September 12, 2010
Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden may have set their new movie, "It's Kind of a Funny Story," amid the depressed and clinically insane of a psychiatric institution, but don't let the setting fool you. The movie is pure John Hughes. The duo, who became darlings of the independent film world with their gritty Oscar-nominated drama "Half Nelson" and their understated immigrant story "Sugar," are here working with a larger budget and more name stars. But the same subtlety and humanist touches that gained them acclaim for their first two films are once again on display.
October 8, 2010 |
"It's Kind of a Funny Story" is kind of a perfect coming-of-age comedy, with its bittersweet fun set loose in the adult psych ward of a Brooklyn hospital where this clever case of teenage depression, identity and self-esteem is examined. But then there's nothing like being surrounded by serious craziness to put your own in perspective, which is exactly what happens to bright, success-obsessed, 16-year-old Craig Gilner, a bundle of complicated charm thanks to Keir Gilchrist ( "United States of Tara")
October 7, 2010 |
Film directors are a notoriously individualistic bunch, and exes rarely make simpatico work partners. So it's surprising to meet Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, co-directors of the new dramatic comedy "It's Kind of a Funny Story," and find an uncanny harmony. The 34-year-olds refine each other's concepts, tunnel into each other's thoughts and anticipate each other's wants. And that's just at lunch. "After a take, we typically wouldn't need to consult each other. We'd just look at each other," Fleck says, sitting down next to Boden at a back table in a bistro in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, as they talk about their film that opens Friday.
April 9, 2009 |
It's hardly a coincidence that "Sugar" is in theaters just when baseball season is getting started. It's set in the world of aspiring young players from the Dominican Republic trying to make it to the major leagues, and those in the know tell me it is remarkably accurate. That's no surprise, because writer-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck ("Half Nelson") understand that authentic is the most compelling type of material to put on screen.
October 11, 2010
It was kind of a sad story for the biggest specialty film at the box office this weekend. The Zach Galifianakis dramatic comedy "It's Kind of a Funny Story," which distributor Focus Features launched in a small nationwide run at 742 theaters, took in a disappointing $2.1 million. Focus, Universal Pictures' specialty label, had hoped to end up with closer to $4 million for the well-reviewed picture. "Funny Story," from "Half Nelson" and "Sugar" directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, played in a number of college towns, and its sparsely populated audiences consisted mostly of people under 25. "We're disappointed it didn't do more business because it's such an enjoyable and entertaining film," said Focus domestic distribution president Jack Foley.
November 29, 2007 |
SUNDANCE Film Festival programmers have finished sorting through all 3,624 feature films submitted for January's festival, and while the resulting lineup won't be as depressing as recent years, it won't be all mirth and merriment.