By Adam Stewart
After much anticipation, this Friday (April 22) marks the premiere of the long-awaited blog-house-inspired electronica documentary "The Electro Wars," which is streaming on Pitchfork
. Directed by filmmaker Stephen Alex Vasquez, "The Electro Wars" is a commentary on the current state of dance music, and most notably the rise of electro-house and the other burgeoning subgenres in the States. Considering it's his first breakthrough film, the cast of characters Vasquez booked and level of access he was granted is impressive. Having started off as nothing more than a passionate fan with a very limited budget, it was no easy task for the indie filmmaker, who just two years ago could barely get into the clubs.
"Honestly, I didn't know what the hell I was doing," Vasquez admitted to MTV News. "I would tell [artists] I already had a bunch of people down: 'Oh, I already interviewed this guy, and this guy is coming up!' It was all bullsh--, [but] I needed to grab them somehow, and it worked!"
Those little white lies got his foot in the door and opened a passageway to a world he could have never imagined. The film has also been featured in various film festivals around the globe, including the Atlantic, the Stockholm and the Music Doc. All of this was made possible after he scored his first big interview with West Coast icon Steve Aoki, and with that, the rest of the dominoes began to fall. Read More...
In the world of film, there are superstars, there are unknowns, and then there is that strange third category of great actors who you always recognize but perhaps don't know their names or acknowledge them as being as talented as they are. Pete Postlethwaite was the consummate "that guy," having appeared in over two dozen notable films in a variety of roles. You may not have known his name right away, but you always recognized him. Now would be a good time to catch up with his extensive filmography, as Postlethwaite passed away on Sunday (January 2) after a long battle with cancer. The English actor was 64 years old.
(Click here for a look back at photos of Pete Postlethewaite!)
Postlethwaite had been a staple of the international film world since the early 1990s. Though he began his career on stage (and would often return to that venue), his small but pivotal roles in movies like "The Last of the Mohicans," "Alien 3," "Romeo + Juliet," "Amistad" and "The Constant Gardner" made him a key character actor on the Hollywood scene. He is probably best remembered as the enigmatic Kobayashi in "The Usual Suspects," though he probably saw his widest audiences for his performance in "The Lost World: Jurassic Park."
In fact, Postlethwaite's 2010 was emblematic of the man's entire career. He appeared as a prestige player in a big-budget action movie ("Clash of the Titans," where he played Perseus' foster father), then delivered a key supporting role in an auteur piece (he was Cilian Murphy's dying father in "Inception") and finished up with a juicy, menacing part in an acting-heavy drama (he was the crime boss in Ben Affleck's "The Town"). Postlethwaite's final film will leave an imprint on the music world, as he will be featured in an Irish movie called "Killing Bono," which is a fictional tale about a pair of friends who struggle with the success of their high school classmates U2. It's a funny, spirited film that will undoubtedly leave an appropriately glorious cap on a fantastically consistent career.
(Click here for a look back at photos of Pete Postlethewaite!)
What's your favorite Pete Postlethwaite role? Let us know in the comments!
Every day a multitude of stars wander through the halls of MTV News to talk about their latest projects and goof around with our intrepid correspondents. But sometimes we catch stars elsewhere, and that's why we put together Spotted!, a daily compendium of stars in the wild.
Though Daniel Radcliffe plays the title character in the "Harry Potter" film series, the true breakout star of the films is Emma Watson. The 20-year-old actress has managed to spin the role of Hermione Granger into a complicated, versatile young woman, one capable of strength, vulnerability, beauty and brains all within a single look. She's an excellent actress and something of a style icon, which is why she has been so busy during the push for the New York premiere of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1." Before she hit the red carpet (where MTV News was broadcasting live), she stopped by "The Late Show With David Letterman" to chat about the movie, and this morning she appeared on both "Today" and "Live With Regis and Kelly" to do some more promotion. Throughout her spin through Manhattan, she has retained the same kind of style and grace that she has become known for, and even though she is interested in taking some time off now that the movies are finished, she'll remain a star.
She wasn't the only favorite making the rounds, as Christina Aguilera and Cher embraced on the red carpet for the premiere of "Burlesque" and Taylor Swift paid a visit to Japan to spread the word about her new album Speak Now. Click here for these photos as well as the entire "Spotted" archive, which features over 500 candid shots of stars like Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Madonna, Rihanna, Eminem, Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers!
Easily the most anticipated movie of the holiday season is "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1," which represents the first part of the final film in the long-running "Harry Potter" series (which are in turn based on the massive series of books that just wrapped up a few years ago). Over the course of six previous movies, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have gone from unknown child actors to household names as Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, the three students of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry around which most things tend to revolve. The MTV Movies team has been catching up with cast members and following the film around as it premieres around the world, but tonight (Monday, November 15), they'll have them live from the red carpet at the film's New York premiere — and they'll be asking the questions you've asked via Twitter using the hash tag #askpotter!
Tune in to the front page of MTV.com at 6 p.m. Eastern (5 p.m. Central) to watch MTV News' own Josh Horowitz live from the red carpet in New York, where he'll be chatting not only with Radcliffe, Watson and Grint but also the rest of the illustrious cast as well as fans gathered to catch a glimpse of their favorite wizards. It should be a thrilling evening of star power, and you can follow the entire evening live on the Internet at MTV.com!
To properly prepare yourself, check out all of the coverage of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1" coverage that MTV News has already rolled out, including interviews with the biggest names in the cast and looks at the history of the films and their influence over the past decade!
We have a history. Gael Garcia Bernal and I once shared a kiss at a junket. (An event in my life I'm sure I've shared with you numerous times before. But, can you blame me?) So when I was offered the chance to go to Verona (Italy, not New Jersey) to attend the junket for "Letters To Juliet" (which stars Gael and opens today), I couldn't say no. Aside from the fact that it is an incredibly beautiful city, Gael happens to be the nicest guy in the world.
Aside from the chatter about romance, when we sat down to dish about the flick, I decided I had to know how well he cooks. Why? Well, he plays a very overzealous chef named Victor in the movie. As it turns out, he happens to be a really good actor, as the dude can't cook in real life at all! "I like cooking, but I'm not good at it," he said, adding just what his specialty is: "All types of rice."
After he told me that he's best at making rice, I wondered if that's what he would make me if he were to cook me anything in the world. Because come on, rice? "No I'm not trying to tell you that," he said. "I'm saying the only thing I'm good at is maybe rice. I would, maybe if you come and I cook for you, maybe I'll try something else. But I don't know what. I'll have to think about it where we are. Not so much pressure! I already told you I'm not a good cook."
To be fair, I would eat anything Gael makes for me, good or bad. So when are you free?
Apparently, Verona (the city that serves as the setting for William Shakespeare's classic play "Romeo & Juliet") is the city of love. It's a hub for all those looking to reconcile their past relationships by writing letters to Juliet, the saint of all things romance related (even though she's a fictional character who — spoiler alert! — dies at the end of the play) and to wish for good luck for future relationships by taking photos of themselves cupping the right breast of the statue of Juliet (which is not as weird as it sounds). These, you see, are the customs of Verona.
Why am I telling you this? Because I was there this past weekend to interview the stars of the upcoming film "Letters to Juliet." I not only caught up with stars Amanda Seyfried, Gael Garcia Bernal and Australian newcomer Christopher Egan, but also drank some cappuccino, walked the old cobblestone streets of the ancient Italian city and practiced my basic level Italian, which will leave me saying grazie for a little while longer.
"Letters to Juliet" opens on May 14, but stay tuned to MTV Movies over the next two weeks for all my fantastic interviews from the cast and get the low-down on their perspective on love, romantic gestures and to find out how Gael and Christopher feel about being Hump Day Hotties over the next couple weeks. And, as it turns out, Gael owes me a dinner. I promise to hold him to it.
Grazie. (See, I told you.)
"I'm just so excited. I have a movie coming out this summer called 'Sex and the City 2.' I play Samantha. This is a huge opportunity for me to get the word out. There was a lot of nervousness about, 'Well, is Aziz going to do as good a job as Kim Cattrall?' Well, would Kim Cattrall get the job of hosting the MTV Movie Awards? Probably not. So I think there's a win there. And you know, I was just stunned that all the people from 'Twilight' weren't available and that they were able to come to me."
-Comedian, mixtape star and 2010 MTV Movie Awards host Aziz Ansari, talking about the exciting opportunities that hosting this year's version of Hollywood's most unhinged awards show will afford him. Ansari follows in the footsteps of the likes of Ben Stiller, Andy Samberg and Jack Black not only as hosts of the MTV Movie Awards but also as stars who used the show to elevate their comedy careers.
In a conversation with MTV News' Eric Ditzian, Ansari also shared his preparation plan for the show. "I've watched 'Twilight' a bunch. I've watched 'Avatar' 400 times. I have hit movies playing on Blu-ray at all times," he said. "I've been stalking Daniel Radcliffe. Whatever I can do to get the movies in my head." He also said he has received some outside advice. "I'm friends with some of the other comedians that have done the show, and I spoke with them a bit," he said. "I'm excited, because I think it's a cool opportunity for me to do what I do for a big audience like that. I really feel like I have a great opportunity to do some really funny stuff, and I'm going to make the most out of it."
"When I first read the script, it seemed so much a part of it. As soon as I read it, I felt immediately connected to it. If it was edited down in any way, I don't think it would be the same thing. I always feel there's some kind of power to the script. I wanted to keep that in the movie."
-"Remember Me" star Robert Pattinson, speaking to MTV News about the somewhat controversial and certainly surprising ending of his latest film (which opened on Friday, March 12). In the film, Pattinson's character brushes up against a significant historical event in a sequence that had to be handled with the utmost sensitivity — an attitude shared by all the participants in the movie.
"I had some concern about the portion of this film that is a bit of a surprise and I hoped that it would be handled tastefully — as tastefully as it could be," actor Chris Cooper, who plays the father of the woman Pattison's character falls for, told MTV News. "I must say after I saw it, I don't know how you could handle it anymore tastefully but still get the idea across of the loss. I think the strongest thing in the film is the idea of loss."
Director Allen Coulter concurred. "The fact is that, from the very beginning, this is a story about what we call 'the bolt from the blue' — the unexpected event that alters the trajectory of your life. We start with a very personal story, and as the story unfolds that very notion is enlarged upon and goes from the personal to the universal. We felt we were trying to humanize that kind of event."
What did you think of the ending of how "Remember Me" ends? Let us know in the comments!
"This is a tragic loss of a wonderful, beautiful, tormented soul, who will always be my brother, family, and best friend. We must all take this as a lesson in how we treat the people we share this world with while they are still here to make a difference. Please respect our families as we struggle and grieve through this difficult time."
-Actor Corey Feldman, talking about his longtime friend and co-star Corey Haim, who passed away early Wednesday (March 10) morning at the age of 38. Feldman starred with Haim in classic teen films like "The Lost Boys," "License to Drive" and "Dream a Little Dream." The two Coreys were not only co-workers but also good friends, carving out a minor empire for themselves at the end of the '80s. They remained close, starring in a reality show called "The Two Coreys" a few years back (where Haim moved in with Feldman and his wife).
Feldman was gutted to hear the news of his troubled friend's passing. "I was awakened at 8:30 this morning by my brother and sister knocking on my bedroom door," Feldman explained in the statement. "They informed me of the loss of my brother Corey Haim. My eyes weren't even open all the way when the tears started streaming down my face. I am so sorry for Corey, his mother Judy, his family, my family, all of our fans, and of course my son who I will have to find a way to explain this to when he gets home from school."
At the end of the statement, he put forth his hopes for Haim's legacy. "I hope the art Corey has left behind will be remembered as the passion of that for which he truly lived," he said.