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Entries in A24 (7)

Thursday
Apr202017

A Lovely Trailer for "Menashe"

Chris here. It's worth remembering as we head toward the clanging of the summer movie season that we will have some quieter cinematic treasures ahead to cleanse our palettes. One of my most anticipated is Sundance favorite Menashe, which Nathaniel recently reviewed

Menashe stars Menashe Lustig (loosely portraying himself) as a newly widowered father trying to regain custody of his son in their very conservative Hasidic Jewish community. If that sounds a little maudlin, the film promises to be balanced by humor and authenticity, as it stars actual residents of the Brooklyn neighborhood it depicts. The film will be the first non-English language film for distributor A24 - good to see their Oscar triumph with Moonlight isn't making them shy away from the tough sell, not to mention their commitment to new American voices like Menashe director Joshua Z. Weinstein.

The film's first trailer just dropped, and it is delicate and charming in the best way - a familiar story told in unfamiliar voices.

Sunday
Oct232016

The Gotham Nominations

Chris here. In case you missed it, the season's first precursor nominations were announced on Thursday: the Gothams! Somewhat like the New York City community's answer to the Indie Spirit Awards, the Gothams never fail to highlight some spunkier names thanks to each category being voted on by separate committees. Spotlight may have taken their big prize as well as Oscar last year, but it's the rare Gotham's win to continue on to Oscar.

The year's biggest nominee is Manchester By The Sea (which Nathaniel just reviewed) with four nominations. However, the biggest celebration is likely being had by A24: the New York-based distributor scored nominations for seven of their films, including lesser seen worthy titles like Krisha and Morris From America. This year's ceremony will also feature tributes to Amy Adams, Ethan Hawke, Arnon Milchan, and Oliver Stone.

BEST FEATURE

  • Certain Women
  • Everybody Wants Some!!
  • Manchester By The Sea
  • Moonlight
  • Paterson

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct072016

Review: American Honey

By Steven Fenton

The song “American Honey” is about a woman aching for the free spirit she was in her youth, wishing she’d had the courage to flee her circumstances. Andrea Arnold’s American Honey considers what that woman’s life might have been had she left. The sensational Sasha Lane plays Star, a young woman who steps out of her life and into a tribe of disenfranchised, disenchanted, lost youth on an odyssey across the American South.

Star is struggling. She’s living with her boyfriend and raising his children, with no help or money. Then one day at Wal-Mart she watches a troop of wild teens turn the store into their own raucous dance party...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug122016

'Moonlight' Rising

by Chris Feil

We've been excited at The Film Experience for Barry Jenkins's Moonlight, the follow-up to his 2008 tiny but magnificent debut Medicine for Melancholy (which is available on Netflix - you're welcome).You're going to want to catch up to that film if you haven't because if the buzz is to be believed on Moonlight, the writer/director has something special coming our way.

This week the film was announced as part of the lineups of both New York Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival. In Toronto, it will compete in the Platform section meant to launch auteurs to the next stage of their career. If the just released trailer is any indication, Moonlight has the goods to do just that - take a look at this stunner:

Consider our breath offically taken. Not only does the trailer make good on the buzz we've been hearing for Naomie Harris's performance, but the images are full throttle gut-punchers running the spectrum from sexy to devastating. If the film itself is as visually arresting and emotionally investing as these short two minutes, then we are in for something special indeed. A24 also has Mike Mills's 20th Century Women coming this Oscar season, but their success with Room last year shows what they can do with a modest emotional powerhouse like this.

Moonlight opens on October 21. Which moment from the trailer took your breath away?

Thursday
Jun302016

He Loves Link

Reminder: You can watch the live stream of Broadway's She Loves Me tonight (one of the major Tony nominees this year) on "Broadway HD" for only $9.99 this evening at 8:00 PM EST (though I'd get there before 7:50 PM). The show stars Laura Benanti and Jane Krakowski, two national musical comedy treasures, and some talented men, too. It's the first time in history that a Broadway show has been livestreamed and since Broadway shows aint cheap $10 is practically free. If you check it out, let us know what you thought. Our review icymi.

Links
Variety looks back at the waves made by The Devil Wears Prada 10 years back
Vox has a very sound theory as to why the blockbusters suck this year - the disappearance of second acts in the three act structure
Shout Factory Carrie (1976) is getting a spiffy new Blu-Ray for her 40th anniversary
Birth.Movies.Death on the making of Clash of the Titans. Harry Hamlin was a handful! 
IndieWire how YA stars have emerged as the saviors of American indie films 
THR A24, perhaps emboldened by their first Oscar wins last year (Room + Ex Machina) is really hitting it hard for 2016. They've already released a few notable titles this year with more to come. Now they just picked up Mike Mills 20th Century Women. Can they win Best Actress two years in a row? 
Gold Derby Alison Janney and Julia Louis-Dreyfus will both make history on Emmy night if they win
Birth.Movies.Death on the recent Cap is Hydra comic storyline and how serial storytelling works (it's only the response to serial storytelling that's really changed.) 
Pride Source a fun LGBT themed interview with our new Tarzan Alexander Skarsgård
Boy Culture today is the 30th anniversary of Madonna's "True Blue" album
MNPP Miles Teller in leopard print thong for Bleed For This 

Daniel Craig and Jason Isaacs in the London 1993 production of ANGELS IN AMERICAThis Week's Must Read
"Angels in America: The Complete Oral History" Let us all thank Slate profusely for this retrospective of Tony Kushner's two-part masterwork. Some of my favorite quotes from it.

George C. Wolfe [Director]I think so much of what I did on Part 1 was keeping the hype out of the room and letting everybody play and discover. Because the hype was monumental, the hype was ridiculous, but you can’t work from hype, and you can’t create from hype. God knows you can’t discover anything new.

Joe MantelloFor a lot of us, that production was like going from zero to 100 in our careers, going from being unknown to the play everyone was coming to see.

Marcia Gay HardenI’d walk through the West Village, and people would come up to me and say, “I took my parents to see the play, and then I told them I was gay.” Or: “I took my parents to see it, and then I told them I was dying.” And we would cry on the street. That happened once every couple of weeks.

Rocco LandesmanPersonally, I think the show is a bit long, particularly in Perestroika. I was lobbying for cuts and got none of them. Tony was very gracious. He would hear me out politely and do what he wanted to do, which was not cut. It was like a conversation with August Wilson but worse.

And on Harper Pitt's very last transcendent bit in the play, her flight to San Francisco...

Marcia Gay Harden: I’m tingling right now thinking about it. The synchronicity of the immune system of the Earth, and that can be healed by the people who are suffering with the holes in their own immune system, the tragedy of the souls of those who have been hurt forming a web of protection around the Earth. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever said—or read—in my life.

Mary-Louise ParkerWe shot it in an airplane hangar, and I was really trying to rein in my emotion. I just didn’t feel I quite reached it. I went to lunch, and I was so distraught, and I went to Mike [Nichols, who directed the miniseries] and said, “Can I do it again?” They were literally taking down the wall, and he said, “Oh, my child,” and turned to the crew and yelled, “OK, put the wall back up!”

Tony KushnerIt’s the best paragraph I’ve ever written.

 

 

Thursday
Apr072016

Does A24's Swiss Army Man Trailer Sink Or Swim?

When the raucous survival film Swiss Army Man set Sundance aflame this January – aided in no small part from some infamously inflammatory methane – the only tidbit more shocking than hearing secondhand strands from its preposterous plot was the news that indie dynamo distributer A24 picked up its check to jet ski it across cinemas nationwide. Prompting walkouts that don’t sound too dissimilar from recently announced Tribeca juror and enfant terrible Sebastian Silva’s 2015 submission Nasty Baby, Swiss Army Man was immediately accused of churlish, childish, and undeniably crass crimes against good taste – what else would one expect from a buddy film about Paul Dano enduring starvation and isolation on a desert isle thanks to the multipronged malleability of Daniel Radcliffe’s flatulent, tumescent corpse? Certainly not a Directing Award, which the film’s directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinhart scooped up nonetheless; together, they go by the monicker Daniels…please make us proud.

Well, the trailer landed this week and it’s a doozy. Alternating between the bracing and bizarro, its Robinson Crusoe by way of Weekend At Bernie’s vision is sure to split audiences, test their endurance, and leave them wondering if it belongs with the sublime or subpar. Feast your eyes; clutch your stomach.

A few stray thoughts…

  • Surely I can’t be the only one clamoring for a Moonrise Kingdom beachside boogie with those two dudes amongst the sand and rocks. I have plenty of quibbles with both of their heavily mannered works the past few years but that almost makes it more enticing.
  • On that same point, their chemistry makes me long for their buddy cop film. Let's call it Love & Mercy.
  • While Radcliffe’s face is sort of frozen in that I’m A Conflicted Man! way that featured heavily in the post-puberty Potter films, at least MacGyvering him into a karate chop trebuchet, bulletproof vest, and eternal spring puts it to good use.
  • I know it’s the tongue-in-cheek inspirational tune, but the combination of fun house imagery and unconventional companionship warms my heart.
  • If a Paul Dano screams in the woods with no living soul around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

Gotta say, I’m kind of into it. The slapdash inventiveness, bold visuals, and blowing up of the rote genre volleyball hooked me. Does this look like a page one wash or does the audacity strike a chord with you?

Friday
Jan152016

A24 Joins the Oscar Crowd

Chris here to celebrate our favorite indie distributor. A24 has been steadily been building their reputation since launching about 3 years ago, and yesterday they finally landed their first Oscar nominations. They've previously housed longshot candidates like Spring Breakers and A Most Violent Year, but this year saw three of their films break through: Room, Ex Machina, and Amy.

A24 started 2015 proving that they could compete with the larger indie outfits by delivering at the box office. Ex Machina was a surprise hit and became their highest grosser, with Amy and Noah Baumbach's While We're Young also breaking out. Room could pass all of them with the help of its four major nominations and The Witch looks primed to be late-winter mini-hit, as well.

The nominations feel richly earned, given that they've fostered worthy candidates like Under the Skin, The Spectacular Now, and A Most Violent Year that eluded the awards race. Their "Consider This Sh*t" campaign for James Franco's bonkers performance in Spring Breakers may not have paid off, but they are now firmly in the Oscar fray.

They've been playing their seven nominations very modestly, true to their understated form showcased in the David Ehrlich profile on them (essential reading if you haven't read already). Hopefully they're enjoying the Oscar news with a well-deserved Ex Machina dance party. Cheers!