April 2012 - Posts

Phillip Noyce and Kevin Spacey Producing Potential Scripted Shows For E!

As the scales continue to tip back away from reality programming, E!, home of such pop culture-eating-itself products like the Kardashian franchise, "The E! True Hollywood Story," "Chelsea Lately," "The Soup" and "Ice Loves Coco," has become the latest network to announce its forays into scripted programming. What will an E! scripted show possibly be like? Well, judging from the nine one-hour series they've announced are currently in development, it's going to be somewhere in between "Gossip Girl," "Entourage" and maybe "Scandal." The complete list of shows from E! is below, but there are two projects that jump out. The first is "Fascination Street," from, among others, executive producer Phillip Noyce and writer Steven Kijak (who directed the doc "Scott Walker: 30 Century Man"), a look at two brothers in a band that jumps between the past, when they were trying to make it big, and...
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From Dog Ownership to Marina Abramovic: HBO Announces Its Summer Docs Schedule

HBO has announced its summer doc schedule, which includes nonfiction films about performance artist Marina Abramović, "Leave Britney Alone" internet celeb Chris Crocker and gay activist Vito Russo, as well as examinations of dog ownership, birdwatching in Central Park, the 2011 tsunami in Japan, supermodels and unemployment in Long Island. The films will air Monday nights, kicking off on June 18th. ONE NATION UNDER DOG: STORIES OF FEAR, LOSS AND BETRAYAL (debuting June 18) reveals the sobering realities behind America’s obsession with dogs, using startling images to show not only how far some dog lovers will go for theirpets, but how far the nation has to go before it treats all dogs humanely. Americans have conducted a long love affair with canines, but lost amidst all the pampering are unpleasant truths about dog ownership, care and commerce, not to mention the daunting odds that face millions of unwanted shelter animals. Directed by...
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HBO Renews 'Girls' and 'Veep,' Ensuring Generational Think Pieces for Another Year

Guess all that discussion about race and privilege paid off! HBO just announced that it's renewed Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow's "Girls" for a second ten-episode season. Also coming back for more -- Armando Iannucci's political satire "Veep," starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as an earnest but not terribly successful vice president. According to HBO, "Girls" has so far rung up a gross audience of 3.8 million viewers to date, and "Veep" has managed 3.7 million viewers. Those aren't "Game of Thrones" numbers, but they're good enough for series that are fairly specialized and, in the cast of "Girls," without established stars. "Girls" feels more stable than "Veep," which is still getting its stride, but both are the type of series that will grow more secure in their voices as they have time.
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Decide Who Talks to the Sundance Institute: Vote for April's Project of the Month!

April is now over, and it's time to choose one of our Projects of the Week to be named March's Project of the Month. The project that receives the most votes for Project of the Month will receive a consultation from the Sundance Institute! Voting will be open until Friday May 4 at 5 PM. Go to the poll below to vote for April's Project of the Month! The links to more information about each project are below. "Two Blind to Ride" Christi is completely blind in one eye, and has blurry vision out of the other. Tauru has tunnel vision. His condition is degenerative & he will eventually go blind, so now is the time for this trip! Their bike ride will take them from Tierra del Fuego, Argentina to Deadhorse, Alaska over the next year and a half. They'll stop along the way to visit & share their story with schools for the visually impaired. "Werewolves in the Mall of America" During the coldest winter on record in...
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Summer 2012 Movie Preview: The 20 Indies You Must See

The summer movie season isn't exactly best known for independent film. With billions of dollars set to be spent on a vast amount of sequels, remakes and board game adaptations ("Ice Age 4," "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Amazing Spider-Man," "Battleship," "The Expendables 2," etc, etc.), how much space is left for the little guys? But, while summer will never be the independent film hotbed that the fall is, in recent years there have actually been quite a few indie breakouts during the studio's favorite months. Last year, for example, summer brought eventual best picture nominees in "The Tree of Life" and "Midnight in Paris," a slew of fantastic docs in "Cave of Forgotten Dreams," "Buck," and "Senna," and a bunch of excellent imports from the UK  in "Submarine," "The Trip" and "Attack The Block." That said, summer can be a particularly...
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Are You Really Ready to Crowdfund? Here Are 8 Tips from Filmmakers Who've Been There

We've all heard how great crowdfunding can be for filmmakers.  Some filmmakers struggle to juggle freelance gigs while they're trying to get their own film made.  A cool $20,000 gives them time away from scrounging for spare change. It's opening up funding streams that never existed before.  When was the last time you or your friends funded a creative project financially before Kickstarter or Indiegogo? Many low-level funders will give $25 to a film they haven't even seen yet over the $12 for a movie ticket, $8 for a digital download or $20 for a DVD, just to feel they helped a film come into being. But in the end, is crowdfunding worth it? When we took to a group of filmmakers, the answer, especially without a national film fund in this country, seemed to be "Yes!"  Indiewire asked a few of our filmmaker friends who have crowdfunded and some friends who follow crowdfunding with a careful eye to offer up anonymous advice to...
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Megan Draper Comes Into Her Own on 'Mad Men'

Come along and follow me To the bottom of the sea We'll join in the Jamboree At the Codfish Ball --Shirley Temple, "At the Codfish Ball" from "Captain January" Who would have guessed that the soon-to-be-Megan Draper, would turn out to be so interesting when Don proposed to her back at the end of last season? Like Don, we scarcely had a sense of her. She could have been anyone -- just another pretty secretary, a potential Jane Sterling, of whom the newly LSD-wise Roger observes this week may have simply been "an excuse to blow-up my life." But Megan's no ornament to be kept in Don's swank Manhattan apartment, and she's not necessarily the salvation or the fresh start he was searching for either. "At the Codfish Ball" offered an intriguing look at Megan by way of her visiting family and her maneuvering to save the Heinz account, and in doing so presented a portrait of a young woman with talent and ambition who...
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On 'Game of Thrones,' It's the Women Who Rule

During the penultimate episode of the first season of "Game of Thrones," something unexpected happened: Ned Stark, the character believed to be the hero of the story, was unceremoniously killed by a sadistic child-king. While this left some in awe of the writer’s bold choice, many, including Neil Genzlinger of the New York Times, criticized the series and claimed that there was nowhere for the story to go, since it no longer has a hero. He obviously wasn’t paying attention to the other characters -- and needs to remember that "heroine" is also a word. In the George R. R. Martin "A Song of Ice and Fire" series on which Game of Thrones is based upon, the author created characters that transcend traditional archetypes and are deeply layered and malleable. While the first season introduced the viewer to its long list of potential heroes, as season two progresses, it has become increasingly clear that the strength of "Game of...
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Watch: A New 'Newsroom' Trailer Offers More of Aaron Sorkin's Upcoming Series

"I'm beginning this newscast by apologizing to the American people for the failure of this program during the time I've been in charge of it. The reason we failed isn't a mystery -- we took a dive for the ratings. I'm quitting the circus. Switching teams. I'm going with the guys who are getting creamed." So begins the new trailer for Aaron Sorkin's upcoming series "The Newsroom," which looks both more "Network"-like than ever and more grounded in actual issues of TV news and the obligations of journalism versus those of entertaining and human interest stories. There's a better glimpse of both Alison Pill as a newsroom staffer and of Jane Fonda in what's slated to be a recurring role as the CEO of the parent company that owns the fictional network on which the news show airs. "The Newsroom" premieres June 24th on HBO.
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Here is Everything You Need to Know About the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival

The 2012 Tribeca Film Festival came to a close on Sunday. Indiewire was on the scene for the 11th edition of the event. Below find all of Indiewire's coverage, in addition to that of our Blog Network.   Winners 'War Witch' and 'The World Before Her' Take Top Prizes at 2012 Tribeca Film Festival Kim Nguyen's "War Witch" and Lucy Mulloy's "Una Noche" were the big winners of the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival narrative competition, while Nisha Pahuja's "The World Before Her" took the top documentary competition prize at the fest. Interviews Juliette Binoche Talks About Her Personal Connection to 'Elles,' Masturbating on Film, and What Scares Her "Habit would scare me. Of being sure of yourself would scare me. Not being frightened would scare me. Not working with intelligent people would scare me." 'Cheerful Weather' Star Elizabeth McGovern Talks 'Downton Abbey'...
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The 5 Best Things to Watch the Other 6 Nights of the Week: 'Circo,' the Real 'Mad Men' and More

Sunday's overcrowded with great TV, but what to watch the rest of the time? Each Monday, we bring you this guide to five worthy -- or at least noteworthy -- highlights from the other six days of the week. Directed by Jean Negulesco TCM, Monday, April 30th at 8pm Turner Classic Movies is showing a marathon of four early films from the Romanian-born Jean Negulesco, better known for his later, glossier work like "How to Marry a Millionaire," "Three Coins in the Fountain" and "Daddy Long Legs." This selection is from his stint directing for Warner Bros. in the 1940s, kicking off with the film noir "Nobody Lives Forever," with John Garfield as a racketeer home from World War II. It's followed by "Casablanca" reunion (sans Bogart and Bergman) "The Conspirators," Joan Crawford romance "Humoresque," and "The Mask of Dimitrios," Negulesco's...
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Here Are 12 Reviews of Tribeca Film Festival Titles

Indiewire was on the scene at this year's Tribeca Film Festival to grade this some of the most anticipated titles and hidden gems playing at the event. Below find 12 reviews of films that screened at the festival: "The Avengers" A movie that yells at you and geeks out in equal measures, the Marvel-Paramount excursion marks the triumphant climax of a five-year effort to merge several tentpole movies into a single explosive whole. "Deadfall" "Deadfall," an understated, slow-burn thriller, doesn't reinvigorate those rules but illustrates their lasting value. Director Stefan Ruzowitzky ("The Counterfeiters") takes an inoffensively straightforward approach to first-timer Zach Dean's old-fashioned screenplay, turning its blunt character types and derivative scenarios into enjoyable pulp fodder. "Downeast" Over the course of their five non-fiction features, Redmon and Sabin have demonstrated a...
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TRIBECA REVIEW: Why the Indian Pageant Documentary 'The World Before Her' Won the Top Jury Prize

The young women competing for the title of Miss India in documentarian Nisha Pahuja's Tribeca award-winning "The World Before Her" may represent progress in the context of the country's religious history, but among each other they only want the crown. Often shot in the style of a reality show as competitors Ankita and Ruhi gear up for the pageant, "The World Before Her" complicates matters with a far more provocative look at the interior of a Hindu fundamentalist camp for women where a trenchant leader coaches young participants to take a radical stance against the male-dominated society. In the contrast between flashy pageantry and the extremist education, "The World Before Her" effectively conveys a culture working hard to exorcise its demons. However, the movie never makes a compelling case for its two-pronged approach. "We are becoming a more modern country," says one of the subjects in the opening minutes, and certainly both...
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Project of the Day: 'Farah' Loses Her Virginity While Campaigning for Kerry Edwards '04

Here's your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you'll have the chance to vote for your favorite. In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments. "Farah Goes Bang" Tweetable Logline: The story of Farah Mahtab, a woman in her 20s who tries to lose her virginity while on the road campaigning for John Kerry in 2004. Elevator Pitch: FARAH GOES BANG tells the story of Farah Mahtab, a woman in her twenties who tries to lose her virginity while on the road campaigning for presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004. Farah and her friends K.J. and Roopa follow the campaign trail across historic Route 66 on their way to Ohio, the central battleground state of 2004, seizing control of this charged moment in their lives and the life of their country.FARAH updates the American tradition of the Western, telling a new trail story, in a diverse, powerful, and hilarious female voice. ...
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Cannes Adds Seven More Titles to Lineup; SXSW Winner 'Gimme the Loot' Among New Additions

The upcoming 65th Cannes Film Festival has added seven more titles to its lineup. Among the latest additions is Adam Leon's acclaimed debut "Gimme the Loot," which premiered earlier this year at SXSW where it won the Narrative Grand Jury Prize and got picked up for distribution by Sundance Selects (it opens in the US this summer). The film will screen in Un Certain Regard, alongside Aida Begic's "Djeca" from Bosnia and Herzegovina. [Go HERE for our profile of Adam Leon, and HERE for our review of "Gimme the Loot."] Other newcomers include a special screening of Candida Brady's UK documentary "Trashed"; Midnight Screenings selections "The Sapphires" directed by Australian Wayne Blair, and Franck Khalfoun's "Maniac"; Gilles Bourdo's "Renoir," which will screen at the closing ceremonies of Un Certain Regard; and the Hungarian montage film "Final Cut - Hölgyeim És...
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