Movie Mixtape: 6 Movies With Connections to ‘The Circle’

the circle movie connections

(Welcome to Movie Mixtape, where we find cinematic relatives and seek out interesting connections between new releases and older movies that allow us to rethink and enjoy what’s in our theaters as well as the favorites on our shelf. In this edition: James Ponsoldt’s The Circle.)

So far on Movie Mixtape, we’ve danced with a beast and tangoed with Scarlett Johansson’s ghost, and now we’re dipping our toes in a dystopia that feels a bit closer to our home screens.

Based on the Dave Eggers novel, The Circle sees entry-level tech employee Mae Holland (Emma Watson) swimming through the hipster-bait open office of a Hooli-esque search engine company. Her life perks up as she rises through the ranks of the company, but success is a matter of compromising. Mae has to trade away something that most of us trade away everyday by using Facebook and Twitter and Instagram: her private life. At the heart of the company is its rock star founder Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks) who wants to help society by making it more open and free.

Yes, the whole thing is one big trigger for introverts. It’s also a case of too-good-to-be-true revealing its price tag.

the circle movie connections devil's advocate

The Devil’s Advocate

Always remember to read the fine print. The Devil’s Advocate is the perfect message movie about winning everything in life while losing your soul. A real Matthew 16:26 type situation.

As Kevin Lomax, Keanu Reeves smooth-talks his way through Floridian court rooms and Manhattan murder cases by twisting the letter of the law and his own moral compass. The American Dream is handed to him and his wife Mary Ann (Charlize Theron) on a silver platter. The gorgeous apartment. The massive salary. The high life. The only catch is that they’re working for Satan (played by Al Pacino, doing some of the best scream-acting of his career). Like The Circle, it presents a corporate reality where being a team player in a deeply flawed, unethical system, is the key to success, and the whole world is on the line.

the circle movie connections tomorrow never dies

Tomorrow Never Dies

Speaking of which, there’s an unmistakable Bond villain quality to Tom Hanks’ Eamon, who exudes evil as benevolence. A mad genius who sees beyond society as it is to what it could be if “perfected.” Like a fictional Elon Musk.

Bond’s nemeses have been toying with tech for a half-century, but the grandest (dumbest?) experiment with global social tools came from Tomorrow Never Dies‘ Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce), a Rupert Murdoch figure who angled to start a major war in order to boost profits for his media empire. It turns out that unchecked power over the informational flow isn’t a good idea. Neither is getting lax on missile security.

the circle movie connections hackers


Travel with me now, 22 years into the past, to a magical time when floppy disks were king, hacking into the FBI only took typing super fast, and modems were laughably slow. It’s fascinating to get a double-feature view of Zero Cool (Johnny Miller), Acid Burn (Angelina Jolie), and the gang matching wits with the skateboarding corporate hacker The Plague (Fisher Stevens) as the latter attempts to extort millions by threatening the ballast programs on oil tankers.

Hackers is a perfect example of how films of the time treated the emergent internet, giving us a mystical view of game-changing technology that many people didn’t have access to. Ridiculous as it was even then, there’s something quaint about the film’s targets: telephone networks, street lights, banks. The internet’s nefarious intrusion is on physical spaces while everything in the era of the social network shows how far the internet has come (with us as willing conspirators) to invade our very personalities and behaviors.

Continue Reading The Circle Connections >>

The post Movie Mixtape: 6 Movies With Connections to ‘The Circle’ appeared first on /Film.


Make Movies With This Easter Filmmaker’s Toolkit

Put down the chocolate! Make movies!

Why dither and make reasons to delay your movie? Move up from amateur to professional. Stop making excuses why you can’t make a film. Stop blagging the blag. Get off your couch and start doing something meaningful! You don’t need no film school!

1. Your filmmaking plan and make it realistic

There’s no point in telling your friends that you are going to make a film, or, in telling everyone you are going to make it your way and reinvent the industry. It just ain’t that simple.

Far better to do what Shane Meadows did when he was starting out and make a series of short films – one a week – until he got really good. I asked him what the budget of a short of his we screened at Raindance Film Festival in 1997 was, and he answered £1.69. I asked him how he could be so sure and he told me that the main actor was mildly diabetic and was having a sugar low and he had to get him a cheese sandwich which cost £1.69.

Good businessmen make business plans. Why don’t good filmmakers make business plans too? It doesn’t need to be complicated or extreme. Just attainable. Bite size chunks or even chunkettes are far more sensible than signing up to an imaginary project so fast and unrealistic that not even your top trust fund baby filmmaker could pull it off.

I’m not bragging here, but I recently found this business plan I did a few months before the first Raindance Film Festival in 1993. To my surprise, Raindance today is pretty much like I planned it. Have a peek and see for yourself how my plan worked out.

2. Get a screenplay and make sure it’s great

How often do we say it? “How did they get the money to make that movie?” Here are the three basic ingredients of filmmaking success: Script. Script. Script.

We spend nearly half our teaching focus at Raindance on screenplay. It is that important. I’m not going to bitch about the chocolate on your breath this Easter Sunday except to say: Until You Get A Script You Are A Nobody.

How do you know what to write about? Here are 8 Questions Writers Must Ask When Developing Audience Profiles

3. Get your social media going

In this day and age there is no excuse for not developing your own social media profile. Your blog, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts are essential ingredients to filmmaking success.


It’s always been about the people that watch or read your stuff. This is how you get people to watch and read your stuff in the age of social media. Just do it.

start with the basics
learn how videos go viral
lose the new media phobia

See how we do it. Raindance has the world’s 10th largest Twitter profile of any film festival.
Follow Raindance on Twitter? Want our free weekly newsletter?

Another great way to build your lists and your audience is to comment on relevant articles. Have you commented on this article?

4. Get some money

Now that you have your excellent script and business plan, you need to get some money. But how much money? There are loads of things you can do without much money at all. The first money in is called development money.

There are 10 ways you can finance your film. Each investor you approach will want to know what’s in it for them, and how you can de-risk their investment. The more you can learn about the flow of money and the different ways you can finance your film, the better off you will be.

You can get big tax inducements from British taxpayers who invest in your project. You don’t need to be a British taxpayer to access this money either. Read up on the Enterprise Investment Scheme. Use the EIS risk assesment tool here.

Maybe you want to crowdfund your film. You can see how we crowdfund here.

5. Get going

Enough is enough. At some point you just need to take a deep breath and do it. You will never have enough money. You will never be totally happy with the cast and crew. You just need to take the plunge and do it. Practice makes perfect!

your basic low budget kit and crew guide
don’t ‘cross the line’
how film directors screw editors

6. Be submissive!

Once you’ve finished your film, it’s time to get it seen at a film festival. But what festival to choose? There are thousands around the world. Film festivals fall into 5 types or categories. To help you wade through the myriad of film festival, here are our recommendations for the top 100 film festivals around the world.

There are 4 reasons to submit to film festivals. The main one is to get a distributor to see it and buy it. But beware of creepy people preying on naive festival newbies. Don’t fall for one of these 5 cons filmmakers fall for.
If you have made a short – here is a short film distributor list – this should save you tons of time. Read our list of the top 100 film festivals for shorts too.

Raindance Film Festival is open for submissions until June 2nd.

7. Trouble shooting

Are you making these deadly filmmaking mistakes?

What about your screenplay? Have you forgotten the basic elements of a storytelling?

Fade Out

What are you reading this for anyway when you could be out shooting. Easter Sunday in London has dawned bright and sunny.
But wait, before you go, here are 7 things successful filmmakers eat for breakfast.

The post Make Movies With This Easter Filmmaker’s Toolkit appeared first on Raindance.


Can AI Predict a Movie’s Success? Algorithmic Screenplay Service ‘Scriptbook’ Causes Major Backlash

Is AI the future of screenwriting? Not if screenwriters can help it.

«Subjective decisions lead to box office failure,» reads a tagline from the new algorithmic service ScriptBook, which claims to predict a screenplay’s critical and box office success.

For a price of $ 100 a pop, ScriptBook users upload their screenplay to be analyzed by ScriptBook’s patented software, Script2Screen, which generates an AI-based assessment indicating the commercial and critical success of a project, along with «insights on the storyline, target demographics, market positioning, distribution parameters,» and more. ScriptBook trained its algorithms to detect patterns that compelling storylines have in common based on a dataset of scripts which have had a theatrical release between 1970 and 2016.

«The added value of our technology,» the website further reads, «lies in the improvement on the current, human decision-making process throughout the spectrum from script to screen, limiting false decision-making while maximizing the potential.»

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Post-Infinity War MCU Will Be “Very, Very Different,” Plus A Look At The Future Of Marvel Movies

Avengers Infinity War Set Photo - Thanos

With the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 press junket happening this week in Los Angeles, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has been participating in numerous interviews talking about the future of the company’s films. We’ve collected a few choice quotes below, including Feige talking about how the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be “very, very different” after Avengers: Infinity War, his plans to hire more top caliber Hollywood veterans, and an update on the studio’s filming slate.

Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Post-Infinity War MCU Will Be Very Different

Feige tells Collider that the post-Infinity War Marvel Cinematic Universe is “gonna be very, very different.” In the same interview, Feige teased some uncertainty in MCU’s future:

“We’ve been lucky that [contract expirations] haven’t factored in too much. We’ve had people under contract for certain films, then we’ve had new ideas and new directions like Civil War like we wanted to do, and we’ve been lucky enough to make new contracts. … Certainly, as we get to Infinity War there is a sense of a climax if not a conclusion to, by the time we’re at untitled Avengers 4, the 22 movies that will have encompassed the first three phases of the MCU. And what happens after that will be very different. I don’t know if it’s Phase 4, it might be a new thing.”

This is something we’ve expected for some time. We’ve heard that Infinity War would change the MCU in huge ways, and I’m excited to find out what that actually means. I imagine we’ll be seeing a lot of old favorites exiting the spotlight, leaving the center stage open for a new set of heroes.

Robert Redford in Captain America: The Winter Soldiuer

Expect More High Caliber Hollywood Veterans in Future Marvel Movies

Marvel movies are beginning to attract some huge Hollywood veteran actors. Past Marvel movies have featured the likes of Robert Redford, Michael Douglas and Anthony Hopkins, while Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 introduces both Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Speaking with Fandango at the junket, Feige admitted that Robert De Niro and Al Pacino met with Marvel at one point, and while they are not currently in the studio’s plans, Feige says that we’ll be seeing more Hollywood veterans in the very near future:

“There are a few that are coming up, actually. I’ll keep this spoiler-free, but be assured that there are more surprises of that caliber heading into our universe in the next few films.”

So the question is, who might Feige be thinking about? Black Panther is done shooting and Infinity War is already cast, but there is still room to add a big player to Ant-Man and Wasp, the yet-to-be-titled Avengers 4, and Captain Marvel.

Captain Marvel Easter Egg in Doctor Strange

Marvel’s Filming Schedule

We know that Black Panther is in its last few weeks of shooting, while Spider-man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok are currently in post production. As for the upcoming filming schedule, Feige told Collider that, assuming everything stays on schedule, this is what we can expect:

  • Avengers: Infinity War is currently filming, and the yet-to-be-titled Avengers 4 will film immediately afterwards, not simultaneously as first announced.
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp will begin shooting in June 2017.
  • Captain Marvel should begin filming in February 2018

When the next two Avengers movies were first announced, they were presented as Avengers: Infinity War Part I & II. Marvel has since walked back on that two-parter idea, claiming that the fourth Avengers movie would not be the second part of Infinity War. The big news here is that Marvel is now shooting the films separately back-to-back instead of simultaneously.

The post Post-Infinity War MCU Will Be “Very, Very Different,” Plus A Look At The Future Of Marvel Movies appeared first on /Film.


Watch: 3 Things Spike Jonze Does When Making Movies about Loneliness

How does director Spike Jonze use imagery to communicate a deep sense of loneliness in his work?

Loneliness is a universal emotion. Every person on Earth has felt it at one point in their lives—the dead weight, the echoing pang, the electric skin that fires every time it’s touched. Because it’s such a huge part of the human experience, filmmakers have been making films about loneliness since the beginning of cinema, but one director that really stands out in his filmic exploration of it is Spike Jonze.

His lonely characters are some of the most memorable: Craig and Lotte Schwartz from Being John Malkovich, Max from Where the Wild Things Are, and, of course, Theodore from Her. But how does Jonze reproduce this very intense, very common experience cinematically? In this video essay from Studio Binder, we get to see three ways he uses cinematography to do it.

Though it’s not very comprehensive, the list of Jonze’s techniques that are mentioned in the video is a great place to start.

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10 Movies We’re Excited to See at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival

Wondering what to see at Tribeca 2017? We’ve got you covered.

This year, Tribeca Film Festival programmers pared down the lineup by 20% in order to better showcase quality films. The efforts seems to have paid off; the 16th Annual Tribeca Film Festival, which runs from April 19 to 30, features a robust slate of thought-provoking documentaries, international spectacles, and narrative work from some of American’s finest indie filmmakers. Here’s what we can’t wait to see.

The Reagan Show

Directors: Pacho Velez, Sierra Pettengill
Section: Documentary Competition

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