Music not only serves as the subject but informs the very fabric of Not Fade Away, David Chase's savvy '60s-set feature film debut. Aided immeasurably by his keen ear for dialogue, Chase filters a suddenly tumultuous, transformative decade through the restrictive prism of conservative suburbia in this story of a New Jersey boy's coming of age, as political instability, class awareness and rock 'n' roll break in waves over the still-inchoate consciousness of several friends trying to form a band. Though starless, save for James Gandolfini's knockout supporting perf, this dynamic pic should resonate with auds countrywide upon its Dec. 21 release. more »
Killing Them Softly is set in Boston, maybe. Someone mentions living in Somerville, a scattering of the characters have the accent, and they talk about going down to Florida. But the film was shot in New Orleans, often in the industrial edges still ragged from Hurricane Katrina, and the only people who seem to inhabit its universe are gangsters — high level ones with pretentions of civility and hardscrabble losers struggling to get a few dollars together by way of hazardous schemes. more »
Sopranos writer/director/producer David Chase resisted saying his latest venture, Not Fade Away is autobiographical, but it certainly resembles large swaths of his upbringing. Born in Upstate New York and raised in suburban New Jersey, he used to dream of becoming a successful drummer in a rock band. He is also unabashedly a fan of '60s-era music and all those elements fit front and center in his first big return to the spotlight since The Sopranos had its final shot in 2007. Fittingly, James Gandolfini stars as the father in Not Fade Away, the title of course being an ode to the 1964 Rolling Stones cover of a song credited to Buddy Holly and Norman Petty. The film will have its Gala World Premiere as the Centerpiece of the New York Film Festival Saturday night.
Next March will see Brad Pitt re-teaming with Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) in Cogan's Trade, a crime thriller about an enforcer (Pitt) investigating the robbery of a high stakes poker game run by the mob. Which promises -- according to the very first official-ish image -- Brad Pitt in black leather, hair slicked back, shotgun in hand, wielding the cold stare of a killer. Watch out, Scoot McNairy!