Tag Archives: movie

Kristen Wiig, Robert De Niro star in Sean Penn movie

12 Jan

By Chris Engelhardt

Actress Kristen Wiig. Credit: Kristen Wiig Facebook Page

“Bridesmaids” star Kristen Wiig will co-star with Robert De Niro in the drama “The Comedian,” which will be directed by Sean Penn.

Entertainment Weekly reported that according to a film synopsis by FilmNation, De Niro will play Jackie Burke, a comic who once had a prominent TV character but is now trying to revive his career. The synopsis reads: “After being sentenced to community service for hitting an audience member in the head with his microphone, Jackie meets Harmony (Wiig), a dazzling and defiant redhead who turns his life sideways.”

Filming is expected to begin this spring.

What do you think about this development? Do you think Wiig and De Niro make a good pairing? Share your thoughts!

‘Fear Eats the Seoul’ takes New York

1 Dec

Filmmaker Nick J. Calder’s feature debut to premiere Dec. 3

By Chris Engelhardt

“It has been an incredible experience for me,” said New York- born filmmaker Nick J. Calder of “Fear Eats the Seoul,” his Korea-based independent horror picture which marks his feature film debut.

“Fear Eats the Seoul,” which first premiered Sept. 15 in Seoul, South Korea and has been positively received there to date, is slated to debut for the first time in the United States in New York on Dec. 3. The premiere event, to be held at the eGarage in Long Island City, will be hosted by Sugar -n- Thunder, an up-and-coming New York based multimedia production house.

“The film has screened in Seoul to a very positive reception. The media has been very supportive of the project,” Calder said. “I am very excited, but nervous, for what is going to be the first full-on western screening of the project. It’s very important to me.”

Directed, edited, and co-produced by Calder, in “Fear Eats the Seoul,” South Korea is ravaged by a massive demon epidemic that nearly wipes out its entire population. The story follows four foreigners who are forced to stick together to survive the fallout. The plot thickens when they encounter a Korean survivor who informs them that a nuclear purge of the country is imminent, and they realize that escape is the only option. But to survive, Calder explained, they not only have to fend off copious, flesh-hungry demons, but overcome their personal demons as well.

Calder, 24, who’s especially fond of the horror genre, said he knew he wanted to become a professional filmmaker from the early age of six. Born in Flushing, Queens and raised in Woodside, New York, Calder recalled the days when his mother would rent films on VHS and take him to the local theater to satisfy his growing love and admiration for movies.

“Being a filmmaker was the only thing I wanted,” he said. “I grew up in my head. I loved being carried away and experiencing something outside of my reality.”

That hasn’t changed. If anything, Calder’s passion for movies has grown exponentially. And though he holds several films in high regard as inspirational works—from “A Nightmare on Elm Street” to “Aliens,” there remains one particular film that changed his life.

“It started with Jurassic Park,” he said. “Sitting in a theater in Queens in June of 1993, it was unlike anything I would ever experience. I was just left speechless. I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

As he approached adulthood, however, Calder said that despite his dream of becoming a filmmaker, the idea of “escaping” New York—and growing outside of what he had come to know—became very appealing. After graduating from New York School of Visual Arts in May 2008, he moved to Seoul, Korea in July of the same year. Calder cited several reasons for his decision, one of which he described as a “large looming fear of failure.”

“It was the first time that I was suddenly, absolutely, 100 percent in charge of my life,” he said, “and the endless possibilities made me neurotic.”

 While in Korea, Calder became an ESL teacher, and taught English to children and adults. He was well-paid and received many benefits. Calder, however, decided after a year that it was time to move on—he had to face, and overcome, his fear of failure and make movies.

Ironically, he would later return to Korea. After leaving in July of 2009, and later residing briefly in both Los Angeles and then New York, he ultimately decided he wanted his first feature to be shot in Korea. He returned there on Sept. 11, 2009, and went back to teaching ESL to build up financially to support his film. Then, in January of 2010, he said, the idea for “Fear” came to him.

“The film grew out of my longing to pursue a dream, but being too afraid to achieve it,” he said.  “The background was reflected in my own experiences at the time, teaching. It became a strange collage of my real life and the fantasy world I used to disguise my struggles and confusion.”

The rest was history. Calder developed a script, enlisted in the help of Whitney Thompson as his producer, and eventually assembled a cast and crew. He would go on to shoot the entire film on location in Seoul with a Canon DSLR, despite limited resources and a small budget of less than $20,000

“I self-financed the picture with some help from Whitney,” he said. “There were five main actors and a couple dozen extras. Even our actors and crew helped out whenever they could to pay for their food and other costs.”

Even until the final days of post-production, the film faced technical issues, but Calder and his crew managed to overcome those obstacles. “There were many times that I was giving up and I just did not have the necessary skills to get the sound for the film finished,” he said. “But I got by with a lot of help from my friends—now, the film sounds great.” 

Many New York moviegoers who have seen the trailer for “Fear,” including Bronx resident Alex Pieretti, echoed similar sentiments. “By the look and sound of the trailer, the movie won’t disappoint,” said Pieretti, 24, an aspiring editor and recent graduate of the New York Film Academy in Manhattan. “It left you wanting more.”

Manhattan resident Jonathan Viera, 23, said he was impressed with the trailer, which held his “full attention.” “Adding the long finger nails to the [Demons] adds to the terror,” said Viera, an avid fan of foreign horror films. “The speed [he] chose for them also makes for something less cliché.”

Calder, who returned to New York in November, said he remains grateful not only for the learning experience while producing the film, but also for the continued outpour of support he’s received from the media and film lovers alike. As “Fear Eats the Seoul”continues to generate a buzz, Calder said he anticipates a memorable premiere in the U.S., and his hope is that viewers enjoy the film both for its story, as well as its vivid imagery.

“There is something special about mixing horror and the surreal with real people and real situations,” he said. “But there is only one important factor when making a film—is it enjoyable? Whether it is for artistic, social, commercial, personal reasons, a good film feels good to make and to watch. It feels enriching. I’m very proud of the finished film.”

For more information on the New York premiere of “Fear Eats the Seoul,” visit sugarnthunder.com.