Two indie film students made a Marvel movie and we're pretty psyched.
The filmmaking team of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck have long been stalwarts in the independent moviemaking community, having been cited as two of Filmmaker Magazine's prestigious 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2004. Both go-getting film students from the start—Fleck an NYU alum and Boden a Columbia University alum—the couple made several shorts before expanding their Sundance award-winning Gowanus, Brooklyn into a feature titled Half Nelson. That film, of course, went on to net a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for its leading man, Ryan Gosling.
After following up Half Nelson with the baseball drama Sugar, the big screen adaptation of It's Kind of a Funny Story, and the Ryan Reynolds/Ben Mendelsohn starring Mississippi Grind, the duo directed a number of episodes for television programs including The Affair, Billions, and Room 104.
The Predators are back and they're uglier than ever.
The sixth film in a franchise 30 years running, Shane Black's The Predator represents a distinct director/screenwriter's voice taking over a known property. Filled with Black's notable humor, The Predator is part military action film—like previous installments, outcast soldiers are shone the heroic spotlight—part horror film—the kills are a'plenty—and part raunchy comedy—one joke about oral sex said in a hotel room while a woman attempts to escape may be viewed as slightly questionable.
Lighter in tone than some of its predecessors, the film has several inspired sequences, many involving humongous alien canines that resemble their Predator owners (perhaps we can label them as Preta-Dogs?). They're large, ferocious, and surprisingly obedient when it comes to playing fetch at a human's command.
Bloody gore, lensed by a talented cinematographer, never looked so good as it does in 'Mandy.'
Some films defy description and others benefit from an exacting and studied scene-by-scene breakdown. And then there are films like Mandy, the gnarly, otherworldly feature from director Panos Cosmatos shot by Benjamin Loeb, that dare you to verbalize the film's impact into words. Allow me to play the fool for a moment.
Less a film about revenge than one about cartharsis—its brutality representing a purging of one's outer and inner demons—Mandy is a film which exists less on planet Earth than on the top shelf of a VHS rental store located in the darkest crevice of your brain (or in your local neighborhood mall's Hot Topic).
The Coen Brothers' latest sports true grit and old men to spare.
Originally commissioned by Netflix as a six-part TV series, Joel and Ethan Coen's The Ballad of Buster Scruggs became, late in production, a lengthy feature anthology film. Its own form of binge-watching, the anthology film has long been a classic mode of storytelling for a number of adventurous filmmakers, and the latest from the Coens feels like a rather worthy addition to the canon.
Six tales focused on the wild, wild west, the film is set to open in theaters and stream on Netflix on Friday, November 16th. Given its omnibus nature, it's hard to get too much of a sense of the plot, but quick glimpses of Tim Blake Nelson, Liam Neeson, James Franco, Zoe Kazan, and Brendan Gleeson assure us that its game cast is more than up to the challenge of capturing the Coens' distinctive style and morose quirk.
The film can be seen next month at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's 56th New York Film Festival (major props if you were able to snag a ticket!) and will then be settling in for an "awards run" later this Fall.
A science-fiction film that all too often echoes the hateful rhetoric heard in today's society.
The word "freaks" has rarely been used as a positive descriptor, and in Adam Stein and Zach Lipovsky's film of the same name, the negative denunciation takes on an entirely otherworldy meaning.
A science fiction film that truly becomes one in its second half, the slow-burn Freaks represents a filmmaking partnership that began on a reality competition series several years prior. After years of frustration attempting to get a feature-film career off the ground, the two men teamed up to make Freaks, a film that last weekend premiered in the Discovery section of the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. Sounds like it was a successful collaboration, right? That's not even the half of it: today the film sold to distributor Well Go USA for a reported $2 million, and the directing team is getting set to direct their next feature: a live-action reboot of the Disney preteen animated series, Kim Possible.
Academy Award nominee Paul Weitz's latest film is a serious drama with global implications.
When it comes to a diverse career hopping from comedic to narratively dramatic endeavors, few have as wide-ranging a filmography as Paul Weitz. Along with his brother Chris, Weitz has been a Hollywood professional for decades, both writing and directing features that demand a touch both knowing and light, workman-like with a hint of the intimately personal. For example, American Pie, About a Boy, In Good Company, and Little Fockers are just a few of the films Weitz has directed over the past 20 years.
Come join us this Sunday afternoon in Downtown Brooklyn!
Currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, the Brooklyn-based Independent Feature Project (IFP), long the nation's oldest and largest filmmaker advocacy non-profit, is preparing to kick off its signature event this weekend: IFP Week.
The indie epicenter for filmmakers coming to town with projects in various stages of pre-production to meet with a who's-who of the movie industry, IFP Week's project alumni—now including episodic as well as narrative and nonfiction-based work—include such recent hits as the 2016 Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Barry Jenkins's Moonlight, Robert Eggers's The Witch, Reinaldo Marcus Green's Monsters and Men, Ciro Guerra's Embrace of the Serpent, Sandi Tan's Shirkers, and Boots Riley's Sorry to Bother You.
The fifth film in 'The Conjuring' universe just had the most successful opening weekend in the history of the franchise.
There's something to be said (positively!) about a horror film that believes the most effective way to curb demonic forces from taking over our planet is to literally pray them away. Corin Hardy's The Nun, a prequel in the hugely successful Conjuring franchise, is one such fright flick, and, in its depiction of good versus evil—that is, Catholic versus the Other—it's a special-and-practical-effects heavy good time.
From the mind that brought us 'Spring Breakers' comes Matthew McConaughey in a role that may prove to be his 'Big Lebowski.'
The latest from Harmony Korine, the gnarly auteur who brought the world Spring Breakers, Trash Humpers, Gummo, and Julien Donkey-Boy (to say nothing of his brutally honest and yet sensationalized screenplays for Larry Clark's Kids and Bully) The Beach Bum is almost upon us. At the very least, 2019 can't arrive soon enough.
Starring Matthew McConaughey in a role he was either born or sentenced to play, the redband trailer looks appropriately drugged out and soaked in neon (unsurprising given the film's theatrical distributor: NEON). It also packs in a solid number of quotable lines in just a few seconds courtesy of Mr. McConaughey and yes, Snoop Dogg. Check it out below.
It's interesting to see how Korine has grown into a filmmaker with such a sustainable career, his projects ranging from gritty, low-budget endeavors shot on home video cameras to larger-budgeted features starring Disney Channel notables and Academy Award winners.
As an indie commercial goes viral, its creator chats with No Film School about the origins of the project.
The best way to pull off a spec commercial is to remember that it's all about the story, not the product. If you have the creativity to manage a compelling, narrative-reliant story in an extremely short period of time, trust your instincts and go with it. Excel at the telling of the story and, along with some solid technical craftsmanship wherever you can find it, your spec will be as much a representation of a product as it is of your talent.
Filmmaker Jono Seneff took this to heart when crafting his spec commercial for the Tesla Model 3. Based on both a personal experience involving hearing loss and a dream he had one night, Seneff's concept is less about an automobile than it is a father/daughter relationship. At one point in the film, are they driving in a Tesla? Of course, but there's a reason they're in a car, and the narrative payoff is its own form of a climaxing tearjerker.