Showing posts from November, 2013

Georgia productions at the Savannah Film Festival: "The Spectacular Now" (****), "Last Vegas" (**), "The Sacrament" (***)

In addition to a host of Georgia-lensed SCAD student work, this year’s Savannah Film Festival screened an assortment of Georgia productions. James Ponsoldt’s “The Spectacular Now,” both set and shot in Athens, already closed out the Atlanta Film Festival earlier this year and went on to a successful theatrical run over the summer, but Savannah hosted a special screening of the film with director Ponsoldt, writer Michael H. Weber and star Miles Teller (a frequent attendee and former Discovery Award recipient) in attendance for a Q&A. Jon Turteltaub’s “Last Vegas” served as one of the special gala presentation films and despite not being set anywhere near the Peach State, most of the movie was shot here. Horror film dynamo Ti West filmed his latest, “The Sacrament,” in the Savannah area during the duration of last year’s film festival, so it only made sense for him to come back to the Hostess City for a special premiere. Plenty of cast and crew members were on hand for the unveiling.

Macon Film Festival makes MovieMaker's 'Coolest Film Festivals in the World' list

Congratulations to the Macon Film Festival for making  MovieMaker Magazine’s Top 25 list of ‘The Coolest Film Festivals in the World.’  The long-running magazine is well known for its annual list of the top film festivals worth the entry fee— which has included the Atlanta Film Festival, the Savannah Film Festival and the Rome International Film Festival in recent years . While that list is released each spring, this list was recently compiled by reader votes. An original list of 76 nominees was narrowed down to an final, unordered list of 25 festivals. Five other user voted lists were made for different categories—Documentary and Horror/Sci-Fi Festivals, Short Film and Comedy Festivals, Environmental/Social Cause and Women’s Film Festivals, LGBT and Ethnic/National Film Festivals and Experimental/Underground and Out of the Box Festivals. The Macon Film Festival will celebrate its 9th year of films, workshops, special guests and parties on February 27th through March 2nd. Check out www

Review: "Medora" (****)

          Medora, Indiana isn’t small-town America. It’s what’s left of it. Home to fewer than 500 people, Medora is so far under the radar that a Google search for its name yields a wealth of knowledge about Medora, North Dakota. Rather, it did until Andrew Cohn and Davy Rothbart came along. “Medora,” the duo’s debut as co-directors, follows the Medora High School Hornets’ 2010-2011 basketball season.   The result is an often painful, always poignant glimpse at the struggle for victory in a community that’s forgotten what victory feels like. “Medora” begins in the team locker room post-defeat, where Coach Gilbert recounts the details of the boys’ unsurprising loss. According to the montage of previous years’ newspaper headlines, Medora High School had grown accustomed to winless season after winless season. Says one native, whose observation is corroborated by the team’s downtrodden expressions, “it’s hard to get rid of that losing mentality.” But Coach Gilbert, a title it seems no on

Atlanta's Homespun Series— Local docs to screen at The Plaza this Friday

This Friday night, November 15th, the Homespun Series kicks off with its first ever screening event at The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta. Launched by “AKA Blondie” filmmakers Jon and Brantly Watts , Homespun is a documentary series spotlighting ‘local characters, resonating stories’ in and around Metro Atlanta. Atlanta’s film boom can be credited to the Georgia’s geographic diversity, ease of production resources and tax credits—but also the fact that Atlanta can easily be masked to double as wherever filmmakers need it to. In an effort to showcase Atlanta’s unique citizens and distinctive culture, Homespun will allow audiences to get closer to some of the city’s most compelling individuals and eccentric neighborhoods. As more films and filmmakers become involved in this series, more and more of Atlanta’s true character will be revealed. For this first screening, three films will be showcased; “Machine Gun Mary,” “Time” and “Golden Child.” Everything about these films is local and the filmm

Savannah review bundle: "How I Live Now" (***½), "About Time" (****), "East of Acadia" (**½)

Saoirse Ronan stars in “How I Live Now” “How I Live Now”  is prolific filmmaker Kevin Macdonald’s latest film, adapted from a 2004 novel by Meg Rosoff and starring Saoirse Ronan in perhaps her most assertive performance yet. While young adult adaptations set in a post-apocalyptic world are dime-a-dozen these days, “How I Live Now” manages to set itself apart by not compromising edginess for a lower MPAA rating and a wider audience. At the start, Ronan’s Daisy seems nothing more than a cliched, rebellious teenager, but as the film progresses and the story takes increasingly more devastating turns, it becomes clear that she is the film’s greatest strength. The young actress maintains a firm grasp on her character, anchoring a film that—while not desperate—wouldn’t really know where it was going without as laser-focused a lead as Ronan provides. Visually, the film is not very uniform in terms of its pallet or composition, but successfully relays to the audience Daisy’s reactions and exper

"Anchorman: The Legend Continues" character posters released

Paramount Pictures has released four new character themed posters for “Anchorman: The Legend Continues.” Featuring the franchise’s four main stars—Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell and David Koechner—the colorful one-sheets are, frankly, perfect for the film. But don’t let the landmarks and iconic imagery of New York City fool you, “Anchorman: The Legend Continues” was filmed almost entirely in Atlanta. Some necessary scenes were filmed in New York towards the end of shooting, but the film is most definitely a Georgia production. You might remember this spring when Ferrell, Rudd, Carrell, Koechner and co-stars such as Christina Applegate, James Marsden, Kristen Wiig, Harrison Ford and Meagan Good were all spotted around town for a few months . There was even a field trip to St. Simons Island for a few days of shooting and an already famous scene filmed in Downtown Atlanta’s Woodruff Park that featured dozens of cameos from the likes of Jim Carrey, Sasha Baron Cohen, Kirsten Dunst,