finton) — How did Dick Cheney become the single-most-powerful nonpresidential figure in American history? This multi-layered examination of Cheney's life, career, key relationships and controversial worldview features exclusive interviews with the former vice president and his closest allies.
Follow Jean on Twitter @hijean
[Photo Credit: Dale Robinette/Millennium Films]
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October 23, 2012 1:00pm EST
The superspy's former flames were overshadowed on the Royal Albert Hall red carpet by Bond's current leading ladies Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe, who stunned in a red Vivienne Westwood ball gown.
British actress Harris wore a daring sheer black Marios Schwab dress with a blue sequinned body suit underneath.
Craig was in good spirits as he chatted to event MC David Walliams, telling the British comedian he felt confident his new film was one of the best in the 007 franchise.
He said, "Both (director) Sam (Mendes) and I are huge Bond fans and we just wanted to do the best job."
And he only had great things to say about new Bond villain Javier Bardem.
Craig added, "He's a joy to work with; he's one of the best actors there is... He's up there with the best (villains)."
The James Bond star also got the chance to speak with the premiere's top guests, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, just before the film began.
Dame Judi Dench and Ralph Fiennes were also on the red carpet for the launch.
Fiennes confessed to being a Bond fan since he was a teenager, adding, "I was thrilled to be a part of the film", while Dench was full of praise for Craig, stating, "He's totally Bond."
Newlywed Holly Valance and her husband Nick Candy, Minnie Driver, Kelly Brook, Tamara Ecclestone and British film couple Sam Taylor-Wood and Aaron Johnson were also among the celebrity guests keen to see the new Bond film.
September 18, 2012 9:38am EST
This review was originally printed as part of Hollywood.com's Comic-Con 2012 coverage
A reimagining of the 2000 AD label comic book that inspired Judge Dredd the 1994 Sylvester Stallone action flick that took sci-fi wackiness to new heights Dredd scales back on the futuristic elements and puts an emphasis on the brutality in store for the Judge's criminal victims. In this not-so-distant world a Judge has the power to decide your fate right upon capture — and usually the sentence involves some type of ammunition being fired into the offender's skull. Dredd is a grimy smoldering relentless 90 minutes that manages to inject its in-your-face fight scenes with an unexpected bit of humanity. Shocking considering the buckets of blood spilled during Judge Dredd's warpath which begins from his very first appearance.
This time around Dredd is played by Karl Urban a chiseled beast of a dude who balances the machismo with a healthy dose of one-liner comedy. A great central hero. To investigate a series of murders connected to one of Mega City 1's most notorious crime figureheads Dredd is partnered with an exact opposite: Cassandra (Olivia Thirlby) a new recruit who makes up for her lack of killer instinct with a mutant psychic power. She may not have the throat-ripping capabilities of Dredd but once this girl gets in a baddie's head it's over. Dredd is wary of his new sidekick potential — even more so when the challenge they face reveals itself. Cooped up at the top of a 120+ story building is Ma-Ma (Lena Hedley) whose operation will soon put a new drug — dubbed "Slo-Mo" — in the hands of every Mega City 1 citizen. To stop her Dredd and Cassandra must slay her goons as they ascend the skyscraper. Simple premise lots of bloodshed.
Unlike this year's The Raid which took a similar approach to the non-stop antics of a martial arts film Dredd opts for the slow burn approach. Director Pete Travis (Vantage Point) wants us to take a big whiff of every musky apartment in Ma-Ma's "Peach Trees" tower; he wants us to feel every drip of sweat that trickles down Dredd's stubble while the law enforcer waits patiently to attack; he wants us to feel the complete stop of time when the Slo-Mo drug kicks in and even droplets of suddy bath water hang in the air from a splash; and he wants us to feel like we're in the front seat of a Gallagher show when Dredd fires an explosive bullet into the mouth of a henchman and watches the head explode into bits (all in clear and crisp 3D). Dredd is near-fetishistic in its approach to gore – I found myself mouth agape making audible "EEEEEEEEAAAAH" sounds throughout the film — but plays well to the lead character's ferocious nature.
The hyper-style doesn't end with Dredd's unique array of finishing moves either; Cassandra's telepathy is a weapon of the senses that Travis mines for every flashy montage sequence he can squeeze out of it. In one sequence Cassandra uncovers an important clue by subjecting one of Ma-Ma's assailants to mental torture a terrifying whirlwind of imagery of saturated nightmares (if you've ever watched Saw after scarfing down an undercooked burrito you know what I mean). Travis amps "MTV editing" in these sequences an assault to the senses that's just as purposefully grating as the gritty fight sequences.
What makes the whole thing worth watching are the film's two leads. Urban has the thankless task of playing Dredd under the Judge's signature mask — someone obviously forgot to tell the police force of the future that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Urban makes up for it with a spectrum of snarls and a voice that sends chills down the spine. He also knows his way around comedy timing (as evidenced by his equally-impressive performance as Bones in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek) delivering kitschy zingers that click with Dredd's rough and tough world. The yin to his yang Cassandra could have been another helpless female costar who steps in with magical powers when the time is right but Thirlby is the real heart and soul of Dredd breathing compassion into a dimly lit situation and reflecting the grey morality of the entire Judge program. Why are people cool with cops coming in and blowing them away when they see fit? Why is that the new definition of heroism? The script by Alex Garland (28 Days Later Never Let Me Go) is smart to ask those questions and Cassandra is the perfect proxy. Thirlby as adorable as she is plays the gal fierce a sensible kind of Judge that can live side by side with Dredd.
There are a lot of people who won't be able to stomach Dredd partly for the level of violence partly for the consistency and pace of how that violence is unleashed. The small scale and singular location of the action don't allow Dredd to keep the surprises coming. After awhile watching human heads splatter like water balloons becomes taxing and unenjoyable (which some psychologists may say should have been the case in the first place). Hedley does a decent job of making her psychotic Ma-Ma into a wicked villain who deserves her due but without a fleshed out cause and bigger picture implications it's hard to care. Her squad of faceless men are more like punching bags then characters. But over-the-top mayhem has its place and when accompanied by a badass like Dredd and a pumping electronica score it's hard not to cheer when the Judge lays down the gruesome law. Dredd isn't a great film but it's a great Comic-Con film — one worth catching at midnight and screaming your lungs out all in good absurd fun.
July 01, 2012 2:03pm EST
With the official announcement of Sunday's activities, San Diego Comic-Con finally has its full line-up. And boy oh boy is it ever chock-a-block with things to do. For those not easily overwhelmed, we've broken down the highlights that will no doubt bring in tons of spoilers, revelations, exclusives, and news about our favorite television shows and movies. The comic convention has quickly turned into THE place to reveal information to a highly-rapturous nerd-and-geek-a-palooza in addition to the discussion of the comic book and fandom worlds.
So take a look at the highlights below and get your schedules ready--it's definitely going to be tight to manage seeing everything worth attending. Does anyone have an extra time-turner handy?
For those lucky enough to get into the preview night, there is a nearly 4 hour block of pilot screenings that include ABC's 666 Park Avenue, CW's Arrow, FOX's The Following, NBC's Revolution, and CW's Cult.
Thursday morning starts off with several panels, including an hour of movie trailer screenings. The cast and crew from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 will be on-hand to present a sneak peek at the film followed by a Q&A. Disney hosts a panel featuring Tim Burton and his Frankenweenie, Sam Raimi and Oz The Great and Powerful, and Wreck-it Ralph. John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman will also be there. To round out the afternoon, Teen Wolf of the MTV variety and USA's Psych will also have panels going. The CW's Beauty and the Beast has a panel during the evening, and the zombies will be out for The Walking Dead's early evening discussion. Wilfred's team will have an hour to chat about the FX-by-way-of-Australian television show, and CBS' Elementary will serve you some behind-the-scenes clues into the show for Sherlock and Watsons everywhere. On the movie front, The Expendables 2 will talk about the action and and explosions experienced by on-hand stars Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and more. Jon Benjamin has his first panel of the weekend to discuss Archer before the folks from Dexter chat about the world's most lovable serial killer, in what promises to be filled with tons of details about the upcoming season. Comedy Central gets in on the fun with a discussion with the boys from Workaholics before everything ends with a lively sing-along featuring Neil Patrick Harris' internet sensation, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.
Community brings the cult-favorite's cast to San Diego for what will be an undoubtedly kooky and obscure pop culture reference-laden event, while the bronies will be found at a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (I know!) panel. Nickelodeon's buzzified new show Legend of Korra takes a stab at the comic-con circuit, as well as CW's midseasoner Cult. Fans of Adult Swin have several panels running on Friday, and Big Bang Theory gets an upgrade to the prestigious Hall H for its cast chat. Things are a little bit creepy in honor of the superstitious Friday the 13th, with a panel for ABC's 666 Park Avenue, as well as several other horrific sessions. In curious music-related news, Chris Martin and the Coldplay crew will be on hand to chat about the alleged secret narrative behind their album Mylo Xyloto that has turned into a comic miniseries. Interesting! At lunchtime, The Walking Dead will raise you from the undead before David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel talk the Bones season seven shocker. Elijah Wood will be there to discuss his voice work on Disney's Tron: Legacy series before afternoon highlight and sure-to-be-packed-to-the-gills Game of Thrones panel moderated by series-and-novel creator George R.R. Martin. A portion of the cast: including Jon Snow, Theon Greyjoy, Cersei Lannister, Robb and Catelyn Stark, and Daenerys Targaryen will be on hand to dish on winter's impending arrival. White walkers!
Think you're done yet? Oh no, my friends, there's much more--including Bob's Burgers, a preview of Resident Evil: Retribution, and a panel discussing kick-ass ladies featuring Kristin Bauer van Straten, Sarah Wayne Callies, Kristin Kreuk, Nikki Reed and Anna Torv. Wil Wheaton will serve up a Q&A for Falling Skies.
Sony heads up a huge two-hour panel featuring their upcoming films, including the reboot of Total Recall with Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel and Bryan Cranston on stage, as well as Joseph Gordon-Levitt's futuristic Looper, and Neill Blonkamp's Elysium featuring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster.
Phew! But we're not done yet, America. Oh no. Joss Whedon and Anthony Bourdain both have panels during the evening portion, before Bryan Cranston has another panel with his hit show Breaking Bad. Cult-favorites that ended-too-soon for some fans (Dollhouse, FlashForward, Firefly, and The Middleman) have their own panel — with Firefly's hosted by the Science Channel — about what the writers wish they could've shown before Resident Evil: Damnation has a 7-minute sneak preview event with a subsequent Q&A.
Saturday starts out strong with a panel for next year's Will and Jaden Smith film/comic book, After Earth. G4's Attack of the Show comes up next with a behind-the-scenes look at the nerd-favorite. Then it's a trip to Storybrooke, where the cast of Once Upon A Time will chat about the magical show. Keep an eye out, as Ginnifer Goodwin, Lana Parrilla, and Emilie de Ravin will all be on hand. Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton are hosting a Geek & Sundry panel that promises big-time announcements that Wheaton fans will sure to delight over for days after. Lizzy Caplan, Alison Brie, Martin Starr, and Geoffrey Arend will all be on-hand to discuss their new film Save the Date, which tells a contemporary story of modern love using the style and tropes of comic book storytelling to make the movie. A highlight of Saturday morning is definitely the sneak-peek of Django Unchained, featuring a Q&A with Quentin Tarantino and the cast. Futurama also has a panel on the day, as well as Chris Hardwick's ever-popular Nerdist empire. But Saturday's shenanigans don't stop here--we're barely even through lunchtime, you guys--other panel highlights include The Simpsons, Jake Gyllenhaal will discuss his new film End of Watch, and the crew from Family Guy will also chat up the convention. There's a panel each for the folks from Grimm, Being Human, and Vampire Diaries, to discuss the supernatural dramas second, third, and fourth respective seasons. The Shameless cast talks drunken shenanigans and family calamities before the evening takes off with the big guns. On the TV front, True Blood, Glee, MythBusters, and Cinemax's Femme Fatales all get their own Q&A time. Movie highlights in the evening include Iron Man 3 and Person of Interest. Nerd hero Kevin Smith also has his own panel.
The day starts off strong with a Fringe panel featuring stars Anna Torv, Josh Jackson, Lance Reddick, Blair Brown, Jasika Nicole, and John Noble. After that, things get Supernatural with Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, but continue with an alleged "earth-shattering announcements that will change the life of Peter Parker [aka Spiderman] for another 50 years" in a panel featuring the Marvel crew. Intrigue! By then it's lunchtime and the cult-favorite Doctor Who will premiere some exclusive content in preparation for the upcoming season of the BBC hit. Seth MacFarlane will be on hand to premiere the first episode from season four of The Cleveland Show. In an attempt to make us all feel 100 years old, there will be a 20th anniversary celebration/panel for Buffy the Vampire Slayer which will feature surprise guests and the original movie Buffy, Kristy Swanson, as well as stars Nicholas Brendon and Clare Kramer. There will also be a separate screening of the musical episode later on in the afternoon. FX favorite Sons of Anarchy will also take an hour on the stage, as well as a panel on the Harry Potter fandom.
Phew! Information overload much? For those of you that are going, which of these panels are you most excited about? For those not attending but keeping score, which panels do you think will be the true highlights? Let us know in the comments!
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
Firefly cast to reunite at Comic-Con
The Future of Marvel Movies Looks Absolutely Insane
Hollywood.com at Comic-Con 2011
May 09, 2012 2:03pm EST
This is history in the making, folks! President Barack Obama has become the first-ever president to reveal his personal support for gay marriage rights while still in office. "I've just concluded for me personally, it is important for me to affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married," President Obama told ABC News on May 9 — just one day after North Carolina opted to ban gay marriage entirely.
Naturally, the internet is all a-Twitter about his admirable support for equal rights. Even our favorite Hollywood celebs could not contain their excitement and had a few things to say to the POTUS.
Ellen DeGeneres: "Thank you President @BarackObama for your beautiful and brave words. I'm overwhelmed." - @TheEllenShow
Neil Patrick Harris: “@BarackObama: President Obama announces his support for same-sex marriage [link]. Bravo, Mr. President, and thank you." - @ActuallyNPH
Glee's Jane Lynch: "Pretty darn happy today. Thanks Mr President, for supporting the dignity of my family and so many others!" - @JaneMarieLynch
Singer Josh Groban: "Historic!! #equality RT @BarackObama President Obama announces his support for same-sex marriage." - @JoshGroban
Bravo's Andy Cohen: "THANK YOU MR. PRESIDENT" - @BravoAndy
Jared Leto: "Nice to hear this from big B himself! #equality "@BarackObama: "Same-sex couples should be able to get married."—President Obama" - @JaredLeto
Rachel Zoe: "Such an exciting day!!! xoRZ RT @BarackObama "Same-sex couples should be able to get married."—President Obama." - @RachelZoe
Bryan Greenberg: "Respect to @BarackObama for supporting same sex marriages." - @BryanGreenberg
Evan Rachel Wood: "Wooooooo! @BarackObama." - @EvanRachelWood
RuPaul's Drag Race: "@BarackObama... shantay, you stay!" - @RuPaulsDragRace
DWTS Pro Louis van Amstel: "Just saw the ABCnews interview w @RobinRoberts n Obama. It was good to hear him say everyone SHOULD b able to get married." - @LouisVanAmstel
Michelle Branch: "YAY Obama!! #EqualityForAll." - @MichelleBranch
Russell Simmons: "thank you Mr. President for your support of gay marriage." - @UncleRUSH
Celebs Tweet Awareness of 'Kony 2012' Campaign
May 09, 2012 1:00pm EST
The world leader had steered clear of openly stating his stance on the sensitive topic ahead of the November (12) general election, but he responded to growing pressure on Wednesday (09May12) and announced his endorsement of same-sex unions in a taped TV interview for ABC News.
Obama, who previously believed marriage should be between a man and a woman, told newscaster Robin Roberts: "I've been going through an evolution on this issue. I've always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. At a certain point, I just concluded that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think that same sex couples should be able to get married."
The big announcement was warmly received by a slew of celebrities and they took to Twitter.com to celebrate the news.
Farrow writes, "YAY!!!! President Obama comes out in support of gay marriage !!!!", while lesbian singer Wright tweeted, "The President has just stated publicly that he believes 'same sex marriage should be legal'. I am proud. Thank you @BarackObama".
Actress Eliza Dushku posts, "Breaking: President Obama announces support for ALL/equal marriage!! FreedomToMarry" and Billy Elliott star Jamie Bell writes, "Good for you Mr. Obama. Good for you."
Married lesbian funnywoman Ellen DeGeneres tweets, "Thank you President @BarackObama for your beautiful and brave words. I'm overwhelmed", and Banks adds, "A fierce day for my gays and my prez @BarackObama - way 2 stand up 4 luv for ALL (sic)!"
Bisexual actress Evan Rachel Wood and gay stars Neil Patrick Harris and Sean Hayes were also among the first few celebrities to applaud the groundbreaking news on Wednesday.
Obama's endorsement comes just one day after residents in North Carolina passed a bill banning same-sex unions in the state, declaring marriage between a man and a woman the only valid domestic legal union.
February 27, 2012 7:27pm EST
S7E18: The most important thing to take from this week’s episode of How I Met Your Mother, “Karma,” is this: the writers of this show really hate Long Island. And it’s an irrational, haphazard hate. One week, they depict Long Islanders as a bunch of Rosie Perezes circa Do the Right Thing. Now, they’re switching to a sort of Stepford retirement community. Just pick a stereotype and stick to it. But I guess there actually are more important things to focus on regarding “Karma.” For instance, Karma.
"I swear, I never say crap like this. But I think, maybe, the universe is telling us something." - Barney Barney drives the A-story in his attempts to get to know Quinn, the girl he slept with around Valentine’s Day. He learns that she’s a stripper at the club he frequents (he’s not really one for eye contact), but does not let her profession stop him. Barney admits to genuinely liking and feeling challenged by Quinn. So, he makes an attempt to take her out. But here’s the kicker: she’s exactly like him. Quinn lies to Barney—tricking him into thinking that buying dances at the strip club is the only way he can spend time with her due to a fictitiously vigilant manager. Barney is head over heels for Quinn, so he eagerly gives into all of her tricks…right up until he notices her pulling the same exact game on some other guy at the club. Barney has a rare moment of profound reflection, recognizing that he deserves everything she is doing to him and then some. But he also admits that he is trying to be a better person, and that he actually has sincere intentions with her—due, naturally, to the fact that they’re practically kindred spirits. "I am so sorry. Your clothes accidentally ended up in this bag I donated to Good Will." - Lily At least a little bit moved by Barney’s speech, Quinn agrees to give him a chance. Two reformed sociopathic swindlers making a go at falling for one another. If that ain’t true romance… Can we hope that Barney’s fling with Quinn is just filler until he gets together with Robin? It is getting a little close to the end of the season for a Stinson-Scherbatsky reconnection/courtship/engagement/marriage. Could Quinn be the one Barney ends up with? A female Barney capable of turning him into a better man as he turns her into a better woman? Is this the fate we are meant to accept?! A little dramatic, I know, but we shippers are a passionate bunch. “Also, diary, I think writing in you is stupid, but you were a gift from Lily, and she’s watching me right now.” - Robin Speaking of Robin, she decides to stay with Marshall and Lily out in East Meadow, LI, for the time being (she moved out last week thanks to Marshall’s recommendation). Unfortunately, Robin finds this to be a hostile arrangement. Marshall and Lily have become boring suburbans who compulsively rope her into their mundane ideas of fun...and they won’t let her leave. Eventually, Robin gets it out of Marshall and Lily that they, too, hate Long Island, and need her there to ease the pain of living in what these writers apparently think is the worst place in the world. I believe it needs to be pointed out that Long Island is famous for its exquisite array of beautiful beaches, haunted locations and terrific bagels. So ease up, HIMYM. Marshall and Lily insist on staying, despite their misery, because they believe it’d be better for their baby—but more so, because they seem to be afraid or ashamed of “backing out” of this commitment. Robin tries to convince them that they should do whatever makes them happy, but to no avail. Until Ted comes along. "Shirley’s forty-two and rides a rascal. I swear, it’s the second half of Wall-E up here." - RobinAll episode long, Ted is dealing with his own misery. The misery of losing Robin, and of being alone, and of finding himself incapable of wood crafts and meat-smoking (he takes up a lot of hobbies to get his mind off his unhappiness). All the while, Ted talks to an imaginary Robin, who tries to convince him that all of this is a waste of time, and that he needs to do something more substantial to rid himself of the loneliness he feels in his apartment. And then, the real Robin shows up. They discuss a few things. Marshall’s and Lily’s unhappiness on Long Island, for one. More substantially, they discuss the end to their on-again-off-again ordeal…tacitly, but hardly subtly. Ted understands a little bit more that he really needs to move on, so that he can find something more meaningful than just a distraction from what he really wants… And he does. Ted calls Marshall and Lily, asking them to meet him at the apartment. But when they get there, all of his stuff is moved out, and there is only a note to greet them: he has given them the apartment—and they’re pretty thrilled about it. But the questions arise: what is Ted going to do now? Is this when he gets back into actually being an architect and building that skyscraper in the New York City skyline? We know it won’t be ‘til May that he meets the mother, so I predict a whole lot of existentialistic futzing around on Mr. Mosby’s part. In other words, I feel like there is a chance we might be in for a lot of Marshall/Lily/Robin/Barney-centric episodes—which is a shame, because when Ted is at his best, he is my favorite character. But we’ll have to see where this new conquest takes him. On the same token, where is Robin living? Are both of them homeless? Will the economy finally take a toll on this group of over privileged alcoholics? Let us know what you think about where Barney, Ted and Robin will go from here in the comments section, or on Twitter @Hollywood.com and @MichaelArbeiter.
February 01, 2012 9:59am EST
If Sundance is the studious valedictorian of film festivals, than South by Southwest is the party animal younger broth—who's just as smart (if not more) as his stuffy sibling. Held in Austin, Texas every March, SXSW is a rootin' tootin' celebration of cinema, hosting big Hollywood premieres, the best of the best from Sundance and plenty of off-beat indies primed and ready for discovery. Some of the year's best films premiere at the festival—need I remind you of Kill List—and most make their way to release, making SXSW a festival to keep your eye on.
The line-up for this year's fest has been officially release, and sports highly anticipated movies like Jonah Hill's 21 Jump Street and Cabin in the Woods, the long-awaited meta-horror from Lost/Cloverfield writer Drew Goddard and producer Joss Whedon, the premiere of Judd Apatow's new TV show Girls (written and starring Lena Dunham) and new projects from acclaimed directors like William Friedkin (The Exorcist), Kevin McDonald (Last King of Scotland), Will Ferrell, Jay Chandrasekhar of Broken Lizard and the Duplass Brothers (Cyrus).
Check out the films below and let us know which ones you want to hear more about!
Big names, big talent: Headliners bring star power to SXSW, featuring red carpet premieres and gala film events with some major and rising names in cinema.
Films screening in Headliners are:
21 Jump Street
Directed by: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, Screenplay by: Michael Bacall, Story by: Michael Bacall & Jonah Hill
Police officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) get sent back to high school as undercover cops in the action-comedy 21 Jump Street. Cast: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Rob Riggle, with Ice Cube (World Premiere)
BIG EASY EXPRESS
Director: Emmett Malloy
Emmett Malloy’s latest film invites us aboard a train ride unlike any other with Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show.
The Cabin in the Woods
Director: Drew Goddard, Screenwriters: Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard
Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen. If you think you know this story, think again. From fan favorites Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard comes The Cabin in the Woods, a mind-blowing horror film that turns the genre inside out. Cast: Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Anna Hutchison, Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, and Bradley Whitford (World Premiere)
Director: Gotham Chopra
Filmmaker Gotham Chopra spends a year on the road decoding his father and spiritual icon Deepak Chopra. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Lena Dunham
Created by and starring Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture), the HBO show is a comic look at the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of a group of girls in their early 20s.
Cast: Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver (World Premiere)
The Hunter (Australia)
Director: Daniel Nettheim, Screenplay by: Alice Addison, Novel by: Julia Leigh, Original Adaptation by: Wain Fimeri
A mercenary is dispatched from Europe to the Tasmanian wilderness by a mysterious biotech company to search for the last surviving Tasmanian tiger.
Cast: Willem Dafoe, Frances O'Connor, Sam Neill (U.S. Premiere)
Director: William Friedkin, Screenwriter: Tracy Letts
A garish, Southwestern tale - a violent black comedy about a desperate Texas debtor (Hirsch) who plots to kill his mother with help of his family (Haden Church, Gershon). They hire a crazy Dallas cop who moonlights as a contract killer (McConaughey) to do the job, but Killer Joe asks for their teenage daughter (Temple) as a retainer. The film is based on Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts' (August: Osage County) award winning play. Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Gina Gershon, Juno Temple, Thomas Haden Church (U.S. Premiere)
MARLEY (UK / USA)
Director: Kevin Macdonald
The definitive life story of Bob Marley - musician, revolutionary, legend - from his early days to his rise to international superstardom. Made with the support of the Marley family, the film features rare footage, incredible performances and revelatory interviews with the people that knew him best. Directed by Academy-Award-Winner Kevin Macdonald. (North American Premiere)
NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION
This year’s 8 films were selected from 1,112 submissions. Each film is a World Premiere.
Films screening in Narrative Feature Competition are:
Director/Screenwriter: Matt Ruskin
When Simon’s brother is arrested for armed robbery, he is asked to commit a string of similar crimes in an attempt to get his brother acquitted.
Cast: Nico Stone, Adam DuPaul, Seymour Cassel, Kristin Dougherty, Brian McGrail (World Premiere)
Director: Megan Griffiths, Screenwriters: Richard B. Phillips, Megan Griffiths, Story by: Richard B. Phillips & Chong Kim
A young Korean-American girl, abducted and forced into prostitution by domestic human traffickers, joins forces with her captors in a desperate plea to survive. Cast: Jamie Chung, Matt O'Leary, Beau Bridges, Jeanine Monterroza, Scott Mechlowicz (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Jonathan Lisecki
Jenn and Matt, best friends since college who are now in their thirties, decide to have a child together, the old-fashioned way - even though Matt is gay and Jenn is straight. Cast: Jenn Harris, Matthew Wilkas, Mike Doyle, Anna Margaret Hollyman, Jack Ferver (World Premiere)
Gimme the Loot
Director/Screenwriter: Adam Leon
When Malcolm and Sofia’s latest graffiti masterpiece is buffed by a rival gang, these two determined Bronx teens must hustle, steal, and scheme to get spectacular revenge and become the biggest writers in the City. Cast: Tashiana Washington, Ty Hickson, Meeko, Zoe Lescaze, Sam Soghor
Los Chidos (Germany / Mexico / USA)
Director/Screenwriter: Omar Rodriguez Lopez
The Gonzales family tries hard to hold on to their beautiful Latino traditions of misogyny and homophobia when a tall, white, industrialist stranger appears, challenging their place in the exploitative food chain. Cast: Kim Stodel, María De Jesús Canales Ramírez, Manuel Ramos, Cecillia Gutiérrez, (World Premiere)
Director: Martha Stephens, Screenwriters: Martha Stephens, Karrie Crouse
A pink-slipped music teacher ponders his stalled relationship and place in the world during an arduous trek across Kentucky’s Sheltowee Trace Trail. Cast: Timothy Morton, Bryan Marshall, Karrie Crouse, Harrison Cole, Michael Abbott Jr. (World Premiere)
Director: Sean Baker, Screenwriters: Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch
The film explores the unlikely friendship between 21-year-old Jane (Dree Hemingway), and 85 year-old Sadie (Besedka Johnson), two women whose worlds collide in California's San Fernando Valley.
Cast: Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson, Stella Maeve, James Ransone, Karren Karagulian
The Taiwan Oyster
Director: Mark Jarrett, Screenwriters: Mark Jarrett, Jordan Heimer, Mitchell Jarrett
Two Ex-Pat Kindergarten teachers in Taiwan embark on a quixotic odyssey to bury a fellow countryman. Cast: Billy Harvey, Jeff Palmiotti, Leonora Lim (World Premiere)NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT
High profile narrative features receiving their World, North American or U.S. Premieres at SXSW.
Films screening in Narrative Spotlight are:
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar, Screenwriters: Peter Gaulke, Gerry Swallow
Unable to impregnate his wife, Tommy and friends rob a sperm bank - to get Tommy's long-ago donated sperm back. The crazy plan goes hilariously awry and shows how far a couple will go to create a new life.
Cast: Paul Schneider, Olivia Munn, Kevin Heffernan, Wood Harris, Nat Faxon (World Premiere)
Director: Adam Sherman, Screenwriters: Adam Sherman, Dave Reeves & Rachel Hardisty
Just another story about love.
Cast: Lukas Haas, Madeline Zima, Jake Busey, Tania Raymonde, Regine Nehy (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass
Two brothers compete in their own private 25-event Olympics.
Cast: Mark Kelly, Steve Zissis, Elton LeBlanc (World Premiere)
Fat Kid Rules The World
Director: Matthew Lillard, Screenwriters: Michael M.B. Galvin, Peter Speakman
Troy, a depressed overweight teenager, gets sucked into the punk rock world by Marcus, a charming street musician. But when Troy discovers Marcus’ drug addiction, he suddenly must figure out the true boundaries of friendship.
Cast: Jacob Wysocki, Matt O'Leary, Billy Campbell, Lilli Simmons, Dylan Arnold (World Premiere)
frankie go boom
Director/Screenwriter: Jordan Roberts
a flick by bruce about his little brother frank who's a crybaby fuck who shouldn't do lame-ass embarrassing shit if he dozn't want people 2 see it
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Chris O'Dowd, Lizzy Caplan, Ron Perlman, Chris Noth (World Premiere)
Hunky Dory (UK)
Director: Marc Evans, Screenwriter: Laurence Coriat
From the producer of Billy Elliot comes this funny, coming of age film featuring songs from artists such as David Bowie, Lou Reed, The Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel, Dusty Springfield and Electric Light Orchestra. Cast: Minnie Driver, Aneurin Barnard, Danielle Branch, Robert Pugh, Haydn Gwynne
(North American Premiere)
In Our Nature
Director/Screenwriter: Brian Savelson
Taking place over a single weekend, an estranged father and son accidentally end up in the same country house with their two girlfriends.
Cast: Zach Gilford, Jena Malone, John Slattery, Gabrielle Union (World Premiere)
Director: Guy Maddin, Screenwriters: Guy Maddin, George Toles
I'm only a ghost... but a ghost isn't nothing.
Cast: Isabella Rossellini, Jason Patric, Udo Kier, Kevin McDonald, Tattiawna Jones (U.S. Premiere)
See Girl Run
Director/Screenwriter: Nate Meyer
What happens when a 30-something woman allows life's "what ifs" to overwhelm her appreciation for what life actually is. Disregarding her current obligations, she digs into her romantic past in hopes of invigorating her present.
Cast: Robin Tunney, Adam Scott, Jeremy Strong, William Sadler, Josh Hamilton (World Premiere)
Director: Jonas Åkerlund, Screenwriter: Chris Millis
When Franklin Franklin accidentally kills his landlord, he must hide the body; but, the wisdom of his beloved brother and the quirks of his neighbors, force him on a journey where a fortune awaits him. Cast: Matt Lucas, Billy Crystal, James Caan, Johnny Knoxville, Juno Temple (World Premiere)
Somebody Up There Likes Me
Director/Screenwriter: Bob Byington
Time flies for everyone: Thirty-five years in the life of Max, his best friend Sal, and a woman they both adore. A deadpan fable about time sneaking up on and swerving right around us.
Cast: Keith Poulson, Nick Offerman, Jess Weixler, Stephanie Hunt, Kevin Corrigan (World Premiere)
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
This year’s 8 films were selected from 845 submissions. Each film is a World Premiere.
Films screening in Documentary Feature Competition are:
Bay of All Saints
Director: Annie Eastman
As the last of the notorious water slums is demolished in Bahia, Brazil, will three single mothers face homelessness or rally for a better life? (World Premiere)
Beware of Mr. Baker
Director: Jay Bulger
Ginger Baker is the original rock ‘n roll madman junkie drummer superstar who everyone thought was dead but somehow survived 50+ years of heroin abuse, disastrous experiments and 5 marriages on 4 continents. (World Premiere)
The Central Park Effect
Director: Jeffrey Kimball
The film reveals the extraordinary array of wild birds who grace Manhattan’s celebrated patch of green, and the equally colorful, full-of-attitude New Yorkers who schedule their lives around the rhythms of migration. (World Premiere)
Director: Chris James Thompson
A documentary about the people around Jeffrey Dahmer during the 1991 summer of his arrest for the murder of 17 people in Milwaukee. (World Premiere)
Seeking Asian Female
Director: Debbie Lum
When an American man with "yellow fever" meets a Chinese woman half his age online, documenting their attempt to build a marriage from scratch reveals hilarious and troubling complications for the couple and the filmmaker. (World Premiere)
The Sheik and I
Director: Caveh Zahedi
Commissioned by a Middle Eastern Biennial to make a film on the theme of "art as a subversive act," independent filmmaker Caveh Zahedi (I am a Sex Addict) is threatened with a fatwa. (World Premiere)
Directors: Jodi Wille, Maria Demopoulos
The Source Family was a radical experiment in '70s utopian living. Their popular restaurant, rock band, and beautiful women made them the darlings of Hollywood; but their outsider ideals led to their dramatic undoing. (World Premiere)
Welcome To The Machine
Director: Avi Zev Weider
Upon fathering triplets, filmmaker Avi Zev Weider explores the nature of technology, seeking answers about what it means to be human. (World Premiere)
Shining a light on new documentary features receiving their World, North American or U.S. Premieres at SXSW.
Films screening in Documentary Spotlight are:
Director: Kevin Mazur
Renowned celebrity photographer, Kevin Mazur, gives us an all access pass to the life behind the velvet rope and in front of the camera. Candid, revealing and bold interviews with Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez, Elton John and more, take us inside the blurred lines of privacy, pliable journalism, celebrity, fame and what it feels like to be consumed. (World Premiere)
America's Parking Lot
Director: Jonny Mars
Pull up a front row seat as two die-hard fans of 'America's Team' spend their last season with the Dallas Cowboys at historic Texas Stadium, and scramble to preserve their place in America’s Parking Lot. (World Premiere)
Director: Nelson George
On Thursday, November 7, 1991, Earvin “Magic” Johnson made the stunning announcement that he was HIV-positive and would be retiring from basketball immediately. The Announcement gets to the core of Magic’s incredible personal journey. (World Premiere)
Beauty Is Embarrassing
Director: Neil Berkeley
A funny, irreverent and inspirational look into the life and times of one of America's most important artists, Wayne White. (World Premiere)
Director: Katie Dellamaggiore
Amidst financial crises and unprecedented public school budget cuts, Brooklyn Castle takes an intimate look at the challenges and triumphs facing members of a junior high school’s champion chess team. (World Premiere)
Code of the West
Director: Rebecca Richman Cohen
Frames a high stakes showdown in the halls of the Montana State Legislature. The future of medical marijuana is at stake. (World Premiere)
Degenerate Art: The Art and Culture of Glass Pipes
Director: M. Slinger
A true document of the art and culture of glass pipe-making. It is the first film to ever bring to light this invisible sub-culture in a comprehensive and well-informed format. (World Premiere)
Directors: A. Sabin, David Redmon
Young Russian girls join a modeling agency to seek work in Japan, but get caught up in an unregulated system that reveals an unseemly side of the fashion industry. (U.S. Premiere)
Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters
Director: Ben Shapiro
Acclaimed photographer Gregory Crewdson’s 10-year quest to create a series of haunting, surreal, and stunningly elaborate portraits of small-town American life — filmed with unprecedented access as he makes perfect renderings of a disturbing, imperfect world. (World Premiere)
Just Like Being There
Director: Scout Shannon
Through the eyes of Daniel Danger, Jay Ryan, and the gig poster community, Just Like Being There focuses on poster artists, the music they commemorate, MONDO film posters, fans, bloggers, galleries, collectors and everything in between. (World Premiere)
Scarlet Road (Australia)
Director: Catherine Scott
The film follows the extraordinary work of Australian sex worker, Rachel Wotton. Impassioned about freedom of sexual expression and the rights of sex workers, she specializes in a long over-looked clientele - people with disability. (North American Premiere)
Director: Andrew Garrison
A choreographer finds beauty and grace in garbage trucks, and against the odds, rallies reluctant city trash collectors to perform an extraordinary dance spectacle. On an abandoned airport runway, two dozen sanitation workers -- and their trucks -- inspire an audience of thousands. (World Premiere)
Waiting For Lightning
Director: Jacob Rosenberg
From the producers of Step into Liquid, comes the story of visionary skateboarder Danny Way, who jumped China’s Great Wall and created a new movement in sport. (World Premiere)
Wikileaks: Secrets & Lies (UK)
Director: Patrick Forbes
The in-depth story of Wikileaks told by all the key players. Sulphurous, personal and moving, it documents history in the making at the lawless frontier of new technology and mainstream media. (North American Premiere)
WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines
Director: Kristy Guevara-Flanagan
This documentary examines the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman and introduces audiences to a dynamic group of real life superheroes who continue to fight the good fight both on and off the screen. (World Premiere)
Audacious, risk-taking artists in the new cinema landscape that demonstrate raw innovation and creativity in documentary and narrative filmmaking.
Films screening in Emerging Visions are:
Black Pond (UK)
Directors: Tom Kingsley, Will Sharpe, Screenwriter: Will Sharpe
An ordinary family is accused of murder when a stranger dies at their dinner table. Stars BAFTA-winner Chris Langham and British Comedy Award Winner Simon Amstell. Cast: Chris Langham, Simon Amstell, Amanda Hadingue, Colin Hurley, Will Sharpe (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Kirsten Sheridan
Five street teens break into a house in a rich Dublin suburb for a night of partying. But games are twisted into something more emotional and ultimately out of control through a series of surprising revelations. Cast: Seana Kerslake, Johnny Ward, Kate Stanley Brennan, Shane Curry, Ciaran McCabe (North American Premiere)
Director: Andrew Beck Grace
A quest to eat locally becomes a meditation on community, the South and sustainability. Eating Alabama is a story about why food matters. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Rebecca Thomas
Rachel, a 15-year-old fundamentalist Mormon, believes she's had an immaculate conception by listening to rock and roll. She flees to Las Vegas to escape an arranged marriage, seeking answers to her mysterious pregnancy.
Cast: Julia Garner, Rory Culkin, Liam Aiken, Billy Zane (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Nir Paniry
A scientist is trapped in the memories of a criminal and must solve a crime in order to get back home to his family.
Cast: Sasha Roiz, Dominic Bogart, Jenny Mollen, Nick Jameson, Brad Culver (World Premiere)
Francine (Canada / USA)
Director/Screenwriter: Brian M. Cassidy, Melanie Shatzky
Academy-Award-winner, Melissa Leo, plays Francine, a woman struggling to find her place in a downtrodden lakeside town after leaving behind a life in prison.
Cast: Melissa Leo, Keith Leonard, Victoria Charkut (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Kevin Mcmanus, Matthew Mcmanus
For three 14-year-old boys at St. Mark's Middle School, it's always a good day for a funeral.
Cast: Dylan Hartigan, Alex Maizus, Jordan Puzzo, Charles Odei, Kevin Corrigan (World Premiere)
Hard Labor (Brazil)
Director/Screenwriter: Juliana Rojas, Marco Dutra
Helena prepares to open her own business: a neighborhood grocery store. She hires a maid. But when her husband Octavio is suddenly fired from his job, Helena is left to support the family alone.
Cast: Helena Albergaria, Marat Descartes, Naloana Lima, Marina Flores (U.S. Premiere)
La Camioneta - The Journey of One American School Bus
Director: Mark Kendall
On a 3,000-mile adventure across the borders between the Americas, La Camioneta follows the journey of one out-of-service American school bus as it is repaired, repainted and resurrected into a Guatemalan camioneta. (World Premiere)
The Last Fall
Director/Screenwriter: Matthew A. Cherry
An NFL journeyman struggles to deal with life's complexities after his professional career is over at age 25.
Cast: Lance Gross, Nicole Beharie, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Harry Lennix, Keith David
Leave Me Like You Found Me
Director/Screenwriter: Adele Romanski
Big trees, broken hearts. The story of a lovesick couple’s breakup & makeup while camping in the wilds of California. Cast: Megan Boone, David Nordstrom (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Tim Sutton
Max, a quietly troubled 15-year-old, leaves his lakeside town to live with his father on the sun-blasted fringe of suburban Arizona. What begins in a calm and lush environment ends in a drastic, frayed confusion. Cast: Max Schaffner, Zach Cali, Cody Hamric, Addie Barlett, Aaron Buyea (World Premiere)
Sun Don't Shine
Director/Screenwriter: Amy Seimetz
Two lovers, on the back roads of Florida, do very bad things.
Cast: Kate Lyn Sheil, Kentucker Audley, AJ Bowen, Kit Gwinn, Mark Reeb (World Premiere)
Directors: Silas Howard, Ernesto Foronda, Screenwriter: Valerie Stadler
When May returns to LA and runs smack into JP, the man she left behind, past and present collide sending them on a twenty-four hour journey in search of what they lost.
Cast: Monique Curnen, Sung Kang, Joshua Leonard, Mousa Kraish, Michelle Krusiec (World Premiere)
Director: Bill Ross, Turner Ross
Three young brothers' immersive journey into the sensory wonders of the New Orleans night.
Director/Screenwriter: Aleksander L. Nordaas
The film revolves around huldra, a mythical, tailed creature, found by two crime scene cleaners in a concealed cellar. Someone’s been keeping her down here for decades, for reasons soon to surface. Cast: Silje Reinåmo, Jon Sigve Skard, Erlend Nervold, Morten Andresen (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Wu Tsang
A magical-realist portrait of the Silver Platter, a historic bar in Los Angeles that provides a safe space for Latin/LGBT immigrant and queer art communities to come together in love and conflict.
Director/Screenwriter: Ya'ke Smith
A family is shaken to the core when they discover their son has been molested. As they struggle to deal with the betrayal, their son heads towards a total mental collapse.
Cast: Irma P. Hall, Mikala Gibson, Jordan Cooper, Shelton Jolivette, Eugene Lee (World Premiere)
24 BEATS PER SECOND
Showcasing the sounds, culture and influence of music and musicians, with an emphasis on documentary.
Films screening in 24 Beats Per Second are:
Amor Cronico (Cuba / USA)
Director: Jorge Perugorria
Weaving footage of singer Cucu Diamantes’ Cuban tour into a fictional love story. The result is an energetic display of her glamorous and infectious performance style and a fascinating portrait of Cuba today.
Cast: Cucu Diamantes, Adela Legra, Liosky Clavero, Andres Levin, Jorge Perugorria (World Premiere)
Bad Brains: Band in DC
Directors: Mandy Stein, Benjamen Logan
How four young men from DC changed music forever. (World Premiere)
Charles Bradley: Soul of America
Director: Poull Brien
The incredible late-in-life rise of 62-year-old aspiring soul singer Charles Bradley, whose debut album rocketed him from a hard life in the projects to Rolling Stone magazine’s top 50 albums of 2011.
Director: Dave Boyle, Screenwriters: Dave Boyle, Michael Lerman, Joel Clark, Goh Nakamura
After a devastating breakup, musician Goh Nakamura hits the road with his irresponsible cousin to pursue a promising rebound with fellow musician Yea-Ming Chen.
Cast: Goh Nakamura, Michael Aki, Yea-Ming Chen, Lynn Chen, Ayako Fujitani (World Premiere)
Grandma Lo-fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigrídur Níelsdóttir (Iceland / Denmark)
Director: Kristín Björk Kristjánsdóttir
At the tender age of 70 she started making music - and then she couldn't stop! A tribute to the Danish/Icelandic artist and late bloomer Sigrídur Níelsdóttir.
Paul Williams Still Alive
Director: Stephen Kessler
A documentary filmmaker tracks down actor/singer/songwriter Paul Williams in an attempt to find out what happened to his idol. (U.S. Premiere)
Rock 'N' Roll Exposed: The Photography of Bob Gruen (UK)
Director: Don Letts
Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, Yoko Ono, Alice Cooper, Billie Joe Armstrong and others discuss the incredible life and work of the world's foremost rock 'n' roll photographer, Bob Gruen.
(North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Hans Fjellestad
The 100-year history of the loudest street on the planet, The Sunset Strip. (World Premiere)
Under African Skies
Director: Joe Berlinger
Paul Simon returns to South Africa to explore the incredible journey of his historic Graceland album, including the political backlash he received for allegedly breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end the Apartheid regime.
Uprising: Hip Hop & The LA Riots
Director: Mark Ford
20 years after riots ripped through Los Angeles, Uprising documents how hip hop forecasted – and some say ignited – the worst civil unrest of the 20th century. (World Premiere)
A diverse panorama of international filmmaking talent, including premieres, interactive documentaries and shorts.
Films screening in SX Global are:
Director: Ashtar Sayed, Screenwriter: Dr. Mahendra Purohit
Inspired by a true event. Scarecrow tells the true story of a young woman who is attempting to escape from an abusive arranged marriage. Cast: Arti Rautela, Amit Purohit (North American Premiere)
Crulic - The Path to Beyond (Romania / Poland)
Director: Anca Damian
The animated documentary feature-length “Crulic – The Path to Beyond” tells the story of the life of Crulic, the 33-year-old Romanian who died in a Polish prison while on hunger strike.
Cubaton - El Medico Story (Estonia / Sweden)
Director: Daniel Fridell
El Medico - a Cuban house doctor who wants to become a cubaton star - is facing a serious choice between serving the state and becoming a popstar. (North American Premiere)
Her Master's Voice (UK)
Director: Nina Conti
Watching someone talk to themselves has never been so interesting. (World Premiere)
ITALY LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT (Italy / Germany)
Directors: Gustav Hofer, Luca Ragazzi
Gustav and Luca, two Italians, have to decide: Should they stay in Italy, or leave it? (North American Premiere)
Mustafa's Sweet Dreams (Greece / UK)
Director: Angelos Abazoglou
Mustafa, a 16-year-old pastry shop apprentice dreams of becoming a famous baklava chef in Istanbul. (North American Premiere)
Director: Tamae Garateguy, Screenwriters: Tamae Garateguy, Diego A. Fleischer
When a film director hires two screenwriters to make a gangster movie, a fiction feast starts: femmes fatales, mobs fighting for the same neighborhood and a limitless hero who defies every movie concept. Cast: José Luciano González, Joel Drut, Chang Sung Kim, Vladimir Yuravel, Miguel Forza de Paul
¡Vivan las Antipodas! (Germany / The Netherlands / Argentina / Chile)
Director: Victor Kossakovsky
Haven’t we all wondered at some point what was happening just at this moment beneath our very feet at the other side of the planet?
Acclaimed standouts and selected previous premieres from festivals around the world.
Films screening in Festival Favorites are:
Director/Screenwriter: Christoffer Boe
How long will you go, to hold on to the person you love?
Cast: Nicolas Bro, Marijana Jankovic, Nikolaj Lie Kaas
Director: Rick Alverson, Screenwriters: Robert Donne, Colm O'Leary
Indifferent even to the prospects of inheriting his father's estate, Swanson (Tim Heidecker), a desensitized, aging Brooklyn hipster, strays into a series of reckless situations that may offer the promise of redemption or the threat of retribution.
Cast: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, James Murphy, Kate Lyn-Sheil, Alexia Rassmusen
Dreams of a Life (UK / Ireland)
Director: Carol Morley
An imaginative quest to go beyond the newspaper reports and solve the mystery of who thirty-eight year old Joyce Vincent was and why she lay undiscovered for three years after her death in one of the busiest parts of London. (North American Premiere)
God Bless America
Director/Screenwriter: Bobcat Goldthwait
Loveless, jobless, possibly terminally ill, Frank has had enough of the downward spiral of America. With nothing left to lose, Frank takes his gun and offs the stupidest, cruelest, and most repellent members of society. Cast: Joel Murray, Tara Lynne Barr (U.S. Premiere)
The Imposter (UK)
Director: Bart Layton
In 1994 a 13-year-old disappears without trace in Texas. Three years later he resurfaces in Spain with accounts of a horrifying kidnap. His family is overjoyed – but all is not as it seems.
Indie Game: The Movie (Canada)
Directors: Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky
With the twenty-first century comes a new breed of artist: the indie game designer. These innovators design and program their distinctly personal games in the hope that they may find connection and success.
Director/Screenwriter: David Zellner
A fever-dream fable about Annie, a rebellious girl devoid of parental guidance or a moral compass. She roams the countryside looking for adventure, and finds it one day in the form of an abandoned well. Cast: Sydney Aguirre, Susan Tyrrell, Nathan Zellner, David Zellner, David Wingo
Last Call at the Oasis
Director: Jessica Yu
A powerful argument for why the global water crisis will be the central issue facing our world this century.
Director: Eduardo Sanchez, Screenwriters: Eduardo Sanchez, Jamie Nash
Exploring the parallels between psychosis, addiction and demonic possession, Lovely Molly tells the story of what really happens before the exorcist arrives.
Cast: Gretchen Lodge, Johnny Lewis, Alexandra Holden (U.S. Premiere)
The Raid (Indonesia)
Director/Screenwriter: Gareth Huw Evans
Rama and his special forces team fight their way through a rundown apartment block with a mission to remove its owner, a notorious drug lord.
Cast: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Doni Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian, Pierre Gruno
WE ARE LEGION: The Story of the Hacktivists
Director: Brian Knappenberger
We Are Legion takes us inside the world of Anonymous, the radical "hacktivist" collective that has redefined civil disobedience for the digital age.
Live Soundtracks, cult re-issues and much more. Our Special Events section offers unusual, unexpected and unique film event one-offs.
Films screening in Special Events are:
An Evening With Sacred Bones Records
Director: Jacqueline Castel
Brooklyn-based record label Sacred Bones presents an evening of original and curated programming of music videos, short films, works in progress, and a rare screening of their first film production, Twelve Dark Noons. (World Premiere)
Director: Richard Linklater, Screenwriters: Richard Linklater, Skip Hollandsworth
Based on real-life events, this dark comedy follows Bernie Tiede, his recently deceased friend Marjorie Nugent and District Attorney Danny Buck Davidson who is determined to get to the bottom of the crime. Cast: Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey, Brady Coleman, Richard Robichaux
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me
Director: Drew Denicola
A feature-length documentary about the massive critical acclaim, dismal commercial failure, and enduring legacy of pop music’s greatest cult phenomenon, Big Star. (Work in Progress)
Casa de mi Padre
Director: Matt Piedmont, Screenwriter: Andrew Steele
Will Ferrell plays a Mexican rancher who must defend his father's home against the country's most infamous drug lord. Cast: Will Ferrell, Gael García Vernal, Diego Luna, Genesis Rodriguez, Pedro Armendáriz Jr., Nick Offerman
Girl Walk // All Day
Director/Screenwriter: Jacob Krupnick
A feature-length dance music film that combines freestyle dance with the daily chaos of New York City, set to Girl Talk's recent mashup album, All Day. Cast: Anne Marsen, John Doyle, Daisuke Omiya
Director: Amir Bar Lev
5 DJ's Turn the Table on The History of Music.
Directors: Adam Russell, John Sear
A ground breaking feature-length show controlled entirely by the audience using laser pointers. It is the first viable example of a standalone interactive experience capable of running in commercial movie theatres. (North American Premiere)
The Oyster Princess (1919) with original live score by Bee vs. Moth (Germany)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch, Screenriters: Hanns Kraly & Ernst Lubitsch
The Oyster Princess is Ernst Lubitsch’s tart 1919 silent comedy that parodies the rich and the spoiled. Austin jazz/rock band Bee vs. Moth performs their original score live with the film for the first time. (World Premiere)