Hey folks! Looking for a fun, free, film event in Boston this weekend? Check out the screenings going on this weekend at the Brattle Theater being put on by the creator of the Filmshift Festival.
The event will feature the world premiere of a short film written, directed, and edited, by award-winning filmmaker Jeremy “Jed” Hammel. A Little Push< stars Rapper Skinny Cavallo, with cameos by Slaine (The Town, Gone Baby Gone, and Killing Them Softly), and Jay Giannone (from Safe and The Departed).
Next, the film The Legacy, which stars Paul Butcher, the star of the Nickelodeon show, “Zooey 101” will be featured. The picture won Best Comic-Related Film at Comic Con and screened at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner earlier this year.
Finally, there will be a screening of a drama called Once Again. It stars Dennis Hurley from Improv Boston’s “1.21 Gigawatts” and “The Albino Code.”
In between the screenings will be music performances from Skinny Cavallo, Carlos V. Ramos, and Nikolas Metaxas, to keep the crowd pumped up and entertained.
The event runs tomorrow, November 10, from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Brattle Theater in Cambridge. The event is free, though donations will be accepted at the door for the Rich Cronin Hope Foundation for Leukemia.
It was a balmy late fall afternoon when HEC was invited to go on the Boston Movie Mile Tour by On Location Tours. Never having been on one of their tours, I wasn’t sure to expect. Since I’m a self proclaimed Boston movie buff, I figured I wouldn’t learn anything new, but to my surprise our guide Dave was full of interesting behind the scenes insight. Remember a short lived sitcom in the late 90’s called Boston Common starring Lenny Clarke? The Hangover’s Zach Galfinakis had a reoccurring role on the show; his first on screen appearance ever! Remember the scene in The Departed when Matt Damon, after just having played a game of touch football on the common, is sitting on a bench with the Massachusetts State House looming behind him? Well, that was a bit of movie magic since there isn’t a bench facing the correct direction; there is only one facing the statehouse. Who knew this tour would include playing movie detective?
As we wandered the stunning historic cobblestone streets of Beacon Hill, Dave pointed out Ally McBeal’s office – only exteriors were filmed in Boston for that one. We learned that the only movie ever filmed on the Harvard Campus was 1970′s A Love Story. The Harvard honchos decided that filming on campus would be too distracting to students; therefore they haven’t allowed it to happen since then. More recent movies featuring the fabled university like The Social Network, Good Will Hunting, and With Honors all filmed the Harvard scenes at look-a-like colleges.
1994’s Blown Away starring Jeff Bridges caused quite a stir in the city, and not just because of Bridges’ laughable Irish/Boston accent; the famous explosion scene caused 1.2 million dollars in damage to residential property in Boston’s north end waterfront area, which MGM had to pony up the cash for.
As our tour continued and we headed back to our starting point on the Boston Common, we passed the Mt. Vernon Street Firehouse, home of Robert Urich’s character in the 80’s TV series Spenser for Hire as well as MTV’s sixth season of The Real World in 1997. We also made a pit stop at the top of infamous Acorn Street to play “Guess the Massachusetts Movie.” While Dave held up stills from each movie, we had to guess which film it was from. I’m not one to boast my Master’s level movie knowledge, but I did beat out everyone else on the tour!
On Location Tours offers a walking tour from April through October as well as a bus tour that runs year round. On Location has generously offered up a pair of tickets for the Boston TV & Movie Sites Bus Tour (an $80 value!) to one lucky Hollywoodeastconnection.com subscriber. All you have to do to enter is subscribe to our site to receive daily updates AND Like our Facebook page. If you are already a Facebook fan, but haven’t subscribed to the site, please do so to secure your entry. To subscribe, enter your email address in the box on the upper-right hand corner of our home page, and click the sign-up button. Be sure to check your email for a verification message. One lucky winner will be chosen on December 3, 2011 and will be notified via email.
1. The Mt. Vernon St. Firehouse – home of Spenser for Hire, and The Real World
2. The fabled Massachusetts Statehouse
3. Cheers- Where Everyone Knows Your Name
4. Charles Street Cleaners was disguised as a pub for The Departed
5. Our Tour Guide, Dave
6. Ally McBeal’s Office Exterior
7. Beautiful Acorn Street
All photos © Hollywoodeastconnnection.com
Update: 12/3/11 – Congrats to our winner, Tim from Woburn, MA!
We spoke with special effects make-up artist, Ben Bornstein, a Mass native, who has a growing resume of film credits, most recently from gigs he’s done here in New England. Ben spent 5 years learning the trade in Hollywood, CA and moved back home 2 years ago to find the film industry keeping him quite busy.
Having worked on films such as The Fighter, Zookeeper, The Departed, Oxy-Morons, Surrogates, just to name a few, Ben’s talent has allowed him to establish his own business, Creative Initiative Make-Up & Effects Studio in Woburn, MA.
Ben is set up in Salem, MA (on Essex street) this weekend where we caught him making his magic come alive. Watch Ben transform a pedestrian into a zombie and talk about working in Hollywood East:
Ben’s website is currently under construction, but you can reach him at: [email protected] or 617-794-3531.
You’ve seen the trailer for the soon-to-be-released Shutter Island, directed by Martin Scorsese. But did you know it was shot almost entirely in the Boston area? Excluding a documentary on The Rolling Stones, Scorsese has most recently brought us the academy award winning film, The Departed, which was also famously filmed in Boston. Based on the novel by Dennis Lehane, who is himself a Boston native, Shutter Island has an all-star cast and is sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
“Someone is missing.” That is the publicized tagline for the dramatic thriller set in 1954 at a secluded island off the coast of Boston. Shot mostly in or around the Boston Harbor (including Peddocks Island), the creepy Medfield State Hospital campus, and the scenic Acadia Nat’l Park in Maine, Shutter Island marks the fourth collaboration between Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio.
DiCaprio plays Teddy Daniels, a U.S. Marshal investigating the recent disappearance of a woman incarcerated for murder at a hospital for the criminally insane, which is located on Shutter Island. She vanished from her room overnight and is supposedly hiding somewhere on the premises. Daniels’s search for the woman uncovers terrible mysteries that the doctors and staff would rather keep quiet. Is that another fake Boston accent we hear Leo attempting? When asked about what it was like working with Scorsese, DiCaprio said in this interview, “he expects you to do all the research” and “it’s a really empowering process when someone gives you full ownership over the character.” In addition to DiCaprio, the cast includes Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo, Emily Mortimer, and Patricia Clarkson.
With such classics as Taxi Driver and Cape Fear under his belt, Scorsese is not inexperienced with the darker side of cinematic storytelling. However, he’s taking a slightly different turn with his new plot-based and genre-oriented film. “I tried to pull back a few times and not get so emotionally and psychologically involved,” says Scorsese of the filming, as quoted in the Los Angeles Times. “But this story, these characters — it was a very unsettling experience.”
Scorsese wasn’t the only person affected by the project, as DiCaprio also fell victim to the intensity of the production. “It was draining,” says DiCaprio. “It got to the point where it became more and more realistic the deeper it got – swerving away from anything stylistic and becoming more about human nature.” In fact, a psychologist was deemed necessary to be on the set during filming due to the emotional demands on the actors.
Having come a long way from the blockbuster Titanic in 1997 – which launched him into the public eye – Leonardo DiCaprio has established himself as one of Hollywood’s most sought after leading men. He has appeared in over 20 films throughout his career, taking on challenging roles that have only added to his popularity. DiCaprio’s partnership with Scorsese has lead to three critically acclaimed films, and their newest will likely join those ranks.
Shutter Island overcame a postponement from its original planned release in October 2009, moving it to February 2010. Though this removes it as a contender for the 2010 Oscars, the film is open to nomination for the following year.
Whether it will truly become a classic and grabs some Oscars like so many others of Scorsese’s films still remains to be seen. And yet DiCaprio seems confident, saying, “There were moments on set where I definitely felt like we were going into uncharted territory.” Only time will tell if the unique experience the actors had making the film translates to the screen.
Shutter Island opens nationwide February 19th, 2010.
Nothing is more agonizing than watching actors butcher a Boston accent and, unfortunately, there are more than a few actors that fall “victim” to this act. Take legendary actor Jack Nicholson and co-star Vera Famiga from The Departed, for example. Did anyone really believe that Nicholson had a native Boston accent or that Famiga was a professional psychiatrist? How about Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting? Williams may have won an Oscar for his role as Sean but his accent was certainly not award winning. Other victims of the Boston accent curse include George Clooney in The Perfect Storm as well as Sean Penn and Tim Robbins in Mystic River, all of whom struggled to portray a convincing Beantown accents. Luckily for these A-listers, the accent botch hasn’t affected their careers or stopped revenue from their big blockbuster hits, but it has brought to question how people in the industry prepare for Boston-based roles. Actors can’t just acquire Mark Walberg’s or Matt Damon’s hometown accent from a speech coach; although some of them seem to be under that impression.
For anyone aspiring to act in a film where your local accents are a key part of your role, do read on. A Boston accent isn’t just about mastering the term, “wicked pissah,” dropping your r’s or learning the cliché “pahk the ka in Ha-vud yahd” throwback. Though these may help you sound like you’re from Beantown, you need to determine which Boston accent you are shooting for before you start dropping your r’s. Do you want to sound like a Kennedy, a fisherman from Gloucester, or like you drink “be-ahz” at Murphy’s Law in Southie? If you think you can master Affleck’s, Damon’s or Walberg’s homegrown native tongue, you’re probably giving yourself too much credit. There are so many different ways to sound like a Bostonian, and it’s disturbing that these “victims” couldn’t figure one out. Watch this clip with Ben Affleck teaching Jimmy Kimmel about the many different Boston Accents.
There are ways to fake a Boston accent but the best Boston accent is the homegrown kind. Three films – The Fighter, Grownups and The Town are in production right now in our own backyards. All have native tongues aboard such as Walberg and Affleck, who have posted casting calls stating “looking for authentic Boston accents”. We can’t say whether or not there will be more victims of a bad fake Boston accent, but we hope to see local actors get their “Wicked Pissah” voices heard. Tell us what you think about local Boston accents on the big screen.
“Our 2009 slate was greenlit in a very different economic climate and as a result we must remain flexible and willing to recalibrate and adapt to a changing environment,” said Grey in a press release. “This is a situation facing every single studio as we all work through the financial pressures associated with the broader downturn.”
Deadline Hollywood Daily (DHD) spelled out the financial pressures, relaying a studio source’s insight that “’s got the cash, just not the home video sales: ‘Given where the DVD business is in 2009, our only hope is the economy and the retail business rebounds in 2010 because the hardest hit segment has been movies that play to an older adult audience.’”
Shutter Island is the second major studio flick to jump from fall 2009 to February 2010, after Universal’s The Wolfman. The postponement will knock the film out of contention for the March 2010 Academy Awards. However, now that the Academy has expanded the Best Picture category to 10 nominees, it will be easier for a movie released at the beginning of the year to be recognized. DHD confirms that Shutter Island‘s Oscar dreams are still alive with comments from a studio insider: “ studio settled on the release date of February 19th because ‘’that’s when Silence of the Lambs came out’ back in 1991 and it won the Oscar.”
Shutter Island’s all-star team—most notably the dynamic duo of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio—has fueled speculation about the reasons behind postponement; after all, who wouldn’t shell out some cash or risk home video sales for the boys who brought us the 2006 Best Picture winner, The Departed? DHD reports that DiCaprio wasn’t going to be available for international promotion efforts, but this reasoning seems shady as well with modern inventions like contracts and iCals.
In spite of Scorsese’s track record, the release postponement is raising questions about the quality of the movie. A filmic interpretation of Dennis Lehane’s novel by the same name, Shutter Island is the story of two U.S. marshals who investigate the disappearance of a mental hospital patient. Clearly this isn’t fodder for a light-hearted, coming-of-age film; plan to sleep with the hallway light on for a week after catching this flick.
Even Lehane himself admits to shaking in his boots. At an October 2008 appearance at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona, he explained that the opening scene “freaks him out,” and that he anticipates that the film will be “disturbing.”
Filmmaker Celina Murga recounted her experience on Shutter Island shoots in the January edition of Cahiers du Cinema: “Dialogues are filmed through close-ups, with the characters virtually looking at the camera shaft. The result is something deeply disquieting. It is uncomfortable for the spectator since they are intense monologues of patients spouting their madness.”
Despite the accounts, it’s unlikely that the film is too disturbing for theater release; in fact, DHD’s insider reported that the film “…tested in the high 80s/low 90s and Scorsese even brought it down to 2 hours.” Alas, the missing-person mystery film remains a mystery itself. Check out the trailer below for some clues.
For anyone who leaves their small town beginnings to set out on their own and “make it“ in Hollywood, the path is difficult at best. For one Milton, MA actor, however, it seems that the fabled pilgrimage didn’t take him any further than his own backyard. Tom Kemp’s professional resume includes credits in films like Oliver Stone’s W., Shuttle, and Hard Luck, as well as locally shot features like The Departed, Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River, and the upcoming Scorsese endeavor, Shutter Island. More recently, on the set of 2009’s Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, actress Jennifer Garner found herself desperate to place his face. Turned out, Kemp’s role in her husband, Ben Affleck’s film, Gone Baby Gone, though minimal, was enough for Garner to recognize him.
Kemp’s even accumulated credits on the small screen as well, with roles on locally based shows such as “Ally McBeal”, “The Practice”, and “Boston Legal”. As a Northeastern University graduate, Kemp appreciates using what’s available in his own backyard. The Milton man recently wrapped shooting on The Company Men, during which the Long Island born thespian was able to walk to work.
As a character actor, Kemp knows where his value lies. Past gigs have included parts as a priest, police detective, business man, and a judge. As the Boston area movie business booms, he hopes to find even more work right in his own neighborhood.
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