Fellini’s Restored AMARCORD Will Receive Tribute at Venice Film Fest

amarcord“Federico Fellini’s fourth film to win the foreign Oscar, 1973’s AMARCORD will receive a special tribute at the 2015 Venice Film Festival, which runs September 2-12,” writes Ryan Lattanzio in Indiewire.

“A new restoration from eminent preservation entity Cineteca di Bologna will world-premiere …at the festival,” he continues. The film “boasts a menagerie of eccentric, colorful characters…Nina Rota, of course, delivers yet another magical score.”

amarcord-075-1000085560Fellini on the set of AMARCORD.

In addition to winning the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, Fellini also received two additional Academy Award nominations for AMARCORD: Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.

Vincent Canby, critic for the New York Times, loved the film when it opened, writing: “It’s an extravagantly funny, sometimes dreamlike evocation of a year in the life of a small Italian coastal town in the nineteen-thirties, not as it literally was, perhaps, but as it is recalled by a director with a superstar’s access to the resources of the Italian film industry and a piper’s command over our imaginations. When Mr. Fellini is working in peak condition, as he is in AMARCORD (the vernacular for ‘I remember’ in Romagna), he somehow brings out the best in us. We become more humane, less stuffy, more appreciative of the profound importance of attitudes that in other circumstances would seem merely eccentric if not lunatic…AMARCORD is as full of tales as Scheherazade, some romantic, some slapstick, some elegiacal, some bawdy, some as mysterious as the unexpected sight of a peacock flying through a light snowfall. It’s a film of exhilarating beauty.”

AMARCORD is nostalgia, a warm recreation of the world of Fellini’s childhood, but it is not merely memory, argues critic Sam Rohdie, it is a fantastical universe of its own. “It is an imaginary town with imaginary, projected characters who are fragments, magnifications, caricatures, and grotesques, as in a dream.” To watch the film is to share Fellini’s own flickering daydream, a mixture of recollection and fantasy.

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Fellini’s illustration for the character of Aurelio Biondi, the short fused working class father of the teen protagonist, Titta.

“There was his sketching and doodling, essentially a playing,”  Rohdie continues, “a search for the shape of the film in these images, a process of seeking out and discovery that carried over into the actual filming, where the film you see is the film being discovered in the process of filming, as if there were no ‘before’ to it, as if the film had been found. It is not a record, then, of something outside it but an expression of an inspiration chanced upon at the moment of filming.”

Felliini’s film technique underscores this sense of illusion by celebrating the artificiality of the effects. One night a majestic cruise ship passes close by the town, like a mystical apparition. The townspeople marvel as it steams by, lights aglow in the fog. Yet the ship was constructed of cardboard, the ocean was black plastic, it was all cinema magic. amarcord_boat1-11_jpg_627x325_crop_upscale_q85

Rohdie concludes: “”The essential subject of Fellini’s films, and particularly of the late ones, like AMARCORD is the cinema itself, another world: ephemeral, touching, ineffable, comic, and grand . . . like a pheasant in the snow.”tumblr_mcmf57FK3k1rc84x4o1_500

My favorite of Rohdie’s observations: “AMARCORD is like a circus, composed of numbers, perfectly linear and sequential but whose links are neither logical, dra­matic, nor narratively motivated. Each of the numbers in the film is a circus act, and the actors are the circus clowns.”

There is no higher praise, as far as I’m concerned. 15631973amarcordbelga19

 

New Bill Murray “ROCK THE KASBAH” Trailer and Poster—”Opportunity Rocks Where You Least Expect It”

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“Opportunity Knocks Where You Least Expect It.” Great tagline on the awesome new poster for Bill Murray’s ROCK THE KASBAH.

Open Road Films has also released the trailer for director Barry Levinson’s road comedy.  Starring with Bill Murray are Kate Hudson, Zooey Deschanel, Danny McBride, Scott Caan, Bruce Willis and Leem Lubany.


Scripted by Mitch Glazer (who also wrote the Murray holiday classic SCROOGED) the film tells the story of Richie Lanz, a rock manager who takes his act on the road. “Bill Murray and Barry Levinson are the perfect team to capture the lunacy, heartbreak and hope of this story. I’m ecstatic,”  Glazer told Deadline when the film was announced.

Comingsoon.net describes Richie as having “a golden ear and a taste for talent” but “has seen better times. When he takes his last remaining client (Zooey Deschanel) on a USO tour of Afghanistan, she gets cold feet and leaves him penniless and without his passport in Kabul.”

“I’m royally screwed!” complains Richie.

“Welcome to Afghanistan,” replies the hotel manager.

Richie considers this. “Nice to be here.” MurrayBarWhile trying to find his way home, Richie befriends a band of misfits and discovers a young girl with an extraordinary voice.

Against all odds, Richie will take his last shot at creating an unlikely superstar.

ROCK THE KASBAH hits the big screen October 23, 2015.

This image is not from the film, but it reminds us just how much Bill Murray enjoys music.

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Mad Max: Fury Road Without Visual Effects is Still Freaking Awesome

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Casey Chan writes in Sploid: “Most movies, especially big blockbuster action movies, look embarrassingly awkward when you strip away the CGI and special effects and expose it in real life. It’s because so much is fake these days! Not Mad Max: Fury Road though. That movie’s action sequences still look so bad ass in real life. Check it out.”

Chan continues: “The video above shows some of the action scenes as it appeared in the movie (after special effects were added) to footage of how it was filmed and man it’s not even that different! It’s less cinematic looking (obviously) but the action is just as bold and daring.

“The practical stunts are amazing. The explosions! The flying bodies! The soaring motorcycles! The jumping cars! You could watch the entire movie without the computer generated special effects and it’d still be the action movie of the year.”

New Mission Impossible Trailer Features Tom Cruise’s Latest Amazing Stunt—Hanging From A Plane

The new trailer for MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE — ROGUE NATION has been released by Paramount Pictures. A hallmark of the series is incredible action, and this installment promises plenty of thrills.

The recent release of MAD MAX: FURY ROAD trumpeted the use of practical stunts in that film. Visual effects were used to create environments and weather, but the stunts were real, for the most part. Director George Miller and his team received well deserved praise for this approach, especially in a cinematic universe filled with CG characters and action that defies the reality of physics.

No single action star has been more dedicated to keeping it real than Tom Cruise. He reportedly does almost all of his own stunt-work no matter how dangerous it may be. In ROGUE NATION the signature stunt is featured at the end of the trailer: Cruise hangs on the outside of an Airbus A400M military transport at 5,000 feet above the English countryside. Doubt it was done for real? Check out these pix of the stunt being performed:rV5FDfg3BqKlHxThat takes guts. Cruise has been doing this kind of thing for years now. Whatculture has a gallery of Cruise’s most insane stunts; here are the ones from the MI franchise,  with Whatculture’s descriptions excerpted below:

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE

While Brian de Palma’s opening installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise isn’t as action packed as the other installments, this sequence is one of the most memorable across all four movies. The fish tank set-piece was reportedly Cruise’s idea, and the actor insisted on doing the stunt himself much to the dismay of the director.

Paramount Pictures

The explosion and subsequent jump through the window were shot on a soundstage at Paramount Studios, with Cruise neglecting to use a stunt double. No less than sixteen tons of water were used for the scene, and seeing the actor’s face as he escapes only enhances the power of the scene, especially when you consider the very obvious drowning hazards.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II

Looking for a suitable way to reintroduce the character of Ethan Hunt at the beginning of Mission: Impossible II, Tom Cruise somehow arrived at the conclusion that free climbing the sheer cliffs of Utah’s Dead Horse Point would do the job. Although stunt doubles were used for the more dangerous moments, the studio was still understandably skeptical of having their star dangle precariously on a cliff-face hundreds of feet above the ground.mission_impossible_ii

While Cruise was wearing a harness during filming (which was digitally removed in post-production), there was no safety net in case anything went wrong. John Woo was reportedly terrified about having the actor perform so much of the climbing himself, but Cruise insisted on doing as much as possible and even ended up injuring his shoulder in the process when jumping from one part of the cliff to another. The end result is a dizzying opening sequence that uses sweeping aerial shots and wide angles to let the audience know that Tom Cruise’s daredevil instincts remain intact.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III

We remember him leaping off the roof of a skyscraper, but the leap, while dangerous, was made on a soundstage from a rooftop set piece. Perhaps more audacious was his slide underneath a fuel tanker truck; Cruise lay down in the middle of the road, only to have the huge vehicle jackknife directly over him. mi3First-time feature director J.J. Abrams has noted that he saw his career flash in front of his eyes as the truck came ever-closer to the A-list star. The end result is truly a remarkable stunt. Only a matter of inches separate Cruise from the underside of the tanker as it passes over him, and having the camera up close and personal only increases the tension of the scene.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE — GHOST PROTOCOL

One of the greatest action set-pieces in recent memory, Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol sees Tom Cruise scaling the outside of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building at a vertigo-inducing 2,722 feet. Of course, the actor decided to perform the entire sequence himself without the use of a stunt double, adding further realism to an already nail-biting scene. Ghost-ProtocolAlthough securely attached to the building with a safety harness, Cruise admits that he failed to anticipate the crosswinds that come with being up so high, which caused him to slam into the side of the building on numerous occasions. However, the combination of the actor’s dedication and some stunning camerawork create a sequence that is nothing short of awe-inspiring, with Cruise’s sprint down the outside of the building a particular highlight.

detail.0b970f20Genevieve Koski, writing in The Dissolve, says this about the stunt: “Cruise and director Brad Bird’s audacity comes through in the final product, and the sequence is rightfully brought up in discussions of the all-time greatest on-screen stunts. Here’s a good barometer for how impressive a practical stunt/effect is: Does it look just as awesome outside of the movie itself? To wit: The behind-the-scenes video of Cruise filming the sequence … is almost as intense as the final product.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE—ROGUE NATION opens July 31. In addition to Cruise, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames and Jeremy Renner return to the series; new cast members include Rebecca Ferguson, Alec Baldwin, Sean Harris, Simon McBurney, and Zhang Jingchu. Christopher McQuarrie directs and Robert Elswit is the cinematographer.  mission_impossible_A64F875DED234C2FA196DA05EB2B6613

How Dwayne Johnson Became The People’s Movie Star

AP734826878939This is a big week for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. SAN ANDREAS,  a disaster blockbuster in which he stars, arrives in theaters on Friday. BALLERS — an HBO series in which Johnson serves as both executive producer and star — premieres in June. Warner Brothers recently announced plans to develop a superhero film of SHAZAM, and Johnson revealed that he will play the nemesis Black Adam in the big screen adaptation of the DC comic book.

With all this activity, perhaps it is to be expected that Dwayne Johnson is everywhere in the media right now. Yet his omnipresence is more than the product of a busy publicity schedule. His public persona rises above any individual project, subsuming each role into the greater narrative, the one in which Dwayne Johnson conquers the world.

Scott Meslow examines the phenomenon in theweek.com under the headline “How Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Became the People’s Movie Star.” Meslow writes: “Johnson’s filmography is unusually eclectic, pivoting sharply from one movie to the next: big action movies to wacky comedies, weird indie movies to fun little cameos, often playing himself. The only unifying trait is that every role seems to have been carefully chosen to show off another aspect of his talent.”

Indeed, his career choices have been made carefully. Each new role is selected to enhance his brand. He is methodically creating a profile with broad appeal. His film debut role —  a significant cameo as The Scorpion King in THE MUMMY RETURNS —led to the starring role in the spinoff feature that followed, THE SCORPION KING. The picture made money and pointed to a future as an action star. Buddy films like THE RUNDOWN and WALKING TALL allowed Johnson to develop his screen presence while playing off of energetic co-stars.

Johnson then set about expanding his horizons. Jen Yamato, writing in The Daily Beast, charts the next phase of his career: “He took chances and diversified with a surprising comedic turn as a gay bodyguard/aspiring actor in BE COOL, a cameo in RENO 911! THE MOVIE, and a major role in Richard Kelly’s ambitious sci-fi satire SOUTHLAND TALES.”

detail.673ee91aDaniel Roberts, writing in Fortune, says, “You could argue that Johnson fully emerged as an actor with BE COOL in 2005, in which he played a gay bodyguard with an Afro. It was the first time he acted opposite A-list stars (Uma Thurman and John Travolta) and, more significantly, it helped establish that his groove was in action comedy.”

To establish himself in this new genre, Johnson moved into family films. Yamato continues: “The Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment became The Most Electrifying Man In All of Entertainment by shrewdly trading in his crowd-pleasing brand of brow-raising brio for a relatable strain of All-American humility.

“That transformation started as The Rock went Disney as a footballer with a daughter he never knew he had in THE GAME PLAN, his first family flick and his last credited picture as ‘The Rock.’ The movie made $147 million worldwide, making it the most successful Johnson-fronted film to not feature violent action at the time.

“Then came GET SMART, RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN, and TOOTH FAIRY with a dose of friendly neighborhood brawn for the whole family. A scene-stealing blip of an appearance in 2010’s THE OTHER GUYS was a stroke of perfect casting: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson as the NYPD’s hotshot star cops.” In 2012 his JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND drove to a $335 million gross.

Having introduced himself to the family market, his next move was back to action films. His career was turbo-charged when he joined the FAST AND FURIOUS franchise in FAST FIVE. The picture helped boost his action cred, but Johnson was also widely credited with rejuvenating the Furious series.  The nickname ‘Franchise Viagra’ stuck, and he repeated the magic in G.I.JOE: RETALIATION the next year. After two more FURIOUS films, Dwayne Johnson finds himself standing on the entertainment mountaintop.

Smart career choices and the blessing of the box office gods don’t fully explain his success, however. Clearly he began with an extraordinary charm and charisma, qualities that audiences embraced from the beginning. Roberts tells us the story: “Johnson went from being so poor as a kid that he and his mother were evicted from their home, to Division I college football, to World Wrestling Entertainment, to Hollywood, to being the highest-grossing actor of 2013. How he did it is a case study in determination…

“The only child of a Canadian father and a Samoan mother, Johnson grew up like an Army brat, living everywhere from California to New Zealand to Texas, because his father, Rocky Johnson, was a professional wrestler and traveled the circuit. At age 15, Dwayne and his mother were living in a small studio in Honolulu when they came home to an eviction notice and a lock on the door. Their rent, at $180 a week, was too much for his mother, who cleaned hotel rooms. ‘It broke my heart,’ he says. The pair had no choice but to move to Nashville, where his dad was wrestling at the time. ‘I remember saying to myself, ‘I will do anything and everything I possibly can to make sure we never get evicted again.’ But what does that mean—what does it mean to be successful? Well, the successful men I admired all built their bodies.'”

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 2.40.40 PMJohnson played football in college, hoping for a pro career. He joined “the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League. That didn’t work out either; he was cut after two months. Broke, jobless, and embarrassed, he flew from Canada to Miami and called his father to drive from Tampa to get him. On the ride home, he emptied his pockets and found just seven dollars (hence his company’s name: 7 Bucks Productions).

“Johnson had never planned on going into the family business, and his father initially forbade it. But once he moved back in with his parents, and after weeks of depression, it seemed the obvious move. Rocky told Dwayne he had nothing to offer the sport; Dwayne, hurt, felt differently. ‘Looking back,’ he says, ‘I understand that he was thinking, ‘Man, I wrestled for 40 years, and this is what I have to show for it: a tiny apartment in Tampa. I don’t want this for you.’”

“It turned out that Johnson had a lot to offer the sport. He began wrestling in small-time matches as Flex Kavana, made it to the WWE in 1996 and took the name Rocky Maivia, and went on, as The Rock, to become the biggest superstar televised wrestling has ever seen. Fans of the ‘sport’—which is part verbal performance, part dance, and all theater—loved his charisma and family backstory.”

It took effort to convert the charm into stardom. One thing observers agree on is “how hard Johnson works.”

He takes each role seriously.  Speaking to comicbook.com about the upcoming role in SHAZAM, he says “It’s a mythology that I love. It’s been with me for almost 10 years now. What made me choose Black Adam  was, I just felt like Black Adam was inherently more interesting to me, because I felt like there were more layers to Black Adam, starting out as a slave, then ultimately becoming the anti-hero that we know today. But I’ve always said that’s got to be earned.”

He means earn the respect of the audience. Johnson tells Fortune: “From wrestling in flea markets (making $40 bucks a match) to used car dealerships to barns, to breaking attendance records in every major dome in the U.S., I learned that the most important relationship I will EVER have in business is the relationship I have with my audience. Pay attention to who you do your business for.” He earns his fans’ respect twice: in the performance of the role and in the marketing of the film.

Roberts explains: “Hollywood teems with hardworking actors, of course, but Johnson  goes further than most. He’s not done when the cameras stop rolling. He takes each movie’s promotion into his own hands, pushing it to his 56 million fans across social media, a platform that film insiders say is more valuable to a Dwayne Johnson flick than any ad campaign.”

Meslow concurs: ” the range of talents Johnson has displayed on the big-screen is just one half of the cocktail that has elevated him to superstardom. It’s the inherent likability Johnson shows off-screen — which he cannily harnesses on Twitter (8.7 million followers), Instagram (14.8 million followers), and Facebook (49 million likes) — that has earned him such an unusually loyal fandom.”

8fdb2cb7b90a58a3361cdded32d5e5efcc34e008His creative use of social media elevates his media reach. Last week, for example, he set a new Guinness World record for the Most Selfies Taken in Three Minutes. “The Furious 7 star broke the record at the UK premiere of his upcoming disaster flick San Andreas, snapping selfie after selfie with fans and revelers on the red carpet outside of London’s Odeon Leicester Square,” gushes US magazine. Traditional media outlets drool over this kind of publicity efficiency.

Johnson manages to be sincere in the process. Meslow says: “Following Johnson on social media feels like an actual window into his day-to-day life: unusually chatty, heavy on pictures, and full of upbeat affirmations about the best ways to live a happy life. … Johnson spends a lot of his social media platform promoting his various film and television projects — but first and foremost, he’s always promoting Dwayne Johnson.

Last week, Johnson scored a huge viral hit by serving as the officiant at a surprise wedding for Nick Mundy — a writer and fan who just happens to have 33,000-plus Twitter followers.” wlrockhandprints1And he turned the Chinese Theater hands-in-cement ceremony into an opportunity to thank Steven Spielberg, telling Reuters: “This man who has inspired me over the years, inspired movie-making and created characters that I loved…this man told me: ‘you’re going for it, and just keep going for it.”

The other piece of advice he treasures came from director Phil Joanou: Protect the thing that allows you to do what you do. Johnson rephrases it: “Around every corner always protect the engine that powers you.” (Fortune.)

Mostly, Dwayne is having fun, and it’s rubbing off on everyone. John Patterson sums it up in his SAN ANDREAS review in The Guardian: “As he has refined his brand, Johnson has stepped out. His recurrent appearances on SNL, playing Hulk-like, shape-shifting Potus “The Rock” Obama, have been ridiculously endearing (especially whenever he flings Ted Cruz out of a window), and you haven’t lived until you’ve seen him lip-sync Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off with Jimmy Fallon (“Oh Jimmy, your ass is gettin’ ready to know Tay-Tay!”). There is an unadulterated joy to be derived from watching a performer make all the right movies, one after another. Vive Le Rock! ” roc17_3

 

A Very Murray Christmas – Watch the Teaser

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 06:  Bill Murray at the "St. Vincent" Press Conference at the Fairmont Royal York on September 6, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario.  (Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage)

Slashfilm reports that Netflix will present the holiday special                A VERY MURRAY CHRISTMAS. Bill Murray will star as a fictional TV celebrity named Bill Murray in “an homage to the classic variety show … as he worries no one will show up to his TV show due to a terrible snow storm in New York City.”

By some holiday miracle, though, the show goes on. “Through luck and perseverance, guests arrive at the Carlyle hotel to help him; dancing and singing in holiday spirit,” the press release continues.

Variety reports that guests include George Clooney, Paul Shaffer, Amy Poehler, Julie White, Dimitri Dimitrov, Michael Cera, Chris Rock, David Johansen, Maya Rudolph, Jason Schwartzman, Jenny Lewis, Phoenix, Frederic Moulin, Rashida Jones, and Miley Cyrus.

The director is Sofia Coppola. She and Murray will write A VERY MURRAY CHRISTMAS along with Mitch Glazer, who co-wrote Murray’s Christmas classic SCROOGED, and was Associate Producer on the Coppola directed LOST IN TRANSLATION.

Murray first revealed his plans for the Christmas special last year. “It won’t have a format, but it’s going to have music,” he told Variety at the time. “It will have texture. It will have threads through it that are writing. There will be prose. It will have a patina style and wit to it.” Coppola added,  “It will be nice. My motivation is to hear him singing my song requests.”

Here’s the teaser:

“Make It Cool Or I’ll Kill You” — The Apocalyptic Cars of MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

“In the MAD MAX world they worship machinery,” says Director/Screenwriter/Producer George Miller in this featurette about the insane vehicles in MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. To deliver these incredible machines, Miller turned to production designer Colin Gibson, saying “Make it cool or I’ll kill you.”1250584678943245483Gibson treated the assignment as if he were casting actors, looking for individuality and distinctive traits. “We wanted to find things that were iconic,” Gibson tells Jalopnik. “Cars that had a particular resonance in Australia, and then design them as the boys would’ve.” 1250584678635445931The cars needed to look right, but they also had to perform. “Cars were a metaphor for power,” says Gibson. “Forget about hunkering down in a bunker—come the end of the world, steal a V-8, steal a gun, you’re gonna last a little longer.”  Miller insisted on everything being practical: “We decided to shoot the film old school, with real vehicles and real people,” he says.1250584679344646827“The vehicles are almost an extension of the characters,” Miller continues. As a result the film is filled with “cars brimming with personality and with an absolute minimum of technology,” writes Damon Lavrinc in Jalopnik. “They had to be shells to impose and convey each of the character’s motivations – stars unto themselves that could stand alone, and also stand up to the sheer lunacy of what Miller had planned.”1250584679088716459Case in point: Charlize Theron’s War Rig, shown above, being attacked by men on long, high tensile steel poles. Those are stuntmen on the poles, not mannequins or CGI humans.1250584679022559403Gibson says, “We basically tried to build the vehicles the way it would have been done in the apocalypse.” His guys built 88 individual cars; at the end of the day, counting backup cars plus the variations that got blown up or ripped apart, they created 150 vehicles in all. 1250584679257699243The film was photographed by John Seale (THE ENGLISH PATIENT, WITNESS, DEAD POET’S SOCIETY) who came out of retirement to shoot the picture. His goal was to immerse the viewer in the action. “It’s always been a part of my work philosophy to…make it as smooth as possible for the audience to view it, because I feel if you can do that you’re going to suck the audience out of their seat and… put them in the situation. And you’ve got to hold them there, you know?” Seale tells Hitfix. “This was all part of George’s philosophy, to get them in the movie in the first two shots and hold them there for another 112 minutes.”1250584679496028331Tom Hardy stars in the title role (originated by Mel Gibson.) He’s joined by Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, and Zoe Kravitz.safe_image

Jon M. Chu’s ‘Totally Outrageous’ JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS Trailer

Universal has released the new trailer for Jon M. Chu’s latest musical film. A live action adaptation of the classic animated series, JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS stars Aubrey Peeples, Stefanie Scott, Hayley Kiyoko, Aurora Perrineau, Juliette Lewis, Ryan Guzman and Molly Ringwald. It opens October 23.

Slashfilm calls it “Jon Chu’s Totally Outrageous Film Adaptation,” and asks: “It’s one of those classic rags to riches stories, it’s got a One Direction song in it and Molly Ringwald—how can you beat that?”

The executive producers are Jason Blum (Whiplash, Paranormal Activity) and Scooter Braun (Justin Bieber Never Say Never.) Jem-Poster

Rachel McAdams Talks TRUE DETECTIVE — “JOB OF A LIFETIME”

RachelRachel McAdams opens up to Marie Claire about her role in the upcoming second season of TRUE DETECTIVE on HBO. Information about the project has been guarded, so even this abbreviated conversation is of interest.

Excerpt from Marie Claire:

Rachel McAdams [is] something of a complicated proposition, because it turns out Rachel McAdams is not really all that interested in being a movie star. What Rachel McAdams loves to do is act.

“What I love is dropping into someone else’s life and exploring it,” she says … She’s in town from Toronto, shooting season two of HBO’s hit gothic crime drama True Detective with Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn, which she describes as “the job of a lifetime.” McAdams, 36, plays Detective Ani Bezzerides—a hard drinkin’, hard gamblin’, cigarette smokin’ Ventura county cop … trying to solve a grisly murder. “I love the exploration of someone who has such a different background from you. That exploration runs to compassion, and to cracking yourself open and creating more understanding of how weird and amazing life is.”

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The show’s creator Nic Pizzolatto has said that this season will feature “bad men, hard women.” McAdams likes the fact her character is not a familiar one. She says:

“I love that she’s not the girlfriend or the wife. She doesn’t really care what everyone thinks; she feels no responsibility for other people’s feelings. She’s not trying to be charming, which isn’t always the case with a leading lady. There’s [usually] sort of a responsibility to be a little bit likeable… Not that you want to be a horrendous character, just a little more human.”

TRUE DETECTIVE returns to HBO on June 21.

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The ‘Disconcerting Psychology’ of True Detective 2, Plus New Character Posters

HBO has just released new character posters for the four stars of TRUE DETECTIVE, season 2. Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch look intense despite the fact that each image is cropped just below the eyes. There’s an ominous tagline, “We get the world we deserve,” and with these designs Slashfilm wonders “if any of these characters can see that new world coming.” true-detective-colintrue-detective-vincetrue-detective-racheltrue-detective-taylorCreator and showrunner Nic Pizzolatto says there is no connection between the events in season one, which starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, and the plot of season two. “There’s no relationship between the stories or characters, which was the result of fully committing to something new, but I do think that the seasons have a deep, close bond in sensibility and vision, a similar soul, though this is a more complex world and field of characters,” he tells Medium.

Also, season 2 features no occult element or baroque Southern creepiness: “The gothic horror suggested by Louisiana’s coastal landscape didn’t feel appropriate in this place. These new landscapes have their own unique voice and their own unsettling qualities. While there’s nothing occult in this season, I think there’s a disconcerting psychology to this world, and its characters have other kinds of uncanny reality with which to contend,” says Pizzolatto.

Season 2 sounds like it has its own identity: “We were conscious of not wanting to repeat ourselves … And there was the conviction that if we were to do something entirely new, then we shouldn’t lean on past conceits, but really build from scratch,” he concludes.

Here’s the first teaser in case you missed it:

The lyrics to the teaser’s haunting original song (performed by Lera Lynn) certainly point to a disconcerting psychology: “change will come to those who have no fear,” “were we like a battlefield locked inside a holy war,” “were we like a pair of thieves, tumbled locks and broken codes, you cannot take that from me,” “your love is my due diligence, the only thing worth fighting for.”