Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hard worker seeking employment

The first look at Nightcrawler:

And now the trailer:

I didn't know what to expect from this movie, but this is promising. Definitely a new look and a new vibe for Jake. I can't wait to see more. Maybe promotion is finally gearing up. A poster soon, perhaps?

Maybe they'll go minimalist:

I guess not :)

This student travel school did some promotion of its own:

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal, Oscar nominee best known for starring roles in films like The Day After Tomorrow, Jarhead, and Brokeback Mountain, traveled with us on our Language Learning France program.

Jake is probably the same weight he is in Nightcrawler!

(Minimalist posters found at Minimal Movie Posters.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Double Vision

The DVD release of Enemy apparently contains a "Making Of" featurette. Some excerpts here, along with passages from a Film School Rejects appreciation for A24's movie selections.

Enemy finds Jake Gyllenhaal collaborating with Denis Villeneuve for a second consecutive outing after his fine performance in the so-so Prisoners. This Jose Saramago-adapted story of an introverted professor who finds out he has a double in the form of a confident aspiring actor allows for an abstract and at-times shocking meditation on identity in the face of life’s banal cycles and drastic changes. A tense, brooding, and decidedly discomfiting film, Enemy is more reminiscent of the Gyllenhaal of Donnie Darko than the movie star he subsequently became. Yet it’s also far more grown up than Gyllenhaal’s otherwise impressive initial outings.

Unafraid of ambiguity and entrusting of its audience to deliberate over its array of idiosyncratic set pieces, Enemy’s style and narrative seem at first to produce a contradiction: the film’s crux centers on the protagonist’s literal confrontation with himself, yet the film materializes no definitive takeaways in terms of what this confrontation produces, preferring instead to give audiences a piercing, peculiar final image meant to haunt any discussions of the film.

One cannot perform ambiguity, or act out great big themes, and therein lies the brilliance of Gyllenhaal’s decisions on display here. His dual performance is remarkably (yet necessarily) specific – he imbues each character not simply with unique characteristics, but embodies them with separate worldviews – yet he is also inscrutable, his interior life assumed but notably distanced from the viewer. The result mirrors his characters’ detachment, confusion and uncertainty, but more importantly, it allows Enemy to function as the abstract fable it is.

One seemingly rote scene involves Gyllenhaal’s conversation with his mother played by Isabella Rossellini. This brief scene subtly opens up the possibility that (for the first and perhaps only time in the film) either version of Gyllenhaal could be present onscreen given the select information provided in their exchange. Gyllenhaal no doubt had an idea of which character he was portraying in this moment, but that is absent in our experience, with the necessary ambiguity this scene needs to provide the film. With Enemy, Villeneuve has taken a movie star and carefully stripped away his identity and presence by bifurcating him.

I can appreciate A24 for supporting Enemy. I just wish they had done a better job promoting it.

Here's a brief video of Isabella Rossellini discussing Enemy.

Vimeo edit:

InstantCrush: Enemy from S.Thomas on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

When stars align...

good things happen:

Jake Gyllenhaal has booked his Broadway debut in “Constellations,” a project that will reunite him with writer Nick Payne and director Michael Longhurst of “If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet,” the play in which Gyllenhaal starred Off Broadway in 2012.

Payne’s play “Constellations” earned raves when it bowed in 2012 at London’s Royal Court, where the show starred Rafe Spall and Sally Hawkins in a premiere also helmed by Longhurst. The title went on to a West End run and has been circling New York ever since, arriving in Gotham in a staging produced by the Manhattan Theater Club and the Royal Court by special agreement with commercial entities Ambassador Theater Group and Dodger Properties.

The two-hander follows a romance between a beekeeper (Gyllenhaal) and a scientist who studies quantum mechanics, taking a fractured, quick-shifting approach to telling their tale as an exploration of the quantum-mechanics theory of coexisting parallel universes.

But sometimes the universe has other plans:

I'll never not want to see this movie. I hope it gets some kind of release.

Friday, May 16, 2014


ETA: Talk about the ultimate tease:

And after blocking paps from capturing his newly shaved face, Jake stepped out on Sunday to catch Newsies. Here he is with one of the show's actors, David Guzman:

And now the haircut, too:

Here's a brief look at Columbia's Year of James Baldwin, featuring some video of Jake earlier this month at a discussion of Baldwin's "Another Country."

The Year of James Baldwin came to campus on May 1 with an eclectic public conversation between Columbia professor and author Colm Toíbin and actor Jake Gyllenhaal aimed at providing fresh context to Baldwin’s legacy.

“He gave us our messy humanity in all of its vulnerability, fragility, destructive fearfulness and imaginative creativity,” said Farah Jasmine Griffin, the William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African American Studies, who introduced the event. Baldwin “dared to suggest that the only way we will ever see each other fully is to reach beyond boundaries of race, gender, sexuality, region and nation,” she said.

As The New York Times recently reported in its coverage of the festival, once a staple of high school classrooms, Baldwin’s works are less frequently taught today. It was the urge to revitalize his legacy that provided the impetus for The Year of James Baldwin.

“Here we are, two white guys talking about James Baldwin. We have to justify our presence,” said Toíbin, the Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of English and Comparative Literature, during the conversation with Gyllenhaal. “I was brought up in a very Catholic society in Ireland, and after reading his second novel, Giovanni’s Room, I discovered—hold on, this guy’s gay. And, of course, I’m gay, and I had thought I was the only guy who was like this.”

Gyllenhaal, who read passages from Baldwin’s third novel, Another Country, talked about how the 1962 best seller, which touches on interracial sex, bisexuality and suicide, highlights how “we are bowled over by convention every single day and look for it to define us.” In Toibin’s words, the novel is “about how to become an adult.”

It's a shame Jake didn't make the trip to France, but it seems like his presence is being felt. No video of Nightcrawler, but it is apparently a hot property at Cannes.

From Vulture:

Each year at the Cannes Film Festival, Harvey Weinstein shows the press some clips and trailers from his studio's coming film slate, and this time, he came ready to tout movies like The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and Tim Burton's Big Eyes, with Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz. The general public will be seeing those trailers soon enough, but there's one bit of footage Weinstein showed today that he likely won't release unless your hashtag campaigns are really on point: a shirtless Jake Gyllenhaal workout video.

Weinstein had hoped to have Gyllenhaal there in the flesh to discuss his upcoming boxing drama Southpaw, but failing that, he presented Gyllenhaal's actual flesh, dimming the lights for a video meant to convey the actor's intense training regimen. We watched a bearded, ponytailed Gyllenhaal throw punches in the gym, grimace through sit-ups, and engage in countless torso twists meant to strengthen his six-pack. There was even a slo-mo pan up Gyllenhaal's heaving, sweaty, hairy torso. Could this minute-long beefcake clip be Weinstein's spoiler for the Academy Awards? Yes, yes it could be. I'm calling it now: Your Best Picture Winner Will Be Jake Gyllenhaal's Shirtless Workout Video.

Can we hope that someone sneaked some video of that video?