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The Adventures of The Peanut Butter Falcon

The Peanut Butter Falcon hopes to discover some timeless Mark Twain magic

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The Peanut Butter Falcon is the story of a young man with down syndrome who dreams of becoming a pro wrestler. The simple dream leads to a timeless adventure that harks back to the literature of Mark Twain. Set to the backdrop of the American south, the story tells of Zak (played by Zachary Gottsagen), who yearns to live the pro wrestling life- the start of which, is at wrestling school far away. Along the way he meets Shia LeBeouf’s Tyler, a crook with a heart of gold who takes Zak under his wing and promises him that he will get him to that wrestling school.

As they tackle the many difficulties and pressures they face on their journey, we find the bond between the two hard to break. The Peanut Butter Falcon co-stars Dakota Johnson, Bruce Dern, and Jon Bernthal in supporting roles, while former wrestling legends Mick Foley and Jake “The Snake” Roberts feature.

The film’s official release describes the film as;

“A modern Mark Twain style adventure story … [about] a young man with Down syndrome, who runs away from a residential nursing home to follow his dream of attending the professional wrestling school of his idol, The Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Haden Church). A strange turn of events pairs him on the road with Tyler (LaBeouf), a small time outlaw on the run, who becomes Zak’s unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whisky, find God, catch fish, and convince Eleanor (Johnson), a kind nursing home employee charged with Zak’s return, to join them on their journey.”

The film received positive reviews when it previewed at this year’s SXSW Festival, with the Hollywood Reporter praising the performances, notably that of LeBeouf’s. Who apparently isn’t so shouty these days.

The Peanut Butter Falcon was directed by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz, based off a screenplay they wrote and is being distributed by Roadside Attractions. It premiered at SXSW and will open in select cinemas in the United States August 9th.

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Miles Davis and The Birth of the Cool

Can one distill cool into one documentary?

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If there is one thing that has been indisputable about the legacy of Miles Davis is that he was the personification of ‘cool’. And it seems like there was no decade where he was making music that he wasn’t ever cool. We once said about Miles Davis and his cool that “no matter how scrupulous your selection – one cannot distill cool into thirteen tracks, no matter how good“. Now the unenviable task of distilling that cool into a succinct document falls into the hands of Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, a new documentary detailing the life, music, and legacy of Miles Davis.

Directed by Stanley Nelson Jr. (Freedom Riders, The Murder of Emmett Till), Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival before hitting the festival circuit through the year. The film chronicles the rebellious nature of Miles Davis, detailing his desire to constantly break from the norm, with director Stanley Nelson saying;

“He was an extraordinary artist celebrated for his restless artistic aesthetic and his ceaseless innovation.  He changed the course of music five or six times.  By unpacking his upbringing, his methodology, his relationships, and his demons, we begin to understand the man who redefined the original American musical genre, jazz, and continues to influence generations of rock, funk, and hip-hop artists.”

Abramorama will screen the film today, August 23rd in New York with director Stanley Nelson taking part in a Q+A. Tickets for this screening, along with future screenings, can be found here.

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Bruce Springsteen gets cinematic with Western Stars

“Life’s mysteries remain and deepen, its answers unresolved”

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“We all have our broken pieces … nobody gets away unhurt. We’re always trying to find somebody whose broken pieces fit with our broken pieces and something whole emerges”

On the heels of the release of Bruce Springsteen’s nineteenth studio album Western Stars, Warner Bros Pictures has announced the release of the cinematic experience accompanying the album. The new film features Springsteen performing all 13 tracks from the new album, accompanied by a full orchestra in his 100-year-old barn. The film will also showcase old home footage as well as Springsteen’s life-earned ruminations we’ve seen through his career- brought to life recently with his stint on Broadway and on his Netflix special.

Warner Bros. exec Toby Emmerich has said about Western Stars and Springsteen;

“Bruce lives in the super rarified air of artists who have blazed new and important trails deep into their careers. With ‘Western Stars,’ Bruce is pivoting yet again, taking us with him on an emotional and introspective cinematic journey, looking back and looking ahead.”

Western Stars will premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, kicking off September 5th. The film was produced by Jon Landau, Barbara Carr, and George Travis with Springsteen executive producing it. Western Stars was co-directed by Springsteen and longtime collaborator Thom Zimny.

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