January 2013 - Posts

'The Americans': An Immigrant Tale as Sexy Russian Spy Story

The article below contains spoilers for the January 30th pilot episode of "The Americans." "The Americans," the giddily engaging new FX drama that premiered last night, has the most nostalgic of paranoid thriller premises. It's 1981 in Washington, D.C., and Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Phillip (Matthew Rhys) Jennings are KGB spies living among us -- that is, undercover as a normal, brownie-baking American family. They run a travel agency and have two children, Henry (Keidrich Sellati) and Paige (Holly Taylor), who have no idea about their parents' real identities. And they're not just sleepers lying in wait -- the pilot, written by creator (and ex-CIA agent) Joe Weisberg and directed by Gavin O'Connor ("Warrior"), kicks off with a scene of Elizabeth picking up a Department of Justice stooge at a bar and coaxing information out of him with sex and flattery. From here we segue into an action sequence set to Fleetwood...
Posted by Indiewire

Here TV Celebrates 10 Years with an Open Call for New TV and Film Projects

In the last decade, Here TV, an outlet for exclusively LGBT based creative content, has evolved from a subscription VOD service to having it's projects hosted by online streaming behemoths like YouTube, Hulu, and Amazon while still airing as a linear network in many markets and as an SVOD service on all major US cable systems. "We are eternally grateful to the hard-working Here TV staffers over the past decade and numerous LGBT writers, directors, actors, and producers who have helped grow and expand the availability of LGBT film and television projects to a wider audience. We are proud of the work Here TV has done in showcasing the work of LGBT filmmakers, and we look forward to the next decade of bringing unapologetically gay programming to audiences across the country and around the world,” said Paul Colichman, Here TV’s CEO, and Stephen P. Jarchow, Here TV’s Chairman, in a joint statement. For the network's 10th year, Here is celebrating by...
Posted by Indiewire

SXSW Film Announces 2013 Features Lineup; Latest From Brian Poyser and John Sayles Among World Premieres

The South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival has announced the features lineup for this year's festival, running from March 8-16. In addition to the previously announced opening night film "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" and Harmony Korine's "Spring Breakers," the festival announced its entire 109-feature lineup, including 69 world premieres. New titles include "The Bounceback," a Narrative Spotlight entry from "Lovers of Hate" director Bryan Poyser, and "Go For Sisters," an Edward James Olmos vehicle directed by indie veteran John Sayles. Other festival highlights include Fede Alvarez's "Evil Dead" remake; "VHS"'s Joe Swanberg's "Drinking Buddies" starring Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, and Jake Johnson; "Maladies" starring James Franco and Catherine Keener; Alex Winter's "Downloaded" a documentary about the rise and fall of Napster; and...
Posted by Indiewire

"I's sitting next to Borpo!" The 12 Greatest '30 Rock' Celebrity Cameos

"30 Rock" comes to an end tonight, wrapping up seven seasons of bitingly funny TV-centric comedy with an hour-long finale in which viewers will be able to say goodbye to Liz Lemon (Tina Fey), Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan), Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski), Pete Hornberger (Scott Adsit), Kenneth Parcell (Jack McBrayer) and the rest of the TGS crew. While the regulars and their many personal and professional ups and down have been widely explored over the years with the help of guests actors like Will Arnett, Julianne Moore, Chloë Moretz, Jason Sudeikis and Jon Hamm, "30 Rock" has also made some of the most entertaining and odd use of celebrity one-off appearances and cameos over the years. Indiewire's Peter Knegt, Eric Kohn, Erin Whitney and Alison Willmore offer up picks for the dozen finest of those. Conan O'Brien, "Tracy Does Conan," Season 1, Ep. 7 Despite not losing her...
Posted by Indiewire

SXSW TRAILER: The Rise and Fall of Napster in Alex Winter's 'Downloaded' (VIDEO)

Among the documentaries recently announced to be premiering in Austin when SXSW kicks off on March 8th is Alex Winter's "Downloaded." The film aims to chronicle the birth and effects of the 'downloading revolution' that began with Sean Parker, who is interviewed in the film, and the creation of Napster. Winter, a veteran TV director who is probably best known as the eponymous Bill in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," directed the film for VH1 Rock Docs. You can check out the trailer below. SXSW runs from March 8th to March 16th.
Posted by Indiewire

How To Win Your Own Ultimate Movie Party at the Alamo Drafthouse

The Alamo Drafthouse just released a video and poster for its newest contest, the chance to "Win Your Own Ultimate Movie Party." The theater is asking for submissions via Facebook for the "biggest, best, and most creative" movie themed party to be thrown at any of Alamo's locations. You choose what films are screened, the food and drink, costumes, and any other nuances to make it as unique as possible for the chance to win a free party for you and up to 50 friends. One winner will be selected per Alamo location. The deadline for submissions is February 28th, 2013. General rules and video below: 1. Party must take place inside an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema location. 2. Party is subject to film/theatrical rights availability. 3. Party is subject to minor modifications to ensure it is possible. 4. Party should not revolve around a celebrity guest due to possible scheduling conflicts. To enter go HERE.  
Posted by Indiewire

Body Counts and Best of Show in the Rotterdam Film Festival Tiger Awards Competition

The Hivos Tiger Awards Competition takes center stage at Rotterdam, a high-stakes showcase of sixteen breakout filmmakers, many of whose projects are funded by the festival’s Hubert Bals Fund. Each year’s lineup offers a revealing cross-section of prevailing trends in art cinema, sometimes to the point of unintentional parody (in-theater drinking games could be instituted over excessive long takes, in-your-face displays of sexual bad behavior, or awkward line readings by amateur actors in “realist” films). There’s a corporeal undercurrent among this year’s contenders, initiated in the opening night film "Resurrection of a ***," by Guido van Driel, where gangsters use a vacuum cleaner to suck a man’s eye from its socket.  In "Watchtower," by Turkish director Pelin Esmer, a woman sneaks into a basement to self-deliver her illegitimate child, heaving herself from wall to wall in what has to be the most...
Posted by Indiewire

Berlinale Announces Classics Retrospective Lineup; 'Cabaret,' 'On the Waterfront' To Screen

The Berlin International Film Festival, which starts up on February 7th, has announced an expanded retrospective slate entitled Berlinale Classics. The five films included are all recently restored classics, including the European premiere of the 3D restoration of Alfred Hitchcock's "Dial M for Murder" and the world premiere of a new 4K restoration of "On the Waterfront." All of the films will be presented by a prominent festival guest. Here is the list of the five films being shown on the slate. The Berlinale kicks off on February 7th, 2013 and runs until the 17th. Cabaret By Bob Fosse, USA 1972 Sat, Feb 9, 11.00 am Kino International, presented by Harold Nebenzal Dial M for Murder By Alfred Hitchcock, USA 1954 Tue, Feb 12, 6.00 pm and Sat, Feb 16, 10:00 pm Haus der Berliner Festspiele, European premiere of the digital 3D projection On the Waterfront By Elia Kazan, USA 1954 Wed, Feb 13, 7.00 pm Cinestar Event...
Posted by Indiewire

Cinedigm Takes Sundance Drug War Doc 'Narco Cultura'

Cinedigm has acquired North American rights to Sundance documentary "Narco Cultura," directed by Israeli photographer and filmmaker Shaul Schwarz. The company plans a theatrical release and awards-qualifying run for 2013. "Narco" takes a fresh look at the complexities of Mexico's oft-depicted Drug War, showing a guns, drugs, and money culture in which narco-traffickers have been elevated to pop icons. Parts & Labor's Lars Knudsen and Jan Van Hoy and Ocean Size Pictures' Todd Hagopian produced. "Narco" was one of three films Parts & Labor brought to Sundance, along with Andre Dosunmu's "Mother of George" and David Lowery's "Ain't Them Bodies Saints." "Through it's unprecedented access and shocking imagery, 'Narco Cultura' reveals the complex interplay between the tyranny wrought by the drug cartels, as well as their prominent role in defining the culture at large," said...
Posted by Indiewire

Watch: LeVar Burton Explains the Incredible Impact of 'Roots' in an Exclusive Clip From 'Pioneers of Television'

How big a deal was the miniseries "Roots" when it was first broadcast on ABC in 1977? "They closed the casinos in Vegas when 'Roots' aired," explains cast member John Amos. "Nobody was on the streets." In this exclusive clip from the final episode of this season of PBS' "Pioneers of Television," Amos, LeVar Burton, Leslie Uggams and others talk about the incredible impact and reach that "Roots" had, as part of the upcoming "Miniseries" episode. Narrated by Ryan Seacrest, "Pioneers of Television" explores the people and the shows that have shaped the medium of TV into what it is today. The "Miniseries" episodes, which airs on PBS on Tuesday, February 5th at 8pm, will be the fourth and final episode of a third season that's also explored comediennes, primetime soaps and superheroes.
Posted by Indiewire

Meet the SnagFilms Filmmaker: Travel Across 5 Continents In New Feature Documentary 'Other Than'

California filmmaker James Kenney ties together 11 stories from around the globe into one feature film in "Other Than."  The documentary's vivid images and compelling stories surround the shared human experience of being an outsider in differing parts of the world. What it's really about: "As the modern world becomes smaller and our differences become larger, can we afford to ignore what it means to be similar and yet unique? Eleven filmmakers on five continents explore the fine line between us and them.  Travel to New Zealand, Vietnam, Canada, the U.S., Israel, and Brazil. Five continents. One Film.  The film is really about outsiders in different cultures and how their experiences might comment on each other or overlap.  The films push the limits of the documentary genre, incorporating a range from man-on-the-street to stop-motion animation. Subjects range from the light-hearted to the very serious." Why did you want to make...
Posted by Indiewire

You Don't Have to Go to Film School to Make It: A List of Film Schools 2013 Sundance Directors Attended

When Indiewire corresponded with over 60 filmmakers for our Meet the 2013 Sundance Filmmakers series, we got responses from various directors of films in the U.S. and World Dramatic and Documentary Competitions as well as NEXT and the Park City at Midnight section.  One of the questions we posed was where the filmmakers learned their craft. 64 filmmakers responded, and the results may be surprising. 29 said they had no formal training in filmmaking. Some learned skills in design or photography school or as journalists but had no formal film school education.  The most popular film school from the filmmakers we surveyed was NYU, which had seven respondents. READ MORE: From ARRI Alexa to Sony HVR: What the 2013 Sundance Filmmakers Shot On If you're looking for a little inspiration from some of the self-taught filmmakers, take a look at what they had to say: "I didn’t go to film school. I studied philosophy, which doesn’t lead to much in...
Posted by Indiewire

Comedy Central Renews Nick Kroll's Sketch Series 'Kroll Show'

"Kroll Show," the new sketch series from comedian Nick Kroll ("The League), has been a sizable enough hit after only two episodes for Comedy Central to order a second 10-episode season. According to the network's president of content development and original programming Kent Alterman, this was practically a medical decision: "Nick plays his characters with such comedic conviction, it's become obvious he has a serious personality disorder. We hope another season will help him discover who he really is." The show, which is executive produced and written by Kroll, John Levenstein ("Arrested Development") and Jonathan Krisel ("Portlandia"), has been a success with Comedy Central's target male demographic. It features Kroll playing multiple characters, including some he first used in his stand-up act, like would-be entrepreneur and ladies' man Bobby Bottleservice. First season guest stars have...
Posted by Indiewire

Project of the Day: 'Looking at the Stars' Tells the Story of a Brazilian Ballet School for the Blind

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.   "Looking at the Stars"   Tweetable Logline: Documentary about a ballet school for the blind in Brazil. Elevator Pitch: "Looking at the Stars" is a documentary about the first and only Ballet school for the blind, located in São Paulo, Brazil. The ballet for the blind program began 16 years ago and is used as a reference all over the world.  Last year they performed at the Paralympics closing ceremony in London. This year the school will perform their biggest production to date, “Sleeping Beauty.” The filmmakers are going to Brazil to film the performance and rehearsals. Production Team: Director: Alexandre Peralta Producers: Katrelle Kindred, Alexis Morrell and...
Posted by Indiewire

From ARRI Alexa to Sony HVR: What the 2013 Sundance Filmmakers Shot On

When Indiewire asked filmmakers to respond to a set of questions before their arrival at Park City earlier this month, included in that list of questions was one about what cameras were used to shoot each Sundance film.  READ MORE: Proving You Don't Need to Go to Film School to Make It: A List of Film Schools 2013 Sundance Directors Attended We've compiled the information in a list of the filmmakers' responses for those that are curious.  Many films have used more than one camera, so to find all cameras listed for a film, we recommend doing a search of this page for the title through your browser. Information below is that supplied by the filmmakers lenses used are not always identified, but we include when they were. Not surprisingly, the ARRI Alexa, Canon 5D, the RED Cameras and Sony EX3 and F3 were some of the most popular choices. Apple iPhone: "American Promise" ARRI Alexa: "Blue Caprice" ...
Posted by Indiewire
More Posts Next page »