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Showing posts with the label Sundance Channel

The Daily Beast: "Sundance Channel’s Rectify is the Best New Show of 2013"

Sundance Channel’s ‘Rectify,’ which begins on Monday, is a weighty meditation on crime, punishment, beauty, and solitude. It is also insanely riveting television. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Sundance Channel’s Rectify is the Best New Show of 2013," in which I review Sundance Channel's Rectify , which begins Monday and which I name the best new show of 2013: "With Rectify , McKinnon creates a world of light and darkness, and of heaven and hell, one that exerts a powerful gravity from which it is impossible to escape." Sundance Channel, the indie-centric network that is closely aligned with corporate sibling AMC, is quickly ascending to a place of prominence in an increasingly fragmented television landscape. For the longest time, the network was identifiable as the home of independent films, repeats of Lisa Kudrow’s short-lived HBO mockumentary The Comeback , and some forgettable reality fare. It lacked a cohesive programming i

The Daily Beast: "Gone Girl: Inside ‘Top of the Lake,’ Jane Campion’s Haunting New Thriller"

A missing girl. A shocking crime. A town full of secrets. Welcome to Top of the Lake , from creators Jane Campion and Gerard Lee. At the Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Gone Girl: Inside ‘Top of the Lake,’ Jane Campion’s Haunting New Thriller," for which I sit down with Jane Campion ( The Piano ), Elisabeth Moss ( Mad Men ), Holly Hunter ( Saving Grace ), and Gerard Lee ( Sweetie ) to discuss Top of the Lake , Campion's haunting and spellbinding new thriller, which launches on Monday evening on the Sundance Channel. Jane Campion is missing. The Oscar-nominated director of such films as The Piano and Bright Star is in Los Angeles for a quick stop before the Sundance Film Festival, where her seven-part mystery drama, Top of the Lake, will be screened in its entirety over one day. We’re scheduled to meet for a drink at the Polo Lounge in the historic Beverly Hills Hotel, but Campion has vanished from the hotel, and publicists can’t locate her. Consider

The Daily Beast: "At the Bottom of The Staircase"

The story of crime novelist Michael Peterson, convicted of murdering his wife Kathleen in 2001, takes yet another strange turn as he gets his shot at an appeal and a possible overturn of his guilty verdict, captured in the two-part sequel to the riveting documentary The Staircase . Director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade offers his take on Peterson’s story and the possibility of justice finally being served. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read a feature that I had a hand in bringing to life, "At the Bottom of The Staircase ," in which Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, the director of Sundance's addictive documentary series The Staircase , writes about Michael Peterson, the owl theory, justice, and more. Jean-Xavier de Lestrade is an Academy Award–winning documentary filmmaker and the director of the riveting 2004 documentary The Staircase (a.k.a. Soupçons), currently airing on Sundance Channel. The eight-hour cinema verité series recounts the serpentine trial of crime novelist Mic

Channel Surfing: Barrowman Could Get "Desperate," Michael Hogan Checks into "Dollhouse," USA Renews "In Plain Sight," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Torchwood star John Barrowman has told BBC1 Radio host Chris Moyle that he is meeting with the producers of ABC's Desperate Housewives about a possible role on the series next season. "I'm off to Los Angeles on Sunday again," said Barrowman on the air. "I probably shouldn't say this but I've got a meeting with the execs of Desperate Housewives ; can you believe it, I'm going to be a Desperate Housewife!" No word yet on what role Barrowman could be playing or if a deal is in place for the actor to come on board the long-running drama. ( Guardian 's Media Monkey ) The Chicago Tribune 's Maureen Ryan is reporting that former Battlestar Galactica co-star Michael Hogan will be guest starring in an upcoming episode of FOX's Dollhouse this fall. Hogan, set to appear in the second episode of the sophomore season, will play "a customer of the Dollhouse who has used the services of t

Channel Surfing: NBC Likely to Renew "Heroes," Chenoweth and Garber Find "Glee," No Gretchen-Based Spin-off for "Prison Break," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. NBC will likely be renewing superhero drama Heroes for a fourth season. At least, according to NBC Entertainment President Angela Bromstad, who said that the series wasn't currently on the bubble for the next season and that the network was likely going to order 18-20 episodes for next season. One of the major factors is said to be NBC's sci-fi pilot Day One, from Heroes writer Jesse Alexander, which could air on Monday evenings. " Day One is a big event and we're looking at that to come into the Heroes spot," said Bromstad. "It's right now being looked at as a 13-episode run -- something people could commit to and we could make a big splash with." And the network is also said to have been privately discussing issuing an end date for Heroes , however " even if NBC ever made such a move, Bromstad said, they wouldn't want to make next season the conclusion." ( Hollywood Reporter

Checking out "The Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea"

I don't ordinarily talk about or review documentaries here but every now and then one comes along that keeps me thinking about it long after the final credits have rolled. In this case, I'm talking about Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer 's extraordinary and heart-wrenching documentary The Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea , which has its television premiere next week on the Sundance Channel, after a brief theatrical release. I first saw the documentary over a year ago when it was making the rounds at the festival circuit and couldn't help but fall under its powerful spell. The Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea , narrated by John Waters, deals with a chapter in the history of California (and that of America) that most have already forgotten. It charts the rise and ultimate fall of a little man-made desert oasis called the Salton Sea that represents both the hubris of mankind and our ability to forget our failures. It's a touching, funny, and eye-opening