You were freaked out by 'Halloween' this weekend. Now see how it was made. A direct sequel to the original 1978 film of the same name, David Gordon Green's Halloween wears its slasher fandom on its sleeve, and, if you grooved to the John Carpenter horror classic, that's a good thing. After all, if we're going to ignore the various sequels that flooded theaters through the 1980s, 90s, and 00s, might as well skew pretty close in tone and style to the original source material. Read More
Nominees this good should be scary. And in fact, a few are... Billed as the first awards ceremony of the season, the IFP Gotham Awards today announced its nominees for the 28th edition, to be held on Monday, November 27th at Cipiriani Wall Street in New York City. A strong prognosticator of how the Academy Awards will play out—previous Best Feature winners have included Birdman (or, The Unexpected Virtue of Innocence), Spotlight, and Moonlight, the awards ceremony, organized and presented by the Independent Filmmaker Project, is streamed live on the organization's Facebook page Continue reading "IFP Gotham Awards Announce 2018 Nominees Honoring the Best in Film and Episodic Work"
Staying on top of the trailer circuit is a full-time job in and of itself. We're here to help. Trailer Watch returns this week highlighting two remakes, one biopic, an original horror idea, and the latest from the eternally youthful Clint Eastwood. To say there's something for everyone here would be an understatement. Although we will have to wait for three of these films until mid-2019, the first two highlighted below look to be strong contenders for piquing audience interest. Maybe... The Possession of Hannah Grave (dir. Diederik Van Rooijen) Continue reading "‘Pet Sematary,’ ‘Aladdin’, & More Trailers You May Have Missed"
Luca Guadagnino's 'Suspiria' is more emotional and scary (and emotionally scary) than you might originally realize. A literal interpretation of a nightmare, Luca Guadagnino's Suspiria is less a remake than a distant cousin to Dario Argento's 1977 giallo classic of the same name. Sharing welcomed similarities in plot and grotesqueness, Guadagnino's period piece deviates from its predecessor in location, backstory, length, and philosophy. Read More
The night HE came home never sounded so good. While we're one week out from the latest installment in the hugely popular (and revitalized) Halloween franchise arriving in theaters, there have been some non-spoilery tricklings coming in of what to expect. Universal Studios has enlisted John Carpenter (who contributes to the score for the 2018 sequel in a major way) to discuss, along with his son—musician Cody Carpenter—why the music of the franchise has lasted the test of time, continuing to be an unwavering example of what a score can do Continue reading "Watch (and Listen): John Carpenter Discusses His Latest Score for the New ‘Halloween’"
It's a new world, indeed. Attention all smartphone enthusiasts: Google has just unveiled its latest addition to its smartphone line-up with the Pixel 3. Announced as "a new way to see the world," the phone provides a battery that lasts all day, free, unlimited online storage for your photos, the helpful Google Assistant, and more. The Pixel 3 is now available for pre-order for $799. The announcement was made yesterday afternoon. And while that's all well and good, No Film School readers are probably most interested in the power of the Continue reading "Watch: Terrence Malick Shoots on the Brand New Google Pixel 3"
"We're far from the shallow now." A remake turned personal project turned cultural phenomenon, Bradley Cooper's A Star is Born is a romantic film in which the complexities of romance are never cheated. There are highs and there are lows, of course, but the rocky road trekked by our two leads (played by Cooper and Lady Gaga) stems from an inherent lack of trust in one's self. Jackson Maine (Cooper) struggles with a dependency on alcohol and pills and feels unworthy of true love while Ally (Gaga), a frustrated and disrespected Continue reading "Listen to the Hit Songs Featured in Bradley Cooper’s ‘A Star is Born’"
A different, private side to a very public performer. Winner of the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, Steve Loveridge's Matangi / Maya / M.I.A. is an archival documentary where some of the footage was shot and provided by the subject herself. M.I.A., the popular rapper who hit peak popularity in 2008 with the hit single Paper Planes and has gone on to become a celebrated Grammy and Academy Award nominee, is the subject of Loveridge (a friend since college)'s Continue reading "How to Make a Documentary About a Subject Your Close To: Steve Loveridge on ‘Matangi / Maya / M.I.A.’"
Your favorite filmmaker's style just became an official adjective. If you've ever attempted to break down a director's style to a colleague, falling victim to going the route of, for example, "it's just very Lynchian," or it's "so Tarantinoesque," there's some good news on the horizon: You can no longer be accused of making up words to describe the indescribable. You're not at a loss for words if you describe something as "Spielbergian;" you've just found the perfect one. Yes, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has unveiled its latest round of Continue reading "Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, Steven Spielberg, and More Officially Added to the Oxford English Dictionary"
Set in Brooklyn, this topical tale confronts the grey areas involved in the national conversation on police brutality. If you had the power to expose law enforcement wrongdoing, knowing that it could negatively affect you and your family's future for the rest of their lives, would you do it? Less interested in a "Rashomon effect" than a domino one, Reinaldo Marcus Green's Monsters and Men confronts this question head-on, following three separate narrative threads each affected by the senseless killing of an African-American man by the New York Police Department on a corner in Continue reading "From Short to Feature (and a Sustainable Career): Director Reinaldo Marcus Green on ‘Monsters and Men’"
For David Lowery's latest film, the director enlisted the help of an editor he was familiar with. At 82 years young (and in what may or may not be his final starring role in a motion picture), Robert Redford stars in David Lowery's quietly complex The Old Man & The Gun as Forrest Tucker, an obsessive bank robber who's just so damn charming. His routine? Walk into a bank dressed as an elderly businessman complete with hat, overcoat, and what one might assume is a hearing aid (but is really an Continue reading "‘The Old Man & The Gun’ Editor Lisa Zeno Churgin on the Keys to a Successful Director/Editor Relationship"
Universal Studios presents an early Halloween fright flick for the family. There are few predicaments that sound more stress-inducing than living in a house with a clock in its walls (and you thought the sounds of the beating Tell-Tale Heart were loud) and quite a boisterous one it is in Eli Roth's film adaptation of John Bellairs's 1973 novel, The House with a Clock in Its Walls. A children's horror fantasy that focuses on a young boy (Owen Vaccaro) who, after his parents pass away, moves in with his warlock Uncle Continue reading "Watch: Go BTS on Eli Roth’s Spooky ‘The House with a Clock in Its Walls’"
The summer's biggest breakout hit was helmed by a filmmaker in the business for decades. Based on the best-selling novel by Kevin Kwan, the big screen adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians surprised numerous box office prognosticators this summer, holding the number one spot for three weekends in a row and (so far) grossing over $150 million at the U.S. box office. This is cause for celebration: it remains the first "mainstream" film to feature a primarily Asian-cast since The Joy Luck Club 25 years prior. Read More
The legendary filmmaker and film preservationist makes his case. While the 2018 Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival took place in Hollywood earlier this spring, one particular award presentation has only now been released online. The recipient of the first-ever Robert Osborne Award (named after the instantly familiar long-time host of TCM programming), Martin Scorsese was on hand at the festival to accept the award from his frequent collaborator Leonard DiCaprio and in his acceptance speech, Scorsese made sure to reflect on the amazing resources we have available to us today Continue reading "Watch: Martin Scorsese on Why You Shouldn’t Use the Word ‘Content’ to Describe Cinema"
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 Continue reading "Watch: From Indies to Marvel – First Trailer Released for ‘Captain Marvel’"
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 Continue reading "Watch: Go BTS with the Cast & Crew of Shane Black’s ‘The Predator’"
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 Continue reading "Watch: The Early Work of ‘Mandy’ DP Benjamin Loeb"
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. Continue reading "Watch: First Trailer Released for The Coen Brothers’s Latest, ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’"
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 Continue reading "The Keys to Establishing a Successful Directing Partnership with ‘Freaks’ Filmmakers Adam Stein and Zach Lipovsky"
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 Continue reading "How to Know When to Take Risks in Adapting a Popular Novel: Paul Weitz on ‘Bel Canto’"