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Oscilloscope to re-release "Dark Days;" documentary won three awards at Sundance 2000

Photo of Dana Harris By Dana Harris | Indiewire January 18, 2011 at 7:46AM

Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired worldwide rights to Marc Singer’s "Dark Days," which premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and won the Audience, Cinematography and Freedom Of Expression Awards in the documentary category.
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Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired worldwide rights to Marc Singer’s "Dark Days," which premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and won the Audience, Cinematography and Freedom Of Expression Awards in the documentary category.

Singer's portrait of a homeless population living in the underground train tunnels of New York City in the 1990s features a soundtrack by DJ Shadow. Oscilloscope plans to release the film theatrically this summer, followed by DVD and digital platforms as well as educational and nontheatrical screenings.

The film's inital release came though Palm Pictures in September 2000. It eventually grossed about $427,000 in theaters.

"(Singer) called us up and said that the film had been out of circulation for years," said Oscilloscope cofounder David Fenkel. "It wasn't even on DVD or Amazon. We were shocked. It's (about releasing) films that we love... whether it was made five years ago or 50 years ago, it doesn't matter. We'd love to find more of them."

"Dark Days" also won the Best Documentary Award at the 2001 Independent Spirit Awards and the Best Documentary Award from the 2000 Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

“Oscilloscope was my first choice to redistribute ‘Dark Days,’ Singer said. "If they had refused, my next move was to take the film out of circulation while I bombarded them with phone calls everyday or for months on end until they gave in. I’m thrilled it worked out the way it did – it saved me one hell of a phone bill.”

“Marc is not only a great filmmaker, but also a friend, and that's how we like to do things around here," said Oscilloscope cofounder Adam Yauch. "Years ago, he gave me a big-ass bullet shell from a sunken WWII sub that he acquired while scuba diving off of Long Island. Am I allowed to tell people about that? Or is that top secret? It's about three inches wide and about 10 inches long, and has the following inscribed on the end "W.N.Y 4,190 -- E.C.P. S.P.F. -- 3 Pdr." If anyone out there knows what these inscriptions mean please contact me. PS. I really like ‘Dark Days’ a lot.”

This article is related to: Documentary, Acquisitions