Member Profile | FocusFeatures.com
Updated August 31, 2010
Emma Roberts’ star turn in It’s Kind of a Funny Story is just the latest step in her growing career.
Emma Roberts, Dramatically Rich
In Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s upcoming feature It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Emma Roberts plays Noelle, a young woman saddled with stressful emotional issues and locked an adult psych ward. But when she meets Craig (Keir Gilchrist), she finds a kindred spirit and sense of connection. For Roberts, a young actress/singer whose career path is quickly moving from kid roles to adult ones, the character rang more than true. Part of the attraction for Roberts was the source material: “It’s Kind of a Funny Story is one of my favorite books,” she explained. “When I got the call to come in and meet about being in it, I was so excited because I already had an attachment to Noelle.” For her, the character is both dramatically rich and somewhat personal. “Noelle is highly sarcastic,” Roberts notes, “yet she’s cautious when it comes to other people. I can be like that at times.”
People in Film | Zach Galifianakis
Updated August 31, 2010
A profile of the alternative stand up comedian-turned-actor who plays Bobby in It’s Kind of a Funny Story.
Zach Galifianakis | A Man with a Beard
Starting off as a production assistant on a independent film over 10 years ago, Zach Galifianakis introduced himself to the movie’s producer by saying: “Galifianakis—starts with a gal and ends with a kiss.” While his name was difficult to remember, let alone spell, his persona became indelible. As Bobby, a fellow patient at the psych ward in Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Galifianakis displays his trademark touches: the out-of-left field responses, the mercurial shifts in manner, the absurd mixture of experience and naiveté. But the character Bobby, a father fighting to keep his dignity and identity in the wake of his own anarchical actions, also shows the degree of humanity that Galifianakis can bring to his humor. Yes, of course, Bobby is a bit crazy, but more importantly he’s someone who has experienced life on life’s terms. And experience is something Galifianakis has, well, experience with. From college drop-out to stand-up hero, from a bus boy in a strip club to ShoWest’s 2010 Comedy Star of the Year, from bombing at a burger joint to starring in one of the biggest comedy hits of recent time–– Galifianakis never loses his sense of humor.
Movie City | Rome, Italy
Updated August 24, 2010
To mark the forthcoming release of The American, which was partly shot in Rome, the latest series of Movie City articles focuses on the myriad movie moments to be had in the Italian capital.
Rome | The Eternal City
An old proverb says that “All roads lead to Rome,” and that’s certainly true for Jack, George Clooney’s hitman in The American, who flees to the Italian capital after his quiet existence in the Arctic north is abruptly and brutally disturbed. In Anton Corbijn’s movie, Jack doesn’t hang around in the Eternal City, but instead keeps on going into the heart of the Italian countryside in the hope of finding safety and seclusion. However, it’s fair to say that only people who are on the run and fearful of their lives would stop so briefly in Rome, a dazzling city rich in thousands of years of history and also a hub of international filmmaking.
Cinemas of Rome
Updated August 24, 2010
Italians not only dress in style, but also go to stylish cinemas in Rome. Here are a few.
Slide 1: Cinemas of Rome
In 61 BC, Romans built the Theater of Pompey, a massive structure to accommodate the city’s appetite for entertainment. While modern cinemas can’t match the Theater of Pompey for size, the many cinemas of Rome boast an interesting history all of their own. From the first films projected on the walls of building at night to modern cinemas, Rome is the city of cinema eternal, as the following slideshow illustrates.
Straight From Europe: The Next Great Hollywood Beauty
Updated August 11, 2010
Anton Corbijn’s The American will give Americans the chance to discover two European actress: Italy’s Violante Placido and Dutch actress Thekla Reuten. They are only the latest in string of European discoveries.
Slide 1: Introduction
Given the importance of international markets to Hollywood films, any ensemble cast these days is filled with cast members hailing from different countries and different film traditions. In a global society, where cultures intermingle and foreign box office usually eclipses domestic, international stars bring to American pictures cultural realism as well as necessary fans back home. But when it comes to recognizing the cultural traditions of these performers, recent Hollywood has a spottier record. Some actors, mostly British, learn to swallow their accents and adopt a floating mid-Atlantic speech in order to play “American.” Actors from Asian or Spanish-speaking countries often represent either their immigrant cultures in America or, in the case of Chinese and Hong Kong actors in martial-arts inspired action films, simply enable Hollywood’s versions of their homegrown genres. But European actors who retain their European-ness, who signify their own distinct cultures, are not as common today as they were in the early decades of cinema, when they were some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
Anton Corbijn’s The American stars George Clooney as a private weapons maker for professional assassins who, after a tense job in Sweden, travels to the Italian countryside to await what will be his final assignment. The film co-stars Italy’s Violante Placido and Dutch actress Thekla Reuten as two women instrumental in his journey. For most U.S. moviegoers, The American will be their introduction to these magnetic actresses, who here embody the frisson between U.S. and European cultural traditions that Clooney’s character must negotiate.
What follows are brief looks at ten of cinema’s most celebrated actresses whose careers were built on just these kind of juxtapositions. In their diverse roles, these stars always brought Old World glamour to Hollywood stories, frequently parrying with their American co-stars in films set all across the globe.
When in Rome: Movies from the Italian Capital
Updated August 09, 2010
As part of Movie City Rome, Nick Dawson takes a trip through cinema history and examines the different ways filmmakers have portrayed the Italian capital on the big screen.
Slide 1: Introduction
To mark the forthcoming release of The American, Focus Features’ hitman movie starring George Clooney which is set in the Italian region of Abruzzo, FilmInFocus has designated Rome, Italy’s capital, as its latest Movie City. The Eternal City, in addition to being one of the oldest and most historically rich metropolises in the world, is a hub for filmmakers who have used it not only as a location but also a character in their movies for over a century. As you will discover in the following slideshow, Rome was the setting for where the most expensive silent movie ever was shot, the inspiration for the Italian neorealist explosion in the 1940s, and a city which directors – from Federico Fellini and Pier Paolo Pasolini through to Nanni Moretti and Ferzan Özpetek – have relished defining and redefining in their work.