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Kristen Stewart co-authors research paper on 'pioneering' film technique
Twilight star among three authors of paper explaining how ‘neural style transfer’ method was put to use in her directorial debut, the 17-minute short Come Swim
Twilight and Personal Shopper Kristen Stewart has co-authored a research paper on “neural style transfer”, an arcane technique that uses artificial intelligence to reconfigure an image in the style of another.
Written with Bhautik J Joshi, a research engineer at Adobe, and producer David Shapiro, Stewart’s paper is related to work done on her short film directing debut Come Swim, which received its world premiere at the Sundance film festival on Thursday. Called Bringing Impressionism to Life with Neural Style Transfer in Come Swim, the paper was submitted on Wednesday on Cornell University library’s open-access arXiv.org website, an online repository for scientific research papers.
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- Andrew Pulver
‘Icarus’ is an Alarming Look at Russia’s Secret Doping Operation — Sundance Review
“Icarus” starts out as one kind of movie, and then becomes a much better one. At first, director Bryan Fogel seems intent on making the sporting world’s answer to “Super Size Me,” by subjecting himself to performance-enhancing drugs to see if he can avoid detection. But then he stumbles into shocking revelations about Russia’s massive doping conspiracy and the scenario gets dark, gripping, and altogether more important.
The jarring shift doesn’t quite rescue the movie from uneven storytelling and murky research, but “Icarus” undoubtedly succeeds at emphasizing the shocking nature of Russia’s cover-up — and the dangerous reverberations it has for a key whistleblower.
That would be Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the antidoping laboratory chief who eventually fled to the United States and leaked information about Russia’s tactics for burying its athletes’ use of performance-enhancing drugs to a group of New York Times reporters in early 2016. Fogel »
- Eric Kohn
Michael Fassbender Brings Charisma To The Eccentric Crime Dramedy ‘Trespass Against Us’ [Review]
In the centerpiece scene of the eccentric UK crime dramedy “Trespass Against Us,” the cocky son of an unlikely mastermind leads his gang on their biggest smash-and-grab yet: driving through the ceiling-to-floor-length front windows of a country estate, and then driving off again with millions of dollars worth of art and antiques. Michael Fassbender plays the heist’s point-man, Chad Cutler, who reluctantly takes the assignment from his dad and boss, Colby (Brendan Gleeson), yet comes to life when he’s behind the wheel of the getaway car, leading the cops on a chase through narrow streets and bumpy fields.
- Kevin Jagernauth
‘Split’: M. Night Shyamalan Explains the Thriller’s Shocking Twist Ending
M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller “Split” follows James McAvoy as Kevin, a man with 23 discrete personalities, all different and dangerous with agendas of their own. The story follows him as he kidnaps three teenage girls and holds them hostage in his basement. The girls soon begin to meet each personality, with the final persona being the most terrifying of them all.
The film looks to be Shyamalan’s big return after a string of disappointments like “The Happening” and “After Earth.” “Split” has critics excited, with some, like io9, saying that the film has the “best twist since ‘The Sixth Sense.'” The website spoke with the director about the shocking ending, that may surprise and excite many M. Night fans.
Readers beware, if you have not seen “Split,” turn away.
[Editor’s Note: Major spoilers for “Split” follow. Proceed at your own risk.]
In “Split, »
- Liz Calvario
ABC TV’s Ben Sherwood Updates Status Of Live Action ‘Star Wars’ TV Series
Last summer, “Star Wars” fans freaked when at the Television Critics Association August event, network president Channing Dungey said that “hush, hush” “conversations” were happening with Lucasfilm about a potential live action series that would take place in a galaxy far, far away. Would George Lucas‘ scrapped “Star Wars: Underworld” get revived? Would the show connect with the main saga?
- Kevin Jagernauth
‘Cortez’ Exclusive Trailer: Slamdance Film Follows Musician Who Seeks Out an Old Flame in New Mexico
The Slamdance Film Festival begins today and runs through January 26 and features a host of independent feature films from emerging filmmakers. One of the films premiering is “Cortez,” about a musician who seeks out an old flame after his life spirals out of control. When his new album tanks and low ticket sales cancel half his tour dates, self-involved musician Jesse (Arron Shiver) begins to lose control, so in an act of self-preservation, he decides to seek out his old girlfriend (Cheryl Nichols) living in New Mexico. They slowly begin to rekindle the flame, but soon Jesse learns that Anne has been hiding a secret from him that will permanently alter the course of his life. The film co-stars Cassidy Freeman (“Smallville”), Judith Ivey (“The Devil’s Advocate”) and Drago Sumonja (“Black Wedding”). Watch an exclusive trailer for the film below.
Read More: Slamdance Film Festival Announces 2017 Lineup: ‘Aerotropolis,’ ‘The »
- Vikram Murthi
Michael Showalter’s Second Act: How the ‘The Big Sick’ Filmmaker Reinvented His Career — Sundance 2017
It took 25 years of working in film and TV, but comedian Michael Showalter has landed what could be his career-defining role: indie filmmaker.
Showalter’s third feature as a director, “The Big Sick,” is one of the most anticipated movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. A dramatic comedy written by actor-writer Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily Gordon and based on their real-life courtship, the film stars Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, and Anupam Kher.
Produced by Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel, “The Big Sick” centers on aspiring comedian Kumail and grad student Emily (Kazan), whose romance causes a rift with Kumail’s traditional Muslim parents. Emily then discovers she has a mysterious illness, leaving Kumail to navigate the medical crisis with her parents Beth and Terry (Hunter and »
- Graham Winfrey
The Orchard and CNN Acquire Documentary ‘Trophy’ — Sundance 2017
The Orchard and CNN Films have acquired the North American rights to the Sundance entry “Trophy,” directed by Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau. The Orchard is taking all North American rights except broadcast, which will be handled by CNN. A studio is in the process of negotiating international rights to the film.
“Trophy” is a “startling exploration of the evolving relationship between big-game hunting and wildlife conservation,” and will be released this year on at least 150 screens, according to The Orchard. The film looks at endangered African species like elephants, rhinos and lions, and investigates the industries of big-game hunting, breeding and wildlife conservation to ask the question: What are the implications of treating animals as commodities? »
- Graham Winfrey
“A Lot of Creativity and Beauty Can Come from Limitations”: Dp Nicholas Wiesnet on L.A. Times
Five years ago, Michelle Morgan made her Sundance debut with the short film K.I.T. She returns to the festival in 2017 as the writer, director and star of her first feature, L.A. Times, a romantic comedy where she plays alongside Jorma Taccone of Lonely Island fame. Morgan hired Nicholas Wiesnet, a Dp known primarily for documentary and short film work, to shoot the picture. Below, Wiesnet discusses how he got the job, why he shot the film in anamorphic widescreen and his approach to lighting and blocking comedy. L.A. Times will screen six times during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Filmmaker: How and why did you […] »
- Filmmaker Staff
Neo-Noir ‘Detour’ Starring Tye Sheridan, Bel Powley And Emory Cohen Underwhelms [Review]
If any one of the ’90s Quentin Tarantino copycats remade “Sliding Doors,” this neo-noir would be the result, even down to the casting of John Lynch, who starred in the 1998 film. Filled with would-be-witty dialogue, “Detour” takes a Choose Your Own Adventure approach to its twist-filled narrative about a college student whose attempts for revenge go very wrong. Director Christopher Smith employs split screen to show what happens when his hero makes a decision and flips back in time when it wants to show the audience just how little they know.
- Kimber Myers
Watch The First Clip From The ‘Inconvenient Truth’ Sequel, Plus Last Night’s Al Gore-Led Q&A From Sundance
You know what’s fun? When you wake up after Inauguration Day and learn that the White House leaders and Donald Trump have taken down the White House climate-change page and replaced it with a pledge to drill more oil. Oy, it’s going to be one of those days four years.
Read More: The 30 Most Exciting Films In The Sundance 2017 Lineup
Speaking of taking care of the environment, last night, Al Gore and the producers of the “An Inconvenient Truth” eco-doc sequel “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power” premiered their new film to much praise and a standing ovation at Sundance.
Continue reading Watch The First Clip From The ‘Inconvenient Truth’ Sequel, Plus Last Night’s Al Gore-Led Q&A From Sundance at The Playlist. »
- Rodrigo Perez
Annapurna Pictures To Launch Distribution and Marketing Division with Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘Untitled Detroit Project’
Annapurna Pictures is launching a “long planned, full-service distribution and marketing operation” with Kathryn Bigelow’s “Untitled Detroit Project,” according to a statement. The new division will be overseen by president Marc Weinstock, president of marketing David Kaminow, president of distribution Erik Lomis and their respective teams.
Directed by Bigelow, “Untitled Detroit Project” is a crime-drama set against the backdrop of Detroit’s 1967 riots. Bigelow is a producer alongside Annapurna’s Megan Ellison and Matthew Budman. The film’s release date will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the riots.
“Kathryn’s ‘Untitled Detroit Project’ is exemplary of the type of films we will be distributing,” Weinstock said in a statement. “I couldn’t be more confident in the team we are establishing to distribute and market the film in a way that is as creative and masterful as her film is.”
- Graham Winfrey
IndieWire’s Movie Podcast: Screen Talk (Episode 132) – Why We’re Excited About Sundance 2017
The 2017 Sundance Film Festival has started, and we’re still getting our bearings, but there’s already much to discuss. In this week’s episode, Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson sit down at the IndieWire condo to share some thoughts on the films they’ve already seen and what this year’s festival is telling us about the state of the film industry. The duo don’t quite agree about the future of the art form, but they do find some common ground in their mutual interest in seeing the movies survive.
Join Screen Talk’s co-hosts in Sundance at 11 a.m. on Monday, January 23 at Kickstarter’s HQ (311 Ontario, Park City) for a live recording of the next installment.
Listen to the full episode above.
Screen Talk is available on iTunes. You can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with Thompson and Kohn on Twitter or sound off in the comments. »
- Indiewire Staff
Annapurna Steps Into Distribution Game, Sets Release Date For Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit Riots Movie
The indie distribution game is always in a state of flux. Former titans The Weinstein Company now seem to be barely getting by these days, and the era of streaming hasn’t stopped new companies from coming along. Just this week, it was announced that former RADiUS honcho Tom Quinn and Alamo Drafthouse’s Tim League were teaming up to form Neon (Anne Hathaway‘s monster movie “Colossal” will be their first release).
Continue reading Annapurna Steps Into Distribution Game, Sets Release Date For Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit Riots Movie at The Playlist. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
‘The Good Place’ Season Finale Review: ‘Lost’-Style Twists Turn the Show Upside Down For Season 2
[Spoilers for Season 1, Episode 13, “Michael’s Gambit,” follow.]
A lot of philosophers got name-dropped during the first season of “The Good Place,” but it turns out that only one, ultimately, was the real inspiration for the series. That’d be your boy Jean-Paul Sartre, with the classic line from his play “No Exit”: “Hell is other people.”
Those four words underly the biggest revelations we learned during the season finale of Michael Schur’s existential comedy about the afterlife, though there’s plenty to discuss beyond that. “Chapter 13: Michael’s Gambit,” the season finale of “The Good Place,” brought with it two huge discoveries: First, that Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil) and Jason (Manny Jacinto) have actually been in “the bad place” this whole time, followed by the revelation that Ted Danson is capable of being very, very creepy.
Danson has never seemed all that scary to me before, but that »
- Liz Shannon Miller
‘My Happy Family’ Exclusive Clip: Georgian Woman Leaves Her Family Behind To Live On Her Own
The World Dramatic section at the Sundance Film Festival features films from around the globe by filmmakers with fresh, dynamic perspectives, such as the new Georgian film “My Happy Family.” The film follows Manana (Ia Shugliashvili) who announces to her family and family on the eve of her 52nd birthday that she plans to leave home. A wife of 25 years to a good husband, Manana has lived under one roof and co-existed with three generations of family, but suddenly she decides to break from tradition and live on her own in a new apartment. Watch an exclusive clip from the film below.
The film was directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross. They previously directed the film “In Bloom,” about two friends living in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi in 1992 who wand to escape society and their families, »
- Vikram Murthi
Park City Women’s March: What to Know If You’re Attending the Event During Sundance’s First Weekend
Tomorrow morning the most buzzed-about event during the Sundance Film Festival will be the long-planned anti-Donald Trump march on Park City’s Main Street. The event is not associated with the festival, but will be heavily attended by fest attendees who want to make their voices heard.
If you’re attending the march and its subsequent rally, we’ve gathered up everything you’d feasibly want to know to make your experience a productive, safe, and inspiring one. Check out our tips and information below.
See MoreSundance After Trump: How The Election Changed the Filmmakers and Their Films
When and Where
The march is scheduled to take place Saturday, January 21 from 9:00Am to 11:00Am. The march will start at 9:00Am at 220 Main Street (the Wasatch Brew Pub parking lot). A post-march rally will take place at 626 Swede Alley in the Flagpole Parking lot.
Host and Attendees »
- Kate Erbland
Emily Browning Feels The New York Groove In Sundance Trailer For Alex Ross Perry’s ‘Golden Exits’
With a cast that includes Emily Browning, Jason Schwartzman, Adam Horovitz, Mary-Louise Parker, Lily Rabe, and Chloë Sevigny, it’s not a big surprise that Alex Ross Perry‘s “Golden Exits” is one of the The 30 Most Exciting Films In The Sundance 2017 Lineup. And while we’ll have our verdict soon, this teaser provides a nice preview of what’s to come.
- Kevin Jagernauth
‘Whose Streets?’ Review: Ferguson Doc Shows the Birth of Black Lives Matter With Unrelenting Power — Sundance 2017
The arrival of the cell phone camera may be the single greatest advancement in the fight for racial justice, allowing witnesses to hold police accountable and turning the average citizen into a chance documentarian. Grainy footage of police shooting 12-year-old Tamir Rice for playing with a Bb gun, or the shaky handheld live stream of Philando Castile’s last breaths are etched indelibly into the national memory, recalled in fragments with each fresh report of an unarmed black person gunned down by police violence.
For the black residents of Ferguson, Mo, the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr. in 2014 was neither the first nor the last in a long line of police shootings, but it was the final straw. In the wake of Brown’s murder, what began as communal mourning swelled into an unstoppable movement that, as one subject of the electrifying new documentary “Whose Streets?” puts it: “Ain »
- Jude Dry
Ryan Reynolds Reportedly On Star-Studded Shortlist For ‘Green Lantern Corps’
With President Trump now in the White House and trying to figure out how to open the drawers of the desk in the Oval Office with his tiny hands, even he can’t stop Hollywood from making superhero movies. Nor can he stop Warner Bros. from dreaming big about their brewing “Green Lantern Corps” movie.
- Kevin Jagernauth
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