June 9, 2017
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NY Times: WENDY AND LUCY one of 25 Best Films of the Century

Kelly Reichardt’s film WENDY AND LUCY starring Michelle Williams makes the grade: the Glass Eye Pix production named one of 25 Best films since 2000. From The New York Times:

In Kelly Reichardt’s “Wendy and Lucy,” a young woman named Wendy passes through a Pacific Northwest town on her way to Alaska, where she hopes to find work. She has a little bit of money, an unreliable car and her dog, Lucy. This stripped-down tale of desperation and hope in hard times – a Raymond Carver story for the Great Recession – stars Michelle Williams, who talked with A.O. Scott about the experience of making it.

How did you first come to work with Kelly Reichardt?

Michelle WilliamsMutual friends. Laura Rosenthal, the casting director – we used to live in the same neighborhood and she stalked me at the local coffee shop. And then I watched “Old Joy” [also by Ms. Reichardt] and I knew that Kelly was making the movies that I wanted to be a part of.

Was there a challenge for you in getting into that character?

Kelly is very clear about what she wants. She is a really easy collaborator because she is so precise, so things happen very quickly. You understand the place and the person very quickly because she’s very specific about what she wants. She’s still open. I would shoot her ideas and she would say, “Come back in a week when you’ve honed that thing down from your garish, stupid, big idea to something that I might actually like, Michelle.”

Her characters aren’t very expressive or easy to read. That has to be a challenge for an actor.

I find Kelly’s characters get to maintain a lot of dignity and self-respect because they aren’t always giving themselves away. And I find that kind of tricky. It’s an incredibly fine line to walk. Is anybody going to know me? Is anybody going to understand who I am as this person? Are they going to care? Is there going to be a there, there?

And for Kelly’s language, for her sensibility, there is. These characters don’t feel compelled to explain themselves. You have to sort of train your ear and your eye and get to know them slowly. It’s like not sleeping with someone on the first date when you watch her movies. You’re like, let me take a little time to get to know you and absorb you.

“Wendy and Lucy” came out at the end of 2008, right in the middle of the election campaign and the economic collapse. There’s a powerful sense that while the movie is very much about this one young woman and her situation, it’s also about a lot more than that.

All of Kelly’s movies are political, but you would have to maybe have been told that to be aware of it. She’s able to slip it into everything she does, but it’s never didactic or heavy-handed. It’s an essential part of who Kelly is. She’s interested in a lot of genres, but the backbone of it is, how do people get along? How do people get by?

Full list here…

April 1, 2016
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The New York Times praises DARLING

The New York Times praises Darling’s “impressive performances” and “gorgeous, haunting black-and-white compositions,” calling the film “effectively unsettling”

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Click HERE for the New York Times article. 

June 5, 2015
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NYT: In ‘We Are Still Here,’ Ghostly Inhabitants Can Be the Toughest to Evict

WASHstillFrom the NEW YORK TIMES:

“The Sacchettis’ friend May (Lisa Marie, of “Ed Wood” and “Mars Attacks”), who dabbles in the paranormal, comes to investigate Anne’s hopeful sense that Bobby’s spirit is in the house.

Some of the scariest and funniest bits come from May’s husband, Jacob, the veteran horror actor Larry Fessenden (director of “Wendigo”), who reaches back to “The Shining” and Jack Nicholson’s crazy eyes, and draws on the archetypal genre battle for a human soul, “The Exorcist,” as he wrestles with a demon. (He loses and has to swallow a nasty-looking gym sock.)”

Read Full review in the New York Times

November 21, 2014
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LATE PHASES Premieres TODAY 11.21.14

LATE PHASES, GEP’s new werewolf film directed by Adrian Garcia Bogliano and starring Nick Damici, hits theaters and VOD TODAY. And the web is howling about it…

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From The Village Voice:

Two key elements in horror movies are anticipation and pacing, with the latter simply the heightening and lowering of the former.

With Late Phases, Adrián García Bogliano artfully engages with those tools, crafting a narrative whose close feels a touch underwhelming only in relation to the impressive buildup. In the most entertaining tough-old-crank turn this side of Gran Torino, Nick Damici stars as Ambrose, a blind Vietnam vet who has no sooner moved into the placid retirement community of Crescent Bay than he becomes auditory and olfactory witness to a murder committed by a werewolf.

After the beast also kills Ambrose’s seeing-eye dog, Shadow, the vet vows revenge. (And how! Wait Until Dark this isn’t — file Late Phases as the best film in which a blind individual gets trigger-happy with a series of firearms.) The filmmakers wisely reveal the werewolf early, as this shifts the source of suspense from an obvious question (Will there turn out to be a monster?) to a more mystifying one (Why is there a monster?).

In addition to the careful parceling-out of information and anticipation, the film benefits enormously from Damici’s lead performance: gruff, funny, aggressive, and, of course, commanding sympathy, the character compellingly entices the audience to board this ride.

The narrative ends up working in a smaller scope than one might expect given the premise of a beast plaguing a community, but the journey getting to the finish is exhilarating all the same.

 From the New York Times:

A blind Vietnam veteran is all that stands between a hungry werewolf and the frail residents of a retirement village in “Late Phases,” a sprightly horror movie about finding new purpose for old bones.

Our gruff hero is Ambrose (Nick Damici, far from geriatric), a brusquely independent widower who’s closer to his service dog, Shadow, than to his harried son. Deposited in his new home, he quickly deflects a delegation of glammed-up grannies scenting fresh meat. They’re not the only ones: A terrifyingly gory first night will leave poor Shadow flayed and Ambrose’s closest neighbor chomped to bits.

Working in English for the first time, the Spanish director Adrián García Bogliano forgoes the veiled menace of his 2013 mystery, “Here Comes the Devil,” for something altogether less subtle. Skipping critical narrative beats — Ambrose instantly decides that “Werewolf!” is the answer to “What just happened?” — the plot favors simplicity over rationality with a cheerful insouciance that’s hard to dislike. Much of this good will is inspired by Mr. Damici, whose testy line readings and credible sightlessness give Ambrose’s neighborhood perambulations an oddball intensity. I didn’t see him blink once.

Matching the movie’s homely feel, Robert Kurtzman’s old-school effects produce an endearingly shaggy creature that’s pleasingly tactile and beholden to the laws of physics. And if the central transformation scene strains fruitlessly for the sky-high bar of Rick Baker’s groundbreaking work on “An American Werewolf in London” (1981), it’s no matter: “Late Phases” is really concerned with change of a different sort. Before, Ambrose was resigned to death’s waiting room; now, he has a reason to work out.

LATE PHASES CLIPS on Bloody Disgusting

WHERE TO SEE IT

THEATRICAL PREMIERE

November 21-27 New York IFC Center
December 5 Minneapolis, MN Mall of America
December 12 Los Angeles, Cinefamily
January 2 & 3 Phoenix, AZ, FilmBar
January 2-4 Columbus, OH, Gateway Film Center

 

ON DEMAND

Sony Entertainment Networks

Blockbuster On Demand

Xbox

Amazon Instant Video

iTunes

Vudu

Google Play

December 20, 2013
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New York Times Review: ALL THE LIGHT IN THE SKY

From Stephen Holden at the New York Times:

“The cosmic and the microscopic are casually — and delicately — juxtaposed in “All the Light in the Sky,” an evocative, slightly melancholic movie directed and photographed by the prolific mumblecore auteur Joe Swanberg. This portrait of a middle-aged actress in Los Angeles who makes a decent living as a Hollywood bit player but worries about the future, is bolstered by the astoundingly natural performance of Jane Adams (“Happiness,” “Hung”)…What plot there is revolves around a visit by Marie’s 25-year-old niece, Faye (Sophia Takal), an aspiring actress. The two women compare the difference between breasts at 45 and 25, and you feel Marie’s resignation to her decline with the passing of time. There is a party where Faye overindulges and Marie and her friend Rusty (Larry Fessenden) have a conversation in which he does spot-on Jack Nicholson imitations…Without preaching, “All the Light in the Sky” poses questions that are worth asking, even if we know the answers. Why do people build houses that they know will eventually be swallowed by the sea? How do we keep up our spirits with the realization that no matter what we do, there is no turning back the clock? Is it possible to deal with the future when it’s all you can do to savor the beauty of the moment?”

Read the full review here. ALL THE LIGHT IN THE SKY is now playing in New York at Cinema Village.