Thursday, August 13, 2015

Terrace Theater screens Manglehorn, followed by a Q&A with director David Gordon Green

Al Pacino carries around a cat and it's awesome

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 4:45 PM

David Gordon Green, best known for directing comedies like Pineapple Express, Joe, and The Sitter, as well as HBO's Eastbound and Down, will be at the Terrace Theater tomorrow for a Q&A following his not-so-funny film Manglehorn. Starring Al Pacino and Holly Hunter, Manglehorn (PG-13) is about A.J. Manglehorn, a lonely locksmith who still carries a torch (and, well, an entire shrine) for his long-lost love, Cara. 

Narrated by Manglehorn, the movie is at times sad, often frustrating, and frequently pretty touching. The drama has all of the right elements: sad and angry old man, quirky love interest, distant son, and really cute cat. Seriously, the cat, Fannie, steals the show. Oftentimes, she's the only like-able character.

Manglehorn works alone as a locksmith, copying keys in his shop and frequently traveling the streets of Texas to unlock cars and doors. He's grumpy and the camera zooms into his face and lingers over his monologues. We're supposed to like Manglehorn. We're also supposed to resent him. And feel bad for him. And want to hit him over the head with his pathetic adoration of a long-gone woman. In this sense, Green has done a great job developing a complicated character.

Al Pacino and Director David Gordon Green - PROVIDED BY TERRACE THEATER
  • Provided by Terrace Theater
  • Al Pacino and Director David Gordon Green
Green, struggles, though, with the development of some of the film's other characters. Manglehorn's son, Jacob (Chris Messina), a handsome, successful broker, hates him. Gary (Harmony Korine), who was on Jacob's baseball team as a kid, remembers Manglehorn fondly as "coach."

These younger guys are supposed to be a window into Manglehorn's different souls: Gary idolizes him and Jacob resents him. Neither one, though, is fully explained. Why is Gary so obnoxious and how does Manglehorn make it into his late-night tanning salon for a happy endings massage? And why is Jacob a huge ass for most of the film and then suddenly a crying softie near the end? Are we supposed to fall for that?

The most like-able character comes in the form of the ever-charming Holly Hunter, who plays Dawn, Manglehorn's bank clerk. Dawn and Manglehorn flirt every Friday, when he comes in to deposit a check. Their flirtation grows into an awkward and realistic sort of courtship, that Manglehorn may or may not ruin with his constant obsessing over Clara (you'll have to watch it to see what happens.)

As for the mysterious Clara? Well, that's about it: she's a mystery. She is not the father of Jacob and we're not really sure when she and Manglehorn carried on what must have been a torrid love affair. We don't really care. Perhaps Green wanted it this way, or maybe he didn't understand how devoted we would become to Fannie, utilizing almost all of our attention to watch her furry, white form scurry across the screen.

The film becomes surreal at some moments — watch for the watermelon truck car crash scene — leaving us feeling a little disengaged. What exactly is happening? What, exactly, is the point of this film? For the most part we hold our breaths, praying that Fannie doesn't die. We also find ourselves rooting for kind of shitty characters, and we're OK with that. I mean, come on, it's Al Pacino. He's good.

Manglehorn can be disjointed, strange, and sometimes slow. Ultimately, though, it's a story of what it's like to be in love after your great love has gone. It's worth watching, and it's definitely worth asking the director of Pineapple Express how he came to direct a heart-warming film like this. 

Spruill Ave. ice factory gets a TV-worthy makeover

Keep an eye out for HBO film crews in North Charleston

Posted by Paul Bowers on Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 10:05 AM

  • Paul Bowers

Commuters on Spruill Avenue in North Charleston this morning may have noticed a sudden change in the scenery: With a few distressed-looking, hand-painted signs, the facade of the long-vacant ice factory beside Reddy Ice at 4287 Spruill Ave. appears to have been reinvented as some sort of butcher shop or slaughterhouse. Word on the street is HBO is filming there today, which means it could be a set piece for the upcoming Danny McBride comedy series Vice Principals.

One of the signs, which originally just said "ICE," has been cleverly edited to say "NICE MEAT." Some vintage pickup trucks are parked out front, along with a Limehouse Produce delivery truck adorned with the logo of the Nice Meat Co. (A phone number painted on the side with a Columbia area code is disconnected.)

The show is still recruiting extras and other roles. Recently, Tona B. Dahlquist Casting put out a call in the Charleston area for a "martial arts male" for Aug. 16, an "actual sushi chef" for Aug. 17, a "burly biker with a Harley" for Aug. 23, and numerous students ages 15 to 22 for filming dates from Aug. 17-30. The company also sought a female pianist who could read sheet music for Aug. 14 filming near Rock Hill.

  • Paul Bowers

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

VH1 Now casting for new show, 'End the Drama'

Because reality TV solves all problems

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Wed, Aug 5, 2015 at 10:29 AM

Doron Ofir Casting and VH1 are hitting South Carolina and looking for women between the ages of 25-35 who want to get a "fresh start." If you've had some kind of major trauma or you just want a clean slate then look no further than reality TV. "End the drama" by living under one roof with other women who are also looking to "reboot their lives." While it doesn't sound promising to us, we'd love to see y'all try it out.

According to the show, the women selected will have "no responsibilities, no rules, no regrets, and no pasts." Apparently every night at the house is "one big sleepover party." Yeah, right.

If you're between 25-35 and like the sounds of adult pillow fights, apply here.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Aziz Ansari is getting his own Netflix series

'Master of None' drops November 6

Posted by Sam Spence on Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 1:45 PM

  • Flickr user timothykrause
  • Ansari

You've powered through all seven seasons of Parks and Recreation and can recite the jokes from his stand-up specials by heart — you've watched everything Aziz Ansari has ever done on Netflix. (Bob's Burgers and Scrubs included.)

Well, on November 6, save some time to watch the 10 brand new episodes of Master of None, the brand new Netflix series featuring the Columbia-born funnyman. The series marks Aziz's return to sitcom life after the end of the network smash Parks and Rec, which featured Aziz as Tom Haverford alongside Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, and Nick Offerman. Ansari is credited as creator and co-executive producer of the new series along with P&R's Alan Yang and Mike Schur. The show's cast also includes Jon Benjamin (Bob’s Burgers), comedian Lena Waithe, Eric Wareheim of Tim and Eric, and others.

AV Club describes the show as semi-autobiographical, following the life of a 30-year old New York actor "who has trouble deciding what he wants to eat, much less the pathway for the rest of his life." Sounds a little like the Raaaaaaaandy we know.

If Master of None isn't enough for you, don't worry. Just sit tight and wait for A Very Murray Christmas in December.

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Park Circle Films closes up shop

PCF takes a bow

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 1:07 PM

  • PCF Facebook
After almost seven years and over 370 events, Park Circle Films (PCF) is closing its doors. "It was a pretty sudden decision," says director of operations Sarah Long. Citing the personal reasons of several board members (including her own, Long is about to move out of the state), Long says that PCF's finale is bittersweet.

City Paper highlighted PCF four years ago when the organization started growing, expecting big things from the little nonprofit film group, comparing it to Columbia's popular arts hub, the (also nonprofit) Nickelodeon Theater. Unfortunately, those dreams never really came to fruition. "Running a nonprofit film society isn't simple," says Long who admits that  financial issues have also played a role in the society's decision to shut down. "I would love for a phoenix to rise from the ashes," she adds, pointing to interested volunteers and community members who could get together to re-create a similar film society.

Long hasn't given up hope for Charleston cinephiles however. She says that there's definitely an interest in independent films in the community — there just aren't that many outlets.  "It was my personal goal to bring more independent films downtown," she says — a difficult task given there's no operating movie theater in downtown Charleston. PCF did recently hook up with the Charleston Music Hall where they will be showing two final documentaries in the next two weeks. Long hopes the venue will continue in this tradition, bringing more films downtown.

"No one showed the kind of documentaries that Park Circle Films showed," says Long. "Our main problem is that people forgot we were there. They would say 'Oh, yeah, they're doing great things,' but then Netflix wins the battle a lot of the time," she says. 

Long is sad about the end of this era of her life, but she's grateful for Charleston's arts community, calling it one of the most supportive ones she's seen in the country.

Help Long and the rest of Park Circle Films say goodbye at an informal party this Saturday, from 7-8:30 p.m. Long plans to show a slideshow of photos taken at the movie house over the years. 

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