Author Topic: Neil LaBute  (Read 6931 times)

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ono

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Neil LaBute
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2004, 08:05:04 PM »
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Just saw Your Friends and Neighbors.  What can I say?  LaBute studied as a playwright and it showed.  Not that it's a bad thing, but it makes for a really talky film.  I'm not sure if that's a bad thing either.  I generally like adult, slow-paced, play-esque dramas.  This one was no exception.  Didn't blow me out of the water or anything, but I appreciated it.  I thought the scenes in the art gallery were cute if rather obvious, and the intersections in relationships apt if contrived.

The Timmy story was probably the highlight of the film.  Shocker, and it seemed to be one of these transcendent moments.  Reminded me of two films, oddly enough: 1) Poison, the inmates spitting on one of their own, just 'cause I had watched it not too long ago, and 2) The Breakfast Club with Emilio Estevez's confession about duct taping some kid's ass cheeks together.  Imagine these two together, and you get the essence of the confession.  Overall, a very subtle, very admirable film, but nothing mind-blowing.

soixante

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Neil LaBute
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2004, 04:55:29 PM »
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Your Friends and Neighbors is the best film of its kind since Carnal Knowledge.  Both films offer withering views of the game of love.

A friend of mine once remarked, "there are nothing but assholes in Neil LaBute's films."  Wrong -- there are nothing but assholes and foolish victims.

LaBute is that rarest of things in contemporary society -- a moralist.  He enjoys showing the dark side of human nature, but there's nothing wrong with that, since it exists, why not chronicle it?

LaBute is supposedly doing a movie with Sandra Bullock -- that should be interesting.
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modage

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Neil LaBute
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2004, 10:55:36 PM »
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okay, i just saw In The Company of Men even though i really dont care for LaBute (as i said in the Shape of Things thread), but was curious enough to check it out.  it was truly an independant film and extremely low budget.  ( i dont think the camera moved once in the entire film), which put the entire emphasis on the script/dialogue and on aaron eckharts starmaking performance.  it was just cruel, and true to life, and yet why the hell am i watching this?  his camera placement was occasionally extremely obnoxious.  i really just dont care for the guy, but damn if he doesnt get to me.  somehow, i've seen all his movies except Possession.
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Neil LaBute
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2004, 10:57:55 PM »
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Quote from: themodernage02
somehow, i've seen all his movies except Possession.


It's by far his worst. What'd you think of "Nurse Betty"?
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ElPandaRoyal

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Neil LaBute
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2004, 05:43:21 AM »
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I don't know what he thought of it, but me, I really liked Nurse Betty.
Si

hedwig

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Neil LaBute
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2004, 11:53:13 PM »
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Anyone read this yet? I saw it in Borders tonight but didn't buy it mainly because I have 2,000,000 other books I want to read.

ono

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Neil LaBute
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2004, 12:45:33 AM »
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I just saw In the Company of Men (finally -- had it for a few months before actually popping it in).  It wasn't really worth the wait.  You can see that LaBute has gotten better, though, with Your Friends and Neighbors, but not by much.  The film was weak and pretty much pointless.  It's not a movie one can really like (unless they're just a total asshole), but it is possible to appreciate it.  It wasn't even well-made, so it doesn't have that going for it.  I was bored half the time, though there were a few decent moments.  It seems to me as if LaBute has just been screwed over one too many times by the ladies.  If you're up for feeling down, check it out.  But you'll probably want to watch something pleasant very soon after.  It's not really a bad movie, though, but not really a good one to watch either.  I would say I could make a better film in this vein ('cause that's what wannabe-filmmakers tend to say when they see a sub-par film).  But I haven't, so I won't say it.  Yet.

ono

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Neil LaBute
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2004, 12:53:00 AM »
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It looks like Vapor has fallen through.  LaBute is working on two plays, though - "Fat Pig" which has Kerri Russell, and "This Is How It Goes."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0367198/board/nest/12735891

The link in that thread saying so is dead, though.  Can't find anything else on it.

Another: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0367198/board/nest/11196434
And an interview with Aaron Eckhart the above post refers to: http://www.latinoreview.com/films_2004/paramount/suspectzero/aaron-interview.html

Gold Trumpet

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Neil LaBute
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2005, 02:56:17 PM »
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Quote from: ono mo cuishle
I just saw In the Company of Men (finally -- had it for a few months before actually popping it in).  It wasn't really worth the wait.  You can see that LaBute has gotten better, though, with Your Friends and Neighbors, but not by much.  The film was weak and pretty much pointless.  It's not a movie one can really like (unless they're just a total asshole), but it is possible to appreciate it.  It wasn't even well-made, so it doesn't have that going for it.  I was bored half the time, though there were a few decent moments.  It seems to me as if LaBute has just been screwed over one too many times by the ladies.  If you're up for feeling down, check it out.  But you'll probably want to watch something pleasant very soon after.  It's not really a bad movie, though, but not really a good one to watch either.  I would say I could make a better film in this vein ('cause that's what wannabe-filmmakers tend to say when they see a sub-par film).  But I haven't, so I won't say it.  Yet.


Taking my cue from another thread, I see a very definite point in the film. Its not a film to belittle women or speak for the struggle men have against them, but to capsize the power struggle that happens in corporations. Eckhart strings along the other man into his ploy to seize power over him, to belittle him and move up. The film never makes that point til the end so it allows us to really view the environment in which it happens so we understand how the process works and how motives go under the surface. The filmmaking is perfect. Its claustophobic with the environment to show their jobs really become their world. No set up shots for new scenes, just a distance of the camera to really let the characters be the characters. And I only remember two shots in the film that are exterior shots. There's also no background music. Through out the movie, the environment really bleeds through the screen. Also what is appropiate is that cruelness isn't hindered. Eckhart's character is followed through to the very end to maximize the effectiveness of the theme.

Its obvious this isn't the most enjoyable film to watch. It's not trying to be, but for me it is watchable.

Pubrick

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Neil LaBute
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2005, 10:03:35 PM »
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Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
Its obvious this isn't the most enjoyable film to watch. It's not trying to be, but for me it is watchable.

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Re: Neil LaBute
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2007, 12:32:57 AM »
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Kutcher and LaBute eyes on 'Lakeview'
Source: Hollywood Reporter

Neil LaBute is in negotiations to direct and Ashton Kutcher is in talks to co-star in Screen Gems' thriller "Lakeview Terrace."

Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington already have boarded the project, which centers on an LAPD officer (Jackson) who will stop at nothing to force out the interracial couple that recently moved in next door. Kutcher would play Washington's spouse. David Loughery wrote the screenplay, and Howard Korder has been tapped to pen a rewrite.

Shooting will begin in June in Los Angeles.

Will Smith and James Lassiter are producing through their Sony-based Overbrook Entertainment shingle. Loughery and Jeff Graup are executive producing.

Scott Strauss is shepherding the project for Screen Gems.
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Re: Neil LaBute
« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2007, 12:38:14 AM »
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It couldn't be worse than Wicker Man, but fuck, I'm still dissapointed. Nothing about this looks promising.

MacGuffin

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Re: Neil LaBute
« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2007, 11:09:48 PM »
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THE CAST SYSTEM
When great actors are denied great roles on the stage because of their skin color, there's a problem. Even if they are white.
By Neil LaBute, Special to The Times

THERE'S a wonderful old theater story about Laurence Olivier in the 1960s — he was playing in "Othello" and receiving generally glowing notices opposite Frank Findlay and a young actress by the name of Maggie Smith. One night, however, as he stormed through the jealous general's odyssey, Olivier seemed to be on fire (not literally, of course, because that would be painful, and, while certainly an interesting if too literal take on the Moor's passionate histrionics, pretty "out there" as an interpretation of Shakespeare, even for the '60s).

Backstage he was approached by his colleagues, who found him, rather than overjoyed by his brilliant portrayal, staring mournfully (as only Olivier could supposedly do) into his dressing room mirror. One meekly said to him, "You were magnificent tonight, Larry," to which he moodily answered, "I know." Another of his costars continued on, brave enough to ask, "Then what's the matter?" Olivier turned to them and wearily said, "I don't know how I did it."

Even if that story isn't true, I want it to be because it's not just a terrific tale about one of the great stage actors of the 20th century, but also a perfect example of the actor's alchemy in general. How do they do it? I don't know exactly — and I'm around them all the time.

The focus of my thoughts here, however, is not about the way in which actors go about crafting their work but about the opportunities they have to do that work. If Olivier was alive today, young and vibrant and working in the theater, we might never have that story to tell for one simple reason: In these troubled times, the man would never be allowed to put on blackface and play that role. Hell, he wouldn't be allowed to perform it if he went out in a strawberry-blond wig and clown makeup.

Now this probably won't stop somebody from having the bright idea of casting Beyoncι in the role, but Liev Schreiber — as fine a Shakespearean actor as this country has at the moment — will never have a shot at the part. For most white actors today, roles of color — from the classics to some of the sensational writing that is currently being done for the theater — are not even an option for them, and I'm not sure why.

For a time this idea was given the name "color-blind" casting, but the only thing it seemed to be blind to was the fact that it wasn't a two-way street; it was obviously designed to provide opportunity for minorities rather than put the best person in a role, regardless of color.

I suppose this is the notion of equal opportunity rearing its fearsome head again — and if it is, can we stop using the word "equal" in that phrase?

Or is it something far deeper and much simpler: What are people going to think of us for even suggesting such a thing?

Maybe.

I understand about slavery and all that, but that was a generally unpleasant time in our national history and it's firmly in the past. No one but a few folks who own "The Dukes of Hazzard: The Complete First Season" continue to think that slavery brought this country anything but shame and heartache. So we should all get over it, say we're sorry — I'm happy to do that to anybody who stops me at the Grove — and move on. Anyone whose ancestors were slaughtered by the U.S. Cavalry or spent time in a wartime internment camp may line up directly behind.

This is a nation of great promise and stunning achievement, yet our road to freedom is paved with blood and ambition; but, hey, enough about Hollywood. Today we should embrace the idea of a collective history and speed off into the future holding hands, enjoying and understanding the wonderful variety of our various cultures and head toward the glowing sun of a better tomorrow. And while we're doing this, why not acknowledge the achievements of several of our greatest playwrights — people like Lorraine Hansberry, David Henry Hwang, Josι Rivera, August Wilson, etc. — by allowing anybody who wants to play the parts they've written the opportunity to do so?

Don't forget, these actors still have to find a theater company brave (or crazy) enough to cast them. But if that happens — if someone does allow me to mount my all-white version of "A Raisin in the Sun" — then please let us proceed. I promise you, we'll be doing it not to be provocative but because it's a terrific American play. Don't picket outside the theater or send letters to the editor — if you have to, though, do that first rather than start up another annoying blog — or ask CBS to take away my radio show. (I actually don't have one, so relax, you can continue sleeping in in the mornings.)

Just think about it for a moment, though: Why do we barely bat an eye at an all-black version of "Long Day's Journey Into Night" or when Denzel Washington wants to play the title role in "Richard III" (did they really think this is what was meant by the "black prince"?) or Brutus in "Julius Caesar"? Mind you, I'm not complaining — great work has come from these brave and adventurous ideas — but why shouldn't it cut both ways? Isn't it simple prejudice to suggest that we should think otherwise?

Color is going to remain the great dividing line as long as we allow it to be. That's a simple fact. Religion, gender, sexual orientation, nationality — all have fallen under the heavy wheel of progress, and thank heavens for that (although I'd rather not get into the "God" issue right now), but race remains the most feared stumbling block in the theater (and in society at large). That, and: Will this play sell tickets?

Now, I suppose if Brad Pitt (a big star and a hugely underrated actor) suggested that he was interested in the role of Walter in "A Raisin in the Sun" — I'm coming to you first, Brad, when I raise the money — then I can believe wily producers would begin hustling the idea quickly around the Great White Way (which is not a racial thing but fits very nicely into my theme).

Surprisingly, it's easy to forget that so much in the arts today is driven by pure, unadulterated economics — so much so that even a radical idea like this, one that would normally make Al Sharpton quiver with indignant rage, might seem palatable to him if he could raise enough money to get in on the ground floor of a Pitt performance on Broadway.

'Call me crazy'

MAYBE this is a just silly idea — maybe "West Side Story" was a fluke and people really should play only characters that fit their looks and color and where they were born. I'm sure when the musical gets a decent revival in New York or London — and this needs to happen, people, it's the one musical score of genius this country has produced — then there will be a major uproar if anyone other than a Latina actress is cast as Maria.

Fair enough. Or is it? Shouldn't the best person for the part be considered, no matter what amount of makeup they have to wear or accent they need to conquer? If a major talent like, say, Kevin Spacey (who has continued to return to the stage throughout his career) decides he'd like to take a shot at playing Othello rather than Iago — but let's be serious for a moment, can you imagine how good that guy would be as Iago? — then let's let him do it. He's running the Old Vic, after all, taking on the headache of steering a major arts institution in London during the prime of his career. So if he has a hankering to wear coal dust smeared on his face every night in search of a greater truth, who are we to tell him no?

Even if you argue the point about the dust — I mean, we don't want to offend anybody who ever had a family member who spent his life working in a coal mine — why shouldn't Mr. Spacey march out on stage each night and put his arrogant trust (Othello's, not Spacey's) in Iago, begin to suspect his wife of an affair and finally kill Desdemona and himself in a fit of rage. And as far as I'm concerned, Desdemona can be any color she pleases.

Call me crazy or mad or just plain racist (I've already been called everything else). You can even call me "nappy-headed" if you'd like — just take a look at my picture sometime. It's true. But honestly, let's not waste any more valuable time in our lives fussing about something that doesn't really matter. If an Englishman puts on an Irish accent and can fool us successfully, then let him do it without our worrying about Cromwell and Belfast and the entire history of Ireland. If some white actress out there has her heart set on playing Madame Butterfly and she's got the vocal chops (I'm already sorry I used the word "chops"), then shut up and let the girl sing.

This is not an argument about opportunity or imbalance; all I'm asking is that you let the theater, that last bastion of illusion — a place of magic and hope and imagination — remain exactly that. The stuff that dreams are made of.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Pubrick

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Re: Neil LaBute
« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2007, 02:43:48 AM »
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Quote from: Neil LaBute
Liev Schreiber — as fine a Shakespearean actor as this country has at the moment

Quote from: Neil LaBute
these troubled times
under the paving stones.

MacGuffin

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Re: Neil LaBute
« Reply #29 on: November 14, 2007, 12:41:33 AM »
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LaBute, Hackford open 'Door'
Duo set for New Line remake
Source: Variety
 
New Line has tapped Neil LaBute to write and Taylor Hackford to direct "The Woman Next Door," a remake of the 1981 Francois Truffaut film "La Femme d'a cote."

Studio is tying down rights from the late director's estate. Radar topper Ted Fields will produce with Frederic Golchan and Hackford.

Pic marks the first writing assignment LaBute has taken on for another director. LaBute won't begin writing until the WGA strike is resolved, but he couldn't resist Hackford's offer, which was made after the helmer and wife Helen Mirren saw LaBute's play "Wrecks."

"This is a lesser-known Truffaut film about ex-lovers, long separated, who suddenly find themselves living next door to each other," LaBute said. "Each is married. Neither tells their spouse they know each other, and it's a collision course into disaster as they rekindle a volatile relationship, with great passion and suspense. ... Taylor said if he was ever going to remake a movie, this was the one he could do something with."

LaBute is in post-production on "Lakeview Terrace," a Screen Gems thriller he directed.

Hackford is preparing to direct Mirren and Joe Pesci in "Love Ranch," a Capitol Films-financed drama.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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