Check Out the Pilot for ‘The Jon Brion Show’ Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

Despite the lack of Academy recognition, it’s an indisputable fact that Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the greatest working filmmakers of our time who has put out some of the best films of the past two decades. I mean,just think about the fact that Boogie Nights was released when Anderson was only 27—the man is a genius. No one gets better performances out of their actors—just watch this scene of Julianne Moore from Magnolia on repeat for a master class in character. But anyhow, this morning PTA decided to grace us with a video under his YouTube channel Al Rose Productions. Unrelated to The Master, the video turned out to be a long-lost pilot episode for something called ”The Jon Brion Show.” No further information necessary, I’m sold.

But okay, apparently back in in 1999/2000 Jon Brion shot a television pilot with VH1—”a variety show that would be feature music and comedy of the various performers around LA club Largo at the time (Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, etc),”—but it was turned down. So, being the master that he is, Anderson took matters into his own hands and went on to shoot his own version “The Jon Brion Show” with three test episodes. The gift that Anderson bestowed upon us this morning features performances form Elliot Smith, Brad Mehldau, and Brion himself. Cigarettes & Red Vines spoke to Anderson a while back about the pilot:

OK. What about The Jon Brion Variety Show? I heard that he originally shot a pilot for VH1 & they didn’t like it. So you went back & directed a few episodes with Jon, Aimee, Fiona, etc.?
Yeah. Jon tried to do a thing with VH1, but I never even saw what they did. He didn’t like it. I said there’s a way we can do something & we should experiment. So, we just basically shot tests for about three episodes. I paid for it myself & we just did it.

At Largo?
No. At this recording studio called Ocean Way. I rented it, got a few cameras & threw up a couple of lights. No big deal. I had Fiona sing. I had Jon sing. Elliott Smith came by. Bette Midler happened to be recording at the studio next door & was like “I want to sing!” It was insane! Next thing I know, Bette Midler is doing ‘50’s cover tunes. We’re like, “Wow”! So this was all just a test to see the possibility for a music venue or a way to capture what Jon does. I’m still convinced there’s a way to do it. I don’t exactly know how right now. The test showed me all these good things & some bad things.

So, you haven’t presented this to a cable channel or music video channel to air?
No. We’ll sort of revisit it & it will be this ever burning thing. It’s been my own personal pet thing. Once we figure how we want to do it, then we’ll figure out where we want to do it & what sort of venue is best.

Enjoy the full video below.

Check Out 35 Candid Shots From Last Night’s Golden Globes

Last night’s Golden Gloves solidified that yes, Hollywood is filled with beautiful faces and chiseled, well-crafted bodies of all shapes and sizes. But you know, behind that sheen of glamour and satin, everyone is still a little weird looking when you think about it—which only makes you love them more. And what a better way to capture that than with a candid post-award snapshot? The folks at Vulture have posted a series of 35 polaroids from last night, taken by photographer Lucas Michael, who had exclusive access to the hallway in which the stars cram into to retouch their makeup and compose themselves before sitting back down at their tables. 

Shot on the Big Shot, the same camera used by Andy Warhol in the 1970s, Michael awaited the stars entrance and captured some wonderful portraits of the stars on film. "While having his picture taken with Jimmy Fallon, Jay Leno asked, "What is this, Mad Men?" The Magic Cube camera flash is much stronger than average, and after having her portrait taken, Claire Danes blinked and said, "I am actually blind right now." Check out some of our favorites below and click here for the full slideshow.







‘Carrie’ Remake Gets Pushed Back for a Fall Release

Whether you’re a devout fan of Stephen King’s novel or Brian De Palma’s haunting 1976 film, the modern remastering of Carrie is sure to be anticipated. As Hollywood is wont to do, audiences are in store for a new spin on the cult classic of a shy high school outcast who taps into her newly discovered telekinetic powers to exact revenge on her bullying schoolmates. Helmed by Boys Don’t Cry director Kimberly Peirce, the film—which was previously set for a March release—has now been pushed back to next fall.

The October opening only makes sense, allowing the premiere to coincide with horror-mania leading up to Halloween, garnering a larger audience while building hype surrounding the project. For a girl of only fifteen, Chloe Mortez, who holds the titular role, has played some pretty fierce and diverse characters; so it will be interesting to see how she fares followng in Sissy Spacek’s iconic footsteps. With Julianne Moore and Judy Greer rounding out the cast, the talent is there, but in any case, it would be difficult to top the bloody gorgeous De Palma original.

Check out the new poster and official teaser for the film.


Five Of Your Favorite Novels Head To The Big Screen in 2013

With a slew of new page-to-popcorn films in the works, here’s a look at what will be making its way onto the silver screen next year.


French writer Émile Zola’s novel-turned-play Thérèse Raquin has been adapted for the screen many times, but this December we’ll get a taste of director Charlie Stratton’s take on the haunting classic. The psychological tale of affaires de coeur and betrayal centers on Thérèse, a young woman forcibly married to her first cousin, who soon begins a turbulent affair with her husband’s friend. After the lovers conspire to murder her husband, they find themselves haunted by his ghost as their love turns to fiery rage. Elizabeth Olsen takes the reins as Thérèse, with Jessica Lange, Tom Felton, and Oscar Isaac adding to the cast of tortured characters.


After Brian De Palma released his cult-classic adaptation of Stephen King’s novel in 1976, who knew there needed to be another one? But as Hollywood is wont to do, audiences are in store for a new spin on the bloody story of a shy high school outcast who taps into her newly discovered telekinetic powers to exact revenge on her bullying schoolmates. Helmed by Boys Don’t Cry director Kimberly Peirce, the film stars budding ingénue Chloë Grace Moretz in the titular role alongside Julianne Moore and Judy Greer in the new adaptation of one of the most frequently banned books in the U.S.


Like a boat against the current “borne back ceaselessly into the past,” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most celebrated work of obsession and tragedy will make its way to the screen once again this spring. The long-awaited adaptation will reunite director Baz Luhrmann with Leonardo DiCaprio, as Gatsby, and stars Carey Mulligan as his unattainable love, Daisy. After being pushed from its December release to May, anticipation for the film has only increased, with audiences wondering just what Luhrmann’s theatrical aesthetic will add to the beloved tale.


Adapted from Joseph Delaney’s 2004 children’s novel, The Spook’s Apprentice, this 18th Century adventure film centers around a mystical young boy, Thomas, who becomes an apprentice to the local Spook (a cloaked man who travels the country fighting evil spirits for those who cannot) in order to learn the supernatural trade. Directed by Sergei Bodrov, the film will star The Chronicles of Narnia’s Ben Barnes in the lead role, with Julianne Moore as a cannibalistic, mischievous witch named Mother Malkin. Jeff Bridges and Alicia Vikander also join the cast.


Orson Scott Card’s science fiction thriller has been inching its way to the screen for years. First published in 1977 as a short story, the futuristic tale of alien warfare and adventure is set to hit theaters in November. Featuring Hugo’s Asa Butterfield and Little Miss Sunshine’s Abigail Breslin, the film tells the story of a gifted boy sent to a space-based military school to prepare for an alien invasion. The sci-fi classic will be directed by actor/director Gavin Hood, who leads Hollywood veterans Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley into the dystopian future.

What We Watched Instead Of ‘Liz & Dick’

I had every intention of avoiding Liz & Dick last night. First of all, I don’t particularly enjoy watching people crash and burn as much as the next guy—even when that person in Lindsay Lohan. Also, I was fully prepared to be annoyed by everyone on Twitter live-tweeting it. As far as I’m concerned, last night’s presentation of Liz & Dick was amateur hour on Twitter (now I know how actual alcoholics feel on St. Patrick’s Day). Anyway, I went to see Silver Linings Playbook instead, which didn’t last very long. (Congrats, David O. Russell, for directing the first movie I’ve ever walked out of.) I got back in time to see enough of Liz & Dick to turn it off, and here’s what I watched instead:

1. Last week’s episode of Happy Endings

2. This Lord of the Rings spoof from French and Saunders.

3. This Cold Mountain spoof from French and Saunders.

4. The French trailer for Rust and Bone.

5. The international trailer for Rust and Bone (which is better, I think).

6. The trailer for Les Miserables.

7. The trailer for Les Miserables.

8. The trailer for Les Miserables.

9.This supercut of Julianne Moore crying.

10. The trailer for Les Miserables.

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.

Chloë Grace Moretz Gets the Pig’s Blood Treatment in New ‘Carrie’ Trailer

Chances are, you probably saw the original, Brian De Palma-helmed Carrie when you were a kid, and it either scared the bejeezus out of you or caused you to spend countless hours staring at a salt shaker trying to make it move with your mind, honing your telekinetic powers so you too could one day unleash an unholy wrath on the kids who picked you last for kickball.

And because no classic horror film is ever safe from a reboot, Chloë Grace Moretz (Hugo, Dark Shadows) will assume the role of the troubled teen with the mind-control powers for an adaptation to be released in March 2013. Julianne Moore plays Carrie’s mother, Margaret White, Judy Greer appears as Carrie’s more sympathetic teacher, Miss Desjardin, and Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) will direct. Fans at New York Comic-Con this week were treated to a teaser trailer for the remake, which is now online for your viewing/remake-bemoaning pleasure. Most of what we see are the smoldering remains of Carrie’s final attack, with a number of voiceovers (including one presumed to be her one sort-of friend, Sue Snell) recounting the incident, and how "she wasn’t a monster." Watch. 

I Don’t Know How the Emmys Work Anymore

Happy Emmy Nominations Day! No one celebrates this holiday, not even me, so let’s get this over with. We have our Emmy nominations (finally, right?!), and it looks like the usual suspects are leading the pack: Mad Men, 30 Rock, Boardwalk Empire, Downton Abbey, and Game of Thrones all have a buttload of nominations. There are so many nominations! So many. Too many? Possibly!

Here’s what I find really confusing: why are there so many nominees? I miss the old days when only five people and five TV shows were nominated in each category. Obviously I take it as a personal affront that seven women were nominated for their leading roles in a comedy series. Seven! That is too many. And it seems that every other category has at least six nominees! Six! That is too many, Emmys! Get it together; some of us have to write blog posts about this shit! (You can see the full list of nominees here. Go crazy.)

Also, why was American Horror Story nominated as a miniseries? Did you guys forget that it’s coming back for a second season? And, with that in mind, why is Downton Abbey nominated as a series, when last year it was a miniseries? Things are SO COMPLICATED this morning. 

Dear Emmys: you can’t nominate everyone and everything. The end. Now, just give Julianne Moore the damn thing for her Sarah Palin impression and let’s get on with it. 

Chatting With Melissa Farman About Playing Bristol Palin in ‘Game Change’

Less than a year after President Obama was inaugurated, journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin released the definitive chronicle of the heated 2008 election. Game Change was an immediate best-seller, offering a shocking behind-the-scenes look at four of the major presidential campaigns. While Obama, the Clintons, and John Edwards weren’t given any passes in the book, it was the McCain/Palin campaign that proved to be the most fascinating storyline. As Sarah Palin and her family were ripped apart by the national media and their personal secrets and faults exposed on front pages across the country, the story seemed ripe for a film adaptation. This Saturday, just two years after the book’s publication, Jay Roach’s Game Change will premiere on HBO with a big-name cast featuring Julianne Moore as Palin and Ed Harris as John McCain.

But you can’t make a movie about Sarah Palin without including her daughter, Bristol, who was pushed into the spotlight as the poster girl for teenage pregnancy. Stepping into the crucial role is Melissa Farman, with whom we spoke about the controversial film, working with Julianne Moore, and the pressure of playing a real-life celebrity.

It’s nearly impossible to not know the story of Game Change already, but had you read the book before you started shooting?
I did! I’m actually a senior at University of Southern California where I’m a double-major in political science and English lit. I was actually reading the book for class a few months before I auditioned. So it’s funny, having studied the book and kind of seeing the script come to life just a few months later.

It’s interesting that it’s focusing primarily on the McCain/Palin campaign, which I think is the more juicy part of the story. Was it kind of a challenge to portray someone is who still alive and still making news? Were you hesitant about that?
I think it’s daunting. You have a responsibility toward that person that is very much alive, not only just alive but alive in the media. There’s definitely going to be a lot more scrutiny, and there’s a sense of wanting not to just mimic the person and wanting to be free to create a character. At the same time, having that responsibility is what makes it all the more exciting. It’s also helpful to have someone who’s so much in the public’s conscience right now, in the sense that there was so much media around Bristol. The film focalizes on the campaign trail and how all of a sudden she was thrown into the limelight. I could really watch so much footage of her really getting used to the camera and kind of developing her personality once she was on the public stage. There was a lot of material for me to study, which was great.

I saw the Palin people have already attacked the film.
My cousin just sent me a YouTube video where some Palin supporter re-cut the trailer to show that the film was full of lies. There’s concern for sure, but, you know, if a movie’s being made about you, you’re going to wonder if it’s going to be what you want it to be. I think the film is a very balanced portrayal of Sarah Palin. In politics there’s always bound to be controversy, but I think this is storytelling, and it shows the behind-the-scenes of a campaign — both positive and negative. I think the film really empathizes on a personal level with Sarah Palin the woman. I think that’s something that maybe the Sarah Palin team is scared is not going to happen, but it does.

Has Bristol said anything?
No, she has not come out with anything publicly. I know Megan McCain has, but Bristol hasn’t.

How was it working with Julianne Moore? Is she kind of like an awesome movie mom?
Oh my gosh, it’s amazing. You know, I grew up idolizing her. She’s one of the reasons I started acting. As a kid I was super shy, so my mother put me on stage to help me get rid of my shyness, which is kind of a practical joke when you think of it. But then as I got into theatre, my mom and I would watch movies and go to plays together, and one of my mother’s favorite actresses was Julianne Moore. I grew up basically watching everything Julie did. Having her as an on-screen mom was kind of surreal, but the second I met her I got over it. She’s just so down to earth and makes everyone around her family. She’s really hard-working, and it’s really wonderful for me to watch her work because here’s someone who is at the top of her game and has had such an amazing career. Still, she just keeps working at it, challenging herself in such new ways. Watching her do this and carve this character out when we were working together was really, really inspiring.

You’re currently in school now. Are you finishing up this year?
I’ll probably be finishing up in the summer.

What’s it like balancing an acting career and school?
It’s hard. I was just on CSI last week and I missed a few classes, and the deal with my teachers is that if I miss a class I’ll do double the work. So it’s definitely a commitment, but it means a lot for me to be in school. I love being in school personally, and it gives me a sanctuary where you’re in the city of youth and your only responsibility is to learn; then you go out there in the real world and you’re working. Being a political science and lit major really kind of fuels my acting because I’m really just studying human nature all day and studying storytelling. I’m taking it from a different perspective, so that really fits well with my career.

Do you have anything lined up for once you’re finished?
You’re going to see my on CSI and then on TNT’s Perception, which is coming out in the summer. I got to play the role of Joan of Arc, and my grandmother is very excited. She’s French, so it’s finally a role she’s proud of. Usually I’m with a gun, or pregnant!

Photo by Peter Svenson

Check Out the Teaser for HBO’s ‘Game Change’

Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime, the 2010 book co-authored by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, is getting the made-for-not-TV-but-HBO treatment. The film wisely cut the run-on subtitle, but it’s also limiting its focus on the Republican party and the tumultuous McCain/Palin campaign. And this afternoon HBO has revealed the first look at the drama starring Ed Harris as John McCain and Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin.

The film looks like it’s following in the spirit of Recount, the HBO movie that chronicled the 2000 presidential election (which, like Game Change, was written and directed by Danny Strong and Jay Roach, respectively). Scheduled to debut in March, Game Change will allow Julianne Moore to be the first legitimate actor to portray former governor and reality TV star Sarah Palin in a film, although from this very brief clip it seems she might not improve on Tina Fey’s impression.