Saturday, June 18, 2011
Nicolas Winding Refn‘s Drive starring Ryan Gosling, is about a Travis Bickle-esque stunt driver in Los Angeles. The neo-noir fairy tale is about a road warrior on a mission of redemption that echoes classic gangster films of the ’80s and notable cult driving films such as Bullitt and Walter Hill‘s The Driver, and is based on the novel by James Sallis. TheFilmStage sat down with Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding to talk about the film.
LA TIMES writes:
Is "The Big Bang Theory" the new "Third Rock From the Sun"? That is, will it finally get an Emmy nomination for best comedy series after its star won the lead actor's prize? "Third Rock" didn't break into the series race till 1997, one year after John Lithgow led the way by winning his first of three best actor Emmys.
Jim Parsons' victory last year set off a real bang at the Nokia Theatre since it defied the longstanding prejudice Emmy voters often have against young-skewing TV comedies. It also jolted the Emmy recipient.
"It's very hard to get your feet on the ground and absorb the experience in the moment," Parsons says in our webcam chat about his win. "It has a real feeling of unreality to it and I found it hard to wrap my brain around."
Thursday, June 16, 2011
It really sickens me that the headlines around the world include the Vancouver Riots last night. I watched in horror last night as I saw downtown Vancouver get destroyed! Over what? A Hockey Game? Some think so, but having been downtown for Canucks Games and Olympic Gold Medal Hockey Games, I can assure you this was NOT about hockey!
This was about causing trouble. These people, "hooligans" if you will (though my term for them is far worse) went out looking for tourble.
Win or Lose these idiots were determined to cause trouble. Looking at the footage it is mostly young, intoxicated men.... many seemingly prepared to start this kind of destruction. Who heads downtown with Canucks Jerseys, pepper spray and goggles? Who "happens to have" black scarves and bandana's with them?
I find the footage appauling. I am also disappointed in numerous media outlets who choose to focus on the bad and ignore the good. Today citizens of Vancouver worked together as a community to help clea-up the mess caused last night by a few troublemakers.
I am saddened that, like in many situations, a few bad eggs tarnish the reputation of so many good people from one of the most beautiful cities in the world! After such a high last year with the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, this kind of behaviour really takes a toll on those who live and work and play here!
I hope the world realizes that those "yahoo's" from last night, the ones that dominated our news casts, are NOT Canucks fans, they are NOT Vancouverites, they are NOT a true representation of who we are or what our city is!
In this day of social media, camera phones and citizen reporters, I am thankful for all the photos, footage and coverage, because it means the VPD can identify, capture and punish those who were involved. I feel bystanders should also be dealt with. Anyone with any brain at all would have got out of the downtown core after the game. Even slight delays in transit were rectified within the hour and anyone wandering downtown, just to watch, makes me sick and should be held equally responsible!
I hope parents, employers, people all over examine the footage and photos and if they see people they know - they turn their names over to the police and give the criminals a piece of their mind!!! Kick them out, Fire them, turn them over to the police!!
Those who looted, vandalized, destroyed property or committed acts of violence should suffer severely. Fines, criminal records, jail time, community service, the works!
I still can NOT believe this happened here! Though I shouldn't be surprised really...
- 1994 Stanley Cup Finals, Canucks lost in Game 7 to the NY Rangers... there was a riot in the streets. (in 1993 Montreal rioted after winning the Stanley Cup... also, 2008 Montreal also rioted... after BEATING the Boston Bruins... ?!?! Also Montreal did in 1955 after a fight with... Boston Bruins...)
- 2002 when GunsNRoses canceled their show a riot brokeout. (In 1992 Montreal had a riot when GunsNRoses & Metallica cut their show short)
The point is, Canadians are known for being nice and polite... but we sure do get crazy....
Canadians have the international reputation of being polite, courteous and, let’s face it, a little boring. However, we have civil disobedience coursing through our national veins as thick as maple syrup -- yes, Canada has a long (we won’t say proud) history of rioting. We’ve rioted over labour disputes, for social change and even over hockey -- a lot over hockey.- Via Top 10 Canadian Riots
I was talking to my husband, who is American, about WHY Canadians riot... some ideas we came up with included:
- Canadian Police are "too nice"
- Canadians are not as "scared" of their government/consequences
- Canadians have more "anarchists"
- stronger beer
And why after hockey:
- more men in their 20s out
- more alcohol consumed
- the sport is agressive and violent and hypes people up
- people are passionate
What do you think?
I have no idea!!! We just discussed a number of possible reasons.... though there really is NO reason that makes it exusable or acceptable!
I mean, if we are going to riot why not over taxes? Elections? Mistreatments, injustices, some of the SERIOUS reasons other people riot!! Hockey? Not a reason... and it just allows the losers in the city to cause trouble and cast a dark shadow on the entire city!!
It is a sad day in Vancouver.
We lost a lot more than just the Stanley Cup!
Here are some photos from last night in Vancouver...
What started outside the arena, only a few blocks up by the Canada Post Office was a car fire.
Kids and families were caught inthe crowd at the start, but quickly headed home before things got worse
Friends of mine were at the Queen E Theatre a few blocks from Rogers Arena, for Wicked. Outside and across the street this car was burning! They were held inside afterwards because of the dangers of rioting outside.
Soon a path of destruction headed west hitting more cars and newspaper bozes and porta-potties. Flipping and burning.
This photo is so bizarre.... but I like it...
Collider has taken a detailed look at this very idea with The Hunger Games.
The process of adaptation is a difficult one. Yes, the story framework is in place and there’s usually a built-in fanbase as well, but screenwriters must wrestle with what they can include, what they can excise, and what they can change. A popular adaptation can’t alienate the fans but it also can’t exclude those unfamiliar with the source material.
Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games is the first in a trilogy of young adult novels. Lionsgate hopes they have the next Twilight on their hands even though the plots of the two books couldn’t be more different. I’ll break down what works in the book, what will succeed in the movie, and where director Gary Ross will have difficulty in his adaptation.
***Since this is specific about plot points in the book, consider this feature spoiler-filled.***
The basic plot of The Hunger Games is this: A post-apocalyptic America has rebuilt itself into twelve districts who must serve The Capitol. In order to punish the districts for their past rebellion and to remind them of their weakness, the Capitol holds an annual death match known as “The Hunger Games”. Two “tributes”, a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 17, are randomly selected from each district and forced to compete and the watching the games is mandatory. The twenty four tributes fight to the death until only one remains.
Protagonist Katniss Everdeen (who is being played by Oscar-nominee Jennifer Lawrence) is a 16-year-old hunter from the coal-mining District 12. When her 12-year-old sister Prim is selected for the games, Katniss volunteers to take her place. The male tribute is Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), a baker who’s the same age as Katniss. The two are mentored by the last District 12 contestant to win, the drunken and surly Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrleson). Their accompanied by District 12′s vapid chaperone Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) and the supportive and talented stylists Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) and Portia (Latarsha Rose). Katniss and Peeta receive the pomp and circumstance preceding the games and try to build up their reputation as a star-crossed couple in order to win sponsors (who can provide gifts at key moments during the games) and the affections of the audience. Then the games begin and things get bloody and the love story between the two leads gets complicated.
The Hunger Games is the anti-Twilight in that is has a strong female character at its center. Katniss is smart, capable, aloof, compassionate towards her sister and best friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth), and deadly. If Bella Swan is always looking for a man to protect her, Katniss is slow to trust anyone and her relationship with Peeta takes some interesting twists and turns. I imagine that those who initially complained about Lawrence’s casting never saw Winter’s Bone because Katniss is Ree Dolly recast as an action hero.
I also had no trouble seeing any other major cast member in their respective roles. However, certain characters will likely have their roles beefed up for the movie. Wes Bentley’s character, Head Gamemaker (the Gamemakers are like reality TV game show producers; they keep the action in the arena moving) Seneca Crane, doesn’t appear in the first novel but he does appear in the second book Catching Fire (which I haven’t read yet). Also, President Snow barely appears in The Hunger Games, but then again, Donald Sutherland has become the actor who will be in your movie for five minutes.
The easiest cinematic equivalent to The Hunger Games is Kinji Fukasaku’s 2000 film Battle Royale, but there are two key differences between the properties. Collins builds a world that borrows from George Orwell’s 1984 and she has no problem painting the world as excessively bleak and brutal. The book is told from Katniss’ perspective and the descriptions of life in District 12, the ruthless power of The Capital, and the events of past Hunger Games is both affecting and horrific. But whereas Battle Royale lets you know the characters inside the arena and makes their deaths hurt, Collins pulls her punches once the Hunger Games begin. There are some moments of brutality, gore, and Katniss’ struggle for survival, especially at the outset, is intense. But when it comes to the killing of kids, Collins keeps most of the other tributes nameless, makes the death of the young female District 11 tribute Rue as predictable and maudlin as possible, and barely has Katniss or Peeta kill anyone. You can argue that she softens up the novel for young adults (i.e. 10 to 13 year olds), but Collins has no problem with ugliness in other parts of the book.
Gary Ross’ adaptation will be PG-13 so elements like Katniss pulling a quiver of arrows through a girl’s ribcage and the rest of the bloodier moments will be reduced, happen off-screen, get excised, or be changed. Lionsgate has thrown out that this will be a “hard PG-13″, so you can assume that the violence will be on the level of The Dark Knight at most.
It’s an interesting book because I felt that a more faithful adaptation could have been made in the 60s or 70s. That’s impossible since the book came out in 2008, but the imagery fits perfectly with films from 40 – 50 years ago. For example, interviewer Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) is first seen with blue-hair, blue eye-shadow, and blue lipstick. The Capitol citizens’ wear garish outfits, Effie sports a pink wig, and at one point Katniss gets stung by genetically modified wasps and essentially has a bad acid trip. The reason I make this distinction is because what 60s and 70s audiences may have accepted, present-day moviegoers may think it’s all a little much.
But toning down the violence and tweaking the costumes isn’t a big deal. While they do help color the world, they’re not essential to the plot. A larger question is can a director like Ross introduce the brutality and bleakness required of the story. His specialty up to this point has been feel-good pictures like Pleasantville and Seabiscuit and The Hunger Games doesn’t live anywhere close to those two movies. That’s not to say he isn’t capable of doing a strong adaptation, but it will most likely be completely unlike anything we’ve seen from him before.
The biggest challenge is the romance between Katniss and Peeta. The two tributes know they have to put on a show of romance for the viewers and sponsors, but Katniss’ internal monologue lets us know that she’s actually starting to fall for Peeta. But because this is a movie, how will Ross make the distinction between Katniss playing towards the TV cameras and playing towards the real camera? My first thought is to cut between a “TV feed” when she’s faking and the actual movie when she’s being authentic, but that approach may be a little too obvious and distracting.
The Hunger Games is far from a perfect novel. Aside from the issue of pulling punches, the writing is unimpressive, Katniss’ bleak descriptions and outlook becomes redundant, and then there are the zombie wolves. It’s an idea that’s good in concept: the dead tributes are resurrected, their minds reduced to feral rage, and placed inside the bodies of mutated wolves to finish off the three remaining tributes. It’s an idea that perfectly encapsulates the cruelty of the Gamemakers and the Capitol. But the execution is abysmal. The wolf zombies are called, I shit you not, “Muttations”. Even dumber, the giant wolves run on their hind legs, and somehow that makes them faster. Imagine a dog or a wolf walking on its hind legs. Now imagine it moving really fast. That will look ridiculous on film and I hope they’ll modify the design to something more terrifying and cinematic.
Despite some of the shortcomings of the novel, it’s certainly a page turner. A few days ago I thought I would read a chapter or two before I dug into it on the long plane ride I have ahead of me. Instead, I’ll be reading Catching Fire on the plane because I devoured The Hunger Games. Collins paints an interesting world and it’s seen from the perspective of a compelling lead character that has been perfectly cast. I’m not sure if Ross is the right director for the book and I’m not sure how much leniency he’ll have with the violence, but the elements are all in place for an exciting film.
The Hunger Games opens March 23, 2012.
Mandy's Mind - I agree with much, though not all, of what is said in this article... what are your thoughts?
Josh Hutcherson, of the upcoming Hunger Games, has a movie coming out... looking at the cast and plot I am sure it won't do very well... but who knows... with so many Peeta fans.. maybe ;)
“Detention,” a genre-bending low-budget film starring Josh Hutcherson, Dane Cook and Shanley Caswell (”Little Victories”) is heading to theaters. Sony Pictures announced it has acquired worldwide rights to the film.
Mixing elements of comedy, horror, sci-fi and action movies, the film centers on a group of high school seniors who face off against a slasher killer, and ultimately find themselves in a position to save the world – if only they can get out of detention.
Scholastic will be releasing a special gift set edition of The Hunger Games later this year.
Also, three movie tie-in editions will be released in early 2012 just in time for The Hunger Games movie to hit theaters on March 23, 2012.
The Hunger Games Collector’s Edition will sell for about $30 and will be available in November. It will include a special slipcase featuring new, exclusive mockingjay artwork.
In February, Scholastic will also publish a movie tie-in edition of The Hunger Games, retailing for about $13. Scholastic will also publish The Hunger Games: Official Illustrated Movie Companion for $18.99 and The World of The Hunger Games for $17.99, both also set for release in February.
From the Press Release:
“Millions of readers have already discovered the world of The Hunger Games series, and now even more will come to it through the release of the film,” said Ellie Berger, President of the Scholastic Trade Publishing division. “The collector’s edition will be the perfect holiday gift this year for teens or adults, and the tie-in books will add new dimensions to our Hunger Games publishing as we anticipate the release of the feature film.”
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
This post really wouldn't be complete without a dictionary definition, so here it is:
1755–65; < Latin insurgent- (stem of insurgēns ) present participle of insurgere: to get up, ascend, rebel. 1. a person who rises in forcible opposition to lawful authority, especially a person who engages in armed resistance to a government or to the execution of its laws; rebel. 2. a member of a section of a political party that revolts against the methods or policies of the party. 3. one that acts contrary to the established leadership (as of a political party, union, or corporation) or its decisions and policies 4. (international law) a person or group that rises in revolt against an established government or authority but whose conduct does not amount to belligerency Not all of those definitions are equally applicable to the book-- some are more spot-on than others. But I won't tell you which ones yet.
[source via p2p]
Willow Shields, who plays Prim, volunteers at a local food bank in North Carolina.
Here she is canoeing on her day off.
See more at Willow's Official Facebook
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
True Blood's Lafayette, Nelsan Elis, makes directoral debut in this short film, Page 36.
Here’s the synopsis:
“Roman Wilson is a two time felon recently released from prison. Faced with no positive prospects for employment and a terminally ill child, he is recruited by a company that promises immediate wealth and a new way of life for his family languishing in poverty, but at what cost?”
The film will debut on the film festival circuit later this year, so it’s not available to view online yet. But you can check out the trailer below for what to expect from the work. You’ll see a few familiar faces in it, like Roger Guenveur Smith, Edi Gathegi, and Sidney Poitier’s daughter, Sydney Tamiia Poitier.