A confession: nothing against Sundance or any of our other regulars, but SXSW is probably our favorite film festival to attend. The warm weather is a nice respite from late-winter NYC, there’s a relaxed and chatty vibe in the lines, and Tex-Mex and BBQ are always within reach. Oh, and the movies are great. If you’re headed down to Austin, we’ve got plenty of cool events for you to check out. And for those of you who plan to spend your days shotgunning as many movies as possible, here are a few of the flicks we’re eager to take… Read More
Welcome to Flavorwire’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. This week, we’ve got new films from Chris Rock, Julie Delpy, Spike Lee, and the Duplass brothers, plus a treasure trove of documentaries and one of last year’s scariest flicks. Check them all out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More
If you’ve ever wanted to see Blixa Bargeld hanging out in the kitchen, Joy Division pretending to be Monty Python, or Leonard Cohen wearing denim cut offs, then click through and get… Read More
Lena Dunham’s journey from conceptual college YouTube oversharer to America’s next great comedic hope has been a remarkably quick one — after the release of her second film, Tiny Furniture, in 2010, the then-24-year-old filmmaker and actress became one of the most sought-after voices in entertainment. Her Judd Apatow-backed HBO series, Girls, debuts April 15th, and this week marked Tiny Furniture‘s Criterion DVD and Blu-ray release. To celebrate, we’ve rounded up some other great directors you should know, all of them under 35 years old. Meet a whole new generation of auteurs after the jump. … Read More
Last Friday, the Brooklyn International Film Festival opened with a delightful film by Lawrence Michael Levine and Sophia Takal, called Gabi on the Roof in July. It’s the story of a 20-year-old art student named Gabi who leaves college for the summer to stay with her older brother in New York City. During her visit, Gabi’s academic idealism and stubborn refusal to conform clash with the mundane necessities of getting a job and paying the rent. Throughout the film, lies are told, conversations are misunderstood, and cell phones die as the characters strain to communicate with each other — a theme Levine is deeply invested in. … Read More
Joe Swanberg may be best known as the lo-fi filmmaker responsible for such features as Hannah Takes the Stairs, Nights and Weekends and, most recently, Alexander the Last. But, since 2006, he’s also been directing and c0-starring in IFC.com’s addictive web series, Young American Bodies, which chronicles the romantic lives of a group of 20-something friends in Chicago. While the show’s subject matter — marriage, infidelity, long-distance relationships — doesn’t differ greatly from what we’re used to seeing in more mainstream sex comedies, its style is pure Swanberg: spontaneous, vérité and, above all, authentic. In fact, those of us who happen to be in our 20s may find the resemblance between YAB and our own lives uncanny. And that’s no accident. As Swanberg says, “If we don’t represent ourselves in the media, no one else is going to.” Oh, and did we mention there’s full-frontal nudity,… Read More
Seattle-based independent filmmaker Lynn Shelton’s Humpday is a smart, subversive bromantic comedy about a pair of old friends who reunite only to discover that they’ve got little in common. Ben (Mark Duplass) is saddled with “pleats, pedometer, and a wife” while Andrew (Joshua Leonard) is a nomadic artist who’s yet to produce a piece of work to show for it. Cue The Stranger’s annual amateur porn festival and a strange competition to out dude each other by starring in a film together and you’ve got yourself the most insightful look at adult relationships that you’ll see this year. Flavorpill sat down with Shelton earlier this summer to discuss the benefits of being a Sundance darling, her problems with The Hangover, and the reason why she should be the new poster girl for late bloomers everywhere.… Read More
Indie filmmaker Joe Swanberg (Hannah Takes the Stairs, Nights and Weekends) directed, wrote, and produced his latest flick, Alexander the Last, which will have its world premiere tomorrow night at the SXSW Festival while simultaneously being released on IFC Films Festival Direct Video On-Demand. As a mumblecore pioneer, Swanberg is no stranger to the ultra-low budget, home video-like films, with narratives focusing on young, often troubled couples played by unknown actors with a flare for improv. This formula can be tricky (we weren’t such big fans of his earlier film, LOL), but when it works it’s lo-fi magic — as in the case of Alexander the Last.
Swanberg’s latest boasts an indie cast with chemistry; the film is filled with a number of funny, warm moments in addition to our favorite part — a scene where he juxtaposes one couple’s real rompfest with a humorously awkward “put your leg there” love scene rehearsal between two actors. Alexander the Last tells the story of a creative married couple — an actress and a musician — who deal with the temptations that come with being young, broke, and attractive creative people surrounded by other young, broke, and attractive creative people. There are a few oh-so-complicated love triangles, but Jerry Springer, this is not. Swanberg doesn’t sugarcoat the heartache and confusion; he knows how to make personal pains into something universally compelling.
After the jump, we sit down Swanberg and discuss what went into making Alexander the Last, why he has a strange relationship with soundtracks, and how he met his wife. Note: if our post-screening eavesdropping is any indicator, this latest film certainly won’t be his last. In fact, it could lead to a Duplass Brothers-esque breakthrough. … Read More