Mark Boal (Writer/Producer)
He is a journalist, screenwriter and producer. Born and raised in New York City, he graduated with honors in philosophy from Oberlin College before beginning a career as an investigative reporter and writer of long form non-fiction. An acclaimed series for the Village Voice on the rise of surveillance in America led to a position at the alternative weekly writing a weekly column, “The Monitor,” when he was 25. Boal subsequently covered politics, technology, crime, youth culture and drug culture in stories for national publications including Rolling Stone, Brill’s Content, Mother Jones, The New York Observer and Playboy. He is currently a writer-at-large for Playboy.
In 2003, Boal’s article “Jailbait,” about an undercover drug agent, was adapted for FOX television’s “The Inside.” In 2003, he wrote “Death and Dishonor,” the true story of a military veteran who goes searching for his missing son, which later became the basis for Paul Haggis’ follow up to Crash, In the Valley of Elah. Boal collaborated with Haggis on the script and shares a co-story credit on the film, deemed “a deeply reflective, highly powerful work” by the Hollywood Reporter.
Click here for complete coverage of The Hurt Locker, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
Peter Docter (Director/Screenplay/Story)
He has carved out an illustrious career as one of Pixar Animation Studios’ most prodigious talents. Joining the studio in 1990, he began by animating and directing a variety of Pixar-produced commercials for Tropicana Fruit Juice, Tetra-Pak drink box recycling and Lifesavers.
Along with John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton, Docter developed the story and characters for “Toy Story,” Pixar’s first full-length feature film, for which he also served as supervising animator. He was a storyboard artist on “A Bug’s Life,” and wrote the initial story treatment for “Toy Story 2.”
Docter made his debut as a director on “Monsters, Inc.,” which received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. As one of Pixar Animation Studios’ key creative contributors, Docter garnered another Academy Award nomination for his original story credit on Disney•Pixar’s Oscar“-winning “WALL•E.”
Prior to joining Pixar, Docter worked as an animator for The Walt Disney Company, Bob Rogers and Company, Bajus-Jones Film Corporation and Reelworks in Minneapolis. Docter’s interest in animation began at the age of 8 when he created his first flipbook. He studied character animation at CalArts (California Institute of the Arts) in Valencia, California, where he produced a variety of films, including “Winter,” “Palm Springs” and the Student Academy Award“-winning “Next Door.”
Docter currently resides in Piedmont, California with his wife and their two children.
Bob Peterson (Co-Director/Screenplay/Story/voice of Dug/Alpha)
He has been a key player at Pixar Animation Studios since 1994. His first assignment was that of layout artist and animator on “Toy Story.” He later served as story artist on “A Bug’s Life” and “Toy Story 2,” story supervisor on “Monsters, Inc.,” and was also one of the screenwriters on the Academy Award“-winning feature “Finding Nemo.”
In addition to his story work, Peterson has voiced several of the company’s memorable animated characters: the aged chess-playing hero of “Geri’s Game,” paperwork-obsessed slugwoman Roz in “Monsters, Inc.,” and the tuneful teacher Mr. Ray in “Finding Nemo.” He also lends his voice talents to “Up” for the character of Dug the dog.
While studying for a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Indiana’s Purdue University, Peterson had his first experience working in a computer graphics lab. It was there that he also received his first cartooning experience, writing and drawing “Loco-Motives,” a daily four-panel strip for Purdue University’s Exponent newspaper.
Following graduation, Peterson moved to Santa Barbara, California, to work for Maya creator, Wavefront Technologies, and then to Hollywood-based Rezn8 Productions, before joining Pixar in 1994.
Born in Wooster, Ohio, and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and Dover, Ohio, Peterson earned his undergrad degree from Ohio Northern University. He currently lives in San Francisco with his wife, three children and two non-talking dogs.
Tom McCarthy (Screenplay)
THE VISITIOR was Tom McCarthy’s follow up film to the critically acclaimed THE STATION AGENT. Released by Overture Films, it went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at the 34th Deauville Film Festival for American Films, received many nominations including the IFP Gotham Awards and was on countless top critic lists including The National Board of Review Top Ten Independent Films of the Year. McCarthy won Best Director Award at the Independent Spirit Awards for 2009 and was nominated for Best Original Screenplay by the Writers Guild of America. The Station Agent was released by Miramax in 2003, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it was bestowed The Audience Award, and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. It garnered a BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay and two Independent Spirit Awards including the John Cassavetes Award. Additionally, it was named the third best film by the National Board of Review in their list of Top Ten Best Films of the Year, three SAG nominations and a Writers Guild nomination for Best Original Screenplay. The film won awards at many film festivals including San Sebastian, Stockholm, Mexico City and Aspen. Tom recently finished GAME OF THRONES for HBO and has story credit on UP, the new Pixar release.
As an actor, some of McCarthy’s feature credits include; FLAGS OF OUR FATHER, SYRIANA, GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK,THE YEAR OF THE DOG, and MEET THE PARENT. He was a series regular in the final season of HBO’s critically acclaimed show THE WIRE. Tom was recently seen in DUPLICITY opposite Julia Roberts and Clive Owen, in Peter Jackson’s THE LOVELY BONES, Lukas Moodysson’s MAMMOTH and 2012 directed by Roland Emmerich. Tom has a part in the film JACK GOES BOATING the directorial debut of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and he recently finished FAIR GAME and MEET THE FOCKERS.
Click here for complete coverage of Up, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
Ethan Coen (Writer/Director)
Ethan Coen has produced and co-written such critically acclaimed films as Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, which won the Palme d’Or [Best Picture], Best Director, and Best Actor (John Turturro) Awards at the 1991 Cannes International Film Festival; and O Brother, Where Art Thou?, which was nominated for two Academy Awards, five BAFTA Awards, and two Golden Globe Awards (winning one).
One of 1996’s most honored films, Fargo, which he produced and co-wrote, received seven Academy Award nominations and won two, including Best Original Screenplay for Ethan and his brother Joel. Among the other films that he has co-written and produced are Blood Simple; Raising Arizona; The Hudsucker Proxy; The Big Lebowski; The Man Who Wasn’t There; and Intolerable Cruelty.
He co-directed and co-wrote the 2004 comedy The Ladykillers with Joel. Joel and Ethan Coen’s 2007 adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men brought them the Directors Guild of America, BAFTA, and Academy and Awards; the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay; Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay from the New York Film Critics Circle; Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay from the Oscars and the National Board of Review; The film’s cast was voted the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, and Javier Bardem won the Screen Actors Guild and Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor, among other accolades.
Joel and Ethan Coen’s most recent film, Burn After Reading, was nominated for the BAFTA Award and the WGA Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Almost an Evening, comprising three short plays by Ethan Coen, was staged in 2008 off-Broadway by Neil Pepe at the Atlantic Theater Company’s Stage 2 and then at the Bleecker Street Theater; in 2009, the same director and company staged his three new short plays under the title Offices.
Joel Coen (Writer/Director)
Joel Coen was honored by the Cannes International Film Festival in 2001, as Best Director for The Man Who Wasn’t There, and in 1991, as Best Director for Barton Fink. He was honored as Best Director by the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Board of Review, and the BAFTA Awards for 1996’s Fargo; and also won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Fargo, which he co-wrote with his brother Ethan.
The screenplay for O Brother, Where Art Thou?, also co-written with Ethan, was nominated for a BAFTA Award and the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Other films that he has directed and co-written are Intolerable Cruelty; The Big Lebowski; The Hudsucker Proxy; Miller’s Crossing; Raising Arizona; and Blood Simple.
He co-directed and co-wrote the 2004 comedy The Ladykillers with Ethan. Joel and Ethan Coen’s 2007 adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men brought them the Directors Guild of America, BAFTA, and Academy Awards; the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay; Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay from the New York Film Critics Circle; and Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay from the Oscars and the National Board of Review. The film’s cast was voted the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, and Javier Bardem won the Screen Actors Guild and Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor, among other accolades.
Joel and Ethan Coen’s most recent film, Burn After Reading, was nominated for the BAFTA Award and the WGA Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Click here for complete coverage of A Serious Man, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
Quentin Tarantino (Writer/Director)
With his vibrant imagination and his trademark dedication to richly detailed storytelling, Quentin Tarantino has established himself as one of the most celebrated filmmakers of his generation. Tarantino continues to infuse his distinct, innovative films with appreciative nods to classic moviemaking styles, genres and motifs.
Most recently collaborated with Robert Rodriquez on GRINDHOUSE, an unprecedented project from the longtime collaborators (FROM DUSK TO DAWN, FOUR ROOMS and SIN CITY) which presented two original, complete films as a double feature. Tarantino’s DEATH PROOF, one half of the double feature, is a white knuckle ride behind the wheel of a psycho serial killer’s roving death machine.
Tarantino guided audiences on a whirlwind tour of the globe in KILL BILL VOL. 1 and KILL BILL VOL. 2, in which Uma Thurman, as “the bride,” enacted a “roaring rampage of revenge” on her former lover and boss. KILL BILL VOL. 1 and KILL BILL VOL. 2 also star David Carradine as the doomed title character, and Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox and Michael Madsen as his equally moribund team of assassins.
Following the worldwide success of KILL BILL VOL. 1 and KILL BILL VOL. 2, Tarantino seized another opportunity to collaborate with longtime friend and colleague Robert Rodriguez as a special guest director on the thriller SIN CITY. Based on three of co-director Frank Miller’s graphic novels, SIN CITY was released in 2005. The ensemble cast included Jessica Alba, Powers Boothe, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Clarke Duncan, Michael Madsen, Brittany Murphy, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis and Elijah Wood.
Tarantino then turned his attention to the small screen, directing the season five finale of CSI. In the episode, entitled “Grave Danger,” Tarantino took the show’s fans on a chilling, claustrophobic journey six feet underground into a torturous coffin that contained CSI team member Nick Stokes (George Eads). The episode garnered Tarantino an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. Tarantino made his television directorial debut in 1995 with an episode of the long-running drama ER entitled “Motherhood.”
Tarantino wrote and directed JACKIE BROWN, a comic crime caper loosely based on Elmore Leonard’s novel Rum Punch, starring Pam Grier, Robert Forster, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Bridget Fonda and Michael Keaton. JACKIE BROWN was released in 1997. Grier garnered both Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for her performance in the title role. Forster was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor. Jackson won the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1998 for his performance as Ordell Robbie.
Tarantino co-wrote, directed and starred in PULP FICTION, which won the Palme D’Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival, numerous critics’ awards, and a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay. Tarantino made a return visit to Cannes in 2004 to take on the prestigious role of jury president. PULP FICTION was nominated for seven Academy Awards® including Best Picture and Best Director, and Tarantino received an Academy Award® for Best Screenplay. The time-bending, crime fiction collage stars John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Eric Stoltz, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Maria de Medeiros, Amanda Plummer and Christopher Walken.
He made a bold debut with RESERVOIR DOGS, a cops and robbers tale that Tarantino wrote, directed and produced on a shoe-string budget. The film boasts an impressive cast that includes Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth and Michael Madsen.
Following the success of RESERVOIR DOGS, the screenplays that Tarantino wrote during his tenure as a video store clerk became hot properties: Tony Scott directed Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette in TRUE ROMANCE and Robert Rodriguez directed George Clooney and Salma Hayek in FROM DUSK TILL DAWN.
Tarantino joined Allison Anders, Robert Rodriguez and Alexandre Rockwell by directing, writing and executive producing a segment of the omnibus feature FOUR ROOMS.
Tarantino’s diverse work as a producer exemplifies both his dedication to first-time filmmakers and his enthusiastic support for his experienced peers and colleagues. Tarantino served as an executive producer on Eli Roth’s HOSTEL, a chilling horror film about vacationers who fall victim to a service that allows its patrons to live out sadistic fantasies of murder. In 2005, Tarantino also produced first-time director Katrina Bronson’s DALTRY CALHOUN, starring Johnny Knoxville and Juliette Lewis. Tarantino’s additional executive producer credits include Robert Rodriguez’s FROM DUSK TILL DAWN and Roger Avary’s KILLING ZOE. The longtime fan of Asian cinema presented Yuen Wo Ping’s IRON MONKEY to American audiences in 2001 and Zhang Yimou’s HERO in 2004.
Click here for complete coverage of Inglourious Basterds, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
Oren Moverman (Writer/Director)
Born in Israel, Oren moved to New York to work in film in 1988 after completing four years of military service as an infantry soldier.
He co-wrote Todd Haynes’ Bob Dylan biopic I’M NOT THERE, starring Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere, Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore and Charlotte Gainsbourg, a Weinstein Company release.
Oren also collaborated with Ira Sachs on MARRIED LIFE, a 2008 Sony Pictures Classics release, starring Rachel McAdams, Chris Cooper, Pierce Brosnen and Patricia Clarkson, and on THE GOODBYE PEOPLE, currently casting.
Oren penned INTERRUPTED about legendary director Nicholas Ray, for City Lights Pictures with Phillip Kaufman directing, and WILLIAM BURROUGHS’ QUEER for actor/director Steve Buscemi. Both films are currently casting for a 2009 shoot.
Oren served as screenwriter of FACE, an Indican release, starring Bai Ling, Treach and Kristy Wu. Directed by Bertha Bay-Sa Pan, FACE premiered in competition at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival.
Oren was also a screenwriter and associate producer of JESUS’ SON, a 2000 Lion’s Gate/Alliance Release. Directed by Alison Maclean, the film stars Billy Crudup, Samantha Morton, Jack Black, Holly Hunter & Dennis Hopper. THE MESSENGER is his first film as a director.
Alessandro Camon (Writer)
He was born in Padua, Italy, and currently lives in Los Angeles. He started his career in Italy as a film critic, and has published several books and essays, both in English and Italian. After graduating in philosophy at the University of Padua he obtained an MA in Film from UCLA and started working in production.
His producing credits include “Owning Mahowny”, “Thank You For Smoking”, “The Cooler”, “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans”, and “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps”. “The Messenger” is his first produced screenplay in the US.
Alessandro has also adapted “The Chancellor Manuscript”, with Leonardo Di Caprio attached to star, “The Killer”, with David Fincher attached to direct, and “Land of the Living” , to be directed by Alex Holmes (currently casting.) Current projects include an adaptation of French graphic novel “Headshots” for Warner Brothers and a historical drama for HBO, with James Gandolfini producing.
Alessandro is married to film producer Suzanne Warren.
Click here for complete coverage of The Messenger, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
Imaginatively exploring questions of faith, familial responsibility, delinquent behavior, dental phenomena, academia, mortality, and Judaism – and intersections thereof – A Serious Man is the new film from Academy Award‐winning writer/directors Joel and Ethan Coen. They tell the story of an ordinary man’s search for clarity in a universe where Jefferson Airplane is on the radio and F‐Troop is on TV. It is 1967, and Larry Gopnik, a physics professor at a quiet Midwestern university, has just been informed by his wife Judith that she is leaving him. She has fallen in love with one of his more pompous acquaintances, Sy Ableman, who seems to her a more substantial person than the feckless Larry. Larry’s unemployable brother Arthur is sleeping on the couch, his son Danny is a discipline problem and a shirker at Hebrew school, and his daughter Sarah is filching money from his wallet in order to save up for a nose job
While his wife and Sy Ableman blithely make new domestic arrangements, and his brother becomes more and more of a burden, an anonymous hostile letter‐writer is trying to sabotage Larry’s chances for tenure at the university. Also, a graduate student seems to be trying to bribe him for a passing grade while at the same time threatening to sue him for defamation. Plus, the beautiful woman next door torments him by sunbathing nude. Struggling for equilibrium, Larry seeks advice from three different rabbis. Can anyone help him cope with his afflictions and become a righteous person – a mensch – a serious man?
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The cast includes: Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Fred Melamed, Sari Lennick, Adam Arkin, Aaron Wolff, and Jessica McManus
IMDB member “I saw this movie at TIFF on Saturday. The Coens quietly (and I mean quietly – no-one could hear even their amplified voices) introduced the movie with reference to the actors present but not the movie, letting it speak for itself. And it did. In its own way. It is an off-beat (what else?) and serious work that radiates bleak despair while searching for a funny bone. In the process, the movie makes other black comedies look positively light and airy. The movie evokes laughs from a different place than most – from a profound discomfort watching people twist themselves this way and that to fit in and be regarded seriously, whether situationally, socially or religiously. A great piece of work that will have you thinking long afterwards, especially considering the odd and difficult-to-contextualize prologue and, um different, ending which bookend a remarkable work.”
Did You Know?
The names of the characters who ride the school bus with Danny Gopnik are the names of children that the Coen brothers grew up with.
The criminal lawyer that Larry is told to go to, Ron Meshbesher, is actually a local lawyer in Minneapolis. He is of the firm Meshbesher and Spence. The address that is on the retainer envelope at the end of the movie is their actual downtown address.
The voice of Dick Dutton, the Columbia Record Club employee who harasses Larry on the phone, is supplied by actor Warren Keith. This is the second time he has appeared in a Coen Brothers film playing a character heard only on the phone. He also supplies the voice of Reilly Diefenbach, the GMAC finance officer who calls Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo (1996).
Sarah Gopnik repeatedly talks about going to “The Whole”. The Whole is the music club in the basement of the University of Minnesota student union. It opened in the 1960s.