The ads for Sundance Channel’s new drama Rectify have been selling it (understandably) as “from the producers of Breaking Bad,” and when they use that phrase, one of the two people they’re talking about is Mark Johnson. An Oscar-winning producer with a long and impressive list of credits (including Diner, Donnie Brasco, Galaxy Quest, The Notebook, and Rain Man), he’d done two films — Bugsy and A Perfect World — with a young actor named Ray McKinnon. Recently, he says, “on a whim, I realized I hadn’t talked to him in a while and I thought I should just give him a call. I reached him in Arkansas, and what a great coincidence, he had just finished a TV pilot. And he was aware of our show Breaking Bad at that point and he said, ‘I’d love for you to take a look at it.’ And he sent it to me, and it’s one of those things, one of those good moments, as a producer where you just instinctively know that something’s special there.” … Read More
Top of the Lake is a TV miniseries about a sexually abused 12-year-old girl who subsequently disappears, and the hard-case police detective who is trying to find her. Based on that logline, you’d think you’ve seen it before, and in the most basic, shallow, cosmetic sense, you’d be right: there are tough scenes in interrogation rooms, police strategy meetings with PowerPoint presentations, and plenty of shots of our protagonist gazing at walls covered with pictures of the missing girl. But there is much more to the series than that, which isn’t surprising considering its pedigree — this is the work of Jane Campion, the Oscar-winning writer/director of The Piano and An Angel at My Table. The idea that she would be interested in doing a mere police procedural is silly, and while she doesn’t cheat on the mystery elements, they’re also used as window dressing for themes that are far more compelling. … Read More
Ever since falling in love with Downton Abbey, we’ve been wondering: What will Michelle Dockery, whose portrayal of the headstrong and complex Lady Mary has made her the show’s breakout star, do next? Well, this weekend brings the US theatrical debut of Anna Karenina, where she plays Anna’s ally Princess Myagkaya. And today we get our first glimpse of Restless, a two-part Sundance Channel miniseries based on the novel by William Boyd. Dockery plays Ruth Gilmartin, a young woman who discovers that her mother Sally (the legendary Charlotte Rampling) was a World War II spy. The miniseries splits its focus between Sally’s adventures during the war and her life with Ruth decades later, when that past apparently resurfaces. And judging by the trailer, it’s stuffed to bursting with intrigue and romance. Click through to see a preview of Restless, which debuts December 7th. … Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we discovered the perfect place to call home in the event of the zombie apocalypse. We had our day made by the trailer for that celebrity-filled Beastie Boys short that played at Sundance. We got some helpful tax tips from David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King.… Read More
We’ve had a long running crush on the Yes Men — Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno — which soared to unhealthy levels when Gawker revealed that they were the masterminds behind that faux New York Times stunt. They’re currently at Sundance promoting their sophomore flick, The Yes Men Fix the World, and our friends from the Sundance Channel have the behind-the-scenes interview with the prank-happy filmmakers.
How do you guarantee that a movie is funny? Combine the comedic dream team of Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch and Parker Posey in your cast and give them a ridiculous storyline that focuses on three wallflower 30-somethings who inadvertently crash spring break on South Padre Island to romp around with. Watch the Sundance Channel’s video interview with the ladies and director Ryan Shiraki after the jump. … Read More
Ever wondered who picks the films that take the top honors home from Sundance? You thought it had something to do with Robert Redford and a dartboard? Not even close. But we’ll give you a hint: Virginia Madsen is involved. After the jump, our friends from Sundance Channel explain why having one of the 24 Jury Passes in your possession is the film lover’s equivalent of a golden ticket at the festival. … Read More
Think those ad execs in Mad Men have all the chips stacked in their favor? It’s not so easy being Don Draper… or posing a question like “Where’s the beef?” like real life advertising powerhouse Cliff Freeman. “The thing is, from their perspective, they’re working from so far within the system that it’s like all odds are against them,” Doug Pray explains in this interview. “They have the same mindset as your average Sundance independent filmmaker.” Watch Sundance Channel’s video interview with the Art & Copy filmmaker — who’s known for past industry exploring projects like Big Rig, Infamy, Scratch — after the jump. … Read More