Andrew Dominik

Andrew Dominik Blonde

Filmmaker Andrew Dominik’s long-in-the-making attempt to turn Joyce Carol Oates’ Pulitzer Prize finalist “Blonde,” a loose (and beloved) 700-page take on the life of Marilyn Monroe, into a feature film has steadily become a prime candidate for inclusion on listicles that chart great-sounding films that never happened. It’s like Dune! Or The Man Who Killed Don Quixote! But it could still totally happen! But the news that Dominik’s feature has snagged a new leading lady to play the Monroe part, despite the long-time attachment of another famous blonde and little public indication that he needed a fresh face, seems to indicate that this thing might actually happen after all. The Wrap shares that Dominik’s film has now cast Jessica Chastain as Monroe, with an eye to start filming in August. As much as we really want to see this film – a true passion project for Dominik, as cliche as that may sound – we’re still skeptical. After all, we’ve learned from the past.

read more...

outofthefurnace

“There are now two Americas. My country is a horror show.” The above summary is of an an impromptu speech The Wire showrunner David Simon delivered at “The Festival of Dangerous Ideas” in Sydney this week. Simon’s work as producer has been characterized by a distinct effort to represent the “great horror show” America he mentions – the America without social mobility, the America where people are left to survive in the marginal social position they’ve inherited, the America without special interest groups to make a perpetual underclass visible in the media and worth pandering to for politicians’ votes. The Wire, as Simon attests directly, sought to represent the conditions and lives of people who are “economically worthless,” a series that lent a rare lens to ordinary people’s endurance in the face of total invisibility in the public sphere. Mainstream contemporary movies and television shows have, perhaps until very recently, almost exclusively surveyed the lives of those with considerable economic worth: audiences with expendable income that can be advertised to during commercial breaks or be expected to buy most movie tickets. But Out of the Furnace and Killing Them Softly – both of which take place in 2008 and were released almost exactly a year apart – offer an incisive lens into a hermetically sealed, economically deprived, and otherwise underrepresented American underclass.

read more...

-

In the future, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford will be regarded as a classic. It’s a haunting epic packed with beauty and brutality thanks to Roger Deakins‘s finest cinematography, Brad Pitt‘s best performance to date, and a narrative that conforms to zero biopic conventions. However, at the time of its release writer/director Andrew Dominik‘s adaptation was a box office dud, grossing less than $4m across the globe on a $36m budget. A part of the problem was that it wasn’t the Jesse James movie Warner Bros. wanted. They were thinking Unforgiven, not two and a half hours of obsession and regret. Heck, they probably would’ve preferred American Outlaws, the other recent financial (and creative) misfire starring Colin Farrell as a plucky Jesse James. To a degree, that’s fair on the studio’s part: wanting the most commercial movie possible from what’s now considered a non-commercial genre. The movie went through various edits due to Warners disliking of Dominik’s cut, but, despite their efforts, what they released still wasn’t the shoot ‘em up they were hoping for. Instead the result was something people have developed an immense passion for since its 2007 release. This Saturday in New York City there’s a revival screening of the film, and several sites (including us) have used the event as an excuse to praise the flop. If you’re in New York and have the time and money, do not miss out. The Assassination of Jesse James is a theatrical experience every one of its acolytes should experience. One of its greatest […]

read more...

Jake Gittes in Chinatown

Films noir, crime novels and detective stories all have a long history of unlikable characters that we cheer for. Bad guys doing good work. Flawed heroes who always know the right line to say and the right time to offer a lady a light. Agatha Christie this isn’t, and this week we’re getting our hands dirty by talking with Killing Them Softly director Andrew Dominik about violence and “Seduction of the Innocent” author Max Allan Collins about the history of the genre. He’ll offer the best films noir for new fans to start with, and then Geoff and I will discuss how to write unlikable characters with Chinatown in our sites. For more from us on a daily basis, follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on the Twitter. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #11 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

read more...

Andrew Dominik

Killing Them Softly is both a surprising and unexpected return for director Andrew Dominik, whose name has been missing from the big screen for five long years. What’s most surprising about the film is that it’s not much more commercial than his previous film, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, a movie which didn’t nearly get its due back in 2007. His latest film is, however, unsurprising in terms of theme: the power of the dollar. After Jesse James didn’t light the world on fire financially, Dominik found it difficult to get other projects off the ground, so money must have been on his mind. And, according to Dominik, it was, and that’s a part of how we got his new political crime picture, Killing Them Softly. Here is what writer and director Andrew Dominik had to say about the film’s slightly cartoonish approach, why the crime genre is so appealing, and the trials and tribulations caused by Jesse James:

read more...

Brad Pitt in Killing Them Softly

After only about five people paid to see Andrew Dominik‘s beautifully poetic The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, the popular belief was that any director in that position would follow up his ambitious financial failure with something more commercial. While Killing Them Softly has far more public appeal than Jesse James, Dominik has fortunately made another film unafraid to polarize. Set in 2008, following the economic collapse, mobsters have been seeking easier ways to make a quick buck or two, there is no clear order left, and, in this America, as the smooth contract killer Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) puts it, you’re on your own. Cogan — who’s sort of the protagonist — is brought down to New Orleans after a series of robberies hit Markie Trattman’s (Ray Liotta) poker games. With criminals afraid to play and spend their money, it’s Cogan’s job to get them back to playing, by finding the two men responsible for the latest theft, two big time losers named Frankie (Scoot McNairy, now holding the record for the most number of irritating characters in a single year) and Russell (Ben Mendelsohn). This reads as all fairly simple, but there’s more to this story than the trailers have been leading us to believe. Killing Them Softly is, in fact, almost more of an angry, loud voicemail left for the politicians who aren’t all that different from the lost, scrambling criminals we see in the film.

read more...

Back when we first heard about director Andrew Dominik‘s cinematic adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates‘ “Blonde” (itself an interpretation of the life of Marilyn Monroe), the big concern was that the film would be facing off against another Monroe biopic, the Michelle Williams-starring My Week With Marilyn. But Dominik’s film was ultimately delayed, My Week With Marilyn earned Williams an Oscar nod, Watts signed on to play another famous blond (Princess Diana), and it seemed as if we might never see Blonde on the big screen. Thankfully, we were wrong. The Playlist sat down with the Killing Them Softly director earlier this week, and the filmmaker told the outlet about his next project, which is now slated to be Blonde, saying quite simply: “I’m going to do this movie called Blonde, which is about Marilyn Monroe.” He went on to say that the film is “about her whole life. It starts when she’s seven and it ends when she dies.” He also compared it to “a Polanski descent-into-madness-type movie,” which sounds pretty much excellent. He added to that by saying, “It’s very pseudo-Freudian. The lines between fantasy and reality become very blurred in the story.” 

read more...

Life of Pi AFI FEST

October offered up plenty of films to give this awards season a proper start. Ben Affleck once again showed he’s got one of the best eyes for tension working today; John Hawkes gave another year’s best performance in Fox Searchlight’s The Sessions; Martin McDonagh made another wicked, original dark comedy with real bite; and, who could forget, The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer made a huge box office smash which received unabashed praise up the wazoo, especially for the seamless makeup work. While I wish Cloud Atlas did fit that description, at least for a few more years the trio’s daring and moving film will go down as a box office bomb which may or may have not been ahead of its time. No matter how Cloud Atlas stands up in a few years, it was the type of ambition which served as another reminder of how important going to the movie theater is and to truly have experiences while you are there, be they good or bad. With November 2012, there are plenty of movies to have a similar experience with, from Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi to a triumphant new Bond movie. Keep reading to find out what other eight movies you must see this month.

read more...

Brad Pitt in Killing Them Softly

After the box office bust and critical disappointment of their Lawless (hey! I liked it!), The Weinstein Company has pushed back their potential awards contender, Andrew Dominik‘s Killing Them Softly, to the more awards-friendly date of November 30. The film was last slated for a release on October 19, after being moved there in July, when TWC moved it off its first release date (September 21) after they announced that The Master (another one of their awards contenders) would open in limited release on September 14 and then expand on September 21. In regards to the choice, Deadline Hollywood reports (via /Film) that Harvey Weinstein commented, ““In this industry it is a very rare event to look at a weekend where your movie could open as the only wide release picture…November 30th will allow us to bring Killing Them Softly to a wide audience without competition. Additionally, the critical response to the movie has been very favorable especially on the amazing performances and November 30th positions us better in the Awards season calendar.” Two points for honesty. Simon saw Killing Them Softly back during Cannes, and he called it “an artfully crafted, occasionally very funny satire dressed up in tough-guy leathers and packing a knuckle duster punch.” Check out his review HERE, and give the film’s trailer a look right HERE.

read more...

Andrew Dominik is not a prolific director. After bursting onto the scene in 2000 with the violent biographical tale Chopper he waited seven years before releasing the critically acclaimed The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford with Brad Pitt. The film was universally praised by critics, but theater-goers have notoriously short attention spans meaning most of them moved on to something else before they even finished reading the title. (The ‘something else’ in this case was a one-two punch of Resident Evil: Extinction and Good Luck Chuck, so shame on you America.) Five years later and Dominik is finally returning to the screen, and he’s bringing Pitt along with him. Killing Them Softly is a blackly humorous crime thriller about a pair of low-rent amateurs who rob the wrong poker game. Pitt plays a mob man brought in to find and handle the pair, and the film follows his efforts arrange for their demise while interacting with the local criminal element. The film is an adaptation of George V Higgins’ 1974 novel Cogan’s Trade, and while it updates the story to the modern day it keeps the Boston setting that has served the genre so well over the years. Pitt’s joined by Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Sam Shepard, Ben Mendelsohn and Scoot McNairy. Our own Simon Gallagher was a big fan when he saw it at Cannes, and now the rest of us can get a taste as well with the debut of the highly […]

read more...

Brad Pitt in Killing Them Softly

Andrew Dominik always had an ominous mountain to climb with his next feature, having polarized opinion with The Assassination Of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford, that most tonal and visually textured of revisionist Westerns, but with Killing Them Softly he has certainly at least avoided the black hole that tends to suck young talents perilously down into obscurity. He might not, however, have scored a huge commercial hit. Taking a leaf out of Jesse James‘s book, Killing Them Softly is effectively a post-gangster film, deconstructing the genre and smashing it against the oh-so-contemporary wall built by recessions and austerity measures. The label might still seem to read “gangster,” with the presence of wise guys and henchmen presiding over their own lawless patches of the murky underbelly of normal society, but gone is the aspirational elements of Goodfellas and Casino in favor of a tight-belted, thoroughly modern revision of the gangster ideal. For all intents and purposes, this is the cut-price Cosa Nostra.

read more...

Simon has already weighed in on Moonrise Kingdom – his first Cannes film of 2012 – but we check in with him to see what 6 films he’s looking forward to the most. Plus, Movies.com’s Peter Hall faces off against Landon Palmer in the Movies News Pop Quiz, and we end up asking important questions about repertory screenings. Will the films of the future digitally last forever? Download Episode #134

read more...

When we’re introduced to Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford‘s white-collar characters in the opening scene of The Cabin in the Woods, it becomes wildly apparent Drew Goddard‘s film is not your typical horror picture. They’re tasked with delivering an exceptional amount of exposition, which Goddard and Joss Whedon let them deliver with a pure sense of glee. Unlike Jenkins’s previous horror film performance, The Father in Let Me In, this is a character who is about as Average Joe as they come, and he just happens to have a not-so-Average-Joe occupation. Here’s what Jenkins had to say about comedic exposition, the brilliance of unexpected filmmaking, and why his character Ted in Burn After Reading deserved getting axed to death:

read more...

Scoot McNairy likes to get things done. That’s his general attitude toward life and filmmaking. The indie actor most recently peeked his head out into pop culture awareness with a great photoshop job in In Search of a Midnight Kiss and in Gareth Edwards’s Monsters. Off-kilter romance with or without giant aliens seem to be his thing. Now, McNairy could possibly be jumping in feet first into that mainstream awareness. According to Variety and Deadline Burbank, the actor has joined Brad Pitt for Cogan’s Trade (being directed by Andrew Dominik). He’s also up for co-starring roles in Prometheus: Not an Alien Prequel (as a love interest for Noomi Rapace’s character) and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Good thing he likes to get things done. This is great news for a strong talent and for audiences that like talented actors. It’s akin to Jeremy Renner making it to major casting lists, although it’s not quite as big as strapping on superhero gear (yet). It’s always nice to see casting directors considering/hiring actors instead of just slapping hollow, pretty faces into everything.

read more...

Director Andrew Dominik proved with The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford that he could create an intensely beautiful film with an insanely long title. He also proved that he could handle a large cast of formidable talent. Fortunately for fans, he’ll get another chance to wrangle a murder of talent. Not only will Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck be starring in Dominik’s forthcoming Cogan’s Trade – a film about comedy and crime in Boston (the only city in the United States with crime) – but Sam Rockwell, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Zoe Saldana, Bill Murray, and Mark Ruffalo are also possible to come on board. If they do, Andrew Dominik will have single-handedly kept the great actors of Hollywood busy and unable to appear in anyone else’s films next year. Well played, sir. The film is set to shoot in Louisiana in March, and it creates another reason to be excited for 2012. [Cinema Blend]

read more...

There’s been talk for quite sometime now of Andrew Dominik’s planned “warts and all” Marilyn Monroe pic starring Naomi Watts titled, Blonde. The film initially had a January start date, but now that seems unlikely. In a recent piece in The New York Times it was revealed that Casey Affleck may be re-teaming with Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford director, and now according to Affleck, it’s true. While out promoting I’m Still Here, Affleck revealed in an interview with The Kevin and Josh Movie Show on 106.7 HD2 (CBS RADIO – Washington D.C.) that he’s about to reunite with Dominik on a novel adaption, which he says starts in January. But how will this affect Blonde?

read more...
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3