There are 105 known species of frogs in the Philippines according to a study conducted by scientist Dr. Arvin Diesmos. Eighty percent of these frogs are endemic to the country or can be found nowhere else on earth. But there are certain species of frogs that inspire even more fascination, one of which is a frog…with fangs. [Read more...]
One of the most talented young actresses working today, Oscar Best Actress nominee Carey Mulligan (“Never Let Me Go,” “Money Never Sleeps”) stars opposite Ryan Gosling in FilmDistrict’s critically acclaimed thriller Drive.
Winner of the Best Director prize in this year’s Cannes Film Festival, “Drive” will be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas (Glorietta 4, Greenbelt 3 & Trinoma) starting Nov. 9. The film is directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and adapted from James Sallis’s 2005 novel of the same name.
In the film, Driver (Gosling) is a Los Angeles wheelman for hire, stunt driving for movie productions by day and steering getaway vehicles for armed heists by night. Though a loner by nature, Driver can’t help falling in love with his beautiful neighbor Irene (Mulligan), a vulnerable young mother dragged into a dangerous underworld by the return of her ex-convict husband Standard (Oscar Isaac).
Mulligan had been a fan of Refn’s past films “Bronson” and “Valhalla Rising” and had even mentioned to her agent that she wanted to work with a director like Refn, but it was only after she expressed interest in the script that she learned who was helming “Drive.”
The actrees’ enthusiasm was matched by Refn’s, who immediately ordered small rewrites of Irene’s backstory so he could cast Mulligan. In the novel, ‘Irene’ is a Latina. Director Refn confirms, “Originally I was looking for a Latina actress. I hadn’t seen Carey’s films, but the minute she walked in the door, I knew we had our ‘Irene.’ It just cemented the love story in a much more interesting way. It made it more of a ‘Romeo & Juliet‘ kind of love story without the politics that would in this day and age be brought into it if you had different nationalities or different religions.”
Mulligan explains her interest in the part: “Irene’s character was a challenge because she’s really the pivot point for the film’s secondary plot, which is literally about the love triangle between her, Driver and Irene’s husband Standard but dramatically is about where they’ll all end up in the most meaningful sense. And it’s not an easy decision for her. Driver certainly seems like Irene’s knight in shining armor, but Standard is drawn very sympathetically, as someone who’s made mistakes but is genuinely trying to turn his life around. Plus she’s loved him since she was 17. So to be able to play those two impulses off of one another, especially after Standard and Driver form an uneasy alliance, gave me so much to work with.”
Says Refn: “Since I was a teenager, I’ve been a big fan of `Sixteen Candles.’ I’ve always wanted to remake that film one way or another and, in a very unlikely way, I’ve done that with `Drive.’ Carey has all the intelligence and charm of a young Molly Ringwald. The romantic scenes she has with Ryan make for a very delicate and beautiful contrast to the brutality in the rest of the film.”
In Columbia Pictures’ new suspense thriller Straw Dogs, a Hollywood screenwriter (James Marsden) and his actress wife (Kate Bosworth), return to her small hometown in the deep South to prepare the family home for sale after her father’s death. Once there, tensions build in their marriage and old conflicts re-emerge with the locals, including the wife’s ex-boyfriend (Alexander Skarsgård), leading to a violent confrontation.
Directed and screenplay by Rod Lurie, the film is based on the 1971 movie of the same title written by David Zelag Goodman and Sam Peckinpah who adapted the novel The Siege of Trencher’s Farm by Gordon Williams.
When Rod Lurie set about the task of revisiting Peckinpah’s controversial 1971 film “Straw Dogs,” foremost in their minds was capturing the scary intensity of the story and its exploration of the darkest human behavior, but also reconfiguring its horrific contours for the realities and moviegoing sensibilities of a new generation.
“Peckinpah had a very definite point of view of human beings and how they behaved,” says Lurie, of the original film’s shocking violence. “He was very much a pessimist, and I believe I’m an optimist. So I thought it might be an interesting experiment to see whether or not you can do the same story, but tell it from a different point of view.”
Working more from Gordon William’s novel, The Siege of Trencher’s Farm than from Peckinpah’s film, Lurie felt that updating the story and bringing its special psychological terror into the classic American setting of a small Southern town — where life was ruled by how the football team performed on Friday night and the townspeople’s roles were a clearly defined hierarchy — would bring a modern edge to what is at heart a powerful and ultimately terrifying examination of a relationship being incomprehensibly tested and torn apart.
Lurie then set about regrounding everything in William’s novel, shifting the location to a small fictional Southern town steeped in traditions of brutality, and transforming the characters into roles within that classic American setting.
“It’s not so much that it’s the South,” explains Lurie. “What I wanted to define was a culture where violence was a part of their everyday life, where they’re hunting, where there’s football – which I adore – and where their people solve things through fights. Where machismo rules.”
One thing Lurie insisted should not change, was the central core of the story’s menacing buildup, which forces a reluctant hero to use violence in order to defend his wife, his property and both of their lives – and whether after being shattered, his marriage could ever be rebuilt.
Opening soon across the Philippines, “Straw Dogs” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit www.sonypictures.com.ph to see the latest trailers, get free downloads and play free movie games. Like us at www.Facebook.com/ColumbiaPicturesPH and join our fan contests.