20. Mud

DIRECTOR: Jeff Nichols

CAST: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Paulson, Sam Shepard and Michael Shannon

RELEASE DATE: TBD

Take Shelter writer/director Jeff Nichols continues his string of ominous Southern parables, and McConaughey continues his string of challenging and interesting work, with the story of two young boys who befriend a fugitive.

 

Trance

It would’ve been easier to write a list called “The Only 3 Movies I Won’t See in 2013,” but that wouldn’t have done anybody any good. So instead I made an entirely subjective list of 40 reasons why I think this will be an amazing year for film. Missing are big films that I’m just not that enthusiastic about (The Hunger Games: Catching FireMan of Steel), films that would be on the list if it weren’t for the director’s last film being a total letdown (e.g. Ridley Scott’s The Counselor; thanks a lot, Prometheus!), and films that would be on the list had I written it any other day (sorry, The EastLowlife, and Kill Your Darlings). For the most part, the order is arbitrary. However, the top five are set in stone, and if I could only watch one movie this year it would be the film at number one.

So, without any further ado…

CrystalLoweHRPlease explain what just happened.

I just finished steeping my AMAZING red velvet cake tea.

 

What is your earliest memory?

My earliest memory is dressing up and acting out the stories that my mom would read to me.

 

If you weren’t an actress, what other profession would you choose?

I would produce film and TV.

Start your New Year off with a little Bad Writing, Vernon Lott’s documentary featuring Margaret Atwood, David Sedaris, Nick Flynn and more, streaming for free all month:

 

pulp fiction

 

Once, to make up for a childhood deprived of the dance lessons, I enrolled myself in the nearest dance studio at age twenty-two. There I was, mastering heel digs and jazz hands with a dozen eleven-year-olds, living the dream. Mind you, I was 5’10 and all limbs, and when I wasn’t triggering a little-kid pile up I was working with the instructor on arm positioning to affect grace instead of sailor knots. It was a short-lived venture, but now I’m thinking I went about it the wrong way. Maybe all I needed were a few cinematic examples. So to usher in 2013 with the right moves, I’ve rounded up some of cinema’s most badass dance scenes in one handy playlist. Just to make things interesting, my rules were: no musicals (like Singing in the Rain) and no movies about dancing (like Footloose). And away we go:

I wanted to make a movie list for Christmas, but not a list of Christmas movies, so I decided to zero in on something we often wish for but rarely get for Christmas in Texas where I live: snow. (Funnily enough, we might actually get it this year.) What follows is a chronological list of some of the most memorable moments in film where snow has made a cameo, whether it’s playing a key role or just hanging out in the background. Warning: may contain spoilers.

Okay, full disclosure:  I’m not exactly a gamer.  In my house, you’ll find the likes of Skyrim, Call of Duty, and The Sims along with more than one brand of video console, but none of these are mine.  When I was eleven, you see, my mother sat me down in the doctor’s office as my right hand cramped into a seemingly permanent knot, convinced I was experiencing some kind of debilitating vitamin deficiency.  Nope.  It was Atari joystick carpal tunnel.  That was a thing.  And now you understand.  I’ve been on the wagon since 1987, but I’m willing to bail for Meriwether:  An American Epic, a role-playing game-in-development created by Sortasoft LLC designer Joshua DeBonis and writer (and, full disclosure, my friend) Carlos Hernandez.  The two met roughly five years ago via the Board Game Designers Forum in New York City where Hernandez learned of DeBonis’ fascination with the Lewis and Clark expedition and DeBonis learned of Hernandez’s gift for narrative.  Thus the Meriwether wheels were set in motion.  As Meriwether gathers funds from its Kickstarter campaign as well as interest from the likes of The Atlantic Monthly, I asked DeBonis and Hernandez to sit down for a conversation that covered everything from game design to the craft of writing to Borges to Roger Ebert to my eminent retreat from the real world sometime around November of 2013 when Meriwether officially drops.

With the November 20 release of Larry Clark’s Marfa Girl as a $5.99 pay-per-view feature-length film on his personal website, Clark (Kids, Bully) joins the ranks of indie directors (see Hal Hartley) who’ve been circumventing the system and, as he notes on his site, cutting out “the crooked Hollywood distributors.” Earlier this week Marfa Girl proved a hit at its Rome Film Festival premier, earning the Golden Marc’ Aurelio for Best Film. The synopsis from Clark’s site:

While the twenty-third Bond flick Skyfall enjoys its record-breaking box office debut, the auto and lifestyle online magazine Web2Carz is featuring an exclusive interview by Steve Karras with the man who’d shaped the look of the franchise in its earlier years – award-winning production designer Sir Ken Adam.  Adam has seven of the Bond films to his credits in addition to films like Agnes of God, The Madness of King George, and Dr. Strangelove. In the interview Adam discusses his family’s escape from Nazi Germany, his time in the RAF, 007, and his work with Stanley Kubrick.

Worried about how you’re going to get your zombie fix after the latest season of The Walking Dead is over? Well, fear no more. A double-dose of apocalyptic euphoria is on the way.

While I’d taken it upon myself to pick some horrific non-horror films a few Halloweens ago (Guillermo del Toro’s eyes-in-the-hands guy, you’re always on my mind), this year I was interested to know what my fellow TNB contributors might say were the most terrifying movie scenes they’ve endured to date. Below, if you dare to read on, you’ll find those iconic dead-eyed twins, bad hell-spawn hair, an unfathomable choice, and more, but first I’ll get this party started with Willy Wonka’s boat ride from the 1971 Mel Stuart film.  Most of my phobias can be traced back to these two manic minutes in the tunnel:

If you peruse the Arts and Culture archives of TNB’s 21 Questions, particularly the part that asks for a favorite actor, you’ll find Daniel Day-Lewis to be the most common answer.  He’s an actor’s actor, I suppose.  And also, he’s just that good.  I’m convinced, anyway, that if it weren’t for his casting as Abe in Spielberg’s Lincoln, fewer of us would be paying attention.  As TNB helmsman Brad Listi recently tweeted:

Please explain what just happened.

If you mean just now, I would have to say I just read this question.

 

What is your earliest memory?

You remember those small baby bike seats that your parents would put on the back of the bike? I remember riding in that with my dad and the way the bike swaying back and forth felt. Other than that, I feel like I was born yesterday.

It would seem Alfred Hitchcock is silhouetting himself into the public consciousness once again. He’s everywhere these days. For one thing, Vertigo recently (finally!) rose above Citizen Kane to top Sight and Sound Magazine’s best movies of all time. All time. The end. For another, there are Hitchcock biopics aplenty on the horizon. On October 20, HBO premieres The Girl, based on Tippi Hedren’s account of working with Hitch on The Birds, and the feature film Hitchcock — starring Scarlett Johansson, Helen Mirren, and Anthony Hopkins as the man himself — hits the big screen November 23. Behold, the trailer:

When the first glimpses of Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln surfaced, I thought, is there anything Day-Lewis can’t do?  Now that the first full trailer of Lincoln is here, I know the answer is nope.  Lincoln, directed by Stephen Spielberg and starring Tommy Lee Jones, Jared Harris, Sally Field, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, opens in select theaters on November 9 and nationwide on November 16.