‘Arctic’ Interview: Director Joe Penna Discusses “Turning Point” Of Filmmaking Journey

Writer/director Joe Penna cut his storytelling teeth with his MysteryGuitarMan YouTube channel, and with over 250 videos to his name, Penna has taken that experience and applied that Arctic. Critically praised and featuring a first rate performance from Mads Mikkelsen, Arctic is a survivalist film that is an eye catching journey on the silver screen (try catching this one in theaters).
During my one-on-one with Penna, he talked about how failure has been part of his success as a filmmaker and why this film is part of an expansive universe that he and co-writer Ryan Morrison have created. Before watching Arctic, try catching his short Turning Point (it’s a wonderful primer to Arctic).

 

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Anna Kendrick Talks “The Last Five Years” & “Horrifying” Audition

Opening Friday in select theaters and On Demand, The Last Five Years is a musical which centers on the rocky five year relationship between a talented novelist (Jeremy Jordan) and actress (Anna Kendrick). Richard LaGravenese,  who previously helmed Beautiful Creatures and P.S. I Love You, directs.

The music was created by Tony Award winning composer Jason Robert Brown, and although Kendrick is a huge fan of Brown’s material, she came to The Last Five Years with relatively fresh eyes:

“I saw Parade when I was 13 and it was and remains my favorite musical. But miraculously. . . I didn’t know this music which I think is fantastic because I didn’t have the burden of trying to unlearn someone else’s performance which, if I were to do Parade, would be a massive undertaking. That worked out really beautifully for me.”

TLdPosterDuring The Last Five Years press conference, Anna Kendrick humorously recalls a horrific audition that still leaves her in “cold sweats.”

Meryl Streep & Anna Kendrick Attend Disney’s Golden Globes Party

Meryl Streep
In preparation for Sunday night’s Golden Globes (airing on NBC starting at 8 pm et), Walt Disney Studios held a shindig to honor their various nominees.

In attendance were cast and crew members from Best Picture nominee Into The Woods (Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, James Cordon, director Rob Marshall and producers John DeLuca and Marc Platt).

Kelley Jakle, Anna Kendrick, Jamie Chung
Kelley Jakle, Anna Kendrick, Jamie Chung
For Big Hero 6 (Best Animated Film nominee), cast members Jamie Chung, TJ Miller, Ryan Potter and Genesis Rodriguez were at the party, including directors Chris Williams and Don Hall.
Jamie Chung and Ryan Potter arrive as Disney celebrates their 2015 Golden Globes nominees from Into the Woods, Big Hero 6, and The Hundred-Foot Journey in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, January 10, 2015. (Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
Jamie Chung and Ryan Potter arrive as Disney celebrates their 2015 Golden Globes nominees from Into the Woods, Big Hero 6, and The Hundred-Foot Journey in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, January 10, 2015. (Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
Last but definitely not least, Best Actress in a Motion Picture nominee Helen Mirren (The Hundred Foot Journey) also made an appearance.
Helen Mirren and Alan Horn pose together as Disney celebrates their 2015 Golden Globes nominees from Into the Woods, Big Hero 6, and The Hundred-Foot Journey in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, January 10, 2015. (Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
Helen Mirren and Alan Horn pose together as Disney celebrates their 2015 Golden Globes nominees from Into the Woods, Big Hero 6, and The Hundred-Foot Journey in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, January 10, 2015. (Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

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‘Into The Woods’ Party Images With Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn hosted a holiday party in celebration of Into The Woods, as director Rob Marshall and cast members Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, James Corden, Christine Baranski, and Tracey Ullman attended the special event (held at the Soho House in Los Angeles).

Photos from the party are below:

EXCLUSIVE -Tracey Ullman, Producer Marc Platt, Christine Baranski joined Alan Horn, Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, hosted a holiday gathering celebrating “Into the Woods” on Wednesday, December 17 in Los Angeles, CA. The humorous and heartfelt musical, that has been nominated for 3 golden globe awards including Best Picture opens in theaters nationwide on December 25, 2014. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Walt Disney/AP Images)
EXCLUSIVE -Tracey Ullman, Producer Marc Platt, Christine Baranski joined Alan Horn, Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, hosted a holiday gathering celebrating “Into the Woods” on Wednesday, December 17 in Los Angeles, CA. The humorous and heartfelt musical, that has been nominated for 3 golden globe awards including Best Picture opens in theaters nationwide on December 25, 2014. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Walt Disney/AP Images)
EXCLUSIVE - Jason Bateman and Emily Blunt joined Alan Horn, Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, hosted a holiday gathering celebrating “Into the Woods” on Wednesday, December 17 in Los Angeles, CA. The humorous and heartfelt musical, that has been nominated for 3 golden globe awards including Best Picture opens in theaters nationwide on December 25, 2014. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Walt Disney/AP Images)
EXCLUSIVE – Jason Bateman and Emily Blunt joined Alan Horn, Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, hosted a holiday gathering celebrating “Into the Woods” on Wednesday, December 17 in Los Angeles, CA. The humorous and heartfelt musical, that has been nominated for 3 golden globe awards including Best Picture opens in theaters nationwide on December 25, 2014. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Walt Disney/AP Images)
EXCLUSIVE - Meryl Streep and Producer/Director Rob Marshall joined Alan Horn, Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, hosted a holiday gathering celebrating “Into the Woods” on Wednesday, December 17 in Los Angeles, CA. The humorous and heartfelt musical, that has been nominated for 3 golden globe awards including Best Picture opens in theaters nationwide on December 25, 2014. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Walt Disney/AP Images)
EXCLUSIVE – Meryl Streep and Producer/Director Rob Marshall joined Alan Horn, Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, hosted a holiday gathering celebrating “Into the Woods” on Wednesday, December 17 in Los Angeles, CA. The humorous and heartfelt musical, that has been nominated for 3 golden globe awards including Best Picture opens in theaters nationwide on December 25, 2014. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Walt Disney/AP Images)
EXCLUSIVE - Christine Baranski, Meryl Streep and Tracey Ullman joined Alan Horn, Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, hosted a holiday gathering celebrating “Into the Woods” on Wednesday, December 17 in Los Angeles, CA. The humorous and heartfelt musical, that has been nominated for 3 golden globe awards including Best Picture opens in theaters nationwide on December 25, 2014. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Walt Disney/AP Images)
EXCLUSIVE – Christine Baranski, Meryl Streep and Tracey Ullman joined Alan Horn, Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, hosted a holiday gathering celebrating “Into the Woods” on Wednesday, December 17 in Los Angeles, CA. The humorous and heartfelt musical, that has been nominated for 3 golden globe awards including Best Picture opens in theaters nationwide on December 25, 2014. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Walt Disney/AP Images)
EXCLUSIVE - Emily Blunt joined Alan Horn, Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, hosted a holiday gathering celebrating “Into the Woods” on Wednesday, December 17 in Los Angeles, CA. The humorous and heartfelt musical, that has been nominated for 3 golden globe awards including Best Picture opens in theaters nationwide on December 25, 2014. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Walt Disney/AP Images)
EXCLUSIVE – Emily Blunt joined Alan Horn, Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, hosted a holiday gathering celebrating “Into the Woods” on Wednesday, December 17 in Los Angeles, CA. The humorous and heartfelt musical, that has been nominated for 3 golden globe awards including Best Picture opens in theaters nationwide on December 25, 2014. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Walt Disney/AP Images)

Based on the Tony Award winning musical by Stephen Sondheim and James LapineInto The Woods premiered on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre on November 5, 1987.

Along with Marshall, the film’s production team includes longtime Marshall collaborator/cinematographer Dion Beebe (Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha), Oscar winning production designer Dennis Gassner (Quantum of Solace, Bugsy), and three-time Oscar winning costume designer Colleen Atwood (Memoirs of a Geisha, Chicago, Alice in Wonderland).

Here’s the official Boilerplate summary of Into The Woods:

“Into the Woods” is a modern twist on several beloved fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy), all tied together by an original story involving a Baker and his Wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the Witch (Meryl Streep), who has put a curse on them.

‘The Last Five Years’ Trailer Gets Musical With Anna Kendrick

 

Anna Kendrick’s musical talents are on full display with Pitch Perfect and the upcoming Into the Woods, and with director Richard LaGravenese’s “The Last Five Years,” she’s singing a few notes about love and marriage.

Based on the Jason Robert Brown musical, The Last Five Years centers on the up and down romance between a Jewish novelist (Jeremy Jordan) and a struggling actress (Anna Kendrick). Shot in just 21 days in New York City, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, the film is told almost entirely through song.

LaGravenese, who sees The Last Five Years as this generation’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, previously directed Beautiful Creatures, P.S. I Love You and Freedom Writers. He’s also a credited screenwriter for the upcoming WWII feature Unbroken and penned the HBO movie Behind the Candelabra.

The Last Five Years hits theaters and VOD on February 13.