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Director Michel Gondry Remakes ‘Taxi Driver’ with Video

Director Michel Gondry Remakes ‘Taxi Driver’ with Video

Director Michel Gondry Remakes ‘Taxi Driver’ with Video

Michel Gondry was at one time a pretty hailed filmmaker around these parts. The director of a great movie, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, he was on our list of one to watch. At this point though, it appears his career, like Fernando Meirelles, may go the direction of a one-hit wonder variety. 2011’s The Green Hornet appeared to be a particular low-point.

Now, the director returns to his roots, with ultra low budget filmmaking (thanks CP), ala 2008’s Jack Black led Be Kind, Rewind (another flop for the most part). Figured I would pass along this Taxi Driver remake video that was recently posted, directed by and starring Gondry himself.  The process is called “sweding” and this short film has a laugh or two. This could be viewed as fun (most likely) or desperate (hopefully not), from a career standpoint. Have a look and enjoy.


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2014 Oscar Winners List from 86th Annual Academy Awards

2014 Oscar Winners List from 86th Annual Academy Awards

2014 Oscar Winners List from 86th Annual Academy Awards

Tonight at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, the 86th Annual Academy Awards were distributed during the 2014 Oscar ceremony, just a few miles from here. The show itself, as per the norm, tends to be pretty boring and corporate, with horrible gags like passing out pizza, but perhaps those are the trappings of an awards show in almost any capacity. The rare Pharrell performance a noted exception.

There are always snubs and disappointments. This time around, my favorite film of 2013, Spike Jonze’s Her, which was also the most poignant (with the possible exception of 12 Years A Slave) released this past year, went without the big victory but took home one writing award. Still, there were notable and deserved winners in many categories. Have a look at the complete winners list below. Check out the Academy’s website for more.

Best Motion Picture: 12 Years A Slave

Achievement in Directing: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years A Slave

Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years A Slave, John Ridley

Original Screenplay: Her, Spike Jonze

Original Score: Gravity, Steven Price

Original Song: “Let It Go,” Lopez’s; Frozen

Best Animated Feature Film: Frozen

Best Animated Short Film: Mr. Hublot

Achievement in Cinematography: Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki

Achievement in Visual Effects: Gravity

Achievement in Costume Design: The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin

Achievement in Makeup & Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club

Best Live-Action Short Film: Helium

Best Documentary Short Subject: The Lady In Number 6

Best Documentary Feature: 20 Feet From Stardom

Best Foreign-Language Film: The Great Beauty (Italy)

Achievement in Sound Mixing: Gravity

Achievement in Sound Editing: Gravity

Achievement in Film Editing: Gravity

Achievement in Production Design: The Great Gatsby

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2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards Winners List

2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards Winners List

2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards Winners List

There was no real surprise at the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards, the ceremony which aired last night. For a list of all the 2014 Spirit Awards nominees, look here. The big winner of the night was 12 Years A Slave as it took home several statues. Both lead actors and Oscar faves from Dallas Buyers Club cashed in as well. This of course serves as the final precursor to today’s potentially rain-soaked Academy Awards here in LA. It is March after all, so why not be celebrating films that came out up to 14 months ago? Sweet. For the full list of the winners, have a look below. Cred: Film Independent

Full list of winners below:

12 Years a Slave

Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave

John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)
Fruitvale Station

Bob Nelson, Nebraska

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Given to the best feature made for under $500,000.  Award given to the writer, director, and producer.  Executive Producers are not awarded.
This Is Martin Bonner

Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

12 Years a Slave

Short Term 12

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer)
20 Feet From Stardom

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)
Blue is the Warmest Color

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The Piaget Producers Award honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.
Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – (Given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast)
Director: Jeff Nichols
Casting Director: Francine Maisler
Ensemble Cast: Joe Don Baker / Jacob Lofland / Matthew McConaughey / Ray McKinnon / Sarah Paulson / Michael Shannon / Sam Shepard / Tye Sheridan / Paul Sparks / Bonnie Sturdivant / Reese Witherspoon

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President Obama Releases Statement on Talent Harold Ramis’ Death

President Obama Releases Statement on Talent Harold Ramis’ Death

President Obama Releases Statement on Harold Ramis’ Death

Sadly, a growing category of deaths continues to hit Tinseltown. Hollywood multi-talent Harold Ramis passed on Monday. Most of you know this by now. The director, writer and actor died at age 69 due to a four year battle with auto-immune inflammatory vasculitis. When he passed, given the recent deaths of James Gandolfini and perhaps even more notably, Philip Seymour Hoffman, few could have expected the outpouring of love and support of the man and his talents. It’s natural for Hollywood to have a reaction to the passing of one of their own, such as when Judd Apatow commented on Ramis:

“Harold Ramis made almost every movie which made me want to become a comedy director. Animal House, Stripes, Ghostbusters, Vacation, Groundhog Day. These films are the touchstones of our lives. I interviewed him when I was 16 years old for my high school radio station and he could not have been more gracious and hilarious. I looked up to him as a director but even more so as a man. We hired him to play Seth’s father in Knocked Up because we all saw him as the dream dad – funny, warm and wise. Harold was one of the nicest people I have ever met and he inspired countless people to go into comedy. His brilliant work will make people happy forever.”

Great words and sentiments to the Ghostbusters star and writer. But when the POTUS Barack Obama gets involved, the passing becomes even more noteworthy. The President released the following statement on Harold:

Michelle and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Harold Ramis, one of America’s greatest satirists, and like so many other comedic geniuses, a proud product of Chicago’s Second City. When we watched his movies – from “Animal House” and “Caddyshack” to “Ghostbusters” and “Groundhog Day” – we didn’t just laugh until it hurt. We questioned authority. We identified with the outsider. We rooted for the underdog. And through it all, we never lost our faith in happy endings. Our thoughts and prayers are with Harold’s wife, Erica, his children and grandchildren, and all those who loved him, who quote his work with abandon, and who hope that he received total consciousness.

Chicago native or not, those are significant words. Ramis will indeed be missed. Thanks to Deadline for info.

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Seth Rogen To Write, Direct ‘Console Wars’ Movie

Seth Rogen To Write, Direct ‘Console Wars’ Movie

Seth Rogen To Write, Direct ‘Console Wars’ Movie

Star of screen and screen Seth Rogen (This Is The End) will write and co-direct (and presumably star in) the movie Console Wars, based on Sega’s classic battle with Nintendo for video gaming supremacy 20 years ago. The movie is set to be a “cinematic thriller” based on the Blake Harris novel of the same name, Here’s more:

The book has all the makings of a Hollywood movie, with the likable underdog Sega going up against industry Goliath Nintendo. This was the era of classic video games like Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Metroid, and Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog and Earthworm Jim.

The book will be released in May and the foreword was penned by Rogen and buddy Evan Goldberg. Not entirely sure what to make of this based on the still flimsy details. I’m still reeling from Rogen going thin from his initially chubby and more loveable phase. If you have thoughts or know more, chime in.

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Dysfunctional Families & Violence Centered in ‘Starred Up’ Trailer

Dysfunctional Families & Violence Centered in ‘Starred Up’ Trailer

A movie about troubled young people, dysfunctional families and violence

You may think that the prison is not a place someone would chose on purpose to be, but there are people who find it as the perfect stage for their future lives. The new movie brought to us by the 20th Century Fox, called Starred Up” centers on a prison story, showing complex characters whose adult lives, start and end behind the bars.

The main character of the movie, Eric, is played by the amazing “Skins” star, Jack O’Connell. By choice or not, the 19 year old Eric is “starred up” to a prison from a youth detention center. Basically, his adult life starts here and this is also the place where he meets his dad. The prison, of course, is not a classic arena for family reunions, but somehow this is what the main hero was coming towards to. Despite the brutal speeches and the aggressive attitude, for the whole movie the public is going to try to catch a little glimpse of hope and desire in Eric’s eyes. Maybe it is the fact that he is so young or is it just how we are always trying to find something good in bad, even when watching violent prison movies.

Next to Jack O’Connell, here we also get to see gorgeous actors like Rupert Friend and Ben Mendelsohn. The way they play the roles is simply outstanding, as you get to believe it all. The way they talk, they act and their thoughts are super realistic. Even the fact that you may not understand everything the convicted guys talk, makes it all just authentic. As the British prison slang has a huge impact on the atmosphere that’s created in “Starred Up”, making the lives of the characters look really tough and just weird for the audience. Even if it is violent and aggressive, the movie does not lose its dramatic part, as it becomes more and more intense and entertaining.

Directed by David Mackenzie, “Starred Up” brings to the public the issues of a modern society, including troubled young people, dysfunctional families and incredible violence. This March, the movie hits the cinemas.

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Sponsored Video: Lionsgate and Robert Rodriguez Deliver B-Movie Sequel ‘Machete Kills’

Sponsored Video: Lionsgate and Robert Rodriguez Deliver B-Movie Sequel ‘Machete Kills’

Sponsored Video: Lionsgate Films and Robert Rodriguez Deliver B-Movie Sequel ‘Machete Kills’

Director Robert Rodriguez shot to fame with his micro-budget Independent film, El Mariachi. He also helmed the Spy Kids franchise, Sin City, and the original Machete, among his ever-evolving filmography. For movie fans, his is indeed a household name. The whole concept behind Machete was spawned from a “fake” trailer that Rodriguez shot as part of his collaboration on Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse double feature a few years back. Who would have thought that a little trailer would lead to two movies (and counting!).

Machete Kills sees a new kind of adventure for ex-Federal agent Machete (Danny Trejo). He’s called upon by the U.S. President (Charlie Sheen, -yeah right!) to track down an evil billionaire (Mel Gibson, a bit of an exaggeration) who plots to spread terror across the Earth by launching a weapon into space. Yeah, that’s so over-the-top that only some hombre as loco as Machete can get the job done!

A star-laden cast returns to bring the film to life. Along with lead Trejo, Gibson, and Sheen; Sofia Vergara (sporting a bullet spraying bra!), Lady Gaga (the seductive La Chameleon) and Amber Heard (new wife to Johnny Depp) also make appearances in the flick. Raucous, non-stop action, stilted dialogue and blazing gunfire all are necessary elements for a true campy B-movie. Check on all the above counts for Machete Kills. But how do you up the ante even more? How about allowing users to create Vine videos in homage to the cheesy movie? Sweet. Have a look at the video below and make sure to take in Machete Kills!

This post is sponsored by Lionsgate Films, but all thoughts are The Film Nest’s.


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‘Boyz ‘N The Hood’ Director John Singleton Lands 2Pac Biopic

‘Boyz ‘N The Hood’ Director John Singleton Lands 2Pac Biopic

‘Boyz ‘N The Hood’ Director John Singleton Lands 2Pac Biopic

John Singleton, USC grad, South Central LA native and auteur of one of the most influential black films of the modern era in Boyz N The Hood will get a crack at bringing 2Pac’s life story to film. 2Pac, largely hailed as the Black Elvis, the equivalent of one of the greatest rappers to ever grace the Earth (if nothing else one of the most popular and influential), has one of the most challenging stories to be told in a film. Another legendary fallen rapper, Biggie Smalls aka Notorious BIG, saw his life story placed on celluloid with Ernest Dickerson’s Notorious a few years back.

2Pac’s story is one of tons of angst, charisma, trouble and success. 2Pac in many ways was a tortured artist, a thug and a modern enigma. Singleton will write the movie as well as direct, with Pac’s Mom Afeni Shakur getting her desired Executive Producer credit which according to Deadline will allow the filmmakers access to all of Pac’s musical catalog. The biggest challenge perhaps will be finding an actor to portray the fallen star. A man who’s charisma will be incredibly tough to match, as seen by Anthony Mackie’s game attempt in Notorious. Who should land this role and why? No Will Ferrell votes please.

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