Felicity Jones discusses Stormtroopers

Yes, shooting Stormtroopers has to be fun as the lovely Felicity Jones explains in this clip, but she explains they also make her a little bit jumpy as well. We’re definitely looking forward to “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” which premiered last night.

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Love conquers all at Sundance

Just last night, I was writing about an assortment of ultra-dark, transgressive films that were getting a lot of ink at Sundance, but it seems the festival journey was in the mood for something a lot gentler. To be specific, a film in which true love poignantly meets its match in U.S. immigration laws has won the top prize at the festival.

The maker of “Like Crazy,” Drake Doremus, is apparently so guileless that he admitted to being partially inspired by “Paper Heart,” a perfectly okay and good-natured little movie that was hated out of all proportion to its attributes by many festival-going sophisticates and duly stomped upon. I already like the guy. Female lead, Felicity Jones, won a special jury prize for her performance. Leading guy Anton Yelchin will just have to be happy that he’s Lt. Pavel Chekhov, damnit.

I don’t have a trailer to show you, but I did dig up this very brief clip in which almost nothing happens except unbelievable romantic tension.

Indiewire has a complete write-up of the awards and a list of winners.

  

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Exclusive Clip — “Cemetery Junction”

It’s annoying but true: in the current blockbuster-driven film climate, an increasing number of films which are clearly worthy of a look are not even getting theatrical releases. You’d think that the directorial debut of the widely acclaimed team behind the original UK version of “The Office” and HBO’s outstanding “Extras,” not to mention “The Ricky Gervais Show,” would at least get a limited arthouse release in the good old U.S.A. The fact that Ricky Gervais has become a well-known figure here as a comic in his own right should help, even if his movies as a writer-actor have so far failed to set our world on fire. If even Gervais’s equally mirth-inducing but less well known professional partner, Stephen Merchant, were to wander into, say, a random Santa Monica or Hollywood-area coffee house, he might well be mobbed.

Nevertheless, the DVD of Gervais and Merchant’s cinematic directorial debut, “Cemetery Junction,” was released yesterday and we have, I’m told, an exclusive clip from the film. As you’ll see, this appears to be a slightly jaundiced coming-of-age comedy-drama in the mold of something like “Diner,” “American Graffiti,” Fellini’s “Il Vitelone,” and innumerable other nostalgic-yet-brittle films made in Britain and all over-the-world.  It stars young Christian Cooke as the requisite dissatisfied local, dividing his time between hanging out with his more complacent mates (Tom Hughes and Jack Doolan), a theoretically dead-end job selling life insurance (hey, that’s what my dad did!), and falling for the boss’s beautiful but engaged daughter (Felicity Jones). Supporting turns are filled by Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Matthew Goode and, of course, Ricky Gervais. He just happens to appear in the rather amusing clip below.

  

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