See the Official First Poster for Spike Lee’s ‘Oldboy’ Remake

Fresh off the heat of his English-language debut—the thrilling and seductive Stoker, we’re reminded that director Park Chan-wook’s most acclaimed and beloved film is finally going to have an American remake of its own. But hese days, it’s difficult to get excited about the incessant remakes and Hollywood adaptations—but when it’s Spike Lee, we’ll make an exception. And with the new retelling of Director Park’s Oldboy, we’ll see Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, and Sharlto Copley in a film penned by Mark Protosevich.

Described as both "provocative and visceral," Lee’s adaptation will see Brolin as  an advertising executive who is abruptly kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement. When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his bizarre and torturous punishment only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment. And now, FilmDistrict has released the official new poster for the "Spike Lee Joint" that showcases the 20 marks for 20 long years. 

Oldboy will hit theaters October 11th, so in the meantime check out the poster below and brush up on the original to get yourself acquainted.

sd

Chatting with Actor Matthew Goode on His Charmingly Evil Role in ‘Stoker’

English actor Matthew Goode must have an affinity for playing the role of the emotionally and psychologically destructive catalyst. We first fell in love with him in the elegant Brideshead Revisted then Tom Ford’s A Single Man and with his latest role in Park Chan-wook’s fantastical Stoker, we see the darker side of the devilishly handsome Englishman.

In Stoker, Goode plays Charlie, the estranged brother-in-law to Evie (Nicole Kidman) and uncle of India (Mia Wasikowska) who comes to stay with the isolated mother and daughter after the death of his brother. With tales of his world travels, a flair for cooking, and a penchant for gardening, he woos the unstable mother of the house, charming his way into her trust. And although India finds herself reluctant to his friendly advances, she eventually becomes infatuated with him and realizes that the two have more in common than she could have ever anticipated. Goode plays the enigmatic role to perfection, vacillating between innocence and poise and the repressed madness of a villainous spider waiting to bite.

Yesterday, I sat down with Goode to talk about his introduction to the film, taking on such an evil character, and working with the brilliant Director Park.

So I’ve been listening to the film’s soundtrack all week. It’s amazing and plays such an important role in the film. Did you know that the music would be so integral?
I think originally we just knew about Philip Glass. He had written a few of the pieces and I think I was under the illusion he would be doing it all. But I think it’s quite nice sometimes—that’s what happened with Tom [Ford] when he did A Single Man, he used two different composers—to have two different takes. I think it added a lot. And what Clint does is a very different thing.

Well, Clint’s is a character in the movie.
Yes exactly, or many different characters. But it was nice, like some of whistling I did was incorporated into the soundtrack. I was like, wow that sounds quite good!

I loved that it followed you everywhere.
A tune of a lonely man, I love that.

How did you first come into the film?
Well Colin Firth dropped out because he was too busy. He desperately wanted to do it, I know that he loves Director Park, as we all do, but he was very generous and he said, I’d love to be doing it but if it’s anyone it’s you taking it over—which was really nice of him. But it was still a process, it wasn’t offered, so I had a Skype session with Director Park for about an hour and then you know, went through the gamut of auditions and eventually my name just stayed in the hat for as long as it was and I found out a couple months later. It was kind of a long process but thank god it worked out.

What did you think the first time you read the script?
I loved it. I thought it was very different. I couldn’t really put my finger on the sort of genre it would be like and also I knew Director Park’s work from Oldboy so that was very exciting. And I hadn’t worked with Nicole or Mia but had great respect for their work. And the character— particularly his involvement in the story—I just thought was quite fascinating and something I hadn’t done, which is something you always want as an actor, something new to get your teeth into. I was like well, it’s a no brainer.

Were you nervous at about playing this very psychologically dense character?
I’m always nervous. There’s always a first day on set when you’re thinking, oh god I hope I’m not found out. I was always worried about how much are we going to show and luckily, I think Director Park and I were always on the same page of what to try and reveal and what not to reveal and do you want to answer every single question about this guy? But also, you can’t just have a two-dimensional bad guy, you have to try and psychologically make sense, certainly for the actor whose playing it and for the audience, there has to be something there. So I suppose in the sense that this is a coming of age story for India, for Uncle Charlie I felt like it was, not converse to that, but in sense he’s sort of trapped in a childhood state in some ways. All the main characters are so isolated and lonely that you know, as much as the acts Uncle Charlie and India get caught up in are fairly despicable, there is this need and that someone else is like him and he needs to be with them and around them and it’s a comfort to the loneliness.

All of the characters were very pure in their emotion, and acted on everything they felt without remorse for it.
Morally moribund in some ways, you know? They don’t judge themselves, they just do. And it’s sort of animalistic in a way and that idea of nature/nurture and if there’s a predisposition within the family bloodline to commit these acts—which is kind of fascinating. And then you think, who is the prey and who are the predators? And I think within that is that sort of triangle status is which is ever-changing.

How do you prepare to play a character like this who, you have to repress all your knowledge of in order to slowly reveal himself to the audience?
I think that’s always the same for any job that you do, you do all your preparation and then you throw it out the window and commit just to what that scene is about. You’re always jumping around, it’s very rare for you to shoot something narratively—I’ve never done that it would be a real joy actually to go on that journey. So I try not to think about things too much. And this was really rehearsed in a way that I liked rehearsing, not getting it up on its feet too much. It was very much sitting down and reading it rather than trying to block it, because often times you try and rehearse things and you’re not in the environment that you’ll be shooting in and it becomes quite confusing. So we talked about it a lot and whatever scene you’re doing,  you know where your character is on the x/y graph of emotion and the trajectory of your arc, and you go on and do it.

How was working with Mia and Nicole—someone who is such a legendary actress and then this fascinating young women who—
Is going to be.

Exactly.
I don’t think I had any preconceptions. I was slightly nervous meeting Nicole, but the great thing about meeting her is that you just go, oh god you’re so lovely and super professional and super hard-working. She’s quite inspiring really, particularly because I’m a parent now as well and you see someone who is balancing very much their work but also it’s not lost on her that she needs to get home because the kids need feeding; it’s kind of lovely. And she’s a bloody good actress and I thought the combination of all three of us was quite nice. We sort of have the same style. We’re quite good listeners and obviously my character and Mia’s character have a lot in common, so it was lovely working with her. I love her to death, she’s such a sweetheart and she’s quite shy but the more we got to know each other she came out of her shell completely with me. We used to go out a lot because its nice to relax when you’re filming so much and my family was over with me, so we’d often get a babysitter and go down and listen to some country music and hang out in bars. My Mrs. and her would go two-stepping around some honky-tonk bars. She’s such a quality actress though.

Did you spend a lot of time together before shooting, or perhaps there’s the immediacy of not spending a lot of time together because your characters sort of fall into each other and have to grow from there.
I’m sure other directors might have kept us apart until that first day because our characters hadn’t seen each other in 20 years, so they might have thought that was an interesting idea that we’d rehearse separately and then see what happens. But we spent a couple weeks together rehearsing and then went on and did it. I think if we hadn’t know each other beforehand it would have been more of a hindrance than a help. So it was good.

Aesthetically speaking, the film was stunning and so meticulous, everything from the transitions to the colors—
The hair shot? Come on. But India’s hair color is matched to mine actually and she wore contact lenses as well so that our eyes were as similar as they could possibly be because my change color quite a bit. That was tying into the idea the there was this possible pre-disposition in the bloodline, that similarity.

There was a great physicality to your character and the way he interacted with India and Evie, like a waltz between everyone
There is and particularly at the end, and Director Park was talking about this earlier, that final scene is a mirroring of the scene where she says, “But I always lead.” I think really that’s what Mia and I talked about but didn’t rehearse specifically together is the idea of prey and the hunted and the animal and this stealth to the characters, which I’m glad you picked up on.

And of course, I loved the piano scene between you and Mia.
It’s kind of out there!

Well, it was a huge moment in the film. Did you actually play piano?
Oh, I hadn’t played it in 20 years. So I took a lot of rehearsal, had a great teacher, and coming back having not played in so long and playing to a Philip Glass piece was not the easiest—arpeggio crazy!  So it was kind of tough, but we could play like a good 3/5 of the piece and were able to fake the rest by having our hands placed in the right places on the keyboard, not necessarily with the right notes. But it’s nice for the director to be able to lower the camera down and see that we were playing. It was hard because you’re sort of like, you’re doing an action that doesn’t come naturally to you and you’re also having to act at the same time, but I think it paid off really well. I think it’s a really big moment in the film like it’s a big ol’ euphemism for something else. And there’s also the element of, well is it in her imagination? There’s always that extra layer to it.

And it’s the first time it feels very sexual and you can tell she’s changing.
With the feet it’s like a Billy Wilder meets Lynch moment or something.

I loved all of the shots throughout the film of her feet actually and the spider crawling up. And you’re kind of this spider working his way into their lives.
Yes I am! Yes it is, right now! The spider found a home.

So what is the experience like of working with Director Park?
I just adore him. I really do, I think he’s amazing. I love Oldboy from back in the day, so I knew that this is a proper filmmaker with great repute and wonderful respect for his actors and the material. But I think that’s what’s so funny about him, a lot of the films he’s made have such incredible violence but actually he himself is so peaceful and charming and super intelligent and fastidious and exacting. So yeah, there was no problem. We had a translator too so there wasn’t even a problem with communication. It was fairly seamless really and I really zone out listening to him speak Korean, I find it incredibly soothing so he kept us quite relaxed with that on set really.

When you’re playing someone like Uncle Charlie, do you feel like you need to find a way to relate to him? Or do you find a way to get to the core of who he is and just understand more of his motives?
I don’t ask that question to myself but I think there are parts where you go, I don’t have to think about that, I get that. And then there are obviously bits where you have to use your imagination when you’re playing a sociopath but it has to be back up with a kind of psychological truth as well. I give myself quite a hard time as a an actor but not too much on this job, which was good.

Image via Fox Searchlight

Speaking With Director Park Chan-wook About His Stunning ‘Stoker’

As deliciously evil and thrilling as it is visually-rich and haunting, Park Chan-wook’s fantastical gothic thriller Stoker plays out like an erotic waltz with sinister intentions. As his first English-language film, the acclaimed Korean director has crafted a quiet kind of suspense that shows the graceful unraveling of an isolated American family. 

Stoker tells the tale of a highly intelligent girl, India (played by Mia Wasikowska), after her father dies in an auto accident on her 18th birthday. Following his death, her mysterious yet absolutely charming Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) comes to stay with her and her unstable mother (Nicole Kidman). India’s questions arise as to the nature of Charlie’s appearance in their lives and although sensing his dark ulterior motives, she becomes infatuated with him, inexplicably drawn to this dark figure who has crept his way into her world.

It’s a story about he inherent nature of evil, as well as the sexual awakening of a young girl when first tempted by the desirable. India’s coming-of-age is the undercurrent for this bone-chilling and stunning feature from Chan-wook and writer-actor Wentworth Miller. Staying true to Park’s strong affinity for character-driven tales and his arresting visual style, Stoker is also enhanced by its biting and beautiful soundtrack from Clint Mansell that acts as its own character in the film.

Yesterday, I got the chance to sit down with Director Park (with the help of his gracious translator) to talk about his attraction to the script, telling a coming of age tale, and gorgeous physicality of his characters.

Director Park, how you first became connected to the film and what drew you to it?
The make-up of this family that is comprised of mother, father, and the only daughter is exactly the same condition as my own family, and that was something that sparked my interest at first. And I liked the quietness of it all, it wasn’t a script where all the characters get all too excited and jump around everywhere; I loved how it was all composed and very quiet.

And did you work with Wentworth on the script to change things and further develop them?
No, there was one big long meeting where a lot of discussion was taking place and it was an opportunity where I could listen to his intentions behind everything that we found on the page and allowed me to retain all the good things about the script without taking away the integrity of the script. I was able to expand those ideas and develop those ideas and delve deeper.

There are so many different layers and genres composed together in the film, but I was drawn very much to India’s sexual awakening throughout the film. Is that something you really wanted to explore, a young girl’s coming of age?
Yes, absolutely. The fact that Stoker is a coming of age story about a young girl, it’s actually an extrapolation or a continuation of the themes I explored in I’m a Cyborg But That’s OK. Also, the fact that I have a daughter that’s exactly the same age as the protagonist, and as a father, that has to be a subject matter that sparked my interest in the first place. And because of this, I actually focused more on this aspect of coming of age and expanded it from what he had found originally in the script. But rather than to say that I was interested in sexual awakening itself, in this film India’s sexual awakening is very much linked to her violent urges and what this has to do with, you know this cathartic feeling of allowing yourself to be drawn to something that’s evil? That’s acutely true of those young girls and boys who are going through their teenage years and he wanted to depict and describe the kind of chaotic state that you go through.

The visual style of the film was so wonderful and added so much to the story. How did you want to create their world through set design and colors and even the way the camera moved that echoed the psychology of the characters.
It’s not easy to explain but when people talk about all this Hitchcockian reference in this film, I am rather bewildered. Whatever influence or reference to Hitchcock Stoker has—the obvious one is Shadow of a Doubt—it was Wenthworth that was really being influenced by that. Although I knew the film had obvious influences from Shadow of a Doubt, the actual film is something I had seen such a long time ago, so exact details of it I have trouble remembering even and that goes the same for all of these other great works by Hitchcock. And if people will say this film feels like it has been influenced by Hitchcock, it’s probably something more fundamental I guess, in that everything you see and hear in a film, it needs to be intended, it needs to be planned, it needs to have significance and this attitude to filmmaking is something I learned from Hitchcock. And because of this, I would go and make a meticulous storyboard for every singe shot in the entire film in the order I would imagine the film to be cut later. So everything is pre-planned this way and how I would use color and how I would visualize this world to speak to the psychological state of each character, it’s part of the process.

Speaking to that meticulous style, there was a great physicality between everyone, it seemed very choreographed—the three of them doing this waltz around each other throughout the house. Was that something that was in the script or more of a directorial decision?
To a certain degree the script described such physicality or choreography, but as I am the one who is going to be directing this film in the end, I had to do my own pass of course. And while doing my own revision of the script to tailor it to become my film, it is something that I was thinking, what could I do with the script and how I could visualize it? And that’s all reflected into what you see now. And I really was thinking of the structure and the design of the house, the space where the dynamic between these three characters would take place. And it’s an interesting dynamic too, it seems to start one way, to be a certain dynamic between two characters and then it switches to being focused on another set of characters between this triangular relationship. So in order to express that, it naturally led to directorial decisions about the physicality or the choreography, which I had to think about even during the stage of revisions.

Image via Fox Searchlight

Attend a Q&A with Director Park Chan-wook For His New Film ‘Stoker’

Park Chan-wook’s first English-language film, the gripping and fantastical Stoker is a sensual and stirring thriller and not to be missed. The film opens this Friday and as a special treat for audiences in New York, Fox Searchlight has announced that the legendary Korean filmmaker will be present for two of the screenings this weekend and will be doing a Q& A at the Landmark Sunshine theater. For fans of his work, this is a total treat. You can get your tickets now HERE. In the meantime, listen to Clint Mansell’s stunning soundtrack for the film and check back here Friday for our interviews with Park Chan-wook and star Matthew Goode.

Official synopsis:

After India’s (Mia Wasikowska) father dies, her Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother (Nicole Kidman). She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

BlackBook Exclusive: Listen to Clint Mansell’s Stunning Soundtrack for Park Chan-wook’s ‘Stoker’

The most fascinating soundtracks provide a gateway into the world of its characters. When a film’s music wraps you in a blanket of sound that allows you to immerse yourself—incorporating the senses and heightening the experience—in a way that fully completes the director’s artistic vision and brings the story to life, that’s when a soundtrack becomes truly memorable. And if there’s anyone who knows understands the importance of symbiosis between filmmaker and composer, it’s the ingenious master of mood, the visionary maestro of cinematic sound, Clint Mansell.

Best known for his work with director Darren Aronofsky, the two have become entwined, creating some of the most amazing amalgamations of sight and sound on film from the paranoid and heartbreakingly hypnotic Requiem for a Dream to the classically disturbed and beautiful Black Swan. “Music is like another character in a film, I think. I’ve heard people say that the best scores are the ones you don’t hear—I think that’s rubbish! Betty Blue, pretty much anything by Morricone or Badalamenti—come on, don’t tell me you never heard those when you were watching the films!” says Mansell, who has now lent his talents to Park Chan-wook’s first English-language film, the fantastical gothic thriller Stoker.

Out February 26 via Milan Records, Stoker: the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is a sonic pleasure. The 18-song album creates a brilliant emotional/psycholigcal landscape for Chan-Wook’s film, evoking both the bone-chilling feeling a light breath on the back of your neck in the dark and the sensual touch of an erotic waltz on the keys. Bookended by haunting yet delicate monologues about coming into adulthood, the soundtrack transports the listener into the headspace of its characters and the feelings that possess them. Mansell employs his affinity for both industrial and classic sounds to create something entirely arresting and powerful, both other-worldy and tactile.

“I hope the music plays a very important role of enhancing and supporting the story and the characters,” says Mansell, who went on to say that he wanted to “create something elegant and yet powerful and emotional for the score. To capture a young girl blossoming in to adulthood, finding out who she is and what she wants was the challenge.”

sotker

Starring Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode, and Jacki Weaver, Stoker revolves around India (Wasikowska), a musically inclined girl whose father dies in an car accident on her 18th birthday. After her father’s death, her Uncle Charlie (Goode), who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother (Kidman). Soon after his arrival, India comes to suspect this mysterious and charming man has ulterior motives, but instead of feeling outrage and horror, this friendless girl becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

Described as everything from Hitchcockian in its suspense and Malick-esque in its quiet wonder, the film is also enhanced by the work of iconic composer Philip Glass, whose “Duet” we’ve already gotten a taste of, and Emily Wells’s wonderful “Becomes the Color.” Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood’s “Summer Wine” rounds out the soundtrack to complete its essence of dark corners of the mind and hallowed halls, filtered through an anachronistic sense of delicacy with a sharp bite.

Clint will be performing two shows to support the release of Stoker in New York City on April 3 and 4 at the Church of Saint Paul the Apostle (get your tickets now before this one sells out!) and at The Orpheum in LA on April 6. Stoker creeps into theaters this Friday (3/1), so we’re pleased to share the soundtrack streaming in it’s entirety to get you in the suspense-filled mood of the film. Enjoy.

Check Out a New ‘Stoker’ Featurette and See When It’s Coming to Theaters Near You

In the past few months, we’ve been getting ourselves excited for Park Chan-wook’s sinister drama, Stoker. And with gorgeous stills, haunting trailers, and pieces of the stunning soundtrack already released to entice us, now there’s a new “Characters” three-minute featurette on the film, giving us a taste of the Stoker family—Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode, Dermot Mulroney, and Jacki Weaver—who call figure into this dark and sensual thriller. 

We have yet to see an advanced screening of the film but back in January, Variety reported that:

Park’s regular d.p. Chung-hoon Chung appears to be channeling photographer Gregory Crewdson’s eerily high-key Americana in his lighting schemes, while Clint Mansell’s characteristically rich, modernist score is embellished with haunting piano duets composed specifically for the film by Philip Glass. The repeated use of the Lee Hazlewood/Nancy Sinatra number "Summer Wine," meanwhile, is typical of the director’s cockeyed take on American culture. Long may he continue to explore. 

Well! That’s about all I need to hear; I’m in.

The film will be released on March 1st in New York but here’s when and where you can see the film otherwise:

March 1st, 2013
BOSTON, MA
Kendall Square Cinema,
Cambridge,MA

NEW YORK, NY
AMC Lincoln Square 13,
New York, NY

Sunshine Cinemas 5,
New York, NY

TORONTO,
ONVarsity Theatre,
Toronto, ON

LOS ANGELES, CA
The Landmark, Los Angeles, CA
Arclight 15, Hollywood, CA

March 8th, 2013
NEW YORK, NY
AMC Empire 25,
New York, NY

Chelsea Cinemas,
New York, NY

LOS ANGELES, CA
Arclight 16,
Sherman Oaks,
CAUniversity Town Center,
Irvine, CA

March 15th, 2013
ATLANTA, GA
Tara Cinemas,
Atlanta, GA

BOSTON, MA
Embassy 6,
Waltham, MA

BALTIMORE, MD
Charles 5 Theatre,
Baltimore, MD

WASHINGTON, DC
E-Street Cinema,
Washington, DC

DETROIT, MI
Main Art, 
Royal Oak, MI

NEW ORLEANS, LA
Elmwood Palace,
Harahan, LA

Canal Place Theatre,
New Orleans, LA

NEW YORK, NY
Bronxville Triplex,
Bronxville, NY

Manhasset Tri,
Manhasset, NY

Clairidge,
Montclair, NJ

Movies Twin,
Red Bank, NJ

Bethel Cinema,
Bethel, CT

Garden Cinema,
Norwalk, CT

Montgomery Cinemas,
Rocky Hill, NJ

Nitehawk Cinemas,
Brooklyn, NY

Kew Gardens Cinemas,
Kew Gardens, NY

Malverne Cinema,
Malverne, NY

Avon, 
Stamford, CT

BUFFALO, NY
Amherst, Buffalo,  NY

PHILADELPHIA,
PARitz,
Philadelphia, PA

CHARLOTTE, NC
Manor Theatre,
Charlotte, NC

MONTREAL, QC
Cineplex Odeon Forum,
Montreal, QC

CHICAGO, IL
Century Centre Cinema,
Chicago, IL

INDIANAPOLIS, IN
Keystone Art,
Indianapolis, IN

MILWAUKEE,
WIOriental,
Milwaukee, WI

AUSTIN,
TXViolet Crown Cinema,
Austin, TX

Arbor Cinemas,
Austin, TX

DALLAS, TX
Cinemark’s,
Plano, TXA

Angelika Film Center,
Dallas, TX

HOUSTON, TX
River Oaks, Houston, TX

MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Uptown, Minneapolis, MN

ST. LOUIS, MO
Tivoli,
St. Louis, MO

LOS ANGELES, CA
Burbank, Burbank, CA

Rancho Niguel,
Laguna Niguel, CA

Claremont,
Claremont, CA

Laemmle’s,
North Hollywood, CA

Fallbrook,
West Hills, CA

Arclight,
El Segundo, CA

Brea Stadium,
Brea, CA

UA Marketplace,
Long Beach, CA

Westlake Village Twin,
Westlake Village, CA

PALM SPRINGS, CA
Cinemas Palme D’or,
Palm Desert, CA

SAN DIEGO, CA
Hillcrest,
San Diego, CA

SANTA BARBARA, CA
Paseo Nuevo,
Santa Barbara, CA

DENVER, CO
Mayan,
Denver, CO

PHOENIX, AZ
Camelview,
Scottsdale, AZ

SEATTLE, WA
Lincoln Square,
Bellevue, WA

Meridian,
Seattle, WA

Sundance’s, 
Seattle, WA

MONTEREY, CA
Del Mar,
Santa Cruz, CA

PORTLAND, OR
Fox Tower,
Portland, OR

SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Metreon,
San Francisco, CA

Palo Alto Twin,
Palo Alto, CA

Century’s,
Pleasant Hill, CA

Santana Row,
San Jose, CA

Regency,
San Rafael, CA

California 3 Art Theatre,
Berkeley, CA

The Best of the Sundance Early Reviews

Reviews can be dangerous. Personally, I tend not to read too many of them until after I’ve seen a film—and even then, only after I’ve processed my own thoughts. What’s the point in seeing a film if you’re just going to walk out of the theater and think, Well that was a disaster, but I know I’m supposed to love it or being profoundly moved by something but knowing that critics felt just the opposite so, I’ll keep this absolute joy to myself. Come on, now. If there’s a discussion to be had about the film before its release, it’s always more interesting to learn about the person or people behind the film and how that person made this specific piece of art and what it meant for them, so you can at least learn the intentions behind the work.

But when it comes to festivals, reviews can really make or break a long-waited anticipation—they can squash the thrill of those nine years of waiting to see if one couple gets together or elate you to know that a director whose first feature you loved didn’t fall flat in their sophomore effort. And for the movies debuting at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, most theatrical releases are still unsettled, so a long-lead review may not have the ability to hinder your perception as powerfully as it might if you knew you were seeing the film tomorrow. So for those you not in Park City this week, check out a collection of snippets from this weekend’s reviews, covering some of the most anticipated films of the festival from Linklater’s Before Midnight  to David Gordon Green’s Prince Avalanche.

Before Midnight, Richard Linklater

"It’s a brave, creative decision on the trio’s part, and it’ll be interesting to see how civilians in the real world react to the film. Falling in love is easy. Sustaining love with the complicated burden of life on top of it all is hard. Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight isn’t the most digestible picture, but its challenging, funny, painful, very present and alive depiction of relationships at 40 is so honest and real that we wouldn’t have it any other way."—Indiewire

"The previous films’ manufactured deadlines—a train departure, a trip to the airport—are no longer with us; the pair are now together until they decide not to be. Turns out, that’s as dramatic as a ticking clock."—The Hollywood Reporter

"Delivering vanity-free turns in which no apparent effort has been made to disguise wrinkles or sagging eyelids, the actors have melded so completely with their roles as to seem incapable of a false note; rewardingly, Hawke for the first time seems to truly match Delpy in emotional stature. The lightly self-reflexive script includes more than a few references to and examples of role play, reminding viewers of the artificiality of two characters who couldn’t seem more authentic."—Variety

"Physical time has to pass for both the stories and the audience, and the resulting authenticity gives the trilogy its magic. It makes the Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight unlike anything in cinema history… Every moment with the couple feels true but never overbearing. Jesse and Celine have never been symbols for all relationships; their love story stands on its own, and becomes fully fleshed out through the strength of the filmmaking and performances. These characters have never been blank slates you project your own experiences onto."—Collider

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, David Lowery

"Ain’t Them Bodies Saints maintains a strong linear approach that makes the collage of cinematic trickery more philosophically engaging than in his previous work… Lowery doesn’t leave everything up to the imagination: The tense climax, involving a superbly choreographed nighttime pursuit, breaches the subdued rhythm with supreme calculation. It’s easy to figure where Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is heading shortly after all the pieces are put in place, but the surprises of how they get there arrive in every scene." —Indiewire

"Ain’t Them Bodies Saints recalls Malick’s outlaw-lovers drama Badlands and the open-sky beauty of the fable-like Days Of Heaven. (There is, however, no voiceover in Lowery’s film.) Lowery is hardly the first filmmaker to crib Malick’s poetic aesthetic, but his clear confidence in aspiring to the same sort of enrapturing experience is undeniably impressive. When the results are this cohesive and affecting, one begrudgingly acquiesces rather than complains…In tune with the movie’s lyrical style, the performances have an elemental power that’s understated but resonant."—Screen Daily

"The film is a lovely thing to experience and possesses a measure of real power. Emerging cinematographer Bradford Young does his most impressive work yet, combining with Lowery, production designer Jade Healy and costume designer Malgosia Turzanska to deliver a kind of timeless look that feels equal parts Old West, Depression-era Texas and the slow-to-arrive modern age."— THR

The East, Zal Batmanglij

"The second picture in a fascinating collaboration with producer-writer-star Brit Marling, this clever, involving spy drama builds to a terrific level of intrigue before losing some steam in its second half. Still, the appreciable growth in filmmaking confidence here should translate into a fine return on Fox Searchlight’s investment, and generate good word-of-mouth buzz among smart thrill-seekers."—Variety

"The East is a terrific companion piece for anyone who enjoyed Sound Of My Voice… Though the script (by Batmanglij and Marling) could’ve used another polish, as a filmmaker, Batmanglij is still at the head of the class of up-and-coming directors. It’s great seeing him able to paint on a larger canvas here and provide Marling an opportunity to turn in another beguiling performance."—Indiewire

"[Batmanglij] has serious directorial chops. It’s a piece full of tension and intrigue..There isn’t enough properly at stake for the film to earn its facile pro-coporaterrorism ideas, in my opinion, and motivations feel questionable throughout. Nevertheless, I look forward to this guy’s career. He knows how to get a reaction out of an audience."—HitFix

The Look of Love, Michael Winterbottom

 "Before its measure of gravity kicks in, some viewers may find it depressing in its soulless, kitschy period portrayal of immediate gratification… Though all the performances are very good, much of Look‘s entertainment value comes from an impressive tech package that captures the shifting fashions of swinger-favored pop-culture garishness over the pic’s roughly 25-year period… While it’s seldom lingered on, the large amount of fairly graphic sexual imagery may prove a ratings challenge in some territories."—Variety

"Shockingly, for all of the topless women, the movie is surprisingly bland. Raymond is always entranced by a comely naked lady, so it’s doubtful that Winterbottom was trying to show the decline of his protagonist’s libido. More effort is put into the dangers of cocaine than any thoughtful exploration of Paul Raymond’s personality."—Collider

"The script’s biggest failing is not creating a full-bodied character out of Debbie.Loaded with music—albeit some surprisingly obvious choices from the director who made 24 Hour Party People – the film is absorbing on a scene-by-scene basis. But it connects the dots of Raymond’s life in a perfunctory way, without locating a fluid through-line or gaining emotional access to its elusive subject."—THR

The Spectacular Now, James Ponsoldt

"Ordinary in some ways and extraordinary in others, The Spectacular Now benefits from an exceptional feel for its main characters on the parts of the director and lead actors…Looking plain, even homely and singularly unadorned, Woodley is world away from the svelte little hottie she portrayed two years ago in The Descendents but again is entirely terrific. By contrast, most of the other kids are more recognizably superficial and stereotyped. The adults, particularly Chandler as the jaw-droppingly irresponsible father, are uniformly excellent."—THR

"Ponsoldt’s picture is self-possessed, mature and deeply patient, but it’s perhaps not at the exact pace some audiences are accustomed to…Don’t be surprised if the film is sold like (500) Days Of Summer (or a similar film) when it eventually makes its way to theaters, but this picture is particularly darker, sadder and pained. The Spectacular Now is wise beyond its years, charismatic, measured and authentic in its depiction of the pains, confusions and insecurities of the teenage experience, and while its deliberate rhythm may prove to be a harder sell among the teen crowd, it’s a valuable and honest film that’s worth the investment."—Indiewire

Stoker, Park Chan-Wook

"This being a Park movie—albeit one scripted by actor Wenwtworth Miller—depraved urges and grotesque outbursts linger around every turn, but Park’s formalism positions the mayhem within an alluring cinematic tapestry… Stoker may not break new ground, but it stands firmly on an effective toolbox right through its zany finale. Ultimately a subversive take on family bonds, the movie puts a wry twist on the coming-of-age mold."—Indiewire

"…delivers what the South Korean auteur does best: moody mise-en-scene with intense moments of ultra-violence. This is a dark, dark story, yet somehow Park is able to impart a safeness that allows the audience to sit back and enjoy the thrill ride."—Twitch

"Park’s regular d.p. Chung-hoon Chung appears to be channeling photographer Gregory Crewdson’s eerily high-key Americana in his lighting schemes, while Clint Mansell’s characteristically rich, modernist score is embellished with haunting piano duets composed specifically for the film by Philip Glass. The repeated use of the Lee Hazlewood/Nancy Sinatra number ‘Summer Wine,’ meanwhile, is typical of the director’s cockeyed take on American culture. Long may he continue to explore."—Variety

Breathe In, Drake Doremus

"Doremus doesn’t seem particularly interested in the melodramatic aspects of his story, skipping over the arguments and fallout almost entirely…The film focuses more on states of mind, using Dustin O’Halloran’s rich piano score to amplify the collective agitation, while capturing from each character’s perspective how one can occasionally feel like an outsider even while clearly part of something. Working again with cinematographer John Guleserian, Doremus opts for a cooler palette, rendering these middle-class problems in tony blues and beiges."—Variety

"…it’s the actors who crush these intense moments of desire and longing into something near breathless…Sensuous and plaintive, Dormeus’ camera once again captures that arresting emotional truth that’s marked his relationship dramas thus far, and there’s even some moments of Malick-ian wonder and beauty… "Breathe In" may telegraph where it’s going late in the game and these irrational decisions might make for some frustrated viewers, but it is without a doubt one of the most emotionally poignant and heartbreaking movies of the festival thus far."

"If the film does have a flaw it’s that the storyline follows a fairly predictable path, but the raw performances and Doremus’ inspiring direction are so effective at getting you invested in these characters that this minor quibble is quickly rendered insignificant by the film’s haunting closing sequence. The key is in the execution, and that’s where Breathe In excels."—Collider

Don Jon’s Addiction, Joseph-Gordon Levitt

"Again, Gordon-Levitt’s confident direction stops the film from going off the rails, but the plot strains trying to make Jon becomes a mature adult… When it comes to the protagonist’s inability to achieve intimacy, Don Jon’s Addiction feels like Shame but with jokes and Tony Danza."—Collider

"…here’s a heavy testosterone-driven pushiness, rather than a deeply felt sex drive as an elemental force of nature that’s crucial to this man’s self-expressiveness, that soon becomes obnoxious, and a lack of self-reflection that leaves Jon, and the film with him, frustratingly one-dimensional.Both as a director and actor, Gordon-Levitt is switched on all the time, offering little shading or nuance."—THR

"Filled with heat, emotion, verve and humor, Jon’s journey to sexual fulfillment is certainly not the most obvious rom-com path to redemption we’ve seen on screen in some time. Replete with characters who love to challenge their stereotypes, Don Jon’s Addiction is a beguiling romantic comedy with a heart, soul and pulse that will pleasure you for a full 90 minutes with hardly breaking a sweat."—Indiewire

Prince Avalanche, David Gordon Green

"What makes the performances so enjoyable and unexpectedly touching is that the parallel arcs of this twin character study are drawn with such delicacy. Hirsch is impish, abrasive and a little lost, with Lance already seeing himself as ‘fat and old’ compared to the younger, cooler guys on the dance floor. In a nuanced turn that swings from funny to angry to emotionally raw and back again, Rudd draws on stage skills that have been largely untapped in his recent films."—THR

"A somewhat surprising vehicle for smoothly commingling Green’s own seemingly unreconcilable career sides, Prince Avalanche (a title he admits makes no particular sense) has room for both very funny physical comedy and a couple of rapturous, stand-alone, near-experimental montages given superb support by Explosions in the Sky and David Wingo’s diverse original rock tracks."—Variety

"So even if Prince Avalanche feels more than a bit wobbly, it does show Green once again trying his hand at the idiosyncratic style of his promising early years, an encouraging sign one hopes isn’t just a passing fancy."—Screen Daily

A Play of Light & Dark In New Footage From Park Chan-Wook’s ‘Stoker’

So a promo video about the creation of a movie poster may not sound like a particularly exciting premise, but when it’s paired with new footage from Stoker, the anticipated upcoming film from Oldboy director Park Chan-Wook, more ears start to perk up (and the poster itself is excellent too, definitely worthy of a closer look). Empire has released a clip featuring scenes with the sort of careful and beautiful effort Park has given to his other films.

The clips from Stoker, which will be released in March of 2013 and stars Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode, are intertwined with the process of creating the poster, itself a dark, intricate and beautiful piece of art, much like Park’s films. The gnarled, haunted-forest feel of the art fits in with the creepy nature of the film, a horrific tale of a family gone mad (caskets, weeping angels, skeletons in closets). The story centers on, appropriately enough, the Stoker family, whose dark secrets begin to unravel after the death of father Richard (Dermot Mulroney). Further complications arise for his surviving wife, Evelyn (Nicole Kidman) and daughter India (Mia Wasikowska), when mysterious uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) arrives, leading to infatuation, infighting and one very unsettling image of a freezer. Watch the video, as well as an earlier trailer for Stoker released back in October, below. 

Park Chan-wook’s ‘Stoker’ Promises To Be At Least As Disturbing As ‘Oldboy’

South Korean director Park Chan-wook is known for his Vengance Triology, a beautiful but frankly brutal exploration of the goriest, most singularly fucked-up methods and motives for revenge. Oldboy in particular is just…like feeling all your guts drop out of you. (Audition may still be the most physically sickening horror film to come out of Asia, but psychologically Oldboy is right up there.) Will Stoker, Park’s first English language film, make us squirm as much?

As of 2010, Stoker’s screenplay, written by Wentworth Miller under a nom de plume, was considered one of the 10 best unproduced scripts circulating Hollywood. So we might assume the studios were just a teensy bit afraid of it. And while the U.S. trailer doesn’t hint at anything special—an especially tense family drama with supernatural elements, perhaps—the U.K. version hits a magnificently creepy swagger (assisted by Death in Vegas’ “Dirge”) and doesn’t relent:

<cke:embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" base="</span></cke:embed><a href=" bgcolor=" _cke_saved_href=" c.brightcove.com="" domain="embed&dynamicStreaming=</span" flashvars="videoId=</span><wbr style=" font-family:="" font-size:="" height="412" href="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" http:="" isvid="1<wbr" name="flashObj" p1_prod_version="ShockwaveFlash" "="" playerid="</span" playerkey="AQ~~,</span" pluginspage="</span><a href=" seamlesstabbing=" _cke_saved_href=" services="" span="" span–="" src="</span></cke:embed><a href=" style=" _cke_saved_href=" swliveconnect="true" target="_blank" type="application/x-shockwave-</span><wbr style=" version="ShockwaveFlash</a" viewer="" wbr="" width="486"><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><span style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; ">embed></span></cke:embed></cke:object></span></p> <p> <wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "></p> <p> <wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "> </p><p> <wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr></p> <wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr> <p> <wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr> </p> <wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr><wbr> <p> <span style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; ">So, what to expect. As of now it looks like a bit of a mashup between </span><i style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; ">Hamlet</i><span style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; "> and </span><i style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; ">Lolita</i><span style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; ">, with the mysterious father-killing uncle gaining the sexually charged trust of the moody, grieving teenager. And Nicole Kidman’s Gertrude is caught all weepy in the middle. THEN: BLOOD AND MORE KILLING. Very prettily framed, of course. A sumptuous feast for the psychopath in each of us. Because everyone has one, right? </span><i style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; ">Right</i><span style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; ">?</span></p> <p>  </p> <p>  </p> <p></p> </cke:object>