May 2013 - Posts

How 'Hannibal' Earns Its Violence By Engaging Our Fears About Watching

There are shows on the air with higher body counts, from the constant string of corpses being shuffled through "C.S.I." to the frequent offings in "The Following" and the hack-and-slashery of "Game of Thrones," but for my dollars, there's no small screen violence more disturbing than that of "Hannibal," the excellent "Silence of the Lambs" prequel series created by Bryan Fuller. It's not the amount of gore in the show so much as the imagination that goes into it -- that Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) frequently cooks up human offal into fussy, exquisite-looking dishes he serves to his unknowing guests is really the least of it. People have had the skin on their back flayed and suspended on hooks like wings, have been buried alive to serve as mushroom beds, have had their throats cut open and their vocal chords treated so that they could be played like a cello. One particularly haunting scene had the child of a killer realizing her father had been using all of the parts of his...
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Here Are Indiewire's Top 10 Articles of the Week: Cannes Awards Winners, Directors Respond to Critics, 'Behind the Candelabra' and More

After months of anticipation leading up to the event, the 2013 Cannes Film Festival finally reached its conclusion with its awards reception last Sunday, with Abdellatif Kechiche's "Blue is the Warmest Color" taking home the highly coveted Palme d'Or. Even with "Blue"'s expected win, the final week of the festival was not without a fair share of controversy, as many highly anticipated premieres were met with middling responses and some award winners (Kechiche's included) were heavily criticized upon their wins. Meanwhile, we took a look at this year's impressively gay Cannes, the reaction and source material surrounding the release of Stephen Soderbergh's "Behind the Candelabra," and Joe Swanberg's just-announced Lena Dunham and Anna Kendrick starring Christmas film. Take a look at all of these stories and more below as we take a look at the ten most viewed news, interviews and features from this week at Indiewire: 'Blue is the Warmest Color' Wins the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes...
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Watch: 'Before Midnight' Lovers Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke Have a Very Important Message For Cinemagoers

Don't you just hate it when someone checks their phone during a movie, or worse, answers a call? Well, so does Julie Delpy. In a hilarious new PSA courtesy of the Alamo Drafthouse theater chain, "Before Midnight" stars Delpy and Ethan Hawke get creative in their plea to tell you to turn your phone off before a movie. In the midst of what appears to be a scene from the third film in the "Before Sunrise" series, the two gab on as their characters do, before Delpy just can't take it anymore and breaks the fourth wall to cuss out (in French, no less) someone on the phone. Funny stuff.  The Drafthouse is big on their no-texting rule.  They made a hilarious PSA after an irate customer called them after getting kicked out and have enlisted stars like James Franco before the "Before Midnight" duo to explain why texting at the movies is so annoying. "Before Midnight" is now in theaters. Watch the PSA below:
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Trailer of the Week: Hugh Jackman Puts Down the Claws and Gets Serious for 'Prisoners'

Before the Trailer, We Thought: Quebec filmmaker Denis Villeneuve came to substantial acclaim and recognition with his 2010 film "Incendies," about a pair of Canadian twins who work to uncover the secrets behind their recently deceased mother's experiences in a Middle Eastern country's civil war, which garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. "Prisoners" marks his first feature film to be released since "Incendies" (although another project is currently in post-production), and it is a definite change of pace as this sees him tackling an American production for the first time, not to mention one with a cast of this star power. Which brings us to Hugh Jackman. We've gotten used to seeing him in roles that one would characterize as being larger than life, whether he's sporting claws and battling mutants as Marvel superhero Wolverine in the "X-Men" and "Wolverine" spinoff franchises, or showing off his vibrato by belting out show tunes near the French...
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Watch: Comedian Jim Norton and Jezebel's Lindy West Debate the Ethics of Rape Jokes on 'Totally Biased'

FX's late night series "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell" has been finding a rhythm for itself with topical jokes and interesting interview choices that aren't afraid to venture into politics and race. The show returned from hiatus earlier this month and last night offered up one of its most interesting segments yet by inviting comedian Jim Norton and Jezebel staff writer Lindy West to debate a subject that's been a favorite of media discussions lately -- what things are off limits when it comes to comedy and, specifically, the ethics of rape jokes. READ MORE: W. Kamau Bell Talks 'Totally Biased,' Learning to Speak Talk Show Host and the Best Places to Be a Black Hipster Only five minutes of the "first edition of comic versus feminist" conversation made it into the show, but FX has posted the full version online, and you can watch it below. It's a civil debate that's worth a look -- unlike the comments on the video on YouTube, which are even uglier than normal, and all...
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Want to Do Research on the Future in Film Financing, Distribution or Marketing? Apply for NYU's Cinema Research Fellowships

NYU's Cinema Research Institute has just announced that they are now accepting applications for their 2014 calendar year fellowships. READ MORE: NYU's Art-and-Commerce Research Institute Gives Fellowship to Two 'Beasts' Producers and Two More The CRI fellowships are $25,000 each and the CRI will be giving out up to five fellowships for 2014.Examining independent film finance, production, and distribution models on a national and/or global scale for film, television, and other media;Developing innovative solutions pertaining to a specific film finance, production, or distribution problem;Demonstrating a proof of concept in new film finance, production, or distribution; orBuild on existing research developed by previous CRI fellows. The applications for 2014 CRI fellowships are due by June 14, 2013 and can be found at the CRI website here.
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When Should You Post Your Film Online If You Want to Get Into Festivals and Win Oscars?

When the people behind the website Short of the Week spoke to filmmakers about posting short films online, they found that most filmmakers didn't know that some of the most prestigious film festivals, Sundance among them, actually consider films that have premiered online before the festival. Short of the Week did the research to find out if Sundance was the trailblazing outsider or if other fests also didn't give a damn if you wanted to share your films with audiences on YouTube, Vimeo and the like.  They found that two thirds of the top fests for shorts they researched indeed don't care. One thing they did turn up was that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences requires films to premiere online after qualifying for the short film Oscars by winning at a qualifying festival. Check out the complete, searchable list at Short of the Week, and read what they've found when they did the research.
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Drafthouse Films Acquires Cannes Entry 'Borgman' for U.S. Distribution

Fresh off of its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, "Borgman" has been picked up for U.S. distribution by Drafthouse Films. The distribution wing of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin announced earlier today that it has acquired the Dutch thriller and is planning a U.S. theatrical and VOD/digital release for 2014. "Maybe once a year, I am deluged after a premiere with texts and emails to the effect of 'this is such a Drafthouse movie,'" says Drafthouse Films founder and CEO Tim League, “its strange, disturbing, hysterical and utterly unique. 'Borgman' is THE quintessential Drafthouse film of Cannes. We can't wait to share it with audiences in North America."  The film follows the title character, a mysterious bedraggled wanderer who arrives at the house of an upper-class family asking for a bath. The intensity escalates as Borgman is taken in by them and begins aggressively inserting himself into their lives. The film's darkly comic and off-kilter tone...
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Watch: 'The Art of Steadicam' Highlights Virtuoso Camerawork

The Steadicam shot has become so ubiquitous in modern movies that it is easy to take it for granted.  Aaron Sorkin owes the Steadicam for his trademark walk-and-talk scenes, and it's allowed us to follow some of our favorite film characters across some of the most beautiful vistas. It's easy to not give full consideration to the thought and skill that is required to pull off such intricate and sustained camerawork. Refocused Media, a Texas-based media company that specialized in creating film and photography, has put together a compilation of various examples of Steadicam shots in films. The 10-minute video touches on some of the most iconic uses of Steadicam cinematography in film, such as Danny riding around the Overlook Hotel on his bike in "The Shining" and Henry Hill walking with Karen through the Copacabana nightclub in "Goodfellas," as well as less obvious examples like Scully booking it down a hallway during an episode of "The X-Files." Watching "The Art of Steadicam,"...
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Exclusive: Haunting Black and White Poster for Whale Documentary 'Blackfish'

Indiewire is pleased to announce the premiere of the poster for "Blackfish." Having premiered at Sundance earlier this year, the documentary examines orcas, or "killer whales," and the dichotomous nature of how our society perceives them as both beautiful creatures to watch perform in sea parks as well as vicious killers. "Blackfish" includes interviews with experts and trainers as well as explorations of the sea-park industry and the cruel treatment of orcas in captivity. Magnolia Pictures is set to release "Blackfish" on July 19. Go here for Indiewire's glowing review.
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The 15 Shows, Doc Series and Original Movies You Should Watch This Summer

The traditional television season is over and we're now in glorious summer -- but what was once a TV dead zone full of reruns and disposable reality fare freeing people to actually go outside is now packed with new and returning series and docs (not to mention the season finales of "Game of Thrones" on June 9 and "Mad Men" on June 23). Hell, all that sun is bad for your skin anyway -- here's a guide to what's on this summer. HBO's Summer Doc Series: June 10-August 12, HBO HBO has a new documentary every Monday night this summer, starting with Sundance selection "*** Riot: A Punk Prayer" on June 10 and ending with "Americans in Bed" on August 12. Being HBO, many of the films are fresh from festival premieres and come from major directors like Nina Davenport, Josh Fox and Liz Garbus. Check out the lineup. "Futurama": June 19-September 4, Comedy Central The 13 episodes this summer will represent a last hurrah for Matt Groening's animated sci-fi comedy, which has been bounced...
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Vote for Project of the Week! Will It Be 'Lily,' 'Unsolved,' 'Air Sex' or 'Kickstartered'?

Vote below for this week's Project of the Week. The winning filmmaker will receive a digital distribution consultation from SnagFilms and will become a candidate for Project of the Month. That winner will be awarded with a creative consultation from the fine folks at the Tribeca Film Institute! The four projects up for the prize:  "Lily & Kat," "Unsolved," "Air Sex Championships: Making Love Out of Nothing At All" and  "Kickstarted." Voting will end on Monday June 3, at 11AM Eastern. Note:  Votes are confirmed by email.  After voting, please look for an email from Poll Daddy and confirm your vote.  Indiewire nor PollDaddy use your email address after the confirmation, but if you do want to sign up for our newsletter, why DON'T you mosey on over here and do so! Which Project Do You Most Want to See?
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The 10 Indies to Watch on VOD This June

With summer soon upon us (the season officially kicks off June 21), can you think of anything better to do during the hot, sweaty months than stay inside a cool air conditioned space and catch up on some must see indies via VOD? To help you figure out what to watch, we've compiled a list of the 10 best indies to watch on VOD this month. Included are everything from a creepy, noir-inspired thriller starring the ever reliable Toby Jones, to a hard-R stylized Viking epic, to the terrifying sequel to "V/H/S," to Alex Gibney's latest acclaimed and very topical documentary. Below are the 10 indies to watch this June, in alphabetical order. "Berberian Sound Studio" (June 14) After making an almost yearlong international run through various festivals, this Toby Jones-starring, noir-inspired thriller is finally ready to be unveiled to the general public June 14. Jones ("Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy") stars as Gilderoy, a sound engineer working in an Italian horror studio whose life verges a...
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'We Are What We Are' Director Jim Mickle and Jorge Michel Grau Discuss Remakes, Sequels and Why Their Movies Aren't Really About Cannibals

Horror remakes are nothing new, but "We Are What We Are" is something different. Jim Mickle, whose "Stake Land" brought an evocative feel to a post-apocalyptic vampire story that garnered comparisons to Terrence Malick, was hardly selling out by taking the opportunity to remake "Somos lo que hay," the acclaimed horror drama from Mexican director Jorge Michel Grau. In Grau's 2010 film, a family of Mexican cannibals deal with mounting suspicions of their antics. Mickle's version, which premiered at Sundance's midnight section before traveling to Cannes, transplants the action to upstate New York, but that's not the only change. In his version, a pair of daughters cope with their psychotic father and other mounting problems that endanger their secret lifestyle. Mickle's creepy approach has paid off: "We Are What We Are" was picked up for distribution by Anchor Bay, which plans to release the movie this summer. Meanwhile, the producers have planned to turn "We Are What We Are" into a...
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Nicolas Winding Refn On the Tepid Cannes Reaction to 'Only God Forgives' and Why His Second Time at the Festival Was Like 'Going to the Office'

Few films at Cannes this year were more anticipated than Nicolas Winding Refn's follow-up to "Drive," the ultra-violent pic that netted him the Best Director award at the festival in 2011. Acquired by RADiUS-TWC prior to the festival, "Only God Forgives" had two things going for it that made "Drive" such a blistering success -- a score courtesy of the ever surprising and reliable Cliff Martinez and Ryan Gosling in lead duty -- in addition to a cast-against-type Kristin Scott Thomas and a colorful Bangkok setting. And yet despite all these enticing ingredients, the film didn't go over so well with the critics upon its first screening at Cannes, garnering audible boos and a mild spatter of applause. Indiewire's Eric Kohn, a fan of "Drive," went so far as to say in his review, "Refn stages each scene with the self-serious bleakness of a Robert Bresson picture, but applies such a cheap, one-note premise that his air quote approach to art house aesthetics reeks of student film...
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