Indie News

‘If Beale Street Could Talk,’ ‘Leave No Trace’ Nominated for Top Independent Spirit Awards

‘If Beale Street Could Talk,’ ‘Leave No Trace’ Nominated for Top Independent Spirit Awards
If Beale Street Could Talk, You Were Never Really Here, Eighth Grade, First Reformed and Leave No Trace have been nominated as the best independent films of 2018 by the Film Independent Spirit Awards, which announced its nominees on Friday morning in Los Angeles.

To qualify for the Spirit Awards, a film must meet a variety of criteria, including a budget of less than $20 million. It must also contain “significant American content,” a requirement that can be fulfilled by having the film set and shot in the U.S. or by having U.S. citizens or permanent residents in two of the three creative positions of director, writer and producer.
See full article at The Wrap »

As A Producer Of ‘The Sisters Brothers’ Looking For A Fresh Western, John C. Reilly Gave Jacques Audiard Free Rein

As A Producer Of ‘The Sisters Brothers’ Looking For A Fresh Western, John C. Reilly Gave Jacques Audiard Free Rein
As a producer-actor, giving carte blanche to an auteur can be a dangerous thing, as John C. Reilly found when he and his wife Alison Dickey began shopping their passion project, and Reilly’s first producorial feature outing—an adaptation of Patrick DeWitt’s 2012 novel The Sisters Brothers—to some of the world’s most respected directors. Luckily, after bracing himself to give up on his dream of playing Eli Sisters, one of the film’s two leads, Reilly found himself back on board when France’s Jacques Audiard took the reins, casting Joaquin Phoenix opposite him as Charlie Sisters, the other of two bounty hunters on a mission to kill a thieving prospector in 1850s Oregon.

What was it that appealed to you about this story by Patrick DeWitt? You hadn’t really done a Western before, had you?

I was really looking for something more original to do,
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‘Can You Ever Forgive Me’ Leads the Way for the Future of Queer Film

Based on a true story, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” follows the exploits of Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy), a Jewish lesbian writer who bolsters her failing writing career by forging and selling rare literary letters with the help of a foppish drifter named Jack Hock (Richard E. Grant). Incidentally, but not insignificantly, it’s also the story of a friendship between an acerbic lesbian and a witty gay man — a unique synergy and the unsung bedrock of the queer community that is rarely, if ever, portrayed onscreen, and certainly not with this authenticity.

It’s the kind of non-sexual relationship between a man and a woman Hollywood just doesn’t do, and it wouldn’t have happened if “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” was pure fiction. The people these characters are based on were queer in real life, so no executive could (or was less likely to) say, “Why do
See full article at Indiewire »

Chris Pratt In Talks To Revive ‘The Saint’ Franchise For Paramount

Chris Pratt is quickly approaching Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson territory as the man to go to if you want to start a major franchise. First, the actor surprised everyone by shedding his “Parks and Rec” persona to become Star-Lord in the Marvel Studios film “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Then, he did it all over again, with even bigger box office totals, launching the “Jurassic World” franchise.

Continue reading Chris Pratt In Talks To Revive ‘The Saint’ Franchise For Paramount at The Playlist.
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Criterion Collection to Launch Its Own Streaming Service in Spring 2019

The Criterion Collection is officially launching its own independent streaming platform, named The Criterion Channel. The company, in a special arrangement with WarnerMedia, will have a “free-standing streaming service” that is set to launch in Spring 2019. The fate of Criterion has been a burning question for cinephiles since WarnerMedia announced the end of FilmStruck last month. FilmStruck has been the exclusive streaming home for Criterion since its launch in October 2016.

“Today’s announcement ensures that fans will have access to these films from the Criterion Collection as well as films from WarnerMedia’s deep and extensive library in what will be a rich and curated experience, which will further expand the audience footprint for these classic and acclaimed movies,” Criterion said in a statement.

The company added, “The Criterion Channel will be picking up where FilmStruck left off, with thematic programming, regular filmmaker spotlights, and actor retrospectives, featuring major classics
See full article at Indiewire »

Rip Stan Lee: Watch The Entire Version Of Roger Corman’s Unreleased 1994 ‘Fantastic Four’ Film

Welcome to #FlashbackFriday, where we look at past moments with filmmakers, actors, etc. and highlight something in cinema history that’s fascinating, amusing, perhaps something you never knew or have seen, you name it.

Look, we’re not normally fans of just posting links to full films. However, in light of this week’s passing of Stan Lee and the fact that Marvel never released the finished version, we have a special treat for superhero fans for this week’s #FlashbackFriday.

Continue reading Rip Stan Lee: Watch The Entire Version Of Roger Corman’s Unreleased 1994 ‘Fantastic Four’ Film at The Playlist.
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Tim Allen: I Like Pissing People Off. And Nothing Does More Than a Very Funny Conservative.

Tim Allen: I Like Pissing People Off. And Nothing Does More Than a Very Funny Conservative.
If you ever needed an example of how unpredictable the TV business has become, consider the breakout new series that’s actually seven years old: “Last Man Standing.” The Fox sitcom was left for dead last year, when ABC — which didn’t own the Tim Allen show — canceled it after deciding the economics no longer worked.

Fox, however, does own the show — for now — through sister studio 20th Century Fox TV. Initial talks to immediately relaunch the show fell flat when Fox didn’t have room on its schedule. But then came New Fox.

As it prepares to reinvent itself as a standalone network, Fox is repositioning itself as more of a network with broad appeal, which includes stocking up with live events like Thursday Night Football. With the NFL on Thursday, “we saw an opportunity on Friday night for comedy,” said Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn.

But Fox didn
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‘Smilf’ Season 2 Trailer: Frankie Shaw Returns In January With New Episodes Of The Acclaimed Showtime Series

One of 2017’s best shows, that was grossly overlooked at the Emmys, “Smilf,” is coming back in early 2019 for Season 2 on Showtime.

The series, which is written, directed, produced, and starring, Frankie Shaw, follows a single mother, Bridgette, as she tries to navigate life with a young son and the interesting folks that populate her life, including an incredible performance by Rosie O’Donnell as Bridgette’s mom Tutu.

Continue reading ‘Smilf’ Season 2 Trailer: Frankie Shaw Returns In January With New Episodes Of The Acclaimed Showtime Series at The Playlist.
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‘Eighth Grade,’ ‘First Reformed’ Top 2019 Independent Spirit Awards Nominations

The 2019 Independent Spirit Awards nominations were announced this morning and Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed” was the standout with four nominations including Best Feature, Best Director (Schrader), Best Male Lead (Ethan Hawke) and Screenplay. “We The Animals” earned five mostly below-the-line nods including Best First Feature and Cinematography. “Eighth Grade” also earned four nods including Best Feature, Best Female Lead, and Best Supporting Male.

Continue reading ‘Eighth Grade,’ ‘First Reformed’ Top 2019 Independent Spirit Awards Nominations at The Playlist.
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Nobody Wrote About Hollywood Better Than William Goldman

Nobody Wrote About Hollywood Better Than William Goldman
William Goldman — screenwriter, script doctor, novelist, and journalist, the man who assured us that nobody knows anything and whose memory will always be entwined with the Sundance name — has died at the age of 87. And we miss him already.

Back in the ’60s, the Columbia literature grad was the writer of sexy novels you stole from the grownups and read with a flashlight under the covers. Most cinephiles have on their bookshelf his classic, “Adventures in the Screen Trade,” and its sequel, “Which Lie Did I Tell?” along with the Oscar-winning screenplays for “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “All the President’s Men” and another classic, “The Princess Bride,” which he adapted from his fantasy novel and which many parents still read to their kids.

Goldman created memorable characters that would define the careers of Paul Newman, Dustin Hoffman, and Robert Redford (the Sundance Kid lives on as
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Creed II’ Is Another Triumphant Legacy-Focused Title Bout With Tons Of Heart [Review]

There’s a Confucius-style tenant written somewhere in the annals of screenplay writing 101—presumably written by a giant like William Goldman (R.I.P.)—that goes a little something like this: if you truly and deeply care about the characters everything else is gravy. To augment that somewhat, if you deeply empathize with a superhero, his fate and everyone they care about, all their epic battles and obstacles are that much more gripping—you are invested emotionally in what happens because the movie has successfully captured your heart.

Continue reading ‘Creed II’ Is Another Triumphant Legacy-Focused Title Bout With Tons Of Heart [Review] at The Playlist.
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‘Smilf’ Season 2 Trailer: Frankie Shaw’s Showtime Comedy Is Back with a Vengeance

‘Smilf’ Season 2 Trailer: Frankie Shaw’s Showtime Comedy Is Back with a Vengeance
Get ready to head back to Boston. “Smilf,” one of 2017’s breakout new shows is returning for Season 2 next year and if the trailer for the new batch of episodes is any indication, no one involved has any intention of slowing down.

Series writer/creator Frankie Shaw is back as Bridgette, the single mother trying to navigate parenthood, the dating world, a complicated relationship with her boss, and the general predatory behavior of men in power.

Accompanied by a release date in January of next year, the full trailer shows that Bridgette’s life is still as unpredictable as it was in the opening eight-episode season. Weaving through the real life challenges of maintaining a relationship with her mother Tutu (Rosie O’Donnell) are plenty of whimsical fantasy sequences. Some surprises in store for Season 2 include a Wild West showdown, complete with a “Time’s up!’ declaration that might just have more meanings than one.
See full article at Indiewire »

Brad Pitt & Natalie Portman Rumored For Wes Anderson Musical As Tilda Swinton Officially Signs On

Sure, it was widely speculated and rumored for days, but now that it’s official, the idea of Tilda Swinton starring in the upcoming French musical from Wes Anderson is just such an incredible idea.

French outlet Charente Libre is reporting that Oscar-winning actress (and semi-regular Wes Anderson-ian) Swinton is the first actor to officially be cast in the upcoming film that beings production shortly in France. The untitled film is being described as a musical set in post-World War II France, and is rumored to feature songs by Mark Mothersbaugh.

Continue reading Brad Pitt & Natalie Portman Rumored For Wes Anderson Musical As Tilda Swinton Officially Signs On at The Playlist.
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2019 Independent Spirit Awards Nominees, ‘Eighth Grade’ & ‘We the Animals’ Lead

2019 Independent Spirit Awards Nominees, ‘Eighth Grade’ & ‘We the Animals’ Lead
The nominations for the 34th Independent Spirit Awards were announced live this afternoon, setting the stage for the awards season with a decidedly indie bent. Over the last several years, the Indie Spirits have become both a champion of underdog indies and a key indicator in which films and performances could end up with the Oscar.

Some of the year’s biggest titles are, however, not eligible for this year’s Indie Spirits per their rules, including “Vice,” “The Sisters Brothers,” and “Mary Queen of Scots,” while Alfonso Cuarón’s lauded “Roma” only qualifies for Best International Film.

Favorites like “Eighth Grade” and “First Reformed” dominated the big categories, with each film earning four nominations, including Best Feature for both, Best Actress for “Eighth Grade” lead Elsie Fisher, and Best Actor for “First Reformed” star Ethan Hawke. “We the Animals” led the entire field with five total noms. A number
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Creed II’ Review: Michael B. Jordan Rules Another Satisfying ‘Rocky’ Update

‘Creed II’ Review: Michael B. Jordan Rules Another Satisfying ‘Rocky’ Update
Three years ago, Ryan Coogler’s “Creed” pulled off an impossible gamble: It recontextualized the “Rocky” franchise by relegating its famous snarling boxer to the sidelines. As Adonis, the offspring of deceased boxer and Rocky pal Apollo Creed, Michael B. Jordan injected the franchise with fresh juice — as a sensitive, tortured soul with daddy issues to work through, Adonis made “Rocky” relevant again. Though Coogler later proved the commercial viability of blockbusters with black faces, “Creed” got the ball rolling on a comparatively intimate scale.

With “Creed II,” it keeps rolling along: This slick and involving sequel finds Adonis continuing to work through the weight of his father’s death in the ring, follows all the familiar motions revived with “Creed.” But in the context of this resilient franchise, the movie hits each beat with the calculated precision of its tireless fighter.

With Coogler still journeying through Wakanda, he’s
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams’ Review: A Fun Movie for Fans and Haters

‘Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams’ Review: A Fun Movie for Fans and Haters
Here’s a Coldplay documentary so charming and sincere that it will make you feel bad about mocking the band’s music for the last 16 years. Mat Whitecross’ “Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams” is more than just a look inside the third-highest grossing concert tour in history, or an intimate portrait of one of the 21st century’s most successful rock bands; it’s also an infectiously upbeat biography of four blessed friends, who conquered the world on the strength of their belief in themselves and each other. In other words, this feature-length victory lap should be utterly insufferable from start to finish. It isn’t.

At a time when the world feels like it’s resting on the edge of a knife, there’s precious little patience for a movie about handsome nerds who meet in college, get rich and famous in their early 20s, and then steadily
See full article at Indiewire »

Black Films and the Oscars: Despair Must Not Be the Only Route to Prestige

Black Films and the Oscars: Despair Must Not Be the Only Route to Prestige
In 2015, April Reign’s viral hashtag campaign #OscarsSoWhite indicted the Academy for its lack of recognition of contributions made by creatives of color. Since then, on-screen representation has become a cause célèbre, with inclusivity initiatives that aim to navigate culture toward more gender and racial equality. However, numbers don’t tell the full story: How much freedom do black creators have when the storytelling expectations remain mired in variations of the black struggle?

This year, there are more Best Picture Oscar contenders centered on black lives than ever, but themes largely center on the complications of race and/or racism in films like “Green Book,” “BlacKkKlansman,” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.” And while the concerns of “Black Panther” are more intraracial, it’s a conflict rooted in the notion of a united global black liberation in response to white supremacy. The exception that proves the rule is Steve McQueen
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Steve McQueen On ‘Widows,’ Viola Davis, The Politics Of Chicago & More [Interview]

Steve McQueen continues to surprise. After the Oscar-winning “12 Years A Slave” you might have thought the London-born filmmaker would attempt another thought-provoking epic and he has, in a way. “Widows” is a genre movie with quite a bit to say about the environment that fosters criminals at every level of society. Basically, everyone is out to get money. Whether through political power, intimidation or as simply a means for survival.

Continue reading Steve McQueen On ‘Widows,’ Viola Davis, The Politics Of Chicago & More [Interview] at The Playlist.
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‘Roma’: Here’s How Alfonso Cuarón Can Really Disrupt the Oscar Race

‘Roma’: Here’s How Alfonso Cuarón Can Really Disrupt the Oscar Race
“You have a first image,” Alfonso Cuarón said. “You just know that it is always going to be there. You don’t question that.” For “Children of Men,” it was a pregnant woman with a baby, fighting through a parting crowd. For “Roma,” he said, “the first image that triggered everything was Cleo walking up the metal stairs to the rooftop.”

Set in 1971 in his old neighborhood in Mexico City, “Roma” is a deeply personal portrait of the filmmaker’s beloved nanny, who got pregnant out of wedlock when he was a child, and still lives in his family home to this day. As he was conjuring the movie, Cuarón told his brother Carlos (who co-wrote Oscar-nominated “Y Tu Mama Tambien”): “I want to do it. I just know that I need to do it. I don’t know if people are going to see it.”

Read More: Amazon
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Paramount Announces New Partnership With Netflix To Produce Projects Specifically For The Streaming Service

Netflix and Paramount have made it official. After months of flirtation, testing the waters with projects like “The Cloverfield Paradox” and “Annihilation,” the film studio and the streaming giant have unveiled a new agreement that would see Paramount create new films for Netflix in a more official capacity.

According to Paramount boss Jim Gianopulos, during a recent earnings call (via Deadline), the studio will further develop its relationship with the streaming service by creating content that will be launched directly through Netflix.

Continue reading Paramount Announces New Partnership With Netflix To Produce Projects Specifically For The Streaming Service at The Playlist.
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