December 2012 - Posts

Academy Extends Oscar Vote Deadline To January 4th

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has extended the deadline for members to vote for Oscar nominations by one day to Friday, January 4, 2013, 5.p.m. PT.  (The original date was Thursday, January 3, 5 p.m. PT).  Members may vote online or submit a paper ballot.  Any votes received after the deadline will not be counted. This comes after some controversy surrounding the online voting process, where many members complained was problematic. This is the first year the Academy is providing its membership the opportunity to vote online. READ MORE: Academy Voters Try to File Ballots Online, Bedeviled by Passwords and Safari “By extending the voting deadline we are providing every opportunity available to make the transition to online balloting as smooth as possible,” said Ric Robertson, Academy COO, in a statement.  “We’re grateful to our global membership for joining us in this process.” In order to...
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Daria's Descendants: 5 Characters Who Owe Their Existence to MTV's Sardonic Animated Heroine

If only Daria Morgendorffer could see the world she wrought. It's been a decade since the Glenn Eichler and Susie Lewis Lynn animated series went off the air, but the impact of its eponymous heroine and her deadpan journey through life in the suburbs is still felt. Some of the sharpest female protagonists on television right now can trace their identity, at least partially, to the central figure of MTV’s teen comedy "Daria," which ran for five season and two TV movies, the second of which, "Is It College Yet?," found Daria bidding farewell to the high school life she found so trying. While her contemporary, Tony Soprano, spawned a legion of tortured male antiheroes, Daria pulled off a feat less discussed but all the more difficult -- she made the world a little safer for brainy, independent, socially maladroit young women everywhere. Here’s a look at a few current TV characters who, but for this turn-of-the-millennium heroine,...
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Congrats to 'Umbrella,' Indiewire's Project of the Week!

Thanks to your votes, the drama "Umbrella" won this weekend’s Project of the Week contest! Congratulations to "Umbrella" directors John Mitchell and Christina Zeidler. The filmmaker will receive a digital distribution consultation from SnagFilms and the film is now officially a candidate for Project of the Month. That winner will be awarded with a consultation from the Tribeca Film Institute.   Here's what the project's about:   We have all had to deal with forgiveness in our life. But what if you were a witness to a woman being attacked, and despite your best efforts in helping her, wound up having your leg amputated as a direct result of the melee? How about learning from the police that the woman you attempted to save was raped? How could you live with yourself? What if your wife, unable to cope with the stress and pressure of the marriage, decided to take another man into your bedroom? ...
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The Growth of Original Web Series: What's Working and Why

Original web content, especially in series form, continued to grow as a viable entertainment medium for artists and entertainers in 2012. Liz Shannon Miller has an article on GigaOm that looks at four success stories from the past year and what they may mean for the web’s future as a substantive entertainment forum. In the piece, Miller looks at the gaming show “Tabletop,” Onion Digital Studios’ parody shows, Justin Lin’s eclectic YOMYOMF channel and the collaborating comediennes behind “Daily Grace” and “My Drunk Kitchen.” Here is the upshot, according to Miller: What’s the lesson I take from all this? That this is an era that rewards collaboration and multiplatform engagement. And the people having success in the space right now are those who aren’t afraid to experiment, and perceive the brand as bigger than the individual show or shows that make it up. You can read the full story here.
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Debate Continues to Rage Over 'Django Unchained' as It Gallops Past $64 Million at the Box Office

Notable figures both in and out of Hollywood continue to weigh in on Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” taking sides on the film’s treatment of slavery, adherence to the racist lingo of the era and ethics of placing it all in a spaghetti Western context. The latest is “Training Day” director Antoine Fuqua, who voiced some criticism of Spike Lee’s recent swipes at Tarantino while visiting the Capri, Hollywood Film Festival in Italy Sunday, according to the Hollywood Reporter’s Eric J. Lyman. READ MORE: Bigger Than 'Pulp Fiction'? Tarantino's 'Django Unchained' Earns $34 Million in its First 3 Days Fuqua took issue with both the content of Lee’s criticism and the way he delivered it. "If you disagree with the way a colleague did something, call him up, invite him out for a coffee, talk about it. But don’t do it publicly,” said Fuqua, who knows both Tarantino and Lee but is not close...
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Honor Roll 2012: 'The Deep Blue Sea' Star Rachel Weisz On Getting It Right

Honor Roll is a daily series running throughout December that features new or previously published interviews, profiles and first-person stories of some of the year's most notable cinematic voices. Today, we're re-running an interview with "The Deep Blue Sea" star Rachel Weisz, who surprised this awards season by netting the New York Film Critics' Circle Awards's Best Actress prize. Despite plumbing intense depths in "The Deep Blue Sea," Terence Davies and Rachel Weisz are a cheerful team. During my chat with the duo, they called each other "darling" and laughed a lot. Their rapport is witty. But their business? Serious. "The Deep Blue Sea" -- which only marks Davies' fifth narrative feature in over two decades -- is a personal and radical take on Terence Rattigan's classic play. It also serves as stunning showcase for Weisz. In the drama, Weisz plays Hester, a woman torn between her barrister husband and a...
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Project of the Day: 'ACTION!' The Story of 'Rebel Without a Cause' Director Nick Ray

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.   "ACTION!"   Tweetable Logline:   The film about film you've been waiting for   Elevator Pitch:   Action is key on a movie set, Nick Ray said, what you want to do, and action in life is not so different from action in film. In ACTION! Hollywood outcast, legend, and filmmaker, Ray talks filmcraft, Hollywood, politics, technology, sex, relationships, baseball—LIFE.   Filmmaking for him was not imitating life; it was a way of creating it. Some said Ray's teaching and direction were like shamanic healing. ...
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Specialty Box Office: 'Zero,' 'Amour' and 'Silver' Continue To Soar; 'Promised Land' and 'Memphis' Disappoint in Debuts

While "The Hobbit," "Django Unchained" and "Les Miserables" brought a huge boost to the post-Christmas studio box office, a bunch of platform release holdovers -- namely "Zero Dark Thirty," "Amour," "The Impossible" and "Silver Linings Playbook" -- did the same for the specialty market. However, the two debuting films -- "Promised Land" and "West of Memphis" -- both underperformed. In their second weekends, "Zero Dark Thirty," "Amour" and "The Impossible" all held their screen counts at 5, 3 and 15, respectively. "Zero" and "Amour" fell only 24% and 12%, while "The Impossible" made up for a somewhat underwhelming first weekend by actually gaining a whopping 28% in grosses, suggesting word of mouth is building on the Tsunami survival flick. Meanwhile, "Silver Linings Playbook" expanded from 371 to 745 theaters in...
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Honor Roll 2012: Steven Soderbergh Tells Us Why He's Given Up on 'Serious Movies'

Honor Roll is a daily series running throughout December that features new or previously published interviews, profiles and first-person stories of some of the year's most notable cinematic voices. Today, we're re-running an interview with Steven Soderbergh, who released the surprise summer smash "Magic Mike" shortly after seeing his action film "Haywire" open wide. For a director who claims to be nearing retirement, Academy Award-winner Steven Soderbergh shows no signs of slowing down. His action spy thriller "Haywire," starring MMA superstar Gina Carano (who Indiewire profiled) opens this Friday; "Magic Mike," his all-star male stripper comedy is opening this summer; and he's set to shoot two films this year -- the thriller "The Side Effects" and his long-in-the-works Liberace biopic "Behind the Candelabra"; -- and last September saw him release his answer to the disaster movie, "Contagion." ...
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Honor Roll 2012: Kirby *** On His Harrowing Documentary, 'The Invisible War'

Honor Roll is a daily series running throughout December that features new or previously published interviews, profiles and first-person stories of some of the year's most notable cinematic voices. Today, we're re-running an interview with Kirby ***, whose documentary "The Invisible War" is among the 15 that qualify to be nominated for the Best Documentary Oscar in the 2012 race. Ever since it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, Kirby ***'s "The Invisible War" has been an absolute must-see on the festival circuit. Despite its considerably graphic and disturbing narrative -- which details the shocking amount of sexual assault in the U.S. military -- the film has managed to win over audience after audience, including those in Park City, where it picked up Sundance's Audience Award, a prize usually reserved for lighter fare. That's a testament both to ***'s direction and the film itself, which is...
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Here's Indiewire's Top 20 Articles of 2012

2012 has been a big year for Indiewire. We went through a redesign. We won the 2012 Webby Award for Best Film Site. We started covering television extensively. We launched the Criticwire blog on our network. And we welcomed new staffers Jay A. Fernandez (News Editor), Alison Willmore (Television Editor) and Matt Singer (Criticwire Blog Editor). In celebration, we decided we'd take a look back at your favorite articles of 2012, measured by how many visits each received. We should note that this list does not include our wildly popular, constantly evolving Oscar prediction columns for both 2012 and 2013, which would have taken up much of this list. 1. The Best Indie Movies of 2012 So Far, According to Criticwire Our mid-year list of the year's best films (according to Criticwire) was a big hit with our readers, and it was a precursor to our shiny new year-end Criticwire survey.  2. What Does It Mean that Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures Picked...
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Bigger Than 'Pulp Fiction'? Tarantino's 'Django Unchained' Earns $34 Million in its First 3 Days

Despite -- or, more likely, because of -- the debate raging around Quentin Tarantino's latest genre pastiche "Django Unchained," the film has opened to especially large numbers at the box office, even in its position as perverse holiday counterprogramming. The Weinstein Co., Tarantino's loyal backers, must be pleased with the critical and audience response to the super-violent Western so far -- not to mention the roiling public discussion. READ MORE: Review: Quentin Tarantino's Wild Western Pastiche 'Django Unchained' Is Messy As Hell, But We Love Him For It The company announced Friday that "Django," which opened Christmas Day to a record-breaking $15 million for an R-rated movie, has grossed $34 million in its first three days of release. This, despite a nearly three-hour running time. This successful start means the film has substantial momentum to carry into its first weekend in theaters. READ MORE: The 'Django...
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'Game of Thrones' and 'Project X' Top the Lists of Most Pirated TV & Films of 2012

Judging by a list of the most pirated movie and TV titles on sites for torrents (files that allow you to download specific files peer-to-peer) published on torrent blog TorrentFreak, projects that target young men and boys are the most frequently pirated titles.  As it has done for some time now, TorrentFreak has compiled a list of the most downloaded movie and television titles of the year. In their posts, they noted that most television downloads of U.S. content are coming from outside of the country. TorrentFreak explains that many high-profile releases flop in torrent form because no high quality copies are circulating. Here are the top ten torrented film and television titles for 2012: Movies 1. "Project X" 2. "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" 3. "The Dark Knight Rises" 4. "The Avengers" 5. "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" 6. "21 Jump Street" 7. "The Girl with the...
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2012's List of 34 Movie Lovers You Need to Love Too

Here at Indiewire, we love movies as much as you do.  Among us cinephiles, there are some who rise to the head of the pack.  This year at Indiewire, we decided we had gone far too long without giving proper due to the people -- besides filmmakers -- who help us feed our cinephilia.  In our new column, Movie Lovers We Love, we profiled many of the most exciting programmers, writers, entrepreneurs and designers that work on the outskirts of the film industry.  With our eyes set on the many amazing movie lovers still yet to be profiled, here is the list of 2012's Movie Lovers We Love: Joey Shanks Shows Filmmakers How to Do Special Effects in Their Garage Joey Shanks has teamed up with the people at PBS Digital Studios to produce a weekly series that explains how to produce DIY special effects for low-budget productions.  His YouTube channel Shanks FX has explained how to create planets with dry ice bubbles and how to make stop-motion...
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The Indie-Film Industry's Top Ten Lists of the Best in 2012 Movies and TV

Entertainment journalists and critics tend to monopolize the Top Ten lists each year, but just as enlightening are the reactions of those who work in the indie-film industry. Many of these opinions we hear on the fly, but it's really something to see so many collected in one place. The tastes of these executives, producers, publicists, distributors and filmmakers can be incredibly useful in terms of figuring out what they like and why, and thus which types of films they are most likely to back with financial capital, promotional efforts, script development, filmmaker support and trips to the cinema as regular moviegoers. READ MORE: Indiewire's Editors and Bloggers Pick Their Top 10 Films of 2012 Once again, Indiewire's editors invited as many colleagues and sources as wanted to participate to share with our readers what moved and engaged them in 2012. Of course, no two answers are the same, and the below compendium is a treasure trove of quality and quirk as...
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