Category Archives: Independent Film

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

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Joe Forbrich in “In-Kind”

(Read about the entire process of making short film, “In-Kind,” by checking out the “Anatomy of a Short Film” section of this blog.)

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.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIl-TagNRiE]

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

2015 Memo to the Academy

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

Dear Academy,

It’s that time of year again. You’ve watched dozens of movies, you’ve seen plenty of “For Your Consideration” ads, and you’ve heard everyone’s reasons why one film or another deserves to win. There’s a lot going through your mind; maybe you’re confused. No worries. Once again, Limité’s Film Team is ready to step up with its picks in some of the most hotly contested categories. Read below, then mark your ballots with confidence.

Your friends,

Dan Quitério, Joy Ganes, Morgan Goldin

Continue reading 2015 Memo to the Academy

Nomination? We don’t need no stinkin’ nomination!—Antonio Sánchez Drums up Live Performance of “Birdman” Score

Often, this time of year, Oscar-nominated films attempt to drum up last-minute support with special live events—whether it be a live musical performance by the cast of Frozen or a Mary Poppins sing-along event for Saving Mr. Banks. These events usually highlight an aspect of the film that’s nominated (or would be potentially nominated), which is why I found it interesting that Birdman‘s score was recently performed live in LA during a screening of the film.

Since the film’s release in November, the unique jazz drum score has reverberated in viewers’ minds. The Golden Globe- and BAFTA Award-nominated music by Antonio Sánchez was famously disqualified for Oscar consideration because it samples about 17 minutes of previously recorded classical music (an Oscar no-no). Despite his ineligibility, Sánchez took to his drum kit for the live performance last night at the ACE Hotel. Although the performance does nothing to support the film’s (nonexistent) chances in the Original Score category, perhaps it does help further boost Birdman‘s profile, keeping it top of mind for voters who are currently filling in their ballots. And with only one other film acting as serious competition for Best Picture, Birdman can use the added boost to make it to the Dolby’s stage on Oscar Sunday.

Oscar-Nominated Films on Netflix

With 9 nominations, THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL ties BIRDMAN with the most nominations. Watch THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, currently available on Netflix.

This morning, the nominations for the 87th Academy Awards were announced. View all nominees here.

If you’re like me, you watch as many of the nominated films as possible before the ceremony (on February 22 this year). Got some catching up to do? Watch 11 of the nominated films, currently on Netflix.

Available Via Streaming

Ida

  • Best Foreign Language Film (Poland)
  • Best Cinematography

Virunga

  • Best Documentary

Available Via Netflix DVD

Begin Again

  • Best Original Song

Boyhood

  • Best Picture
  • Best Director
  • Best Original Screenplay
  • Best Supporting Actor
  • Best Supporting Actress
  • Best Film Editing

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

  • Best Visual Effects

Finding Vivian Maier

  • Best Documentary

The Grand Budapest Hotel

  • Best Picture
  • Best Director
  • Best Original Screenplay
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Original Score
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Makeup and Hairstyling
  • Best Costume Design
  • Best Production Design

Guardians of the Galaxy

  • Best Makeup and Hairstyling
  • Best Visual Effects

The Lego Movie

  • Best Original Song

Maleficent

  • Best Costume Design

X-Men: Days of Future Past

  • Best Visual Effects

2015 Limité Film Guide: Staff Picks

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

John Boyega in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII – THE FORCE AWAKENS (photo courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd. © 2014. All rights reserved.)

Breathe deep. Following lackluster box office numbers of late, 2015 is aiming to usher in a wealth of cinematic riches with an onslaught of proven tentpoles. Such films scheduled with 2015 release dates includeFurious 7, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Pitch Perfect 2, Jurassic World,Ted 2, Spectre (“Bond 24”), <exhale> The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, and Mission: Impossible 5 <exhale>. But in case that’s not enough to quench your appetite, there’s Peanuts coming in November. That doesn’t hit your sweet spot? Fifty Shades of Grey bows in February.

Each of Limité’s Film writers presents 10 of her or his most-anticipated films of 2015. Check out their picks, then tell us what you’re looking forward to seeing in the new year.

All synopses are courtesy of IMDb.com, unless otherwise noted. As films are in various stages of production, information is subject to change, including release dates.

Click here to view the full guide.

And the Oscar Goes to…Julianne Moore

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrXrZ5iiR0o]

This year, Oscar’s always-a-bridesmaid, Julianne Moore, goes for her fifth nomination. And among all of this year’s leading ladies, Moore seems to be a lock for her first—and much overdo—win. In fact, hers is one of the few categories that’s nearly a sure thing at this stage of the Oscar season. (Let’s hope I didn’t just jinx it.)

Playing a linguistics professor with early-onset Alzheimer’s, Moore’s performance in Still Alice is ripe for awards consideration, and, indeed, it has received several positive notices and recognition. Among her accolades, Moore has already won Best Actress from the Gotham Awards and National Board of Review, among others, and she counts a Golden Globe nomination (two, actually—the other for Maps to the Stars) and SAG Award nomination among her accolades.

Still Alice also stars Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, and Kate Bosworth, and opens January 16. Oscar nominations will be announced the morning of January 15.

Jennifer Aniston’s “Other” Dramatic Role

On the eve of Jennifer Aniston’s dramatic turn in Cake, I thought it would be worth a trip back to 2002 to her previous against-type role in The Good Girl. Aniston plays a depressed, blue-collar, married woman who engages in an affair with a troubled, younger man (Jake Gyllenhaal). This was the first time I had seen Aniston in a dramatic role, and ever since seeing this I “ached” to see her break from her traditional rom-com inclinations and once again prove her versatility in a meaty indie film. We’ll get that later this month with Cake.

In the meantime, here’s a compilation of the scenes between Aniston and Gyllenhaal in The Good Girl.

Oscar Film Season: Movie Watching Checklist

Jack O’Connell in UNBROKEN (photo courtesy of Universal Pictures. © 2014. All rights reserved.)

If you’re anything like me, you make a point to watch as many “Oscar films” as possible before the February ceremony. To help me with this, I assemble a checklist of sorts every fall, ordering each film by release date. To that end, listed below are some of this year’s biggest prospects that are either currently in theatres or set to be released in the upcoming weeks. In the event that I’ve seen one of the films listed, I included my rating out of 10.

Continue reading Oscar Film Season: Movie Watching Checklist

Official Trailer: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper Reunite in SERENA

Directed by Oscar-winning Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier (In a Better World, 2010), Serena reunites Silver Linings Playbook players Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.

Synopsis: North Carolina mountains at the end of the 1920s–George (Cooper) and Serena Pemberton (Lawrence), love-struck newly-weds, begin to build a timber empire. Serena soon proves herself to be equal to any man: overseeing loggers, hunting rattle snakes, even saving a man’s life in the wilderness. With power and influence now in their hands, the Pembertons refuse to let anyone stand in the way of their inflated love and ambitions. However, once Serena discovers George’s hidden past and faces an unchangeable fate of her own, the Pembertons’ passionate marriage begins to unravel, leading toward a dramatic reckoning.

Magnolia Pictures will release Serena on iTunes and VOD on February 26, and in theatres on March 27.