Friends, supporters and patrons of the arts gathered at the Curtis Institute of Music on Saturday night for the screening of Maestro, an intimate, unprecedented glimpse into the life of a renowned conductor and a vibrant, contemporary portrait of the world of classical music. For two years a film crew followed Grammy award-winning conductor and Curtis alum Paavo Jarvi, violinists Joshua Bell and Hilary Hahn, as well as an array of other musicians to show the importance of classical music and music education.
More photos from the Curtis screening of The Maestro after the jump »
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Wild: Through the more than two decades of her acting career, 38-year-old Reese Witherspoon has gone from being totally unknown to known to overrated to supremely overrated, and now all the way back down to significantly underrated. Jean Marc Vallé’s film—based on an Oprah-approved memoir by Cheryl Strayed about an emotionally devastated woman who decides to hike the PCT from Mexico to Canada to reclaim her lost soul—gives Witherspoon a showcase opportunity to show the world what she’s capable of with the right material. Not unlike Matthew McConaughey, who starred in Vallé’s previous film, Dallas Buyers Club, and rode that performance to Oscar glory, Witherspoon is getting rave notice for her most welcome return to form. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
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Earlier this year—smack dab in the middle of a snowpocalypse—I reported on a low-budget thriller M. Night Shyamalan was shooting around his home in rural Pennsylvania. At the time, he was calling it Sundowning, but now, according to Deadspin, the film has been given a new title, The Visit, and gotten picked up by Universal Pictures.
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While we’re all chomping at the bit for tomorrow’s release of the much-much-anticipated final Into The Woods trailer, producers are giving us something to bide our time: 10 character posters from the movie. Most everyone is there: The Baker’s Wife (Emily Blunt), Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), The Prince (Chris Pine), and most importantly The Witch (Meryl Streep. Check them out in the slideshow below.
Nightcrawler: You have to give Jake Gyllenhaal some credit: Dude is not afraid to go full-creep if a role demands it. In Dan Gilroy’s scathing indictment of mass media and gore-celebrating TV journalism, Gyllenhaal plays a gaunt sociopath who looks as if he’s survived for months on Jolly Ranchers and cigarette ashes. Seeking some kind of direction in his life, he becomes an indispensable freelance cameraman for a desperate local L.A. affiliate. He films the city’s murders, fires, car accidents and other assorted horrors on his all-night shift to bolster their sagging morning ratings. The film is brilliantly unsettling. (Pearl, Rave, UA Main Street, UA Riverview) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%
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Sunny skies are not about to turn gray for co–star and co-creator of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Rob McElhenney. The Philly native will make his directorial debut with a kids adventure film called Figment.
Legendary Pictures has recently closed a seven-figure deal with McElenny to write, direct and produce Figment, an action film about an imaginative boy and his family. The family’s adventure will be enhanced by Legendary’s signature large-scale template and McElenny’s Always Sunny charm. Figment is expected to revisit heartwarming motifs analogous to that of the 1980s classics ET and The Goonies. Sounds like a long-overdue genre that hasn’t been tackled since Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves.
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One of the most recent gay-themed thrillers on the list, director Alain Guiraudie’s Stranger By the Lake follows young Franck, who picks up Michel at a popular gay-cruising spot. Sparks fly, but there’s one problem: Michel just might be a murderer. Netflix streaming link here.
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The trailer for Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper was released. The film, based on a memoir of the same name by Chris Kyle, stars Philly’s Bradley Cooper as Kyle. It follows him from his days as a rodeo cowboy to a SEAL chief who racks up the highest number of sniper kills in U.S. American History. This is the film in which Cooper packed on 40 pounds to play the role.
The film is due out December 25th.
Found Footage Festival
The Found Footage Festival (FFF), currently in its 10th year, is coming to Johnny Brenda’s Thursday, October 2nd for two showings at 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. This special event is a guided tour through wacky and weird found VHS footage, hosted by curators Joe Picket and Nick Prueher, who provide commentary and “where are they now” stories from the videos’ stars. FFF has been featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and NPR.
Highlights from this year’s show include footage of the strangest home-shopping hosts you’ll ever meet: John & Johnny. As part of the festival’s 10-year anniversary celebration, Pickett & Prueher did some investigating into this crowd-pleaser from years past. Not only did they dig into old footage to find some never-before-seen John & Johnny clips, but they hired a detective to reunite the two hosts: “They’re living on opposite sides of the country, but we reunited them for the first time in 26 years,” says Prueher. “We videotaped it, so we’re showing not only the long-lost John & Johnny footage, but we’re showing the reunion.”
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In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Outkast’s André 3000 chats about playing Jimi Hendrix in the upcoming Jimi: All is By My Side. During the course of the conversation he teases an Outkast biopic, and how he’d like a certain Philly comedian to play his sidekick Big Boi.
Rapper André Benjamin worked obsessively on his startling portrayal of Jimi Hendrix in the new film Jimi: All Is By My Side, and he already has ideas about a potential biopic for his group Outkast. “It would be great to make an Outkast movie right now, but instead of really serious, make it a full comedy — like Kevin Hart would play Big Boi,” he said of his rapping partner last night. And as himself? “We should cast somebody stupid — like Leonardo [DiCaprio].”