Brick

Rian Johnson

Writer/director Rian Johnson‘s Looper is an intricately told film. Nearly every scene in the movie is packed full of new information, from character development to world building. As Johnson explains finding that structure, it was like creating stepping stones across a pond for the audience, so they don’t fall into the pond of mind-numbing exposition. That wasn’t an easy path to make, either. Johnson spent many years developing the story from a two-page treatment to a feature length film, and much of that process was dedicated to handling all of the film’s information. After Looper‘s box office and critical success, it’s fair to say he managed with flying colors. With the movie out on Blu-ray, Johnson took some time to speak with us about the story’s mother/son dynamic, why the best science fiction has something we care deeply about at its core, and his desire to write more economically:

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Rian Johnson

Editor’s Introduction: Normally this feature is created by diving into the deep end of interviews, but when Rian Johnson agreed to write an entry himself, it was an opportunity impossible to pass up. With only three features under his belt, Johnson is already a force to be reckoned with. Emerging onto the scene with the inventive high school noir Brick in 2005, he pivoted off its dark tones for the lighter flair of The Brothers Bloom in 2008. He re-teamed with Joseph Gordon-Levitt for this year’s Looper, which has been blazing a trail through fans and sparking a metric ton of conversation. Part of that is his dialogue, part of it is the look he manages to achieve, but another big part is his personal style that shines through and seems impossible to mimic. So here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) directly from a man who built his own time machine.

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Rian Johnson

Rian Johnson is a director you’re going to want to get to know, if you don’t already. He’s one of the more innovative filmmakers around and his previous films, Brick and Brothers Bloom have been triumphs of independent cinema. If nothing else, Brick showed us that there is still life remaining in the otherwise tired convention of film noir and that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was ready to be a leading man in something other than fluff comedy. Johnson’s latest film, Looper, re-teams him with JGL as well as giving him the chance to work with Bruce Willis on what is essentially the biggest movie of his burgeoning career. After seeing Looper at Fantastic Fest, we had a blunderbuss full of questions to fire at Johnson. We were so happy he was able to make time for us.

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The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained. The Film: Brick (2005) The Plot: When his ex-girlfriend goes missing, teenage Brendan dives into the seedy underworld of High School, digging his way through political allegiances and a youthful criminal enterprise in this seedy neo-noir tale.

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Fans in attendance who braved the Ballroom Line were treated to the first footage anyone anywhere has seen of Rian Johnson‘s (Brick) newest film, Looper. Up ’til now, all we’ve really heard about the project is that it’s a movie that somehow blends time-travel and assassins. How could it go wrong? While I’m sure there are millions of ways for that idea to go wrong, what we witnessed seems to suggest that none of those things actually went wrong. I’ll break down the footage for you, and it could be considered kind of spoilery I guess, though the teaser trailer will be online in a few weeks. We’ve also got pictures of Joseph Gordon-Levitt as he appears in Looper!

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Rian Johnson

The powers that be at Film School Rejects were wise enough to include Rian Johnson‘s sci-fi pic Looper as one of our Most Anticipated Films of 2012, and it’s certainly in my top 3 for the year as well. Sadly, the film is still far off and we’ve only gotten a few behind-the-scenes pics (via Looper‘s Twitter feed) and an official shot showcasing Bruce Willis doing what he does best. Now we have gotten another behind-the-scenes picture which may give you a better idea of what to expect. Johnson released this pretty damn cool shot of the film’s time travel machine, and it looks like a down and dirty time machine, a.k.a. it’s not shiny and all that stuff.

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Since we all have a million dollars, our minds are almost always tuned to the day dream of what kind of movie we’d make with all that loose cash just lying around (since banks do nothing but lose things). Would it be a romantic horror film? Would it be a silent action film? Would we blow of all of it on lighting and forget the other elements of production design? Probably. Fortunately, we’ve all had a few filmmakers tread before us in using their million bucks with efficiency and artistry. In a world where Michael Bay needs 200 suitcases full of $1m, these directors made it happen with only one of those suitcases (or no suitcases at all), and they created a lasting legacy despite their lack of foldin’ money. If they can do it, why not us? Here are 8 great films made for under a million dollars that we can all learn from. (And if you enter our contest sponsored by Doritos, you might actually win that $1m you need for all those lights.)

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By now, you should all know that Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Brick, 500 Days of Summer, The Lookout) is awesome. So it’s double awesome news that he’s in negotiations to star in TWO action thrillers!

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Charles Carter is investigated in the death of President Warren Harding, duels with his nemesis Mysterioso, falls in love, out of love, in love again, and manages to escape life’s harshest dangers even when they have him bound in a straight jacket and thrown into the river.

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Just over 3,000 films were released in the past ten years. Instead of sleeping, Neil and Cole (with the help of a supercomputer) whittle that list down to the best 1%.

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decade_teenmovies

Though they very seldom win awards, the best teen movies usually compel repeat viewings and somehow seem to intuit the needs and tastes of generations to come. Here are 15 of the decade’s most memorable explorations of all the intrinsic charms and traumas of teendom.

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rianjohnson-brothersbloom

Film School Rejects chats with ‘The Brothers Bloom’ director about his love for con man stories, his unique stylistic vision and working with a cast full of famous people, on a big scale, in Eastern Europe.

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Brick director Rian Johnson

If there is one up and coming director that we are watching closely, it is Rian Johnson. And if there is one sci-fi flick we are now looking forward to, it is Looper.

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Director Rian Johnson

Brick director to try sci-fi with his third film, Looper. I need to change now.

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Mark Ruffalo, Adrien Brody and Rachel Weisz in The Brothers Bloom

I have no idea how I missed it, but over the weekend Summit Entertainment released the first trailer for director Rian Johnson’s The Brothers Bloom.

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Grade: A+

Release Date: August 8, 2006 I have been on the Brick bandwagon for months now; and ever since seeing it at the Columbus alive Deep Focus Film Festival in May I have been absolutely engrossed in the astounding brilliance of this film. It is so hard these days to find films that are so original, so daring and so faithful to a genre. Rian Johnson’s modern day high school crime drama dashed in a world that noir built sets the stage for a story that keeps us guessing as much as it pins our asses to our seats. As with classic noir, the film sets its main character, played by Joseph Gordon Levitt, in a cynical world, trapped in the midst of turmoil and mystery. Levitt’s Brendon is a loner, a self inflicted reject of the mass populous of his high school, but he loves Emily (Emilie De Raven). And when Emily turns up dead, Brendon buries himself in the underground world of drugs and corruption that claimed the life of his sweetheart.

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published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B
published: 12.12.2014
D+


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