Thursday, January 31, 2013

IndieLONDON's interview with Jennifer Lynch

JENNIFER Chambers Lynch talks exclusively to us about directing the serial killer movie Chained and how it differs from a lot of genre films despite having started life as torture porn.
She also talks about working with leading man Vincent D’Onofrio and what he brings to the role, why she’s upset about how the movie has been censored in the US (and slapped with a dreaded NC-17 rating) and why she feels drawn to dark material in her work.

Q. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed Chained. But then I’d imagine you wouldn’t want people to?
Jennifer Chambers Lynch: Ok, good. People always stop themselves from saying ‘enjoyed’ but yeah, experienced it and if it echoes, then I’m really pleased with that.

Q. What drew you to that world initially and how important was it to you to keep it as realistic as possible?
Jennifer Chambers Lynch: I was really in need of a job and was very grateful when these producers sent me this script and read it right away. It was a fascinating idea about a serial killer we hadn’t seen before. The storyline was the same, pretty much, but there were detectives involved hunting him down, and the killer himself was called ‘The Dicer’ and would cut pieces off of women and would torture them. It wasn’t really about him and the boy, it was more about him making the boy a killer – strictly. I said I just can’t do that. I think there are people out there who can do torture porn really well and I’m not one of them.
So, they asked me what I’d do to it and I said: “Well, I’d go in and re-write it.” Obviously, they had paid for that storyline when they bought the script but I said: “To me, it’s more fascinating if I can humanize this villain and have people wondering when they leave the theatre what damage has been done to each and every person I encounter? What choices are they making based on that?” And I wanted it to be more about that dynamic. I love a good scary movie. But I like to think and feel while I’m being scared. That’s what really gets me. So, I wanted to make it quiet and not restrained but real… like real people doing this. And I wanted that fumbling thing that the mum was doing in the back of the taxi… like, ‘excuse me, that was’… and the panic growing but in these real situations. So, I didn’t want to shoot it slick. I wanted the real human element to be going on in it. It was really great to have people say: “Yeah, that!”

Q. Did you have to make cuts you didn’t want to? There has been a debate in America about the dreaded NC-17 rating…
Jennifer Chambers Lynch: Uh, you know, I don’t know what even to say about that other than I wish they hadn’t make me take… the throat slit as you saw it was bigger. It was what it would look like if a really sharp knife took a woman’s neck like that and it opened. That was my one on-camera gory kill. And it was meant to be like that because I had written these reactions where it was just about the anatomy question and he names the artery. That was what I was examining… to see how Rabbit reacted when he is being talked to and treated as a lesson. I think if Brad Pitt had played Bob, I would have got an R. They also kept saying to me: “It just feels too real… the whole movie.” And the one scene they could point to, to make me change was that one. To me, that’s an absolutely unfair situation. Violence should not be more palatable for kids because we make it silly or sexy. Violence is terrible. And I’m telling a terrible story. This kid is kidnapped, his mother is killed and he’s kept… it should feel bad!

        [Video] Jennifer Lynch via USA Today

Q. It informs his future decisions…
Jennifer Chambers Lynch: Yeah! And what I’m looking at is the child abuse. Bob was abused. I’m not justifying what he does but I’m trying to explain it. And now the question is: “What happens to this kid [Rabbit] based on this?” And I’m hoping that I told enough of a bonding situation with his mother, that the reason that he’s able to make better choices than Bob does is because he had that love at first and that was imprinted. But Bob didn’t; Bob just got fucked over from day one. So, I feel like: “You’ve made a great film… it feels too real, we don’t think children should ever see it….” Now I think a dialogue about violence with kids and a dialogue with kids and adults about child abuse and the building of monsters should be happening. I just don’t see why Saw and Hostel can get an R, when it’s the most horrific slasher-murders of young people.

Q. Made for thrills…
Jennifer Chambers Lynch: Yeah! I’m not sure why that’s OK with them. But it is. So, it confuses me because I would much rather, in a story where violence is supposed to feel bad, the film be allowed to make you feel bad! And that’s what film should do… is cover you. And R is fine… R is plenty. We’re not going to send an eight-year-old or a 13-year-old in there! Hopefully, parents are doing their job out there and are being discerning.

Q. The NC-17 actually makes it more of a film to be sought out, doesn’t it? It attaches a notoriety?
Jennifer Chambers Lynch: It stopped me from getting theatrical release. And I feel so bad because from Evan [Bird, who plays the younger Rabbit] and Eamon [Farren, the older Rabbit] to Vincent D’Onofrio and Julia [Ormond]… these performances are great and should be seen. And now without a theatrical release the Academy won’t recognise them even as a nod. It breaks my heart because I think they’ve done really great jobs. And as hard a film as it is to watch for some people, they still made it feel really real and I think that’s great. It’s what playing dress up is all about. And that’s why I do what I do… because for an hour and a half we go into a dark room and watch other people live out their lives and it should feel like you’re peering in. That’s the kick.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Video: Clive Talkback with Vincent D'Onofrio and Ethan Hawke

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Photo: Old photo of Vincent

posted by @The_Real_Semona
I have a pic with Vincent D'Onofrio from a few ears back I think I mentioned that already

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Talk Backs with cast and creative about "Clive"

Talk backs about "Clive" with cast and creative are scheduled after the January 30 and February 13 evening performances.

By Jonathan Marc Sherman
Directed by Ethan Hawke

with Brooks Ashmanskas, Vincent D'Onofrio, Ethan Hawke, Zoe Kazan, and more
Inspired by Bertolt Brecht's inflammatory play Baal, Clive tracks a dissipated songwriter in 1990s New York City from the hedonistic heights of seduction and consumption into an ecstasy of self-destruction. This production reunites Jonathan Marc Sherman and Ethan Hawke, who teamed previously at The New Group on Things We Want (written by Sherman, directed by Hawke). At once a celebration and a nightmare vision of life lived for pleasure, Clive boasts an eclectic selection of classic American songs performed live.

Buy Tickets

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Interview with "Chained" director Jennifer Lynch: "Vincent is a genius"

One of the more interesting interviews we took part in during last year's FrightFest was with Jennifer Lynch, and ahead of the release of Chained on 1st February (on DVD and Blu-ray 4th February), we can now share it with you.

The daughter of David Lynch made her film debut in 1993 with the controversial Boxing Helena, and after the hysterical, scathing attacks on the twisted drama about obession, Lynch left the public eye. She returned in 2008 with Surveillance, which earned Lynch awards at Festival de Cine de Sitges and the New York City Horror Film Festival. 2010's Hisss appears to be a blip on Lynch's career, as she is back with her most accomplished work yet with Chained.

Chained stars Vincent D'Onofrio as a taxi driver and serial killer who keeps the young son of one of his victims imprisoned in his remote home for a decade. Nicknamed Rabbit, the child grows into a young man (Eamon Farren), and Lynch's fascinating, intelligent and disturbing drama examines the effects of this warped upbringing on a boy, while featuring a terrifying performance from D'Onofrio.

The remarkably candid and friendly Lynch joined us for an intimate round table chat last summer, where she spoke honestly about her struggles as a filmmaker ("I live paycheck to paycheck and there are many dry spells - I apply for a lot of waitressing jobs and I clean a lot of houses") and the gap between her debut and follow-up (I had three spinal surgeries, I had my daughter and I was a single mother, so I devoted my time to my child and getting better physically). Thankfully, Lynch appears to be on a roll after the critical success of Chained, and you can learn about her new projects below.

How did Chained come about?
The film came about as I was really in need of a job, and two producers Lee Nelson and David Buelow who had a script called Chained, which they sent to me as they were looking for a director. I read the script and really loved the idea of this kind of killer, a taxi cab driver - he's not your masked guy in the woods, he's out there in the world. It could happen to any of us. The storyline is essentially what you see, he picks up a mother and son, kills the mother and keeps the boy for a decade, and there was the twist ending. But it was incredibly graphic and there were detectives following him, and Bob's name was the Dicer, and he would removed pieces of these women and torture them slowly. That didn't grab me by the short and curlies and turn me on. I first asked the producers why they thought of me for something like this, and I guess the general consensus is that I'm a very dark, violent person! [laughs] I don't think of myself in that way; I'm curious and I'd love to end up studying that. I'm not afraid to go dark, I like it. But it came to me that way, and I asked them if I could keep their premise, as that's what they'd paid for, but make it more about how this monster was created and the interaction between him and the boy. They were all for it.

A snapshot of horror from FrightFest shows a borderline misogynistic trend. Was the lack of exploitation in your otherwise disturbing film a conscious one?
I would say definitely misogynistic! It was how I wanted the vision to come across. There was consciousness to it but not in the sense of I'm not going to be exploitative, it's just that that's not what scares me. What gets me is knowing the people, and for an hour and a half living someone else's experience. That's what cinema is to me, that invitation to be in someone's world. I don't get excited when I don't know the girl screaming and getting stabbed. These women, I wanted to see them so briefly, so it was more about what he did, than about torture. It's not necessary to me, and it doesn't tell a story. There are people who want to do it, and are very good at it, and there's a large audience for it. I just don't think killing people is interesting.
How hard was it to balance the sympathy with Bob [D'Onofrio]?
I don't know if hard was the word, but I made a conscious choice to try and offer up an explanation of what had happened to be him. But just enough so we didn't say, oh poor Bob. Just so we understood that this guy was not born a bad man, and that there was a humanity to him. Because that to me is, for want of a better word, touching and interesting as well as more terrifying. Because if the guy who is going to kill me is very much like me, I'm just shocked. How can I negotiate with him? You can't negotiate with him. Bob just wants to kill you, as that's what he does, that's how he feels better. I don't want to justify what he does at all, but explaining it brings a whole other element to it that is more terrifying and touching.

What is it like working with Vincent D'Onofrio?
Vincent is a fucking genius. This is such a cornball answer, but he's so great. He's generous and trusting of me. He's brave - I've always said the bravest thing I can do, or anyone else can do, is say "I'm afraid" but keep going. It's the chickenshit that says "I'm not afraid" and doesn't want to do anything. The bravery he exhibited in taking these chances and not being big - there's only that one moment when he's like [rages] gets big, and that's a childlike thing, as he's always that kid. He's so good to the other actors, and willing to risk his own embarrassment to tell this man's story, and I have so much respect for him, and a deep gratitude to him and everyone who was in the film for playing it as quiet as he did. He really is one of the most underrated actors in TV and cinema. There's nothing that guy can't do, and I hope people see this. That's my only sadness with the performance is that as we're not getting theatrical in the US, the Academy won't recognise his performance. The more people who see it, I hope he is honoured somehow, even if it is just by word of mouth. There aren't a lot of people who would've trusted me in this situation, and there were a couple of times I asked him to do something that occurred to me while shooting, and he'd nod and say he'd do it once. Fortunately there was a camera there, so I got to capture it.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Photos from "Clive" from Chris Carr

       Greg Murphy, Vincent D'Onofrio, Chris Carr at Off-Broadway play "Clive" in NYC.
       Thanks Chris for sharing your photos and notes!


      I started writing a rather formal review of Clive but that was no fun.  The fact is I'm not a critic, and although educated, not a sophisticated theater goer, so my opinion on the artistic merits would be, well, not worth much.  So rather than a review, here are some observations from a Vincent D'onofrio fan after watching three consecutive performances of Clive this weekend.

The music was great, and I wish there were more of it.  I don't know if the song sung by Ethan Hawke with decreasing clarity throughout the show is an original work or not, but if it's available on iTunes, I'd like to know.  The number of times I've heard a new song and sought it out on iTunes?  None.  My iPod is full of 70s and 80s stuff.  It must have been good.

It accomplished what it set out to do. You don't go into an Indian restaurant and expect steak and baked potatoes on the menu.  This isn't mainstream theater and it doesn't pretend to be.  It is an intensely dark (although surprisingly funny in places) tale of what happens when the main character, Clive,  leads a life so carnal, so destructive, that one by one those who bought into his self-proclaimed awesomeness end up hurt or dead.  Including Clive himself.  The play tells that tale with great effectiveness.

The cast was stellar, from top to bottom, and they worked together so well.  I know I'm biased but I thought Vincent D'onofrio  ("Doc") and Ethan Hawke played off each other wonderfully.  The scenes which featured Clive and Doc were the most powerful because they were the most authentic.  Hats off to both of them.

Another fan
Vincent D'onofrio knows how to use his size on stage with great effect.  His character is supposed to be larger than life and Vincent knows his size can help bring that across so every movement, every step, every facial expression, seems huge.  His was a commanding presence.

You will get much more out of this play if you see it more than once.  There are many things going on and just like any good movie, you are likely to miss some good stuff if you only give it one shot.  Seeing the play 3 times in a row was a luxury most people don't have, but it added so much to my appreciation of the play.  (How could I have NOT noticed there were live fish swimming around in a clear bucket of water in the last scene the first two times I saw it?  They were live fish for crying out loud!)  And the music grew on me too after hearing it a few times.  I hadn't planned to see the play that way, but I'm glad I did.

Audiences are like juries.  We assume they understand what they are seeing and hearing when to a surprising degree they don't, which is pretty scary.  Here are a few examples of what I'm talking about:

 Fans with Vincent


Woman behind me:  I don't like the set.
Husband:  Why not?
Woman:  It doesn't match.  The walls look grungy and dark and have beer cans in them, but the things hanging from the ceiling look too nice...too luxurious.

(NOTE:  the "things hanging from the ceiling" were pieces of beer cans sliced up.  I guess we all have different ideas about luxurious means)

Greg Murphy with Vincent

Different woman behind me:  I know it's based on a play by Brecht but I hope that's not true.  I hate Brecht.
(I'm sure they just advertised the play that way to bring in all the diehard Brecht fans out there...a bait and switch kind of thing.  And you came to this play why exactly?)

Woman to her husband on the way out:  That Doc guy was so evil...what an awful person!

(Doc was probably the only character in the whole play with any redeeming qualities which her husband patiently pointed out)

And, my personal favorite:

Woman to her friend on the way out:  Too bad they had to get an understudy for Vincent Onofrio.

(Not only did she not know what he looked like, she couldn't pronounce his name.  I almost got violent with this one.)

I really enjoyed this experience.  Haven't been to any play, off or on Broadway, in over a year so this was a treat.  Here's my recommendation.  Go, bring friends and family, wait for Vincent after the show, take lots of pictures and send them in for use in the calendar next year!

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Win Jennifer Lynch’s Chained on DVD

Directed by Jennifer Lynch

Vincent D’Onofrio, Julia Ormond & Eamon Farren
Available on DVD & Blu-ray 4th February 2013

From the mind of writer/director Jennifer Lynch comes the shocker that stunned audiences worldwide: When he was 9 years old, Tim and his mother were abducted by taxi‐driving serial killer Bob (an intensely disturbing performance by Vincent D’Onofrio). Tim’s mother was murdered. Tim was kept as a chained slave, forced to bury the bodies of young women Bob drags home and keep scrapbooks of the crimes. Now a teenager, Tim (Eamon Farren) and Bob share a depraved father/son/protégé relationship. But who will ultimately sever the bond between ‘family’ and unimaginable horror?
Jake Weber (“Medium”), Evan Bird (“The Killing”) and Julia Ormond (THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, “Mad Men”) co‐star in what critics are calling one of the most controversial and uncompromising thrillers of our time.

Chained is available on DVD & Blu‐ray 4th February 2013.

We have 2 DVDs of the film up for grabs.

To be in with a chance to win simply answer the following question:
What other Jennifer Lynch film starred Julia Ormond?
A. Boxing Helena
B. Surveillance
C. Hisss

Email your answer to stuff@liveforfilms.comwith ‘Chained Comp’ in the subject. Please include your name, postal address, contact number and age. You must be 18 or over to enter and competition is open to UK residents only. One entry per person. Winners will be chosen at random.

Competition closes on Friday 1st February.

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Photos: Behind the scenes of "Chained"

Warning: Some photos are graphic




Posted by Cult Lab

Thanks to Nantzee!

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A review of "Clive"

Clive by Jonathan Marc Sherman, based on Bertolt Brecht's Baal, directed by Ethan Hawke, The New Group

What a disappointment!  I went to Clive because of two actors, Ethan Hawke, who was outstanding recently in Ivanov at Classic Stage, and Vincent D’Onofrio whose superb acting I watch with fascination on “Law and Order CI” and was excited at the chance to see him on stage.  The upshot:  Hawke gives a stellar, energetic, balletic performance in a play that goes nowhere and has no reason for being, and D’Onofrio’s great gifts are beside the point in the role he plays.  
Clive is a talented, successful but self-defeating singer-musician-songwriter whom women flock to and whom he treats badly, one after the other after the other.  That’s pretty much the play.  The four women, all sexually used and rejected in various brutal ways, are hard to tell apart except for one, Clive’s friend’s girl, who stands out because she starts off as virginal and wearing little girl white knee socks  -- virginal for the friend, that is, but not for Clive, who attracts her with his irresistible sexual pull and drives her to death. 
Eventually Clive, having killed his bearishly good natured friend Doc, flees to Canada where he dies dissolutely and decidedly unloved.  This is not a development, because Clive is a dissolute narcissist from start to finish -- he doesn’t change.  That’s the main reason why we don’t need this play.  Hawke is magnetic but he needs a decent vehicle. 


D’Onofrio’s greatness lies in his subtlety that lets you know what's going on inside his head -- there are small changes in his face and body language that signal large outward and inward events.  Even when he lets loose emotionally, he illuminates the character, now and through his history.  Here, as Doc, he plays a big guy who mainly squeezes out animal growls and snarls like someone trying not so playfully to scare a child.   (Why, Mr. D’Onofrio, would you ever take this part?) 


via Lets Talk Off Broadway

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List of films in production.

"In Dubious Battle" [2016]

"In Dubious Battle" [2016]
An activist gets caught up in the labor movement for farm workers in California during the 1930s. Vincent....Al Anderson


A story about the early life of Tennessee Williams

Directed by James Franco
Vincent D'Onofrio, Jacob Loeb

"American Falls" - [TBA]

In a rural town in Southern Idaho, the Suzukis, a Japanese American family, run a small motel. One night they get a strange visitor who sports ‘city’ clothes who turns out to be the first African-American man that Toru Suzuki’s children have ever seen. Yoshiko takes it upon herself to solve the mystery about this man, especially when 2 police officers come knocking on their door.

Short film produced by Erika Hampson.
Vincent D'Onofrio as Detective Foster.

'Purgatory' [TBA]

'Purgatory' [TBA]
Tagline: In the Wild West a lot of blood was spilled... but it didn't go to waste. Vincent....Dallas Stoudenmire

"A Fall From Grace" [TBA]

Detective Michael Tabb knows the city of St. Louis inside and out. He has felt its true heart, as much as its dark underbelly: but he does not know who, in both the dark and light - is taking the lives of young girls.

Director: Jennifer Lynch
Producer/Writer ...Eric Wilkinson

Vincent D'Onofrio ....George Lawson (GRACE's father)
Tim Roth.......Detective Tabb

Filming in St Louis - TBA

"Supreme Ruler" [TBA]

A man campaigns to become the leader of the Buffalo lodge.

Vincent D'Onofrio as Hank Dory
Ron Livingston as Steve
Marcia Gay Harden as Nancy

"The Monster Next Door" [TBA]

"The Monster Next Door" - Comedy Horror

Executive Produced by Dennis Johnson, Melanie Mohlman Produced by Eric Wilkinson, David Michaels
Written by Jim Robbins
Directed by Jennifer Lynch

Cast: Vincent D'Onofrio, Bill Pullman, French Stewart, Bill Moseley

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]
Vincent......Harvey Weinstein

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