September 2012 - Posts

François Ozon’s 'In the House' tops San Sebastian Fest

The 60th edition of the San Sebastian Film Festival came to a close this weekend in the eponymous seaside resort on the Basque coast in Spain. The dramedy “In the House,” starring Fabrice Luchini and Kristin Scott Thomas and directed by François Ozon, was awarded the fest’s top honors, the Golden Shell, by a jury presided over by producer Christine Vachon, who also awarded the film the Best Screenplay honors. Ben Lewis’s Sundance title “The Sessions,” starring John Hawkes and Helen Hunt, won the Audience Award.   For its 60th edition, and its second under new director José Luis Rebordinos, the fest opened with U.S. indie “Arbitrage,” ensuring a star-studded opening with stars Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon in attendance. Because of the event’s anniversary edition, a total of five special Donostia awards were handed out this year, all to English-language cinema royalty (not a world cinema figure or even a...
Posted by Indiewire

Specialty Box Office: 'Perks' Soars In Expansion; 'The Master' Slows Down

With only one specialty debut reporting estimates this weekend (basketball doc "The Other Dream Team," which did quite well), the weekend's big stories belonged to the holdovers. Summit successfully expanded last weekend's big debut "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" to over 100 screens, while The Weinstein Company saw its Paul Thomas Anderson offering "The Master" start to slow after a big expansion last weekend. Full rundown below. The Debuts: "The Other Dream Team" (The Film Arcade) Marius A. Markevicius's doc "The Other Dream Team" follows the story of the 1992 Lithuanian basketball team, who became symbols of Lithuania's independence movement, and - with help from the Grateful Dead - triumphed at the Barcelona Olympics. On 2 screens, the film did quite well, taking in $22,714 for a healthy $11,357 per-theater-average. The sole debut to report estimates, it had the third highest average of any...
Posted by Indiewire

Congrats to 'Sole Survivor,' September's Project of the Month!

Congratulations to "Sole Survivor" director Ky Dickens.  The project received the most votes to win September's Project of the Month.  The prize is a creative consultation from the Tribeca Film Institute. If you’re a filmmaker (or know one) and you want us to consider an in-production film for our Project of the Day column, fill out the form here. In the history of aviation, there have been 14 large commercial plane crashes with one lone survivor. Sole Survivor offers the first glimpse into the lives of four of these sole survivors. There's a misconception that if somebody survives a tragedy, they should feel lucky. Pressure is placed on survivors to move on, to feel grateful for being spared a dire fate without acknowledging the psychological, social, emotional, spiritual and physical ramifications of survival. Through their varying experiences yet similar reflections, Sole Survivor puts a face on survivorship, underscoring the fact that...
Posted by Indiewire

'I really am this shallow': NBC Adapting ‘About A Boy’ Into a Comedy Series

It's amazing how the premise for a pleasingly quirky movie can start to seem a lot less appealing when thought of in terms of a TV series (and vice versa). "About a Boy" the Nick Hornby book turned 2002 Hugh Grant movie about a London playboy who's spent his entire life living off the royalties of his father's novelty Christmas song and the strange kid he befriends while trying to meet women at a single-parents group? Funny and crowd-pleasing. "About a Boy" the sitcom about a man-child and the actual child who moves in next door hanging out? Sounds vaguely like "Two and a Half Men." Deadline reports that "About a Boy" is nevertheless heading to the small screen, where it's being developed as a potential single-camera comedy series at NBC. This is actually the second time the story's been attempted as a TV adaptation -- in 2003, Fox looked into a pilot presentation of an adaptation starting Patrick...
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Maggie Gyllenhaal High School Drama 'Won't Back Down' Has Some Teachers in a Tizzy -- But It's Not the First Time

Writer-director Daniel Barnz's "Won't Back Down" is certainly not the first dramatization of the inner workings of a high school to breed controversy, but it arrives at an especially contentious moment. With debate raging for years and a high-profile teacher strike in Chicago recently in the news, “Won’t Back Down” arrives at a time ripe for provocation. The film’s New York premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater on Sunday, Sept. 23, attracted a protest by a group of nearly 50 parents and teachers. Partly funded by Walden Media, the same company that provided financing for David Guggenheim’s 2010 education documentary "Waiting for 'Superman,'" “Won’t Back Down” has been criticized for what some feel is a sentimental and reductive portrayal of the complicated issues pertinent to underperforming public schools in inner-city areas and the disadvantages faced by students from low-income families. Over...
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How Much Change Will 'Dexter' Be Willing to Try For In Its Penultimate Season?

Showtime's serial killer drama "Dexter" has a deliciously dark premise that has also become a trap over its six year run (the seventh season starts this Sunday, September 30th at 9pm). Dexter (Michael C. Hall) may only murder bad guys, but he enjoys the killing -- the process of stalking, trapping and ritually cutting into his victims, keeping a drop of the blood of each as a trophy. He's not a vigilante looking to right the world, he's a psychopath trying to do the least damange possible while indulging the urges he can't seem to control. And because of this, because what he does is repellent, the show's been unable to let any "normal" characters in on his secret. His mentor Harry (James Remar), the man who raised him and taught him the code by which he lives, was so distraught by the reality of his adopted son's actions that he killed himself. Dexter has no regular confidant other than the Harry who lives on in his mind, and a large...
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Phase 4 Films Acquires Keanu Reeves Drama 'generation Um...' for U.S. and Canada

Phase 4 Films has acquired all U.S. and Canadian rights to writer-director Mark L Mann’s "generation Um...," which stars Keanu Reeves. The specialty distributor plans a theatrical release in the spring. Bojana Novakovic and Adelaide Clemens co-star in "generation Um…," a day-in the-life portrait of three people trying to make sense of their lives and relationships in the city. Alison Palmer, Caroline Kaplan and Lemore Syvan produced; Nicolas Chartier, Cassian Elwes, Zev Foreman and Jared Goldman are executive producers. READ MORE: Phase 4 Films to Distribute Alex Gibney's Hockey Doc 'The Last Gladiators' "We are excited to be working with Mark on his first film and to be collaborating with Keanu and the cast to share their edgy, socially relevant drama with audiences," said Phase 4 president and CEO Berry Meyerowitz. Reeves is currently on-screen as producer and host of the documentary "Side By Side,"...
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Movie Lovers We Love: An Awesome Blog that Goes Back to the Spot where Famous Scenes were Shot

While Christopher Moloney was walking around Central Park, headed to his job at CNN near Columbus Circle, he looked down the street and realized that he worked around the corner from one of the most iconic scenes in one of his favorite films, "Ghostbusters," in which the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man walks down a New York street, terrorizing citizens below. The result is below: Margins aside, it matches up fairly well.  Cute, but nothing spectacular.  Moloney posted the photo to Facebook and people responded well. He was looking for something to do on his way to work every day, and after taking a few more photos, he started a blog, PhilmFotos.tumblr.com.  Scenes from "Breakfast at Tiffany's," "Goodfellas" and "Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps" are some of the films representing New York locations.  Moloney has brought his hobby all over the world, though.  In his hometown of Toronto, he found the...
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Watch: New 'Silver Linings Playbook' Trailer Shows a Volatile Bradley Cooper (VIDEO)

Following its recent success in Toronto where it nabbed the coveted People's Chocie Award, The Weinstein Company has released the second trailer for David O. Russell's sure-to-be awards contender, "Silver Linings Playbook." READ MORE: Toronto Review: Making Light of Romantic Dysfunction, 'Silver Linings Playbook' Is David O. Russell's Funniest Film to Date Russell's story, based on the novel, tells the story of Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper), a former teacher who moves back in with his parents (played by Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver), following a short stint at a mental institute. Pat's life turns upside down when he meets a troubled young woman, Tiffany, played by Jennifer Lawrence. The movie opens November 21. Watch the new trailer below:
Posted by Indiewire

Twitter Loves 'Life of Pi'; Reactions From the New York Film Festival

The first wave verdict is in for Ang Lee's anticipated 3D epic "Life of Pi," and so far, so good. Indiewire's own Eric Kohn called the film adaptation of Yann Martel's beloved novel "Lee's best spectacle since 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon,'" while a slew of other folks weighed in on the film via Twitter ahead of the film's official world premiere tonight at the New York Film Festival. Check out 10 of the best Tweets below: John DiBello ‏(@johndibello): Seriously folks, make a promise to yourself now to go see #LifeOfPi . It is full of both small and grand beauties. Deeply moved by it. #nyff Michael Cusumano ‏(@SeriousFilm): The effects work on Life of Pi is stunning. It will give The Hobbit a run for its money for the Oscar #NYFF Nadia Neophytou (‏@NadiaNeophytou): After watching #LifeofPi, all the emotions from reading the book have been stirred up again. From the page to the screen -...
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AMC Greenlights Talent Competition Series 'Road Show,' Renews 'Small Town Security'

AMC has two of the most acclaimed scripted series on TV, "Mad Men" and the ending-soon "Breaking Bad," as well as "Hell on Wheels" and the giant ratings hit "The Walking Dead," but the rest of its original programming schedule is sparse and slowly being filled out with cheaper, faster-to-turn-out unscripted shows. The latest to get the greenlight from the network is "Road Show" (working title), a reality series that will "organizes competitions in small towns across the country, featuring local talent who get the chance of a lifetime to be in the spotlight." So, it's like "America's Got Talent," but even more regional -- as the network's EVP of original programing Joel Stillerman describes it, it's "the local talent show writ large, and will focus on the personal stories as much as the actual talent competition." Each episode will start with open call auditions for any kind of...
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New York Film Festival: Highlights From The Press Conference For Instant Oscar Frontrunner 'Life of Pi'

Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" is kicking off the 50th edition of the New York Film Festival tonight at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and the internet is already a-buzz with some glowing reviews from this morning's press screening. The film is an epic 3D adaptation of Yann Martel's Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name. Utilizing some of the best technology available, the film tells the story of a young Indian boy (Suraj Sharma, in his debut role) who survives a shipwreck and then spends 227 days on a lifeboat with none other than a Bengal tiger. Going into this morning's screening, buzz was mixed on what was clearly a very risky project. But so far it seems like it might all work out, at least from a critical perspective (check out Indiewire's review here). This morning's screening was followed by a lively press conference featuring Lee, Martel, Sharma and Fox 2000 exec Elizabeth Gabler. Here's a few highlights: 1. Yann Martel...
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Despite Shaky Screenplay, 'Life of Pi' Is Ang Lee's Best Spectacle Since 'Crouching Tiger'

Yann Martel's bestselling 2001 novel "Life of Pi" followed the young Indian survivor of a shipwreck stuck on a lifeboat with a tiger -- the kind of high concept scenario both easy to comprehend and difficult to envision in movie terms. Much of the story, narrated by its spiritually minded protagonist, contains prolonged philosophical discussions and remains tethered to an extremely minimalist setting. That Ang Lee has managed to turn the limitations of his source material into his adaptation's greatest strength makes "Life of Pi" a significant achievement for the filmmaker in spite of blatant problems with structure, dialogue and other surface issues. "Life of Pi" succeeds in its most audacious moments and struggles whenever it returns to familiar ground. David Womark's generally faithful screenplay deepens the sensationalistic imagery of the novel's opening setting with enjoyably ostentatious 3D that instantly leaves an impression....
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Drafthouse Films to Release Compilation Film 'Trailer War' in December; Watch the NSFW Trailer (Video)

Drafthouse Films is partnering with the American Genre Film Archive to release the exploitation compilation "Trailer War." The film is a feature-length compilation of rare, vintage 35mm trailers that are presented for the first time in HD. Drafthouse plans a 35mm theatrical tour in December, while DVD/Blu-ray packs will be available December 18. Included in the pack is an extensive interview with "Trailers from Hell" founder Joe Dante in which he discusses his early days as a trailer-cutter at Roger Corman's New World Pictures as well as audio commentary from Drafthouse programmers and "Trailer War" curators Lars Nilsen and Zack Carlson. READ MORE: With 'The Miami Connection' and 'Wake in Fright,' Drafthouse Films Unleashes a Diverse Repertory Slate The American Genre Film Archive is the largest of its kind, with over 3,500 35mm prints and trailers. Austin's Alamo Drafthouse rescued and donated many of the trailers...
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'The Invisible War' Filmmakers Respond to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's 'Rock Center With Brian Williams' Appearance on Rape in the Military

Director Kirby ***'s documentary "The Invisible War" has opened plenty of eyes to the issue of sexual assault of female soldiers in the U.S. Armed Forces since its release in June. Thursday night, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was featured on "Rock Center With Brian Williams," where he discussed a change he's made to existing policy regarding the investigation of rape charges in the military. The "Invisible War" filmmakers responded Friday with both gratitude for Panetta's involvement and pressure for him to go further. Since "The Invisible War" debuted at this year's Sundance Film Festival, the film has received critical acclaim and prompted much discussion about the issue the filmmakers are trying to bring to Americans' attention. The film reveals an appalling fact: a female soldier in a combat zone is more likely to be raped by a fellow solider than killed in the line of duty. The Department of Defense...
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