Trailer for Justin Simien’s ‘Dear White People’

dear-white-people-1Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have released the new trailer for “Dear White People” by emerging writer/director Justin Simien. The film has already picked up some buzz on the festival circuit and is based on a successful short film that Simien had produced several years ago.

“Dear White People” is an aggressive comedy about race relations at a university seen through the eyes of the four African-American characters. The film is slated for release on October 17 and stars Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Brandon Bell and Teyonah Parris.

Check it out.


‘Boyhood’: Why Richard Linklater Owns His New Movie: The Hollywood Reporter

boyhood_5601_560Great post detailing a strange, but interesting occurrence in how film distribution contracts were constructed for Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and how this gamble could deliver massive payoffs financially and in securing some sliver of control over the distribution of a director’s film.

Tatiana Siegel for THR writes: “Richard Linklater’s new film Boyhood might jump-start a rare phenomenon in Hollywood: the director as owner. The director sacrificed his usual low-seven-figure upfront fee to share the copyright in his 12-years-in-the-making movie, as financial transparency improves in the industry and Hollywood’s take-the-money-and-run mentality shifts.

When Linklater’s longtime lawyer, John Sloss, structured the contract for the experimental coming-of-age drama — Boyhood was made over 12 years for a modest $5 million and is set to open July 11 — he insisted that financier IFC Films give the helmer part ownership of the movie’s copyright. Unlike a typical deal that offers a percentage of profits — or “points” — so a director shares in the success but has no control over the movie’s future, Linklater’s pact gave him a say in where and how the film is released. Working together, IFC the financier and Linklater decided that IFC’s distribution arm was their best option.

“This has been such a unique process and a complete leap of faith for all parties involved,” Linklater tells THR. As an owner, he can join in marketing decisions, touch each part of the revenue stream and eventually sell his stake to a library (by contrast, many directors still are paid for home video on a “royalties” basis that is much lower than theatrical gross). Sloss won’t reveal details but says Linklater’s ownership is substantial.

Still, it came at a price. The 53-year-old auteur had to give up a big part of his upfront fee, normally in the low-seven figures. And that’s precisely why most directors haven’t taken this route. They stick to Hollywood’s oldest adage: Take the money and run…

Others are skeptical, though. “I’m not sure director ownership is a trend,” says indie producing veteran Anthony Bregman (Begin Again, Foxcatcher). “Maybe it’s a trend for Richard Linklater.”

For more of this great article, check out THR.

Stephen Sondheim: ‘Puritanical Ethics’ on Disney ‘Into the Woods’ Changes-The Wrap

enhanced-buzz-6405-1380289280-32 Stephen Sondheim, prolific Broadway megawriter/lyricist/composer has a knack for heading to the heart of any issue and revealing the sometimes grim reality underneath the shiny surface. This talent extends not only to his work, but in how he sees the world. That is why we love him and he is of Godlike status in the theater world (a little side note, if you a fan of Sondheim and have not seen the HBO Documentary film Six by Sondheim, stop reading now and watch it. You will thank me later.)

That is why it was no surprise to hear his response to Disney’s “requests” in changes for the film reimagining of Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.”

Linda Ge of The Wrap writes: “Concerns that Stephen Sondheim’s subversive fairy-tale redo “Into the Woods” might get a Disney makeover when the House of Mouse mounted the big-screen adaptation seem to be coming true, according to the lyricist and composer himself.

Speaking to a Sardi’s full of theater educators about censorship in artistic education, Sondheim revealed that Disney shared some of the teachers’ concerns with the overt and not-so-overt adult themes in the show — for example, the sexualized nature of the relationship between the Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood. Sondheim says this sexualization has been removed from the film, along with some other more mature moments…

Sondheim says James Lapine, who wrote both the Tony-winning book of the musical and the film’s screenplay, tried to fight to keep some of these elements in the film, but the studio was firm…

Sondheim shared some of the teachers’ concerns on behalf of their students, who felt angry and mistrusted for having to put on edited versions of shows like “Into the Woods” and “Spring Awakening,” but realizes it’s part of reality. “[You] have to explain to them that censorship is part of our puritanical ethics, and it’s something that they’re going to have to deal with. There has to be a point at which you don’t compromise anymore, but that may mean that you won’t get anyone to sell your painting or perform your musical. You have to deal with reality.”

For more visit The Wrap here.

Guy Maddin and Kim Morgan Will Serve as Telluride Film Festival’s Guest Directors: Screen Daily

keyhole_aLooks like husband and wife team Guy Maddin and Kim Morgan will be serving as the Guest Directors at this year’s Telluride Film Festival according to the festival’s executive director Julie Huntsinger. Maddin and Morgan, who have been long associated with the festival, will host the event from August 29th through September 1st and present a hand-picked film series.

Jeremy Kay of Screen Daily writes: “Maddin has won the National Society Of Film Critics Award for best experimental film twice, for Archangel in 1991 and The Heart Of The World in 2001. He also earned the Telluride Silver Medallion in 1995.

Morgan is a film, music and culture writer who has written for numerous outlets.

“We are honoured and thrilled to be guest directors at Telluride, by far the most concentrated, smartly curated, and enchanting of all the film festivals,” said Maddin and Morgan.”

For more visit Screen Daily or to get more info on the Telluride Film Festival visit their website.

New Trailer For Steven Soderbergh’s Upcoming Series ‘The Knick’ Starring Clive Owen


Where is Steven Soderbergh these days?  It appears he’s been directing a ten episode series for Cinemax entitled The Knick, based on the downtown New York hopsital, the Knickerbocker.  Set in the early 1900’s, the narrative follows a group of revolutionary doctors and nurses who were breaking new ground in the field of medicine without the aid of antibiotics.

The series stars Clive Owen, Juliet Rylance, Andre Holland and Eric Johnson and will premiere on August 8th.

Check out the NSFW trailer below:

Film Preservation and Silents are Showcased with Flicker Alley’s Blu-Ray Release ‘We’re In The Movies’

were in the movies

Flicker Alley has impressed me yet again with the announcement of their Blu-Ray/DVD combo entitled We’re In The Movies: Palace of Silents and Itinerant Filmmaking.  The two-fer release includes the 2010 documentary Palace of Silents: The Silent Movie Theater in Los Angeles and the 1983 documentary When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose.  Slated for release on July 22nd, the combo also includes 5 bonus movies from itinerant and local filmmakers.

From Flicker Alley:

“Palace of Silents: The Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles (2010)

On Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles there is a 150-seat movie theater that for over sixty-eight years has doggedly dedicated itself to the exhibition of silent films. Built in 1942 by maverick film preservationist and collector John Hampton, the theater championed silent film at the very moment when the Hollywood studios across town were busily destroying their nitrate inventories. With hard chairs, phonograph-record accompaniments, and mostly original vintage prints, the dingy mom-and-pop operation was nonetheless a palace to the fanatical few who became its loyal audience. Through the theater’s tumultuous years of operation, its owners and employees have struggled to keep a cherished art form alive, often paying a heavy price in the personal tragedies that have stemmed from this struggle: obscurity, financial ruin, and even murder.

Through interviews, archival footage and detailed research, Palace of Silents reveals the touching, twisted, and bloody history of one independent theater’s successful attempt to stubbornly buck every cinematic trend in the hometown of American cinema.

When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose (1983)

In the early 1980s, documentary filmmaker Stephen Schaller was instrumental in the rediscovery and restoration of The Lumberjack (1914), the oldest surviving film made in Wisconsin, and produced by a group of itinerant filmmakers who traveled from town to town making “local talent” pictures. Schaller’s lovely and sometimes deeply emotional, 63-minute journal/essay film offers a look at the making of the Wausau, Wisconsin classic, including interviews with the one surviving cast member and the relatives of others who appeared in the movie. His investigation includes moving remembrances of the people and town of Wausau as it was, and even reveals the on-set accidental death of one of The Lumberjack‘s top cameramen. More than just a piece of local history, When You Wore a Tulip is also of interest to anyone who cares about film history and preservation. Discovering Schaller’s gentle, artful movie is just as exciting as finding a lost family album.”

Be sure to pre-order your copy through the Flicker Alley website, here.  Also check out the trailer for the release below.


‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ Turns 40, Watch NSFW Trailer For New 4K Restoration


40 years ago, a group of Austin film students gathered to film one of horror’s most enduring classics, Tobe Hooper’s grotesquely glorious The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  To celebrate this milestone, the 70’s horror phenomenon got a 4K makeover, Blu-ray birthday and a nationwide theatrical release.

View the NSFW trailer for the restored edition here:

Although it might seem that this is just one in a long list of aging classics to hit the restored and released circuit, the original Massacre still throws a mighty punch and is well worth the price of admission.

Check the dates below to see when it’ll be courting an area near you:

June 21
New York, Film Society of Lincoln Center

June 27
New York, IFC Center

June 27
Boston, Coolidge Corner

July 4
Richardson, TX, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

July 11
Portland, Hollywood Theatre
Houston, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
Kalamazoo, MI, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
Winchester, VA, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
Washington, DC, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

July 18
Austin, TX, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (Slaughter Lane)
Littleton, CO, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
Winston-Salem, NC, a/perture
Eugene, OR, Bijou Metro
Tulsa, OK, Circle Cinema

July 19
Yonkers, NY, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

July 25
Kansas City, MO, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

July 25
Lubbock, TX, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
New Braunfels, TX, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
San Antonio, TX, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (Westlakes)
Nashville, TN, Belcourt

August 1
Seattle, WA, SIFF Cinema