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Old 09-09-2005, 06:42 PM
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The Not Full, but *Half Nelson* Thread (Minor Spoilers)

It wrapped filming a month-ish ago, so I figured it could use its own thread.

I ferreted around the N/A thread for all the tid bits about this and brought most of them all over here...

From here:

Gosling & Mackie Starring in Half Nelson

Ryan Gosling (The Notebook) and Anthony Mackie will topline the independent film Half Nelson, a feature adaptation of helmer Ryan Fleck's Sundance-winning short film Gowanus, Brooklyn.

Variety says the drama, filming this month in Gotham, follows a unique relationship between a white schoolteacher, his African-American student and a local drug dealer.

The movie is being directed by Fleck, who co-penned the screenplay with Anna Boden.
From here:

It looks like NYU film grad Ryan Fleck is going to start shooting this month on the feature-length version of his award-winning short film Gowanus, Brooklyn.

According to Variety, the feature, Half Nelson, just attached Ryan Gosling and Anthony Mackie; one would hope that Shareeka Epps will reprise her role as Drey, a 12-year-old who works to get her head around her teacher's drug addiction. Distribution is still up in the air, although co-producer Traction Media has established ties to Fox, Miramax and, most recently, Lion's Gate.

In other words, the project should land on its feet, especially with more than six months between now and Sundance--where Gowanus took home the Grand Jury prize in 2004.
From an interview with Independent Mag:

RC: The film you’re shooting right now is called Half Nelson—tell me a little about that.

RG: Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden had a short film called Gowanus, Brooklyn that won Best Short at Sundance, and they’re making it into a feature. I’ve never had more fun making a movie, ever. $700,000 budget, there’s only like a couple of actors in it, and everyone else is kind of just living their life in the movie.

RC: It’s about a social studies teacher and his student at a public school in Brooklyn, right? Where are you shooting?

RG: In Fort Greene. It’s great. I’m living three blocks away from the school where I’m teaching. I wake up at 6:30 am, I go to class—I teach 25 kids, who are in the school that they go to.

RC: It’s a white teacher and a young black female student?

RG: My character sees this student who’s at a point in her life where she’s ready for somebody like him, but he doesn’t know who he is. They’re both trying to be the people that they see in each other. I really wanted to work this way—where you get to throw anything at the wall and see what sticks, which you don’t get to do when there’s a lot of money at stake.

RC: Well that’s the idea behind independent film, right?

RG: Right, but this is it in effect. This is exactly why you want to make independent movies because you get to really figure it out. You get to try things that you are not sure about and see if they work.
From here:

RAISING THE BAR: Ryan Gosling made it on the list of People magazine's 50 Hottest Bachelors last year, but Tina Holmes says it was Gosling's amazing acting chops that drew her to do the recently wrapped independent film "Half Nelson." "Ryan Gosling knocks it out of the park. He's the real thing," declares the "Six Feet Under" regular of the handsome actor who's gotten raves in such films as "The Notebook" and "The Believer." "He's just extraordinary ... really intense. I felt like I had my work cut out for me as an actress, but it's like playing tennis with someone better than you. It raises the game."

Holmes, who played James Cromwell's daughter on "Six Feet Under's" final season, says "Half Nelson" is "set in Brooklyn. Ryan's character is this incredibly gifted teacher in an inner-city school who also happens to be a pretty hard-core drug addict. It's all these very contradictory elements bound up together. He's a truly inspiring teacher and a great influence on these kids, while his own life is careening out of control. I play his former girlfriend, and we were in a very dark relationship, basically drug addicts together."
From here:

It's interesting that "Gowanus, Brooklyn" was actually written after "Half-Nelson" as a snippet to appear at Sundance. Very smart. I also read that "Half Nelson" has at least one major studio attached, so it may just end up being widely distributed rather than as another indie film at Sundance. It seems the writer/director wanted to guage interest at Sundance before wide-releasing it. It's also been suggested that the original 12-year old girl (Shareeka Epps) reprise her role as the student. She was cold cast from a local middle school and had never acted before. I hope she was able to continue her role in the feature. Ryan digs playing conflicted characters, that's for sure. This one should be a goodie.

From here:

Based on Ryan Fleck's Sundance-winning short film "Gowanus, Brooklyn", the drama examines the relationship between a white schoolteacher, his African-American student and a local drug pusher. Anthony Mackie ("Million Dollar Baby") will play the student in the project while Gosling will take the lead as the teacher. Fleck will once again direct the movie which is due to start shooting later this month.

Last edited by -Bianca-; 09-25-2006 at 07:46 PM
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