What does a director famous for his awkward, dry comedies do when he has squeezed all of the sarcastic strangeness out of real life actors? Apparently, he turns to animation. In his new stop-motion film, Fantastic Mr. Fox (based on the Roald Dahl children’s book of the same name), director Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited) enlists the help of some of his old favorites, including Rushmore screen mates Bill Murray and Jason Bateman, to give voice to his woodland creatures. Although the failure of Tim Burton’s new film 9 to live up to its fantastic trailer should serve as a word of caution to film-goers looking into the genre of “animated film with a wonderful trailer by a notoriously strange director”, I for one am hoping this film rings true to the high tone the hilarious trailer sets.
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So yes, it’s a bit on the experimental side, but this new short film “Artificial Paradise, Inc.” by Jp Frenay is too visually stunning to be ignored. Not sure exactly what’s going on? Don’t worry, no one is, but the description Frenay gives may help a little, or not:
“an experimental film anticipating a future where a major corporation has developed an unique software, based on organic virtual reality, which holds all the lost memories of humankind. A user connects to this database of the forgotten…what is he searching for?”
Aside from incredible work in computer graphics wrapped in some vague notion of plot many post-modern video artists are notorious for, I’m not really sure what anyone is searching for in this film, but it is somehow beautiful just the same.
In 2002, Moore was considered a heavy favorite to win the Oscar for her excellent lead work as Cathy Whitaker in Todd Haynes’ Far from Heaven or her equally powerful supporting in Stephen Daldry’s The Hours as Laura Brown. Joining a list that includes Emma Thompson and Sigourney Weaver, she went home empty-handed that fateful night.
Deja-vu: watch out for her upcoming two-category sweep in 2010: First up is a much-discussed lead turn in Atom Egoyan’s Chloe, a sexually-charged drama in which Moore’s tony doctor hires an escort (Amanda Seyfried) to bed her husband. Remember that nobody does “sexually-charged” quite like Moore. This is the woman who gave us Boogie Nights’ Amber Waves and the tawdry, delicious Savage Grace last year, after all.
Then comes the pièce de résistance for the awards season: Moore’s supporting turn in designer-turned-film director Tom Ford’s A Single Man, opposite Colin Firth as a gay man who has just lost his long-time lover.
Garcia is one of the premiere contemporary storytellers of women’s stories—his Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her and Nine Lives are must-sees—this year he directs Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington, and the much-buzzed about Annette Bening in an eloquent tale about motherhood. Expect Bening to be at the Oscars again!
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, a collection of 23 short stories by David Foster Wallace, is now a feature film directed by The Office‘s John Krasinski and opening September 25th in select theaters. The film stars a varied group of actors including seasoned veterans of stage and screen—Bobby Cannavale (Third Watch, Mauritius), Timothy Hutton (Leverage, Ordinary People), Michael Cerveris (The Who‘s Tommy, Assassins), and Death Cab for Cutie‘s Ben Gibbard. These actors play the hideous men or “subjects” of Wallace‘s intellect. The stories themselves are a series of transcripts with questions deliberately omitted. It was Wallace‘s intention for readers to focus on learning about each subject‘s idiosyncrasies, exposing just how vulnerable, alienated, and weird men can be. Sara Quinn (Julianne Nicholson of Law and Order: Criminal Intent), the film‘s protagonist, is a graduate student who conducts the interviews for her anthropological thesis. Constructing a convincing narrative without jeopardizing the integrity of Wallace‘s kinetic prose is tricky, but the snippets of performances in the trailer seem promising: