Edward Burns

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The Fitzgerald Family Christmas marks writer/director/star Edward Burns’ return to capturing the working class milieu of his earlier work in films like indie darling The Brothers McMullen. Somewhat surprisingly, the film also marks Burns’ very first foray into a making a film about the holidays. In the film, Burns plays Gerry, a grown man who still lives with his mother (Anita Gillette) on Long Island. He also lives with the burden of running his family’s bar and filling in for his father (Ed Lauter), who walked out his large Irish family – a total of seven siblings – twenty years ago. When his father announces that he’s dying and wants to spend his last Christmas with his family, the disparate siblings come together and debate whether or not they are ready to forgive their father for the transgressions of the past. Amidst all the family drama, Gerry also strikes up a romance with at-home nurse, Nora (Connie Britton). Here’s what the very prolific Burns had to say about his inspirations for the film, the benefits of working with friends, how VOD is changing independent film, and a little rumor that he might guest star on Nashville…

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At a certain age, everyone has them – people they love, friends they’ve grown up with, beloved compatriots that have turned into frazzled, mewling monsters. Let’s call them what they are – Friends With Kids. In Jennifer Westfeldt‘s film, she stars as one half of a non-couple with no kids – her Julie Keller has a great apartment and a great job and a great pack of friends, but she’s nowhere near the stage of life when she’ll announce at a dinner that she’s pregnant, or move to Brooklyn to have more space for the rugrats, or to turn into a shell of herself after months of no sleep and no sex and a crying baby. Her best friend, Jason Fryman (Adam Scott) is in the same boat – a bit of a playboy, he’s loose with both his morals and his money, and in absolutely no state to settle down and have a kid. Which doesn’t quite explain how much they both secretly want to. When the other four members of their inner circle (including Bridesmaids veterans Maya Rudolph, Chris O’Dowd, Jon Hamm, and Kristen Wiig), already paired off and married, start having children, Julie and Jason are both struck by two thoughts. One – they want kids. Two – they don’t want to have them the way their friends have them. All Julie and Jason can see is the disintegration of romance, beaten down by babies screaming for binkies, lack of sex, and abject exhaustion – which is why […]

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Can an indie filmmaker upset the apple cart twice in a career? Evidence seems to point to Edward Burns doing just that, quietly dominating a niche audience without the aid of big budgets (or any budgets really) and without the hollow aid of buy-the-bank advertising campaigns. His first bow on the scene was in 1995 with Sundance favorite The Brothers McMullen, and now he’s capitalizing on the same social networking tool that protestors are using to overthrow dictators: Twitter. At a time when Hollywood is struggling, post-movie star, to figure out what works, Burns is exercising a formula that involves tiny bottom lines and an audience that already trusts and reveres his work. It’s almost certain that few filmmakers will be able to rise to prominence through Twitter, but since Burns is a known entity dedicated to finding his fans and engaging with him, he’s been able to make back money with ease and tell the stories he wants to tell. His latest is Newlyweds, a slice of life written/directed/produced and starring Burns as one-half of a newly married couple whose lives (much like an apple cart) are upset by a half-sister coming on the scene. As the thorough Christina Warrren over at Mashable explains, Burns shot the flick for $9k and raised massive awareness for it and for his process using the little blue bird of tweeting. He also found talent through it. Her full article deserves a read, and in a time where mature adult situations are nearly […]

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