Author Topic: Jim Sheridan (plus In America)  (Read 11561 times)

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modage

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Jim Sheridan (plus In America)
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2003, 08:26:53 PM »
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watch the first six minutes of In America...

http://www.apple.com/trailers/fox_searchlight/in_america/
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

Pubrick

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« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2003, 08:13:32 AM »
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read ebert's 4-star review.

i think he got it right.
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NEON MERCURY

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« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2003, 11:09:13 PM »
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.i have only seen in the name of the father......which is flawless
..psst..ctriterion here's a perfect title for your catalog...



looking forward to this one.....annd will cath up w/boxer, MLF

modage

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« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2003, 04:08:30 PM »
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"I don't actually take a lot of my inspiration from other films," says writer/director Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father). "You get somebody like Quentin Tarantino, and there's like 50 references to other films. At the end of the day, you feel that the directors don't live enough of a life to make films." The Dublin-born director's latest movie, In America, actually draws more from Sheridan's personal experience than any of his previous films.

In America, which Sheridan co-wrote with his daughters Naomi and Kirsten, tells the story of an Irish family who move to New York City in hopes of reversing the bad luck that has followed them since the accidental death of their young son. And while the Sheridan's primary purpose appears to have been purging his grief over a similar family tragedy (in real life, his 10-year-old brother died when Sheridan was only 17) and better understanding his own father, he still acknowledges connections to other films.

Sheridan's own stories (which also include The Field and The Boxer) have largely centered on intensely emotional situations back home in Ireland. Now, as he shifts his setting to America, Sheridan joins the ranks of immigrant directors -- Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, John Ford and Elia Kazan, for starters -- whose outsider perspectives have since defined America's own view of itself. Here he names five films that most impressed him as he approached In America.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
(1968; dir: Elia Kazan; starring: Dorothy McGuire, Joan Blondell)
Elia Kazan made two films [that relate to In America]: America, America is an immigration story, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is about an Irish family in Brooklyn with an alcoholic father, and a kid tells the story, so there are a lot of similarities to In America, even though the father's not alcoholic in my movie. Overall, Elia Kazan influenced me because he was great with actors. The thing with actors is, I don't try to get them just to perform a text. I just try to get them to live and be real. Now, Kazan worked with Marlon Brando. I remember once being told when Marlon Brando was drinking all the stuff in rehearsals for A Streetcar Named Desire, Kazan kept it and used this sort of improv stuff that they were doing. He was like the first Method director on film. Before he died, he said he was great with story and actors, and he wasn't much of director beyond that. I thought that was fairly honest.


The Informer
(1935; dir: John Ford; starring: Victor McLaglen, Heather Angel)
I suppose I'd have to include John Ford because he's a great director. He's very assured, and he has an architectural sense that few filmmakers have. I like The Informer and The Quiet Man. They're films about Ireland by an Irish guy who went to America, but I never looked upon them as Irish. I always looked upon them as American, I don't know why. The Informer is about a guy who sells his soul for 30 pieces of silver. He's Judas. It's Faust's complex with the devil, who are the Brits. It's a very powerful, dark film, and it has these religious connotations where it ends in a church, and the mother is there, and it's like the Pieta. I remember seeing it as a kid, and it really affected me. I like The Informer an awful lot because it's a political story with a strong main character, and it's very brilliantly shot in studio. The Quiet Man is about a guy who kills somebody in a fair fight (which you couldn't do in Ireland, because he kills him in the boxing ring) and goes back as the avenging Oedipal figure to rescue the woman from the incest culture.


2001: A Space Odyssey
(1968; dir: Stanley Kubrick; starring: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood)
I'm always trying to figure out what story the director is trying to tell. With Kubrick, he's always against the male world, but he never has a strong woman to protect the person. It's like he doesn't trust the male world and somehow feels abandoned by the female. You know, in 2001, HAL was originally a female voice, and in the dubbing Kubrick changed it to a male voice because it was too obvious. But if you imagine HAL as a female voice, you would see that it's the mothership that he's attacking. The mother wants to abort him, and he comes back into the womb and kills her and is reborn as a starchild without the aid of the woman. Sometimes what happens when you do characters is that it's the contradictions that make them live. Probably the contradiction that's going on there is that, although it's the female he's attacking, in the end of the day, it's himself, because we all possess a female and a male anima, so even if you're attacking that side, it's always yourself. What makes HAL really great is the deep voice, but the concept was not that. The concept was feminine.  


Ordet
(1955; dir: Carl Theodor Dreyer; starring: Preben Lerdorff Rye, Emil Hass Christensen)
One of the best films that deals with religion is Ordet (it's also called The Word), and in it, there's a sequence that's very like the sequence in E.T. -- I doubt Spielberg took from it, although he may have -- where someone rises from the dead, and you totally believe it. It's freaky. It's a brilliant film written by a Danish [minister] named Kaj Munk. The thing that I'm trying to find out is that with Kaj Munk, there's a certainty of religion, a knowledge and a Christianity. Whereas, I think when my brother died, I kind of lost that kind of faith, and it went into the theater and the created world, so to me, the fantasy world is the spiritual world. Cinema is the spiritual world. All of Carl Dreyer's films possess a spiritual quality, as do the films of Jean Vigo. In L'Atalante, because Vigo was close to death, you could feel the other world was close. Sometimes you have to get that other world close or your story becomes one-dimensional in spiritual terms. Ordet does that: it's about two Calvinist families with a hair-split difference between them and a mad seminarian who promises a little girl that when her mother dies, he'll bring her back, he won't let her go to heaven.


The Three Faces of Eve
(1957; dir: Nunnally Johnson; starring: Joanne Woodward, David Wayne)
TI always find that when I'm watching any powerful film, I'm both engaged with the film and engaged with my life on a sidebar. The experience is almost like a confessional in which I'm interviewing myself. That happens very rarely now, but The Three Faces of Eve was like that. Joanne Woodward played somebody who's losing her mind and has multiple personalities, which I found very interesting. I probably developed another personality after my brother died myself, but I think we all do that. We live in different people. Actually, when you're writing a good story, you create three or four people and put your problems into them, and then they work out the problems in a psychological war zone in the film. But a real writer knows that all the characters are himself in a way, so it becomes almost like a multiple personality situation. In essence, I made [the character who dies in In America] my father's son. In reality, my brother did die, but in terms of psychology, maybe I kind of died and changed into a different person, so that when I put myself in my father's position, I made [the person I would have been] my daughter.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

Pubrick

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« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2003, 10:38:28 PM »
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that was great, thanks mini-mac.
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Ghostboy

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« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2003, 10:49:26 PM »
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This movie was damn near extrordinary. It's manipulative and sentimental, but it has the tone and texture of a fairy tale, and it never becomes mawkish. It earns its tearjerker status. Furthermore, the performances are perhaps some of the best you'll see this year. Better even than 21 Grams and Mystic River, maybe. The little girls are amazing.

I'm curious, though, about when it takes place. I'm guessing it was '82 or '85, since the characters go to see ET in the theater, and also because that's when Jim Sheridan moved to Manhattan. But one little girl films everything with a Sony Handycam. Maybe it takes place last year when ET got re-released.

Pubrick

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« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2003, 11:09:37 PM »
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Quote from: Ghostboy
I'm curious, though, about when it takes place. I'm guessing it was '82 or '85, since the characters go to see ET in the theater, and also because that's when Jim Sheridan moved to Manhattan. But one little girl films everything with a Sony Handycam. Maybe it takes place last year when ET got re-released.

very interesting, i just assumed it was '82 cos of sheridan moving there. sure, a re-release would make perfect sense. also there's not much 80s fashion.

man i forgot to add this to my top 5 list.
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Pubrick

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« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2003, 10:50:19 AM »
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from this week's answer man..

----------------
Q. In your review of "In America," you mention that the film is set in the 1980s. I was undecided as to when the film was set and didn't notice any concrete clues proving a particular era. Perhaps I overlooked something obvious? I know they go to see "E.T.", but that was re-released a couple of years ago. Also, if I recall correctly, in the carnival scene, the $20 bills we see are the redesigned version, not 1980s era currency. There's a discussion on IMDB.com debating this question.

A. It's an interesting question. Fred Lidskog of Los Angeles writes: "Although the story has an '80s feel to it, I believe there were elements in the film that indicated a modern setting. The first and most obvious is Christy's camera, which is light years ahead of the big and clunky camcorder technology available in the 1980s. The second indication is a movie marquee near the beginning of the film, which shows the name of a movie (I'm sorry to say I forget which) that was released within the last few years."

Other readers point out a radio announcer who mentions "the '70s, '80s and '90s." I assumed it was set in the 1980s because they go to see "E.T.," but of course that could have been the re-release. The bottom line is, the movie doesn't depend on its period for its impact.
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Jeremy Blackman

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« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2003, 05:52:42 PM »
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I finally saw this movie... I was pretty skeptical and might not have seen it without P's encouragement. I loved it, it was perfect and raw and honest and completely unburdened with cheesiness. I think I've never cried more during a movie. It was great... even better than Hulk.

Also, Sarah Bolger will be automatically nominated for a Xixax award.

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godardian

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« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2003, 07:20:09 PM »
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I'm gonna go just for Morton. Not sure when, but soon.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

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ono

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« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2004, 11:39:38 PM »
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This is a beautiful movie.  I was hesitant to see it at first, and it's a little slow starting, but about halfway through the film, I thought to myself how much I was enjoying sitting there, taking it all in.  This unique perspective of New York is so intriguing, and I get the feeling from the end credits that it's based on experience.  I haven't checked in to that though.  The performances of the two little girls, as indicated before, are the highlight of the film, but everyone in the cast is great, especially the man who plays Mateo.  I've seen him before, don't know where, but I know I want him now for a certain film I would love to do some day.  It's so hard rating this film, but that's how I think once I get out of a movie.  It's better than 21 Grams, but no School of Rock or Finding Nemo.  Put it that way.  ***˝ (8/10)

pete

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« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2004, 09:33:27 PM »
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while working at the movie theater, I saw so many people coming out of it just all teary-eyed and stuff.  So I waited so long to see it, and then I was so waiting for the big crying moment...and that didn't happen.  And I was like "okay, that was a lil' moving, but not weepy", then a minute before the credits rolled up, I was weeping like a baby.
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« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2004, 12:52:51 AM »
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How could you not cry during and after this movie? I was crying in my car on the way home remembering it. My God, what a powerful film. Great performances all around. Little Ariel was so damn adorable! You felt a part of this family. Sheridan captured the feeling of seeing New York like a new experience perfectly.

I had the best damn audience for this. No cell phones rang, not one person talked during. Everyone was so engrossed in the film. An entire collective of sniffles and nose blows could be heard at the end. Then something happened that I've never seen before - everyone stayed all the way through the credits - not one person left! I believe is was just the power and awe of the film and the ending in particular.
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« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2004, 03:37:55 PM »
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So I just saw this and man...what a film.  My g/f and I had to be the youngest ones there (we are 20 and 21) and it was a perfect audience (many stayed for the credits, I didn't...I never do).  Anyways, all through the movie I am just loving it and I hear some sniffles through the movie, it gets to the end and I'm just trying to hold it in and not doing the greatest job.  I was in a weird daze for about 20 minutes after this movie b/c it reminded me of my mother (who passed away at age 50 a year ago) and how I want to remember her.  

This thread is small, but I urge everyone to go see this.  A top 5 movie for sure.

EDIT: my g/f and I had a discussion about the era, I think it's probably modern.
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« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2004, 01:30:12 AM »
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NON-SPOILERS

GREAT MOVIE

and now...

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

So I saw this tonight and yes, my response is: Wow. What a picture. I had seen some comments on this thread but made sure not to read them. I had caught Mac saying that he was crying on the way home and thought, "ah shit, somebody's going to die." For at least 2/3 of the movie, I was expecting somebody to die that would make the movie depressing. But the 'death' that occurs in this film is wonderful in its storytelling. It was a very touching moment and I didn't expect it for a second. In America really surprised me. I thought it would be filled with much more sadness. I was almost ripping my hair out as Considine and Morton were putting down SO much money for an E.T. doll. I'm thinking, "you Irish fucking idiots! It's a doll! You're POOR now!!! GO HOME!" But the movie wasn't trying to piss us off, it wants us to love it. I did love it. And at the end, I really loved it. Granted, I had seen Monster and the Barbarian Invasions that afternoon so it was also refreshing seeing a movie like this to finish off the day. The performances were the best from a cast all year. And yes, Ariel was adorable. She's an amazing young actress.
I remember Roger Ebert saying in his review of "Ghost World" that he wanted to hug the movie. I wanted to hug "In America" when it was over and never let go.

 

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