(Originally appeared on GreenCine Daily)


THE<br />
ROAD director John Hillcoat (with Viggo Mortensen)

No stranger to mining lyricism from bleak landscapes, The Propositiondirector John Hillcoat(here working with screenwriter Joe Penhall) has poignantly visualized the burnt-out, grey wasteland of The Road —the 2006 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Cormac McCarthy, author of No Country for Old Men.

Blog entry 05/26/2010 - 2:38pm

As award season rolls around, it's nice to look back at the indie gems released this year that deserve a little spotlight, too. To do just that, indieWire released their list, Best Undistributed Films from their Annual Critics Survey 2009. On that list is GreenCine favorite Harmony and Me, now available on DVD along with writer-director Bob Byington's previous feature, RSO: Registered Sex Offender.

To learn a little more about the film, revisit our podcast interview with Byington and the film's star, indie rocker-turned-actor Justin Rice (of Mutual Appreciation).

Harmony and Me available on DVD >>>

Blog entry 12/16/2009 - 1:26pm


Erick Zonca, JULIA

Directed by Erick Zonca
2008, 144 Minutes, In English and Spanish

How did The Dreamlife of Angels director Erick Zonca, working from a script he cowrote with Aude Py, think that the typically reserved, sophisticated Tilda Swinton could so convincingly step into the shoes of a despicable, loudmouthed floozy? An unhinged character study that drunkenly stumbles into an accidental thriller, Julia is shouldered as much by Zonca's instinctual filmmaking as it does on Swinton's intense, knock-out performance:

Julia, 40, is an alcoholic. She is a manipulative, unreliable, compulsive liar, all strung out beneath her still flamboyant exterior. Between shots of vodka and one-night stands, Julia gets by on nickel-and-dime jobs. Increasingly lonely, the only consideration she receives comes from her friend Mitch, who tries to help her. But she shrugs him off, as her alcohol-induced confusion daily reinforces her sense that life has dealt her a losing hand and that she is not to blame for the mess she has made of it. Glimpsing imminent perdition, and after a chance encounter with Elena, a Mexican woman, Julia convinces herself—as much in panic and despair as for financial gain—to commit a violent act. As the story unfolds, Julia's journey becomes a headlong flight on a collision course, but somehow she makes the choice of life over death.

Sitting down with Zonca (and a translator he barely needed) at the Magnolia offices, I drank up his every word on alcoholism, unlikeable characters, the Helmut Newton photo that stuck in his mind, why he's different from Ken Loach, and of course, Tilda Swinton—with whom I would also chat about Julia in that same room a week later.

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Julia is now out on DVD.


Blog entry 08/18/2009 - 4:55pm

GreenCine Daily's weekly podcasts, for people who love world and independent film, are now available on iTunes! Subscribe now and get your fix on fun chats with some of the world's most interesting filmmakers and performers.

Created by GreenCine editor Aaron Hillis, the podcasts feature interviews with special guests, reviews, film and film festival discussion, news and more. For more musings visit the GreenCine Daily Blog.


Blog entry 05/08/2009 - 3:21pm

"Why are drunk chicks so funny?" asks Aaron Hillis, kicking off this lively interview with the extremely talented and hilarious actress.

Anna Faris, OBSERVE AND REPORT [As my annual Austin adventure finally comes to an end tomorrow, I leave you with one last podcast. Stay tuned for my SXSW "Films of the Week" reviews later this weekend.]

Quickly becoming one of the go-to heroines of screen comedy, Anna Faris (Smiley Face, The House Bunny) handily and hilariously steals each of her scenes in writer-director Jody Hill's Observe and Report, which screened as the centerpiece film at SXSW. Like others who have pointed out the similarities, it really does play like the comic analogue to Taxi Driver, its disturbing "jokes" provoking mostly nervous laughter, with a doozy of a punchline.

Blog entry 03/20/2009 - 12:13pm

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