On My DVR: Prisoners (2013)

Hugh Jackman in PRISONERS

Six years ago, I interviewed upstart screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski, soon after selling his debut script to Alcon Entertainment for a cool million dollars. Guzikowski wrote Prisoners on spec while working in the ad industry in New York. His story resonated with me because at the time I was also a screenwriting hopeful working at a rival NYC ad agency. (If he could do it, why couldn’t I?) Despite Alcon’s fast-tracking of the film, it was eventually delayed and didn’t bow in theatres until four years later. In the meantime, Guzikowski saw success with what would become his first feature to hit the big screen, Contraband (2012), starring Mark Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale. I still haven’t seen Prisoners, but it’s resting comfortably on my DVR, thanks to HBO, on which it can currently be seen.

Read my full interview with Guzikowski here.

Synopsis (courtesy of IMDb):

When Keller Dover’s daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Screenwriter: Aaron Guzikowski
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, Paul Dano
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Runtime: 153 min.

2015 Faces to Watch

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

Each year, lovers of film and television debate the quality of that year’s crop of cinematic content channeled into TV and movie screens worldwide. And although opinions will differ, one undeniable fact is that each year ushers in a new crop of breakout talent, both in front of and behind the camera. Yes, some have been mastering their crafts for years, and each person’s journey is uniquely their own, but it’s often not until the artists are able to express their voices in a singular title that causes viewers to take notice.

Now in its seventh year, Limité is proud to announce the 2015 class of one of its longest-running features, “Faces to Watch.”

Continue reading 2015 Faces to Watch

Academy Collection: Alfred Hitchcock

The Academy’s great, new site features a series of Collection Highlights. Check out this one, dedicated to my favorite filmmaker, Alfred Hitchcock. Explore rare photos, papers, and videos surrounding the Master of Suspense’s storied career here.

Other Academy Collection Highlights are dedicated to the following personalities and films:

Official Trailer: Jake Gyllenhaal in SOUTHPAW

There were several notable snubs when this year’s Oscar nominations were revealed back in January. Among them was Jake Gyllenhaal, who turned in a career-high performance in the dark, gritty, and disturbing—and, oh so fantastic—Nightcrawler. The long-talented actor took his lumps, but he’s primed to take another shot with Southpaw, directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, 2001) and written by Kurt Sutter (TV’s Sons of Anarchy)

Gyllenhaal stars as Billy Hope, a boxer who struggles to keep his life together following a devastating incident. Based on the official trailer, which was released today, it appears that Gyllenhaal leaves nothing on the mat, delivering a complex and emotional interpretation of his character. And considering his physical transformation and The Weinstein Company as distributor, the film looks to be a contender come Oscar season. Southpaw also stars Rita Ora, Naomie Harris, Forest Whitaker, 50 Cent, and Rachel McAdams (in a long overdue good role, though it doesn’t appear she lasts long in the film). The film will bow on July 31.

Anatomy of a Short Film: The Magic and Luxury of Making a Short Film

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Joe Forbrich in “In-Kind” 

1 weekend. 20 hours. That’s how long it took to shoot “In-Kind,” the short film that I wrote and am co-directing, along with Stephanie Dawson. (Check out the “Anatomy of a Short Film” tab above for progress on this project.) This film’s been on my mind for over four years, and I’m excited to say that we’ve wrapped shooting and are looking forward to post-production. Over 20 amazing artists and technicians joined together in a Bushwick, Brooklyn apartment to get it done, not least of which was our terrific cast, composed of Monique Pappas, Makenna Pappas, and Joe Forbrich (SAG-AFTRA).

Continue reading Anatomy of a Short Film: The Magic and Luxury of Making a Short Film

Watch: Original Short Film Version of WHIPLASH, Starring Oscar Winner J.K. Simmons

(Re-posted from Indiewire.com)

NOTE: The video below was removed from YouTube by Sony Pictures Entertainment.

by Oktay Ege Kozak

Writer/Director Damien Chazelle must be enjoying his well-deserved recent success after his excellent debut feature Whiplash was nominated for five Academy Awards and took home the gold for Editing, Sound Mixing, and Best Supporting Actor. However, there was a time when Chazelle’s original feature screenplay about the sado-masochistic relationship between an ambitious jazz drummer and his abusive instructor wasn’t necessarily a hot commodity in Hollywood.

Continue reading Watch: Original Short Film Version of WHIPLASH, Starring Oscar Winner J.K. Simmons

My Final Oscar Predictions

Michael Keaton in BIRDMAN (photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight. © 2014. All rights reserved.)

Best Picture — Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, James W. Skotchdopole (Birdman)
Director — Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman)
Actor — Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
Actress — Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Supporting Actor — J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Supporting Actress — Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Original Screenplay — Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Adapted Screenplay — Damien Chazelle (Whiplash)
Animated Feature — Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold (How to Train Your Dragon 2)
Foreign Language Film — Ida
Documentary Feature — Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky (Citizenfour)
Cinematography — Emmanuel Lubezki (Birdman)
Production Design — Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Costume Design — Colleen Atwood (Into the Woods)
Makeup and Hairstyling — Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Film Editing — Sandra Adair (Boyhood)
Original Score — Jóhann Jóhannsson (The Theory of Everything)
Original Song — John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn (“Glory,” Selma)
Visual Effects — Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott Fisher (Interstellar)
Sound Editing — Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman (American Sniper)
Sound Mixing — John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Walt Martin (American Sniper)
Documentary Short — Aneta Kopacz (“Joanna”)
Animated Short Film — Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi (“The Dam Keeper”)
Live Action Short Film — Matt Kirkby and James Lucas (“The Phone Call”)

a film blog by Daniel Quitério

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