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Posts tagged as directors

Using Shock and Violence for Comedy's Sake in 'Wild Tales'

Oscar Best Foreign Language film nominee Wild Tales, directed by Argentine filmmaker Damián Szifron, is an anthology of six short films tackling the topic of revenge. The shorts, beginning with a short pre-credit sequence that sets the tone of sadistic retribution that carries throughout the film, each follow a structure of a seemingly normal situation going as far awry as you could possibly imagine. The craziness is triggered by violence, anger, retaliation, and personal slights big and small that turn situations on their heads and drive them to the most absurd realistic conclusion. The pieces end up bloody, gory, tragic, explosive, but always in the service of a laugh. It [...]

How Adam McKay Directs at the Top of His Intelligence

Adam McKay’s path to becoming a director began as a notoriously mischievous improvisor under the tutelage of guru Del Close in Chicago, then joining SNL as a writer, eventually ascending to head writer in the mid-nineties. It was there he began his collaboration with Will Ferrell that would come to define his feature directing career. The two have collaborated on Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Step Brothers, The Other Guys, and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, establishing a formula of highly designed and actively structured plays on genre that have shaped the modern comedy landscape beyond their work alone.

Since Judd [...]

Here's a Crash Course in Visual Comedy, Focused on the Work of Edgar Wright

Here's a video essay made by movie fan Tony Zhou, in which he dissects the techniques that make up director Edgar Wright's unique visual style and demonstrates a bunch of ways to tell a story visually with a comedy movie. It's something that a lot of today's top comedy directors neglect in favor of jokes and performances, and the video essay calls them out too by comparing visually inactive clips from their movies with attention-grabby clips from Wright's. (via)

The 'Lego Movie' Sequel Gets a New Director

The Lego Movie already had a sequel greenlit before the first one even came out, and the second film has now found a director. Deadline reports that Chris McKay, who's directed a ton of episodes of Robot Chicken and Moral Orel and also served as the first Lego Movie's animation co-director, has been hired to direct the sequel. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who directed the initial film, are staying on as producers. The new movie is being written by Jared Stern (The Internship, Mr. Popper's Penguins) and Michelle Morgan (Girl Most Likely). Plot details are being kept under wraps.

Mel Brooks and His Wonderful Rejection of Subtlety

Back in a time when our primary source of film-watching outside the movie theatre involved a trip to a video store, it was much harder to be a young boy curious about what might exist beyond the G-rated family comedies we would watch on Sunday nights (my family would do this “picnic style” which meant putting down a dirty blanket in our suburban finished basement, ordering chinese food, and eating on the floor while we watched). One day my parents allowed me to attend a friend’s birthday party where we would be watching Mel Brooks’ R-rated film, Blazing Saddles, perhaps just pleased that we weren’t going to watch one [...]

The Best Comedy Directors of 2014

As this column wraps up its first full year, I present the 1st Annual 2014 Comedy Film School Awards. These awards are determined by a voting body of one and hold all the prestige and none of the starpower of the Hollywood Film Awards. The idea is not to rank or give out superlatives, but rather use these names to discuss some of the most interesting work of 2014, why, and what this could mean for a larger comedy landscape this year and going forward.

Writer/Director Paul Mazursky Dies at 84

Writer/director Paul Mazursky passed away yesterday from a pulmonary embolism yesterday at LA's Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, The LA Times reports. Mazursky, who was nominated for five Oscars over the course of his five-decade-long career, wrote and/or directed (usually doing both) 17 movies. His most widely-known features include Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Harry and Tonto, and An Unmarried Woman, all of which blended comedy and drama to create movies with realistic, grounded characters that explored real life problems with plenty of humor and heart.

Edgar Wright Is No Longer Directing Marvel's 'Ant-Man'

Director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, The World's End) is leaving Marvel's Ant-Man. Here's the statement from Marvel and Wright announcing his departure (via The Wrap):

Marvel and Edgar Wright jointly announced today that the studio and director have parted ways on Ant-Man due to differences in their vision of the film. The decision to move on is amicable and does not impact the release date on July 17, 2015. A new director will be announced shortly.

Edgar Wright signed on to direct the film, which as of now will star Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym, for Marvel [...]

Marc Maron Is Making His Directorial Debut with an Upcoming Episode of 'Maron'

Marc Maron announced on Twitter that he's directing an upcoming episode of his IFC comedy Maron, which he stars in and created. The episode, a part of the show's second season, will mark Maron's directorial debut. Maron premiered its 10-episode first season on IFC last May and was renewed for a second season in July. Season 2, which will consist of 13 episodes, is set to premiere sometime this spring.

'Arrested Development' Creator Mitch Hurwitz to Direct His First Movie, 'Guinea Pigging'

Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz is preparing to direct his first movie. He's attached to direct a comedy called Guinea Pigging that The State/Reno 911! duo Tom Lennon and Ben Garant are going to script, THR reports. The film is based on a 2008 New Yorker article by Carl Elliott about the community of people who work as medical test subjects, and the film, described as "a sophisticated comedy," will follow a guy who starts guinea pigging for a drug company and experiences strange side effects. This is the first movie project for Mitch Hurwitz, as well as the first movie he's directing. He started directing TV recently, [...]

Christopher Nolan on Why He Won't Make Comedies: "There's No Hiding Behind the Art of the Film"

"I would try anything I think except comedy or romantic comedy. Those are very tough genres to work in. They rely on an unanimity of audience response. You screen a comedy for people, and if they don't laugh, you've got to figure out a way to make them laugh. There’s no hiding behind the art of the film. There's [no] 'Oh, you don't get it.'"

- Writer/director Christopher Nolan explains why he has no intention to make a comedy in a new interview with USA Today.

Peyton Reed Will Direct 'Ant-Man' with Script Help from Adam McKay

Marvel has finally named its new Ant-Man director to fill the void left by original helmer Edgar Wright. Deadline reports that Peyton Reed has officially signed on to direct the Paul Rudd-starring superhero movie due out in July 2015. Adam McKay, who considered the job but ultimately turned down the offer, will reportedly help Reed with the script — the most current rewrite of which is the reason why Wright decided to part ways with the project.

Reed's biggest film directing projects include Bring It On, The Break-Up, and the Jim Carrey-starring Yes Man, and he's also directed a handful of small-screen comedies like New Girl, [...]

Applying the Auteur Theory to Kevin Smith

In the early '90s American Indie boom, auteurs like Quentin Tarantino and Steven Soderbergh emerged into the zeitgeist with personal, low-budget projects that ultimately  came to inform a larger body of work that made them the important film personalities they are today. In this same Sundance-fueled era, a 24-year-old Kevin Smith premiered his first film, Clerks. With the industry support of Harvey Weinstein and the critical support of the New York Times and Janet Maslin, Kevin Smith bullied his way into the rising star director conversation. His follow up films, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Dogma led to the creation of a connected Kevin Smith universe, or, the "View-Askewniverse" as [...]

Paul Feig Producing and Possibly Directing a Comedy Starring a Cast of Ethnically Diverse Actresses

Paul Feig, director of Bridesmaids and The Heat, is keeping busy with a ton of movie projects. His latest is an untitled comedy written by Melissa Stack, who wrote the upcoming Cameron Diaz/Leslie Mann movie The Other Woman, Deadline reports. Stack based the script off an original idea from Feig. He will produce the film and is considering it as a potential directing project.. The plot of the potential film is currently being kept under wraps, but it is said to be "a vehicle for a group of ethnically diverse comic actresses." Feig said, "I’m always looking for an excuse to gather a bunch of funny women together, [...]