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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Greenberg's Ben Stiller on The Daily Show

Posted March 30, 2010


On night before Passover, Ben Stiller came on The Daily Show to talk with host Jon Stewart about Seders, plagues and, of course, Greenberg.


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David Schwartz on Greenberg, Baumbach and Harris Savides

Posted March 27, 2010


David Schwartz, the Chief Curator of the Museum of Moving Image and editor at large of the most excellent Moving Image Source, has recently done two extensive pieces of Greenberg interest. First is “Screwball Drama,” his extensive interview with Noah Baumbach on his filmic influences. More recently he interviewed cinematographer Harris Savides, who not only shot Greenberg, but also shot Gus Van Sant’s Milk and Sofia Coppola’s upcoming Somewhere. Savides talks a little about his special relationship with Baumbach in "That '70s Look: the throwback naturalism of cinematographer Harris Savides:"

We looked at Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye, and Five Easy Pieces. But there's a kind of shorthand now with Noah. He'll just mention a couple of films and I kind of know what he wants to do. But I never want to ape a movie. I think it just informs us and suggests a certain vibe. You know, you can't work in a void. I certainly can't go into a project and just do what I want. So to mention those movies to me just sets the tone and the pace for the way the movie looks.

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Critics discover Greenberg’s Greta Gerwig

Posted March 25, 2010


With the release of Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg, many film writers and critics are seeing Greta Gerwig anew. Of course, Gerwig is not new to film: she has acted, directed and/or written a number of low-budget independent movies. But starring with Ben Stiller in Greenberg, Greta is, according to the some, on the “Verge.” 

On, S.T. VanAirsdale talks to the star in “The Verge: Greta Gerwig.” For an actress who makes everything seem so natural, Gerwig talks about her preparation for the role: "I did a ton of back-story stuff: Journals, her family tree, where she grew up. I found the house I thought she might have grown up in, over in Burbank. I thought of her having done maybe two years at community college — a specific community college — and then transferring into the state system. I had very specific things that she had done. I don’t know, it’s hard to go into everything."

In “No Method to her Method,” New York Times’ A. O. Scott singles her out as unique among her peers: 

Ms. Gerwig, most likely without intending to be anything of the kind, may well be the definitive screen actress of her generation, a judgment I offer with all sincerity and a measure of ambivalence. She seems to be embarked on a project, however piecemeal and modestly scaled, of redefining just what it is we talk about when we talk about acting.


And at, Joan Anderman in “Greta Gerwig, in Greenberg, moves beyond mumblecore” finds out why this part was so meaningful to the young star:

I thought, I know this girl. I felt my heart go out of my chest and into her. I think there is some Florence in me but as a person I have developed more defenses and boundaries, so that some of my work in being Florence was not a building up, but a breaking down.

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Jane Eyre to start shooting

Posted March 18, 2010


Of course, you read it in high school—ok, college. And maybe you saw the classic 1994 version with Joan Fontaine and Orson Welles on TCM. But Cary Fukunaga (fresh from his award-winning Sin Nombre) is sure to bring a fresh spin to Charlotte Brontë’s sturdy classic Jane Eyre. Mia Wasikowska (currently Alice in Alice in Wonderland) is set to play Jane and Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds) will be Rochester in the production that starts shooting next week in England. This new version is penned by Moira Buffini with a cast that includes Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins, and Jamie Bell. James Schamus, CEO of Focus Features, comments, “Cary is the ideal choice to realize this unforgettable story in its traditional setting, yet with contemporary vitality and spirit. With two of today’s most promising new stars in Mia and Michael, plus an outstanding supporting cast, this will be a Jane Eyre for the ages.” To read the full press release, go here.

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One Night in Berlin with The Big Lebowski

Posted March 17, 2010


Let’s say you are a big fan of Coen brothers cult favorite The Big Lebowski, but you have to travel to Germany and stay a night in Berlin, what should you do? Obviously, dude, you should stay at the Michelberger Hotel, which Travel + Lesiure reports is “friendly and funny: hallway TV’s play a permanent loop of The Big Lebowski in German.”

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Ryan Fleck makes The French Connection

Posted March 16, 2010


In the, film critic Philip French considers how he (and other film lovers) cherish particular scenes from film history. French loves the shower scene from Psycho––but then who doesn't? A panel of contemporary filmmakers singled out different, but no less memorable scenes from other films. Among the filmmakers, Ken Loach loves the bicycle scene from Jules et Jim, Shaun of the Dead Edgar Wright zeroed in on Carrie’s “Blood at the Prom” scene, Clair Denis loves the the opening scene from Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Also quoted is Ryan Fleck who (along with Anna Boden) is currently making It’s Kind of a Funny Story for Focus. He picked the "Subway Chase" scene from The French Connection. Remembering fondly action films before the advent of computer-generated effects, Fleck jokes about making films today (and in the process considers how his work on It's Kind of a Funny Story might have been different:

It was the kind of thing that you just would never get away with these days. I'm editing a movie right now that has a teenager walking on the Brooklyn Bridge, considering suicide. He steps out on to a ledge, over traffic… It never even occurred to put the actual kid out on the ledge, on a bridge, over traffic because we knew there was no way authorities would let us do that. So there's camera trickery. Back in the 70s we'd have just thrown a child out over the ledge, seen what happened, and shot it.

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NY Times spotlights Ben Stiller as Greenberg

Posted March 15, 2010


As Greenberg gets set to hit theaters in the next few weeks, critics and writers are looking at the new side of Ben Stiller shown in this touching character study by Noah Baumbach. Dennis Lim in a recent piece in the New York Times called  "Mortification Man" considers the various elements that, not only connects this new character to Stiller’s previous comedy triumphs, but also threads a bond between Baumbach’s and Stiller’s comedic styles. Lim writes:

Mr. Baumbach’s brand of humor is more analytical than Mr. Stiller’s, but both men specialize in a comedy of discomfort and mortification. You can imagine the short-fused Roger carrying the psychic burden of Mr. Stiller’s other roles as a perennial punching bag. Somewhere between good sports and masochists, his characters always get the girl but must first endure a series of indignities: zipper and hair-gel debacles in There’s Something About Mary, polygraph testing in Meet the Parents, gastrointestinal flare-ups in Along Came Polly.

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A Serious Man's DP Roger Deakins Wins A Spirit Award

Posted March 06, 2010


The 25th Film Independent Spirit Awards took place Friday night (March 5) in Los Angeles. Among the winners were cinematographer Roger Deakins who won a Spirit Award for his work on the Coen brothers comedy A Serious Man. In addition,the Robert Altman Award went to A Serious Man, with the award being given to the film's directors (Joel and Ethan Coen), casting directors (Ellen Chenoweth and Rachel Tenner) and the ensemble cast (Richard Kind, Sari Lennick, Jessica McManus, Fred Melamed, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Aaron Wolff). After receiving his statuette, Michael Stuhlbarg got much sympathy when he commented that he would keep his awards at his mother and father's house. A complete list (and coverage) of the Spirit Awards can be found at indieWIRE.

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A Prophet's Tahar Rahim on Eagle of the Ninth

Posted March 03, 2010


Tahar Rahim, the star of Jacques Audiar's prison/crime saga A Prophet has been getting lots of attention of late. Not only did he win two Cesars last week (one for best actor and one for most promising actor), he's been popping up in article after article by people who've just discovered him. Chris Lee's recent post "Is A Prophet's Tahar Rahim the next Al Pacino?" on the Los Angeles Times movie blog "24 Frames" discussed where the star came from and more importanly where he is going:

For his next project, The Eagle of the Ninth, directed by The Last King of Scotland helmer Kevin Macdonald, Rahim changed gears to appear opposite Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell. “I’m the baddie,” Rahim said between drags of on a Camel Light, seated in the Beverly Hills back yard of the French consul general. “He’s the prince of an ancient Gallic tribe. I’m talking in ancient Gallic -- it was hard.”

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A Serious Man blackboard benefits St. Olaf College

Posted March 03, 2010


Among the treasures to be bid on at St. Olaf's recent Black and Gold Winter Gala auction was part of the chalk board used in the Coen brothers' Oscar-nominated A Serious Man. According to the St. Olaf's Press, the gala raised "$109,000 for St. Olaf, including $2,600 for the blackboard" It only made sense since the scene was shot at St. Olaf anyway. And the Coen brothers not only allowed the college do what they wanted with the blackboard, but also wrote a letter of authenticity for the board. 

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