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The Playlist

Interview: 'Drinking Buddies' Star Jake Johnson Talks Rules of Improv, Working With Joe Swanberg & Frustrations With Network TV

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • August 27, 2013 5:18 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Drinking Buddies
Two attractive couples, their difficulties in life, work, and romance, a sly glance toward the other person's partner as a possible solution... It may seem like the rote set-up for your standard romantic comedy but filmmaker Joe Swanberg (“Hannah Takes The Stairs,” “All The Light In The Sky”) knows this. His latest film, "Drinking Buddies," succeeds not by the prolific indie director's shift up in budget and crowd appeal but by just how adeptly he tweaks that framework for a surprisingly observant and honest result — in our SXSW review, we called it “a film that feels loose without ever being ponderous or phony.”

'Ceremony' Director Max Winkler Teams With 'Girls' Star Adam Driver For 18th Century Set Comedy ‘The Coward’

  • By Tess Hofmann
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  • February 28, 2013 2:26 PM
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  • 2 Comments
In his first starring role since “Girls” took off, Adam Driver, a.k.a. Lena Dunham’s obsessive ex on the show will star in period comedy “Coward” by "Ceremony" director Max Winkler. Driver will play Lucidus, a nobleman in 18th century England who is forced into a duel but sheepishly sends a criminal in his place. The criminal continues to win subsequent duels, and usurps the nobleman’s identity altogether.

Fox Picks Up Joe Berlinger Produced West Memphis Three Series, CBS 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 23, 2012 4:16 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Joe Berlinger
Things have been buzzing over at Fox and CBS it seems for the past day or two as the network has been busy lining up a number of projects that they hope will develop into bonafide hits, and it features everything from an acclaimed documentarian creating a series inspired by his own career, to a pretty shitty sitcom borrowing the title of one of the biggest songs in rock history. Go forth, we shall...

'Ceremony' Helmer Max Winkler To Direct 'Barry Lyndon' Meets 'Trading Places' Comedy 'The Coward'

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • July 2, 2012 11:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Since charges of nepotism have followed Jason Reitman throughout his career, even while on the Oscar beat for “Up In The Air,” an empathetic bond must have been forged with director Max Winkler (son of Henry) when Reitman exec produced his 2010 debut feature “Ceremony.” That film, a coming-of-age dramedy, displayed some impressively tender moments in his first venture behind the camera, and now a new period project looks to establish Winkler as a voice of his own.

Max Winkler, Steve Carell & Jake Johnson Team For Mob Comedy

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • April 16, 2012 9:38 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Back when Steve Carell was plying his trade on "The Office" on a weekly basis, we could expect to see him in maybe one or two films each summer, depending on what he could fit around his busy NBC schedule. But when his time on that show ran its course last April, Carell found himself with a lot more time on his hands to develop new projects and we'll soon be seeing more and more of those coming to fruition. The actor has "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World," "Hope Springs" and "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" all on the horizon, and that's not including the vast number of projects Carell is attached to as a star or as a producer through his company, Carousel Productions.

Max Winkler & Jake Johnson Write & Create Mayoral Comedy For Fox TV

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 10, 2011 7:38 AM
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  • 2 Comments
EXCLUSIVE: Earlier this year, during an interview with David Gordon Green, we asked about his Rough House Pictures production shingle, the company he formed with filmmaking pals Jody Hill, Danny McBride and Matt Reilly. He told us it's a place where the "strange ideas and concepts" they cook up or come across have a home to grow and develop. And it looks like those plans are starting to bear some fruit, particularly on television. Last spring, MTV picked up the animated series "Good Vibes" and this summer Rough House signed a one-year development deal with 20th Century Fox. Well, they certainly haven't wasted any time in getting things rolling.

Michael Angarano Talks 'Ceremony,' Working With Kevin Smith & Steven Soderbergh

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • April 16, 2011 9:20 AM
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  • 2 Comments
23-year-old actor Michael Angarano is more than just a face in the crowd of thirty-odd young studs that crops up whenever a new superhero or tween franchise is announced. After turning heads with minor roles in “Almost Famous” and “Seabiscuit,” the Brooklyn-born thesp eventually graduated to lead roles in homegrown superhero flick “Sky High” and eccentric Jared Hess movie “Gentleman Broncos.” However, nothing prepared anyone for his transformative comedic turn in “Ceremony,” which saw Angarano playing Sam, a manic and insecure children’s author who has seen a few too many Wes Anderson movies and read maybe a bit too much J.D. Salinger.

Max Winkler Talks Wes Anderson Influence On 'Ceremony' & Losing Jesse Eisenberg To 'Social Network'

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • April 6, 2011 3:36 AM
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  • 9 Comments
Young Filmmaker Talks About Making His First Feature, And Being Comfortable With His Influences And Own SkinWhile "Ceremony" is likely to be the introduction for most to the work of Max Winkler, many have been tipped off to his talent after seeing him work with Michael Cera and Clark Duke in the appropriate titled (and very funny) webseries, "Clark & Michael," which you can check out here. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Winkler has been making his name on a number of brewing projects including "The Adventurer's Handbook" which he co-wrote with pal Jonah Hill and frequent collaborator Matt Spicer, not to mention being drafted with the latter to write "Whispers in Bedlam" for Jason Reitman and scoring the selling the pitch for "First Man" that has Johnny Knoxville attached. Suffice it to say the 27-year-old son of Henry Winkler has all the makings of a filmmaker that should be squarely on your radar.

'Ceremony' Soundtrack Features Ringo Starr, Van Dyke Parks, Pete Townsend & Hits April 12

  • By Edward Davis
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  • March 28, 2011 10:31 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Album Features Score By Fruit Bats Founder, Plus a Paul Simon Cover By Vampire Weekend FrontmanIndie film cinephiles haven't seen it yet, but likely on their radar is Max Winkler‘s feature debut “Ceremony.” Starring Michael Angarano and Uma Thurman, the dramedy tells the story of Sam (Angarano), a brazen young man who stalks his penpal and ex-girlfriend Zoe (Thurman) all the way to her wedding in the Hamptons to try and win her back.

Max Winkler Talks Jason Reitman's 'Whispers In Bedlam,' 'The Adventurer's Handbook' Still Waiting

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • March 4, 2011 6:39 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Winkler and Matt Spicer Also Sell 'The First Man' To Paramount Starring Johnny KnoxvilleFledgling filmmaking duo, director/writer Max Winkler and producer/writer Matt Spicer might not be household names at the moment, but if the frequency with which their names keep appearing in the film trades continues, the up-and-coming duo are going to be a familiar force to be reckoned with. The two have their debut feature film, "Ceremony" (which Winkler wrote and directed, Spicer produced) coming to theaters on April 8th starring Uma Thurman and Michael Angarano, and two big name writing projects- "The Ornate Anatomy of Living Things" and "The Adventurer's Handbook" -- sold to studios, both with serious buzz surrounding them.

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