GIMME THE LOOT – directed by Adam Leon
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GIMME THE LOOT – directed by Adam Leon
Bear – directed by Nash Edgerton
Returning from serial independent film success, writer/director Richard Linklater premiered his dark comedy Bernie, starring Jack Black and Matthew McConaughey, yesterday evening. Set to release this April, Bernie explores the true story of Bernie Tiede (Black), a closeted homosexual mortician living in the adorably rural confines of Carthage, Texas. Deeply religious and unrelentingly generous, Bernie finds himself in an unlikely friendship with the recently-widowed Marjorie Nugent (Shirley McLaine). Through a series of vignettes overlaying colorful commentary from local citizens, we watch as Bernie goes from belting out showtunes to finding himself embroiled in a murderous scandal, facing trial against the infamous district attorney Danny Buck Davidson, played hilariously by McConaughey.
Two years ago, Lena Dunham came to SXSW with a $25,000 film, Tiny Furniture, that was mostly shot in her parents’ New York apartment. It won the Grand Jury prize. Now, Dunham has triumphantly returned to Austin with Judd Apatow in tow to promote her new HBO show, Girls, that she created, wrote, produced, and stars in.
Director Adam Sherman’s sophomore act, Crazy Eyes, starring Lukas Haas and Madeline Zima, made its world premiere at SXSW 2012. Having been purchased by Strand Releasing for an early-summer opening just two weeks ago, Crazy Eyes was met with a fair bit of hype from festival-goers. The story follows the womanizing macho-millionaire Zach (Haas) through an uncharacteristic obsession with a young Rebecca, whom he calls “Crazy Eyes” (Zima). However, combined with Zach’s hard-partying lifestyle and countless escapades, the relationship throws Zach’s familial obligations to the wayside and subdues him in a bout of relentless alcoholism.
Given Melissa Leo’s recent Oscar for her fantastic performance in The Fighter, one would expect to see her in more and more large-scale Hollywood productions. However, the actress has surprisingly decided to participate in a micro-budget film that probably has less than 100 words of dialogue. Hours before a flight to her next shooting location, an excited Leo stopped by the Alamo Drafthouse, suitcase in tow, to talk about why she decided to star in Francine. The film follows a woman who tries and fails to reconnect with the world after countless years of institutional confinement.
The buzz surrounding festival darling Pariah seems to suggest an authentic and revealing examination of race and sexuality — in an environment where black gay characters are rarely given a voice, Pariah is a welcome project. However, its portrayal is unfortunately shallow, offering no fresh insights into queer experience. Pariah follows Alike, a talented high school student struggling with her lesbian sexuality amidst a prejudiced community. The plot conforms to most others relating to coming out — namely, being gay is hard, especially when you have overbearing parents. Lovers quarrel, fathers lecture, mothers preach, teens rebel and all this occurs against the sloppy backdrop of cringe–inducing high school poetry. It’s more of a banal Hollywood romance flick than a complex investigation of queer life — race, class and gender are only timidly investigated, and a dildo makes an awkward appearance.
It’s the first day of December, which means it’s time to start planning your hibernation — it’s almost finals season, in case you forgot. Use your those last few moments to make meals en masse to refrigerate or freeze, and to prepare snacks for long nights at VP.
August 23: The building shakes. Earthquake!!! Once the room settles and nerves calm, I sit across from Elizabeth Olsen and director Sean Durkin in a Sofitel Hotel conference room. Both are a bit shaken.
Still riding a wave of buzz that began nine months ago at Sundance, Martha Marcy May Marlene is finally out of the festival circuit and playing in theaters nationwide. Sundance has a penchant for finding new talent, and indeed Elizabeth Olsen and first–time director Sean Durkin display a remarkable maturity in their craft that is hardly novice.
It’s midterm season, which means that your time spent on Netflix is likely to increase exponentially. Sure, you know that Mad Men and 30 Rock are currently available, but here are some hidden gems you may not realize are on instant view. So stop complaining about the price hike already.
When Girls hit the scene two years ago, achieving widespread popularity didn’t appear to be of particular concern. Neither their band name nor the highly literal title of their first EP, Album, was bound to get them many hits on Google. In addition, they released a very NSFW music video in which an erect penis is used as a microphone, effectively limiting its distribution windows.
Lady Gaga’s third album suffered from a seemingly interminable gestation period. As anticipation swelled, every advanced piece of the album faced brutal dissection. “Born This Way” was labeled an “Express Yourself” copycat, “Judas” the bastard child of “Bad Romance.” Many declared the cover art to be among history’s worst (okay, that one may actually be true). However, these little pieces don’t tell the whole story. In the end, Born This Way just needed to be birthed in one piece.
One guy in Hillel to another: Is AEPi more hardcore than TEP?
When Lady Gaga released the lyrics to “Born This Way” a few weeks ago, many were skeptical of the song’s simplistic and moralistic message. After all, how many different ways can you tell people to be who they are without sounding like a broken record?
After analyzing gender dynamics in Eliot’s Daniel Deronda, I left my 19th Century Lit class and went home to retrieve my slightly oversized suit jacket. I stuck my crinkled list of exaggerated leadership stories in my pocket and made my way to McNeil’s basement, just in time for my first and last consulting interview.
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu does not make films that are easily digested. His friends and contemporaries, Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo Del Toro, apply a lighter touch to their dark storylines, unafraid of stylistic cinematic escapism. But Inarritu clings harshly to his gritty realistic approach, this time with a film that is more inaccessible and alienating than anything in his impressive oeuvre.
Penn students don’t often venture to Drexel’s campus, but there’s at least one destination that is worth checking out. A slightly more upscale version of Marathon Grill, Landmark Americana offers an alcohol–friendly environment and typical American fare with a few surprises.
Before Mark Zuckerberg became the world’s youngest billionaire, he was as awkward at talking to women as anyone in Skirkanich Hall.
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