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Interview: Lee Daniels Talks 'The Butler,' Wanting Oprah Winfrey For 'Prisoners,' His Hip-Hop TV Drama & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 26, 2013 12:03 PM
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Named by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the top 25 film schools in the country, the Savannah College Of Art & Design grows in stature year by year. The annual Savannah Film Festival—which we attended last month—is the rare event that almost seamlessly marries the glitz of the red carpet with the serious aspirations of the student body. Attending filmmakers and actors often provide masterclasses to students, while the intimacy of Savannah's festivities provide accessibility that larger festivals in bigger cities don't often provide. It's against that backdrop that organizers and officials at SCAD once again brought Hollywood flavor to Georgia.

Savannah Film Fest: Jeremy Irons Talks His Career, State Of The Industry, Which Film Deserves More Appreciation & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 9, 2013 11:06 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Meeting actors and directors can be an interesting experience. There are some who are so far removed from what they do on screen or behind the camera and so comfortable and casual, you might think you were meeting them down at the local bar over a pint. Then there are folks like Jeremy Irons. Sitting across from the Oscar-winning actor at the Savannah Film Festival recently, he effortlessly projected the gravitas of a veteran at his trade; his presence filled the entire room even as he was seated on a couch. This wasn't due to pretentiousness or a put on; within minutes, it became immediately clear why Irons' career has spanned four decades, across no shortage of memorable films and performances. It also become clear why Savannah was honoring him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He's found a way to combine his natural charisma with a mastery of the tools of acting, and speaking with Irons about his work, he still remains humble about how his life on screen has turned out, while always looking ahead.

Savannah Film Fest: Miles Teller Talks Long Haul Of 'The Spectacular Now' & Switching Gears For 'Divergent'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 1, 2013 2:53 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The Spectacular Now
Sustaining the buzz from January at the Sundance Film Festival until October, ten months later, is no easy feat. Plenty of movies have floated out of Park City with oodles of press and praise, only to be forgotten by time it comes for their release. But it speaks to the quality of filmmaking, and the authenticity of feel, that James Ponsoldt's "The Spectacular Now" didn't suffer such a fate. The picture rolled into the Savannah Film Festival this week with both the director and star Miles Teller on hand to present the film, which was shot in Athens, Georgia. And we got a few moments to chat with Teller about the movie, his drumming skills and transitioning from indie pictures to full blown tentpole productions.

Savannah Film Festival: Bruce Dern Talks 'Nebraska,' Says Alexander Payne Ranks With Hitchcock & Kazan And More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 30, 2013 2:01 PM
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Nebraska
Though he's thousands of miles and months away from when he won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival this spring for his role in "Nebraska," there was no one else at the Savannah Film Festival that we spoke to with as much light, energy and enthusiasm as the 77 year-old Bruce Dern. In town last weekend to help open the festival with "Nebraska," and present director Alexander Payne with the Outstanding Achievement in Cinema award, Dern was some of a force in Savannah. The generous time he spent with students of Savannah College of Art & Design in a masterclass already caused a small amount of chatter, and when we sat down with him not long after, Dern was eager and happy to keep sharing his stories and experiences. But what came through most was how proud and genuinely grateful he was the opportunity to perform in "Nebraska."

Savannah Film Festival: Alec Baldwin Talks 'Seduced & Abandoned,' Turning Down 'Grand Theft Auto,' Marvel & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 29, 2013 3:46 PM
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Alec Baldwin
It all started with an idea to an idea to make a movie called "Last Tango In Tikrit." For Alec Baldwin and writer/director James Toback, their desire to produce an erotic, sexually charged movie, set in the Middle East, which a budget of $25-30 million soon found them dealing with an industry that no long makes erotic, sexually charged movies for $25-30 million. And so what came out of a yet to be realized project turned into the documentary "Seduced & Abandoned" (our review), which screened this week at the Savannah Film Festival in addition to premiering on HBO.

Miles Teller Says 'Divergent' Sequel Could Get In The Way Of 'Fantastic Four'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • October 28, 2013 4:50 PM
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Miles Teller
While attending the Savannah Film Festival, Fandango talked to Miles Teller, star of this year's wonderful teen romance "The Spectacular Now" (and also the odious college comedy "21 and Over"), about what he's got coming up next. Teller also stars in next year's high profile YA adaptation "Divergent," whose sequel is set to begin shooting imminently. But what about that other hot property Teller has been attached to? You know, the one with the Invisible Woman and The Thing…

Savannah Film Fest: Alexander Payne Talks 'Nebraska,' Visual Effects & Asks Where Adult Dramas Have Gone

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 28, 2013 1:02 PM
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  • 0 Comments
“I believe in movies,” Alexander Payne emphatically states during our interview at the Savannah Film Festival over the weekend. The director was not only on hand to present “Nebraska,” which served as the opening film of the festival, but also to receive the Outstanding Achievement in Cinema award, presented by the movie’s star, Bruce Dern. And Payne’s passion for film is clearly present in his approach for his latest effort. The road trip story about a stubborn, determined father (Dern) and his put-upon son (played by Will Forte) journeying to claim a sweepstakes prize, is presented in black and white, and shot in widescreen—certainly not the usual elements one expects these days in a movie that blends drama, comedy and Payne’s always focused eye on the textures of the Midwest.

Savannah Review: 'Last Vegas' Starring Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman & Kevin Kline

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 28, 2013 10:06 AM
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With "The Hangover" boys having seemingly exploited every debauchery laden avenue Las Vegas has to offer and then some, another party-happy movie set in the city might seem like a tired notion. Particularly when it's combined with a premise as wheezy and obvious as this, getting four older men together for one last hurrah in the city where your sins remain secret. But somehow, "Last Vegas" is better than it has any right to be. Yes, it's uneven, more jokes miss than hit, and it winds up taking easy dramatic shortcuts from the more interesting avenues that the script presents, but it's thanks to the lead quartet that the comedy is as engaging at it is.

Watch: New Clip From Alexander Payne's 'Nebraska,' Movie Will Open 16th Annual Savannah Film Festival

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 12, 2013 11:58 AM
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Nebraska
After premiering at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, "Nebraska" has seemingly been playing it cool when it comes to its fall, stateside debut. Skipping Telluride and Toronto, the movie will make its North American premiere at the New York Film Festival, which kicks off later this month, and right after that, it will continue to roll out hitting a rising fest out of the south.

Savannah Fest Review: Eric Stoltz-Starring 'Fort McCoy' A Schmaltzy, Contrived WWII Drama

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 1, 2012 7:18 PM
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  • 1 Comment
WWII continues to be rich dramatic territory for filmmakers for a number of reasons, not only because it's one of the most important events in modern history, but also due to the many avenues from which those years can be viewed. But writer and co-director Kate Connor's debut feature "Fort McCoy" is an example of what happens when you try to shoehorn as many topics and themes from WWII as you can into one movie.

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