Jess Weixler

Breathe

The address of women in film isn’t new to film festivals, many of which have at least the occasional panel on issues regarding gender imbalance behind and in front of the camera. But lately there seems to be an increased spotlight on what various fests have to offer their audience in terms of female filmmakers and movies about women and how much of their program consists of titles that pass the Bechdel test or some other barometer like it. Last month, I wrote on the Bath Film Festival’s new system for stamping an ‘F’ rating to any of its selections meeting a pro-female criteria. More recently, the prestigious International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam had a themed program devoted to “the female gaze,” including screenings of old and new films plus panel discussions of such ideas as a Bechdel test specifically tailored to nonfiction cinema (see my response at Nonfics). Now an American event is joining the conversation, as the Atlanta Film Festival announced this week an initial wave of selections for its 2015 program, and all 10 titles named are works directed by women. As ATLFF Director of Programming Kristy Breneman points out, almost half of the fest’s 2014 program, both features and shorts, was made up of women-directed films (such as Obvious Child). On top of that, the event’s jury awards for best narrative feature and best documentary feature and the audience-award winner for best feature went to films by women. Because of that, Breneman made it a point to start things off for next year’s fest by unveiling an entirely female-helmed […]

read more...

Best Man Down

If the world of wedding-based reality TV has taught us anything, it’s that a wedding can be ruined by a multitude of factors, from drunk relatives to the table linens not being the right shade of pink that the bride designated in her order. But I think having your best man die the night of the wedding in his hotel room really shut up even the women from Bridezilla in terms of its awfulness. The trailer for Ted Koland‘s Best Man Down wastes no time sparing you the icky details. Scott (Justin Long) and Kristin (Jess Weixler) have a beautiful wedding and are preparing to jet off to their honeymoon when they discover  Scott’s best friend Lumpy (Tyler Labine) collapsed in his hotel room, dead of apparent alcohol poisoning. Instead of reveling in their marital bliss, the newlyweds have to fly home and use the money for Lumpy’s funeral, and as they discover, they actually didn’t know that much about their friend.

read more...

Free Samples

If you’ve somehow avoided the charms of actress Jess Weixler thus far, this first trailer for Jay Gammill‘s Free Samples may grate on your nerves. Who is this flighty chick fucking up something as simple as giving out free samples of ice cream from a truck? Who is this young lass breaking Jesse Eisenberg‘s heart? Who drops out of law school to be a loser? Why should I care? You should care precisely because it’s Weixler who is playing shiftless leading lady Jillian as said law-school-drop-out-ice-cream-loser and she is nothing short of consistently wonderful throughout her myriad indie roles. From The Lie to Peter and Vandy to Teeth (yup, that’s her!), Weixler is the best thing about every film she’s ever starred in, so if she’s headlining a lo-fi outing about ice cream shilling and deferred dreams, we’re sold. No wonder Eisenberg wants to get into “the good stuff” with her. Do you want chocolate or vanilla? Decide while watching the first trailer for Free Samples, after the break.

read more...

Billed as “a deadpan fable about time sneaking up on and swerving right around us” by the SXSW programmers, Bob Byington‘s Somebody Up There Likes Me is boring twaddle masquerading as something more exiciting and more important, thanks to a barely hidden high concept conceit that frequently make the production just look sloppy and inattentive. The film and its often blank-faced lead, Keith Poulson, are without any of the charm and cheekiness of Byington’s previous films, namely the lovely and funny Harmony and Me. Poulson’s Max Youngman is a typical shiftless twentysomething – a waiter, he doesn’t appear to have many life or professional goals and, personally speaking, he’s not doing so hot either. His ex-wife (Kate Lyn Sheil) doesn’t want to get back together, which she proves handily by having sex with another dude within minutes of Max leaving her house. Max’s only friend is his waiter co-worker Sal (Nick Offerman) who, even later in the film after over thirty years of friendship and a number of job changes, Max still calls “the waiter.” A slightly spur-of-the-moment date with co-worker Lyla (Jess Weixler) appears to signal a positive change in Max’s life, and thus the film, but while Somebody Up There Likes Me tracks decades in Max’s life and innumerable changes, there’s little actual evolution to be found.

read more...

Why Watch? A clown stands over the body of his dead father and sticks out his giant foam hand to accept a tissue from a doctor. With that, the laughter and the tears of this truly outstanding short film begin. Ralph Winston (Keir O’Donnell, the manically gay younger brother from Wedding Crashers) has never cried. Not once in his entire life. Now, with his father gone, he becomes resolute that he’ll produce his first tears somehow before the funeral. A surprisingly bright, dark comedy, it’s almost impossible to differentiate between the humor and the tragedy here. It’s a mark of the layered writing skill and presentation of a humane story featuring a man who can’t do something everyone else can (but who’s very good at something most aren’t). Writer/director Bradley Jackson has proven himself to be a nuanced, insightful young filmmaker who should be given lots of money and a feature film project immediately. This movie is a genuine triumph that’s hilarious and heartfelt. What does it cost? Just 23 minutes of your time. Check out The Man Who Never Cried for yourself:

read more...

This year’s Sundance Film Festival will likely go down in history as “the one with all the cult films,” meaning literal cult films, like films about cults, not box office flops that later gain traction with college kids who are into dress-up. But in between the more buzzed-about titles like Martha Marcy May Marlene and Sound of My Voice, Sundance 2011 also provided a proving ground for films focused on the intricacies of intimacy – namely, how honesty (and the lack of it) between partners can make or break a relationship. Miranda July’s The Future did it with a twee sweetness, and Joshua Leonard’s The Lie did it with a much darker bitterness. And that doesn’t quite explain the first poster for the film (which Leonard also directed from a T.C. Boyle story and some material from Jeff Feuerzeig that Leonard, Jess Weixler, and Mark Webber cobbled into their own screenplay), which makes the film looks like a new version of The Hangover, starring one man and one “soul crusher” baby. Check it out, along with a mini rant by me about it, after the break.

read more...

petervandy-1

Those who stuck with me during the monsterous 13-day coverage blitz that was this year’s Sundance Film Festival might remember this little love story…

read more...

peterandvandy-4

Srand Releasing has provided Film School Rejects with a few exclusive stills from their upcoming release Peter and Vandy, a romantic drama starring Jess Weixler (Teeth) and Jason Ritter (Swimfan).

read more...

alexander-the-last-1

In an exclusive interview Joe Swanberg talks to us about Alexander the Last, the current state of mumblecore and simultaneously premiering the film at SXSW and on-demand.

read more...

Alexander the Last

We risk losing our doctored press badges and sneak behind enemy lines to get an early look at a film playing at SXSW – Alexander the Last.

read more...

sundance-waiting-header

Strange, sweet and a little sci-fi. That is how this next selection of Sundance 2009 selections role. As we continue to roll through the end of my coverage of Sundance’s 2009 frame, we take a look at a wildly experimental and odd little film, a sweet romantic comedy telling us a familiar story in an unfamiliar way and a Japanese sci-fi movie that finds some deeper meaning.

read more...

The movie is about a girl that has teeth in her vagina. So giving away dental care products is only fitting…

read more...

Vagina Dentata. It’s probably the most ridiculous and terrifying thing that any man has heard. Ever.

read more...

Every rose has its thorns — and after watching this trailer, every guy within 20 miles will be wincing in pain.

read more...
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B


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