Privy to the Veneer of Things in Lynch’s ‘Mulholland Drive’

In the Nerdwriter‘s video essay on David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, we dive beneath the veneer of things and discover how the legendary director plays with and manipulates our expectations to dizzying effect.

“Not content with the dreams Hollywood has been feeding us en masse for decades,” narrates Nerdwriter, “Lynch uses cliched expectation to move us into the space film has yet to go, showing us the dangers and the hopes of believing.”

At 15 years old, Mulholland Drive remains unmatched in its squeamish sex-appeal and its drawing of parallels between acting and amnesia. Lynch, for whom much of the story came to while practicing Transcendental Meditation (before it was cool), has always been reluctant to discuss interpretations of the film, but admits he considers it a love story. A twisted, masturbatory love story…

Hear James Murphy Cover David Bowie’s Golden Years

After having its New York premiere at NYFF back in the fall, Noah Baumbach’s latest film While We’re Young will head into theaters on March 27. Starring Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, and Adam Driver, and Amanda Seyfried (with a score by James Murphy), the film centers around a middle-aged husband and wife whose lives spiral into an existential crisis after befriending a free-spirited younger couple. Comparing their own world to that of the spontaneous and youthful pair, their seemingly content lives are brought into question.

Possessing Baumbach’s signature wit and flair for bringing comedy into even the most dramatic of circumstances, the film’s tone is only enhanced by the work of musician James Murphy, who composed the original score for the film. Below you can listen to one of James Murphy’s tracks off the soundtrack, titled “We Used to Dance.” It’s a beautifully composed instrumental number that, with its swirling soundscapes, sends a shiver down your spine and a spark in your heart. And today, you can also hear Murphy cover of David Bowie’s “Golden Years,” for the film. Get excited for the film and enjoy the music below.

Listen to “We Used to Dance” HERE

‘Diana’ Trailer: Flashbulbs on Flashbulbs

The first trailer for Diana, the upcoming Oliver Hirschbiegel-directed Princess Diana biopic starring Naomi Watts as “The People’s Princess,” features the footage you might expect. There’s lots of getting out of crowds and waving at the public as sentimental piano music plays, a lot of glamorous outfits, references to her humanitarian work as well as the less savory corners of her personal life.

There’s also a lot of one thing above all else: flashbulbs, as though right away, the core thru-line of the film will be the notion that she was hounded by the paparazzi at all times and could not escape it. Which makes sense as a core point, especially since the film focuses on the last two years of her life, following a very messy and very public divorce. Either way, Watts seems like a solid choice to take on the role, and at least from the few glimpses we get of her in the trailer, she looks as though she pulls off the many faces and facets of Diana well. Watch below.  

Michael Keaton, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis to Star in Alejandro González Iñárritu Comedy

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s oeuvre—which includes Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel, and Biutiful—is brilliant, but it isn’t particulary hilarious (unless, of course, you think dog fighting is a total riot). That is why it’s a bit surprising to learn that González Iñárritu’s next feature, Birdman, is set to be a comedy. Featuring Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, and Zach Galifianakis, Birdman follows the Broadway production of a play based on a Raymond Carver story. Keaton will star as a marquee actor trying to reclaim his artistic credibility. How very Bullets Over Broadway, only without the mob, Woody Allen’s neuroses, or Jennifer Tilly. 

[via THR]

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Tribeca Film Festival Announces Half Its Narrative Feature Slate

The 2013 Tribeca Film Festival is but a month away and we’re already starting to gear up for what amazing new features, from across the globe, are in store for us. And today, the good people over at Tribeca announced the first installment of their slate for World Narrative and Documentary Competition Films, as well as their out-of-competition Viewpoints section.

Taking place from April 17th to the 28th, the festival will feature 89 films for the official program, selected from 6005 submissions. Frederic Boyer, Artistic Director Tribeca Film Festival says, "Our competition selections embody the quality and diversity of contemporary cinema from across the globe…The cinematic proficiency that harnesses this lineup is remarkable and we’re looking forward to sharing these new perspectives, powerful performances, and multifaceted stories."

This year, half of the productions are American and half are from all around the world, a testament to Tribeca’s desire to illustrate the universal power of film. Genna Terranova, Director of Programming, went on to say that, "The films in this year’s documentary competition deliver tremendous insight into the challenges of our ever-growing global culture as well as highlight how individuals affect and react to change.  With varying styles of filmmaking, this mix of American and international voices are pointed and thought-provoking."

Check out the Narrative Features below and head HERE for the Documentary and Viewpoints slate.

Alì Blue Eyes (Alì ha gli occhi azzurri)
Directed by Claudio Giovannesi, written by Filippo Gravino and Giovannesi.
(Italy) – International Premiere.
Claudio Giovannesi’s award-winning second dramatic feature captures one week in the life of sixteen-year-old troublemaker Nader, who, despite his mother’s threats and family’s insistence that he respect his Muslim roots, fights, steals and pursues an Italian girlfriend. A stunning example of contemporary Italian neo-realism, Alì Blue Eyes is an engrossing coming-of-age story about an immigrant who will stop at nothing to fit in. In Italian with subtitles.

Before Snowfall (Før snøen faller)
Directed by Hisham Zaman, written by Kjell Ola Dahl and Zaman.
(Norway, Germany, Iraqi Kurdistan Region) – International Premiere.
Director Hisham Zaman brings the moral crisis of honor killing front and center in this dazzling, international drama. When his older sister Nermin flees an arranged marriage, Siyar must atone for the slight. He tracks her from Kurdistan to Istanbul, where a fateful encounter with a street girl creates cracks in his resolve. Then Nermin escapes into Europe, and Siyar must continue a search that will forever change his notions of loyalty, dignity, honor and love. In Kurdish with subtitles.


Directed and written by Lance Edmands.
(USA)  – World Premiere.
On a freezing January evening, school bus driver Lesley (Amy Morton) completes her route, but her final inspection abruptly ends when a bluebird comes into view. What happens next shakes her small Maine logging town, proving that even the slightest actions have enormous consequences. Co-starring Adam Driver, Margo Martindale, John Slattery, Louisa Krause and Emily Meade, Lance Edmands’s absorbing feature debut is a perfect encapsulation of the interconnectedness of life.

The Broken Circle Breakdown
Directed by Felix van Groeningen, written by Carl Joos and van Groeningen.
(Belgium, Netherlands) – North American Premiere.
Elise runs a tattoo shop. Didier plays in a bluegrass band. When their daughter Maybelle is born, their happiness is complete, until a tangle of complications forces these two very different lovers to fight to save their marriage. Belgian director Felix van Groeningen follows his acclaimed Cannes entry The Misfortunates with this powerhouse melodrama of star-crossed lovers laced with emotional bluegrass performances. In Dutch with subtitles.

Hide Your Smiling Faces
Directed and written by Daniel Patrick Carbone
(USA) – North American Premiere. During a hot summer in rural America, brothers Tommy (Ryan Jones) and Eric (Nathan Varnson) are confronted with devastation as death forces its way into their young lives. This stunning debut feature explores the nature of the relationship between boys, as both violence and support is encapsulated in quiet storytelling and breathtaking photography. With incredibly sensitive performances by its two leads, Hide Your Smiling Faces packs a subtle but powerful punch.

Just a Sigh (Le temps de l’aventure)
Directed and written by Jérôme Bonnell.
(France) – International Premiere.
In the short break between performances in Calais, stage actress Alix (the stunning Emmanuelle Devos) makes a quick escape to Paris. On the train she meets a mysterious English stranger (Gabriel Byrne) and, for the most fleeting of afternoons, imagines what the future could hold down a different road. With masterful performances by its two acclaimed stars, Just a Sigh is an imaginative, lushly filmed Parisian romance from young and versatile director Jérôme Bonnell. In English, French with subtitles.

Directed by Matt Creed, written by Amy Grantham and Creed.
(USA) – World Premiere.
Nearing the end of her treatment for breast cancer, Lily focuses on life with newfound clarity, reevaluating her relationship with an older man and her feelings about her long-absent father. In wandering through atmospheric New York City streets and lingering in intimate, charged moments with Lily during this vulnerable period, first-time director Matt Creed and actress Amy Grantham create a mature, stylish character piece reminiscent of classic French New Wave.

The Rocket
Directed and written by Kim Mordaunt.
(Australia) – North American Premiere.
Set against the lush backdrop of rural Laos, this spirited drama tells the story of scrappy ten-year-old Ahlo, who yearns to break free from his ill-fated destiny. After his village is displaced to make way for a massive dam, Ahlo escapes with his father and grandmother through the Laotian outback in search of a new home. Along the way, they come across a rocket festival that offers Ahlo a lucrative but dangerous chance to prove his worth. In Lao with subtitles.

Six Acts (Shesh Peamim)
Directed by Jonathan Gurfinkel, written by Rona Segal.
(Israel) – North American Premiere.
Naïve teen Gili is determined to improve her social status by hooking up with her new school’s coolest guy. Afterwards, he passes her off to his friend. Happy at first for the attention, Gili soon finds her situation deteriorating, as this average girl is increasingly consumed by a culture of oversexed teenhood. Director Jonathan Gurfinkel questions conventional ideas of consent, exploitation and complicity in this edgy and perceptive feature debut. In Hebrew with subtitles.

Stand Clear of the Closing Doors
Directed by Sam Fleischner, written by Rose Lichter-Marck and Micah Bloomber.
(USA) – World Premiere.
When autistic teen Ricky is scolded for skipping class, he escapes into the subway for a days-long odyssey among the subway’s disparate denizens. Meanwhile, his mother wages an escalating search effort above ground. Based on a true story and set in Far Rockaway, Queens, in the days leading up to Hurricane Sandy, these parallel stories of mother and son take the viewer on a touching journey of community and connection in and below New York City.

Sunlight Jr.
Directed and written by Laurie Collyer.
(USA)  – World Premiere. Quickie-mart employee Melissa (Naomi Watts) and paraplegic Richie (Matt Dillon) are very much in love. Supported only by Melissa’s small hourly wage, they are nevertheless thrilled to learn that Melissa is pregnant. Then their situation deteriorates, and their tenuous financial situation threatens to bring their happy life crashing down. Norman Reedus also stars in this a moving romantic drama from Laurie Collyer, director of the Golden Globe-nominated Sherrybaby.

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?,
Directed and written by Arvin Chen.
(Taiwan R.O.C.) – North American Premiere.
Straitlaced optometrist Weichung is finding the typical married life difficult. Then he bumps into an old flame, setting off an unexpected array of dormant emotions. Meanwhile, his sister Mandy flees her sad sack fiancé, coping via food and the fantastical appearance of a daytime soaps star on her couch. Arvin Chen’s sophomore feature is a fresh and playful comedy about the odd realities of desire in a traditional society and what happens when you seek a big change. In Korean, Mandarin with subtitles.

Watch the Second Installment of ‘Between Two Ferns: Oscar Buzz Edition’

Yesterday, we showed you the first installment of Zach Galifianakis’s Funny or Die faux talk show, Between Two Ferns: Oscar Buzz Edition. We got to see him call Jennifer Lawrence ugly, talk about feces with Naomi Watts, and have Christoph Waltz be a total weird babe as usual. And now the second part of his Oscar special has arrived. Featuring Jessica Chastain, Sally Field, Bradley Cooper, and a special guest in lieu of Daniel Day-Lewis, check out his awkward brand of comedy below.

Check Out the New Oscar Edition of ‘Between Two Ferns’

Zach Galifianaskis’ Between Two Ferns, his Funny or Die faux talk show has had it’s fare share of hilarious celebrity moments. And returning from some time out of the spotlight, the abrasive, bearded Galifianaskis comes back to bring some laughs to this year’s award season. Featuring Oscar nominees Jennifer Lawrence, Naomi Watts, Anne Hathaway, Chrsitph Waltz, and Amy Adams, check out enjoyably awkward first installment of two features.

Check Out This Year’s Best Actress Roundtable with Amy Adams, Naomi Watts, and More

Don’t get me wrong, I love Naomi Watts and Rachel Weisz just as much as any once-aspiring actress and film fanatic—but would it be too much to ask to see some new faces around here? Last week we talked about the top screenplay contender roundtable with Michael Haneke and John Krasinski, and now, thanks to The Hollywood Reporter, we have the full interview from the women who look to be this year’s contenders for best actress and best supporting actress. The conversation consisted of such acclaimed ladies as: Anne Hathaway for the upcoming Les Miserables, Amy Adams for her role in The Master, Lincoln’s Sally Field, Rachel Weisz for The Deep Blue Sea, Helen Hunt for The Sessions, and Marion Cotillard for Rust & Bone

But does it kind of feel like something is missing? There’s no doubt that these women are dynamic, talented individuals who have delivered some of the year’s best performances but how about a little diversity in age, race, level of celebrity, something? The point of these things is to create an interesting discussion, putting those who we wouldn’t normally ever see together in one setting, allowing for an interesting dialogue to occur. If it were me, I would have included Jennifer Lawrence, who definitely gave her best performance to date in Silver Linings Playbook. How about Kerry Washington, who is about to be in one of the biggest films of the year, Tarantino’s Django Unchained? Or what about Helen Mirren for Hitchcock (or for just being Helen Mirren?) What about Naomie Harris who starred in one of the best-selling Bond movies ever? Even Emmanuelle Riva for Haneke’s Amour!  Oh well, just food for thought.



Morning Links: Snookie and JWoww Get The Go From Jersey City, Earl Sweatshirt Returns

● You can retire your "FREE EARL" tees, because it seems like the Odd Future rapper has at last returned from his Samoan exile. [RapFix]

● Courtney Cox hasn’t had sex since she split with David Arquette a year ago, but not for lack of trying. "No guy’s asked me out," she says. "I’m not saying I’m not ready to have a make-out session, but it just makes me nervous. I don’t like to go out in general." [Us]

● Erykah Badu was photoed out in Hollywood wearing stilletoed ice skates, but alas, as TMZ reports, "the 40-year-old will not be competing in any fashion Olympics." [TMZ]

● Maya Rudolph will return to her old Saturday Night Live digs as host on February 18th. Sleigh Bells will join her as musical guests. [Huff Post]

● Jersey City has given Snooki and JWoww the go ahead to film their Jersey Shore spinoff, and filming is expected to begin later this month. Take that Hoboken. [NYP]

House is ending its run at the end of this eighth season. You will have to consult a real doctor about your medical quandaries from now on. [THR]

● Naomi Watts has been cast as Princess Diana in Caught in Flight, Oliver Hirschbiegel’s drama about the last few years of Di’s life. [Variety]