Jason Schwartzman

Listen Up Philip

“I’m told to expect big things out there.” Imagine what it would look like — what he would look like — if Rushmore‘s Max Fischer grew up without adhering to any of the lessons he learned in Wes Anderson‘s high school-set charmer. All that youthful striving, the gung-ho attitude, the self-involvement, well, that’s just not a good look for a grown-up, which is kind of the point of Alex Ross Perry‘s Jason Schwartzman-starring Listen Up Philip, an indie outing that looks to be taking Schwartzman’s Fischer in a terrible — and hilarious — new direction. In the feature, Schwartzman plays the eponymous Philip (who, yes, definitely looks like he needs to “listen up” to just about everyone else in his life), a self-obsessed novelist on the cusp of delivering his second book. That may sound promising, but things are not going so well for Philip, and his bad attitude and latent anger issues aren’t helping matters. See? He’s an adult-sized monster Max Fischer. Get to know Philip after the break, thanks to the first Listen Up Philip trailer.

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teenage documentary still 2

Yesterday I raved about a new documentary called Teenage, which I claim to be the best teen movie of the year so far. Today I can help you find out for yourself if that’s the truth. Teenage opens in Los Angeles this Friday, and we’ve got a pair of tickets to give away for the 7:40pm show at the Laemmle Noho 7 that evening. Actor Jason Schwartzman, who is a producer on this film, will also be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A. It’s very likely that the now-classic teen movie Rushmore will be brought up, but I can’t guarantee it. But there might be a question worth asking there: which of the multiple subcultures highlighted (Wandering Birds, Swing Kids and Bright Young Things, among them) does Schwartzman think Max Fischer would have joined — the answer would probably just be “all of them,” though. It should be obvious, but to qualify for the tickets you have to live in the Los Angeles area — or be there Friday night in time for the show. The only other thing you need to do to enter is subscribe to The Weekly Edition of FSR and then let us know that you’re good to go.

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Teenage

This week sees the release of an extraordinary new teen movie, adapted from a book, involving social rebellion. I’m not talking about Divergent. And to be fair the film already opened last Friday but expands to Los Angeles this weekend followed by Austin, Atlanta, Boston and other major cities over the next two months. It’s titled Teenage, and it’s a documentary, and while it’s heavy on the archival footage, it’s very accessible, cleverly constructed and even quite entertaining. It’s produced by Jason Schwartzman, features character narration by Jena Malone and Ben Whishaw and features Alden Ehrenreich. And like any good teen movie should, it has a memorable soundtrack — albeit one totally in the form of an anachronistic electronic store by Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox. Although there were qualifiable entries here and there beforehand, the teen movie really was born in the 1950s, which is also around the time when we think of teen culture first beginning to emerge. The second part isn’t necessarily the case, though, even if it’s when the term “teenager” and the acknowledgement of adolescents’ pop culture finally caught on in the mainstream. Taking its basis from Jon Savage’s Teenage: The Prehistory of Youth Culture 1875-1945, the documentary takes us back much further in time to the last quarter of the 19th century. Think of it as the prequel or back story to every teen movie of the last 60 years. Except maybe Swing Kids, which deals with a social group also included in Teenage. 

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cc rushmore

With only a singular exception (The Darjeeling Limited), all of Wes Anderson‘s films have been works of art that are equal parts entertainment and emotion. Everyone will have their own favorite, but for me the top spot is a rotating position alternately occupied by Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums. Both films are pure perfection, but while the latter satisfies my darker moods, the exploits of Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) and friends are perfect whenever. It’s beautiful, funny, smart, and loaded with heart courtesy of Bill Murray. The Criterion Collection added Rushmore to their Blu-ray roster in 2011, and among the numerous extras is a commentary track featuring Anderson, Owen Wilson, and Jason Schwartzman. Unfortunately, the trio appear to have recorded separately, but they still have a collective wealth of information to share on a movie they still hold dear.

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banks

Shooting one quaint room with only four inhabitants doesn’t exactly scream “cinematic,” at least not in the conventional sense of the word. For a considerable portion of Saving Mr. Banks, we’re watching creative sessions involving P.L. Travers (Emma Thomspon), screenwriter Don DaGradi (Bradley Whitford), and songwriters Richard (Jason Schwartzman) and Bob Sherman (B.J. Novak) attempting to adapt Mary Poppins. Generally absent from those scenes is Tom Hanks, an actor with no shortage of charisma. Not having Hanks’s Walt Disney participating is fine though as the others happily match his charm. Director John Lee Hancock (The Blindside) cast these roles based on the energy needs of that room. Discussing those scenes with Hancock, it’s apparent how much those moments standout for him as well:

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Castello Cavalcanti

Why Watch? Dismissing the Prada connection (and the ramifications therein), this is another flashy stylesplosion from Wes Anderson starring (who else?) Jason Schwartzman and the color yellow. Unsurprisingly, the Amacord-inspired short didn’t have money in the budget for a plot, although it earns some heartwarming fuel by cribbing from the Cars storyline, and seeing Anderson blend Fellini’s idiosyncratic sentimentality with Pixar’s least-liked series is worth the price of admission. Plus, the colors! The richness! Visually sumptuous and exact as usual, but let’s not pretend you read this after seeing Anderson’s name. You were either in or out in that instance. As for me, I’m in.

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Moss-Schwartzman

Writer/director Alex Ross Perry’s most recent film, The Color Wheel, was a pretty challenging story to ask audiences to get behind, what with its protagonists who were near crippled with neuroses and narcissism, not to mention its incestual undertones—but it was nonetheless interesting and well-made enough to earn largely positive reviews. And it must have turned some heads in Hollywood too, because now Perry is slated to be back with another film, and one that’s set to include a couple of name actors in its cast, to boot. The story comes from The Wrap, who report that the same producing team who wowed Sundance this year with Ain’t Them Bodies Saints are helping Perry to once again get behind the camera and bring one of his scripts to life. This time around he’s written a character drama called Listen Up Philip, and according to the report, it’s a New York-set film that’s going to star Jason Schwartzman as the title character, Philip, a newly accomplished writer whose poor life decisions have often hurt those around him—most particularly his art photographer girlfriend, Ashley, who’s going to be played by Mad Men’s Elizabeth Moss.

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schwartzman

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news column that’s actually going to go a day without reporting on any Veronica Mars confirmations. It does have some news about Cillian Murphy though. It seems like Tim Burton’s next project, Big Eyes, is finally seeing him break away from his usual stable of actors in order to work with interesting names he doesn’t have any experience with. For everyone other than the biggest fans of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter wearing silly wigs, that’s go to be seen as good news. Especially when the names he’s recruiting are exciting as Jason Schwartzman, who The Wrap is reporting has joined the film as a San Francisco art gallery owner named Ruben. Everyone loves Jason Schwartzman, so add him to a cast that already includes Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz, and there starts to be so much love going around that we’re going to have to worry about how to contain it.

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Jason Schwartzman

Actor/writer/musician Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola get along well, at least that was the obvious impression I got from Schwartzman at the A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III‘s press day. They’ve collaborated many times in the past, which seems to be a collaboration that Schwartzman is completely gung ho for. For Schwartzman, the more (good) cooks in the kitchen, the better. Since A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III deals with an artistic roadblock – and as did the last movie Coppola directed, CQ – it felt like the right opportunity to discuss Schwartzman’s own creative process. Here’s what one of the many stars of Charles Swan had to say about his collaborative nature, why fancy notebooks won’t help you, and problem solving:

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Maggie Gyllenhaal

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that’s been out of work since casting agents seem to be treating the week between Christmas and New Years as one prolonged food coma. If there’s one thing that Jurassic Park taught us, it’s that nature finds a way. Well, casting finds a way too. In a week where there isn’t any news getting leaked to the trades, leave it to Albuquerque Business First to break a new scoop. The eagle eyes over at The Film Stage noticed that, in an article about how that Michael Fassbender-starring rock and roll comedy called Frank is coming to town to shoot, the local source managed to break the news that Maggie Gyllenhaal is coming to town with it. Her involvement in the film sees her joining a cast that includes not just Fassbender, but two of the young MVPs of 2012, Domhnall Gleeson and Scoot McNairy, as well. Which, you know, makes her one of the luckiest ladies in the world.

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Charles Swan III

The trailer for Roman Coppola‘s Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III is manic, but the star isn’t. In fact, Charlie Sheen is downright soporific in this thing, sleepwalking his way through ill-fitting costumes and outrageous situations that he only seems tangentially aware of. Basically, it looks like he may have done the entire movie on Oxycontin. It’s a colorful first look to be sure, but it’s a little troubling when Jason Schwartzman looks hung out to dry with no comedic partner to keep pace, but Bill Murray, fortunately, looks like he’s in rare form (especially when dressed as The Duke). Check it out for yourself, and be ready to think “Wes Anderson-Lite”:

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A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan the III

A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III is Roman Coppola‘s first film in over ten years. His directorial debut, CQ, was received with a mixed response. It didn’t garner much love, but it’s a really fun movie which goes beyond the average “struggling director” stories. Since then, Coppola’s been keeping busy with his music video and commercial and his frequent collaborations with Wes Anderson. Now he’s finally returned to the director’s chair, with a movie which is exactly what we’d expect from the guy who co-wrote Moonrise Kingdom and The Darjeeling Limited. Apple launched the trailer today. Take a look:

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Jason Schwartzman

Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom followup, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is a movie that’s shrouded in a (relatively thin) veil of secrecy. Sure, we know that it’s going to be about a hotel, and we know that it’s going to feature an ensemble cast, but as far as specifics regarding who exactly will be in the cast and what specifically the story is about go, Anderson is keeping his lips sealed. Despite his unwillingness to spill any of the precious beans, however, a couple names have been confirmed over the past few days.

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Even when it just had a director and two principal actors in place, Disney’s upcoming Saving Mr. Banks already seemed like it was the perfect storm of mainstream appeal. Take director John Lee Hancock, who made mountains of money and received boatloads of acclaim for his sugary sweet The Blind Side, give him two of the most universally loved actors working in Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, and put them to work on subject matter involving one of the biggest legends in entertainment history, Walt Disney, and one of the most enduring children’s stories of all time, “Mary Poppins,” and you have to imagine this film’s potential for box office dollars and warmed hearts is unprecedented. It turns out Saving Mr. Banks isn’t just content to get our attention and then sit back and coast on a winning formula though. Variety has a new report that a trio of actors have just signed on to the film in supporting roles, and they’re three of the best supporting players studio dollars can buy. Joining Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as “Mary Poppins” author P.L. Travers will be Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, and Ruth Wilson.

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Director Wes Anderon’s period dramedy, Moonrise Kingdom, is a unique departure from his previous collaboration with co-writer Roman Coppola. The Darjeeling Limited was about three characters who, at first, could not care less about one another, and often went about showing it in hilariously cruel ways. None of that meanness is present in Anderson and Coppola’s Moonrise Kingdom, a story about the innocence of young love. For certain characters, not all is as fun and sweet as the young leads’ love. Considering this is a Wes Anderson film there’s a sense of tragedy underlining the playful style and witty jokes. Moonrise Kingdom explores themes of disappointment and lost love, something all the older characters are facing, and something the two kids may one day face as well. However, these themes and ideas to Anderson and Coppola’s work are not as deliberate as some suspect. As Roman Coppola puts it, it all comes from a place of intuition.

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It only took legendary filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich over three decades to write another film about the ins and outs and ups and downs of the theater – and who can blame him after the massive bomb that was At Long Last Love – but Squirrels to the Nuts sounds just zippy enough to really make it. Bogdanovich has written the script for the new film and will also direct (a double duty he hasn’t pulled off since 1990’s Texasville), but it’s the film’s producers, Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach, who should really set the tone for the film. Variety reports that the “quirky indie comedy” centers on a “hooker-turned-Broadway-thesp and the recurring intersection between those two facets of her life.” There’s nothing like prostitution to really keep you on your toes. Rising star Brie Larson will play the hooker with a heart of gold tap shoes, which sounds like yet another role that will show off the actress’s knack for excelling at very different parts (it’s not everyone who can turn in solid performances in both Rampart and 21 Jump Street  in the same year). Owen Wilson will play a Broadway director who, despite being married to another Broadway star (not yet cast), pays Larson for her non-theatrical work before eventually helping her get away from hooking.

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Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward in Moonrise Kingdom

It’s the summer of 1965, and a storm is heading towards New Penzance Island. The small dot of land is home to a few permanent residences, but it’s also a seasonal destination for a troop of Khaki Scouts who camp amidst the lush green forests and golden fields. Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) awakes one morning to discover the troop’s least liked member, Sam (Jared Gilman), has gone missing. Elsewhere on the island the Bishop family realizes their daughter Suzy (Kara Hayward) has also disappeared. The two pre-teens fell for each other the year prior during a brief, chance meeting, and have now taken off on an adventure as young lovers are prone to do (in movies at least). Sam and Suzy soon have half the island searching for them, but being such a small, sparsely populated place that search party consists almost entirely of the Scout Master, the local constable, Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) and Suzy’s parents, Walt and Laura (Bill Murray, Frances McDormand). Wes Anderson‘s latest film splits its time between the kids on the run and their mostly adult pursuers, and in doing so it tells two sides of a story that offer equal amounts of humor, whimsy and heartbreak. It’s a return to form for the director and his first to follow-up on the promise of Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums as it highlights the wide-eyed possibilities of youth and the harsh reality of adulthood.

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The Royal Tenenbaums Wes Anderson Commentary Track

Wes Anderson loves family dramas dressed as fantasies, and this notion is no less palpable with The Royal Tenenbaums, the film that essentially set him on the map. A lot of us remember finding Bottle Rocket in video stores or trekking out with friends to see Rushmore, but that was mostly because of Bill Murray. The Royal Tenenbaums was the movie that made people realize this voice in the world of independent film making had arrived. 11 years later, and Anderson’s latest, Moonrise Kingdom, another light-hearted drama made to look like a fable, is upon us. However, we felt it was time to go back and see exactly what the writer/director had to say about his pinnacle film, The Royal Tenenbaums. There’s sure to be references of French movies and anecdotes about writing with Owen Wilson, but that’s the obvious stuff. We’ve got 28 more items beyond that. So help yourselves with what we learned from the commentary for The Royal Tenenbaums. Cue the Elliott Smith.

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Moonrise Kingdom appears to be a delicate fancy of a film – an assessment you suspect might entertain Wes Anderson – offering no more ground-breaking a story than young love, with the director’s traditional preoccupation with whimsy, and creating such artfully created landscapes and characters that they flirt outrageously with magic realism, though without explicit realisation of that concept. But there are weightier issues at hand, of parental neglect, of revolution (not just sexual but also anti-establishment), and it seems completely appropriate that Anderson chose to set it in as provocatively important a time as 1965. The film follows two young lovers – Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward) – who escape their lives to run away together, and the ensuing chaos of their parents and the local authorities’ attempts to find them: no more than a gentle plot that suggests nothing of the drama and comedy that subsequently unfolds.

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Hooray! On May 25th, Wes Anderson‘s latest movie Moonrise Kingdom will enjoy the warm glow of the silver screen. The movie stars Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman and Bob Balaban, and it tells the story of young love that leaves town and causes a search party to form. No doubt, Balaban is looking stately here. Like a young Santa Claus. Ahead of the release, Focus Features has released a team photo of the whole crew, and if you didn’t know it was from Wes Anderson before, this photo definitely isn’t hiding it. Check it out for yourself and click it to make it even bigger:

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