With most spring festivals moving out of the way, this week’s main focus was on the filmmakers, with one of film’s most controversial filmmakers returning with a new poster, while another prepared to exit in grand fashion with one of film’s most inspiring speeches in some time. And with the doors now closed of 2013’s Tribeca Film Festival, we asked many critics to name their favorite films from the festival, with some excitingly varied responses. Additionally, Melissa Joan Hart launched a Kickstarter campaign to mixed results, “Mud,” debuted to excellent numbers in a large limited release, and Winona Ryder talked about the past, present, and future of her career in an exclusive interview.
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:
Lars von Trier Titillates and Provokes With First ‘Nymphomaniac’ Poster
Never one to eschew controversy, famed Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier returned this week with the first poster for what promises to be one of his most controversial films yet, “Nymphomaniac.” The poster chooses to present the film’s tale of a women’s erotic life with a… let’s call it minimalist representation of what’s sure to be one of the film’s biggest points of focus. Whether controversial for it’s own sake or representative of something greater, it’s an undeniably eye-catching release.
Read the Full Transcript of Steven Soderbergh’s Impassioned ‘State of Cinema’ Address From the San Francisco Film Festival
While the audience at Soderbergh’s heavily anticipated “State of Cinema” address was asked to hold off recording of any kind, it didn’t take long for it to hit the web in audio and written form. Filled with passion and fueled by anger, Soderbergh discusses the separation between studio-driven and artistic-driven filmmaking, citing and congratulating filmmakers like Shane Carruth for their artistic visions. It’s an impassioned and inspiring speech on what has and continues to make cinema great, and necessary reading for any fan of the medium.
Not too surprisingly, video of Soderbergh’s address hit just a few hours later. Rarely looking at his notes and consistently engaging the audience, Soderbergh has one hell of an engaging presence on stage, complimenting the beauty of his words significantly. Simply put, it’s a great watch.
With the first official month of summer, we have posted the first of four monthly summer must-see lists with our 10 indie films to see in theatres this May, and this month offers quite the selection for potential film-goers. From the long-anticipated release of Richard Linklater’s second sequel “Before Midnight” to Noah Baumbach’s delightful Greta Gerwig collaboration “Frances Ha,” there’s a little bit for everyone this month beyond the normal barrage of summer blockbusters that the season brings.
But while there are many options in theaters this month, just as many indies and festival favorites are seeing releases on VOD this month, with us offering our 10 favorites. Genre-hopping master Ben Wheatley’s hilarious “Kill List” follow-up “Sightseers,” “Something In The Air,” from the prolific Olivier Assayas, and Shane Carruth’s long-awaited and praised second feature “Upstream Color,” among many other high profile releases will all be released throughout the month, providing as many reasons to stay at home as there are to go out to the theatres this month.
With New York’s Tribeca Film Festival over, we reached out to many critics who attended the festival and asked for their views on the best films to show this year. While it is normally expected for wrap-up polls such as this to feature a selection of two-three films unanimously declared as the best the festival has to offer, this year’s Tribeca program gave a very different response, with many critics singling out entirely different films and rarely agreeing beyond 2013 festival standouts like “Before Midnight.” Whether it speaks to the varied nature of the festival or the differences in the critics attending, it’s a welcome change of pace for festival criticism.
With Zach Braff and Kristen Bell release two of the highest profile Kickstarter campaigns in the company’s history, now more than ever seems to be the time for celebrities to jump on the crowd-sourcing bandwagon and finance their passion projects. But when Melissa Joan Hart, famous for her role in “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” released a Kickstarter recently launched a Kickstarter for her new star vehicle, few seemed to notice. While Braff received his fair share of criticism about his use of celebrity for his campaign, Hart’s has pushed these boundaries even further and offered a definitive argument against the existence of such opportunistic pitches, showing a side much different from the massive successes that take up the headlines.
Throughout Winona Ryder’s 26-year career, her career has seen many drastic transformations, and with her co-starring role in “The Iceman,” just about to be released theatrically, we have republished our 18-minute interview with her from the film’s premiere at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Ryder spent equal time reflecting on her career, discussing her upcoming co-starring role in “The Iceman” alongside Michael Shannon, as well as giving some perhaps surprising advice to those looking into the business. In the end, it was clear she was excited about the next stages of her oft-muted career, and it’s great to have her back.
With one of the best and one of the worst limited openings of the year, it was a fascinating week for the specialty box office. Roadside Attractions’ decision to open Jeff Nichols’ “Mud” on 363 screens was a gamble, even with a starring role from Matthew McConaughey, but with a gross of over $2 million and a per-screen average of $6,022, the film’s debut was a massive success for everyone involved. Meanwhile, the Zac Efron-starring “At Any Price,” wasn’t so lucky, only grossing $16, 574 in 4 theatres while “Kon Tiki” and “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” both managed per-screen averages above $10,000.
Last week Toronto’s International documentary festival Hot Docs began its 20th year, with screenings, conferences, and forums, including a Master Class taught by Cinetic Media-founder John Sloss. Sloss has worked in the sale and financing of documentaries for over 30 years, opening his class by stating that film distribution has never been “at a more dynamic transitional period.” The next 90 minutes were spent discussing how to secure and offer distribution in the digital age, with our own Peter Knegt covering the 10 most important points addressed during the Master Class.