A new documentary from the collaborative team of writer/director Dave LaMattina (Brownstones To Red Dirt, Kei) and co-director Chad N. Walker (Kei, We Must Go) is coming this May. The film is titled I Am Big Bird: The Carroll Spinney Story, and follows the life of Carroll Spinney, who has appeared on Sesame Street as both Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969. Lending interviews to the footage include puppeteers Frank Oz (Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Muppets Treasure Island), and Sesame Street “muppeteers” Jim Henson, Sonia Manzano, Emilio Delgado, and Jerry Nelson, among others. I Am Big Bird first premiered last May at the Montclair and Seattle International Film festivals, and will be showing on screens in New York City this May 6th. We’ll keep an eye out for a nationwide release date.
The Breakfast Club (from left to right): Judd Nelson (the criminal), Emilio Estevez (the athlete), Ally Sheedy (the basket-case), Molly Ringwald (the princess), and Anthony Michael Hall (the brain).
Writer/director John Hughes‘ 1980s classic The Breakfast Club will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The movie will be released on Blu-Ray next week, but fans of the film will get to see a newly remastered cut at this year’s SXSW Film Festival at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, TX this March. The Breakfast Club was released in February 1985 and starred Emilio Estevez (Young Guns, The Mighty Ducks), Molly Ringwald (Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink), Judd Nelson (St. Elmo’s Fire, New Jack City), Anthony Michael Hall (National Lampoon’s Vacation, Weird Science), and Ally Sheedy (WarGames, Short Circuit) in the famous Saturday-detention story of “a brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel, and a recluse” and how they found out they had a lot in common. Late actor Paul Gleason (All My Children, Die Hard) also starred in the movie as their high-strung teacher Richard (Dick) Vernon, with John Kapelos (Internal Affairs, Forever Knight) as janitor Carl. Since it’s release, The Breakfast Club has become an iconic symbol of the 1980s, reminiscent of the fashions, culture, and music of the time; the theme song “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Keith Forsey for Simple Minds was a Billboard Hot 100 #1 Single for 3 weeks in 1985. If you haven’t seen this one you should definitely check out the new Blu-Ray when it hits shelves next week; and if you’re attending SXSW this year, consider seeing the remastered cut on the big screen at the Paramount Theatre March 26-31st.
Lee Daniel’s The Butler (and no, I can’t just say “The Butler” because of a lawsuit against The Weinstein Company!) hit theaters last weekend to a surprising reception of $30 million in its first five days. Dealing with racial issues and relations, and spanning the length of the late 20th century, the film tells the tale of a black White House servant and his experiences throughout the years serving under eight presidents. The story is based on the life of real-life White House servant Eugene Allen, who resigned his position in the White House halfway through Reagan’s administration in the 1980s. The director will now be looking to his next project, a biopic on the late rock-n-roll/blues singer Janis Joplin. The movie is titled Get It While You Can and will supposedly feature Amy Adams in the role of Joplin. There are no real details involving a plot or supporting actors, but reports have indicated that the film will be focused on a single day of the singer’s life; kind of like a-day-in-the-life-of-Janis type thing. While some viewers may find a movie whose timeline consists of only one day and is therefore not enough to show prolonged character development, this may be an interesting approach to writing the script, and maybe even more appropriate for an icon like Joplin, whose character has been saturated over the years by stories of drugs, alcohol, and Joplin’s role at the close of the turbulent 1960s. But rest assured, great films have been made that take place in the span of a single day, including Emilio Estevez’s Bobby, and Kevin Smith’s Clerks; I’m sure a day in Janis Joplin’s life will be filled with plenty of material for a full length film.