I’ve been a fan of Neil Cicierega since I was in junior high school. When I was 13 and the trendy thing was to be “soooo random,” his unique brand of content fit the bill long before content was the capital-C Content of 2016. He’s the guy who did Potter Puppet Pals, for crying out loud. That was formative for me and so many of my peers.This thing that he just released today, though… I don’t know if I can call it “formative.” I don’t know if I can call it anything. You just have to watch it.Yes, it is all four Alvin and the Chipmunks films reduced to half speed and layered on top of one another. Certainly, art can be confusing and it is absolutely subjective, but this video — “T R I P M U N K S” — is leaving even me speechless and concerned. This is unlike any art I’ve ever seen. What about you?If you need to relax or hallucinate or maybe if you just really love the Chipmunks, watch this. … [Read more...] about If You Watch This Video, We Guarantee You’ll Feel Like You’re On Lots and Lots of Drugs
Feel like crying
Set in a remote village in China’s Shanxi province, Larry Yang’s Mountain Cry tells the story of a young, mute widow and her slowly evolvingYang’s script, based on a short novel by Ge Shuiping, was picked up by Village Roadshow Pictures Asia (VRPA) when it was selected for the project pitches at Beijing International Film Festival in 2014. VRPA’s Ellen Eliasoph produced the film with Victoria Hon of Beijing-based Hairun Pictures.“It’s about a mute girl who is independent in her thinking but completely trapped, not just in language, but in this remote mountain village where she is treated as a foreigner,” says Yang, who lived in New York as a teenager and studied film-making at Beijing Film Academy and Edinburgh University.“The story touched me and echoed my own situation as I was also feeling like an outsider when I moved back to China in 2004 and wasLang Yueting and Wang Ziyi, who both previously appeared in Johnnie To’s Office and … [Read more...] about Larry Yang, Mountain Cry
Set in a remote village in China’s Shanxi province, Larry Yang’s Mountain Cry tells the story of a young, mute widow and the slowly evolving relationship she finds herself in with a fellow villager when her abusive husband dies.Considered an outsider in the village, the young woman’s inability to speak prevents her from sharing her story. When the young man who accidentally killed her husband begins to look after her and her two children, he provides the only respite she has ever had from her geographical and emotional isolation.Lang Yueting, who portrays the widow, and Wang Ziyi, who plays the male lead, have previously appeared together in Johnnie To’s Office and Blind Detective. The cast also includes Cheng Taishen, Yu Ailei and Guo Jin.Chinese director Larry Yang lived in New York as a teenager and studied at Beijing Film Academy and the University of Edinburgh. He directed five mainstream pictures in China before his script for Mountain Cry, based on Ge … [Read more...] about Busan: Larry Yang talks ‘Mountain Cry’
This story first appeared in the Dec 6. issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.Putting together THR's roundtables always is a complicated affair, but perhaps none this year was quite as tricky as the Actress Roundtable. First came the matter of coordinating six busy performers' schedules -- a project that began way back in the summer and especially was complex given that 12 Years a Slave's Lupita Nyong'o, 30, lives in Brooklyn, Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks), 54, in London, and Amy Adams (American Hustle, Her), 39, has been juggling back-to-back movies.Next came the challenge of getting enough time with the actresses to include an hourlong conversation, the requisite grooming, behind-the-scenes video and an elaborate photo shoot. Finally came the complication of having each participant's lawyer vet television releases so that this roundtable can be broadcast in December on PBS. With all this, it's no surprise that the final t's were crossed mere hours before the roundtable got … [Read more...] about Roundtable: Oprah Winfrey and 5 Top Actresses on Crying for Spielberg and ‘Muff Shots’
Yes, I want one -- and I want it now.Even at $600, the iPhone is an affordable enough midlife crisis toy, especially when compared to, say, a Porsche. I even briefly considered putting the world on hold and joining one of the lines at an Apple or AT&T store last Friday until quickly coming to my senses and remembering I had a life. More or less.This is the thing to remember about most of those whom today are very conspicuously flashing their sleek little iPhone. Unless they had some sort of an "in" with Apple grand poobah Steve Jobs, they either camped out or (worse) paid someone to do so for the fleeting thrill of being the first on their block to possess what is at the end of the day a glorified collection of chips and circuits.In other words, the "early adopters" of this technological marvel are predominantly nerds. Duh! But it's also more than a bit interesting to see how obliging and zealous the media has grown in serving as boisterous, unpaid extensions of Apple's marketing … [Read more...] about Desire for iPhone a sad cry for approval
In Joachim Trier’s Louder than Bombs, Isabelle Huppert plays Isabelle Reed, a celebrated war photographer who, three years before the movie begins, has died, not while on assignment but in a car crash just miles from her home in upstate New York. Her absence in the family is very much a presence in the film. She’s seen repeatedly in flashback, and her death — a suicide, the fact of which has kept from her youngest son, Conrad, a withdrawn player of online roleplaying games essayed with compelling sullenness by Devin Druid — is the fulcrum by which the other actors revolve around each other. They include Gabriel Byrne’s Gene — hesitant in all matters, from understanding what’s wrong with Conrad to navigating an affair with his pretty high school teacher, played by Amy Ryan. And there’s Jesse Eisenberg’s Jonah, the oldest son and a new father in emotional flight from the maturity childrearing is about to impose upon him. The film … [Read more...] about A New Sound, a New Feeling: Writer/Director Joachim Trier on
Check out a list of viral sites for "The Dark Knight" as well as other big films. Viral marketing has gone positively bubonic. While this unconventional approach to building buzz online is nothing new, it has achieved full-blown plague status in the walk-up to the summer movie season."Forgetting Sarah Marshall," "The Dark Knight," and "Hancock" are just some of the movies employing viral marketing -- and the sheer volume is only part of why this strategy has becoming problematic.For the uninitiated, viral marketing involves hatching multiple interconnected Web sites that plug a movie by extending its story lines online. That in turn gets blogs and social networks linking in -- hence its viral nature.Gone are the days when marketing a movie online involved simply buying a URL like DarkKnight.com and uploading a trailer. Warner Bros. has launched more than 30 Web sites during the past year in support of the latest in the "Batman" franchise, a trail of virtual bread crumbs intended to … [Read more...] about Summer viral campaigns: Feeling pinpricked yet?
While this unconventional approach to building buzz online is nothing new, it has achieved full-blown plague status in the walk-up to the summer movie season."Forgetting Sarah Marshall," "The Dark Knight" and "Hancock" are just some of the movies employing viral marketing — and the sheer volume is only part of why this strategy has become problematic.For the uninitiated, viral marketing involves hatching multiple interconnected Web sites that plug a movie by extending its story lines online. That in turn gets blogs and social networks linking in — hence its viral nature.Gone are the days when marketing a movie online involved simply buying a URL like DarkKnight.com and uploading a trailer. Warner Bros. has launched more than 30 Web sites during the past year in support of the latest in the "Batman" franchise, a trail of virtual bread crumbs intended to sate fans until the July 18 release.Although the bulk of these campaigns play out on the Internet, they also frequently … [Read more...] about Summer viral campaigns are here; is anybody feeling pinpricked yet?
Low-budget period indie films are rare in and of themselves, but to find one which inhabits the war-torn south with such authenticity and veracity as Chris Eska’s The Retrieval is rarer still. Set towards the end of the Civil War, the picture follows young Will (Ashton Sanders), a former slave. Along with his uncle Marcus (Keston John), Will has fallen under the sway of brutal bounty hunter Burrell (an eerily effective Bill Oberst Jr.), who threatens to kill them unless they can retrieve escaped slave Nate (Tishuan Scott). Crossing lush forests that double as battlefields, Will and Nate struggle to survive amidst the chaos of late-stage wartime, caught up in a dubious complicity during a period in which whose law would rule the land was still very much in question.Eska’s debut feature Autumn Evening was a fest circuit hit and opened in limited release in 2008; here, he finds simple yet economically evocative images for an expansive story. Shot with low-budget ingenuity … [Read more...] about Battle Cry: Chris Eska on
Speaking about the transgender movement and his leading role on the new Amazon Original series Transparent, actor Jeffrey Tambor exuberantly told Entertainment Weekly, “This is a brave new world.” From Emmy-nominated Laverne Cox’s Time Magazine cover to landmark federal policy laws, 2014 was an explosive year for transgender visibility and politics. Alongside these milestones, Jill Soloway’s groundbreaking new show mines the emotional landscape of trans-ness with a feeling-driven, multi-dimensional story of a family’s reckoning with a retired professor (Tambor, in a brilliantly nuanced performance) coming out as transgender. Funny, poignant and provocative, it’s been hailed as one of the best new shows by critics and audiences alike and nominated for Golden Globes for best actor and best comedy.Featuring incredible work by co-stars Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass as Tambor’s dysfunctional adult kids, the series breaks new ground on … [Read more...] about Any Color You Like: Writer/Director Jill Soloway on her Golden Globe-Winning