films

You’ll Wish You Were a Kid Again: The Best Coming-of-Age Films

Article: You’ll Wish You Were a Kid Again: The Best Coming-of-Age Films

The journey to adulthood is a graceful one. (We kid.) But it’s always entertaining. See how these motley crews of misfits and bewildered teens navigate the big leagues.

Be Proud! Best Gay-Themed Films to Come Out of Sundance Film Festival

Article: Be Proud! Best Gay-Themed Films to Come Out of Sundance Film Festival

Conceived in the heyday of queer theory and AIDS activism, the New Queer Cinema of the early ’90s was a galvanizing but short-lived movement. Still, its edge rubbed off on Sundance, which has since laid out a welcome mat for provocation and transgression. Here’s our list of our favorite films from the Sundance Film Festival.

6 Questions With RECTIFY Composer Gabriel Mann

Article: 6 Questions With RECTIFY Composer Gabriel Mann

RECTIFY composer Gabriel Mann discusses supporting a subtle story and working in different genres through other shows like Modern Family and Arrested Development.

Q: What does RECTIFY‘s score say about the show?

A: I hope that it’s actually not saying a whole lot. The characters in RECTIFY are so carefully drawn that my job really is to support what they’re saying, doing, viewing. I guess you could say that the music in general is about the overall feeling of Daniel’s situation, his emergence from prison and the starkness and the loneliness of that experience. I mean, the music’s not all stark and lonely. There are moments of levity and beauty. I hope the music is not telling us too much, rather than just supporting and reacting to the characters and the town and the family relationships.

Q: Say you’re composing for a specific scene. Do you work from the script, from a rough cut or something else?

Hey Clint, You’ll Never Escape from the Top Ten Movies Behind Bars

Article: Hey Clint, You’ll Never Escape from the Top Ten Movies Behind Bars

In honor of the upcoming season 2 premiere of RECTIFY — the story of a man set free from jail after twenty years — we’re bringing you our Top 10 Movies Set Behind Bars. There are a few surprises on this list, including a vintage screwball comedy, a lot of eggs, Sigourney Weaver with no hair, an anti-James Bond film, and no Shawshank Redemption! Or maybe just a little Shawshank Redemption. You’ll have to read and find out for yourself, and vote for your favorite in the poll below. …And by the way, if you’re intrigued by these films, you might just be intrigued by RECTIFY (season 2 premiere June 19 at 9pm) — which is brought to you by the same geniuses behind Breaking Bad.

1. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
“What we’ve got here… is a failure to communicate. Some men, you just can’t reach.” When a quote takes on a life of its own outside of a movie, that’s when you know that you’re dealing with a stone-cold classic. And speaking of which… no man can eat fifty eggs. Or can he? Cool Hand Luke isn’t just the defining prison movie; it’s also a classic of 1960s cinema. Watch Lucas “Luke” Jackson (Paul Newman) struggle with the intense hardships of life on the chain-gang. Can he escape? Can he survive? Can one man actually eat fifty eggs? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, then you don’t know Cool Hand; so run, don’t walk, to see this film, you wild, beautiful thing, you. …You crazy handful of nothin’.

2. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
“Destroy a bridge or destroy yourself” — that’s the dilemma posed by The Bridge on the River Kwai. The movie features Alec Guinness, William Holden, and director David Lean — and really, what more do you need to know? Lean’s film follows the lives of soldiers in a WWII prisoner-of-war camp, as they are forced by their captors to build a bridge in the middle of the Thai jungle. …To build or not to build? Guinness fights to finish the bridge — believing that doing so will give his men a sense of hope in the middle of a deadly jungle. (On the minus-side, finishing the bridge will also aid the enemy in a time of war.) Meanwhile, Holden struggles just as fiercely to tear the bridge down. Who is right and who is wrong? Big questions, a big, big bridge, and a big, big explosion — it’s all in here.

Mamma Mia! The Five Meanest Moms in Movie History

Article: Mamma Mia! The Five Meanest Moms in Movie History

Film has never shied away from exploring the rich, complicated, and in some cases straight-up creepy connection between mother and child. While normal, lovely moms are all fine and good, some of the most fun moms to watch have been downright crazy–and all the more captivating because of it. In honor of Mother’s Day (Sun., May 11) we’ve picked our five favorite frightening maternal figures. Don’t neglect to send them a card on Mother’s Day.

1. Margaret White, Carrie (1976)
Sure, the cool-kid clique at Carrie’s high school do a number on the poor girl. But the groundwork of psychotic abuse already had been laid at home, where the shy girl’s Christian fundamentalist mother consistently berates her for “sinning.” A bucket of pig’s blood might have been the straw that breaks the camel’s back. But when Carrie rebels — and tears down her town in the process — its anger and resentment toward her mother that drives most of that rage.

Frank Underwood Aside, Which Kevin Spacey Role Suits Him Best?

Article: Frank Underwood Aside, Which Kevin Spacey Role Suits Him Best?

Both audiences and critics are relishing Kevin Spacey’s performance as the ruthless political climber Frank Underwood in Netflix’s House of Cards. But this role is just the latest success in the Academy Award winner’s eclectic career. Who can forget him as midlife crisis dad in American Beauty or mastermind criminal in The Usual Suspects? In fact, he’s given so many great performances, it’s hard to narrow them down to a top ten. Still, we tried. Vote for your favorite then tune-in to THE WRITERS’ ROOM: “House of Cards,” Fri., May 2nd at 9PM/8c on SundanceTV.

Top 10 Movie Couples We Want to Double-Date

Article: Top 10 Movie Couples We Want to Double-Date

Double-dating is harder than regular dating. First of all, there’s two of them and two of you. That’s more potential for problems. After all, you might forgive your own date’s annoying habits (chewing with mouth open, laughing too loudly) because you’re going to get some action later on. But your double date? Hell, no. That means, they better be good company. Here are the top ten movie couples worth double-dating.

New Frontier films and installations announced for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival

Article: New Frontier films and installations announced for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Institute announced today the films and installations to be featured in the 2014 edition of New Frontier at the Sundance Film Festival, including the U.S. premiere of The Source (evolving) by renowned artist Doug Aitken and a 3D projection-mapping project by Klip Collective. The Festival takes place January 16-26 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

2013 Sundance Film Festival Announces Feature Film Awards

Article: 2013 Sundance Film Festival Announces Feature Film Awards

Park City, UT — Sundance Institute this evening announced the Jury, Audience, NEXT and other special awards of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival at the feature film Awards Ceremony, hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Park City, Utah. An archived video of the ceremony in its entirety is available at www.sundance.org/festival.

John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “The films at our Festival this year truly reflect the unbridled passion, immense talent and diverse stories coming from the independent filmmaking community. I am confident that the awards presented this evening will fuel those films with special promise and that audiences will continue to champion the films they have discovered here.”

“The lively dialogue and genuine excitement sparked by the films over the past 10 days is sure to resonate as they further reach audiences in the weeks and months ahead,” commented Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute. “We congratulate and thank all of the filmmakers who shared their stories with us, and we look forward to continuing to support them.”

Twin Tower movie cameos

Article: Twin Tower movie cameos

Twin Tower Cameos from Dan Meth on Vimeo.

Just in time for the tenth anniversary this Sunday of the September 11th terrorist attacks, Dan Meth created this impressive mash-up video that pays homage to the fallen twin towers by stitching together scenes from various films from 1969 to 2001 that featured the World Trade Center “prominently in the foreground [and] sometimes lurking in the distance.” The accompanying soundtrack with songs from these decades is also pitch perfect. Watching this made me feel sad for all the human loss and destruction, as well as a sense of nostalgia of my youth that some of these films (HOME ALONE 2! WHEN HARRY MET SALLY!) evoked for me. However, I’m looking forward to and hopeful for One WTC’s completion, which, I anticipate, will serve as a similar anchor of downtown Manhattan and symbol of New York City in all the films yet to be made.

THE ORGASM DIARIES and more love and sex in film

Article: THE ORGASM DIARIES and more love and sex in film

We noticed something called THE ORGASM DIARIES is playing on The Sundance Channel this Saturday at midnight. Sounds like a documentary, right? Turns out it’s a British indie film from last year about a couple who’s private naughty photographs become pornographic art-world hits, which turns their relationship upside down. Knowing that, the title becomes a bit more dubious. But Indiewire said it “captures the essence of young love.” It gets a 50-50 rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which sounds a lot less damning when you realize that’s only out of 8 reviews. Could be a fine late-night alternative to Skinemax…?

Buzz, like swine flu is something you can pick up at a party

Article: Buzz, like swine flu is something you can pick up at a party

Image from THE OATH, the story of Salim Hamdan

That ephemeral Sundance commodity known as buzz used to be something you picked up at parties, on shuttles, waiting in line at screenings — now it’s quantified before the festival even begins, with films ranked on the Sundance site according to page views (and, once the screenings actually get under way, star ratings). Based on the track records of the parties involved (and on totally unscientific early word of mouth), here are the four movies — one from each of the competitive sections — I have the highest hopes for…

Festival Updates Interview: John Cooper, Festival Wrap

Article: Festival Updates Interview: John Cooper, Festival Wrap

Faith Salie speaks with festival director of programming John Cooper about the moving films and the surprising events of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Presented by Honda, The Power of Dreams.

Festival Updates: The Awards and After Party

Article: Festival Updates: The Awards and After Party

The filmmakers, actors, and celebrities come out to congratulate and celebrate all films and participants of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

Live From Cyberspace

Article: Live From Cyberspace

Filmmaker Michel Gondry is back at Sundance with his latest romp BE KIND, REWIND [www.bekindmovie.com]. In it, a video store dude (Jack Black), who, after he accidentally erases the store’s merchandise, decides to remake all the lost films on video. Gondry, who has taken his DIY aesthetic to sublime places, is endorsing others video imagination this week. While at Sundance, he will be curating YouTube [www.youtube.com] videos all week.