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Weekly indieWIRE Clicks: The Best News, Reviews & Features

Weekly indieWIRE Clicks: The Best News, Reviews & Features

This week on indieWIRE Richard Linklater chatted about his latest in Los Angles, Emma Roberts pitted indie vs. studio projects, Elvis Mitchell found a new gig and much more.

News

The Weinstein Company announced that it acquired U.S. rights to Madonna’s “W.E.” The film – rumored to be heading to the Venice Film Festival at the end of the summer – spans six decades, juxtaposing a contemporary love story with that of King Edward VIII and American divorcée Wallis Simpson. More here.

Sony Classics acquired the U.S. rights to David Cronenberg’s much-anticipated “A Dangerous Method.” The film – which stars Viggo Mortenson, Keira Knightley, Michael Fassbender, and Vincent Cassel – is a biopic of the relationship between Dr. Jung (Fassbender), Sigmund Freud (Mortenson) and an unbalanced woman that comes between them (Knightley). The film is heavily rumoured to be premiering in Venice and Toronto come September. Sony Classics had previously released Cronenberg’s “Spider.”

Capitalizing on the Webby Awards’ five-word speech acceptance rule, Dan Savage, creator of the “It Gets Better Project,” gave comedian Tracy Morgan a piece of his mind.

Werner Herzog lent his voice to Adam Mansbach and Ricardo Cortés’ infamous children’s book “Go the F**k to Sleep.” His reading debuted this week at the New York Public Library.

This ain’t no dream. David Lynch’s cult, mind-fuck classic “Mulholland Drive” has inspired Lynch to open a Parisian nightclub, Club Silencio, inspired by a key location in arguably the most bracing scene from the film. Click here for more on the club.

North American rights to “The Family Tree” by Vivi Friedman have been picked up Entertainment One. The film, starring Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney, Max Thieriot, Brittany Robertson and Chi McBride will open August 26th in New York and Los Angeles followed by release via home video, VOD, digital and TV.

The Seattle International Film Festival completed its 37th year with an awards ceremony at the Space Needle this week, where it announced the Competition and Golden Space Needle Audience Awards.

Relativity Media will handle the North American distribution of Steven Soderbergh’s action thriller “Haywire,” starring martial arts superstar Gina Carano, Channing Tatum, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender and Antonio Banderas. Relativity also dated the film: January 20, 2012. For the full press release, click here.

The Nantucket Film Festival has added Jerry Seinfeld and Colin Quinn to this year’s All-Star Comedy Roundtable presented by Ben Stiller, with Seth Meyers hosting and Aziz Ansari also participating. More here.

Next month indieWIRE turns 15 and we’re hosting a series of screenings in New York to celebrate. With the help of Rooftop Films, Sundance hit “Bellflower” will make its New York premiere as our anniversary centerpiece July 15. Check out the just-released trailer and full lineup of events here.

Fox Searchlight got David Fincher and Christopher Nolan—two directors at the top of the Hollywood food chain—to explain why they admire Terrence Malick and his The Tree of Life. The movie has to be a must-see for any film buff, but Searchlight is pushing to get smart cinephile fans of Inception and The Social Network to give it a whirl. Anne Thompson weighs in.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul, winner of the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes for “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Loves,” will head the jury for the Venice Film Festival’s Orizzonti (Horizons) sidebar. The section focuses on cutting edge international cinema. Weerasethakul competed in the festival’s main section back in 2006 with “Syndromes and a Century.” Click here for more.

Buried in the lineup for the 46th Annual Karlovy Vary Film Festival was an announcement that John Malkovich will hold a fashion show for Technobohemian, his “nontraditional” men’s clothing line, using top Czech actors as his catwalk models. For more go here.

Ben Affleck will next step in the director’s chair to helm the Hollywood remake of the 2006 French thriller “Tell No One,” according to The Playlist. Go to Thompson on Hollywood for Anne Thompson’s analysis.

Just two years after dramatically altering tradition by expanding its best-picture lineup from five to 10, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has thrown another curve ball by voting to allow “between five and 10 nominees in the 2011 Best Picture competition.” Want Peter Knegt’s thoughts on the whole affair? Go here.

Reviews

In case you’re living under a rock, the hopeful blockbuster “Green Lantern” opens wide this week. Word is it’s not worth your green. Check out what is by having a look at all the reviews published this week on indieWIRE and our Blog Network.

“Richard Linklater’s “Bernie” is an oddly endearing love letter to Southern eccentricities that calls to mind no less than his iconic “Slacker,”” wrote Eric Kohn in his review of the LAFF opening night film. “However, the comparison ends there: With its purposefully naive sense of self-mockery, “Bernie” is a shape-shifting genre vehicle set apart from anything else in Linklater’s career. There’s a loose sensibility to this mockumentary—mysterious comedy? comedic mystery? It’s tough to categorize as anything beyond an enjoyable experience.”

Kohn got a chance to catch the Sundance award-winning documentary “Buck” and liked what he saw. “Buck Brannaman, the subject of Cindy Meehl’s engaging documentary profile “Buck,” has a warm presence and knows how to tame horses better than anyone else,” he wrote in his review. “That’s the simplest encapsulation of the movie’s thesis, although the subtext runs much deeper than that. Beaten by his demanding father as a child and eventually sent to a foster home, Brannaman turned to horses for catharsis and found something even better: The ability to save innocent beings from never-ending turmoil. He doesn’t simply like the animals; he relates to them.”

Kohn also showered love upon this week’s other high profile documentary, Andrew Rossi’s “Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times. “Turning his cameras to the inner circle of editorial decision-making at the proverbial paper of record, Rossi delves into the lively debates about old-new media tensions within the context of the reportorial focus of the Times’ media desk, which was launched in 2008,” Eric Kohn reviews. “The result is a cogent, provocative portrait of the intellectual process behind conventional newsmaking and the forces opposed to it.”

Features

Speaking of “Buck,” it came in second in this week’s Critical Consensus column. Click here to see what came out on on top.

Every day this week, we’ve highlighted projects in the works seeking support from people like you. Click here to see the four profiled this week.

While studios bemoan the fate of 3D, Sundance Selects and Werner Herzog are celebrating it. Now in its eighth weekend of release, “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”—an exploration of never-before-seen art in caves in Southern France—has crossed the $4 million mark, making it Herzog’s highest-grossing documentary ever and 2011’s top grossing doc by far (it’s also on track to become one of the 25 highest grossing docs ever). Click here to learn how it happened.

Entering its third year, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) continues its intention of bringing many of the strongest sleeper hits of the American film festival circuit to appreciative crowds in Brooklyn. Click here for the 5 must-see films at this year’s BAMcinemaFest (as picked by Eric Kohn).

This week on Small Screens, indieWIRE’s DVD/Blu-ray and VOD column Melanie Laurent picks up an instrument, a class of German students take an experiment too far, Nicolas Roeg gets the Criterion treatment and more. Click here for this week’s picks.

With the International Documentary Association doing battle with the IRS, it’s easy to believe only documentary filmmakers face the threat of their films being considered hobbies—and therefore nonprofit activities. Read the full story.

The Los Angeles Film Festival may invite the presumption of a Hollywood affair as a result of its location, but there’s no question that the ten-day event puts its filmmakers ahead of the commercial glamour. Richard Linklater opens the the Film Independent-produced gathering on Thursday night with his black comedy “Bernie,” starring Jack Black. The closing night selection, the horror movie “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” boasts Guillermo Del Toro as a producer (Del Toro also serves as the festival’s guest director). In between, LAFF hosts more than 200 films, in addition to conversations with specials guests and industry panels under the moniker “Money Talks & Art Matters.” Click here for Eric Kohn’s take.

Like the headline says, the following is the (fiercely held) opinion of one Lloyd Kaufman, founder of Troma Films. His most recent book, “Sell Your Own Damn Movie!” is now available in paperback. More here.

Of the 20 films that screened in official competition, twelve have now found homes with U.S. distributions.

Woodstock Film Festival has established itself on the U.S. fest circuit as an impressive regional event that has attracted important independent industry execs and stars alike. Headed by co-founder Meira Blaustein, Woodstock also comes together with the efforts of animation programmer Signe Baumane and shorts programmer (and co-founder) Laurent Rejto. Check them out here.

Documentary funnyman (and Academy Award nominee) Morgan Spurlock dolled out advice to a packed house of documentary filmmakers over the weekend at the Sheffield Doc/Fest. Check out his secrets on how to make it in the business.

At 84, veteran documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles (“Grey Gardens,” “Gimme Shelter”) has lost none of his spark. At the Sheffield Doc/Fest, which wrapped this weekend, Maysles accepted the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award. Highlights here.

Full disclosure: The Indiewire staff has a significant Canadian population. And in defense of our over-exuberant friends in Vancouver, where all hell broke loose after the Boston Bruins took home the Stanley Cup Wednesday night, we decided to lighten the mood and share our picks for the five worst hockey movies of all time.

Interviews

Just to get it out of the way, yes 20-year old starlet Emma Roberts has connections. As the daughter of Eric Roberts and niece of auntie Julia, it almost seems predestined that Roberts chose the same profession as her famous family members (that and she’s a looker). indieWIRE caught up with her for the release of her new film “The Art of Getting By.”

Reverend horse trainer and real-life cowboy Buck Brannaman is used to a busy, road tripping lifestyle. For three decades in clinics all over the U.S., Brannaman has taught horse owners what is commonly referred to as ‘natural horsemanship’: a philosophy of working with horses based on understanding how horses think and communicate. Now with the release of Cindy Meehl’s documentary on his life and troubled childhood, “Buck” Brannaman is busier (and bound to become more popular) than ever. indieWIRE caught up with Brannaman in New York to discuss why he agreed to take part in “Buck” and what life is like under a camera lens.

Richard Linklater was in a jovial mood at the after party for “Bernie,” his new black comedy that opened the L.A. Film Festival on Thursday. The movie, a mockumentary in the vein of Christopher Guest, stars Jack Black as a cheery mortician who raises the suspicions of a small Texas town. Following its first public screening, reactions from the audience were widely positive. Stepping away from the crowd for a brief chat with indieWIRE, Linklater opened up about his inspiration for the new project and why – unlike longtime friend Steven Soderbergh – he has no plans to retire.

David Robert Mitchell made a tender and sweet coming-of-age story that has given the young writer/director some nice attention. His first feature, “The Myth of the American Sleepover”, had its world debut at the SXSW Film Festival last year where it received a special jury prize for Best Ensemble Cast. indieWIRE speaks to Mitchell about the film’s New York premiere at this weekend’s Northside Festival.

Dana Harris caught up with friend Elvis Mitchell, the newly appointed curator for the Film Independent/Los Angeles County Museum of Art film series that begins this fall. Click here to read how it all went down.

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