Tickets are now on sale for the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater production of The Revisionist, a new play by Jesse Eisenberg. Directed by Kip Fagan, the drama stars Eisenberg, Tony winner Vanessa Redgrave and Daniel Oreskes. The production is scheduled to begin performances February 15, with an official opening night set for February 28. The Revisionist will play a limited engagement through March 31 at off-Broadway’s Cherry Lane Theatre.
The Revisionist tells the story of David (Eisenberg), who travels to Poland as he struggles with writer’s block. His 75-year-old cousin Maria (Redgrave) invites him to stay with him in hopes of connecting with her distant American family. As they bond, Maria reveals details about her difficult post-war life, testing what both cousins think it means to be a family.
The production features scenic design by John McDermott, costume design by Jessica Pabst, lighting design by Matt Frey, sound design by Bart Fasbender and property design by Andrew Diaz.
‘He’s Way More Famous Than You’ will show at the Slamdance Film Festival 2013. For more details on screening times for the movie or to buy tickets, check out this link:
by Jeff Labrecque
In To Rome With Love, Woody Allen’s most recent traveling roadshow in an iconic European locale, the director steps in front of the camera for the first time since 2006′s Scoop. He plays a retired music-recording exec who visits Rome with his wife (Judy Davis) to meet their daughter’s Italian fiancé, whose father just so happens to be an undiscovered opera virtuoso — as long as he performs in the shower. It’s one of four amusing story threads, but fans of Allen’s most memorable on-screen neurotics will be drawn to Jesse Eisenberg, who plays an American architectural student tempted by his girlfriend’s free-spirited old classmate (Ellen Page). Eisenberg’s previous work — especially in movies like The Squid and the Whale and Zombieland — seemingly pointed him towards an inevitable collaboration with Allen, and you can sense the writer/director may have felt the same way by the way he wrote Eisenberg’s character’s relationship with an older, wiser architect played by Alec Baldwin. When the young man is thrust into an awkward romantic situation where he has to navigate a moral dilemma, you can almost hear two voices whispering advice into Eisenberg’s ear: Baldwin’s architect and Woody Allen himself.
With Rome out on Blu-ray today, the 29-year-old Eisenberg spoke to EW about working with a legend, his next appearance on the New York stage, and an upcoming reunion with Zombieland co-star Woody Harrelson. Click below for a Q&A and an exclusive video extra clip from the new Blu-ray.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Woody Allen is famous for being very particular about selecting the right actors for his films, but then being hands-off and letting them do what they want once the production begins.
JESSE EISENBERG: Yes, I guess he was very open-minded about letting the actors kind of fill up the space. A lot of the shots are just one shot and because you’d don’t have an opportunity to edit many different shots together, you kind of have to fill up a lot of the space between the written dialog, so he was just very open to us saying anything. I think he’s the best script writer, so it seems a little strange to be improvising in a movie of his. But he just wants things to sound casual and to kind of move quickly so there’s not a lot of dead space.
Was it daunting to meet and work with someone you admire so much?
I grew up obsessed with him, so I felt like I knew everything about him. Any time that he would give notes to me or the other actresses, we would just kind of look at each other and smile like idiots because we couldn’t believe we were getting to hear his voice up close. My friend described it as like seeing your favorite band live. His manner of speaking and cadence are so embedded in my mind that there’s something really exciting about being in the same room and hearing it live.
Allen has said in interviews that you’re basically his stand-in, the role he would’ve wanted to play were he a younger man.
That was never explicitly said, but if you’ve seen every movie that he’s made and read the script, you could clearly see where the character fits into the canon. Also, when you’re on set with him, it’s a little difficult not to be speaking with him and then immediately get wrapped in something that’s written in his voice and not feel influenced by the way he writes and jokes. His dialog is so specific.
Your character, an aspiring architect, has a somewhat cosmic encounter with a famous architect played by Alec Baldwin who might be an older version of yourself. Was it awkward to act opposite a character that doesn’t fully interact with the rest of the characters in the scene?
When I read it, I was wondering what [Allen] wanted the character to represent and then while we were doing it, I just made a decision to make it very clear to myself because there’s no other way to perform it with any kind of consistency. It’s a little vague, but the relationship is very specific. The rapport is very specific. It’s almost as though he’s my conscience. On one hand, he’s giving me advice that I know is right, and on the other hand, it’s kind of annoying to hear what you know is right, because it’s not what you want to do in the moment.
You’ve written plays, including The Revisionist, which you’re rehearsing right now in New York. Was that an aspect of your career that you discussed with Allen?
Somebody brought it up just because we both had plays going on at the same time in New York, so he was asking me about my show and telling me about his upcoming show. But we didn’t much exchange feedback.
Where do you possibly find the time to write?
I write all the time because I’m lonely. When you’re acting, you’re working every day all day. But then you have long amounts of time off. I finished a movie in August and didn’t start another until October so I wrote a play for next year.
What’s The Revisionist about?
It’s kind of loosely based on a true story: this young science-fiction novelist is having writer’s block and he goes to Poland because he thinks that this dramatic change of scenery will cure his writer’s block. He has a second cousin in Poland so he thinks he can get a free room, but she’s this 75-year-old woman who is profoundly lonely and very interested in connecting with her American family. So she thinks of his trip as exclusively a personal visit for her. And he sees this trip exclusively as a free room to write. So there’s a clash of interests. And she has this very complicated history that he starts to uncover over the course of his trip. It’s pretty funny.
You’ll play the young writer and Vanessa Redgrave plays the second-cousin. Were you involved in landing her?
When I was writing this, I saw her in The Year of Magical Thinking and thought if I could just get it to her, the play would work because she’s so wonderful. In that Joan Didion play, there are great moments of levity surrounded by a very tragic story, and obviously she does that. She’s the greatest actress alive. I’ve been trying to get my script to her for five years. I tried all these weirdly circuitous routes and burnt bridges to get it to her, and no one ever sent it to her. Then, I met an agent who saw my last play. And they said, “What else do you have?” I said, “I have a play that I’m doing next year.” “Oh,” they said, “Vanessa Redgrave would be perfect.” I said, “I know.” Two weeks later she had read it and agreed to do it. It was pretty quick once she got it, but it took five years to get to her. I’m so happy that I haven’t aged out of the role yet!
Do you prefer stage or film?
The acting thing is pretty similar, but the experiences on the whole are very different. I find theater to be far more stressful because you’re doing the same show every night. But I love writing plays. I write plays instinctively. I don’t like writing movie scripts. As a writer, I write plays and that’s why I [act in] them. I wouldn’t be as comfortable doing somebody else’s play right now because it’s so stressful. My plays, I do them because I can get the ball rolling and get them on a little more easily. I’m going to do one play a year, so I’m going to write another play for next year. And then I also have a musical that will go on next year, that I wrote the music to – somebody else wrote the book and the dialog.
You also have Now You See Me coming out in June, which as a Zombieland fan, I loved to see you paired with Woody Harrelson again.
We’re friends. I guess we weren’t actively looking to do a specific movie together, but when I signed on to this movie, I think the people who were making it thought it would be so great to [reunite us]. It’s a cool movie but it’s very different than Zombieland. These magicians pull this bank heist and Mark Ruffalo and Melanie Laurent play these FBI agents who are tracking us and sort of uncovering their secrets. I play this character who thinks of himself as the greatest magician in the world. And he might be. I guess he’s arrogant, but I would also say for good reason. Woody Harrelson plays a mind reader, and they team up [with two others] to perform these great feats.
Barefoot Theatre Company – Francisco Solorzano, Producing Artistic Director – presents ROCKAWAY, a benefit for Hurricane Sandy Victims, featuring readings of new short plays by Jesse Eisenberg, Israel Horovitz, Joe Pintauro, Jonathan Marc Sherman, Jose Rivera, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Lucy Boyle, and more at the Cherry Lane Theatre mainstage (38 Commerce Street) on Tuesday, December 18th at 2:00pm and 7:00pm.
Tickets to ROCKAWAY will be $20 and all proceeds will go to support Rockaway Plate Lunch (www.RockawayPlateLunch.org) an organization spearheaded by Mike D (Beastie Boys) and Rob McKinley to help feed those hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy in the Rockaway section of New York City. To RSVP for ROCKAWAY, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with name, contact info and number of tickets requested. Tickets for ROCKAWAY will be cash only on the day of the event at the Cherry Lane Theatre Box Office.
ROCKAWAY, a benefit for Hurricane Sandy Victims, produced by Barefoot Ensemble Members, Francisco Solorzano and Danelle Eliav, will feature readings of new short plays by Jonathan Marc Sherman, Israel Horovitz, Jesse Eisenberg, Joe Pintauro, Academy Award-nominee Jose Rivera, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Lucy Boyle, Mike Reiss, Frank Pugliese, Cusi Cram, Kristina Poe, Michael Reyes, Jonathan Libman, Jennifer Skura, Mark von Sternberg, Jason Furlani, and more. Signed up to direct the readings are: Molly Marinik, Francisco Solorzano and Rose Bonczek. The cast of ROCKAWAY will include: Gina Gershon (BOEING-BOEING on Broadway, “Face-Off”), Mickey Sumner (Showtime’s “The Borgias”), Will Rogers (currently in Terrence McNally’s GOLDEN AGE), Annabella Sciorra (The Motherf**ker With the Hat), Lyle Kessler, John Doman (The Wire, Damages), Caitlin Fitzgerald (It’s Complicated, Newlyweds), Kevin Geer (Side Man, A Streetcar Named Desire), Angelina Fiordellisi (Cherry Lane Artistic Director), Arjun Gupta (Nurse Jackie), Stephanie Janssen (2012 revival of DEATH OF A SALESMAN), Francisco Solorzano (Israel Horovitz’s SIN OF THE MOTHER), Alfredo Narcisco (Good Mother at The New Group), the Barefoot Theatre Company Ensemble including Victoria Malvagno (“Mad Hot Ballroom”), Tala Ashe (SMASH, URGE FOR GOING at The Public), Danelle Eliav (The Girl and the Spanish Boy), Amelia Campbell, Jeremy Brena, John Harlacher, John Gazzale, Sol Crespo, Gillian Rougier, Jennie West, Andrew MacLarty, Raye Levine, Cristina Pitter with additional casting to be announced at a later date.*
ROCKAWAY will also feature live music by Aidan Koehler, Ronit Aranoff and Mika Nishimura.
Slamdance unveils competition, docu titles
‘He’s Way More Famous Than You’ among narrative selections
Slamdance, launched 19 years ago as an alternative to Sundance, has unveiled its competition lineup with 12 narrative films and 10 documentaries — including 13 world premieres and seven U.S. premieres.
The lineup, announced Wednesday, was culled from more than 5,000 submissions. Slamdance will take place Jan. 18-24 in Park City, Utah, at the Treasure Mountain Inn. All films films in competition have budgets under $1 million.
Michael Urie’s comedy “He’s Way More Famous Than You” is among the more notables titles in the narrative category with a cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Mamie Gummer, Ralph Macchio, Natasha Lyonne and Ben Stiller. Penned by Halley Feiffer and Ryan Spahn — who also are in the cast — pic centers on a struggling actress who will stop at nothing to get her movie made.
Steven Feinartz’ documentary “The Bitter Buddha,” focusing on comic Eddie Pepitone’s life, includes Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman, Patton Oswalt, Sean Conroy, Paul Provenza, Dana Gould and Marc Maron.
“Our goal is to showcase exhilarating filmmaking with a revolutionary take on our world,” said Peter Baxter, president and co-founder. “These filmmakers have a tremendous ability to innovate, explore and revitalize the independent filmmaking landscape.”
Narrative selections include Brea Grant’s dark comedy “Best Friends Forever,” Neil Drumming’s drama “Big Words,” Jan Eihardt’s German experimental movie “The Court of Shards,” Matt Johnson’s “The Dirties,” Harry Patramanis’ drama “Fynbos,” Ben Peyser-Scott Rutherford’s found-footage comedy “Billy Chen Presents: Ghost Team One,” James E. Duff’s romancer “Hank and Asha,” Nadia Szold’s drama “Joy De V.,” Aron Lehmann’s mystery “Kohlhaas,” Constanze Knoche’s family drama “Visitors” and Marie Jamora’s family drama “What Isn’t There.”
Documentaries include “Battery Man” from Dusan Saponja and Dusan Cavic, “Bible Quiz” from Nicole Teeny, “The Brotherhood of the Traveling Rants” from Gavin McInnes, Steve Durand and Bryan Gaynor, “The Last Shepherd” from Marco Bonfanti, “Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde” from Suzanne Mitchell, “My Name Is Faith” from Jason Banker, Jorge Torres-Torres and Tiffany Sudela-Junker; “The Institute” from Spencer McCall, “Where I Am” from Pamela Drynan and “Without Shepherds” from Cary McClelland.
Variety is the official media partner for the festival.
The first images from Richard Ayoade’s The Double have arrived online, featuring Jesse Eisenberg and Noah Taylor standing in a fairly grim looking office.
The film is an adaptation of the celebrated novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky, about a buttoned-down bureaucrat (Eisenberg) who begins to question his sanity when his exact double begins working in the same office.
While the bureaucrat himself is a retiring pushover, his duplicate is the polar opposite in terms of personality: aggressive, extroverted and confident in all that he does.
Ayoade has transposed the tale from period Russia to modern day America, although from the looks of the first images, it will still be plenty abstract. That doesn’t look like your average workplace, does it?
Co-starring Mia Wasikowska and Yasmin Page, The Double will open in the UK in 2013, with a specific release date yet to be confirmed.
FBI agents track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.
‘Free Samples’ will be screened at the Starz Denver Film Festival on Thursday, 8 November 2012 at 7:00 PM.
For more information or to buy tickets, click this link:
Red Sea Media boards world sales on Free Samples, Sleeping Around
Roman Kopelevich’s LA-based production and sales company announced the pair of new projects on the eve of AFM.
Rom-com Free Samples marks the feature directorial debut of Jay Gammill and stars Jess Weixler from Teeth alongside Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Ritter. Jim Beggarly wrote the screenplay about a law school dropout who serves ice cream to a suitor. Eben Kostbar and Joseph McKelheer produce for Film Harvest.
Sleeping Around is directed by Leslie Greif and is a screwball sex comedy starring Jesse Bradford, Michael McKean and Wendi McLendon-Covey. Greif produced with Harry Basil and Herb Nanas while Giancarlo Arduini, Bart Blatstein, M Gohar, Kevin Mitchell and Alan Ett served as executive producers.
“I’m proud to be selling Free Samples and Sleeping Around,” said Kopelevich. “As with Frankie Go Boom, these films have heart and are both engaging and funny.”
The slate includes Searching For Sonny starring Minka Kelly and Jason Dohring.