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Call-In Commentary: Watch the “Starlet” trailer with writer-director Sean Baker

Dree Hemingway in Starlet

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In Sean Baker’s new indie “Starlet,” a young Californian (played by Dree Hemingway — Ernest’s granddaughter — in her feature film debut) crosses paths with an elderly widow (Besedka Johnson) at a yard sale, where she finds a stash of cash from the older woman’s past. The resulting relationship, as these two cross-generational characters begin spending time together, is the focal point of the movie which has been hailed at such festivals as SXSW.

To get the inside take on the picture, we asked Sean to participate in our Call-In Commentary series, where filmmakers provide narration to their trailers. In the video below, the director takes you through the movie, introducing his leads and swearing there are no spoilers. Check it out, and catch “Starlet” in theaters November 9th.

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MORE CALL-IN COMMENTARIES:

Watch the “Fat Kid Rules the World” trailer with director Matthew Lillard
Watch the “House at the End of the Street” trailer with director Mark Tonderai
Watch the “Looper” trailer with writer-director Rian Johnson
Watch the “For a Good Time, Call…” trailer with writer-director Jamie Travis
Watch “The Babymakers” trailer with director Jay Chandrasekhar of Broken Lizard
Watch the “Robot & Frank” trailer with director Jake Schreier

View more Call-In Commentaries…

Will you be checking out “Starlet”? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Carol Cate Blanchett

Spirit Guide

Check Out the Spirit Awards Nominees for Best Male and Female Leads

Catch the 2016 Spirit Awards live Feb. 27th at 5P ET/2P PT on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Wilson Webb/©Weinstein Company/Courtesy Everett Collection

From Jason Segel’s somber character study of author David Foster Wallace, to Brie Larson’s devastating portrayal of a mother in captivity, the 2016 Spirit Awards nominees for Best Male and Female Leads represent the finest in the year of film acting. Take a look at the Best Male and Female Leads in action, presented by Jaguar.

Best Male Lead 

Christopher Abbott, James White
Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind
Jason Segel, The End of the Tour
Koudous Seihon, Mediterranea

Watch more Male Lead nominee videos here.

Best Female Lead 

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Bel Powley, The Diary of A Teenage Girl
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Tangerine

Watch more Female Lead nominee videos here.

Call-In Commentary: Watch the “Fat Kid Rules the World” trailer with director Matthew Lillard

Jacob Wysocki in Fat Kid Rules the World

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Best known for acting roles in films like “SLC Punk!” and the Scooby-Doo franchise, Matthew Lillard takes his first turn in the director’s chair for “Fat Kid Rules the World,” an ultra-indie that launched its theatrical run on the back of a Kickstarter campaign. The movie follows Troy (Jacob Wysocki), a bullied, overweight high school student whose chance encounter after a failed suicide attempt leads him into the arms of a punk rock band. The film has received raves as of late, paving the way for a limited screen debut ahead of an October 25 VOD and iTunes bow.

To get a deeper dive into “Fat Kid,” we recruited Lillard for IFC’s Call-In Commentary series, where directors provide narration to their trailer. In the video below, learn how Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready handled music duties for the project, what Lillard tried to keep out of the trailer and more. Check it out.

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MORE CALL-IN COMMENTARIES:

Watch the “House at the End of the Street” trailer with director Mark Tonderai
Watch the “Looper” trailer with writer-director Rian Johnson
Watch the “For a Good Time, Call…” trailer with writer-director Jamie Travis
Watch “The Babymakers” trailer with director Jay Chandrasekhar of Broken Lizard
Watch the “Robot & Frank” trailer with director Jake Schreier
Watch the “Iron Sky” trailer with director Timo Vuorensola

View more Call-In Commentaries…

Will you be checking out “Fat Kid Rules the World”? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Call-In Commentary: Watch the “Looper” trailer with writer-director Rian Johnson

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Looper

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One of the most underrated talents in Hollywood, Rian Johnson (“Brick,” “The Lookout”) finally makes his major studio debut with “Looper,” a taut sci-fi mindbender starring frequent collaborator Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt. The film takes place in a grit-filled near-future where time travel has yet to be invented, but will be in the even farther future. In that more distant time, killing folks is near-impossible so the leading crime syndicate zaps their would-be victims back into the past where loopers wait for their prey, and then blast them as soon as they arrive at a meticulously coordinated time.

Gordon-Levitt plays Joe, one of the youngest loopers whose life comes to a crossroads when the intended victim sent back is…himself, 30 years removed. When the older version of him manages to escape, it sets in motion one of the most exciting and intelligent movies of the year.

That’s exactly why we were thrilled to enlist Johnson for our Call-In Commentary series, where filmmakers provide narration to their movie trailer. In the video below, Johnson takes you through his picture, laying out behind-the-scenes anecdotes and interesting factoids, such as how one diner scene used more film than the entire making of “Brick.” Check it out below; “Looper” opens nationwide this Friday.

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MORE CALL-IN COMMENTARIES:

Watch the “For a Good Time, Call…” trailer with writer-director Jamie Travis
Watch “The Babymakers” trailer with director Jay Chandrasekhar of Broken Lizard
Watch the “Robot & Frank” trailer with director Jake Schreier
Watch the “Iron Sky” trailer with director Timo Vuorensola
Watch “The Imposter” trailer with director Bart Layton
Watch the “Dark Horse” trailer with writer-director Todd Solondz

View more Call-In Commentaries…

Will you be checking out “Looper”? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Exclusive Premiere: Balmorhea “Writing Masollan”

balmorhea-writing-masollan-constellations

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There are few bands like Balmorhea. It’s fitting that the group named themselves after a tiny town in their home state of Texas. Their music is evocative of West Texas and its wide open spaces and time spent wondering in nature. The band is on the frontier of indie rock, crafting music that is haunting and hypnotic, but never droning. It’s introspective, but never falls into the background music of shoe-gaze. It’s full of emotion without being ponderous. Instead it’s anthemic, emotional, and challenging, filled with swelling melodies, lilting rhythms, and dense textures. The music is heavily influenced by classical music, but is undoubtedly post-rock. Like we said, there are few bands like Balmorhea.

Which is why it’s not especially surprising that when it came time to make a music video, they took their own path. The result is something that’s not a traditional music video, and not a traditional making of video. Instead, it’s shots of the group, including founders Rob Lowe and Michael Muller, writing, rehearsing, and playing their song live as they craft the song that became “Masollan.” The track is off their forthcoming album “Stranger,” which will be released in the United States in October 2012.

Watch Balmorhea “Writing Masollan”:

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Exclusive premiere: Careful “Quite”

091912_Careful

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“It’s my garage, my gas, my car, my time,” Careful’s Eric Lindley sings, from the perspective of a middle aged man trying to kill himself in his garage. It plays like a homage to the libertarian who, after securing some material part of the American dream for himself, is left wanting. As David Byrne once posed, after letting the days go by, “And you may say to yourself; My God!… what have I done?!”

Director Miwa Matreyek’s animated video (which she titles “Lumerance”) doesn’t seem to adhere to that particular reading of the song, and of course it doesn’t have to either. But what’s brilliant is how this song about a small-minded enclosure is launched it into a cosmic perspective. While Lindley sings on about the most desperate, and lonely act, Matreyek depicts it’s antithetical action, the human urge to connect — to others, to the earth, the moon, to the universe.

 

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There’s also a great counter reference to the climate change “debate” hidden within this, though I cannot imagine it was necessarily intended, the fact that it sparked in my mind from watching this speaks of the artistic power of this collaboration: For anyone who doesn’t believe our choices impact our world, that human behavior does not affect it, go sit in your garage with your car running for a while. Your garage is only a microcosm of our shared macrocosmic enclosure, that many of us would love to reach out from.

“Because I Am Always Talking” the third release by Lindley under his Careful moniker, is out now. Apart from animating this video, Matreyek can be found harmonizing with Careful on the track “I Had A Kid.”

All together, or all alone? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook!

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