Leaves of Grass

Leaves of Grass feels like a classical religious fable brought to modern day. It features the themes and tropes we’re all aware of: brotherhood, love, power, corruption, and murder. Being titled after a collection of Walt Whitman poems is more than suitable and the film wears its love for classical storytelling on its sleeve. The tone of Leaves of Grass is really what makes or breaks the film for most, which director Tim Blake Nelson acknowledges himself. The sense of manic and mood swings are all intentional, perfectly representing its characters and making for some unexpected turns. Here’s what director Tim Blake Nelson had to say about writing smart Southerners, the comedic sensibility of the film, and playing into classic archetypes and themes:

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Join us each week as Rob Hunter takes a look at new DVD releases and gives his highly unqualified opinion as to which titles are worth BUYing, which are better off as RENTals, and which should be AVOIDed at all costs. And remember, these listings and category placements are meant as informational conversation starters only. But you can still tell Hunter how wrong he is in the comment section below. This week only one worthwhile purchase in the form of Wes Anderson’s weakest film, but there are several worth renting or avoiding including Jonah Hex, The Japanese Wife Next Door Part 2, Leaves Of Grass, Four Boxes, and the darkly disturbing “documentary” S&Man. Click on any of the titles below to magically head over to Amazon.com and pick up the DVD. And don’t forget to check out Neil Miller’s hilariously titled This Week In Blu-ray for reviews on the latest high definition Blu-ray releases!

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Tim Blake Nelson and Edward Norton

During SXSW I sat in with 9 other online film journalists for a roundtable discussion with actor-producer Edward Norton and writer-director-actor-producer Tim Blake Nelson as they discussed their new film Leaves of Grass. We covered an array of topics, including Menander, Zionist Tulsa Jews, why Rounders is a comedy, and noodling with Keri Russell (not what you think).

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Brian Gibson and I break down what’s hot and what’s sweaty here at South By Southwest.

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SXSW Film 2010

I had a chance to sit with director/actor Tim Blake Nelson for his film Leaves of Grass. After seeing the film, I was thoroughly impressed with the characters and the performances that elevated the story in a very genuine way.

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Leaves of Grass

We all know Edward Norton is talented, but probably the truest and scariest test for an actor’s talent is playing opposite himself, thus having to encounter the insecurities and limitations of one’s skill in both action and reaction. Few actors have done a great job acting opposite themselves, and it’s something that could potentially be fatal even with a strong actor giving two performances at the center, but with Leaves of Grass Edward Norton can be added to that short list of great double-performances in a single film.

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Seeing as so many of our SXSW-attending readers found my little daily updates so useful last year, I’ve decided to bring them back for this year. So here it is, Today @ SXSW, my daily guide to what you should be seeing at the little festival affectionately known as South-by.

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We are back from the weekend and ready to get re-focused on what is important, the major Austin-based film festival that seems to be steamrolling toward us. Today we take a look at another highly anticipated premiere, Tim Blake Nelson’s Leaves of Grass.

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I’ve never been this excited about South by Southwest (SXSW) this early in the year. Usually it takes at least a week of being back from Sundance to get intensely jazzed for the first of the big three film festivals here in Austin, but this year is different.

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leavesofgrass-header

It seems oddly appropriate that the trailer for Tim Blake Nelson’s currently unsold comedy Leaves of Grass would drop a day before the release of Fight Club on Blu-ray, as it once again gives us the opportunity to see Edward Norton kick his own ass.

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Edward Norton in Leaves of Grass

eave it to one of my favorite “that guys” of all-time, actor/director Tim Blake Nelson, to combine two things that are always welcome in my house: Edward Norton and marijuana.

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