April 17, 2014

Tag Archives: Sean Durkin

Oscars: Jitters building for Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master starring Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman

HollywoodNews.com: The second half of the year is upon us. The race is about to heat up with big Oscar hopefuls coming down the pike. Our John Foote will be in attendance at the Toronto International Film Festival and many films will be unveiling themselves to critics alike. There is a very unclear yet still feasible shape to the race looking from ten thousand feet.
There are internet jitters building for Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master starring Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman. With the trailers released and now the film being pushed up to September, it looks as though we may be in store for a master class in filmmaking. Phoenix also looks to be a lead contender for his first Oscar after delivering in his previous nominated works, Gladiator (2000) and Walk the Line (2005). Phoenix does have tough competition ahead of him including what looks to be a critical darling-type performance coming from John Hawkes in Ben Lewin’s The Sessions. Early word is very positive for the film and the turns by Hawkes along with co-stars Helen Hunt and William H. Macy. Since Hawkes’ initial nomination two years ago for Winter’s Bone, he hasn’t shown any signs of letting up. He was arguably left off last year in Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene and will be seen later this year in Julia Dyer’s The Playroom and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. There seems to be a tremendous following and support for him in his current state. Speaking of Spielberg, we’re still awaiting some type of marketing material for his upcoming Lincoln biopic. No poster or trailer has been released with very few stills leaked online. One starts to think if it will even be ready in time.
Taking a look at the next couple of months, the circuit will begin to reveal itself. To read more www.awardscircuit
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Gotham goes with “Descendants,” “Martha Marcy” – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Nominees for the 21st Gotham Independent Film Awards were revealed this morning, and Fox Searchlight’s bound to be pleased.
Two films the studio will be pushing through the awards season – Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants” and Sean Durkin’s “Martha March May Marlene” – lead the pack with three nominations apiece, including Best Feature (for “Descendants”) and Best Ensemble Performance (for both films).
The studio’s “The Tree of Life,” director Terrence Malick’s rumination on creation and destruction, also scored a Best Feature nomination. All told, Searchlight nabbed eight Gotham nominations. The closest competitor was Focus Features and Sony Pictures Classics, each with three nominations to their names.
The remaining Best Feature nominees were Mike Mills’ “Beginners,” Jeff Nichols’ “Take Shelter” and Kelly Reichardt’s “Meek’s Cutoff.”
The Gotham Awards’ ceremony will be held on Nov. 28 … the same day the New York Film Critics’ Circle plans to reveal the results of their year-end voting.
Here’s a full list of Gotham nominees:
Best Feature:
Beginners
Mike Mills, director; Leslie Urdang, Dean Vanech, Miranda de Pencier, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, producers (Focus Features)
The Descendants
Alexander Payne, director; Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Meek’s Cutoff
Kelly Reichardt, director; Neil Kopp, Anish Savjani, Elizabeth Cuthrell, David Urrutia, producers (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Take Shelter
Jeff Nichols, director; Tyler Davidson, Sophia Lin, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)
The Tree of Life
Terrence Malick, director; Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Grant Hill, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Best Documentary:
Better This World
Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega, directors; Katie Galloway, Kelly Duane de la Vega, Mike Nicholson, producers (Loteria Films, Picturebox, Motto Pictures and Passion Pictures; ITVS in association with American Documentary | POV)
Bill Cunningham New York
Richard Press, director; Philip Gefter, producer (Zeitgeist Films)
Hell and Back Again
Danfung Dennis, director; Mike Lerner, Martin Herring, producers (Docurama Films)
The Interrupters
Steve James, director; Alex Kotlowitz, Steve James, producers (The Cinema Guild)
The Woodmans
C. Scott Willis, director; Neil Barrett, Jeff Werner, C. Scott Willis, producers (Lorber Films; Kino Lorber, Inc.)
Best Ensemble Performance:
Beginners
Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic, Kai Lennox, Mary Page Keller, Keegan Boos (Focus Features)
The Descendants
George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges, Robert Forster, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, Nick Krause, Amara Miller, Mary Birdsong, Rob Huebel (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Margin Call
Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Stanley Tucci, Aasif Mandvi (Roadside Attractions)
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Elizabeth Olsen, Christopher Abbott, Brady Corbet, Hugh Dancy, Maria Dizzia, Julia Garner, John [...]

Elizabeth Olsen could be on Oscar list for indie film

HollywoodNews.com: If Jennifer Lawrence‘s Oscar nomination last season for “Winter’s Bone” is any indication, Lizzie Olsen is headed for one this year. Olsen, the younger sister of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, debuted last night at long last in “Martha Marcy May Marlene.”
The title is a mouthful, but this dark indie drama by Sean Durkin is a winner even more so than I remembered it from Sundance. Olsen is a revelation, quite captivating the audience with her natural acting style. This time around, too, the performances of Sarah Paulson, Hugh Dancy, and John Hawkes were more evident, too. The whole film is a gem. Kudos too to lesser role holders Alan McCullough, Brady Corbett and Maria Dizzia. At the premiere, director Durkin, who grew up in New York, recalled getting shooed off the steps of Lincoln Center for skating around illegally.
Now he has a feature in the New York Film Festival–and made for less than a million dollars. At the after party at the Empire Hotel rooftop, the Olsen twins huddled with their sister, who could be their triplet. Elizabeth aka Lizzie is the breakthrough actress of the year. What’s she doing next? “Finishing NYU,” the level headed 22 year old told me. She also co-stars with no less than Jane Fonda in the upcoming, “Peace, Love and Misunderstanding.”
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“The Descendants,” “Shame” leading pack of Austin Film Fest selections – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: A handful of stellar titles with Oscar aspirations have been programmed into this year’s Austin Film Festival schedule, which begins on Oct. 20 with an as-yet-unnamed Opening Night selection.
In between, AFF audiences will get their first looks at Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants,” Steve McQueen’s “Shame,” Lynne Ramsay’s “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” Rodrigo Garcia’s “Albert Nobbs” and Sean Durkin’s “Martha Marcy May Marlene” – all films with awards hopes that will screen as part of the festival’s Marquee category.
“We’re proud to be taking our program in some exciting new directions while maintaining our focus on strong writing and engaging stories,” said new Film Programmers Stephen Jannise and Stephen Belyeu.
In addition, the fest has set up special screenings of “Toy Story” (presented by John Lasseter), an “Edward Scissorhands” screening, and a tribute to Polly Platt with a presentation by Luke Wilson and Wes Anderson.
Below is a listing of AFF’s film lineup. For a complete lineup, also visit austinfilmfestival.com.
AFF 2011 FILM LINEUP
MARQUEE SCREENINGS:
THE DESCENDANTS ­ Alexander Payne (Writer/Director), Nat Faxon, Jim Rash (Writers) ­ stars George Clooney – Regional Premiere
SHAME ­ Steve McQueen (Wrtier/Director), Abi Morgan (Writer) ­ stars Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan – Regional Premiere
THE WOMAN IN THE FIFTH ­ Pawel Pawlikowski (Writer/Director), Douglas Kennedy (Writer) ­ stars Ethan Hawke – Regional Premiere
SAL ­ James Franco (Wrtier/Director/Actor), Vince Jolivette, Stacey Miller (Writers) ­ Regional Premiere
JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME ­ Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass (Writer/Directors) ­ stars Jason Segel, Ed Helms, and Susan Sarandon – Regional Premiere
CORIOLANUS ­ Ralph Fiennes (Director), John Logan (Writer) ­ stars Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, and Jessica Chastain – Regional Premiere
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN ­ Lynne Ramsey (Writer/Director), Rory Kinnear (Writer) ­ stars John C. Reilly and Tilda Swinton – Regional Premiere
LIKE CRAZY ­ Drake Doremus (Writer/Director), Ben York Jones (Writer) ­ Regional Premiere
MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE ­ Sean Durkin (Writer/Director) ­ Regional Premiere
PARIAH ­ Dee Rees (Writer/Director) ­ Regional Premiere
ALBERT NOBBS ­ Rodrigo Garcia (Director), Glenn Close, John Banville (Writers)
CINEMA IS EVERYWHERE ­ Teal Greyhavens (Director) ­ U.S. Premiere
6 MONTH RULE ­ Blayne Weaver (Writer/Director) ­ World Premiere
AFTER FALL, WINTER ­ Eric Schaeffer (Writer/Director) ­ Regional Premiere
AGE OF CHAMPIONS ­ Chris Rufo (Director) ­ Regional Premiere
ALL I KNOW: THE CASTLE SESSIONS ­ Holly Bronko (Director) ­ World Premiere
AMERICAN TEACHER ­ Vanessa Roth, Brian McGinn (Directors) ­ Regional Premiere
THE BULLY PROJECT ­ Lee Hirsch (Director) ­ Regional [...]

“Martha Marcy May Marlene” director Sean Durkin on cults, Elizabeth Olsen and TIFF 2011

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Sean Durkin loves the Arsenal team and football. So sitting down to speak with him about his haunting film “Martha Marcy May Marlene” as the final minutes of an Arsenal game tick away is cruel.
For complete Oscar and Festival coverage, visit our Awards Alley
Arsenal’s up 1-0, and – as Durkin tells me – they haven’t won all season. I’m a Chelsea fan, so that delights me, but I don’t rub it in Durkin’s face. In fact, I offer to watch the end of the game with him He’s thrilled … until he realizes that with stoppage time, we both could be ruining potential interviews with the journalists waiting in the hallway of the Fairmont Royal York.
So we begin. I ask him about the film’s many secrets, and whether its tough talking about the film with actually, you know, talking about it. (No spoilers in this article.) We start talking about communal living, and I wonder how common these cult-ish “families” are.
“What I found is that once we started talking about it, and writing it, I’d guess one in every five people you talk to knows somebody who has been involved in one. Someone came in this morning and said, ‘My friend grew up in one.’ After every Q-and-a, someone comes up and says they are involved, or a sister or daughter was involved,” Durkin said. “So you start to just hear about it, and that’s how we had people to talk to about the experience.”
In between answers, Durkin leaps from his chair and checks the TV. I don’t mind in the least. I’ve been there. In fact, I tell Durkin that my son’s playing in his first baseball game as we’re talking, and that my wife’s back home texting me play-by-plays. We bond over sports, both professional and pee-wee league.
Back to the film. Durkin tells me what qualities he was looking for while casting Martha, and what newcomer Elizabeth Olsen brought to the part.
“I wanted her to be an unknown actress,” he says. “And I knew that she would have to carry the movie quietly. But I don’t think you know what you want. You more know what you don’t want, until you see someone and you know if you want them or don’t want them. There were specific things about Lizzie that stood out. I got the sense that there was a lot going on [...]

Sundance: “MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE” sold to Fox Searchlight Pictures

HollywoodNews.com: Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula announced today that the company has acquired worldwide rights to the suspenseful drama MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE. Written and directed by Sean Durkin, MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE stars Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson, John Hawkes and Hugh Dancy. Maybach Cunningham and FilmHaven entertainment present a Borderline Films Production in association with This Is that. The film was produced by Josh Mond, Antonio Campos, Chris Maybach and Patrick Cunningham. Ted Hope, Matt Palmieri, Saerom Kim, Saemi Kim and Alexander Schepsman are executive producers with Andrew Corkin as co-producer. The film is scheduled to be released in 2011.
?We were all captivated by the compelling performances and the expert craftsmanship of Sean Durkin,? said Gilula and Utley. ?We are excited to bring this gripping drama to audiences everywhere.?
?Sean Durkin has crafted a riveting first feature,? said Claudia Lewis, President of Production. ?We are thrilled to be working with a director who has such an original voice. We hope to make many more films with Borderline Films, this exceptional team of young filmmakers.?
?Josh, Antonio and I have had such an incredible experience at Sundance this year,” said Durkin. “We are excited to be working with Searchlight, a company that has consistently embraced new voices and unique storytelling.?
MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE stars Elizabeth Olsen as Martha, a damaged woman haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, who struggles to reassimilate with her family after fleeing a cult.
The deal was brokered by Fox Searchlight?s Executive Vice President of Worldwide Acquisitions Tony Safford, Senior Vice President of Business Affairs Megan O?Brien, Vice President of Acquisitions Ray Strache and Richard Klubeck, Rena Ronson and David Flynn of UTA’s Independent Film Group on behalf of the filmmakers. Borderline is managed by Melissa Breaux of Washington Square Arts.
Fox Searchlight Pictures is a specialty film company that both finances and acquires motion pictures. It has its own marketing and distribution operations, and its films are distributed internationally by Twentieth Century Fox. Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a unit of Fox Entertainment Group.
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