Filmmaker Mike Flanagan has an all-too-appropriate hometown. The horror director, whose previous film Absentia, about a missing husband and an eerie tunnel, earned numerous awards on the festival circuit, spent a good deal of his seminal years in Salem, Mass., home of the infamous witch trials. His new film, Oculus, concerns an evil antique mirror and a pair of terrified siblings who have sworn to destroy it after it laid waste to their family. He recently met with Ticket, along with co-producers Trevor Macy and Jason Blum, to discuss the film, and the nature of things that go bump into the night.
Our Q&A with Mike Flanagan after the jump
British actor Nick Frost is best known as Simon Pegg’s co-pilot in director Edgar Wright’s “Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy,” consisting of the eccentric comedies Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and, most recently, The World’s End. Having completed this project, the two have gone on to new horizons. Pegg was cast as Scotty in J.J. Abrams Star Trek franchise, while Frost, on a peculiar whim, pitched a film to his producer about a heavy-set bloke having to dance on stage.
The result is Cuban Fury, a comedy about a heavy-set bloke who, as a young lad, has a real passion for salsa dancing until it’s brutally beaten out of him by some young thugs the night of a huge dance contest. Years later, he comes to salsa again, this time in order to woo the woman of his dreams (Rashida Jones).
The genial actor met with Ticket to discuss his annoyance at TV chefs, how to properly chop garlic, and a couple of his more OCD preoccupations.
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Just a quick heads up: Let the Fire Burn, the 2013 documentary detailing Philly’s 1985 MOVE bombing is now available to stream instantly on Netflix. Find that here.
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This fall the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) will present what it’s calling the first major U.S. museum exhibition of the works of filmmaker David Lynch, who attended the school from 1965 to 1970.
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Baby Mama mommas Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are in negotiations to pair up on the big screen again, this time playing hard-partying sisters in a comedy helmed by Pitch Perfect director Jason Moore. The Hollywood Reporter has more on The Nest:
The script tells of adult sisters (Fey and Poehler) who decide to throw one last massive party in their parents’ house before it’s sold, and in the process they learn to mature.
Fey will produce through her Little Stranger Inc. banner alongside Jay Roach and his Everyman Pictures. Poehler will also executive produce. …
The Nest will be the pair’s second movie together after the 2008 comedy Baby Mama. Universal also distributed that movie, which made $60 million domestically.
I Am Divine, the touching, often zany documentary that profiles the life of performer/drag extraordinaire/cult icon and all-around filthiest person alive Divine (aka Harris Glenn Milstead), played to sold-out audiences at last year’s QFest. So, to celebrate the film’s DVD release we’re honoring the B-movie queen by highlighting her Top 5 best onscreen moments. If you don’t agree with our choices, to paraphrase the words of Divine character Babs Johnson, you’ll stand convicted of assholism!
Divine’s best onscreen moments after the jump
Every Friday we spotlight a buzz-worthy new movie opening in Philadelphia.
Name: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Genre: Comic Book Action Epic
Logline: It’s Skyfall meets The Boys From Brazil
Our review after the jump
One of the more famous shooting locations from Harrison Ford’s mid-80s Amish thriller, Witness, is no more. Lancaster Online reports that W.L. Zimmerman & Sons grocery store in Intercourse has closed down.
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Having survived the long, cold winter scowl, April brings us the beginnings of renewal and rebirth, you know, all that crap. But that doesn’t mean you should drop your home film and TV binging, no sir, not on our watch. Behold some of the glory newly available to you from your Netflix streaming account.
One-sentence Breakdown: A foolishly conceited playwright arrives in Hollywood in the '40s hoping to write for the pictures. Instead he endures a series of ever more disturbing mishaps while staying at a dilapidated hotel.
What's the Rumpus? The Coen brothers much-celebrated fourth feature came about because the brothers were trying like hell to write the script for The Hudsucker Proxy and kept hitting a creative stone wall. Thus, they created Barton (John Turturro), a writer stuck in hell, trying to write a wrestling picture for a studio that is growing ever more despondent with him. The best moment to this particular ink-stained wretch? When Barton, having finally feverishly producing a script he feels is worthy of him, goes out dancing at a local USO to celebrate and announces: "I'm a writer, you monsters! I create! I create for a living! I'm a creator! I am a creator!" And then gets punched to the ground. A more perfect metaphor for the creative process I've yet to find.
One-sentence Breakdown: A well-known French fashion magazine editor has a sudden stroke and, while mentally fully functional, is physically petrified except for being able to blink one eye.
What's the Rumpus? Based on the remarkable memoir by Jean-Dominique Bauby, an editor at the French version of Elle who suffered a stroke and was completely paralyzed except for his eye, which he used (through no small bit of ingenuity by his nurse and therapists) to write the book before he died. The film, by artist Julian Schnabel is remarkably true to its source material, making frequent use of a POV camera that puts one very closely into the kind of claustrophobic world Bauby was forced to inhabit. Strong stuff and remarkably affecting.
One-sentence Breakdown: In a future where genetics fully determines the course of your life, one man attempts to game the system in order to get into the fabled space program.
What's the Rumpus? Writer/Director Andrew Niccol had a way of taking a basic idea — a genetically predetermined future, say, or in The Truman Show, a man unaware that his day-to-day experience is a completely invented TV show — and riding that notion to its logical conclusion. It sounds simplistic, but it can be surprisingly difficult to do, especially if you're not taking the standard writing cheats that many, many Hollywood films employ as standard procedure. Niccol's tale of the irrepressible Vincent (Ethan Hawke), a man so committed to his dream that he risks everything in order to achieve it, remains the director's high-water mark: an intelligent and well-planned sci-fi tale that has a surprisingly emotional core. For the romantic trivia buffs out there, it is also the production where young Hawke met the early love of his life, Uma Thurman, a marriage that eventually ended spectacularly poorly for all concerned.
One-sentence Breakdown: Two sisters with very different personalities contend with love lost and regained in 19th-century England.
What's the Rumpus? Based on one of Jane Austen's most esteemed novels, Ang Lee's 1995 film adaptation is a rich smorgasbord of delights, including brilliant turns from leads Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet (as well as a dashing turn from Mr. Alan Rickman), the sumptuous cinematography of Michael Coulter, and, of course, the gorgeous prose and narrative drive of Austen, who has become a posthumous Hollywood darling for her works. If you are a Downton Abbey acolyte you are in for a rare treat.
One-sentence Breakdown: A P.I. in post-war L.A. stumbles onto a twisty and far-reaching case that has enormous implications for both him and the entire city, which is just starting to boom.
What's the Rumpus? One of the great screenplays ever written, Robert Towne's complex masterpiece is still taught in screenwriting classes as an example of superb narrative drive and refined character work. A classic in every sense of the word, director Roman Polanski's intelligent thriller represented a pinnacle of his career, earning 11 Academy Award nominations in the process (alas, winning but just one). With an outstanding cast (Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway), a meticulously byzantine plot, and an unforgettable series of revelations, it represents some of the best work from the Hollywood studio's true golden era in the '70s.
Looking to see something good in theaters? The Philadelphia Film Society just announced its upcoming mini spring film festival. Find more details and a screening schedule here.
Romain Duris and Audrey Tatour in Michel Gondry’s “Mood Indigo.”
As an addendum to its annual film festival, Philadelphia Film Society introduces its Spring Showcase, showing at the PFS Theater at the Roxy April 11-17th. The diverse programming of the Philadelphia Film Festival spills over into this new forum, featuring the same expert curation of oldies but goodies and fresh-from-the-film-circuit flicks. With over 20 new and retrospective films, the PFF spring lineup has plenty of fresh cuts and budding classics. The festival culminates with highlights from this year’s Best Director winner, Alfonso Cuarón, including Y Tu Mamá También, Children of Men, and Gravity.
See the itinerary after the jump:
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