How a 20-Year-Old Filmmaker Wrote, Directed and Starred In Her Feature Directorial Debut — Tribeca 2017
Filmmaker Quinn Shephard didn’t go to film school — instead, she made her own. The New Jersey native was just 15 when she came up with the idea for what would become her feature directorial debut “Blame,” a modern high school-set take on Arthur Miller’s classic play “The Crucible.” Seven years later, Shephard is at the Tribeca Film Festival with the film, one that she not only stars in, but also wrote, directed, edited and produced. At 21, she’s reached a benchmark that usually filmmakers a few more years of work.
The film follows Shephard as high school outcast Abigail Grey, who returns to high school after a mysterious incident the year before, only to form a taboo bond with her new drama teacher (Chris Messina). As their relationship blossoms in very unexpected ways, Abigail’s nemesis Melissa (Nadia Alexander) observes from afar, continually threatening to bust the entire situation wide open (a witch hunt? »
- Kate Erbland
Music Box Lands Chavela Vargas Documentary for U.S., Plans October Release
“Chavela,” directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi, follows the life of the iconic singer Chavela Vargas, who ran away from Costa Rica to Mexico City in her early teens and began singing in the streets. She became successful during the 1950s and challenged mainstream Mexican morals, by her life and her art, especially by singing searing love songs originally intended for men wooing women.
She also became a muse to filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar. Vargas died in 2012.
“Chavela” premiered in February at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won the second place Panorama Audience Award. Jay Weissberg said in his review for Variety that the film was “a justifiably laudatory love letter to a woman whose voice drew forth a song’s every emotion, and whose life as »
- Dave McNary
Rock Documentary ‘Hired Gun’ Gets One-Night Screening Event From Fathom (Exclusive)
Vision Films and Fathom Events are partnered for a one-night showing on June 29 at several hundred North American locations for the rock documentary “Hired Gun: Out of the Shadows, Into the Spotlight.”
The feature-length documentary, which focuses on the key performers who back up the stars, premiered at the 2016 SXSW Festival and has also screened at the Glastonbury Festival, Calgary International and Noise Pop.
The film, directed by Fran Strine, is being touted as covering similar ground as 2014’s “20 Feet from Stardom,” which won the Best Documentary Academy Award, with details of the highs and lows of touring life, the demands of session schedules, and the dedication required to play backseat to some of rock’s most iconic musicians.
“We have been overwhelmed by the support and feedback received throughout our festival run,” Strine said. “‘Hired Gun’ is about musicians whose DNA are all over the music and tours we love, »
- Dave McNary
Tribeca Film Review: ‘I Am Heath Ledger’
If there is any one image you take away from “I Am Heath Ledger,” it’s that of Ledger staring into the camera, spinning it around and around, creating his own sort of impromptu DV-selfie version of the swirling-camera POV dance duets in “Saturday Night Fever” and “Carrie.” The shots are emblematic for a couple of reasons. Ledger, as we learn, was always filming and photographing things, including himself and his friends; it was part of his compulsion to make art, to filter his experience through a vast array of lenses. The bounty of images he left behind is a testament to that creative hunger. Yet the fact that he got off on filming himself so much makes its own statement. “I Am Heath Ledger” is a portrait of the artist as an angelic young narcissist, a self-conjured celebrity image-maker. He was always pushing himself to the next level, which is why, »
- Owen Gleiberman
‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ Trailer: More Pastiche, More Gadgets, More Channing Tatum
In case you were expecting Matthew Vaughn’s follow-up to his spy action-comedy “Kingsman: The Secret Service” to be typical sequel fare, you might want to think again. If the new trailer for “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” is anything to go by, things seem to be bigger, brassier, and bolder.
The sequel catches us up with Eggsy (Taron Edgerton), Merlin (Mark Strong), and Harry (Colin Firth), who seems to be alive and well despite definitely being shot in the head the last time we saw him. The Kingsman are jetting off to the United States to join forces with their American counterparts, the aptly named Statesman. Together, the two organizations set out to take down a criminal mastermind and member of The Golden Circle, a secret new world order group.
With an expanded, all-star cast that includes Julianne Moore, »
- Allison Picurro
Eggsy Returns In The First Trailer For ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’
No one could’ve guessed that a little spy movie led by rising actor Taron Egerton, would’ve grossed over $400 million, and one could argue that even before “Deadpool” became a monster success, it was “Kingsman: The Secret Service” that was breaking the R-rated mold. Now a sequel is one the way, with Colin Firth returning from the dead, Julianne Moore of all people joining in on the mayhem, and screenwriter Jane Goldman promising to buck expectations.
Continue reading Eggsy Returns In The First Trailer For ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ at The Playlist. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
‘Bates Motel’ Finale Review: A Tragic Couple Gets Their Due in a Bloody, Beautiful Series Ender
[Editor’s Note: The following review contains spoilers for the “Bates Motel” series finale: Season 5, Episode 10, “The Cord.”]
A cold dose of reality didn’t sit well with Norman, so “Bates Motel” gave him the fantasy instead. Looking back on Season 5, it’s clear now that Norman (Freddie Highmore) was being forced to choose between the two all along: A world without Norma (Vera Farmiga), his mother, was not one he could continue living in without a major lifestyle change. He had to accept she was dead or be allowed to indulge his delusion that she was still alive.
When push came to shove — or, to be more accurate, knife came to gun — Norman chose the delusion. After suffering a beating at the hands of Alex Romero (Nestor Carbonell), Norman turned the tables on his captor and killed him with a heavy stone to the head. He passed out next to the barely covered corpse of his mother, and dreamt of when they first took over the Bates Motel. »
- Ben Travers
‘Better Call Saul’ Review: The Details Matter Most in A Tale of Two Schemes
Last Week’S Review: Jimmy Is, Once Again, ‘A Little Bit Crooked’
[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for “Better Call Saul” Season 3, Episode 3, “Sunk Costs.”]
While technically last week gave us our first glimpse of Gus Fring, here we really see the man in action in his first one-on-one scene with Mike. It’s just one scene, early in the episode, but the menace Giancarlo Esposito can bring to one relatively subdued encounter remains a thing of wonder. Not that Mike is any less scary. Consider the calm but firm way he makes it clear to Gus that he is not done with the Salamancas, and his methodical actions over the course of the episode that lead directly to Salamanca henchmen getting arrested at the border.
Meanwhile, the consequences for Jimmy’s outrage get unveiled in stark detail: Chuck is pressing charges, in a deliberate attempt to get Jimmy disbarred — which will very likely happen if Jimmy ends up with a felony on his record. »
- Liz Shannon Miller
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