Sleeping with Other People
In Sundance Madman acquired this New York-set, Will Ferrell-produced romantic comedy about a good-natured womaniser (Jason Sudeikis) and a cheating woman with commitment problems (Alison Brie, ‘Trudy Campbell’ from Mad Men) who are ex-lovers struggling to stay just friends. The film marks the follow-up of Bachelorette writer-director Leslye Headland, who at the world premiere described her bawdy film as “When Harry Met Sally with assholes”.
This stranger-than-fiction documentary, the debut feature from Crystal Moselle, screened in both Sundance and Berlin. It follows New York’s Angulo family, who went to great lengths to shelter their children from the outside world—but not from the world of Hollywood movies. The Angulo brothers, nicknamed the Wolfpack, spend their childhood re-enacting their favourite films using elaborate homemade props and costumes. (Madman)
Filmed in a single mobile shot lasting over two hours, Sebastian Schipper's German Berlinale competition entry recalls Tom Tykwer’s Run Lola Run—and it’s probably no surprise that Schipper, an actor-turned-director, appeared in Tykwer’s 1998 cult classic. Based on a 12-page script, with heavily improvised English dialogue, the film stars rising Catalan actress Laia Costa as a disillusioned young Spanish exile looking for thrills in Berlin, though soon finds herself out of her depth. (Madman)
Gone with the Bullets
Chinese actor-director Jiang Wen, whose 2010 hit Let the Bullets Fly took $140 million at the international box office (watch it now at SBS On Demand), presented Gone with the Bullets, the second film in his trilogy in Berlin. It’s set in 1920s Shanghai around an elite beauty pageant that becomes the catalyst for a series of tragic events. While based on fact, the film weaves political allegory with a series of love stories against the backdrop of the birth of cinema in China. (Sony)
The D Train
The D Train was an early Sundance favourite about the nerdy head of a high school reunion committee (Jack Black) who travels to Los Angeles to track down the most popular guy from his graduating class (James Marsden) and convince him to go to the reunion. It’s funny, but darker than your average Jack Black comedy. Black tells Rolling Stone: “I read the script, and it made me laugh very hard. It was taking some risks that I hadn't seen before. It pushes the boundaries of what it means to be a man.” Releasing end of 2015 in the US.
Digging For Fire
Written and directed by Joe Swanberg (Happy Christmas, Drinking Buddies), this comedic drama follows a housesitting married couple (co-writer Jake Johnson and Rosemarie DeWitt) who discover a bone and a gun which could be the evidence of a murder. Each has doubts about their future and discovery sets them on separate adventures over the course of a weekend. Swanberg explains that the movie is about the realisation that a marriage should be “two individuals agreeing to be in a relationship, rather than two people melting into one thing”. Sam Rockwell, Melanie Lynskey, Brie Larson, Anna Kendrick and Orlando Bloom also star.
Bryan Buckley’s attention-grabbing film had mixed reviews in Sundance and may not make the Sony cut in Australia. A dark comedy, it was co-written by and stars The Big Bang Theory’s Melissa Rauch as a small-town former gymnastics medalist who can’t live up to her past glory and takes her misery out on everyone else. “A frightful creature who makes Melissa McCarthy’s trademark characters look like the quintessence of elegant sophistication,” writes Todd McCarthy from The Hollywood Reporter. The Bronze releases in the US in their late summer.
After its screenings in Cannes and Sundance, this horror sensation was picked up for distribution around the globe, with Rialto nabbing it for Australia. The second film by David Robert Mitchell (after 2010’s The Myth of the American Sleepover, about teen yearning) had older critics jumping in their seats and has something for everyone. It follows 19-year-old Jay (up-and-comer Maika Monroe, also in another Rialto film, The Guest) who has what she believes to be an innocent sexual encounter, only to be plagued by strange visions and the unavoidable feeling that someone--or something--is following her. “The Michael-Myers-in-Halloween constriction of only walking at all times constitutes both a neat Carpenter homage and a clammy-palmed atmospheric masterstroke,” writes Tim Robey, UK Daily Telegraph. (April TBC; Rialto)