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Interview: Wong Kar-Wai Talks Kung Fu, The Different 'The Grandmaster' Cuts & His Favorite Directors

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 22, 2013 3:22 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Wong Kar Wai, The Grandmaster
It's been six long years since a new Wong Kar-Wai movie graced cinema screens. The notoriously patient director behind "Chungking Express" and "In the Mood for Love" is back with "The Grandmaster," the biographical tale of Ip Man (also known as Yip Man), a true life historical figure (played in the film by the always brilliant Tony Leung) and martial arts wizard who would go on to train some kid called Bruce Lee. Harkening back to the director's earlier films, while adding a new level of expert technical precision, "The Grandmaster" is for any fan of kung fu or a devotee of Kar-Wai's work. It's in turns epic and gorgeous, a movie that demands to be seen, just for its visual opulence, and then discussed at length afterwards. We got a chance to do just that with Wong himself, who talked about the film's somewhat tortured production, why he decided to tell this story, what's different between this version and the international cut, what it was like working with Megan Ellison and who his favorite modern filmmakers are.

Interview: 'Sparrows Dance' Director Noah Buschel & Star Marin Ireland On Mumblecore, Low Budgets & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 21, 2013 6:04 PM
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This weekend, a movie that is very close to our hearts finally opens. "Sparrows Dance" is a micro-sized indie romantic comedy about a woman (played by Marin Ireland from "Homeland") who refuses to leave her apartment, which makes meeting someone something of a challenge. This changes when her toilet gets backed up and she has to hire a plumber (Paul Sparks from "Boardwalk Empire"). Love blossoms, of course, but as Poison taught us, every rose has its thorns, and this rose is super thorny. We saw the film before last year's Hamptons Film Festival and fell in love. It's just as quirky and fun and technically proficient as something like "Frances Ha," and it's finally seeing the light of day thanks to Tribeca Films.

Interview: Edgar Wright Talks 'The World's End,' Completing The Cornetto Trilogy, 'Ant-Man' & Much More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 21, 2013 1:44 PM
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  • 2 Comments
All good things must come to an end, and this weekend, the "Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy" finally melts with the debut of apocalyptic robo-comedy "The World's End." Beginning with 2004's romantic zombie comedy "Shaun of the Dead" and continuing with 2007's buddy comedy send-up "Hot Fuzz," the loose trilogy and the films within are wild, visually stunning homages to very specific genres, all of them directed by Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. (Pegg also co-wrote all three.) Wright, Pegg and Frost all return for "The World's End," which dramatizes what happens when several childhood friends return to their hometown to find things are different. Like really different (minor plot spoilers ahead).

Watch: Brie Larson & John Gallagher Jr. Talk 'Short Term 12,' Working With Kids, Upcoming Projects & More

  • By Edward Davis
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  • August 20, 2013 2:02 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Brie Larson, the 23-year-old actress known for roles in "The United States of Tara," "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," and "21 Jump Street," is having a moment. In fact, she was crowned the unofficial "It Girl" of the 2013 SXSW Film Festival by us and many others. Why exactly? She had (count 'em) four films at the festival this week. They include the Sundance hits "The Spectacular Now" and Joseph Gordon Levitt's directorial debut, "Don Jon," her second co-directed short film, "Weighting" and lastly, "Short Term 12," the movie which won SXSW's coveted top Grand Jury prize this spring.

Watch: Joe Swanberg Talks "Breakthrough" Feature 'Drinking Buddies' Starring Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick & Jake Johnson

  • By Edward Davis
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  • August 20, 2013 12:00 PM
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Joe Swanberg, the indie director arguably responsible for the DIY aesthetic known as "mumblecore" (though don't fully blame him, he didn't coin the term) is the most prolific filmmaker alive. OK, maybe not quite, but since 2005, the filmmaker has made about 14 feature-length films. That's not quite an average of two films per year between 2005-2013, but it's close (and it doesn't even include the shorts he's made). His debut, "Kissing on the Mouth" kicked off this movement when it was heralded as a hit at SXSW and since then he's become known for micro-budgeted indies like "Hannah Takes The Stairs" (which helped launch Greta Gerwig's career), "Nights & Weekends" and "Alexander The Last."

Interview: 'Breaking Bad' Writer/Producer George Mastras Talks Wrapping Up The Series & Much More

  • By Cory Everett
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  • August 15, 2013 2:05 PM
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Now that "Breaking Bad" has entered the home stretch, we've been doing as much as anyone to celebrate the conclusion of the beloved series. Earlier this week, we sat down with writer/producer George Mastras, the man responsible for unforgettable episodes like "Crazy Handful of Nothin," "Grilled," "Mandala," "I.F.T.," "Thirty-Eight Snub" and "Dead Freight" (which he also directed) and the upcoming fourth-to-last episode, "To'hajiilee." (He also has co-writer credits on "Kafkaesque," "Hermanos," and "Crawl Space.") Brought on to the show in Season 1 by showrunner Vince Gilligan, Mastras—along with Peter Gould, Moira Walley-Beckett, Sam Catlin, Gennifer Hutchison and Tom Schnauz—became part of the core group that would plot the entire rise and fall of Walter White, successfully turning him from Mr. Chips to Scarface just as Gilligan had promised back in 2008.

Interview: 'Cutie And The Boxer' Director Zachary Heinzerling On Documentary Vs. Narrative, The Influence Of '70s New York City & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 14, 2013 1:05 PM
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  • 0 Comments
This year has seen an unusually large amount of excellent documentaries make the scene, and one of the very best, "Cutie and the Boxer," opens this weekend (here's our review). It's the story of Ushio Shinohara and his wife Noriko, two New York artists who bicker with the best of them but who have maintained, in their 40-year marriage, a kind of harmony that few couples enjoy. Ushio is usually known for his giant papier-mâché motorcycles and large paintings made by putting on boxing gloves, dipping them in paint, and walloping the blank canvases. When Noriko, a fabulous artist in her own right, gets a section of the gallery devoted to a retrospective of his work (her artwork is turned into animated sequences in the movie), it is a perfect entre into the tumultuous dynamics that define their relationship.

Lee Daniels Talks The Ratings Struggles Of 'Lee Daniels' The Butler' And A Musical Remake Of 'Nights of Cabiria'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 13, 2013 4:00 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Lee Daniels is used to a good fight. He had to fight perceptions of his first film, “Shadowboxer,” in order to make “Precious: Based On The Novel ‘Push’ By Sapphire.” He had to fight for the right to direct “The Paperboy,” a project that had switched hands amongst filmmakers as lauded as Pedro Almodovar. But nothing could have prepared him for the ratings fight that greeted him in regards to his new film, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

Interview: Inside The 'Breaking Bad' Writers Room With Writer/Producer George Mastras

  • By Cory Everett
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  • August 13, 2013 3:03 PM
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  • 1 Comment
On Sunday, "Breaking Bad" returned for the first of its final 8 episodes. Anticipation for the premiere was at an all-time high, reviews were ecstatic (read ours here) and ratings were 5 times higher than when the series first debuted back in 2008. To celebrate the final curtain closing on this highly acclaimed series, the cast and crew have been taking a well deserved victory lap — a 90 minute Times Talks event, LACMA Live Read and Q&As at FilmLinc are just the tip of the iceberg — but before Heisenberg cooks up his last batch, we sat down with writer/producer George Mastras who was one of the first writers brought onboard by creator Vince Gilligan back in Season 1. In this age of showrunner-as-auteur, Gilligan is one of the few to loudly refute this view, crediting his team of writers (which includes Mastras, Peter Gould, Moira Walley-Beckett, Sam Catlin, Gennifer Hutchison and Tom Schnauz), as well as the cast and crew for making the show the success that it is.

Interview: David Gordon Green On The Free-Spirited 'Prince Avalanche,' Working With Nicolas Cage & 'Suspiria'

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • August 9, 2013 1:30 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Filmmaker David Gordon Green has had a deeply eclectic career of omnivorous tastes thus far. To perhaps best demonstrate the polar extremes, the 37-year-old director (who has already made nine features) has had films produced by Terrence Malick ("Undertow") and Judd Apatow ("Pineapple Express"). His body of work thus far has covered intimate indie dramas featuring children ("George Washington"), broad comedies ("The Sitter"), adult dramas ("Snow Angels"), and high concept absurdist swords and sorcerer pictures ("Your Highness"). His oeuvre has run the gamut of styles, tones and genres.

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