Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Eric Kohn
July 22, 2011 2:41 AM
31 Comments
  • |

The Polish Bros. and Joe Swanberg: Can Streaming Sustain Anything More Than Small Success Stories?

A steamy scene from IFC Midnight's "Autoerotic"

A little over 18 years ago, when video on demand meant you were driving to Blockbuster and no red envelopes carried DVDs to millions of mailboxes around the country, the first movie arrived on the internet.

The honor belonged to a peculiar avant-garde creation called "Wax, or the Discovery of Television by Bees." A dazzlingly erratic, non-linear science fiction narrative by video artist David Blair, the 86-minute work premiered in a minuscule computer laboratory in CBS's midtown Manhattan headquarters. It was transmitted from a VCR to a primordial online network, M-BONE, which transmitted the work to roughly 20 technical centers around the world.

Watching the movie from a Sun Microsystems lab in Mountain View, California, a New York Times reporter noted that the images were drained of color, the audio frequently cut out and the frame rate was downright awful. No computer at the time had the ability to compress video at its original speed.

Nevertheless, the Times writer recognized the experiment's larger significance: "Coming as companies in the cable TV, television and computer industries are hot on the trail of 500-channel, all-digital TV, let history record that [this] night marked the first baby steps in that direction."

As it turned out, "Wax" proved to be less of a sea change and more of a model unto itself: The internet has proven itself amenable to the needs of marginalized cinema and little else. Ironically, a vast, intangible digital landscape of endless innovation provides the ideal setting for the smallest stories.

Subsequent attempts to stream a movie online ahead of its theatrical release included the Parker Posey vehicle "Party Girl" (broadcast as an experiment during the 1995 Seattle International Film Festival ). A dozen years later, Edward Burns made headlines by choosing to premiere his romantic comedy "Purple Violets" on iTunes; the following year, Wayne Wang's "The Princess of Nebraska" debuted on YouTube. These releases were treated as curiosities of evolving technology that sampled a future that felt uncomfortable.

Last week, directors Mark and Michael Polish released their no-budget black-and-white romance "For Lovers Only" on iTunes. The movie arrived entirely under the radar, with only co-star Stana Katic spreading the word through her Twitter feed. That word-of-mouth meshed with relatively low competition on iTunes and the promise of being a good date movie for a fraction the cost of a single theater ticket. "For Lovers Only" rapidly climbed the list of iTunes' top downloads andaccording to Steve Pond at The Wrap, has grossed at least $200,000 as a result.

Since traditional production and distribution costs were absent from the equation, it's unlikely that "For Lovers Only" will give rise to many imitators. A lavish two-hander more loaded with unabashed Francophilia than Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris," the 83-minute feature is so quiet and understated that it barely exists. The screenplay follows a soul-searching photographer (Mark Polish) and an equally distant ghostwriter (Katic) whose ill-fated relationship gets a second chance when they bump into each other during mutual trips abroad. Both married and disillusioned, the characters quickly rekindle their romance and travel the countryside in an expressive voyage with the silky texture of a first-rate car commercial.

Michael Polish's high-contrast cinematography mixes nicely with erratic New Wave editing schemes that heighten the characters' fragile romantic yearning. It looks like the filmmakers enjoyed making the movie, but that comes at the expense of giving it any lasting value.

Despite media curiosity suggesting the contrary, "For Lovers Only" doesn't arrive in a particularly new fashion. Instead, it reinforces the idea of digital distribution as a no-man's-land for anything but the most obscure and usually disposable works. However, that's hardly a put-down; "disposable" cinema in this context actually has aesthetic criteria of its own.

Which is why a filmmaker like Joe Swanberg, a supremely prolific director just shy of his 30th birthday, has managed to thrive in the age of online video. His latest release (but not his latest product, as Swanberg always seems to have another feature in the can by the time one of them opens) blatantly reflects the terse nature of 21st century narratives. Exploring the awkward sexual tensions that now define the Swanberg brand, the movie takes the form of an anthology containing four interlocking stories, some more compelling than others. Titled "Autoerotic" and co-directed with Adam Wingard, the movie snuck onto VOD via IFC Midnight this week and opens at New York's IFC Center today.

Devoid of stars (unless the names Frank V. Ross or Amy Seimetz mean something to you; they should, but that's another story) and replete with predominantly non-titillating developments that include autoerotic asphyxiation and vagina molding, "Autoerotic" could never find a welcome audience in wide release. Yet from the looks of it, Swanberg and his IFC cohorts have another hit ready-made for an unconventional release. It's not breaking news that innumerable cable browsers have a predilection for on-demand options laced with sex. It also doesn't hurt that the movie begins with the letter "A," putting it at the top of most users' lists.

DIY aficionados delight in calling up the fantasy that the successes of films like "Autoerotic" and "For Lovers Only" cause studio executives to emit a collective sigh of envy. The reality is box-office dollars generally substantiate the old-fashioned approach of traditional distribution for mainstream fare. If the final "Harry Potter" crept into digital release, it wouldn't justify the massive costs involved in making the thing in the first place. But that also applies to mid-sized productions, not all of which can be as lucky as the Polish brothers and rely on a cast member's Twitter feed to replace advertising costs. Technology may sustain the illusion of instant change, but cinema at large continues to trickle along, one movie at a time.

You might also like:

31 Comments

  • László Harsányi | August 8, 2011 5:52 AMReply

    albert: Precisely where is For Lovers Only fails to attract receptive audience? Being in the top ten in both the Romantic and the Indie movies on the US iTunes chart, reaching the #17 position on the Top100 chart - is it a failure? I perfectly understood that the referred movies were made with the purpose of attracting a well defined target group. FLO didn't target the same one.

    "it reinforces the idea of digital distribution as a no-man’s-land for anything but the most obscure and usually disposable works." This is a statement of the writer but it is simply not true. DD can be used for other kind of movies as well - For Lovers Only is the example.

  • albert | July 29, 2011 4:51 AMReply

    László: The film industry is changing radically in many directions and your observation above show me that you simply missed the central points in the article: Meaning that extreme scenes created with the purpose of attracting audience require receptivity.In this movie fails,. The fact that the actors are not known is secondary. Your statement about the points yuo got from the article simply shows that you did not read it carefully enough.

  • László Harsányi | July 26, 2011 4:50 AMReply

    albert: the only general observations to characterize the success I found in the article were that 1) the Hollywood studio structure won't commit suicide because of this movie and 2) if you want to distribute your work only digitally, you should have a title starting with "A" and have plenty of explicit sex in it. The first observation is trivial and nobody thought it. The second is simply not true. With the wise use of the social media movies can be put through to their target audience with digital distribution - I think this is the general lesson what can be drawn from the success of FLO. It doesn't mean that you need a star in your cast, it means that building up a follower base before working can be as much part of an indie project in the future as hiring lamps. If there is only fifty thousand people who are interested in your work, previously you could not reached most of them without enormous expenses - now it is possible, it just requires taking care. That's the lesson if somebody looks this story without envy.

  • albert | July 24, 2011 7:34 AMReply

    The high number of comments directed towards the quality of the movie or its artistic content missed the important general point raised by the reviewer, which established a point regarding the economic strategy behind the release. I believe the comments above missed the important general observation regarding the need to characterize economic success.

  • László Harsányi | July 23, 2011 10:53 AMReply

    Dear Mr Kohn,

    You made two conclusions in the article: first, that digital releases are for the "obscure and usually disposable works" and these have to have a common special aesthetic (and Autoerotic has this while FLO hasn't), second, that For Lovers Only neither has a lasting value nor made anything new. I won't go into the topic why I find FLO a remarkable film - the comments before me covered its values. I would like to address the approach and the logic of the article.

    Regarding the first, it parctically goes backward, to justify the praises for Autoerotica and the blames to FLO. You say that as VOD-only movies are mostly those ones which are bought by the channels for the late-night-wanking audience THAT means that these movies has to follow a certain visual "aesthetic" (decoding: serve the most direct sexuality but with some "terse nature of 21st century narratives" on top, otherwise it would be simply porn). If a movie doesn't follow this imaginary aesthetic that must be meaningless - that's how I understand your evaluation.

    I have some bad news for you: the way of distribution isn't what defines the quality and aesthetic of a movie. The fact(?) that digital-release-only works are usually R-rated doesn't mean that this channel is good only for this - the example of FLO clearly shows the opposite. For Lovers Only will never fit into your late night aesthetics because it is not that kind of movie, that's why people love it and that's why it reached a much wider audience.

    Your other blame is that because the creators obviously loved making their movie, it can have no lasting value. Sorry, but are you serious, is it a personal experience? Because if yes it means that for you doing something with joy and enthusiasm necessarily results shit. Did you enjoy writing this article?

    Another thing is the "easy with a star" sequence completing with the silent accusation of the crowd that they don't know your favourites. First: why don't we know them, why Stana Katic has followers and they haven't? Twitter, Facebook, Youtube are open for everybody. At least once in a month there is a "sensation" that some nameless lame reached more than a million download with their youtube clip. It would probably surprise you as it flips the concept, but the number of Stana Katic's followers has almost tripled in a week AFTER the movie was released. It is very easy to say that "oh, she has followers". She is not on the cover of magazines, doesn't appear on scandal pages weekly, even a cheesy boyfriend story isn't published about her. She became popular in Castle on her own right, with her acting but kept her followers with her honesty and kindness - your favourites could copy it. Her fans were indeed instrumental initially as the first news and reviews of the movie were written by them. But it was never denied that these are fan reviews (contrary to your purely professional article), people treated them with a dish of salt. The success came from those thousands who after seeing the movie told about it to their friends and those were not her followers before.

    Second: I'm really tired of how lazy journalists are on their footwork. Stana Katic was asked for this role when "Castle" was on the brink of cancellation - just like the 80% of any new TV series of a season. Before that her name and face was practically unknown for the public. Saying that the Polish brothers asked her for her fame is saying that they know the winner of the 2012 Super Bowl. Maybe I should ask them, I could use some betting win.

    Your other conclusion is that the industry won't change because of this movie. I tell you a secret: it was never told. At least not by the Polish brothers. Mark and Michael Polish had made and will make movies through studios. In "The Wrap" interview Michael never mentioned anything that this will be the way everybody has to follow or that they are making a movie revolution. This is only a chance. They only proved that you CAN have a story what CAN be filmed without a big wad of cash in a technical quality what finally CAN be sold through official distribution channels. He was too humble to to mention the most important: you need talent. Talent to write something what can capture the imagination of the audience, talent to play it convincingly, talent to capture the moments in a way what people think memorable. For Lovers Only was never intended to be a milestone in movie making neither in story nor in art, it was clearly declared by the creators well before it was released. They wanted to make it as a hommage of a certain era of film. Maybe they are marketing geniuses as well, knowing in advance that people will love the simple story and the classic photography, I don't care as long as they do it in a captivating way.

  • Con | July 23, 2011 10:43 AMReply

    in the face of the resonance to this article you may wanna overthink and actually watch the movie before saying it doesn't have a lasting value. look around, the DESERVED support and love for this movie is so strong. it will always be. and i never get how it is relevant to the viewer how much a movie or the promotion cost. numbers don't have influence on if i enjoy a movie or not. i was really surprised when i heard about the budget but it doesn't change anything.. except that i admire them all more. i know FLO's beauty took my breath away in a way i don't remember a tons of dollars movie ever did. it touches the heart and really charms the eye. the acting is brilliant and real, they wouldn't even have to speak, you would still understand their feelings and story. and that is why i am glad it gets the attention it deserves, at least from all the people who appreciate beautiful films.

  • ket | July 23, 2011 10:13 AMReply

    you are wrong on many levels!!!please go and watch the movie again and make a valid decision dear!

  • Sandra | July 23, 2011 9:31 AMReply

    I am so tired of this infamous blockbuster era! Everything is about box office numbers, big names, high budgets and massive advertising. Most film studios and producers are so obsessed by financial numbers and the cry for special effects and the newest technologies by the mass audience that they obviously forgot what film-making is all about: story-telling!
    And For Lovers Only did what I expect from a good movie - it touched me in various ways, it went straight to my heart. And this is what money can´t buy. Mark Polish and Stana Katic are extraordinary in this little masterpiece of art, you can feel the passion they have for their work. And the promotion strategy is just brilliant and I am very proud to call myself a member of Stana Katic´s loyal fanbase. Quid pro quo! Maybe some day, even you, my dear author, will feel the spark...

  • Carmen | July 23, 2011 8:09 AMReply

    This movie is a beautiful film about the moment of LOVE! I have never watched a movie that touched my heart this deeply. The classic black/white picture is wonderful. Stana Katic and Mark Polish complete each other and bring the lovers, Yves and Sofia, to life! Kubilay Üners music completes the movie in a way you can only dream of. Kubi created a Main Theme which is recognizable and beautiful. The music itself is wonderful and touches your heart. In addition to the picture you feel like you can get totally lost in this masterpiece. Everyone who has been in love, will be in love and is in love will love with FOR LOVERS ONLY!

  • Luce | July 23, 2011 7:57 AMReply

    Did you actually watch the movie?? Because it seems that we have all seen For Lovers Only and you have seen something else. I really dont like movies, but i have seen FLO 8 times and i will watch it again, and that tells me alot. It s a love story that happens in life everyday.........
    For me it s a great movie, these day when we get bomberd with all the action movies that don t have a point in everydays life. FLO shows me that there is still hope for a love story that might happen. I reommend you watch the hole movie, because you wouldn t write something like this if you have seen it and understood it, or maybe you have never been in love. FLO may not be a movie loaded with money, but for me it s a film full of love and that is what matters. Money comes and goes, love stays forever.....

    And no matter what you say Michael and Mark Polish with Stana Katic have done a great job showing us what really matters these days.......it s Love, not Money.

  • angelcosta78 | July 23, 2011 7:39 AMReply

    I think I know what point you were trying to make when you started your article but I'm not sure you made as you seem to be quite the sycophant when it comes to Joe Swanberg (never heard of him by the way). You are not exactly comparing like for like here, Mark Polish choice to be experimental in the way that For Lovers Only was not only created but released. On the other had Autoerotic sounds like the type of movie that would HAVE to resort to streaming as it would never get a theatre release. For Lovers Only is a wonderful depiction of love, both the joys and the sorrows, that you just don't see all the time. It's a pity you hadn't done a bit more research as you would have discovered that the
    Polish Brothers are negotiating for a theatre release. When that happens perhaps you should go again (not sure you even saw it the first time) as you don't appear to have seen in For Lovers Only what the rest of us have.

  • Carmenina | July 23, 2011 7:04 AMReply

    And for all the readers who have become interested in For Lovers Only: What makes you want to watch the movie again and again is not only its open ending that leaves room for the imagination. It is also the familiarity of the story, two lovers' reunion and journey, that allows you to relate to the film and at the same time enjoy the portrayal of a moment of love that we do not witness in typical Hollywood blockbusters. The dialogues between the lovers, Sofia (Stana Katic) & Yves (Mark Polish), that seem to come naturally from these two rising acting stars, as well as distinct camera angles and movements (Michael Polish) contribute to creating an intimacy in the film that is hardly to be found in other movies these days. The romantic settings of Paris, Nizza and St. Tropez and classic musical compositions (Kubilay Üner) perfectly suit the movie's atmosphere. Don't miss the magic between Stana Katic and Mark Polish in this beautiful black and white aesthetics that is For Lovers Only!

  • Joanna | July 23, 2011 6:59 AMReply

    It isn't just because For Lovers Only was shot for $50K that makes it exceptional. It's the raw, intimate, voyeuristic peek into the inner workings of a limitless love that must function within temporal and geographic confines that makes it exceptional.

    The fact that it was shot with the same camera every soccer dad in Los Angeles totes around in his Crumpler allowed Michael Polish to disappear and let us believe the action was directed purely by two lovers at the peak of their blissful floaty-footed romance.

    I remember Before Sunrise being criticized for being "too talky" and too representative of the self-indulgence and self-importance of Generation X to be taken seriously or to have staying power. But that film still leaves viewers breathless, whether it's the first or fifteenth time seeing it.

    For Lovers Only was a beauty, my knees are still weak.

  • Julia_Ti | July 23, 2011 6:58 AMReply

    As it seems, film making is not about pure passion and a genius mind anymore. Everything seems to revolve around the big budgets and if doesn´t it is not "good enough"?

    For Lovers Only is the most beautiful, honest, sensitive, thoughtful and well written film i have seen for a very long time, if not ever. Mark and Michael Polish and Stana Katic in my opinion are truely artists with a soul which is rare nowadays and in For Lovers you see that soul, in every scence, in every dialogue. They adapted the "idea" of Love how it is: Beautiful, but painful all at once. It makes you think, it makes you wonder and before you realize, you fell in love. So the question is not: "....will give rise to many imitators”, the question is, Hollywood should be ready for some changes, cause it needed to be done. Do you think i still remember what happened in Jennifer Anistons "love-comedy"? No, because i don´t need to know. All the same.

    Thank you Mark, Michael, Stana and everyone who was involved for a film, which will always be in my heart. It moved me and thank you for reminding the world that Love can be possible lives from simplicity and passion! Cheers, Julia

  • Carmenina | July 23, 2011 6:54 AMReply

    Thanks for pointing out once more how big business Hollywood is really working! It's all about money: spending millions of dollars for paying actors, production costs, promotion and whatsoever. A shame and in most cases: a WASTE of money! The fact that For Lovers Only has been produced with no-budget makes this film even more valuable: it was produced because filmmakers and actors had to show something to the world. Yes, they had fun making it. And it was spread by word-of-mouth which illustrates that at least those privileged people, who have internet access, did once and for all use the www in a subversive way, i.e. to promote a low-budget film so that it quickly moved to top numbers on Itunes and obviously attracted so much attention that you had to write about it!

  • Teresa | July 23, 2011 4:53 AMReply

    As often happens when people use shrewd and clever techniques to produce and 'market' their films, the 'haters' tend to come out of the woodwork en masse. The Polish Brothers made a superb, simple film about love. They very wisely cast the talented and beautiful Stana Katic as the leading lady. This was an excellent move on many levels. Stana is an exceptionally gifted actress who knows how to fully embody the characters she portrays. She has a huge, loyal fan base who adore and support her. And, of course, she is quite easy on the eyes as well. In my opinion, this casting move was sheer genius [did I say that already?] The simplicity and beauty of the simple black and white photography added to the charm of this film. I hope that "For Lovers Only" continues to surprise it's detractors as it becomes even more successful.

  • Andreea | July 23, 2011 4:27 AMReply

    Have you even seen this film??? Have you EVER been in love??? Cause I can't understand how can you not like this movie if you ever loved someone...
    And maybe you don't understand the title well , it's "FOR LOVERS ONLY" , not "For money only", you know? So, who the hell cares about the money here? We are fans, we will always support Stana and her projects, and the most important thing we are doing this with love, respect and for free... And she didn't force us to buy her film, she only twitted 2 messages that the movie is on tv demand. Other actors on twitter promote their works every day, and don't give a damn about something else, about talking with the fans and so on.... Read Stana's messages on twitter and you will understand why we love her so much!
    And thank God that from time to time we have the chance to see a film with a real, beautiful love story,, cause I AM TIRED of Hollywood films with special effects, 3D and no reality in them. And they are pumping millions of dollars in advertising, to be sure that the films are a success. Well, I hate this!!! This is wrong!!! I prefer films like "For Lovers Only" and my respect and love for the Polish Brothers and Stana for this wonderful project!

  • Mikel | July 23, 2011 3:14 AMReply

    when i read this article i didn't look who wrote it, but then i got to the point where the author praises joe swanberg and immediately knew it was eric kohn.

    seriously, are you retarded, eric? you say a polish brothers' movie has no lasting value then go on to suck joe swanberg's balls. joe swanberg is the WORST filmmaker of the last ten years, by far. nothing he creates has any lasting value. the polish brothers could literally shit in a bucket, videotape it, call it a movie, and it would still be better than anything joe swanberg creates.

    people like you mr. kohn can try as much as you want to convince people of joe swanberg's "talent", but you can't put lipstick on a turd and call it pretty.

    oh, one other thing, please don't use a joe swanberg and "a hit" in the same sentence ever again, unless of course you are talking about wanting to hit him in his smug face. no movie of his will ever be "a hit", regardless of the hype. sure, people will check out his new film b/c of the title and nudity, but after they realize they are watching shit they will change the channel.

  • Trina | July 23, 2011 2:41 AMReply

    For Lovers Only is far from being a disposable picture, the film has a heart and speaks beyond words about how love should be. The cinematography is great and the actors have such commitment in their roles, you can almost feel you're with them.

  • Kim | July 23, 2011 2:32 AMReply

    I'd like to let whoever the author is of this article that Mark Polish has stated that they Will be releasing the movie to theartres in the fall. If you would like to listen to his comment on it, it was on Stana Talk Radio's podcast from July 12. Or you can take it out of context, or not listen to it at all since you seem so good at that. Writing on something you haven't even researched enough to say you watched the film at all. And to compare this beutiful fil
    some sex craved nobody film by a nobody director, that you even stated almost all his films have been thrown in the trash before the next one can even come out, then you are completly mistaken and wrong by this theory. I for one can not wait until FLO comes to the big screen, I don't expect it to come to all the theaters, not at first anyway. But I guess you didn't know that even iTunes knew a gem when they saw one. They ended up releasing the film 3 days early because of the immense request for pre-orders of the movie. It was #14 on the independent & romantic sections of iTunes a little less than a week BEFORE the film was ever released. But from what I've seen of your researching skills, you most likely didn't get that far...
    Now for the people who have not seen FLO, you must see it! It's simply amazing & you won't regret it!

  • dftwinkie | July 23, 2011 1:58 AMReply

    It is true that For Lovers Only is a small story; its charm lies in exactly that -- the unusual intimacy afforded it by a production team of three and a camera so small that no one could tell they were shooting a film. 'Mid-size' would hardly describe it -- if that's a small three-door car, then For Lovers Only is bicycle built for two. This doesn't make it any less of a compelling watch, and I suspect it's got a rather long shelf life ahead of it. Yes, in terms of zero-budget advertising the film did benefit from publicity generated by Katic's fan base, but she's hardly a household name, and it's not like the Polish brothers are first-timers themselves, so give some credit to the general indie crowd. Katic's fans may have got the ball rolling, but there simply aren't enough of us to bring the film to #1 in both Romance and Indie, and into the top 20 overall for the better part of a week. The film is doing well because it's simply an excellent film, beautifully shot, and both Katic and Mark Polish do the story proud. I'm not remotely surprised that people with no clue who the Polish brothers or Stana Katic are at all would still willing to cough up the $4 to rent it to see what all the fuss is about -- it's pretty much how I found this weird story about Siamese twins that made me fall in love with the Polish brothers six or seven years ago.

  • Frank | July 23, 2011 1:05 AMReply

    Ok why do you even bother to write an article about this theme? You clearly don`t get why these low/non budget films are being made, Why criticize filmnakers for not spending millions on making films?? But you know a lot of big words, i`ll give you that, which hide the fact that your article has little or no substance or truth to it.

    Over to the film that i`ve seen, For Lovers Only. It`s a beautiful romantic love story with exellent dialog and chemistry between the two main characters. It is written,directed and acted by amazingly talented people, and it`s the perfect film to see if you have been, are or want to fall in love.

  • Hannah Alba Shepherd | July 22, 2011 12:47 PMReply

    I can not stop to not ask this question: Have you even seen the movie or just the financial reports of For Lovers Only? One sentence in the articule particularly annoyes me: "it’s unlikely that “For Lovers Only” will give rise to many imitators" Really? Call me biased, but I dare to say: on the contrary. For Lovers Only should be THE example for Hollywood. Instead of pumping millions of USDs to make movies, full with XFs and 3D effects, the studios really should make more "simple" movies (low budget but with more meaning, value) As Mr. Mark Polish and Ms. Stana Katic already said, the promotion what the fans started to do after the first screenings and still doing has a very big part in the amazing success story of the movie. The "best" part is: We did it for free! We did, because this is our way to show our respect, opinion, love & support for the creators & actors. Because with For Lovers Only they gave us something special. If you have not seen the movie yet, then it is time.

  • Kat | July 22, 2011 12:41 PMReply

    You're deeply underestimating For Lovers Only, the attention this movie gets medially is well deserved. On the contrary to what you wrote, FLO is a brilliant example how streaming cinema can come out of the 'disposable' content and bring a piece of beautiful and valuable cinematography. And please someone explain me why's everyone pointing out the fact that they got lucky having 'a cast member’s Twitter feed to replace advertising costs'. They chose Stana Katic for a reason and that was her great charisma and acting skills. The same reason why she's got so many people following her work. You may not know but this movie was actually awaited for a long time. And they way that Polish brothers have been promoting it is simply brilliant considering the fact they simply couldn't afford the theatrical release. That doesn't mean that FLO is not strong enough to get there.. hereby, the online streaming might be just a good and helpful starting point in this case and not some kind of black hole for movies with no lasting value, as described above.

  • karinzoca | July 22, 2011 12:39 PMReply

    Did we watch the same movie? Cause I honestly don't understand why For Lovers Only wouldn't
    have any "lasting value". It's a well structured, beautifuly shot and refreshingly grounded love story.

    If we watch it 15 years from now it'll probably still have its impact and relevance. I can understand
    how part of its sales success can be due to Stana Katic's exposure, but it doesn't make the movie shy of merits. If anything it makes more people aware of indie cinema and how compelling it can be.

  • Linda O. | July 22, 2011 12:38 PMReply

    I think it premature to count For Lovers Only as down and out. I would hesitate to underestimate this film and the impact it has made in the short time it has been available. Word of mouth and fan support can be a powerful force. The Polish brothers marketing is genius. Pure profit is a hard to fault.

  • manuxinhace | July 22, 2011 12:25 PMReply

    Not only is this article insulting to actress Stana Katic and directors/writers Michael and Mark Polish, it's also insulting to fans!

    This is the little movie that can!

    No money was necessary for publicity because Stana has a big fan base, all of which are very loyal to her and respect her as an actress. So all of us decided to support her once more.
    And no one regrets it!

    The movie is beautiful and romantic. And it's just like love...simple and deeply moving.
    It doesn't require TONS of special effects and it's impossible NOT to be touched by this story!

  • Sam | July 22, 2011 12:10 PMReply

    For Lovers Only is an amazing movie! Don't look at the money or anything else...look at the story. It was beautifully told and wonderfully done. We will always support the Polish Brothers and Stana Katic. That's what true fans always do.

  • Kat | July 22, 2011 12:08 PMReply

    FLO is everything I have been looking for in a movie for a very long time now. It is the most beautifully written, acted and directed movie I have ever seen. Everything about this movie touches the soul and heart in it's beauty and honesty. Mark and Stana as Yves and Sofia are real, captivating and totally in the moment. When I learnt that it was made on a zero production and marketing budget this just made me love it all the more. It deserves every success it has had so far and will receive in the future as iTunes makes it available to more countries. IMO this film not only has lasting value it is the most epic love story ever told on film. FLO is a masterpiece.

  • boreeester | July 22, 2011 11:12 AMReply

    Okay, you clearly didn't get the intent of FLO, sorry. And for the record we love the movie and it's far from what you said in this article. And why is it matter how much a movie cost? Just asking.

  • sherican | July 22, 2011 7:43 AMReply

    I'll put faith in the fact that box office numbers are an indicator of financial success for an independent film when P&A spend to buy that number is also published. Then we'll really know what is successful and what isn't.