DAILY NEWS: Berlin Biz Buzz; Oscar Noms Good for Good Machine; and SXSW Films
by Eugene Hernandez, Anthony Kaufman and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE
>> DISPATCH FROM BERLIN: Some Biz News as Festival Continues -- "Lost and Delirious" and "Beijing Bicycle" Acquired
(indieWIRE/02.14.01) -- A couple of films stepped into the biz spotlight
yesterday as the European Film Market neared its conclusion. Lions Gate has acquired the Panorama film, "Lost and Delirious," according to a source
close to the film. Meanwhile, Sony has indeed nabbed the Berlin competition
world premiere, "Beijing Bicycle."
"Beijing Bicycle" is Wang Xiaoshui's latest feature, he is also known for
"The Days," "Frozen," "So Close to Paradise," and "The House." Lea Pool's "Lost and Delirious" is the Canadian filmmaker's first English language movie. It features Piper Perabo, Jessica Pare and Mischa Barton.
Pool was among the filmmakers who attended last night's Panorama section
party at the Crowne Plaza in the western part of Berlin. Just in from New
York was "Hedwig" director John Cameron Mitchell, other American Panorama directors spotted included Richard Glatzer ("The Fluffer"), Artistic License's Sande Zeig ("The Girl"), Dan Minahan ("Series 7"), and RD Robb ("Don's Plum"). [Eugene Hernandez]
MORE FROM BERLIN in the special area @ indieWIRE.com:
>> OSCARS 2001: Good Machine In the Spotlight as "Crouching Tiger" Takes Top Academy Award Nominations; Also, A Big Day for Soderbergh
(indieWIRE/02.14.01) -- What a day for Good Machine, the Manhattan-based
independent film production company. Yesterday morning their latest film,
Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," nabbed 10 Academy Award nominations and last night the company celebrated the kick-off off of a
10th anniversary retrospective at New York's Museum of Modern Art.
Good Machine's success with "Crouching Tiger" -- nominations for Best
Picture and Best Foreign Language Film and the eight other nods -- is a
major story that will likely be overlooked by the mainstream press, 400 of
whom gathered before dawn in Los Angeles yesterday to attend the live
nominations announcements. Nearly 40 radio and television outlets carried
the announcement live around the world. Meanwhile here in Berlin, many
journalists, executives, and attendees gathered in front of hotel televisions
to get the news. While others logged onto the Internet for the complete
Calling the movie a "cultural phenomenon" yesterday in a conversation with
indieWIRE, Ang Lee said, "I initiated it; I didn't create it -- I think it's
become a cultural event -- it's unusual and it's an awesome signal for the
audience here: opening their minds to foreign language film."
Lee, who was nominated for Best Director, singled out distributor Sony
Pictures Classics in the conversation with indieWIRE yesterday. "They did a
fantastic job: both imaginative and realistic," Lee said, "They opened it
very carefully, slowly step by step."
"What we've done is let the picture get its awards," Sony Classics Tom
Bernard told indieWIRE yesterday, "The strategy that we had with 'Crouching
Tiger' all along is to get people to see the movie in the theater. We felt
that if they did that we'd get their vote in the Academy."
That strategy will shift this coming weekend. Bernard explained that the
film will expand to over 1,600 screens and added, "And it's a holiday
weekend, so I think we're going to have a very strong weekend, with no end
in sight." The company has already set a record, earning the most money at
the box-office for a foreign language film, topping Miramax' "Life is
While Bernard doesn't see his company making any changes as a result of
their recent success, he did use the moment to take a jab at Miramax and
its President Mark Gill. "If there is anything that changes," Bernard said,
"I think it's people who say -- a lot of our competitors, especially one named
Gill -- that Sony Classics could not release a movie wide."
The company also nabbed two nominations for Ed Harris' bio film, "Pollock." Harris was nominated for Best Actor and Marcia Gay Harden nabbed a
supporting actress nomination.
Sony is competing with Miramax in the Best Foreign Language category, in
addition to "Crouching Tiger," Sony has the recently acquired "Divided We
Fall" from the Czech Republic, while Miramax has "Everybody Famous" from
Belgium. Both film's made indieWIRE's runner-up list for the top films of
last year without distribution. Agnes Jaoui's "The Taste of Others,"
recently released in New York by Offline Releasing in association with
Miramax Zoe, has bragging rights with 9 Cesar nominations to look forward
to back home in France. Rounding out the list is Alejandro Gonzalez
Inarritu's "Amores Perros," a film might very well be a frontrunner
if it weren't for the ferocity of the "Dragon." Acquired by Lions Gate, the
Mexican-language film won the Critics Week prize at Cannes, a Golden Globe nomination, and multiple awards the world over. Lions Gate will release the
film in late March.
"Crouching Tiger" director Ang Lee will have tough competition in the Best
Director category, namely Steven Soderbergh with two nominations, one each
for "Traffic" and "Erin Brockovich." Soderbergh was unavailable for comment due to work on a new film, but he did send a statement. "I can't even put
into words what I'm feeling right now," Soderbergh said. "I think that if
I didn't have the distraction of shooting a film I would have to be
Ang Lee was also working yesterday and checked in, exhausted. He's been in
New Jersey shooting this week. A new movie you ask? No, rather it was a
TV commercial for BMW. [Eugene Hernandez and Anthony Kaufman]
THE COMPLETE LIST OF OSCAR NOMINATIONS is available @ indieWIRE.com:
>> SXSW Sets Linuep and Panels
(indieWIRE/02.14.01) -- The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and
Festival has announced the lineup for its 2001 event, which will take place
March 9-17 in Austin, TX. Included in the fest is a four day film
conference and a nine day film festival which will host 14 world premiere
documentaries and 12 world premiere narrative entries. The conference itself
will feature panels covering filmmaking from inception to distribution with
an emphasis on personal documentary filmmaking. Participating panelists
include Alan Berliner, Michael Moore, Penelope Spherris, D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Smith, with a featured panel that includes a conversation with Rick Linklater, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino.
The festival's lineup of narrative films includes world premieres such as
Maria and Anna Burton's "Manna From Heaven," Jonathan Barker's "Bartelby" starring Crispin Glover, Eric Shaeffer's latest "Never Again," as well as Ted Demme's new studio film, "Blow," starring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz.
Featured documentaries in the lineup include Sundance alum Penelope Spheeris
with "We Sold Our Souls for Rock 'N Roll," Alan Berliner's "The Sweetest
Sound," currently showing in Berlin, Kim Longinotto and Jano Williams' "Gaea Girls," and world premieres such as Arthur Bradford's "How's Your News?" produced by John Pierson, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, "Kissed" director Lynne Stopkewich's "Lilith on Top," "Shooting Lily" director Arthur Boorman's "Karaoke Fever," and the latest from D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, "Down From the Mountain" featuring artists, Mercury Nashville and Gillian Welch. [Brian Brooks]
[For more information, and a list of the full lineup, visit: