From Scorsese to De Palma, Here’s What You Should Be Seeing in NYC This Weekend

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We’ve finally reached the last stretch of our summer days, and although the beaches my be closing, there is plenty to look forward to on the film front. And whether you’re BBQ’ing your way through the weekend and relaxing on beach outside these humid streets or hiding away in your apartment savoring that extra day of doing absolutely nothing, you can always find the time to head down to the cinema and enjoy something wonderful.

This weekend there’s a generous plenty to choose from, whether you’re in the mood for classics or the summer’s best premieres. Take a look at the evil inside with Rosemary’s Baby or torture yourself with Taxi Driver and then discover the power of connection with Short Term 12 and fall into feeling with Ain’t Them Bodies Saints—just to name some options. But whatever your film fancy, there are a number of wonderful worlds to escape into this weekend. We’ve compiled the best of what’s playing in the city, so peruse our list, grab yourself a large box of candy and enjoy.

 

IFC Center

The Wild Bunch
Passion
The Canyons
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
El Topo
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Frances Ha
Jaws
Museum Hours
Our Nixon
Prince Avalanche
Rio Bravo
Una Noche

BAM

Blue Jasmine
Enter the Dragon
Fruitvale Station
The Spectacular Now
The World’s End
The Grandmaster

Film Forum

Rosemary’s Baby
Tokyo Waka: A City Poem
Demon Seed
Alien
Aliens
Total Recall
The Howling
Starship Troopers
Village of the Damned

Film Linc

Passion
Short Term 12
Twenty Feet from Stardom
Singin’ in the Rain
Re-Animator
In a World…
Far From Vietnam
Blackfish

MoMA

The River
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Never Fear (The Young Lovers)
Limelight
Steel Helmet

Museum of the Moving Image

Dog Day Afternoon
The Taking of Pelham One Two
Three Born to Win
Taking Off
The Panic in Needle Park

Landmark Sunshine

Taxi Driver
Short Term 12
Drinking Buddies
In a World…
The Spectacular Now
Afternoon Delight

Nitehawk

Moulin Rouge! Sing Along
In a World…
The Grandmaster
Drinking Buddies
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
Frankenhooker
Car Wash
Rushmore

From Wong Kar-wai to John Waters, Here’s What You Should Be Seeing in New York City This Weekend

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If Wong Kar-wai has taught us anything from his films, it’s that love is all a matter of timing. What we hold in the grandest of proportions can be unhinged from the smallest fraction of time, whether we’ve met the right person too late or allowed moments to slip through our fingers in an earlier life. But as tomorrow begins the start to another weekend, you’ll have two days of relaxation to reflect on the myriad ways time has put a expiration date on the many loves that pass in and out of our lives. 

Or, if you’re looking for a more productive and pleasurable way to spend your time, you can head down to the cinema and dive headfirst into Kar-wai’s world with two of his best films as well as his latest. But if you’re looking for something more, there’s plenty of classics invading our cinemas this weekend—from British psychodramas to sci-fi thrillers and chillers. And alongside, we’d got some of the best premieres of the summer that show just how amazing some of independent cinema’s new talent truly is. So whatever your film fancy, peruse our list, find yourself a king size bag of candy and curl up in a darkened theater tomorrow night. Enjoy.  

 

Film Forum

The Servant
The Patience Stone
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
The Fearless Vampire Killers
Blacula
Creature From the Black Lagoon
The Incredible Shrinking Man

IFC Center

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
The Canyons
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
El Topo
The Happy Sad
Prince Avalanche
A Perfect World
Una Noche
Devil’s Pass
Frances Ha

BAM

Blue Jasmine
Odds Against Tomorrow
Black Natchez
Fruitvale Station
The Spectacular Now
The World’s End
Nothing But a Man
Two Thousand Maniacs!
A Raisin in the Sun

Nitehawk

The Jerk
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
Fruitvale Station
In a World…
Caddy Shack
New York Ripper
It

Film Linc

Pink Flamingos
Short Term 12
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
Game Change
Therese
The 17th Parallel
Blackfish
La Commune
The Pirate
Attica 

MoMA

Shadows
Old Cats
The Student

Museum of the Moving Image

2046
In the Mood for Love
Midnight Cowboy
Coogan’s Bluff
The French Connection
Across 110th Street

Landmark Sunshine

Drinking Buddies
Cutie and the Boxer
In a World…
The Spectacular Now
Short Term 12
Footloose

Angelika Film Center

The Grandmaster
Therese
Lovelace
Austenland
Blue Jasmine

Twisting Expectations & Getting Weird: A Chat With ‘Prince Avalanche’ Director David Gordon Green

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As a minimalist character study in an isolated and absurd environment, David Gordon Green’s latest film, Prince Avalanche, takes the buddy comedy genre for a spin, strips it bare, and gives it feeling. Starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch as an unlikely duo sequestered in the fire-ravaged woods of Texas, the film grows on you as it unfolds. We watch the men deal with the psychological hurdles of heartbreak and existential dilemmas, as they’re not only forced to confront that which they detest in one another, but also in themselves. 

Coming off a slew of  raucous and comedic Hollywood pictures and television shows—from East Bound & Down to Pineapple Express—Green’s most recent work doesn’t bare quite the same mark of the more independent and dramatically-minded films of his youth, but still possesses the voice of a director who knows exactly what he’s setting out to do. With George Washington and All the Real Girls, he gained acclaim for his small-budget stories packed with heart and genuine delight. He’s melded his later and former sensibilities with Prince Avalanche, the remake of  Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson’s 2011 Icelandic film, Either Way
 
Taking place in a strikingly beautiful landscape, the film examines two lost and bizarre men working together as highway road workers painting lines down vacant road who spend the summer of 1988 away from their lives in the city. Rudd’s Alvin carries a quiet intensity as the seemingly more mature of the two, who longs for his solitude and true experience in nature while dealing with the frustrations of his fading romance. Playing his foil, Hirsch’s Lance is the goofy younger brother of said girlfriend, whose presence comes as a nuisance to Alvin with his oft idiotic and childish behavior. And although simple in structure, there’s a surreal and mystical tone to the film that lives in the glowing skies and remnant ashes scattered through the woods.
 
Last week, I sat down with Green to discuss his emotional entry into the film, relieving the pressures of Hollywood expectations, and the dream from which the film’s title was born.
 
I enjoyed seeing Paul and Emile change throughout the film, not only in how their characters’ arced, but how they played on your expectations of what you’d assume you’d see from these two actors.

That was kind of the goal of casting two people and playing them against or outside of what they’re known to play—with Paul to give an emotional underbelly to his character and for Emile to give a comedic underbelly to his character that you’re not typically expecting when you think of Mr. Into the Wild.
 
Did you know that you wanted these two for the roles, or were you looking for people you could twist the perceptions of?

I’d known both of them for a long time and seen various sides of them as people and thought this would be a good opportunity to cast unlikely co-stars. First I spoke with Paul and got him excited about the movie. Then I wanted to make sure I countered that casting decision with someone who didn’t necessarily bring a comedic weight to it so that we could play to contrast the audience’s expectations a little bit with the perception of the film overall. And once they’re inside the movie, play them to contrast the expectations of each actor. Right out the gate, they didn’t know each other prior to this experience. We sat down at a seafood restaurant in Austin and I introduced them for the first time and it was really funny, I just sat by myself and watched them interact. I knew right away that there was something pretty unique about this dynamic. They were not unlike Alvin and Lance in their smalltalk.
 
Both men are playing to extremes, which reminded me of an exercise I used to do when in a playwriting class. I would write a long monologue and then take two characters and give each of them every other line so that it was two parts of the same brain conflicting with each other.

That’s a cool exercise, and it’s very relatable to me as a writer because—although this movie’s a remake of this Icelandic film—I found myself having these characters become various sides of myself. So I do look at them as one character in that way. Look at the overall conflict of a situation and then divide up which side of your brain is talking to you—is it your practical side or your romantic side–and how they then become two distinctive characters is the evolution of elevating it off the page and having it become an interesting performance.
 
Was there something that struck you right away about Either Way that made you want to make this?

I actually watched it for the first time with the intention of remaking it, which is unusual.
 
That is unusual. How’d that come about?

I wanted to make a movie in this place. I’d found a park that had been affected by this wildfire and I wanted to make a movie really quickly there before it totally regrew. I was talking to a friend of mine who’s the production designer on that show Girls—he’s a friend of mine from way back—and I was telling him I found this great place and I want to make a movie there but I want to make a really simple, stripped-down movie with just two characters on the road. And he said this sounds like this Icelandic movie I’ve heard about with these two guys painting stripes on the road. I was like yeah, that’s what I want to make and he was like yeah, you should just remake that.
 
So I said okay and tracked it down and watched it thinking, I hope I want to remake this movie. And I really freaked out about the movie and thought it was really applicable to, not only what I wanted to do with that location, but also to my mindset at the time and to the voices in my head and what I could personalize. So it came together really quickly. It was February of 2012 that the idea of remaking Either Way struck me and then we were sound-mixing the movie in July. So it was really quick to do the adaptation and to do the casting, the prep, and production. 
 
Did you have any reservations about remaking something so recent?
Not really. The only reason I would have a reservation is if something was so well-known. I’d have reservations if I had to remake the new Spider-Man, because that’s intense to have hundreds of millions of dollars and the world of comic book fans and movie fans looking at you when you’re making a movie. When everyone knows something, I think that’s a degree of expectation that would probably be debilitating for me. But something like this that’s not that well-known is different. And remakes have a weird stigma, as if there’s less originality to them, but for me it’s no different than say, adapting a novel. Something exists in some fashion and you’re doing a new version of it. So I really don’t see the difference between re-staging an opera or adapting a book—there’s a blueprint laid out for you and you can stay as loyal as you want or you can change it if you want.
 
As long as you’re impressing your own sensibility as a filmmaker onto it.

That’s what I think. I certainly, as a film fan, find certain things sacred. I just wouldn’t go to those remakes. If someone’s going to remake Stand By Me, I probably would not want to watch that because that movie meant a lot to me when I was 12 and I like the nostalgia and don’t want to mess with that. Or Deliverance, I don’t want someone to remake that movie because I’m not interested in seeing it. Someone can remake it and do something interesting but I’d have to be pretty convinced it was worth my while to watch it. But other things, whether they’re just loose ideas or concepts or failed attempts or good movies, I think there’s room in the world for people to express the same story in different ways.
 
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How did you set out adapting it and changing it to fit your own personal viewpoint?

I was really respectful of the movie—I think. I don’t think I can write anything without it being self-indulgent, and it has to affect me emotionally. I really like the idea of a character going through an emotional situation, a heartbreaking situation, because as much as I love romance, I also love breakups—I think they’re really fascinating, vulnerable points to experience yourself or to watch characters experience on film. That’s a really interesting time, and for this movie to examine that time in an isolated environment where the only person this guy can turn to is this jackass, to me, it makes me laugh.
 
And there’s a strange harmony in that awkward song that I was really excited about personally getting into because I’ve been there. So it was an opportunity to be making a movie about situations and characters that I really relate to and that was exciting. The last few movies I’ve done were very bombastic and crazy and outrageous and I always found my emotional entrance to those projects, but here I could really see myself in those characters.
 
When going from making bigger budget Hollywood films to something like this, are you able to take that past experience and use it creatively in this environment and vice versa?
Absolutely. It’s been an amazing experience. With those movies, you get to work with top-of-the-line crew from around the world, and I’ve done so much work in the last five years in commercials, television, and movies that I have a great confidence and excitement about the people I worked with. It’s the idea of stripping away all the politics and the other voices and the expectations of audience and making a movie that didn’t have baggage to it and could be quietly made with a group of artists and technicians that looked to each other with the confidence of the experiences we’ve had.
 
We’ve now done nine movies and countless television shows and commercials together so it’s pretty cool to be able to really know what you’re talking about, rather than the anxiety of my early movies of wondering, is anyone going to see this movie, do I know how to connect a shot, what are we going to need in the editing room? Now I have a real efficiency to my process that saves everyone time and money and we really have a good time because I don’t have the insecurities that I used to have. Those insecurities could be creative, technical, or financial, and now it’s like I can be liberated from all of those and just film things. Sometimes they can be huge budget movie with a lot of logistics or they can be as seemingly simple as Prince Avalanche.
 
No matter if it’s a large budget film or something small, the point is to speak to a certain audience. Prince Avalanche might appeal to a different group of filmgoers than your last few films. Would you say so?

I disagree. At this point, having seen the movie with a variety of difference, last night was a sign that I think the movie really responds dramatically and responds well to a dramatic audience. Two nights ago we were in LA with an audience that was really eating up the comedy of the movie. So I do feel like there’s a place where the more dramatic, independent-minded work of my early career meets the broader, more comedic design of the films I’ve done in the past couple years and invites both audiences to that—which I think is an interesting and delicate balance.
 
In terms of buddy movies, this film was interesting because all of their hurdles were psychological. It was more of an older take on that genre and something you don’t see quite so much anymore.

Old-fashioned, like 1991. But yeah, certainly not contemporary. Last night I was watching the movie for the first time in a while and I was thinking about the movie Sideways and what an interesting choice Alexander Payne made to cast two non-superstars in a movie that was just entirely dependent on charismatic performances. I think he really did a good job with that and didn’t have the burdens of expectations that you would have if you made a Hollywood buddy movie. I think this movie plays to those sensibilities. The nuances and the strange expressions of little subtle rolling of the eyes as a reaction to someone rather than a punchline to a joke.
 
Or in this, Paul’s little body movements he would make were really the most comedic elements. Even just the way his hip is popped when he’s fishing.

He’s got a strange physical comedy. Even with the mustache, he kind of looks like he’s Chaplin-ing around in the woods. His run is also really funny.
 
Or when he gets really angry.

Yeah, which I like too because how many people look cool when they get pissed? I get red and veiny and weird. You don’t want to see that. 
 
The cinematography in the film was beautiful in capturing this dead landscape, which also felt so fitting for Explosions in the Sky’s score. What did you set out to do aesthetically with the film and also how did the music play into that for you?
Well Tim Moore’s my cinematographer who has shot all my movies with me, we went to film school together. And with this I was really looking for an efficient but beautiful aesthetic. We didn’t have lighting packages  or anything like that, so sometimes it would be a little disjointed—like if we were to shoot a scene with you and me, we’d shoot your shot in the morning and mine in the evening when the sun would be nice. We’d have a nice kind of position in the sky to be our key light rather than having to shoot your coverage then light my coverage in a normal movie—but here we didn’t have that time. Actually, we did have the time if we wanted to use it that way, but we had a very specific look and style and strategy with our time. So we did it like that or we’d have profiles more than traditional frontal coverage. Sometimes the light would be really good so we’d shoot two characters in profile and swing between them and use more master shots than I otherwise would—some for efficiency and some for aesthetic. I thought it was a really nice way to capture this environment and have the camera like a character creeping around with these guys in the woods. So that was very important to have this movie be beautiful and have the landscape be a character in the film.
 
The other character was the music. It really sets a pace and a tone and a sense of character in this world and Explosions in the Sky is a band I’ve loved for a long time. They’ve done a couple songs for my other films, and actually it was the drummer Chris Hrasky’s idea to go make this movie in the first place.
 
Oh yeah?

Yeah, he introduced me to the park and backdrop and said let’s go for a hike, and so exploring that really led to the idea and the seeds to the idea to keep going. All the musicians were on set for the production very often and they’d come out and visit us in the woods and then go to the studio and start making some music. So we had themes to be able to work with during production and the early phases of editing. It was really efficient and I really look at it like some weird class project. We’d go to Munaf Rayani house and he’d be working on some cue, and then we’d go over the David Wingo’s house and our friend Mike would be beat boxing, and then we’d add that track to one of the cues, and then we’d go over to the editing room—which was at another’s friend’s house—and slap it all in and see if it worked. 
 
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Do you find that liberating or refreshing coming off some bigger films, to be able to work with such a close group of people in a more causal way?

I always work with a close group of friends. I don’t think I’d make movies with a bunch of strangers. That wouldn’t be as fun. But what’s liberating is that there’s not very much money to work with, so there’s no expectations of, you better have a huge opening weekend. Like this movie will be totally fine if our friends and family show up to see the movie at some point. And it’s nice to have that lack of expectation and that lack of responsibility, whereas on a typical studio movie I’d be getting calls from agents and publicists and everyone’s tracking the movie to see how much the malls of middle America are aware of your film. And then you start getting frustrating headlines two weeks before your movie comes out because it’s destined to fail because awareness isn’t that high because of marketing and so and so. And this is a summer where that stuff has become really headline-worthy for some reason. I think that reason is because movies are costing 250 million dollars and they’re…
 
Really not that good at all.

And they’re really long and exhausting. So I think by making something that’s small and pleasant and didn’t cost a lot of money, nobody’s sweating and you can get a little weird. 
 
I really loved the scene between Paul and the woman looking through the ashes of her home. I’d read that she wasn’t originally in the script, which I found interesting because her presence feels so essential.

We were location scouting for this scene where he was going to do this pantomime through a burnt down home, and when we were scouting for that, we met Joyce who was looking through the ashes of her home looking for her pilot’s license. And so it wasn’t in the script, but it was something that was so remarkable when we met her and heard her story and that time of vulnerability in her life that we integrated it into the movie and then wove her in as a character in a couple of other sequences.
 
It really added something very surreal and magical to the entire story.

It affected the tone for the rest of production. It was early in the movie that we met her and we really wanted to make sure we had this emotional sensibility to justify and support that. It was a really powerful experience just to film it and be there having her share that. That’s not me off-camera putting words in her mouth or memorizing a script, it’s a woman with a great ambition to find something that’s impossible to find. I think there’s something magical and spiritual about that. 
 
Speaking of allowing things to get a little weird, I’m sure it’s nice to be able to incorporate something like that and bring that into the film unplanned when making something on a smaller scale.
I mean, there was no one ever in the process that ever asked me if that was a good idea. We just did it and it was obviously great, whereas if you had taken that kind of leap on a bigger movie that had more of a design to it or more of a structure to the development process, then people would have said, wait what’s going on here why aren’t we shooting what we’re supposed to shoot this day, who is this lady, she hasn’t proven herself in front of the camera before, she hasn’t been on enough sitcoms.
 
Aside from the original film, did you have any other points of reference or inspiration?

We referenced a lot of things. I would talk about like Waiting for Godot or Stranger Than Paradise or Leningrad Cowboys—there were  a few things we had as broad stroke influence.
 
Speaking of strange relationships between men in strange environments, Stranger Than Paradise certainly works.

Yeah, I’m a big fan of strange relationships between strange men. 
 
How did the tittle come about?
I had a dream. In the dream someone was telling me a story about a prince, and in my dream I misunderstood that person’s name as something long that started with an A and was very ethnic. And then in my dream I misunderstood and thought they said Prince Avalanche, and whatever the dream was, I was very embarrassed that I’d said the wrong name because that wasn’t his name. But then in the dream, I thought, well I’m an idiot but I came up with a cool title for a movie. So I don’t know how to put it any more poetically than that: I woke up and thought, well that’s a fucking cool title. 
 
Was that before you even had the idea to make this film?

Yeah, I don’t remember when exactly but I remember I was in New York when that happened. That probably was the same point I was told about the movie Either Way, so I think it was probably all of the same chapter of creative confusion probably. 
 
In keeping the film in the woods, it allowed the audience to only see the outside world and the supporting characters from their perspectives. 

Part of what appealed to me is the audience’s isolation and their frustration. Lynne Shelton did the voice of his girlfriend, which was cool because I was calling her for advice—she’d been making these modest budget movies, these character pieces and I called her for some advice about some SAG paperwork—and then I was talking to her on the phone and I was like this is great, let me use her for this voice. I like the opportunity of not letting the audience see Emile’s big weekend away or not allowing them to see the big pivotal breakup, but when we hear their conversation it’s distorted and half in and out and covered in music and layers of the road an very abstract, I think that’s intentional so people can apply their own story to it. It’s more relatable the less you know about the specifics of our situation. Although it’s taken verbatim from conversations I’ve had. 

David Gordon Green Gets Back to Nature With ‘Prince Avalanche’ Trailer

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A decade ago, David Gordon Green was a three-named director with a loyal and building following who adored the small but mighty films he created, like the stunning George Washington. Then, major studios released his last three films, including the wildly popular stoner comedy Pineapple Express. Now, after a fairly quiet production process, Green is ready to release his newest film, a return not only to independent cinema for the director, but to a more lush and green setting.

Prince Avalanche, Green’s adaptation of Icelandic film Either Way, which won him the Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlinale, seems quiet in some senses of the word in the trailer. The film only has three major characters and takes place in a gorgeous middle-of-nowhere. But after watching the trailer, it seems like Green tries to pack a lot of volume and power into its two main characters. Paul Rudd plays serious straight-man Alvin and Emile Hirsch his girlfriend’s goofball brother, Lance, who together must learn to get along while repainting a stretch of remote highway. Relationships, personal conflicts and more are dredged up. A beautiful, unfurling soundtrack from Explosions in the Sky and David Wingo complements the trio as they navigate relationships and themselves in these towering woods. Prince Avalanche hits theatres on August 9th, but in the meantime, you can watch Emile Hirsch and Paul Rudd bicker in the trailer below.  

Preemptively Anticipating the Long Career of ‘Mud’ & ‘Tree of Life’ Star Ty Sheridan

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Jeff Nichols’ Mud was a fantastic film about the cycle of first love and masculine desire for protection, but what stood out for me the most was the incredible performance by newcomer Ty Sheridan. The small boy who we saw as the youngest of Jessica Chastain and Brad Pitt’s sons in Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life appears in Mud a much more grown up version of the little guy we’d previously seen, not only holding his own amongst McConaughey and the rest of the adult cast but delivering one of the best and most endearing performances I’ve seen this year thus far.

And now, The Hollywood Reporter tells us that Sheridan is in talks to star in Kyle Wilamowski’s coming-of-age drama Grass Stains. No stranger to highly emotional films about the treacherous nature of love, Sheridan will take on the role of "a teen discovering his first love. When a prank goes awry and causes the death of his girlfriend’s older brother, the boy must balance his secret guilt with his feelings for the girl." Wilamowski’s film is set to shoot in North Carolina later this month but in the meantime, we’ll see Sheridan in David Gordon Green’s Nicolas Cage-led Prince Avalanche-follow-up Joe. I have a feeling this kid is going to go on to do some great things.

See the First Teaser Trailer for David Gordon Green’s ‘Prince Avalanche’

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David Gordon Green’s history of films is a strange one. At first glance, you wouldn’t necessarily put together that the man who made George Washington and All the Real Girls is the same directorial mind as the man behind Pineapple Express and Your Highness. However, with his eighth and latest feature, Prince Avalanche, Green manages to meld both his comedic and grittier sensibilities into a wonderfully done film that grows on you like its characters grow on one another.

It’s a bizarre study of two lost men, contrasted by a glowing and burnt woodland landscape set to music that reels you into their world. And with a cast of Paul Rudd and Emilie Hirsch we see the men in a remote area of Texas as two highway road workers who spend the summer of 1988 away from their lives in the city. Based on the original story by Hafsteinn Gunner Sigurosson, the two are foils to one another, clashing and butting heads as they struggle to understand one another as they spend their time isolated in the woods. And now, we finally have a teaser trailer for the film just in time for its summer release. Also, check out the poster for the film below.

 

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Take a Look at the Complete 2013 SXSW Line-Up

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Now that Sundance is but a distant memory, it’s time to move on to the other exciting film festivals to hit the US, and next up is Austin, Texas’ South by Southwest. Ealier in the month, we annouced the slate for the film and music festival thus far that included Steve Carell and Jim Carey’s new comedy, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone to open the festival, Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers wreck havoc, and Joe Swanberg’s latest film Drinking Buddies to have its premiere as well.

But as of today, the slate has been unveiled in its entirely and is surely enough to please your cinematic palate. Naturally, the list is full of Sundance favorites like Upstream Color, Prince Avalanche, Before Midnight, and Don Jon’s Addiction but there’s also an incredible amount of new talent from all over the world, sure to shock and please. SXSW Film Conference and Festival Producer, Janet Pierson stated that, "Everyone knows that we like to have a good time at SXSW, and our 20th year is already well on track with smart, stylish and highly entertaining work." It’s safe to say, we’re definitley onboard.

Check out the highlights below and the complete 2013 line-up here.

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION
Awful Nice
Director/Screenwriter: Todd Sklar, Screenwriter: Alex Rennie
Estranged brothers Jim and Dave must travel to Branson together when their father dies and leaves them the lake home. A series of hilarious mishaps and costly misadventures follow as they attempt to restore the house and rebuild their relationship. Cast: Alex Rennie, James Pumphrey, Christopher Meloni, Brett Gelman, Keeley Hazell (World Premiere)

Burma
Director/Screenwriter: Carlos Puga
On the eve of an annual sibling reunion, a troubled young writer is sent reeling with the arrival of an unexpected guest. Cast: Christopher Abbott, Gaby Hoffmann, Chris McCann, Dan Bittner, Emily Fleischer (World Premiere)

Improvement Club
Director/Screenwriter: Dayna Hanson
When their big gig falls through, a ragtag, avant-garde performance group with a political message struggles to find their audience—and the motivating force behind their work. Cast: Magge Brown, Dave Proscia, Wade Madsen, Jessie Smith, Pol Rosenthal (World Premiere)

LICKS
Director/Screenwriter: Jonathan Singer-Vine, Screenwriter: Justin “Hongry” Robinson The story of a young man, D, as he returns to his Oakland neighborhood after two years served in prison for a robbery gone wrong… Cast: Stanley “Doe” Hunt, Koran Jenkins, Tatiana Monet, Devon Libran, Les “DJ Upgrade” Aderibigbe (World Premiere)

The Retrieval
Director/Screenwriter: Chris Eska On the outskirts of the Civil War, a boy is sent north by a bounty hunter gang to retrieve a wanted man. Cast: Ashton Sanders, Tishuan Scott, Keston John, Bill Oberst, Jr., Christine Horn, Alfonso Freeman (World Premiere)

Short Term 12
Director/Screenwriter: Destin Daniel Cretton
The film follows Grace, a young supervisor at a foster-care facility, as she looks after the teens in her charge and reckons with her own troubled past. An unsparingly authentic film, full of both heart and surprising humor. Cast: Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr., Kaitlyn Dever, Rami Malek, Keith Stanfield (World Premiere)

Swim Little Fish Swim (USA, France)
Director/Screenwriter: Ruben Amar, Lola Bessis
Between surrealism, unusual characters, art and magic tricks, Swim Little Fish Swim is a dreamlike journey from childhood to adulthood. Cast: Dustin Guy Defa, Anne Consigny, Brooke Bloom, Lola Bessis, Olivia Durling Costello (World Premiere)

This Is Where We Live
Directors: Josh Barrett, Marc Menchaca, Screenwriter: Marc Menchaca
A struggling family’s dynamics are challenged and a unique friendship is born when a small-town Texas handyman becomes caregiver to their son with cerebral palsy. Cast: Ron Hayden, CK McFarland, Marc Menchaca, Tobias Segal, Frankie Shaw (World Premiere)

HEADLINERS
Evil Dead
Director/Screenwriter: Fede Alvarez, Screenwriter: Rodo Sayagues
Five friends, holed up in a remote cabin, discover a Book of the Dead that unwittingly summons up dormant demons which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left to fight for survival. 
Cast: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore (World Premiere)

Hawking (UK)
Director: Stephen Finnigan
A brief history of mine: a look at the life of Stephen Hawking (World Premiere)

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Director: Don Scardino, Story by Chad Kultgen & Tyler Mitchell and Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley. Screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley As superstar Vegas magicians and former best friends Burt and Anton grow to secretly loathe each other, their long-time act implodes, allowing an ambitious rival street performer the big break he’s been waiting for. 
Cast: Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, with Alan Arkin, James Gandolfini and Jim Carrey (World Premiere)

Spring Breakers
Director/Screenwriter: Harmony Korine
Four college girls who land in jail after robbing a restaurant in order to fund their spring break vacation find themselves bailed out by a drug and arms dealer who wants them to do some dirty work.
Cast: James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine, Gucci Mane

(U.S. Premiere)

When Angels Sing
Director: Tim Mccanlies, Screenwriter: Lou Berney
Michael despises Christmas. Now Christmas is getting even.
Cast: Harry Connick Jr., Connie Britton, Chandler Canterbury, Fionnula Flanagan, Lyle Lovett, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Eloise DeJoria, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson (World Premiere)

NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT
The Bounceback
Director: Bryan Poyser, Screenwriters: David Degrow Shotwell, Steven Walters, Bryan Poyser
An outrageous comedy about love and revenge in Austin, Texas. Cast: Marshall Allman, Ashley Bell, Zach Cregger, Sara Paxton, Michael Stahl-David (World Premiere)

Coldwater
Director/Screenwriter: Vincent Grashaw, Screenwriter: Mark Penney
A teenage boy is sent to a juvenile reform facility in the wilderness. As we learn about the tragic events that sent him there, his struggle becomes one for survival with the inmates, the counselors, and with the retired war colonel in charge. Cast: PJ Boudousqué, James C. Burns, Chris Petrovski, Octavius J. Johnson, Nicholas Bateman (World Premiere)

Drinking Buddies
Director/Screenwriter: Joe Swanberg
Weekend trips, office parties, late night conversations, drinking on the job, marriage pressure, biological clocks, holding eye contact a second too long… you know what makes the line between “friends” and “more than friends” really blurry? Beer.
Cast: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston (World Premiere)

Go For Sisters
Director/Screenwriter: John Sayles
Bernice and Fontayne grew up so tight they could ‘go for sisters’. After twenty years apart, they are reunited when Bernice is assigned to be Fontayne’s parole officer- just when she needs help on the wrong side of the law. Cast: Edward James Olmos, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Yolonda Ross

(North American Premiere)

Good Night
Director/Screenwriter: Sean H. A. Gallagher
Leigh’s 29th birthday party takes a sudden turn when she announces that the evening maybe the last time her friends see her alive. A night of questions, coping and debauchery immediately follow.
Cast: Adriene Mishler, Jonny Mars, Alex Karpovsky, Chris Doubek, Todd Berger (World Premiere)

Grow Up, Tony Phillips
Director/Screenwriter: Emily Hagins
A comedy about a Halloween-obsessed high school senior who doesn’t think childhood passions should have an expiration date.
Cast: Tony Vespe, AJ Bowen, Devin Bonnée, Katie Folger, Byron Brown (World Premiere)

Gus
Director/Screenwriter: Jessie Mccormack
Lizzie, married and longing for a child, can’t conceive. Her best friend, Andie, single and lacking any maternal instincts, gets pregnant from a one-night-stand and offers to give her baby to Lizzie, testing the relationships of everyone involved. Cast: Michelle Monaghan, Radha Mitchell, Jon Dore, Michael Weston, Mimi Kennedy (World Premiere)

Holy Ghost People
Director: Mitchell Altieri, Screenwriters: Kevin Artigue & Joe Egender, Mitchell Altieri & Phil Flores
On the trail of her missing sister, Charlotte enlists the help of Wayne, an ex-Marine and alcoholic, to infiltrate the Church of One Accord – a community of snake-handlers who risk their lives seeking salvation in the Holy Ghost. Cast: Emma Greenwell, Brendan McCarthy, Joe Egender, Cameron Richardson, Roger Aaron Brown (World Premiere)

Hours
Director/Screenwriter: Eric Heisserer
Set mostly in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Hours is the story of a man who battles looters, the elements and exhaustion for two days in a hospital while his newborn daughter clings to life inside a ventilator powered only by a manual crank. Cast: Paul Walker, Genesis Rodriguez (World Premiere)

I Give It A Year (UK)
Director/Screenwriter: Dan Mazer
A brand new comedy from the writer of Borat and Bruno that lifts the veil on the realities of the first year of marriage. Cast: Rose Byrne, Anna Faris, Rafe Spall, Simon Baker, Minnie Driver, Jason Flemyng, Stephen Merchant (North American Premiere)

Kilimanjaro
Director/Screenwriter: Walter Strafford
Sick of his routine life, Doug sets out to climb Kilimanjaro. Cast: Brian Geraghty, Alexia Rasmussen, Abigail Spencer, Chris Marquette, Bruce Altman (World Premiere)

Loves Her Gun
Director/Screenwriter: Geoff Marslett, Screenwriter: Lauren Modery
This romantic tragedy follows a young woman’s transition from flight to fight after she is the victim of street violence, but will the weapons that make her feel safe again create problems worse than the ones she is escaping? Cast: Trieste Kelly Dunn, Francisco Barreiro, Ashley Rae Spillers, Melissa Hideko Bisagni, John Merriman (World Premiere)

Milo
Director/Screenwriter: Jacob Vaughan, Screenwriter: Benjamin Hayes
A man discovers that his chronic stomach problems are due to the fact that he has a demon baby living in his colon.
Cast: Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs, Peter Stormare, Stephen Root, Mary Kay Place (World Premiere)

Much Ado About Nothing
Director: Joss Whedon
Shakespeare’s classic comedy is given a contemporary spin in Joss Whedon’s film, Much Ado About Nothing. Cast: Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Fran Kranz, Jillian Morgese (U.S. Premiere)

Reality Show
Director/Screenwriter: Adam Rifkin
A darkly comedic satire that follows TV producer Mickey Wagner and his amoral attempt to re-invent the reality genre. Mickey’s big idea is to pick a family and put them under all encompassing surveillance…without their knowledge. Cast: Adam Rifkin, Scott Anderson, Kelly Menighan Hensley, Monika Tilling, Valerie Breiman (World Premiere)

Scenic Route
Directors: Kevin Goetz, Michael Goetz, Screenwriter: Kyle Killen
Stranded on an isolated desert road, two life-long friends fight for survival as their already strained relationship spirals into knife-wielding madness. Cast: Josh Duhamel, Dan Fogler (World Premiere)

Some Girl(s)
Director: Daisy Von Scherler Mayer, Screenwriter: Neil LaBute
On the eve of his wedding, a successful writer travels around the country to meet up with ex-lovers in an attempt to make amends for his wrongdoings. Cast: Adam Brody, Kristen Bell, Zoe Kazan, Mía Maestro, Jennifer Morrison, Emily Watson (World Premiere)

Zero Charisma
Directors: Katie Graham, Andrew Matthews, Screenwriter: Andrew Matthews
An obsessive fantasy nerd gradually becomes unhinged when a charismatic hipster joins his D&D game. Cast: Sam Eidson, Garrett Graham, Brock England, Anne Gee Byrd, Cyndi Williams, Brian Losoya, Vincent Prendergast, Katie Folger, John Gholson, Dakin Matthews (World Premiere)

 

FESTIVAL FAVORITES
 

The Act of Killing (Denmark)
Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
In a country where killers are celebrated as heroes, the filmmakers challenge unrepentant death squad leaders to dramatize their role in genocide.

A Teacher
Director/Screenwriter: Hannah Fidell
A popular high school teacher in Austin, Texas has an affair with one of her students. Her life begins to unravel as the relationship comes to an end.
Cast: Lindsay Burdge, Will Brittain, Jennifer Prediger, Julie Dell Phillips, Jonny Mars, Chris Doubek

Before Midnight
Director/Screenwriter: Richard Linklater, Screenwriters: Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
We meet Celine and Jesse nine years after their last rendezvous. Almost two decades have passed since their first encounter on a train bound for Vienna, and we now find them in their early forties in Greece. Before the clock strikes midnight, we will again become part of their story.
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Prior, Charlotte Prior

Computer Chess
Director/Screenwriter: Andrew Bujalski
An artificially intelligent comedy from the director of Funny Ha Ha and Mutual Appreciation. Cast: Wiley Wiggins, Patrick Riester, Robin Schwartz, Gerald Peary, Myles Paige

Don Jon’s Addiction
Director/Screenwriter: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Jon (Gordon-Levitt) loves his family, friends, church and porn. Spending hours online, Jon’s ideas of a perfect woman collide with Barbara’s (Johansson) ideas of a perfect man. They struggle to see past their wants and needs in this romantic comedy. Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza

First Cousin Once Removed
Director: Alan Berliner
A heartfelt and intimate portrait of poet Edwin Honig’s final years with Alzheimer’s disease.

Imagine (Poland, Portugal, France)
Director/Screenwriter: Andrzej Jakimowski
Ian, a special instructor for the visually impaired, has been hired by a Lisbon school to help blind children and young adults. However, his unusual teaching methods are not only challenging, but also dangerous… Cast: Edward Hogg, Alexandra Maria Lara, Melchior Derouet, Francis Frappat

Mud
Director/Screenwriter: Jeff Nichols
Two boys find a fugitive hiding out on an island in the Mississippi and form a pact to help him reunite with his lover and escape. Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, Sam Shepard, Michael Shannon

Pit Stop
Director/Screenwriter: Yen Tan, Screenwriter: David Lowery Two men. A small town. A love that isn’t quite out of reach. Cast: Bill Heck, Marcus DeAnda, Amy Seimetz, John Merriman, Richard C. Jones

Prince Avalanche
Director/Screenwriter: David Gordon Green
Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind. Cast: Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch

Upstream Color
Director/Screenwriter: Shane Carruth
A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism.
Cast: Amy Seimetz, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig, Thiago Martins, Kathy Carruth

Berlinale Unveils Classics Retrospective Lineup

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Sundance may have come to a close this week, but the annual Berlin International Film Festival kicks off Thursday and will host the premiere of a plethora of new films, running until the 17th. And just in, the festival—which shows about 400 films per yearhas announced an expanded retrospective titled, Berlin Classics. With each film presented by a prominent festival guest, the retrospective will screen recently restored classic films, featuring the European premiere of the 3D Dial M for Murder and the world premiere of a new restoration of On the Waterfront. Yesterday we saw the cast of Cabaret reunite on the Today Show, marking the 40th anniversary of Bob Fosse’s masterpiece musical. Some of the films in competition at the festival include the long-awaited Before Midnight, Camille Claudel 1915, Night Train to Lisbon, Prince Avalanche, Child’s Pose, and In the Name of. Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster will be opening the ceremony. 

Here are the five films included in the Berlin Classics. 

cabaret
Cabaret, 1972
Directed by Bob Fosse

waterfront
On the Waterfront, 1954
Directed by Elia Kazan

dial m
Dial M for Murder, 1954
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

fff
Der Student von Prag (The Student of Prague), 1935
Directed by Arthur Robison

tokyostory
Tokyo Story, 1953
Directed by Yasujirô Ozu

The Best of the Sundance Early Reviews

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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