You want Oscar predictions? You got 'em. I posted mine last night, and Kris and Gerard's will arrive today, but if that's still not enough for you, Tom O'Neil has gathered the guesswork of 31 pundits (yours truly included) across 14 categories -- more than enough to make you second-guess yourself many times over. With this vast chart of predictions, it's most interesting to seek out the wild-card picks: I'm somewhat alarmed to see I'm the only one stumping for Brad Pitt in Supporting Actor, while you might be surprised to see a few mentions of Charlize Theron in the Best Actress rundown. As for Best Picture, I'm not alone in my "Tinker, Tailor" hunch, while others are plumping for "Bridesmaids" -- and there's no consensus whatsoever on how many nominees there even will be. Browse away. [Gold Derby]
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PARK CITY - James Murphy wants a new job in music. Or rather, "to figure out how to make it my job without making it my job in the same way."
It's been about nine months since the LCD Soundsystem frontman waved goodbye to fans from the stage at Madison Square Garden and during those weeks he's busily helped build the film "Shut Up and Play the Hits" around LCD's final hours, the days before after the band had officially called it quits.
And now the movie has bowed, at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, another job done.
When I spoke to Murphy at the film premiere last night (Jan. 22), he seemed calm, if not plainly wary of the fact that every fan (and journalist) wants to know what he's up to next.
"I had fun and I want to be able to do things that I wouldn’t have been able to do before in the band. And ['Shut Up...'] is one of the things that I wanted to do that I couldn’t do before," he said. Beyond this, he said, he doesn't know.
Collaboration wouldn't be out of the question, since its been central to his career with LCD and beyond. He had help from Arcade Fire and Reggie Watts at the finale. Aside from starring in "Shut Up...," he also plays a role in another Sundance pick "The Comedy," directed by Rick Alverson and starring Tim Heidecker along with half a dozen musicians and comedians like Richard Swift, Heidecker's other half Eric Wareheim and Okkervil River's Will Sheff. Murphy plans to continue working with the roster at DFA Records, the label he helped to co-found. He's obviously got plenty of old and new friends who could help out on whatever it is he wants to do. But with his unsurety comes some skepticism and even healthy cynicism.
A quick review of last night's "Shameless" coming up just as soon as I misspell my name on a loan application...
Anthology movies are incredibly difficult to pull off, and when you add "anthology film" to "found footage," a genre buzzword that is starting to wear out its welcome thanks to countless awful examples, it sounded to me like "V/H/S" was about as big a risk as anything playing here this week.
Hats off, then, to the entire team of filmmakers who collaborated on what I would honestly call one of the scariest movies I've seen in recent memory. And unlike many anthology films, "V/H/S" works as a cohesive piece, which is even more surprising because at the Q&A tonight, it was apparent that the filmmakers did not compare notes on their individual segments. What works first and foremost is the aesthetic of the film. One of the things that drove me crazy about "The Pact" the other night is just how threadbare most of the ideas were. We live in a world full of technology and marvels that horror films almost seem to resist acknowledging. How many horror films have you seen that treat cell phones as little more than an inconvenience to be explained away? How many horror films rely on tropes that have been around since before you were born? While I love the genre, I often get frustrated at how few new ideas there are in horror, and how slow filmmakers often are to even try innovation.
PARK CITY - It took long enough, but the 2012 Sundance Film Festival finally produced a big winner. The feature debut of Colin Trevorrow, "Safety Not Guaranteed," premiered Sunday evening to a festival looking to embrace something (anything entertainingly good) and this new comedy absolutely fit the bill.
We're off to San Diego for another day of auditions. If you're still watching, that is. In other news, the New York Giants are going to the Super Bowl. Now, let's get to the really important stuff -- singing!
10:58 p.m. EST Today's auditions will be like no other… because they will take place on the U.S.S. Midway in San Diego. That's nice, I guess, although I'd think an aircraft carrier and its crew has more important work to do than hosting 10,000 people and a TV show.
This was a nice way to wake up.
Back in 2009, which was the first HitFix trip to Sundance, I enjoyed two of the movies we saw, "Humpday" and "The Freebie." This year, both creative teams are here in different combinations, and again, I think it's interesting work. In the case of "Black Rock," this is about as far away from Katie Aselton's first film as it could be.
"The Freebie" told the story of a married couple, played by Aselton and Dax Shepherd, who decide to give each other the night off from marriage, with no consequences, allowing their partner to sleep with anyone they want. There are, of course, ramifications to a choice like that, and the film did a nice job of showing how that fallout might land. This time, Aselton is working in a very different genre, one that she's not a fan of for the most part, and she had to develop a tight relationship with the two women who co-star both with and for her.
Day two of Sundance was really my first full day, starting around 7:00 AM and ending at about 2:30 the next morning. I did my best to capture images and moments and a few on-the-fly chats as I went, and hopefully this should give you some sense of things.
One of the things that's a little hard to fully convey, even in video, is the random nature of encounters up here. You'll be sitting in the Yarrow lobby writing and suddenly Mike Judge walks by, or you're walking out at the end of the movie and Malin Ackerman is in front of you, excitedly discussing the movie with her friends, or, as you'll see in this piece, you might even run into a director as he arrives at the festival, film literally in hand.
It was great to catch up with Don Coscarelli, who I got to know a little bit during the "Masters Of Horror" process, and I'm excited to see what he's done with David Wong's novel "John Dies At The End." It amazes me how filmmakers never really get over that nervousness about showing their film to an audience for the first time, and I spent some time talking to him about this movie, our experiences on "Masters," and just catching up in general. We'll have a more formal sit-down in a few days, but it was a great moment.