The new season of Mad Men is underway, the Breaking Bad premiere date is set, so as soon as the new season of Louie gets going, our summer viewing needs will be all taken care — oh hell, that’s right, Louie won’t be back until next spring. His new special has already aired, his promo tour for it is over; how the hell do you get your Louis C.K. fix these days? From YouTube, of course. Strangely, not many people are aware that Louie worked his way up to writing, directing, editing, and starring in Louie with two decades of short and indie film work; a quick tour of his early films offers a tantalizing glimpse at the development of his considerable …Read More
Earlier this week, Conan O’Brien’s website commemorated the 20th anniversary of his audition for Late Night by releasing a short clip from it, an abbreviated “mock show” in which he interviewed Mimi Rogers and Jason Alexander in front of a live studio audience. O’Brien is clearly nervous (and can you blame him?), but Lorne Michaels and the Late Night producers saw something in that performance, and gave him a shot. That’s the beauty of the great comic audition — even when a talent is a little rough around the edges, the joy of discovering someone fresh, new, and funny wins out. After the jump, we’ll take a look at that tape and several other killer auditions from very funny folks.
Last week, the folks at Gawker did a bit of celebrity archaeology, discovering a 1993 TV ad for the NRA that featured a very young Molly Shannon. The soon-to-be Mary Catherine reached out to the site, emphasizing that she appeared in the spot when she was — direct quote, with emphasis — “A STRUGGLING ACTRESS,” and while we understand her taking pains to separate the spot from her own views, she’s hardly the first future famous funny person whose early work was only humorous in retrospect, and unintentionally. After the jump, we’ve got early commercials by several of our favorite comic actors — all equally embarrassing.
Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful is out this Friday, in case you haven’t looked at a magazine or a television or the side of a bus recently, and while we know it’s a big-budget would-be Mouse blockbuster, attempting to replicate the astonishing (and frankly inexplicable) success of Burton’s Alice in Wonderland three years back, we still had to pick our jaws up off the floor when we got a look at its monster budget: $325 million in production and marketing costs. Yes, you read that right: 325. No extra numbers in there.
Indie producers at Sundance would be wise to steer your film editor away from their screenings, since (for the second year in a row, to say nothing of Tribeca and SXSW) practically none of the films I saw over my six days in Park City managed to grab any prizes at Saturday night’s big award ceremony. I’m all out of theories for why I’m so bad at picking these things — but it’s something we’re all going to have to come to terms with, apparently. Not to worry, though; many of the very good films I did manage to see will be coming your way over the next few months, so let’s take a look at films that won both awards and big-money deals.