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The Perfect Murder spotlights the ‘suicide’ of Adrienne Shelly that was really murder

This week The Perfect Murder examines the apparent suicide of actress and director Adrienne Shelly that turned out to be murder. Shelly had various acting roles in independent movies like The Unbelievable Truth and Trust, before going on to win various post-humous awards for the film Waitress in 2007. She was married to Andy Ostroy and had a daughter with him, who was two at the time of her death. On November 1, 2006, Shelly was found hanging in the West Village apartment she used as an office. She was hanging over the bath with a bed sheet tied around...read more
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

How Kickstarter Turned Hal Hartley Into the Tech Visionary He Always Wanted to Be

How Kickstarter Turned Hal Hartley Into the Tech Visionary He Always Wanted to Be
Back in 2004, Hal Hartley directed “The Girl from Monday” and tried to launch a website where viewers could watch the film. Since the average internet speed back then was 34 Kbps — about 165 times slower than today’s 5.6 Mbps — that didn’t work so well. “The technology was still a little sticky,” Hartley said. “We ended up distributing it in a more traditional way, where I would travel all over the place with the film and do Q&As.”

With films like “Trust,” “Amateur,” and “Henry Fool,” Hartley’s movies have never been about the money — but he’s always had his eye on the bottom line. He owns 50% of every film he’s made, and constantly seeks to capitalize on technology as a way to achieve independence and financial sustainability.

Read More: Why the ‘Swiss Army Man’ Directors Backed the Psychedelic Comedy-Musical ‘Snowy Bing Bongs’

With Kickstarter, he raised more than $56,000 on DVD presales for his 2011 film, “Meanwhile,” and then raised a production budget of nearly $400,000 from 1,789 backers for his 2014 film, “Ned Rifle.” “‘Ned Rifle’ became my most successful movie to date, and I didn’t need to share that money,” he said. “It all came directly to me and the crew.”

Read More: How a Chance Encounter With Terrence Malick Turned Trey Edward Shults Into a Filmmaker

Ned Rifle” was the final installment of the Grim family trilogy, one that included “Henry Fool” in 1997 and “Fay Grim” in 2006. The Kickstarter process taught Hartley that he had loyal fans in places like Japan, Australia, Europe, and Taiwan who were invested in his work. Now he’s testing that direct connection with Kickstarter to pre-sell a Grim family box set, complete with subtitles.

“I’m going to do the box set, no matter what,” said Hartley. “I really do want to make this approach to distributing my own film viable on its own. That’s why I’m gambling with this. My gambit here is the subtitling. That’s what is expensive about the undertaking, and why I’m going after $100,000. Four foreign languages translated accurately and sensitively, and then the authoring of that onto the DVD — it gets expensive. I’m just hoping the expense is worth it because it will help films contribute a wider audience around the world.”

See MoreHal Hartley’s Grim Family: An Oral History From ‘Henry Fool’ to ‘Ned Rifle

Hartley says he’s talked with Atom Egoyan (“Sweet Hereafter,” “Exotica”) about the value of owning their work, since handling the various aspects of the business requires a full-time staff. Sustaining that support requires more work, and Hartley feels fortunate that the world of television has begun opening to him.

“Since I came back to America in 2009, I’ve worked for five years to get people interested in my TV projects – because I’ve been interested in episodic television for a long time,” he saidy. “I was also open to just being a director for hire. I saw a lot of half-hour comedy shows that were well written and said, ‘I can see myself directing that.'”

Read More: The 20 Best-Directed TV Drama Series of the 21st Century, Ranked

The veteran filmmaker got his TV break when he ran into Gregory Jacobs, his former first assistant director who had gone on to work for Steven Soderbergh and got his own television show, “Red Oaks,” on Amazon. Jacobs invited Hartley to direct an episode in season one, then half of the second season (five episodes). Starting next week, he will share season-three directing duties with David Gordon Green and Amy Heckerling.

“On my films, I’m thinking on a hundred different levels at any moment,” said Hartley. “While coming in to direct ‘Red Oaks’ — which is a script I take to very easily, it’s the kind of comedy I know how to do — what they expect of me is just to give it some character, explain to the actors the things that might not be perfectly obvious, and make the day, get all the shots. So it’s nice. I come away from a day’s work feeling good, like I’m a good skilled laborer.”

And is Hartley any closer to getting his own TV show?

“I’m developing something with Amazon. They optioned at least the pilot of my [half hour comedy] show,” said Hartley. “It’s about nuns who make beer to support themselves and they’re social activists, so they are wanted by the cops.”

Hal Hartley’s new Henry Fool Trilogy boxed set is part of Kickstarter Gold, a new initiative bringing back some of the most inventive and successful creators in Kickstarter history. Now through July 31, over 65 exceptional artists, authors, designers, musicians and makers are back as they push ideas and rewards from their past projects in bold new directions. Head here to learn more, and here to browse all the live Kickstarter Gold projects.

Related stories'Wet Hot American Summer: Fantasy Camp' Is The Roleplaying Game of Your Wet Hot DreamsNeil Patrick Harris Urges Jim Henson Fans to Support Kickstarter Campaign for New Exhibition'Hook' Prequel About Rufio Imagined as 'Moonlight' Meets 'Jurassic Park'
See full article at Indiewire »

TVLine Items: L&O True Crime Taps ER Star, HBO's Room 104 Teaser and More

TVLine Items: L&O True Crime Taps ER Star, HBO's Room 104 Teaser and More
ER alum Anthony Edwards will be casting judgment in Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.

VideosNBC Trailers: Our Knee-Jerk Reactions to Law & Order True Crime, Rise From Jason Katims and More New Shows

The actor will star in the first installment of producer Dick Wolf’s anthology series as Los Angeles judge Stanley Weisberg, who oversaw the murder trial of brothers Lyle (Miles Gaston Villanueva) and Erik Menendez (Gus Halper), our sister site Deadline reports. The show’s cast also includes Edie Falco (The Sopranos) as defense attorney Leslie Abramson.

Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders premieres this fall on NBC.
See full article at TVLine.com »

The Best Sitcoms That Need a Revival Now — IndieWire Critics Survey

The Best Sitcoms That Need a Revival Now — IndieWire Critics Survey
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Tuesday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best show currently on TV?” can be found at the end of this post.)

This week’s question: In light of the recent “Roseanne” revival news, which sitcom would you like to see a revival of? (Let’s assume this is feasible from a network, talent, production, etc. standpoint.)

Liz Shannon Miller (@lizlet), IndieWire

So many great sitcoms are personality driven, which makes it hard to remember great premises worth reviving. (And also, when I think about some of my ‘90s favorites, like “Step by Step” or “Friends,” it’s like… Oh, maybe there’s nothing new under the sun.)

But, beyond my eternal wish that someone would remake “Almost Human” as an adorable rom-com about Karl Urban and Robot Michael Ealy falling in
See full article at Indiewire »

How Murdered Waitress Director Adrienne Shelly's Foundation Helps Women Filmmakers - Including One Who Won an Oscar

  • PEOPLE.com
How Murdered Waitress Director Adrienne Shelly's Foundation Helps Women Filmmakers - Including One Who Won an Oscar
After starring in director Hal Hartley's hits such as The Unbelievable Truth and Trust in the early '90s, Adrienne Shelly became known as the original indie queen and gained a huge fan following. Driven to do even more in the film world, she began writing her own screenplays and directing her own movies, including Waitress, which became a hit 2007 movie and is now a smash musical on Broadway - nominated for four Tony Awards. Even though Shelly was happily married to marketing company owner Andy Ostroy, 56, and had a daughter she adored, Sophie, now 12, the film and the
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

How Murdered Waitress Director Adrienne Shelly's Foundation Helps Women Filmmakers - Including One Who Won an Oscar

  • PEOPLE.com
How Murdered Waitress Director Adrienne Shelly's Foundation Helps Women Filmmakers - Including One Who Won an Oscar
After starring in director Hal Hartley's hits such as The Unbelievable Truth and Trust in the early '90s, Adrienne Shelly became known as the original indie queen and gained a huge fan following. Driven to do even more in the film world, she began writing her own screenplays and directing her own movies, including Waitress, which became a hit 2007 movie and is now a smash musical on Broadway - nominated for four Tony Awards. Even though Shelly was happily married to marketing company owner Andy Ostroy, 56, and had a daughter she adored, Sophie, now 12, the film and the
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Amazon's Red Oaks Is Less Than the Sum of Its Parts

  • Vulture
Amazon's Red Oaks Is Less Than the Sum of Its Parts
Amazon’s new comedy Red Oaks is so likable, I wish I liked it more. Overseen by filmmaker David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express), with episodes directed by Amy Heckerling (Fast Times at Ridgemont High), Hal Hartley (Trust), and Gregory Jacobs (Magic Mike Xxl), it's about an incoming college sophomore named David (Craig Roberts of Submarine) who spends the summer of 1985 working as an assistant tennis pro at Red Oaks, a New Jersey country club with a mostly Jewish clientele. Like the main character of another current '80s comedy, ABC's The Goldbergs, David wants to be a filmmaker, an ambition that contradicts the wishes of his father, Sam (Richard Kind), who suffers a (thankfully not too severe) heart attack in the pilot's first scene and spends the rest of the series recovering. "There are a lot of wealthy people who are gonna remember you down the road when they pay
See full article at Vulture »

Inside 'Red Oaks': An Eighties TV Show That's Not Ironic

Inside 'Red Oaks': An Eighties TV Show That's Not Ironic
"The Eighties were good to me," says Jennifer Grey, and considering she's best known for having the time of her life with Patrick Swayze in 1987's Dirty Dancing, that would make sense. "You know those people who rock that hairdo from the moment they got laid the most in their life? The Eighties are a bit like that for me."

Grey, who also appeared in Red Dawn and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, isn't quite ready to leave the age of Rubik's cubes and Max Headroom behind — she currently appears as
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Review: For Those Curious About The End Of The 'Henry Fool' Saga, 'Ned Rifle' Is Worth Making Time For

This is a reprint of our review from the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. By this point, you're either a Hal Hartley devotee, or you're not. The fiercely independent filmmaker established his unique voice on films like "Trust," "Flirt," and "The Unbelievable Truth," and forged an offbeat indie genre unto himself (though it’s never been in vogue). And for most of his career, Hartley’s stayed far away from the studio system (2001's underrated "No Such Thing" being an exception). In 1997, the filmmaker arguably reached the peak of his critical acclaim with "Henry Fool," walking away from the Cannes Film Festival with a Best Screenplay award. It was perhaps the sharpest, most hilarious representation of the filmmaker's distinctly offbeat aesthetics — his deadpan tone, the arch theatrically heightened mise en scene — and he wasn't done with those characters and that world. Nine years later he returned with the sequel, "Fay...
See full article at The Playlist »

Exclusive: Aubrey Plaza Is Capable Of Anything In Clip For Hal Hartley's 'Ned Rifle'

It started with the Cannes Screenplay prize winning "Henry Fool" in 1997, continued with "Fay Grim" in 2006, and now the story wraps up with "Ned Rifle." Hal Hartley's trilogy that started with a garbageman turned novelist, inspired to greatness by his friend Henry whose ego was bigger than his talent, features all of his trademark wit, dry humor and distinct tone. And just as the film heads into limited release, the director's works — which include "Trust," "Surviving Desire," and "The Book Of Life" — are getting a retrospective courtesy of Cinefamily in Los Angeles. "Hal Hartley's name is synonymous with 'independent filmmaking' since the golden age of Sundance. He's been writing, directing, producing his own films his own way — even playing the music or marketing them himself. It's been too long since he's been to Los Angeles, and with his newest 'Ned Rifle' — the completion of the trilogy that started with 'Henry.
See full article at The Playlist »

See This Before You Die: Hal Hartley's 'Trust'

  • Hitfix
See This Before You Die: Hal Hartley's 'Trust'
"Dad, give me five dollars." The opening line of writer/director Hal Hartley's "Trust" is delivered in a monotone by Adrienne Shelly, as she applies purple lipstick and stares blankly into a compact mirror. It's a striking shot that establishes everything you need to know about her character Maria -- a high school dropout and case study in youthful entitlement and vanity. Over a career spanning three decades Hartley has been an amazingly prolific filmmaker, directing a total of 15 features and 18 shorts. Unlike many of his late '80s/early '90s indie contemporaries (Quentin Tarantino, Gus Van Sant, Richard Linklater, et al), he has never catered to mainstream tastes, and his work has been greeted by the public in kind. He is known for creating stylized worlds that feel somehow hermetic and worldly, stilted and soulful, in films ranging from 1992's "Simple Men" to 1997's "Henry Fool," and
See full article at Hitfix »

Tiff Review: Hal Hartley's 'Ned Rifle' Starring Liam Aiken, Aubrey Plaza, Martin Donovan, Parker Posey & More

By this point, you're either a Hal Hartley devotee, or you're not. The fiercely independent filmmaker established his unique voice on films like "Trust," "Flirt," and "The Unbelievable Truth," and forged an offbeat indie genre unto himself (though it’s never been in vogue). And for most of his career, Hartley’s stayed far away from the studio system (2001's underrated "No Such Thing" being an exception). In 1997, the filmmaker arguably reached the peak of his critical acclaim with "Henry Fool," walking away from the Cannes Film Festival with a Best Screenplay award. It was perhaps the sharpest, most hilarious representation of the filmmaker's distinctly offbeat aesthetics—his deadpan tone, the arch theatrically heightened mise en scene—and he wasn't done with those characters and that world. Nine years later he returned with the sequel "Fay Grim," a far less successful effort (though one that's actually underrated). And eight...
See full article at The Playlist »

Hal Hartley’s ‘Ned Rifle’ gets a first trailer ahead of its Tiff premiere

The Toronto International Film Festival today announced an early selection of galas and premieres for this September’s instalment. Among the most exciting world premieres is that of Hal Hartley’s Ned Rifle. Hartley’s feature career first kicked off with The Unbelievable Truth debuting at Tiff in 1989, and such great films as Trust, Simple Men and Amateur followed from there.

Funded through Kickstarter, Ned Rifle is the final part of a trilogy inadvertently started with Henry Fool in 1997 and then continued with Fay Grim in 2006. Liam Aiken, who was a child when he appeared in Henry Fool, takes the lead role this time round, with fellow trilogy stars Parker Posey, Thomas Jay Ryan and James Urbaniak all returning. Hartley regulars Martin Donovan, Bill Sage, Karen Sillas and Robert John Burke also appear, while Aubrey Plaza joins the Hartley company in what looks to be a very prominent role.

Ahead
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Take a Trip to Matthew Garrett's Morris County in March

Matthew Garrett's Morris County anthology will be available on March 18th via the Unearthed Films Online DVD Shop, and also members of the Beneath the Underground Facebook page will have an opportunity to purchase a "Bootleg Edition" DVD of the film. Here are some stills, the trailer, and more details.

From the Press Release:

Award-winning writer/director Matthew Garrett (Beating Hearts) presents a trilogy of thematically connected stories as gruesome as they are tragic and heartfelt.

- Darcy Miller is "Ellie," a damaged teenage girl harboring a terrible secret. Through the course of one traumatic day, we learn what led this innocent girl down a path of self-destruction from which there is no return.

- In "The Family Rubin," an upper middle-class Jewish family struggles to keep up appearances as their seemingly perfect life begins to crack at the seams. Albie Selznick (Ricochet, "The Young & The Restless") leads an
See full article at Dread Central »

Attention Filmmakers: Last Chance to Enter a Contest to Compete for $100,000

  • Indiewire
Attention Filmmakers: Last Chance to Enter a Contest to Compete for $100,000
To any filmmakers looking to get a wider audience for their most recent project, Viewster may have just the thing for you. The VOD service launched its inaugural Viewster Online Fim Festival (#Voff) in December, and today is the final day for submissions. This edition is entitled "When Life Gives You Lemons...," and it asks for dark comedy features and series in English or with English subtitles. The festival will provide filmmakers and producers the chance to show their film to a new audience and win prizes: $70,000 for first prize, $20,000 for second, and $10,000 for third. Millions of Viewster voters will vote to create a shortlist, from which an expert jury will select the winners. Ted Hope, producer of landmark films such a "Trust," "Safe," "The Ice Storm," "Happiness," and "Martha Marcy May Marlene" will lead the jury, which will announce the winners on April 1. For information on how to sign up,
See full article at Indiewire »

Beneath the Underground Films and Unearthed Films to Release 'Morris County'

  • FEARnet
Beneath the Underground Films and Unearthed Films to Release 'Morris County'
Morris County, the feature length anthology film directed by Matthew Garrett is not easy to categorize - and that is one of its strengths. It's a drama - but the stories venture into such dark, bitter, raw, and rattling territory, the film is custom built more for horror fans than fans of conventional dramas. At the same time, horror fans who gravitate toward a typical mainstream flavor of the genre may find Morris County a little too daring, somber, and unflinching for their tastes. What I admire most about the film is that it refuses to use the cookie cutter. Instead, writer/director Garrett let the film evolve into its own unique beast - and for that, at the very least, Morris County deserves your attention.

Given the nonconforming nature of this film, it's easy to see why finding appropriate distribution for Morris County (which has been complete for some
See full article at FEARnet »

Hal Hartley is Kickstarting His Latest Film. Here's Why.

  • Indiewire
Hal Hartley is Kickstarting His Latest Film. Here's Why.
We know by now that celebrity directors such as Spike Lee use Kickstarter, as do independent filmmakers with no credits or connections. But, what about the independent director who has a big fan base and a respectable track record of making low-budget films with top talent? In the case of Hal Hartley, crowdfunding has freed him from the constraints of fundraising in the traditional route via pre-sales and producing partners. The director of quirky 90s films such as "The Unbelievable Truth," "Simple Men" and Trust," who was responsible for advancing the careers of Parker Posey, Edie Falco, and Martin Donovan, found that he didn't quite fit into any category -- he wasn't as dark and edgy as most indies and yet his films don't have blockbuster potential. "Well, I'm not the most popular filmmaker in the world. But I’m not difficult and obscure either. I like a good laugh,
See full article at Indiewire »

Indie Fave Hal Hartley Launches Kickstarter for 'Ned Rifle,' Sequel to 'Henry Fool' and 'Fay Grim' (Video)

Indie Fave Hal Hartley Launches Kickstarter for 'Ned Rifle,' Sequel to 'Henry Fool' and 'Fay Grim' (Video)
Hal Hartley wants to finish a trilogy. And so he has turned to Kickstarter for his latest project "Ned Rifle," a third and final chapter to conclude the stories told in "Henry Fool" (1997) and "Fay Grim" (2006). Original cast members Parker Posey, James Urbaniak and Liam Aiken are onboard to star.  This is Hartley's second go-round with Kickstarter, which has been highly successful for celebrity filmmakers with a vision. In 2011, he launched a campaign for "Meanwhile" and exceeded his goal of $40,000. But with a goal of $384,000, stakes are higher for "Ned Rifle." An indie darling since his debut feature "The Unbelievable Truth" competed for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 1989, Hartley and his idiosyncratic dramedies--such as the wonderful "Trust" (1991) starring late muse Adrienne Shelly--have long been absent from the screen.  "Well, I'm not the most popular filmmaker in the world," Hartley writes on his Kickstarter page. "But I'm not difficult and obscure.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Director & Actor Teams: The Overlooked & Underrated (Part 1 of 2)

Cinema is a kind of uber-art form that’s made up of a multitude of other forms of art including writing, directing, acting, drawing, design, photography and fashion. As such, film is, as all cinema aficionados know, a highly collaborative venture.

One of the most consistently fascinating collaborations in cinema is that of the director and actor.

This article will examine some of the great director & actor teams. It’s important to note that this piece is not intended as a film history survey detailing all the generally revered collaborations.

There is a wealth of information and study available on such duos as John Ford & John Wayne, Howard Hawks & John Wayne, Elia Kazan & Marlon Brando, Akira Kurosawa & Toshiro Mifune, Alfred Hitchcock & James Stewart, Ingmar Bergman & Max Von Sydow, Federico Fellini & Giulietta Masina/Marcello Mastroianni, Billy Wilder & Jack Lemmon, Francis Ford Coppola & Al Pacino, Woody Allen & Diane Keaton, Martin Scorsese & Robert DeNiro
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Blu-ray Review: 'The Unbelievable Truth'

  • CineVue
★★★★☆ The Unbelievable Truth (1989) is one of those débuts which arrived fully formed, with its own distinctive voice. Hal Hartley had recently graduated from the revered Suny at Purchase where he had already developed his unique style through several shorts. By the time he came to making his first feature, Hartley said he had more experience than he had resources, so it's no surprise that The Unbelievable Truth is as creatively accomplished as it is; a precocious soap opera with lashings of irony and self-reflexive dialogue, it announced the arrival of a major new voice in independent American cinema.

The film opens with mechanic Josh (Robert John Burke, who went on to a career almost exclusively playing soldiers and police officers), recently released from prison, hitchhiking back home. Permanently dressed in black (an excellent running gag involves him being constantly asked if he's a priest), he is shunned by many in
See full article at CineVue »
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