Monday, May 30, 2016

The Spectacular Now, Creation of Memories

Miles Teller on his character Sutter Keely in "The Spectacular Now": "The script was so good. I knew that I could play this part because I knew that I was very similar to Sutter. If you strip away our differences—I always knew I would be successful and go to college and my parents are still married—I could understand him. There's always stuff you deal with that no one knows you're going through. Shailene and I just talked about what felt right in the scenes. We'd go hang out, walk around, get food, and go thrift-shopping. Shailene is certainly different from a lot of actresses that I’ve met and that I've worked with. I think The Spectacular Now is one of the first movies to deal with teenagers honestly in a long time. There's no escapism. It's real and in your face."

The Spectacular Now never once feels like a cautionary tale. The Spectacular Now is not a light movie, and it never veers into easy sentimentality. Although Sutter’s fidelity to the present moment often seems like superficial evasion, the movie makes it clear that it’s not that simple. Sutter’s presence of mind is, after all, what led him to notice Aimee Finicky in the first place. Source:

"Lately, my hangovers have started to take on a mean streak. It’s the opposite of that fine redemption feeling—a vague, weird guilt instead. Maybe it’s just a chemical thing, the old brain misfiring, the wiring shortcircuiting. For some reason, as soon as my eyes open, I start in worrying about Aimee. I didn’t do anything but try to build the girl up. She liked the kissing. There’s no doubt about that. I would’ve laid another one on her when I took her home, but I ended up having to hold her hair while she puked off the side of the porch instead.

But what happened between the time we left the pier and when we said good night is a little sketchy. I keep trying to remember what all we talked about on the drive home, but my memory is like a broken watch that you can’t find all the pieces to. I know we talked about doing something else together, but I’m not sure what it was. There’s a gnawing feeling that I might have told her I’d take her to the prom, but that might just be a trick the hangover’s playing on me. I mean, why would I do that?"—"The Spectacular Now" (2013) by Tim Tharp 

"Until now, neuroscientists have focused on how the brain creates and stores single memories," said principal investigator Alcino Silva, a professor of neurobiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "We wanted to explore how the brain links two memories and whether the passage of time affects the strength of the connection."

"In the real world, memories don't happen in isolation," said first author Denise Cai, a researcher in Silva's lab. "Our past experiences influence the creation of new memories and help us predict what to expect and make informed decisions in the future." "The memories became interrelated in how they were encoded and stored by the brain, such that the recall of one memory triggered the recall of another memory related in time," says Silva. Source:

Miles Teller (Whiplash) was already an accomplished drummer after spending his high school years playing drums in a band he started in his Pennsylvania church youth group. "I played piano, saxophone, drums, and guitar, but for me, drumming was something that came more naturally and if I was better at it, I would have loved being a musician. But I just wasn't good enough." 

He’s a surprisingly ordinary-­looking baby-faced guy who charmed his way out of the manatee-infested Confederate backwater of Citrus County, Florida, where his dad worked for a nuclear-power plant (until it recently cracked and shut down after being deemed too expensive to fix) and his mother sold real estate (until the market crashed). Teller played baseball, saxophone, and drums—in a church youth-group band (“Hard-rocking for Jesus”)—while acting in school plays. Teller worked at a restaurant called Crackers and was into the Grateful Dead. His best friend is still a guy from high school, who’s now a Navy SEAL. What they had in common was ambition: “We’re not content with just being a part of a bigger collective,” he says. Source:

"I didn't know necessarily if I would have an opportunity to play the lead character because I realise, at times, it's a very superficial business," Teller says bluntly. "For a while, I would go into an audition and the casting director would say, 'Oh, Miles, very good actor, but it doesn't make sense for the character to have scars' because they used to be a lot worse before I had a bunch of laser surgery. It took a little bit for me to understand the severity of the accident and how lucky I was to survive. I had the doctors tell me that 99.9% of the time when you get in a car accident like that, you are dead or paralyzed. For a couple years, it was very significant to me, but at this point I don't even notice the scars. Source:

The Spectacular Now is gorgeously shot—on 35mm—rich with warm, full tones. There’s one really beautiful Steadicam two-shot, a long take set at a riverside keg party, in which the chemistry between these two characters is almost palpable—you can just about see them falling in love in front of your eyes. If it weren’t for prominent appearances on the soundtrack by the likes of Washed Out, Kurt Vile, and others, this story could easily have been set any time between the early ’70s and now, so effortlessly hazy is its mood. Discounting Elizabeth Mims and Jason Tippets’ deceptively simple documentary Only the Young, no film since Gregg Mottola’s Adventureland has so affectionately portrayed the fumbling and attendant foibles of late adolescence as this.  Source:

Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg in "Adventureland" (2009)

Jesse Eisenberg and Amber Heard in "Zombieland" (2009)

Lex Luthor will be present in the big DC team-up, with Jesse Eisenberg revealing at MCM Comic Con that he’ll be reprising his role from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). Justice League will reunite stars Henry Cavill as Superman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jason Mamoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor alongside J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) as Commissioner Gordon, Amber Heard (The Danish Girl) as Mera and Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man) in an as-yet-unrevealed role. Part One is set for release on November 17th 2017, with Part Two following on June 14th 2019. Source:

Thursday, May 26, 2016

James Ponsoldt's The Spectacular Now (Miles Teller & Shailene Woodley), I Want My MTV

A24 has announced that they've picked up the rights to Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks' critically-acclaimed 2011 book I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution, and that they have hired THE SPECTACULAR NOW and SMASHED filmmaker James Ponsoldt to write and direct the adaptation. I Want My MTV chronicles the founding and first 10 years of the network, a golden era in both music and television where MTV became the emblem of a new generation. Source:

The US government’s film diplomacy initiative American Film Showcase (AFS) produced by the USC School Of Cinematic Arts has unveiled its official 2016-2017 film slate of 33 documentaries and five non-fiction films to screen from September 1-August 31, 2017. US embassies will use the film slate for cultural programming around the world and AFS will send select film-makers for short international tours. Titles include Batkid Begins and The Spectacular Now.

-Vanity Fair: Your love scene [in The Spectacular Now] was so natural and sweet. Was that a difficult balance to strike, especially when filming in front of crew members?

-Shailene Woodley: It's my favorite scene in the whole movie! I think we only did three or four takes. It was both of our first times having an onscreen [sex] scene. It was such a safe, comfortable environment and I am so grateful that it was with Miles, because he was such a gentleman and made me feel very comfortable and nurtured. And I think I made him feel very comfortable and nurtured. It was really sweet. We wanted it to just feel natural. Just the way that it was filmed, with just James and a camera, and the way it was lit, it was really easy to forget that anyone was in the room aside from Miles and I. Source:

-Miles Teller: I auditioned for Four [in Divergent], like a long time ago. If I would have played that character maybe that would have been interesting. In this one we have a relationship that is not as developed as it is in The Spectacular Now

-Miles Teller: Sutter was experienced.

-Shailene Woodley: [joking] But it was Miles’ first time.

-Miles Teller: That’s why it’s called acting. No, that was actually one of our favorite scenes. And I think when we filmed it we were pretty comfortable with each other at that point. And obviously after that, even more so. And the room that we shot everything in, all the sets were just so real. This was actually some girl’s room, lower middle class house – we were doing the sex scene, and I look up on the wall and look all around me, and I am in a 16-year-old’s bedroom. That was weird. 

-What do you think are Sutter’s redeeming qualities?

-Miles Teller: I think Sutter is… I think he makes other people feel good. He doesn’t deal with himself, so it’s kind of easy for him to just develop himself from making other people feel a certain way… he’s got a big heart... he lets you loosen up. [joking] And he’s got a huge dick. Source:

Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley ("Love Explosion") video.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sexual Tension: Marlene Dietrich's indifference, Shailene Woodley (Theo James, Miles Teller)

“Marlene,” C.W. Gortner’s new novel, takes us through the first half of “The Aloof One’s” life, up to the end of World War II. Young Maria Magdalene Dietrich trains as a classical violinist only to lose interest when a teacher advises that she might do all right in an orchestra but lacks the chops for a solo career. She finds her way to the Berlin demimonde of cabarets catering to gay men, lesbians and transvestites; and although her legs are already drawing attention, she feels most at home in a tuxedo.

She evolves from hanger-on to performer, and it turns out she can sing. Her voice, if not a precision instrument, is an expressive one. As for acting, she and her gams slog their way through minor roles in German films until the big break comes: the role of Lola Lola in “The Blue Angel” (1930). Dietrich is whisked off to Hollywood, where Paramount is seeking an answer to MGM’s Garbo. Paradoxically, Gortner suggests, Dietrich comes into her own when she stops resisting the comparison to her Swedish rival. “Perhaps all I needed to do was cultivate a magnificent indifference like Garbo,” she thinks. Source:

“Divergent” star openly committed to being pansexual during one of her interviews, which lead many to believe that Shailene Woodley is lesbian. Reports suggests that she has dated “Juno” star Ellen Page and Emma Stone in the past.

In her interview with Hollywood Reporter, while mentioning some trek, Woodley declared, “I fall in love with human beings based on who they are, not based on what they do or what sex they are!” 

According OK! Magazine, Woodley and Ellen Page were caught flirting during their visit to L.A. Hypster Guru claims her being associated with Emma Stone. It further noted, “Emma Stone has been extremely guarded, but when she met Shailene Woodley she was finally able to let go of the past. Turns out the risk was worth the reward because Emma has been overheard saying this is the real thing.”

“Divergent” co-stars Shailene Woodley and Theo James have always openly praised each other in public. They have made comments on doing weird things together which only couples are thought to be doing! Shailene Woodley and Theo James dating rumors caught so much attention that James long-time girlfriend Ruth Kearney even felt insecure. Source:

Shailene Woodley and Theo James are known to have great chemistry on screen and a great friendship off screen. While many wish the two stars were together in real life, fans can catch their fantasy come true in “Allegiant.” Fans have seen the undeniable chemistry between Woodley and James, but this time it looks like she will be sharing some hot chemistry with another actor.

Woodley is starring opposite of Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a new Oliver Stone film, and this apparently doesn’t go well with James and reports stated that the “Divergent” actor doesn’t like the fact that Woodley will be kissing Levitt. However, according to the Morning Ledger, James and Woodley are just friends, and they support each other no matter what project they are a part of. The report states that there is no reason for James to be jealous, because Levitt is married and has a baby.

Woodley understands the hype surrounding her on-screen romance with James, so much so that people are desperately hoping that the two stars will end up together in real life. Woodley is not bothered by the rumors. Whenever she is asked about a possible romance with James, the actress will "just keep answering that nothing is happening." Source:

Miles Teller's character Sutter is the self-proclaimed life of the party, while Shailene Woodley's Aimee is a bit more reserved. However, after getting dumped by his girlfriend, Sutter ends up bonding with Aimee and it's safe to say neither of them will ever be the same. 

In The Spectacular Now, Shailene's character is into comic books, which leads Sutter to do a bit of research on them to get to know Aimee better. When we asked Miles if he ever did something like that for a girl, he replied: "I play instruments and there’s a girl and her favorite song is 'Tiny Dancer.' So, I learned that on guitar and I played it for her." Shailene then playfully quipped that she was the girl he learned the song for.
Also in the film, Shailene's character mentions how opposites attract when it comes to relationships, so does she agree with that philosophy in real life? To put it simply, no. Shailene said, "I mean I think that it’s different with every single person and every relationship. We’re complete opposites but we attracted each other. I think every relationship brings something new to the table and you learn something new in each dynamic and I think that’s important to carry with you throughout life."

When it comes to Divergent – where the two essentially play enemies as opposed to love interests in this film — we asked how that will translate. Shailene replied, "I think it will seem like we don’t like each other but I feel like there will always be some sexual tension." Miles then joked, "I think Tris and Peter have a child, and that's where it goes." Shailene added, "The child's named Allegiant." On a more serious note, Miles said, "it does allow for, even though our characters may not necessarily be getting along, as actors we can still work together to get the best scene done." Source:

Though monogamy may be the norm nowadays, Michael Hammer’s study cast it as anathema to humans’ biological history—and inspired psychologist David Barash, of the University of Washington, to describe it as “a recently inspired cultural add-on.”

Another Study conducted by Dietrich Klusmann, a psychologist at the University of Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany, provided a glimpse into the bedrooms of longtime couples. His surveys comprise one of the few systematic comparisons of female and male desire at progressive stages of committed relationships. He shows women and men in new relationships reporting, on average, more or less equal lust for each other. But for women who’ve been with their partners between one and four years, a dive begins and continues, leaving male desire far higher. Source:

A recent study published in the journal Biological Reviews suggests women's sexuality has evolved to be more fluid than men's as a mechanism to reduce tension among co-wives in polygynous marriages. Researchers believe women's sexual preferences tend to be a gray area. Straight women were strongly sexually aroused by videos of both attractive men and women, even if they chose men as their sexual preference. The truth is straight women, not just lesbians, ogle at beautiful women. The distinction between admiration and same-sex fantasies should be noted, but not generalized. Women can think other women are beautiful, and not have sexual fantasies about her. Or, some women can do both. Source: 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Mr. Robot (Control is Illusion) & The Spectacular Now (Electrical Memories)

“Remember the night of the hack? Remember what happened to you?” Mr. Robot asks. “All I remember is I woke up three days later,” Elliot says. Great.

The trailer then cuts to a press conference with President Obama, who seems to be taking the hack and its ramifications very seriously. As we saw in the Season 1 finale, whatever Elliot managed to pull off, the effects were devastating. “There hasn’t been anything like this in the past,” Obama appears to say, in either an amazing use of editing technology or a stealthy under-the-radar cameo. “This is going to be affecting our economy in ways that are extraordinarily significant.” He adds that the F.B.I. has pegged the attack to fsociety and to Wellick.

From there, it’s a series of fast cuts, as we move from the somewhat dazed face of Angela (Portia Doubleday), who says she “will follow her dreams no matter what,” to the usual dystopian scenery and creepy masks to scenes where it looks like Elliot might be in some serious danger when the show comes back in July. As Elliot becomes more unhinged, the trailer closes with an ominous, very on-theme message: Control is an Illusion. “Our revolution needs a leader,” Mr. Robot concludes. Whether or not Elliot will be in any position to assume that mantle any time soon remains to be seen. Source:

"Just hold it. Gives off the illusion you're having fun." The Spectacular Now (2013) starring Miles Teller.

It is a fact of neuroscience that everything we experience is actually a figment of our imagination. Although our sensations feel accurate and truthful, they do not necessarily reproduce the physical reality of the outside world. Of course, many experiences in daily life reflect the physical stimuli that send signals to the brain. But the same neural machinery that interprets inputs from our eyes, ears and other sensory organs is also responsible for our dreams, delusions and failings of memory. In other words, the real and the imagined share a physical source in the brain. Source:

One of the most intriguing physics discoveries of the last century was the existence of antimatter, material that exists as the “mirror image” of subatomic particles of matter, such as electrons, protons and quarks, but with the opposite charge. Antimatter deepened our understanding of our universe and the laws of physics, and now the same idea is being proposed to explain something equally mysterious: memory.

When memories are created and recalled, new and stronger electrical connections are created between neurons in the brain. The memory is represented by this new association between neurons. But a new theory, backed by animal research and mathematical models, suggests that at the same time that a memory is created, an “antimemory” is also spawned – that is, connections between neurons are made that provide the exact opposite pattern of electrical activity to those forming the original memory. Scientists believe that this helps maintain the balance of electrical activity in the brain.

In fact, the levels of electrical activity in the brain are finely and delicately balanced. Any excessive excitation in the brain disrupts this balance. In fact, electrical imbalance is thought to underlie some of the cognitive problems associated with psychiatric and psychological conditions such as autism and schizophrenia. Source:

"The prom swirls around us. It’s a spectacular stage in the life of the buzz, the stage when you feel connected to everybody and everything. The memories I have with these people are too many to count. Dad told werewolf stories and Mom leaned into his side, looking at him like he was the original Mr. Wonderful. It seems like it’s always summer in my memories of those days. The cold memories—the fighting memories—when those start to creep in, it’s time to move on." "The Spectacular Now" (2013) by Tim Tharp

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

"Get A Job" in DVD/Blu-Ray, Miles Teller "Don't Ever Change" video

Starring Miles Teller, Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston and Anna Kendrick, Get A Job is a “fresh and wickedly funny” comedy which follows the struggles of two recent college graduates as they try to find employment in today’s highly competitive job market.

When Will Davis (Miles Teller) and his girlfriend Jillian (Anna Kendrick) graduate from college, they assume that they will walk straight into their dream jobs and life will be perfect. Little do they know what life has in store. The pair soon find themselves lost in a sea of increasingly strange jobs. But with help from their family, friends and coworkers they soon discover that the most important (and hilarious) adventures are the ones that we don’t see coming.

Also starring Alison Brie (Mad Men), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Kick-Ass) and Marcia Gay Harden (Fifty Shades of Grey), the film gets its DVD release on July 4th. Source:

Though Whiplash ended up getting nominated for a number of Oscars, Miles Teller (the lead star) got paid a pretty low number for the project. How low, exactly? $8,000. That may seem like a lot to some people, but when you factor in the months of production needed to make any feature film, it’s pretty low. Teller’s first feature film was Rabbit Hole in 2010. The film starred Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart as a couple who lose their son in an accident. Teller plays the boy responsible for taking his life in this indie directed by John Cameron Mitchell. Teller told Esquire that he received a $5,000 paycheck for the film. A few years and movies later, he co-starred in The Spectacular Now with Shailene Woodley, and that paycheck increased to $7,000. Source:

Miles Teller "Don't Ever Change" video.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

"Fantastic Four" (Miles Teller as Reed Richards), Bryan Cranston in "The World of Philip K. Dick"

Fantastic Four opens with protagonist Reed Richards (who will grow up to be Miles Teller) as a child blessed with a scientific mind that would be the pride of most Ivy League science departments. For a big-budget tentpole featuring such iconic characters and multiple planets and dimensions, Fantastic Four is strangely insular and hermetic. For a superhero movie, Fantastic Four is curiously light on super heroics and for an action movie, it’s oddly short of action. A superhero with very similar powers, DC’s Plastic Man, is generally a figure of fun and not an Olympic-grade brooder like Reed Richards here.

But Miles Teller gives the character an intriguing prickliness all the same, playing a man so brilliant, he’s more than a little bit crazy. Trank’s Fantastic Four doesn’t seem particularly interested in being “fun.” From a critical standpoint, that’s an interesting strategy: to purposefully deny audiences a lot of the cheap kicks endemic in superhero movies for the sake of something a little more moody and cerebral. But from a commercial perspective, it’s easy to see why the film failed. 

Trank’s take on the material is dead serious, albeit in a way that allows for a surprising amount of wry, deadpan humor so understated it can be easily overlooked or missed altogether. Trank and cinematographer Matthew Jensen give the film a dark, sleek, slick look full of gunmetal blues and grays. The filmmakers also bequeath to the proceedings an ominous tone rich in portent.

These brilliant young people, who really should be out binge-drinking and exploring the wonders of casual sex, build a quantum gate to another dimension. They then travel through this gate to an alternate dimension known as Planet Zero, but when they are pulled back they discover that their interaction with this other dimension has profoundly altered them on a physical level. Trank plays the transformation of the Fantastic Four from plucky kids to mutants blessed but mostly cursed with superhuman powers from another dimension as Cronenbergian body horror.

Fantastic Four is the rare superhero movie that might actually be overly focused. Fantastic Four feels incomplete and unfinished. It was clearly designed as the first in a series of films but its historic box-office failure ensured that it is a one-off. Hell, even Story’s phenomenally shitty movie got a sequel. But Trank’s Fantastic Four is a surprisingly engaging, offbeat entry in an increasingly exhausted genre. I suspect that the future will be kinder to Fantastic Four than the present is, bringing overdue appreciation for this strange movie and its oddball charms. Source:

Travel to another dimension - clip from Fantastic Four (2015).

"The universe is information and we are stationary in it, not three dimensional and not in space or time." -Philip K. Dick

Miles Teller and Bryan Cranston in "Get a Job" (2016)

'Electric Dreams: The World of Philip K. Dick' will be a 10-part anthology, which Bryan Cranston will also executive produce along with 'Battlestar Galactica's' Ronald Moore and 'Justified's' Michael Dinner. Sony Pictures Television and British broadcaster Channel 4 said Tuesday that they are partnering on an original drama series based on the short stories by award-winning sci-fi novelist Philip K. Dick.

The 10-part anthology series, Electric Dreams: The World of Philip K. Dick, will be written and executive produced by Emmy-nominated Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica, Outlander) and Michael Dinner, with Bryan Cranston (Trumbo, Breaking Bad). Each episode is set to be a standalone drama, adapted and modernized for global audiences by a creative team of British and American writers. The series will both illustrate the writer’s prophetic vision and celebrate the enduring appeal of his works, which include The Man in the High Castle, A Scanner Darkly and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, which became Ridley Scott's hit Blade Runner.

"This is an electric dream come true," said Cranston. "We are so thrilled to be able to explore and expand upon the evergreen themes found in the incredible work of this literary master." Source: