Browse Updates
Jul 17
2020

Charlie Kaufman always takes his viewer on a ride, but I’m Thinking of Ending Things — his first live-action film in more than a decade — raises his obsession with subjective experience to bracing new levels. “I don’t set out to do a mindf—,” the Oscar-winning filmmaker says. “I’m not setting out to do something that ‘tops’ some sort of brainteaser I might have done before. But there’s no question that I’m trying to build on the stuff that I’ve already done.” Indeed, fans of the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind scribe and Synecdoche, New York director should pick up traces of his past work here. Ending Things begins as a sort of moody couple’s road trip, in which Jake (Jesse Plemons) and his girlfriend (Jessie Buckley) drive out to his (slightly haunted) childhood home for her to meet his parents (David Thewlis and Toni Collette). On the way there, the sense slowly builds that things aren’t quite what they seem; upon arrival, the pair are thrust in directions that bend the laws of reality, memory, and love. “Loneliness and hopelessness and regret — these are things that are part of the fabric of this film,” Kaufman says. The complete article can be read over at Entertainment Weekly.

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Photo Gallery – Career Photography – I’m Thinking of Ending Things – Production Stills

Jul 12
2020

Charlie Kaufman’s “I’m thinking of Ending Things”, based on an acclaimed Iain Reid novel, involves a young man (Jesse Plemons) taking his new girlfriend (Jessie Buckley) to visit his parents (David Thewlis and Toni Collette) on an isolated farm. But on the way there… well, “something happens.” To say anything more would spoil a twisted, diabolical narrative on page that Kaufman will undoubtedly stretch and twist to its absolute breaking point. He’s assembled himself an outstanding cast — I especially love the parental combination of Collette and Thewlis, both so great at “horrifically screaming at their scene partners.” A Collider article on the upcoming release has more information: I’m also intrigued by some of star Plemons’ comments regarding the making of the film: “I was pretty intimidated because we were shooting on average 11 pages a day, every day, on a stage, prop guys throwing snow. It was almost… ‘psychological torture’ is too strong, but it did have a strange effect. Jessie and I became delirious and were laughing a lot. The longest take is something like 16 minutes I think? So it was like ‘Action! See ya in a while!’ It changed acting for me in a way, I think.”

Jun 25
2020

Here comes an insightful article by The Hollywood Reporter on Toni’s upcoming film “Stowaway”. Almost exactly a year ago, in what seems now a distant universe — pre-novel coronavirus pandemic, pre-lockdown — I was crouched next to a monitor as Anna Kendrick and Daniel Dae Kim floated past me and above my head. As I watch, director Joe Penna calls out to the wire technicians to adjust the cables — nearly invisible — that hold Kendrick and Kim dangling in their harnesses, 30 feet in the air. “We’re used to seeing weightlessness in space in a certain way but I think I’ve found a few new takes,” Penna says. “Throughout the film the amount of gravity shifts, from 1 G all the way down to 0 G, or completely weightless. At each stage they’re going to move differently, each stage will look different.” It’s July 12, 2019 and we’re on a soundstage at the MMC Studios in Cologne, Germany. Penna is in the home stretch shooting Stowaway, a space drama he co-wrote with his frequent collaborator, and editor, Ryan Morrison. They had the idea for the movie — a morality play set on a spaceship traveling to Mars — long before coronavirus. But with their story of a small group in isolation, cut off the rest of the world, and worried about the dangers that lurk just outside, the two may have inadvertently made the ultimate film for the pandemic. “It’s stranger than fiction,” says Aram Tertazakian from XYZ Films, which produced Stowaway and, together with CAA Media Finance, is presenting it to buyers at the Virtual Cannes Market this week. “Joe and Ryan didn’t predict the pandemic, but the themes of the movie have a particular resonance right now.” Actually, Joe and Ryan did predict the pandemic. At the Tribeca Film Festival last year they debuted a short web series, Release, about a deadly virus outbreak in the United States. “It was scary how close we got to the real thing,” says Morrison, speaking from his office in Los Angeles on June 10. “I actually had to visit a hospital at the peak of the outbreak and it looked exactly like the sets we designed for Release.” The complete article can be read over at The Hollywood Reporter.

Jun 10
2020

The Peabody Awards has named 30 programs as the most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting and digital media during 2019. The organization also announced “FRONTLINE” and “The Simpsons” as recipients of Institutional Awards. This distinctive honor goes to programs that have made a significant impact on media programming and the cultural landscape. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Peabody Awards Ceremony—originally slated to take place in Los Angeles for the first time on June 18—is canceled. In lieu of the live event, many recipients recorded acceptance speeches (almost all of which were recorded prior to the protests over the George Floyd killing). You can watch the acceptance speeches recorded by Ayelet_Waldman and Michael Chabon, Kaitlyn Dever, Merritt Wever, Sarah Timberman and Susannah Grant on Dropbox.

Drawing from a true story, Susannah Grant, Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon expertly pen a rape investigation for the #MeToo era, showing not just what police work should look like, but what a mediated account of rape should entail. With standout performances from Toni Collette, Merritt Wever and Kaitlyn Dever, the series serves as a model for how storytellers can implore society to believe women but also how to shift the ways we talk about rape.

Timberman-Beverly Productions, Sage Lane Productions, Escapist Fare, Katie Couric Media, and CBS Television Studios for Netflix (Netflix)

May 23
2020

According to an article by IF, David Wenham was set to fly to Vancouver to star in the Netflix drama series Pieces of Her when the producers were forced to shut down production on the day principal photography was due to start. He was to have joined Toni Collette and Bella Heathcote in the eight-part thriller based on the 2018 crime novel by Karin Slaughter from the all-female creative team led by Charlotte Stoudt, Bruna Papandrea, Lesli Linka Glatter and Minkie Spiro. Scripted by Stoudt and to be directed by Spiro, the series is set in a sleepy Georgia town where a random act of violence sets off an unexpected chain of events for 30-year-old Andy Oliver (Heathcote) and her mother Laura (Collette), a speech therapist. Desperate for answers, Andy embarks on a dangerous journey across America, drawing her toward the dark, hidden heart of her family. In a webinar with Adam Cook, head of acting at Actors Centre Australia, Wenham said Netflix has assured the cast and crew of all Netflix productions they are still contracted and filming will resume as soon as it is safe to do so. Wenham will play Jasper Queller, a character from Laura’s secret past life. It will be Wenham’s and Collette’s third collaboriation after 1996’s “Cosi” and 1998’s “The Boys”.

Apr 11
2020

As expected due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bleecker Street’s “Dream Horse”, which was supposed to release theaters on April 17, has been moved to a September 04, 2020 release date in the United Kingdom. Guillermo del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley” has also suspended production indefinitely. The decision was made on behalf of Disney, which is putting a hold on nearly all of its live-action productions at the moment, including 20th Century and Searchlight projects. Del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley” is adapted by the filmmaker and film critic Kim Morgan from the 1946 William Lindsay Gresham novel of the same name. The project is Del Toro’s first since “The Shape of Water,” which took home top Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. The ensemble cast includes Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Ron Perlman, Rooney Mara, and David Strathairn. Del Toro kicked off production at the end of January and had been shooting the film in Toronto. “Nightmare Alley” casts Cooper as an ambitious carnival worker with a talent for manipulating people with his words. Cooper’s character uses his gift to carry out con jobs, but his life is thrown into disarray after he falls for a mysterious psychiatrist (Blanchett) who proves far more dangerous than he could ever image. The carnival cast includes carnival worker Molly (Mara), head barker Clem (Willem Dafoe), and del Toro’s “Hellboy” actor Perlman as Bruno the Strongman. Jenkins, an Oscar nominee for “Shape of Water,” stars in the part of the high society crowd as wealthy industrialist Ezra Grindle.” Disney and Searchlight never assigned a release date for “Nightmare Alley,” but many were hoping the movie would turn up on the fall festival circuit and be ready for the upcoming awards season. Those release wishes are now in jeopardy now that production is on hold indefinitely.