Saturday, March 8, 2014

SXSW Take Two!

That's right! Coming out of retirement to do a little coverage of this years SXSW. On tonight's dock, we have competition films Wild Canaries and The Heart Machine

Wild Canaries - Barri and Noah, a newly engaged Brooklyn couple, are disheartened by the death of their elderly downstairs neighbor, Sylvia. Though Noah sees nothing unusual about the old woman's death, Barri suspects foul play and sets out to investigate, enlisting her roommate Jean to join her on a reconnaissance mission to trail a possible suspect. Tensions mount, however, when the investigation uncovers unsettling secrets throughout the building—including in their own apartment—and suddenly everyone seems like a reasonable suspect. "Wild Canaries" is a freshly comedic take on classic film noir.

The Heart Machine - Cody and Virginia start talking while he’s in Brooklyn and she’s in Berlin. It’s a romance that could only happen online, and they’re happy together—except they’ve never really met. But Cody’s questions about Virginia’s life in Berlin become an obsession, leading him to doubt that she’s there at all. Combing NYC for clues, an increasingly driven Cody begins overstepping boundaries of privacy in his desperate quest for answers. Tracking two parallel journeys that show how digital mediation complicates modern love,The Heart Machine explores the evolving relationship between physical and emotional intimacy, isolation in the urban hive, and the seduction of hiding behind a screen. See full post

Monday, February 10, 2014

5th Annual Fangirl Awards Eligibility List

It's that time again!!

Even though our IRL jobs are preventing us from being super active on this blog, we still believe in the Fangirl Awards and the Fangirl Academy. Nominating ballots are due from our 130 members this Friday and the nominations will be announced next week. Winners announced Friday, February 28th!

After the jump is the list of the 289 movies eligible for awards this year. But NEW CATEGORY ALERT, this year we are adding a Best of Fest category, where the five favorite movies that played at festivals but haven't been released yet can get a little love too :)

To join the Academy, head here and to remember winners of years past, head here.

Follow our current activity on Twitter and Tumblr!

See full post

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

You May Have Noticed...

We aren't as active as we once were! Or at all. Jobby jobs have happened and your faithful Fangirls have disappeared from the world of blogging. We are still tweeting about our geeky interests on the Twitters, so follow us there at @loquaciousmuse and @eruditechick and of course will occasionally post giveaways and rants when the mood strikes, and never stop running the Fangirl Awards if we can help it!

If you are a Fangirl looking for an outlet and would be interested in taking over the content of All Things Fangirl, shoot me a note at allthingsfangirl at gmail dot com and we can discuss.

It's been a great run! So long and thanks for all the fish! #42 See full post

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Basically, I like Arcade Fire

As you probably know, Arcade Fire's new album Reflektor was officially released today. With its lyrical references to the Orpheus myth, its influences from Haitian music, and producution help from LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, Reflektor is a grand addition to the band's discography. Always thematic but never totally conceptual, Arcade Fire's albums are best when listened to in full but most tracks are still great out of context. This time around, their title track is a definite hit single.

It's too soon for me to rank Reflektor among the rest but then again I'm not sure I'll ever have a favorite Arcade Fire album; each one is a unique and solid record that moves and charms me with every listen. See full post

Friday, October 18, 2013

Byuioo: Pipeline's New Musical

Byuioo is the new musical production from the incredibly innovative Pipeline Theatre Company. Described as a folk gospel musical, Byuioo is set in a post-apocalyptic New York where survivors live in nomadic packs, each with its own language and customs.

Always entertaining and imaginative, Pipeline produces must-see shows. I expect no less with Byuioo. Previews start next weekend and the show runs until mid-November at The Gym at Judson. For tickets and more info, visit the website. See full post

Friday, August 23, 2013

It's The World's End! Better Give Some Stuff Away!

In celebration of the world coming to an end, Wright/Pegg/Frost style, we are giving away some items everyone probably needs before the Apocalypse. 

Our friends at Focus Features are offering to one lucky reader,

·         $25 Visa Gift Card to see The World’s End
·         T-Shirt & Pint Glass
·         The World’s End Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


To enter the contest, just rock out the rafflecopter below. And trust me when I say you want to see this movie. It's perhaps Wright's weirdest outing yet and a fantastic time at the movies, with the best climax of any film yet this year. Hyperbole shmyperboyle, I can't think of anything better right now, so just go with it, I'm probably right. As is the case with all of their films, it also examines something deeper, in this case, friendship and maturity. 

From our monthly preview, edited by @davidehrlich,
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reunite with Edgar Wright behind the camera in the third and final chapter of their ice cream and blood trilogy, this installment concerning  a group of childhood friends who reunite in their 30s for an epic pub crawl, at the end of which lies the fabled pub The World’s End. During this epic trek of bros and booze, they realize the world is actually coming to an end. Let the action/comedy ensue! The film also stars Martin Freeman, Rosamund Pike, and an array of recognizable faces from not only the Edgar Wright repertoire, but all of British everything. What’s more, it surprisingly features some of the best fight scenes in recent memory. And a special treat for you Spaced fans: Keep an eye out for Mark Heap (Brian) and Julia Deakin (Marsha).

Pre-Order the Album:

Visit the official website
Like The World’s End on Facebook
Watch the trailer & clips on YouTube
Follow the Cornetto Trilogy on Tumblr

A signature brew of camaraderie, knockabout humor, excessive quaffing, questionable life choices, hand-to-hand combat, and explosive surprises, The World’s End reteams director Edgar Wright with actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, following their hits Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007).

The tale of The World’s End begins on June 22nd, 1990. In their suburban U.K. town of Newton Haven, five boys in the prime of their teenage youth celebrate the end of school by attempting an epic pub crawl together. Despite their enthusiasm and the downing of a slew of pints of beer, they fall short of seeing their quest through, to the last pub on their list, The World’s End.

Twenty-odd years later, “the five musketeers” have each left their hometown and are now husbands, fathers, men with careers – with the flashing-red-light exception of their voluble onetime ringleader, Gary King (Simon Pegg), who is now a 40-year-old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens. The irrepressible Gary, keenly aware of his estrangement from his onetime closest friend Andy (Nick Frost), becomes hellbent on trying “The Golden Mile” drinking marathon again. He convinces Andy, Steven (Paddy Considine), Oliver (Martin Freeman), and Peter (Eddie Marsan) to stage an encore, and one Fridayafternoon they are all reunited. Gary is in his element: the mandate is one night, five guys, twelve pubs – imbibing at least one pint apiece at each establishment. Arriving in Newton Haven, they re-encounter Oliver’s sister Sam (Rosamund Pike), for whom Gary and Steven each still carry a torch.

As the gang attempts along the way to reconcile their past and present, an increasingly insane and dangerous series of encounters with old haunts and acquaintances makes them realize that the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind’s. Reaching The World’s End is the least of their worries…

Genre: Comedy
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike
Directed by: Edgar Wright
Written by: Edgar Wright & Simon Pegg

See full post

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Indie Watch: August 2013

Full monthly preview on
edited by @davidehrlich

 The Spectacular Now

This film from the director of “Smashed” comes a love story between a teenage alcoholic and the slightly nerdy girl he befriends after a bad senior year break up. While it may sound trite on paper, the festival darling (one of many hitting theaters in limited release this month) surprises with its deliberate lack of showiness, understated nature and simple, effective performances. Miles Teller and in particular Shailene Woodley shine with their nuanced naturalism and easy chemistry.
Although parts of the film feel too reliant on improv to achieve this realism, a rather rampant problem with a lot of indie filmmaking nowadays, the good ultimately outweighs the bad. And you’ll never look Coach Taylor the same way again. Since both Teller and Woodley appear in YA adaptation “Divergent”, and the film’s marketing focuses more on the teen love story than teen alcoholic story, expect high critical praise and potentially low cinema scores from the inevitably confused 13-18 year old set.

The Canyons
This movie!! Guys!! This movie!!  Lindsay Lohan, renaissance porn star James Deen, Bret Easton Ellis, and the inimitable Paul Schrader join forces to create this masterpiece/sh*t show, which is finally coming to theaters and VOD after what seemed like an eternity of gossip. In any event, nothing is keeping me from taking in this “contemporary LA noir about the dangers of sexual obsession and ambition,” so good job stoking the strange fires of controversy, this NY Times piece and this New York Magazine article!

Ain't Them Bodies Saints
Another one of those aforementioned festival darlings that wowed at Sundance, SXSW, and LA Film Fest, to name a few. This neo-Western set in 1970s Texas Hill Country, stars Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck and Ben Foster and was developed through the Sundance Writing and Producing labs. David Lowery’s  film currently has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, but can this swooningly romantic drama break out from the art house audience?  At the very least, the Sundance US Dramatic Cinematography Award winner will be beautiful to look at, and allegedly features one of the most compellingly strange scores of the year.

The Grandmaster
As if a Wong Kar Wai movie would be opening and we *wouldn’t* put it in our movie preview. What, were you expecting? “Planes”? “Mortal Instruments”? PSHAW I SAY. “The Grandmaster” is yet another biopic about Ip Man, the legendary martial arts master who trained Bruce Lee, Wong’s take following the martial artist as his world collides with that of another kung fu master, Gong Er, during the Japenese invasion in 1936. Choreographed by Yuen Woo-Ping, mastermind behind “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”, “Kill Bill” and “The Matrix”, “The Grandmaster” certainly promises to be a different and decidedly unique take on both biopics and martial arts movies.

You're Next
It has now been a solid TWO YEARS since “You’re Next” started playing the festival circuit to much acclaim, but finally the twist-on-the-home-invasion horror flick will be available for consumption nationwide. Opening weekend, grab a giant group of horror loving friends and get thee to a theater. Oh fun fact for you fellow geeks out there -  that cat mask you see in the trailer? Very popular random item floating around at Comic-Con, that was even discovered backstage by Michael Fassbender and shown off during his Comic-Con panel for “X-Men.”

Short Term 12
This little movie from director Destin Cretton won both the Grand Jury and Audience Award at SXSW, and then the Audience Award at LA Film Fest, and mark my words, will be making plenty of noise come Film Independent Spirit Awards time. Although the film was the second Cretton made, after “I Am Not A Hipster”, he began work on “Short Term 12″ long before, having worked with foster kids himself and becoming inspired to tell this story of the people who find hope in such facilities, whether they are the ones being cared for, or the ones attempting to do the caring. This beautiful, moving uncliched drama stars Brie Larson in a star-making role and an excellent John Gallagher Jr (“Newsroom”) as her sympathetic boyfriend.

Europa Report (Aug 2nd, on VOD now)
In A World (Aug 9th)
Prince Avalanche (Aug 9th)
Drinking Buddies (Aug 23rd, On VOD now)
Afternoon Delight (Aug 30)
See full post

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Most Notable Comic-Con Panels Of All Time

Full post on
edited by @davidehrlich

With Comic-Con only days away, we decided to take a little look back to put the giant event into perspective. Although sometimes the movies promoted at the convention don’t break through to a mainstream audience, there have been many panels throughout the years that could be considered monumental or important for a variety of reasons. Here are the ten most memorable, in chronological order.
1. Star Wars and Blade Runner Begin It All (1976 / 1981)
Screen shot 2013-07-16 at 3.29.42 AM
In 1976, Charles Lippencott famously hosted a panel for “Star Wars”, showing slides from the film to a somewhat skeptical (and not full!) audience. While it took some years for someone from a film other than a publicist to present a film panel at Comic-Con, footage (screened in 16mm, natch) was luckily not far off, perhaps most notably in 1981 when a “Blade Runner” panel screened a featurette before featurettes were a thing, that can now be found on the 30th anniversary blu ray.
2. Convincing The Fans About Tim Burton’s “Batman” (1988)
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(Tim Burton circa 2013)
In 1988, fans were so overwhelmingly against the casting of Michael Keaton as Batman, the studio’s consultant on all things geek knew they had to do something to prove that Burton’s vision was everything the fans would want in a “Batman” movie, not the rehash of the campy Batman series the hardcore fans so feared. So “Batman” creator himself, Bob Kane, appeared at Comic-Con with a slideshow and fans soon found themselves warming up to the whole idea after getting a peak of Anton Furst’s designs of Gotham City and watching a Tim Burton led tour of the set, Bat Suit and Batmobile. This marked the beginning of a change in fan perception towards the film, as it unleashed word of mouth that turned entire fan community around.
3. Dracula Breaks Through (1992)
In what is now old hat, 1992 marked the first time an Oscar-winning director came to Comic-Con to show fans his genre film, as Francis Ford Coppola arrived in town with a a lengthy featurette and practically taught a class in filmmaking to a rapt audience (a feat the giddy legend would repeat at the “Twixt” panel some years later) . It was a huge moment to have someone in the film world of that caliber attend Comic-Con. Back in 1992, Comic-Con was one of many similarly sized genre conventions around the country, and Coppola went on to appear at many others that year promoting the film, to fantastic results, as the film was a surprise hit.
4. Comic-Con, Meet Joss Whedon (1997)
In a rare occurrence, Fox decided to combine their film and television into one panel, with one relatively unknown talent linking the two – writer and creator Joss Whedon. The move made certain logistical sense, as that year Whedon was involved in two geek properties, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Alien: Resurrection”. “Alien”, seeming like the bigger project, went second in the line-up, and when a third of the audience got up and left after “Buffy” had concluded, the geek world knew they might have a television phenomenon on their hands. Whedon has spoken about the experience as a turning point in his career, enjoying himself so much that he returned in 1998 with the entire Buffy cast (sans SMG who didn’t appear until “The Grudge”) and has since become one of the icons of fandom.
5. Lord of the Rings Comes To Life (2000)
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Back in 2000 when the largest room at the convention was 6CDEF, the Con removed the temporary walls separating 6CDEF from 6A and 6B, creating a 6000-person room, comparable in capacity to the current hub of all things major, Hall H, in order to host a screening of brand new clips and behind the scenes footage from “Fellowship of the Ring”. Can you imagine a studio greenlighting a panel in the largest room at Comic-Con just to show a long featurette? But the panel was a massive success, capped off with a surprise appearance by Ian McKellan, who had been hanging out at the Marvel booth, and decided to come up and watch the footage for himself. This panel manages to represent both a bygone era of Comic-Con, and provide a sneak preview into what it would become.

6-10 and the year 2000 onwards on
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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Film Lover's Guide to Comic-Con 2013

Full preview on
edited by @davidehrlich

Comic-Con celebrates its 45th (as “Dr. Who” celebrates 50 years, gloriously displayed on the cover of this years program guides) year with an eclectically jam-packed schedule and more shenanigans than ever before. Pirate Ship for Assassin’s Creed 4? Check. Giant “Ender’s Game” tent thing whatever that is? Check. Multiple massive inflatable cartoon characters, AT LEAST 5 different gaming lounges, and roughly 8 bajilliom  network and magazine sponsored lounges? Check! But even though Comic-Con is becoming more and more of an exciting place off-site, the real magic always happens inside, during panels celebrating beloved properties or introducing brand new ones. So here is our guide for film lovers on how to make the most of your trip. 
And be sure to read our list of the 10 Most Memorable Comic-Con Panels of All Time!
Entertainment Weekly’s The Visionaries
Entertainment Weekly returns with its regular panel focusing on different types of genre movers and shakers, The Visionaries. This year, the panel features three completely different directors, Marc Webb, Edgar Wright and Alfonso Curaron, all appearing on the same stage because of their successful forays into genre. The three are also all appearing on other panels throughout the Convention, Webb with “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”, Wright with “The World’s End” and Curaron with “Gravity”, but the Visionaries panel is a chance to hear them not focus primarily on promoting their new movies, but discuss the art of filmmaking overall.
Thursday July 18, 2013 2:30pm – 3:30pm
“Ender’s Game” / “Divergent”
Controversery or no controversy, Summit is pulling out all the stops for their adaptation of “Ender’s Game” at Comic-Con this year, with a panel, signing, events and parties happening throughout the entire week. Head here for an extended look at the film and talk with Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Asa Butterfield and more. Sharing this panel is “Divergent”, the film based on the hugely popular YA series by the same name and present for the Q&A will be the novelist, director, and *nine* cast members, including both Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller, so if you ever wanted to pretend there might be the possibility of a The Spectacular Now panel at Comic-Con, now would be the time.
Thursday July 18, 2013 3:50pm – 4:50pm
“The World’s End”
Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost return to Comic-Con with the third in the Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy, following “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hut Fuzz”. Here, they will be showing off some footage for the comedy, but the real treat here is just getting to see these guys interact with each other and the fans. The perfect Comic-Con morning!
Friday July 19, 2013 10:00am – 11:00am
“Veronica Mars”
As if the morning wasn’t perfect enough already, immediately following the Focus panel is one on Veronica Mars, featuring a magical cast of magic, including regular cast members Kristen Bell, Francis Capra, Enrico Colantoni,Percy Daggs III and Jason Dohring, plus ensemble members Ryan Hansen, Chris Lowell, Tina Majorino and Krysten Ritter. Producer/director Rob Thomas will also be on hand to screen footage and discuss the phenomenon that was the film’s Kickstarter Campaign. In the true spirit of Comic-Con, a tv show that got canceled due to low ratings is now the subject of one of THE most anticipated panels of the entire convention. Love it.
Friday July 19, 2013 11:15am – 12:00pm
Sony & Screen Gems
Talent and hopefully footage from “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”, “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” “Robocop” and “The Amazing Spider-man 2” will all be on hand this Friday afternoon in a massive 2+ hours panel. Andrew Garfield in particular has a lot to live up to after blowing everyone away with his genuine love for Spider-man at his last appearance for the first in the rebooted series, where he “asked a question” from the audience in full costume. Can he out-adorbz himself is clearly the question on everyone’s mind. Or at least mine.
Friday July 19, 2013 4:05pm – 6:15pm
Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Preview Their Upcoming Lineups
Warner Brothers prepares to wow Comic-Con again with its regular Saturday morning spot, this time bringing footage and talent from “Godzilla”,” Seventh Son”,” 300: Rise of an Empire”, “Gravity”, “The Lego Movie”, and
“Edge of Tomorrow”. Going into the panel, my money would be on Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity” or Gareth “have you seen V/H/S/2 and realized what a genius I am yet?!” Evans’ “Godzilla”, but you never know with a panel chock full like this one.
Saturday July 20, 2013 10:45am – 1:15pm
Lionsgate – Featuring I, Frankenstein and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
“I, Frankenstein” is gonna be cool and all but “CATCHING FIRE” AHHHH. Jennifer Lawrence?! Will you be there? Are we besties? Is the footage going to be amazing? Am I gonna volunteer as tribute?! Am I going to make myself a dress made entirely of Catching Fire pins and then catch myself on fire BECAUSE I CAN?!?! Point is – first ever “Hunger Games” panel. HAPPENING.
Saturday July 20, 2013 1:35pm – 2:35pm
All the program guide says is TBA, which is probably the greatest thing ever because the only thing we can really glean from it is DO NOT MISS THIS PANEL. Because, come on, if all a studio will announce is that they are a studio having a panel, you know that sh*t is going to be epic. Not. To. Be. Missed.
Saturday July 20, 2013 4:15pm – 5:45pm
Marvel returns to Saturday evening to close out the film portion of Hall H with this look at the second movies for Thor and Cap, and if we are being honest, there will  probably be some “Guardians of the Galaxy” stuff in there  too and most likely some announcement of something happening next cause that’s how Marvel rolls. Holy crap does Saturday rule this year.
Saturday July 20, 2013 6:00pm – 7:00pm
For Discoveries and Discussions, head to
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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Indie Watch: July 2013

Full monthly preview on
edited by @davidehrlich 

The Way Way Back

This Sundance hit that closed the Los Angeles Film Festival last week comes to theaters riding all sorts of hype. Although ads tout the film as being from the “studio that brought you “Juno” and “Little Miss Sunshine”", “The Way Way Back” is more similar in tone to directors Jim Rash and Nat Faxon’s Oscar winning screenplay “The Desendants”, leaning heavily towards the genuine rather than the quirky.

“The Way Way Back” is firmly grounded in reality (although Steve Carrell playing such a horrible human being does take some getting used to), as it tells a classic coming of age tale surrounding a 14 year old boy as he starts working at a water park and finds a mentor in Owen, the enthusiastically loquacious man in charge, portrayed with usual vigor by Sam Rockwell. Don’t wait too long to catch this one, as it might seem rather slight when held up against its early praise. Ultimately, “The Way Way Back” has its heart in the right place and is worth a watch, even if it might not be the sleeper Oscar darling Fox Searchlight is hoping it will be.

Crystal Fairy
In this indie flick that made the festival circuit rounds to relatively positive reviews earlier this year, Michael Cera plays an American on vacation in Chile determined to have a hallucinatory cactus trip on the beach. In a bold move, Cera portrays his most unlikeable character yet as Jamie, a self-involved, judgmental twenty-something in desperate need of redemption. The stand out here, however, is Gaby Hoffman, as the titular free spirited woman who Jamie encounters along the way. It’s questionable whether or not this arthouse flick would have seen the light of day without the attachment of Cera, but if you’re willing to go on the journey, you may find that “Crystal Fairy” has lot to say about how and why we look inward and outward, playing with notions of perception and introspection in an easy, hands-off sort of way.

Fruitvale Station
Keep an eye on director Ryan Coogler’s Sundance Grand Jury and Audience Award winner. If you want to be in on this conversation early, before the hype becomes too much to live up to, head to a theater this weekend to catch this fictionalization of the last day in the life of Oscar Grant (an outstanding Michael B. Jordan), the young man infamously and unjustly killed at Oakland’s Fruitvale Station by police officers in 2009.

Only God Forgives
Warning: Nicholas Wending Refn’s next movie, the most anticipated of his career following break out hit “Drive”, is not a crowd pleaser. “Only God Forgives” is strange, slow, violent, morbid, disturbing, and absolutely nothing like “Drive” beyond the fact that Ryan Gosling stars in both and, for the most part, speaks in neither. It follows a mother (a deliciously diabolical and undeniably fantastic Kristen Scott Thomas) seeking revenge for her eldest son’s murder, and the role her youngest son (Gosling) plays in this misguided mission. “Only God Forgives” is a full sensory experience that Winding Refn himself likens to an acid trip. It may fascinate you, bore you, piss you off, or some combination of the three.
Not in 3D. Thank god.

The Act Of Killing
This unsettling documentary first made its mark at last years Toronto and Telluride film festivals and further demonstrated its popularity with sold out screenings at SXSW and LA Film Festival in 2013. This month is your chance to finally see this powerful, surreal and chilling doc in which Indonosian death squad leaders reenact the mass killings they themselves have committed, in the style of their beloved American movies. To further the strangeness, these men are considered heroes in their country, a notion fundamentally counterintuitive to what we as a people believe and are capable of perceiving. But if you have ever wanted to see the perpetrator of mass genocide star in his own western/musical/gangster flick about committing said atrocities, well hey, now is your chance! Do not miss your opportunity to catch this brilliant piece of filmmaking while it is in theaters and don’t be surprised to hear of it a hell of a lot more come Oscar season.

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Indie Watch: June 2013

Full monthly preview at 
edited by @davidehrlich

Much Ado About Nothing
Joss Whedon’s highly anticipated adaptation of the beloved Shakespeare play finally comes to theaters and the Whedonites of the world rejoice! This excellently executed take on the play emphasizes the dark, sensual side of the comedy and showcases another side to a slew of Whedon regulars, including Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Fran Kranz and Sean Maher and introduces the striking Jillian Morgese as Hero. The movie is everything you want it to be, regardless as to whether you see yourself as Shakespeare Fan, a Whedonite, both or neither. Enjoy.

The Bling Ring
Some love it, many don’t, but what else is new, Sofia Coppola? Being described as the slightest and therefore most accessible of her work, Coppola fans may find themselves somewhat disappointed, but perhaps it also means the film may become more of a commercial success than her previous outings. Mainstream appeal and Sofia Coppola are somewhat diametrically opposed – much like “Spring Breakers”, the cast may attract an audience expecting something a little less artsy, so keep an eye on the film’s Cinema Score and make sure to be following your teen during the film’s rollout! Reaction should be interesting to say the least. But hey, at the end of the day, the film didn’t get booed after its Cannes premiere, unlike Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette”, so, victory!

Call Me Kuchu
One of my favorite movies from LA Film Fest last year hits theaters in very limited release and it is your duty as a human to go see it. “Call Me Kuchu” chronicles the life and death of David Kato, gay rights activist in the startlingly homophobic country of Uganda. Filmmakers Katherine Wright Fairfax and Malika Zouhali-Worrall happened to be in Uganda following Kato and his movement when the activist was murdered for his beliefs. The film is difficult but powerful, moving and necessary viewing.

I'm So Excited
Pedro Almodovar’s latest and the opening night film of this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival finally hits American screens (in limited release) at the end of the month. The film is a comedy about the people on an airplane after a technical failure endangers all of their lives (also, massive doses of peyote are involved). Current reviews for the broad romp are mixed, and compare it to Almodovar’s earlier work, which could be seen as either a good or bad thing. Just don’t go in expecting “Bad Education”, “Talk To Her” or “The Skin I Live In” and you should be okay. See full post

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Close Up: Director Todd Berger (It's a Disaster, Coming to DVD June 4th)

With It's a Disaster's DVD release closely approaching (one week from today), I thought we would revisit our talk with director Todd Berger from SXSW this year. After seeing Good Night, a film Berger acted in, I sat down with him outside of the Alamo Slaughter to discuss how Good Night influenced It's a Disaster, the Texas filmmaking community, the plus sides to making independent film and so much more.

Check out a portion below and for the complete interview, head on over to

It's a Disaster will be available for home ownership forever and ever on June 4th

Was there anything you learned from [Good Night] that you then brought to “It’s a Disaster”?
Berger: Oh absolutely, just giving characters relationship backstories so they know how to relate to each other, I just thought was vital, and when we did “It’s a Disaster”, I would sit with Julia and be like, okay you know everyone *this* way, you’re old friends with Hedy, America’s character, you guys met in college, this will never been on screen you know, you’re never gonna talk about this, but it’s important to know how you guys know each other. Because you wouldn’t want someone to read a script and be like “We’re all good friends, we’re all eight of us best friends and we all treat each other the same!” cause that’s not how real friendships work, when you go to a party with your friends, you end up talking to the same people, and you talk to people differently depending on how you know each other, so I thought that was great and it totally was inspired by [the exercises we did for "Good Night"].
Ultimately this stemmed from UT – are there other filmmakers you went to school with that are making movies now and do you keep in touch?
Berger: Oh yeah absolutely, we call it the Burnt Orange Mafia, and I was so busy here at SXSW because my friends are all directing movies! Bryan Poyser did “The Bounceback”, PJ Raval did “Before You Know It”, Kat Chandler did a couple shorts, Johnny didn’t go to UT but he’s Austin guy, he’s in seven things. Geoff Marslett did “Loves Her Gun”, there’s a bunch and actors and actresses, I don’t know if you saw, the Austin Chronicle had busy actor bingo, you should look for it, it’s a bingo card with all these Austin actors and basically it’s like, if you see a movie, cross them off and see if you can make bingo! And Johnny’s on it, and Jason Newman, it’s all these actors that are in two or more movies at SXSW. So it’s cool, it’s like all of your friends are making movies! And you’re like, I gotta go see my friends movie! It’s great and everybody is still supportive, Austin is a great, supportive film community.
The whole indie film community but especially here seems to cool and supportive, it seems like it would be better to start in independent film, making your own work for the community alone, rather than hope to jump immediately to studio pictures out of school.
You kind of have to make your own movie cause it never happens, people who wait for someone to give them a million dollars do go back a movie, you’re gonna be waiting a long time. And we all come to the realization eventually that if you want to do something, you have to do it yourself, so you might as well do it now. Those few who have had the opportunity out of the gate who directed one like killer short in college then handed the keys to a franchise, those are few and far between, but still you’re probably gonna be under heavy supervision of a studio or a financing company, but if you really want to use your first feature film as a business card to show this is who I am, this is what I do, if you it independently, you don’t have to answer to anybody and that’s crucial.
In “It’s A Disaster”, was there anything you think you wouldn’t have been able to do in it had it not been independent?
Yeah, without giving away the ending, I think our ending is something a studio probably would never let us do. Even if we would have ended up with the ending we have I think they would have made us shoot five different endings and then tested the endings and gone with the ending that people like the best and for me the ending of a movie and how the story and characters wrap up is kind of important. I think the title of the movie might be different, we even met with distributors who wanted to change our title because they didn’t get that the title is a commentary, it’s part of the satire, they were like, what if we changed it to Brunch Disaster or something? But I’m like, there’s a point to the title and a point to the ending. So absolutely it would have been a different movie.
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