Buys screen rights to 'A Discovery of Witches' novel
A Doc-Star talks About Cameras, Talking and Truth: 'Imagine if the Sumerians had FlipCams ...'
After the hard-hitting documentaries "The Fog of War" and "Standard Operating Proceedure" -- and earning an Oscar for "Fog" -- documentarian Errol Morris' latest, "Tabloid," promises both the rigor and refusal to look away he brought to his serious looks at war and the loopy, loony what-the-what? sense of possibility and play in his films "Fast, Cheap and Out-of-Control" and "Gates of Heaven." In '"Tabloid," Morris looks at a 1978 sex-and-power scandal where Joyce McKinney, a former beauty queen, flew to England to retrieve Kirk Anderson, the lover she'd lost to the Mormon Church's missionary program; McKinney kidnapped Anderson, chained him to a bed and then either made love to him to bring him back to sanity -- or violated an unwilling man. Featuring plenty of McKinney's no-holds-barred sass and extensive interviews with the journalists who covered the "Manacled Mormon" story in the British press at the time, "Tabloid" is a fascinating, freaky look at what happens when private concerns become public narratives. We spoke with Morris in Los Angeles.
When you're conducting an interview as extensivley as you do, do you ever have a degree of awareness and sympathy for them where you think, 'Please stop talking?' You find yourself getting deeper and deeper? Or is that when you rub your hands together and say, 'Now it's getting good ...'?
Morris: I don't think it's either, really. I'm usually so focused on keeping an interview going, making sure that it's working, making it clear what they're saying; the story is emerging. All these competing, crazy concerns in an interview, I worry. I don't think that rubbing my hands together or cackling sounds quite right. There are things I hear in interviews which I think are pretty fantastic and I'm aware, 'Now this is something pretty damn good.' Usually it's something I become aware of after the fact: I become aware in the editing room. Usually it's not something that I'm aware of in the course of actually doing the interview, if you can believe it.
The Joss Whedon-produced horror flick might just come out by the time Joss Whedon's 'Avengers' does
Third entry in franchise aims to serve as explanatory prequel
Few people could have foreseen the massive success of homespun, made-on-the-super-cheap horror film "Paranormal Activity" in 2009. Oren Peli notoriously made the film in his own home with a pair of unknowns, and by way of some clever "but is it real?" marketing a la "The Blair Witch Project" and a grassroots campaign to get the film into theaters, the film ultimately made almost two hundred million dollars worldwide and spawned an unlikely franchise. The film used a found footage format to amp up tension and provide myriad scares, but it didn't quite place an emphasis on actual story.
The second film sought to capitalize on the massive success of the first film, but with a plotline that tried to shoehorn in some big explanations about why the terrors of the first film happened specifically to leads Katie and Micah. It was a standard approach to translating one film into a franchise, but it never quite fit for me. Part of the horror of "Paranormal Activity" was the unknown, giving it a mythology later on that seemed created just to continue the films didn't win any kudos from me. Which is why I am not particularly excited about "Paranormal Activity 3." The third film in the franchise is digging even further back in the past to explain why housebound entities are targeting sisters Katie and Kristi.
"Paranormal Activity 3" is set in the late '80s, and is presented in the form of home movies that document the childhood of Katie and Kristi (the respective female stars of the first two films). Instead of setting up a camera to document strange happenings, this footage shows us a happy family and two mischievous little girls who happen to tap into something that will terrorize them not only as kids, but later in life.
What's always been fun to me about the "Paranormal Activity" films is replaying their trailers in search of clues. Whereas the trailer for the second film required more than a couple of looks to capture all the hidden bits and latent scares, this one is not so subtle. But what "Paranormal Activity 3" does have is a more interesting team behind the camera - it's helmed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who had their own bout of unexpected buzz with their supposed-documentary "Catfish," which hit theaters last year. "Paranormal Activity 3" is ostensibly their first feature, but they are more than comfortable using handheld footage and putting together films that at least feel "real." Could they reignite my interest in this franchise? Maybe. The film opens on October 21.
You can check out the trailer below. Are you interested in seeing "Paranormal Activity 3"? What did you think of the first two films? Thanks to Trailer Addict for the video!
Could 'The Silver Linings Playbook' join her other literature-based roles?
Young Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence burst onto the scene with her tremendous performance in Sundance darling “Winter’s Bone” back in 2010. Her stellar work in that dark Appalachian drama garnered her that aforementioned Oscar nom, along with catapulting her straight into one-to-watch territory, territory that included a role in this summer’s X-MEN: FIRST CLASS and her very own franchise based on a bestselling YA novel series. “Winter’s Bone,” for all its buzz, has a background that’s not often mentioned – namely that it was adapted from Daniel Woodrell’s 2006 novel of the same. And it looks as if Lawrence may star in yet another book-to-film adaptation with some tough subject matter (that, however, takes things a bit lighter).
Deadline has the exclusive news that Lawrence is the frontrunner to grab the leading lady role in the adaptation of Matthew Quick’s 2008 novel “The Silver Linings Playbook.” Other actresses that were apparently in the running include all the standard young-star-on-the-rise names, including Rachel McAdams, Anne Hathaway, and Blake Lively. The film has an excellent pedigree – it will reteam cinematic best buds David O. Russell to direct and Mark Wahlberg to star.
The novel follows Pat Peoples, a misguided former high school history teacher who has just gotten out of a mental institution and must now return home to be looked after by his own mother. Pat attempts to reconstruct his life, which ends up including a nebulous friendship with another emotionally damaged person – Tiffany, the widowed sister-in-law of his own best friend. Wahlberg will play Pat, with Lawrence gunning for the interesting and offbeat role of Tiffany.
Of course, Lawrence also recently landed the coveted leading role in “The Hunger Games,” the first film adaption of Suzanne Collins’ young adult series about a post-apocalyptic America where teens are plucked from their homes and sent in to an annual battle to the death. Though there are three books in the “Hunger Games” series, Lionsgate has signed the cast for a four-film option (a move I reported on last month over at Gordon and the Whale). Despite this, the studio is still hedging its bets a bit, as the continuation of the franchise seems to hinge on how the first film does. I’ll go ahead and call it now – they will finish out the series. In the wake of the imminent end of the “Twilight” franchise, the YA set is desperate to throw their cinematic dollars at something else and “The Hunger Games” is not only a widely selling book series, it’s also (shock!) incredibly well-written.
But as big as “Hunger Games” could be (and should be), it looks as if Lawrence would have time enough in her schedule once the first “Hunger Games” film wraps to squeeze in the potential “Silver Linings” role. The film is expected to start production this fall.
Have you read "The Silver Linings Playbook"? Is Lawrence a good fit for Tiffany? If not, who else did you imagine in the role?