Improvisation

Larry David has reigned as the king of cable comedy for quite a few years now due to the continued success of his HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. His largely improvised look at what it’s like to be a rich, curmudgeonly Hollywood type getting in fights with everyone, everywhere he goes, is a comedy goldmine, and has proved that his network success with Seinfeld was in no way a fluke. To this point though, David hasn’t been able to successfully make the transition to being a feature film presence. When David takes a film role, more often than not, we end up with something like Whatever Works, the Woody Allen film that was probably his least acclaimed work of the past decade. But, if news being reported today is to be believed, Larry’s luck might be about to change. THR has a report that David is currently in negotiations to star in a new comedy from Superbad director Greg Mottola, that’s coming from a treatment by Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer, and David Mandel – all writers who David is familiar with from their work on Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Reportedly, the still-untitled comedy is going to be largely improv-based – much like David’s current television work – with a loosely scripted plot that’s being kept under wraps used as a framework for heat-of-the-moment riffs.

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In our first show of the 2012 season, we set off the filmmaking fireworks by finding out why Innkeepers director Ti West doesn’t believe in spooks, and by talking to indie icon Ed Burns about the twitter revolution, his $9,000 budget, and his new must-see movie Newlyweds. Plus, Neil Miller stops by to dangle the hope and potential of 2012’s most anticipated movies over our noses. Will he say the movie you’re thinking of and validate his opinion to you, or will he neglect it, making everything he says in the future suspect? Be prepared to find out a metric ton about movies and their makers, because it’s our third season, and we’re only getting started. Download This Episode

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, 30 Minutes or Less star Nick Swardson stops by to talk action comedy, and John Gholson from Movies.com makes the case for more female Avengers. Plus, Fat Guy Kevin Carr battles Stan Lee Sound-a-Like Jim Napier from Geek Tyrant in the Movie News Pop Quiz, and the results would make children weep. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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Criterion Files

John Cassavetes’ Shadows (1959) is often cited as a watershed moment in American independent film, and Cassavetes himself rather conveniently historicized as our nation’s “first” independent filmmaker. Such historical designations are often used as a way to narrativize precedents to the 1980s and 1990s Sundance-emboldened independent film “movement” and draw historical equivalents to the practices of now and then. This tendency often positions Cassavetes’ undoubtedly important contributions in a way that simplistically juxtaposes his artistic efforts with that of, say, anybody from Jim Jarmusch to Quentin Taranatino, ignoring the essential differences in historical context and means of aesthetic expression between them while also conveniently evading the many other American “independent” filmmakers that came before Cassavates himself. While Cassavetes is undoubtedly a one-of-a-kind filmmaker (excluding the many he has influenced), perhaps the biggest problem with this conventionally reductive veneration of Cassavetes is the notion that he acted alone, that he was an anomaly in an otherwise dominant system. John Cassavetes is undoubtedly one of America’s most important filmmakers, but seeing him as such an incongruity prevents us from understanding exactly why he was so important.

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