Confession: though I love Sundance and know it’s the preeminent domestic film festival, etc., my heart belongs to SXSW. It’s a warmer (literally — Texas in March is immeasurably more pleasant than Utah in January), friendlier, more relaxed and enjoyable fest, and the food doesn’t even compare. But that’s not what we’re there for, of course; what matters is the movies, and as usual, this year’s SXSW Film Festival offers a wide variety of studio fare, thoughtful indies, gutsy genre pics, and general weirdness. Here are just a few of their selections that you’ll be hearing more about in the weeks and months to come: … Read More
1. Thank god Jimmy Fallon decided to do another installment of his hilarious Downton Abbey parody “Downton Sixbey” — and this time we have Whoopi Goldberg playing Questlove’s mother. [via Vulture]
2. The critical consensus to the premiere of Kanye’s 26-minute “sensory experience” at the Cannes Film Festival seems to be that… Read More
Today marks the Blu-ray debut of Good Will Hunting, Gus Van Sant’s acclaimed 1997 drama that became the breakthrough film for writer/stars Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. The pair, who had been friends since childhood, famously wrote the screenplay out of struggling-actor frustration, figuring that if they couldn’t find any good roles (or convince people to give them good roles), they’d write some of their own. The strategy paid off in spades; the film was a critical and financial smash, and the duo won that year’s Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Damon and Affleck weren’t the first frustrated actors who turned to the typewriter to take control of their careers; it’s a common strategy for young actors who can’t get a job, albeit not one that always works out quite as spectacularly. Young actors on the rise aren’t the only ones prone to take a shot at screenwriting, though — more established actors have frequently been known to try their hand at the gig as well, either to redefine themselves and redirect their careers, or to realize a personal, important project. And, let’s be honest, some have probably just done it to satiate their own massive egos. Whatever the case, there’s an abundance of movies written by actors out there; after the jump, we take a look at ten titles, and rank them in order of their artistic (and career-trajectory-influencing) success. … Read More
If you really love movies, if you truly cherish them as an art form, then holy cow is the summer movie season depressing. For three months — or four, or six (Fast Five’s ad line was “Summer Begins April 29,” which goes to show that posters for Vin Diesel movies are no substitute for calendars) — we’re fed a steady diet of sequels, remakes, “reboots,” comic book adaptations, gross-out comedies, mindless blow-shit-up movies, sequels to remakes, sequels to reboots, sequels to comic book adaptations, sequels to gross-out comedies, and sequels to mindless blow-shit-up movies. … Read More
The Sundance Film Festival kicks off tomorrow, with indie film blogs and glossy TV entertainment new shows alike converging in Park City to spotlight this year’s crop of would-be Tarantinos. The narrative, of course, is that you make your independent film, get into Sundance, and wow the potential distributors, prompting a fierce bidding war, theatrical release, and rock-star treatment now and forevermore. (Though, as we discussed last week, the translation of Sundance buzz to box-office dollars isn’t always as easy as it looks).
But what of the thousands — literally, thousands, every year — of filmmakers who don’t make that brutal Sundance cut? For the filmmaker, that Sundance rejection letter can feel like nothing less than a death certificate for their labor of love. And while a spin at the ‘dance can certainly help an unknown film’s chances of breakout success (see Reservoir Dogs, The Blair Witch Project, El Mariachi, sex, lies, and videotape, and many more), there are plenty of Sundance rejects who found success anyway. Here’s just a few of them. … Read More
The world of Twitter can be hard to navigate. We know that you’re already following us @flavorpill, but we decided it would be fun (and possibly helpful) if we rounded up some of our other Twitter favorites in a series we call “The Followables.” This seventh installment of Twitter all-stars spotlights the tweeting directors who we love. Do us a favor and leave a comment with anyone who you enjoy who didn’t make our list — especially if they are a non-white, non-male director. Are they the only filmmaker demographic interested in tweeting their thoughts? … Read More