24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Premieres

How much was 'Super 8' influenced by 1980s films? J.J. Abrams and the stars weigh in [Video]

June 12, 2011 | 12:47 pm

As audiences turn out to see "Super 8" this weekend, the movie has attracted not just younger audiences but adults nostalgic for the popular 1980s films the J.J. Abrams project evokes.

Indeed, such movies -- including producer Steven Spielberg's "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial," Rob Reiner's "Stand By Me" and Richard Donner's "The Goonies" -- were of such importance to Abrams that the studio had the young stars of "Super 8" watch them before production began on the film.

"Paramount had us watch those movies because so many of the references J.J. made were to those movies," explained one of the film's kid stars, 14-year-old Ryan Lee, at the movie's premiere in Westwood Wednesday evening.  "And after we would watch those movies, we’d be like, ‘Ohhh, that makes sense now.’"

As 15-year-old Joel Courtney, who has the largest role of any teen in the film, came to understand it:  "‘E.T.’ kind of brings a little bit of sci-fi to it. ‘Goonies’ brings that group of kids to it. And ‘Jaws’ and ‘Jurassic Park’ brings that terror to it."

But when asked what Abrams wanted his child stars to take away from the '80s movies, the filmmaker had a different point of view.

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Danny Boyle: I'm very concerned about '127 Hours' fainting victims [video]

November 4, 2010 |  3:22 pm

Confusion broke out at the Beverly Hills premiere of "127 Hours" Wednesday evening when a young woman suffered a seizure midway through the film. (At the end of the screening, director Danny Boyle promptly took to the stage to say that the incident was unrelated to the movie.)

Only hours before on the red carpet, Boyle downplayed the incidents of fainting and vomiting during some of the film's early screenings after viewing a graphic amputation scene. The director emphasized that only a "very small number of people" had passed out, and said that often, those individuals returned to the theater after coming to.

"It’s not like a revulsion, like they’ve been caught out by something," Boyle explained. "I think the intensity of the journey he takes them on climaxes and they just kind of go away for a few minutes in their minds. It’s like, ‘I’m overloading.' " Check out the full video below.

--Amy Kaufman

Twitter.com/AmyKinLA

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For Danny Boyle and company, much more than '127 Hours' of toil


LAFF 2010: Jonah Hill: I'm not really like Cyrus in real life (VIDEO)

June 21, 2010 |  8:45 am

It's already been a big summer for Jonah Hill, the 26-year-old funnyman whose face has been plastered on "Get Him to the Greek" posters across town for the last few weeks. In that film, he plays the sympathetic dweeb role that audiences have come to associate with him since 2007's "Superbad."

But at the L.A. Film Festival over the weekend, where Hill's latest film -- the squirm-comedy "Cyrus" -- was premiering, the actor showed off another side, as he played the unlikable, socially inept title character, a 21-year-old with an uncomfortably close relationship with his mother (Marisa Tomei). He's still a dweeb, but he's a lot less sympathetic.

"I've always thought I'd like to do something dramatic, and I have that element in my taste and just what I like in movies," Hill told us on the red carpet Friday. "I didn't see any of myself in [Cyrus], thank God." 

As for the actor's relationship with his mom?

"She's wonderful; I love her," he said, looking into the camera. "Hi, Mom. I love you."

More video interviews from the red carpet with stars Tomei, John C. Reilly and directors Mark and Jay Duplass, after the jump.

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LAFF 2010: The cast of 'The Kids Are All Right' goes downtown (VIDEO)

June 18, 2010 |  1:58 pm

Kids Before the Lakers-inspired bedlam erupted Thursday night in downtown Los Angeles, an eager crowd gathered at L.A. Live's new Regal Cinemas to kick off the opening night of the Los Angeles Film Festival. The 10-day event launched with a screening of Lisa Cholodenko's family dramedy "The Kids Are All Right," the Sundance hit about a lesbian couple (played by Julianne Moore and Annette Bening) whose two teenage kids (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson) decide to track down their sperm-donor dad (Mark Ruffalo).

The gang was all there Thursday, minus Bening, who bowed out for personal reasons. We caught up with the cast on the red carpet, where everyone seemed excited that the LA-centric film (shot largely in Venice and Echo Park) was premiering in the City of Angels.

"This movie, I think, is the exact perfect movie for the L.A. Film Festival," said Ruffalo, who had wife Sunrise Coigney by his side. "It’s a really great script. It’s a difficult script. Really well-polished. It has a lot of great humor in it. And it’s done for nothing. We worked very quickly with a very small budget. And I think that’s what the L.A. Film Festival is all about, at its best. [Film Independent head] Dawn Hudson, I know -- that’s what she has in mind by creating this festival."

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'Exit through the Gift Shop' makes its entrance downtown

April 13, 2010 |  7:57 pm

Banksy3
Apologies for some slowness in posting over the last 24 hours; we've been engaged in some print work. (Print! It's a good thing too!) More shortly in this space from our reporting on those stories.

In the meantime, we did stop by the premiere of Bansky's "Exit through the Gift Shop" last night. (This is the art-world thriller/meditation from the guerrilla street artist that made a splash at Sundance and is now being distributed by sales agent Cinetic Media. It's also a documentary -- or perhaps just an elaborate postmodern joke.)

The premiere brought out the expected mix of art-world figures, actors and general celebrities-around-town -- Joaquin Phoenix, Ashlee Simpson, Pete Wentz, Shepard Fairey (we'd heard Mr. Brainwash, the unlikely star of the film, was not there, but that's unconfirmed for the moment.) The after-party was one part performance art (think fake policemen dancing on a podium) and one part Los Angeles art world gathering. Mainly it reminded us of the old-world glory of the Los Angeles Theater, which stands as an example of a certain kind of glamorous, pre-war European-style venue architecture (San Francisco's Great American Music Hall also comes to mind).

Banksy, never one to shy away from a smart promotional move, has savvily tagged some spaces around the city (some examples sat parked in front of the theater last night, as pictured here).

There's also a film-marketing question in all this -- namely, can the media-world sensation drive the opening of a movie. The reviews have been strong (David Edelstein of New York Magazine labeled it "acidly funny') -- and the word of mouth will no doubt grow. It's a classic case of buzz versus big marketing money. We'll see how this round goes down.

--Steven Zeitchik

Banksy2

 
  Banksy1
Photos: Shots from the Exit Through the Gift Shop premiere. Credit: A handy BlackBerry camera.


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