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Jul 2011 26

by Fred Topel

“I use The Weekly World News to teach my son how to read.”
– Errol Morris

For some reason I expected Errol Morris to be a really serious documentarian trying to blow the lid off a scandal. Instead he was happy and smiling and laughing. He even made a joke that my two digital records (one for backup) were brother and sister. Morris has explored topics like police corruption in The Thin Blue Line and Abu Ghraib in SOP. His latest film, Tabloid tells a story we may not know, with a theme that still resonates today.

Joyce McKinney caused a scandal in the ‘70s when she allegedly kidnapped Kirk Anderson from the Mormon Church. At the time, the London tabloids either glorified her as a beautiful heroine or slammed her as a sexual predator. Today it takes far simpler scandals to make someone a tabloid star. For the film, Morris conducted an interview with McKinney and some of the other men who knew her, helped her or tried to stop her. The story unfolds in their own words, with a few on screen images for emphasis.

I spoke with Morris about today’s media, tabloid or otherwise.

Read our exclusive interview with Errol Morris on SuicideGirls.com.

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Jul 2011 22

by Aaron Colter

The bulk of this blog post isn’t about San Diego Comic-Con, I’m just using it as an excuse to get you to click on the title. And it worked. Fooled you, motherfuckers! You might as well stick around though, I mean, you did already click on the title, and you are already reading this sentence. The next one’s pretty good, you should read it too.

Comic-Con can actually be a lot of fun, but it’s expensive as hell and crowded as five pounds of shit in a four pound bag. If conventions are your type of party, there are smaller conventions around the country that are legitimately well-attended, where you’ll have the opportunity to meet with other fans and actually speak to creators about their work. If, however, you’re looking to blow a few thousand dollars, and can get a decent group of your friends to do the same, plan a year in advance, and set aside hundreds in cash for stuff on the show floor, then yes, San Diego Comic-Con is fucking awesome. If attending, my top three picks for things to get at SDCC are Mr. Hipp Strikes!, Any Empire by Nate Powell, and the 2011 Color Ink Book.

But, if you’re like me, and don’t really want to deal with all of that noise this year, next, or ever, unless absolutely necessary, then here’s some cool stuff that you can do this weekend that will still be pretty fun.

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Jul 2011 22

by Daniel Robert Epstein

“I wouldn’t say Knoxville’’s too talented.”
– Jeff Tremaine

On camera the Jackass cast and crew always come off like psychotic eight year olds, which they are. But it also takes some talent to take this very motley crew, have them do all these insane and disgusting things to themselves and each other, and still be able to formulate it all into a movie. That’’s where Jackass co-creator and director Jeff Tremaine steps in.

Before the Jackass phenomenon, Tremaine was best known as the editor for Big Brother Magazine. Tremaine was the one who put all these lunatics together into the major franchise that they are now.

Read our exclusive interview with Jeff Tremaine on SuicideGirls.com.

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Jul 2011 21

by Daniel Robert Epstein

“There’’s nothing about David [Lynch] that is elitist.”
– Laura Dern

Laura Dern is the talented and beautiful muse of many of David Lynch’s best films. Dern has starred in Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart and most recently, Inland Empire.

In Lynch’’s three hour, shot on video opus Dern plays multiple characters all orbiting her main character of an actor who lands her first really great part in a long time.

Dern has not only supported many independent filmmakers throughout her career, she produced Alexander Payne’’s first film Citizen Ruth, scored an Oscar nomination for Rambling Rose and even changed herself into a femme fatale for Novocaine.

I got a chance to talk with Dern about Inland Empire from an undisclosed place in Manhattan.

Read our exclusive interview with Laura Dern on SuicideGirls.com.

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Jul 2011 20

by A.J. Focht

Muggles made Hollywood magic last weekend as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 took the weekend box office, and made box office history. Deathly Hallows had the largest midnight release ever, with $43.5 million earned that night, shattering The Twilight Saga: Eclipse‘s previous record of $30 million. Sparkly vampires suffered further at the hands of the wizarding world as Deathly Hallows also broke The Twilight Saga: New Moon‘s opening day record, raking in $92.1 million in the US. It doesn’t stop there; Harry Potter nabbed the opening weekend record from The Dark Knight with $168 million. The entire world showed its approval as it collectively shelled out $475.5 million to see the Harry Potter series – putting it one-sixth of the way to James Cameron’s Avatar lifetime gross record in just one weekend!

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Jul 2011 20

by Daniel Robert Epstein

“It feels good to have a bit of doubt”
– Valerie Faris, co-director of Little Miss Sunshine

Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris have long been one of the most respected directors in music videos and commercials. But it wasn’t until 2006 when Fox Searchlight released their independent film, Little Miss Sunshine, that their names were on everyone’s lips. Sporting a dream cast that includes Alan Arkin, Steve Carell and Toni Collette, the movie is about Olive a young girl who, by default, gets accepted to a beauty pageant. When her parents realize they don’t have enough money to fly her to the pageant, they decide to drive her in their rickety VW bus along with their voluntarily mute son, her suicidal uncle and her grandfather who snorts heroin and is teaching Olive her dance routine. The film has grossed nearly $60 million domestically and is a favorite to get nominated for lots of prestigious awards. I got a chance to talk with directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris about the film.

Read our exclusive interview with Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris on SuicideGirls.com.

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Jul 2011 19

by Fred Topel

“I always needed to take the edge off.”
– Patty Schemel

Patty Schemel, former drummer for the grunge rock band Hole, is the subject of a new documentary. Hit So Hard: The Life & Near Death Story of Patty Schemel profiles her time with the Courtney Love fronted band, her decline into drug addiction, and her subsequent resurrection.

What makes Hit So Hard more personal than the usual biography of a troubled rocker is that it is founded upon home video of Hole shot behind the scenes on tour. The film began when Schemel wanted to transfer her old Hi-8 video (a high end format from the early ‘90s), and director David Ebersole decided to follow the story in more depth.

Schemel’s story didn’t end with her drug addiction and recovery. She also struggled with coming out to her family, and now she is happily married to her partner, Christina Soletti. After leaving Hole, Schemel spent some time homeless, living on the street. Through her firsthand accounts, and commentary from fellow rock goddesses like Gina Schock and Nina Gordon, Schemel and Ebersole paint a portrait of her struggles, and a side of Hole you never knew. Some of the Hi-8 videos even feature Curt Kobain shortly before his suicide.

The film has played the festival circuit this year. It premiered in Austin at South by Southwest, where I sat with Schemel before the film even screened in competition. On her own, Schemel was a mature, reflective conversationalist, the evidence of her former life, her rock & roll tattoos only being visible when she rolled up her sleeves.

New Directors/New Films reunited Schemel and Love in person, and the film continues to play the country in festivals like Seattle International Film Festival and this month’s Outfest in Los Angeles.

Read our exclusive interview with Patty Schemel on SuicideGirls.com.

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