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About Peter Bowen

Peter saw his first movie when he was just a little boy, and has never gotten over that experience.

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Taking Woodstock, Broadway Un-Bound

Posted March 31, 2009

Taking Woodstock, Broadway Un-Bound Image

Ang Lee's new film Taking Woodstock, a tale about one man’s unexpected place in the summer of love, is not just about a great music concert; it is also about Broadway. As Adam Hetrick points out in his article in Playbill, the film bears an impressive theater pedigree with “Tony nominees Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening) and Kevin Chamberlin (The Ritz, Seussical), Tony Award winners Dan Fogler (Spelling Bee) and Liev Schreiber (Talk Radio), Olivier Award winners Henry Goodman (Tartuffe, The Producers) and Imelda Staunton (Entertaining Mr. Sloane, The Corn Is Green), as well as Skylar Astin (Spring Awakening), Paul Dano (Things We Want), Kelli Garner (Dog Sees God); Mamie Gummer (Dangerous Liaisons, Uncle Vanya), Stephen Kunken (Frost/Nixon, Rock 'n' Roll, Our House), Richard Thomas (A Naked Girl on the Appian Way) and more.

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JoBlo Goes for Away We Go

Posted March 25, 2009

JoBlo Goes for Away We Go Image

The poster for Away We Go is getting some love from bloggers. JoBlo.com gives the lovely hand-made graphics a thumbs up:

It would've been really easy to pose stars John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph in some corny pose (like this) but Focus Features wisely went in a completely different direction. Rarely do we ever get any hand-drawn posters anymore but this is a beautiful example of thinking outside the Photoshop box.

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Cary Fukunaga in indieWIRE, LA Times, NY Times, WSJ

Posted March 17, 2009

Cary Fukunaga in indieWIRE, LA Times, NY Times, WSJ Image

In preparation for the opening of Sin Nombre, director Cary Fukunaga is popping up up in newspapers across the country.  Today indieWIRE reprised their Sundance Film Festival piece.

Last week, Dennis Lim in his New York Times' article “At the Border Between Politics and Thrills” considers the new wave of films about our national borders and what that means. Lim includes a part where Fukunaga points how immediate and everyday his themes and topics really are. Lim writes, “To the extent that Sin Nombre has a message, Mr. Fukunaga said, he hopes it is an “anti-isolationist” one. “Americans think we’re so far away from the world,” he said. “But this is a North American story. It’s not so exotic. And it obviously has an impact here every day. Look right there” — he pointed to the open kitchen of the Manhattan restaurant where the interview was being conducted, staffed mainly by Latino workers — “that’s where it’s happening.”"

John Jurgensen’s "An Outsider's Look Inside Mexico" in The Wall Street Journal considers how Fukunaga, a non-Mexican, sees the country with outsider’s eyes. As Jurgensen notes, “Sin Nombre was conceived and executed by an outsider: an American fresh from film school at New York University. Director Cary Joji Fukunaga, 31 years old, grew up in the San Francisco area with close family members of Japanese, Swedish and Hispanic descent.”

Reed Johnson at the Los Angeles Times retraces the terrifying lessons that Fukunaga had to learn to make the film. "In the shattered calm of the Mexican night," begins Johnson, "sitting atop a railroad tanker car, Cary Joji Fukunaga didn't yet know that a man was being murdered. But he'd heard the screams, gunshots and shouts in Spanish of "Bandits!" and he was bracing to make a run for it, if need be.  It was summer 2005, and Fukunaga was researching the screenplay for his first feature film."

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Can't Stop the Music Videos

Posted March 10, 2009

Can't Stop the Music Videos Image

The new issue of Artforum focuses in on the lost art of music videos in their piece "Cover Versions: The Reinvention of Music Videos." Two Filmmakers––Michel Gondry and E*Rock–– and various artists––Rodney Graham, Michael Bell-Smith, Steina and Cao Fei––ponder the past, present, and future of one of America's most popular and perplexing art forms. Michael Bell-Smith rightly points out "Music videos are no longer about MTV: They’re about YouTube,"  before going on to discuss the challenges such a cyber reality pose to artists. (He also includes five videos for consideration.) A more global consideration is offered by Chinese artist Cao Fei, who explains, "By the early '90s, pop culture from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the West was gradually infiltrating southern China, and since I grew up in the first mainland city to open up to the world––the incredibly inclusive southern provincial capital of Guangzhou––I spent my entire adolescence captive to music-video culture, as well as to Hollywood movies, Western television programs, and so on. (Unfortunately Michel Gondry's contribution can only be read in the text version of ArtForum

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Setting the Soundtrack Straight

Posted March 09, 2009

Setting the Soundtrack Straight Image

As soon as the trailer for Jim Jarmusch’s new film The Limits of Control was released, the Internet lit up with questions and excitement. At Yahoo Answers, Dave C. wanted to know about the trailer’s “grifty music ! anyone knows what it is???Pleez Help !”  Many jumped in to help Dave C.  Some bloggers pointed to the Playlist post which notes “according to the trailer credits for The Limits Of Control, Japanese all-embracing metal band Boris have written music for the film. Or at least the credit says, "with music by Boris," which suggests the film does more than use their old songs, but stops short of saying they wrote the score.”

While the Japanese trip Boris wrote and performed much of the music in the film, the trailer music (which is also in the film) was actually written by the director Jim Jarmusch himself. And it was performed by a band composed of Jarmusch (electric guitars, baritone guitar), Carter Logan (drums, percussion) and Shane Stoneback (carillon, organ).

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Jim Jarmusch Returns

Posted March 06, 2009

Jim Jarmusch Returns Image

Check out the  trailer for Jim Jarmusch’s new film Limits of Control is up at apple.com. Filmed by Chris Doyle whose luminous work can be seen in films from In the Mood for Love to Paranoid Park, Limits of Control follows a mysterious agent (Isaach De Bankole) through out contemporary Spain in search of  answers to a mystery that no one can quite fathom. In each city and town he meets with enigmatic characters and agents (John Hurt, Youki Kudoh, Tilda Swinton, Hiam Abbass, Gael García Bernal, Paz De La Huerta, and Bill Murray), each who provides clues to his destination, but no one, even to the very end, has a complete map of the story. In other words, pure Jarmusch.

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