Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
2015 Tribeca Film Festival Line-Up Announced: James Franco’s ‘Adderall Diaries,’ Olivia Wilde In ‘Meadowland’ & More 2015 Tribeca Film Festival Line-Up Announced: James Franco’s ‘Adderall Diaries,’ Olivia Wilde In ‘Meadowland’ & More First Look: Joseph Gordon-Levitt As Edward Snowden In Oliver Stone's 'Snowden' First Look: Joseph Gordon-Levitt As Edward Snowden In Oliver Stone's 'Snowden' Drew Goddard To Write And Direct Sony & Marvel's 'The Spectacular Spider-Man'; 'Sinister Six' Scrapped Drew Goddard To Write And Direct Sony & Marvel's 'The Spectacular Spider-Man'; 'Sinister Six' Scrapped Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2016 Best Picture Contenders Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2016 Best Picture Contenders Watch: Original Short Film Version Of 'Whiplash' Starring Oscar Winner J.K. Simmons Watch: Original Short Film Version Of 'Whiplash' Starring Oscar Winner J.K. Simmons Watch: Nifty Video Examines David Fincher’s Subtle Repetition Of Framing And Blocking In 'Gone Girl' Watch: Nifty Video Examines David Fincher’s Subtle Repetition Of Framing And Blocking In 'Gone Girl' Sigourney Weaver Says She'll Be Playing A New Character In The 'Avatar' Sequels Sigourney Weaver Says She'll Be Playing A New Character In The 'Avatar' Sequels Margot Robbie Says 'Suicide Squad' Is More 'The Dark Knight' Than 'Avengers'; David Ayer Says Joker Is "Majestic" Margot Robbie Says 'Suicide Squad' Is More 'The Dark Knight' Than 'Avengers'; David Ayer Says Joker Is "Majestic" Kristen Stewart Joins Kelly Reichardt’s Untitled Montana Drama With Michelle Williams & More Kristen Stewart Joins Kelly Reichardt’s Untitled Montana Drama With Michelle Williams & More Watch: Paul Thomas Anderson's Sophomore Short 'Cigarettes & Coffee' Watch: Paul Thomas Anderson's Sophomore Short 'Cigarettes & Coffee' Another Oscar? First Look At Eddie Redmayne In Tom Hooper's 'The Danish Girl' Another Oscar? First Look At Eddie Redmayne In Tom Hooper's 'The Danish Girl' 'Prisoners' & 'Enemy' Director Denis Villeneuve To Helm 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Harrison Ford Confirmed To Return 'Prisoners' & 'Enemy' Director Denis Villeneuve To Helm 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Harrison Ford Confirmed To Return The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far "I F*cked It Up": Neill Blomkamp Says He Wants To Go Back To 'Elysium' And "Do It Correctly" "I F*cked It Up": Neill Blomkamp Says He Wants To Go Back To 'Elysium' And "Do It Correctly" New Looks At Daniel Craig, Dave Bautista, And Lea Seydoux In 'Spectre' New Looks At Daniel Craig, Dave Bautista, And Lea Seydoux In 'Spectre' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

Exclusive: 'Ceremony' Director Max Winkler Says His Next Film Is A '70s/'Scarecrow' Influenced Pic

The Playlist By Edward Davis | The Playlist March 3, 2011 at 5:54AM

Young Director Says His Jason Reitman-Produced 'The Ornate Anatomy Of Living Things' Still Needs A Script Polish And Will Have To Wait"Ceremony," the feature debut by Max Winkler hits VOD tomorrow, and for those that track it down, they'll be rewarded with a film that shows off a young filmmaker who has firmly made a mark that he's a director on-the-rise. The film stars Michael Angarano and Uma Thurman and tells the story of Sam (Angarano), a young brazen adult who stalks his penpal and ex-girlfriend Zoe (Thurman) all the way to her wedding in the Hamptons to try and win her back. It's a delicate balance between a broad comedy and a quieter character piece and Winkler navigates those tones with an assured hand. We spoke with the director on the eve of his film's release and he revealed that his next project will be influenced by one of the great unsung classic films of the 1970s and should find him again weaving a variety of tones and textures.
2

Young Director Says His Jason Reitman-Produced 'The Ornate Anatomy Of Living Things' Still Needs A Script Polish And Will Have To Wait



"Ceremony," the feature debut by Max Winkler hits VOD tomorrow, and for those that track it down, they'll be rewarded with a film that shows off a young filmmaker who has firmly made a mark that he's a director on-the-rise. The film stars Michael Angarano and Uma Thurman and tells the story of Sam (Angarano), a young brazen adult who stalks his penpal and ex-girlfriend Zoe (Thurman) all the way to her wedding in the Hamptons to try and win her back. It's a delicate balance between a broad comedy and a quieter character piece and Winkler navigates those tones with an assured hand. We spoke with the director on the eve of his film's release and he revealed that his next project will be influenced by one of the great unsung classic films of the 1970s and should find him again weaving a variety of tones and textures.

"I just finished writing it and I'm very excited about it," Winkler said about his next film. "It's a love letter to the '70s rogue movies, something like 'Scarecrow,' that's a movie changed my life. Our movie is about two brothers who are traveling across the country. It's also similar to 'The Last Detail,' in fact, we had 'Scarecrow' on when we were writing it, similar to how P.T. Anderson had 'Treasure of Sierra Madre' on during 'Blood.' As for actors, hopefully there will be some of the cast that was in 'Ceremony.' I wrote it with Teddy Bressmen and David Branson Smith." And speaking of those "Ceremony" connections, Winkler also added that Jake Johnson, who plays the scene-stealing Teddy in the film, helped develop the story and script from its earliest stages.

"Scarecrow," starring Al Pacino and Gene Hackman and directed by Jerry Schatzberg, originally gestated as a straight-ahead comedy with Bill Cosby and Jack Lemmon attached, but morphed into the moving, complex Palme d'Or winning film we know today about two drifters who share the road and their dreams as they trek across the country. It's a wonderful film -- the kind of which they don't make anymore -- and with Winkler intoning its inspiration on his next project, we're eager to see what he pulls together. It's a great next step for a filmmaker who is clearly staking out his territory as a writing/directing double threat.

But Winkler has always had a couple of other projects percolating over the past little while. There's "The Adventurer's Handbook" which he wrote with Jonah Hill and Matt Spicer that for now seems stalled and there's also "The Ornate Anatomy of Living Things," picked up by Fox Searchlight back in 2007. The good news is, Jason Reitman is still producing and the project is still kicking, but the bad news is that it's still a bit of way off.

"Reitman's producing, it was originally set up as my first movie to direct but it was never going to get made with that budget, and so I think we need to polish it off a little bit, but I'd like to make that soon. We haven't even looked at it since we had gotten it sold," Winkler said. "It was the first script [me and Matt Spicer] had written out of college. We were both having nervous breakdowns post-USC Film School. I mean, you can't exactly go up to the pearly gates of Sony with a mini DVD of your 4 minute silent black and white film. We decided to just write a movie and try and sell it, so we sat for a summer and wrote it, thankfully sold it. Clearly if I had made the movie then it would've been terrible, I wasn't ready to make a movie. It was Jason who said that I should make a personal movie first, that was 'Ceremony.'"

It was a smart decision by Reitman that allowed Winkler to flex his muscles a bit and jump headfirst into getting a film made from script to screen. But is there any shot that 'Ornate' will move up the queue for Winkler? Not likely. "No actors [are] attached with it, it's definitely not going to be the next movie I'm going to make," Winkler told us.

But we can't complain too much. It's not very often that filmmakers attempt to mount the kinds of films they made back in the halcyon days of the 1970s and Winkler clearly seems very inspired by his latest script; if he's excited, so are we. More from this interview soon but check out "Ceremony" on VOD tomorrow or even better, when it hits theaters in limited release on April 8th. -- interview by Chris Bell

This article is related to: Max Winkler


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates