Even as Toronto continued to add to its 2013 lineup and anticipation of the final season of “Breaking Bad” reached a fever pitch, the week seemed to belong largely to Paul Shrader and Bret Easton Ellis, whose controversial Hollywood-set drama “The Canyons” finally premiered after months of bad publicity and rumors about both its primary cast members and failure to show up on many spring festival lineups. Meanwhile, interest continued to develop in last week’s list of the most exciting young female directors currently working in the industry, while we looked ahead at the 2013 Oscar season, received a first look at David O. Russell’s “American Hustle,” and talked to Peter Sarsgaard on his big moment during this week’s season finale of AMC and Netflix’s”The Killing.”
How’s this for a depressing statistic: of the 178 films directed in the UK last year, 14 of them were directed by women. Along with the general lack of a female presence among recent festival lineups, it’s clear that women filmmakers continue to face many prejudices throughout the industry. But in spite of this, many female directors have broken through without compromising their content, 10 of which we have singled out as the most exciting forces facing the industry today including Lena Dunham, Sally El-Hosaini, and Sarah Polley.
Another week, another shake up of our early predictions for the 2014 Oscars. With “Blue Caprice” gaining much of the attention for Cate Blanchett’s sure to be nominated lead turn we may have our first real lock of the Oscar season, while “Fruitvale Station” and”Mud” steadily build more and more steam amongst a barren lineup of summer releases. Go to the link above to read our full predictions for the award show’s eight major categories.
Thousands of film festivals take place every year throughout North America, and while certain festivals like Sundance and Toronto often receive most of the attention, a majority of festivals still manage to provide films a solid place to find an audience and distribution. But still, loose screening protocols and disastrous events can lead some festivals to hurt more than help. Jason Guerrasio talked to festival runners and filmmakers first hand to look at the dark potential of an American film festival.
Following last week’s reveal of the first 75 titles on the Toronto International Film Festival’s 2013 lineup, the festival continued to fill out the list throughout the week. Fully fleshing out its Midnight Madness, Vanguard, Cinematheque, and City to City sections, there are now a total of over 100 films locked into the festival with a lineup that is presumed to be only half complete. Click the link to see the full lineup as it currently stands.
After a notorious January New York Times spread and numerous rumors of on-set turmoil, director Paul Shrader and writer Brett Easton Ellis’ Lindsay Lohan-starring “The Canyons,” finally premiered this week at New York’s Lincoln Center, with an unsurprisingly mixed reception quickly following in its wake. IW’s Eric Kohn reviewed the film, saying that very few of the film’s bigger ambitions can save it from bland performances, bad writing, and an overarching lack of identity, with even its most out-there elements adding up to nothing more than a boring gimmick.
Paramount announced this week that with the promotion of Sytinthia Studer to Senior Vice President it has launched itself into the independent film distribution business, bringing IFC’s Jeff Deutchman along as Director of Acquisitions. With production already beginning on several upcoming films, the as-yet-untitled new venture aims to become a major threat on the festival scene in years to come, introducing a new buyer and opening up a wider arena for major independent distributors in the process, as another studio makes its first steps into the market.
Interested in checking “The Canyons” out for yourself? It and 9 other indies make up our monthly list of the top 10 films to watch on VOD this month, including Lynn Shelton’s “Touchy Feely,” David Gordon Green’s “Prince Avalanche,” and David Lowery’s “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” providing ample reason to stay inside during one of the hottest months of the year.
Even while it continues to leave fans without any real clips from the upcoming final season of “Breaking Bad,” AMC has successfully held fans’ interest with an increasingly crafty marketing push. This week’s video shows Bryan Cranston reciting Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias” over shots of the New Mexico desert, telling of an inevitable downfall of leaders and empires, providing another knowing look at the show’s close-approaching conclusion before its August 11 premiere.
Ever since casting first begun on David O. Russell’s then-untitled 70’s-set “American Hustle” in the aftermath of his 2012 hit “Silver Linings Playbook,” it’s been one of the most anticipated films of the upcoming winter season. Now, with the release of a stylish two-minute spot we have received our first real look at both the forgery-focused plot and the amazing 70’s haircuts and outfits of its leads, from Christian Bale’s comb-over and Bradley Cooper’s perm, to Jennifer Lawrence’s giant fur coats, giving us just enough to tide us over before the film’s Christmas Day wide release. Or at least the release of a second trailer.
Following a shocking finale to its third season, “The Killing” may have finally found the praise from both critics and fans it needs to secure its continuation following the lukewarm response to its second season and financial saving from co-financier. Scott Neumyer sat down with actor Peter Sarsgaard who joined on this season to discuss his first television role, blacking out on set and how he was able to portray his biggest moment during this week’s season finale.