Every year around this time you hear some art house hipster complaining that the Independent Spirit Awards have somehow “gone Hollywood.” And while I can see how some people might think that — especially considering how much overlap there is these days between the Spirit Awards and the Oscars — actually, many of the films celebrated at the Spirit Awards are as freaking weird and independent as they come.
This year, there were two movies that got me excited enough to think about actually paying (!) to see them in a theatre. I know, shocking, huh? The first one was writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour’s B&W Iranian vampire spaghetti western A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night which, well, kind of had me at B&W Iranian vampire spaghetti western. So cool!
And the second movie was Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter. Starring Academy Award nominee Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) as a young Japanese woman on a quest to find buried treasure in the frozen American heartland, the movie looks just as cool as the concept sounds.
Scoring two Spirit Award nominations this season, one for Best Director (David Zellner) and a Best Actress nod for Kikuchi, Kumiko opens next month in select theatres and I, for one, cannot wait to see it. So, check out the badass trailer below and let me know what you think!
I’ve been a huge fan of writer-director Richard Linklater’s work since his mid-90’s glory days of Slacker, Before Sunrise and Dazed and Confused. Hell, I even dig most of the big studio movies he directed for hire as well. For while projects like School of Rock and the hilarious Bad News Bears remake with Billy Bob Thornton might not have penned by Linklater, they are still totally infused with this distinctly Linklater-ish warmth and offbeat humor.
Of course, School of Rock was written by another one of my film geek heroes, the super cool Mike White, and features a bunch of very cute kids playing music (which Greta absolutely loves!) so, it’s got that going for it as well.
Anyway, I’m always excited to see what Linklater’s got cooking, but, this new trailer for his upcoming flick Boyhood totally threw me for a loop. Simply put, it looks amazing!
Shot over twelve years with the same actors (newcomer Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, among others) the movie follows Coltrane’s life in real time like no other movie I can think of. Sure, Michael Apted’s critically-acclaimed Up series covers similar terrain, but, those films are documentaries. Linklater’s fictional story about one boy’s coming of age looks like something totally new and boldy-original.
I can’t even imagine the level of patience something like this would take to make. Wow. And as a parent who has watched the last five years fly by, the changes in Coltrane’s appearance as he ages literally took my breath away. Wow!
So, even if the movie itself totally sucks, I applaud Linklater for tackling something so totally outside the box. Enjoy the clip and kudos to you, Mr. Linklater…long may you innovate!
I don’t know about you guys, but, I’m still kind of reeling from the death yesterday of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Not only was he one of my all-time favorite actors, but he was also the kind of reliably brilliant character actor (like John Goodman) that you’d hope to see onscreen in killer parts large and small for years to come. Sadly, that was not to be…
Although it’s little comfort right now, the fact that Hoffman left behind such a remarkable and diverse body of work is pretty awesome. He was usually my favorite character in anything he was in, and I loved him in everything, but, my favorite role of Hoffman’s is probably his turn as a home health care nurse in Paul Thomas Anderson’s crazy masterpiece Magnolia.
It’s not Hoffman’s showiest role and he could easily be eclipsed by the onscreen theatrics of his co-stars Tom Cruise and Julianne Moore, but there is a quiet grace in his performance that just kills me every time I see it. It’s like you can actually feel the things he is going through. Really amazing work in a movie busting at the seams with great actors.
I also loved him in Happiness, Boogie Nights, The Savages, Doubt, The Big Lebowski, Almost Famous, Moneyball and Pirate Radio, a movie I missed the first time around and finally saw (and loved!) this past summer. The funny thing is that when I looked up his filmography just now, some of the best stuff Hoffman did onscreen was in tiny parts in big movies that I barely remember seeing. And if you ask me, that’s the mark of a truly great actor.
Rest in peace, PSH. You left us way too soon…