Written and directed by actor Nate Parker in his feature directorial debut, The Birth of a Nation tells the story of former slave Nat Turner (played by Parker), who leads a liberation movement to free slaves in Virginia in 1831. The film also stars Armie Hammer, Gabrielle Union, and Oscar nominee Jackie Earle Haley.
The Birth of a Nation is this year’s big Sundance hit, winning the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award, and notably shattering a sales record at the Festival by selling distribution rights to Fox Searchlight for $17.5 million. With a fall release date of October 7—and with a powerhouse indie distributor in Searchlight, which also released recent Best Picture winners Birdman (2014) and 12 Years a Slave (2013)—it’s bound to ride high through next year’s Oscars. So perhaps #OscarsSoWhite will finally be a thing of the past.
It doesn’t take much to realize that Alfred Hitchcock is my favorite director (as is established by the giant visual homage to the “Master of Suspense” on my living room wall). So imagine my excitement that two Hitchcock-themed movies are coming out shortly, each delving into one of the first two of his movies that I’ve seen: Psycho and The Birds. (Psycho is my favorite of his films.) Also, each movie is being released by either Fox Searchlight (my favorite film distributor) or HBO (my favorite TV network). Check out the trailers below. Which looks most appealing to you, and who do you think portrays the famed filmmaker best: Anthony Hopkins (Hitchcock) or Toby Jones (The Girl)? (And, incidentally, has anyone else noticed that Jones seems to “always” play the “other” person in movies? He played Truman Capote in the “other Capote movie” [Infamous, 2006; in contrast to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s portrayal in Capote, 2005] and now he’s playing Alfred Hitchcock in the “other Hitchcock movie.”)
Continue reading Hitchcock vs. Hitchcock: The Battle of the Trailers
(Re-posted from The Hollywood Reporter)
by Scott Feinberg
September 20, 2012
The drama about the making of “Psycho” joins “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “The Sessions” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” on the Searchlight slate.
Fox Searchlight just shook up this year’s awards race by announcing that Hitchcock, which had been looking like a 2013 release, will now open on Nov. 23.
First of all, the facts: Hitchcock is a dramedy about the relationship between kinky master filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock and his trusted wife, Alma Reville, during the making of his seminal 1960 film Psycho.
The film was adapted by Black Swan co-screenwriter John McLaughlin from film historian/Playboy contributing editor Stephen Rebello’s book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho. It marks the feature directorial debut of Sacha Gervasi, who is best known for his 2008 hit doc Anvil: The Story of Anvil, and was produced by Tom Pollock and Ivan Reitman’s Montecito Picture Co., which also handled 2009 best picture Oscar nominee Up in the Air.
Continue reading Why Searchlight Slipped HITCHCOCK into This Year’s Oscar Race (Analysis)
The thing about the indie film world is that it does not shy away from material that pushes the boundaries. It likes to challenge viewers and get them to think about things of which they normally wouldn’t. It seems that the latest in these “trending topics” is cult life. Last year, Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene introduced us to a disturbing cult world, perhaps not unlike the one we’ll be exploring next in Fox Searchlight’s newest release, Sound of My Voice. The film, which is directed by Zal Batmanglij (yes, the first six letters of his last name spell “Batman”!), is co-written by the director, himself, and one of indie film’s newest darlings, Brit Marling. In fact, the tri-hyphenate Marling also stars in the film and produced it. (Her last effort as writer-producer-star was last year’s independent triumph Another Earth, which shared a stage at Sundance 2011 with Sound of My Voice.)
Continue reading Coming Soon: Sound of My Voice