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Tag: Sundance Film Festival (11-20 of 90)

Ridley Scott and Kevin Macdonald want you to be in their new documentary. Auditions are July 24, on YouTube.

SchnauzerImage Credit: Design Pics/Getty ImagesLife in a Day seems like a filmmaking dare made in the wee hours after a determined effort to kill brain cells. The concept behind the “historic cinematic experiment” is that on July 24, anyone with a video camera can film and then upload footage to YouTube, with the hope that it will then be incorporated and edited into a cohesive feature documentary about mankind. “One World. 24 Hours. 6 Billion Perspectives,” is how it’s being sold. (Watch a promo below.)

Intriguing. But my soul weeps for filmmakers Kevin Macdonald and Ridley Scott, the brave chaps who’ve volunteered to cull the exhausting clips of footballs to the groin, dancing babies, and endless navel-gazing talking heads to concoct something meaningful. A reasonably sober Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) doesn’t seem to have any second thoughts about the imposing assignment, saying, “It’ll be kind of like a time capsule, which people in the future…could look at and say, ‘Oh my god. That’s what it was like.’

But what are you supposed to shoot? Does executive producer Ridley Scott, the man who filmed Gladiator, really care to see my four-minute short about my Schnauzer’s ability to reliably pick the winner of college football games? READ FULL STORY

'Birdemic: Shock and Terror': Our new, crazy movie obsession

Some movie trailers make you go, “Wow!” Some make you go, “Urgh!” And some make you go, “Wait, what’s going on? This is just a lot of generic silent footage of the countryside. And more generic silent footage of a beach. And yet more generic footage of a town. But, wait! Now the whole screen is full of unexplained explosions and screeching, cheaply animated, birds! I don’t understand. I… DON’T… UNDERSTAND!”

Okay, so only one trailer makes you do that. And that is the trailer for Birdemic: Shock and Terror, the film which answers the question of what Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds would have looked like if it had been made not by Hollywood’s legendary Master of Suspense, but by a mid-level Silicon Valley software salesman.

The salesman in question is James Nguyen, who not only financed BSAT (as subsequent generations will doubtless refer to it) but also wrote, directed, and produced the four-years-in-the-making movie about a couple who are besieged by homicidal birds in a small North California town. That’s right, Nguyen spent four years on Birdemic. Which is pretty much the same amount of time James Cameron took to make Avatar! But was Birdemic shown the love upon its completion? It was not. In fact, last year those morons at Sundance rejected the movie — a decision they may have regretted when Nguyen spent eight days driving around Park City in a fake bird-covered van blasting the sound of eagle attacks and human screams from loudspeakers. READ FULL STORY

PopWatch PSA: Jon Hamm says 'sexually' in this video for his movie 'Howl'

The magic happens at 0:55. Sergio the sax maniac is talking about his role as Jake Ehrlich, the attorney who defends City Lights bookstore proprietor Lawrence Ferlinghetti in the Allen Ginsberg biopic Howl. The film premiered at Sundance Jan. 21, after which EW’s Owen Gleiberman wrote it was “just an okay movie, but it’s got a canny, outsider-art infectiousness.” As we lament that Howl has no release date, let’s continue to mourn the hot beard Hamm sported at the premiere and for most of January. I reluctantly admit it was a good idea to shave it before doing SNL, because floating-in-champagne chunks of pork totally could have gotten caught in that thing at Hamm and Buble.

Watch similar interviews of Howl‘s James Franco on his role as the young Ginsberg (“raw” and “overnight explosions” both come up) and Jeff Daniels on playing Professor David Kirk (sexiest word is “Dadaism”) over at the Trailer Addict. [Daniels]

Michelle Williams sings the presidents -- What useful songs do you know?

Michelle Williams, at Sundance with critical fave Blue Valentine, is adorable singing the names of the 44 presidents with the help of a catchy tune (video embedded below). Pretty impressive, right? I learned this song to remember the states when I was about 11 and it still comes in handy today. And EW’s own Mike Bruno reminded me of the greatness of the Albania song on Cheers.

So, are you impressed by Michelle? What useful songs do you know?

New clips from Kristen Stewart's Sundance-bound flicks

As the Sundance film festival kicked off yesterday, we’re getting new looks at two Kristen Stewart movies: The Runaways, in which she plays Joan Jett to Dakota Fanning’s Cherie Currie, and Welcome to the Rileys, in which a man (James Gandolfini) grieving over the death of his mistress becomes the platonic guardian of Stewart’s underaged prostitute. As I’m typing this, the movies are the top two most-viewed profiles on the festival site, with Welcome to the Rileys sitting as the second “most scheduled” film after the James Franco-starring Ginsberg pic Howl.

If you could pick only one of those films to see, which would it be? Clips from Welcome to the Rileys and Howl follow after the jump. Let’s make this a fair fight.


Clip du jour: Spike Jonze's robot romance

Spike Jonze’s 30-minute short “I’m Here” debuted at Sundance yesterday and will be widely released in March. Here’s the trailer for the “robot love story,” (and, uh, vodka ad):

It’s as if Wall-E and All The Real Girls had a baby, and I mean that in the best possible way.

Are you feeling the robot’s pain, PopWatchers, or do you know his love is just part of his programming?

Ryan Reynolds' 'Buried' trailers give me heart palpitations

Ryan Reynolds, you’re making me sweat. And for once, it’s not because of your ab-licious self. Nope, it’s because of the new trailers for your Sundance flick, Buried. (See one embedded below; click here for the other.) In the film, Reynolds plays a contract driver in Iraq who’s buried alive in a coffin with no memory of how he got there. As Sundance’s website describes the film: “Faced with limited oxygen and unlimited panic, Paul finds himself in a tension-filled race against time to escape this claustrophobic deathtrap before it’s too late.”

So why am I sweating? Well, as someone who hates dark, closed-in spaces, the phrase “claustrophobic deathtrap” is slightly unnerving. Yet, after seeing the trailers, I can only hope the film makes its way past the film festival. After all, it’s rare that we get to see Reynolds play a role without a wink and sparkle in his eye.

Tell me, PopWatchers, would you see Buried? Anyone else have a physical reaction to the trailers?

Trailer: 'Tucker and Dale vs. Evil'

Two passionate pop-cultural demographics will be doing backflips after viewing the trailer for Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. Fans of geek-TV will be ecstatic that Firefly‘s Alan Tudyk and Reaper‘s Tyler Labine will join forces for this gruesome comedy, and admirers of Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead will be literally foaming at the mouth, since it turns a similarly beloved horror genre — murderous hillbillies in the woods — on its head.

Loved Labine’s scythe. The film premieres late this month at Sundance, and I’m officially on board. (And yes, that is Cerie (Katrina Bowden) from 30 Rock playing the ditch-digging college girl).

Sweet Millions spot: Cutest. Ad. Ever.

In this fast-paced world, it takes a lot to get my attention. So here’s a memo to all ad-driven companies out there: Do you know what will always, and I mean always, grab my eye? Kittens. And not just kittens, but kittens…in pajamas…who are dreaming. So thank you, Sweet Millions, for releasing what has to be the cutest television spot of all time. Now, an admission: I have no idea what the commercial is trying to get across. Nor do I really know what Sweet Millions is, because as soon as I start watching this 30-second spot, I transform into a 6-year-old pigtailed little girl who’s squealing like she was just gifted a mini-pony. (Kidding. I know Sweet Millions is a lottery game, and this might be encouraging young kids to gamble, but I just feel more encouraged to buy 15 cats and dress them up!)

Are you also obsessed with the Sweet Millions ads? Do you feel bad that folks outside of New York can’t see it? And is it possible that this spot is more addictive than McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish ad?

'The Blair Witch Project' 10 years later: Catching up with the directors of the horror sensation

Blair-Witch-Project_l July 16 will be the 10-year anniversary of a little movie called The Blair Witch Project. Perhaps you've heard of it? The film's spectacular journey from Sundance indie to mainstream phenomenon has become Hollywood legend, so much so that Roger Ebert named Blair Witch one of the 10 most influential films of the 20th century. The movie gave hope to young, broke filmmakers everywhere — all you needed was the cost of tuition for one year at college, some cheap cameras, and a very, very, very clever idea.

Since Blair Witch made $249 million worldwide on its initial $20,000-$25,000 budget, others have tried to duplicate its unprecedented success, including none other than the film's own two directors, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez. Still close friends, Dan and Ed went their separate ways after Blair Witch, each taking some time off before making a series of horror or supernatural flicks. Myrick directed Believers, Solstice, and The Objective; Sánchez helmed Altered and Seventh Moon. Haven't heard of those movies? Don't worry — most of them went straight to DVD. But it can't be easy when your debut picture shatters records and is so convincing that some people, to this day, believe it's an actual documentary. How do you possibly follow that kind of once-in-a-lifetime anomaly?

EW talked to both of the Blair Witch directors individually, as well as the movie's three stars. To find out what has happened to those three young actors post-Blair, check out the new issue of EW, on newsstands July 10. But for now, enjoy this exclusive Q&A with directors Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, who discuss how they shot the groundbreaking movie, what they make of the subsequent backlash against it, and whether they'd ever want to return to Blair Witch.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I've heard so many different stories about how you guys went about filming Blair Witch. Could you clarify exactly what it was like shooting the movie?

EDUARDO SANCHEZ: When Dan and I wrote the script, it wasn't really a script. It was more like a glorified outline of all the scenes. We didn't have any dialogue because we knew we wanted to make it completely improv. And then we decided we were going to leave the actors out there and try to remote-control direct them. We developed this system where we would leave notes for them in these little 35mm film canisters, and the notes contained logistical information as far as where to hike, and what time to get to a certain spot that we had already entered into the actors' GPS units. We also provided character notes, like "Heather's driving me crazy" or "You've got to get away from Mike" or "Josh is slowly losing his mind." And then we let them do their own thing. We'd supply them with fresh tapes and batteries, and we would give them food. As they neared the end of the shoot, we started depriving them of food. By the last day, they were basically living off a banana and some juice.

Were the actors upset by the end of production?

SANCHEZ: No, they weren't. We took good care of them. Our producer, Gregg Hale, was in the Army and had Special Forces training, so he led the whole "keeping them safe" part and had escape routes from all of the locations. They had a walkie-talkie with them. If they needed anything, they could just call.


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