By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire April 22, 2011 at 7:56AM
This week on indieWIRE Tribeca launched, Cannes continued to hype their annual event, Morgan Spurlock poked fun at product placement, "The Tree of Life" showed it has legs and much more.
The 10th Annual Tribeca Film Festival kicked on Wednesday with an open-air screening of Cameron Crowe's documentary "The Union" and performances by the Bangles and Elton John. Was the event successful? indieWIRE took a look at the strengths and weaknesses of opening night.
Tribeca Film Festival executive director Nancy Schafer took time out of her busy schedule to share her thoughts on the festival's 10th anniversary with indieWIRE.
Earlier in the week, the festival unveiled Tribeca's Jury Members for the 2011 edition. The 38 filmmakers, screenwriters, actors, journalists and media peers include David O. Russell, David Gordon Green, Dianne Wiest, Souleymane Cissé, Whoopi Goldberg, Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Rainn Wilson, Anna Kendrick, Michael Cera, Denis Leary, Atom Egoyan and Fran Lebowitz. Click here for the full list.
indieWIRE posted the top 10 films to be excited for. Among the crop? Docs "The Bully Project, "Bombay Beach," and the comedy with the best title, "A Good Old Fashioned Orgy."
Spout did the same by posting their Ten Picks for Must-See Flicks at the festival.
In case you're in New York and want to know what Tribeca's screening, be sure to check our indieWIRE's guide to the films.
In the wee hours of the morning, EST, earlier this week The Cannes Directors Fortnight revealed its 2011 selection with 21 features taking part in this year’s lineup. Additionally, 14 shorts and four special screenings will round out this year’s selections.
At around the same time the Festival de Cannes unveiled nine short films that will compete for its short film Palme d’Or on closing night May 22nd.
The full Competition Jury for this year's event was made live. Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Olivier Assayas and Johnny To are among those joining Robert DeNiro on the Jury.
The Festival de Cannes unveiled the list of Cinéfondation and Short Films jurors joining Michel Gondry for the 2011 edition of the event.
The lineup for the 50th anniversary of the Critics’ Week program at the Cannes Film Festival was also announced. The oldest of the parallel sections at Cannes, Critics’ Week will have seven feature films comprising the main selection, as well as four special feature film screenings and ten short films. Click here for the lineup.
One of Cannes' most anticipated films, Lars Von Trier's end of world drama "Melancholia," made waves last week when the first trailer hit. The Playlist re-purposed snippets from an interview Trier did with Empire where he discussed how easy lead star Kirsten Dunst had it on set.
In other festival related news, indieWIRE's Eric Kohn dropped down in Florida over the weekend in Florida for their annual film festival. Click here to read his rundown of the 26-year-old theater which has served as an anchor for the event since its inception.
Meanwhile over in Durham, N.C. indieWIRE checked out the Full Frame Documentary Festival and offered its take on this year's edition.
In awards news, "Weekend" and "If a Tree Falls" cleaned up at the Nashville Film Festival.
indieWIRE critic Eric Kohn was not pleased with Cameron Crowe's latest film, "The Union," which kicked off Tribeca. "With the production values of a forgettable MTV special, 'The Union' is the least-involving piece of filmmaking Crowe has done," lamented Kohn.
He was much more favorable towards the Tribeca film, "The Last Rites of Joe May," writing "Joe Maggio (“Paper Covers Rock,” “Bitter Feast”) writes and directs this simple and affecting drama with an assured focus on Dennis Farina’s archetypical lost soul. Despite numerous formulaic developments, Maggio makes the story work by beginning where many would end."
Of the Tribeca drama with one great title, "Turn me on godammit," Kohn" wrote, "Adapted from the novel by Olau Nilssen, “Turn me on” plays like a familiar entry in the teen sex comedy genre without the sex."
Kohn also got a chance to review "Incendies." He was much more positive about Denis Villeneuve's wartime drama, calling it a "curiously poignant story."
In indieWIRE's weekly Small Screens column which spotlights five of this week's hottest DVD/Blu-ray and VOD picks, "Rabbit Hole" and "The Princess of Tavernier" made the cut.
Over at James on screenS, critic Caryn James opted for Sofia Coppola's latest effort, "Somewhere."
Meanwhile in this week's Critical Consensus, "Incendies" came out the winner.
The weekly clicks continue on page two.
Olivia Wilde is best known as the Hollywood 'It Girl,' with a slew of upcoming high profile films to her name, including this summer's "Cowboys & Aliens." indieWIRE caught up with the New York native to discuss her first producing credit on the Tribeca short film "Sun City Picture House."
It’s a challenge to criticize product placement in a film when the whole movie centers on the art of selling out. Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me,” “Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?”) goes full tilt with this in his latest, “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.” Click here to see indieWIRE's interview with Spurlock to see how he dissected the whole process.
Werner Herzog sat down with indieWIRE to discuss tackling the 3D realm in his latest documentary, "Cave of Forgotten Dreams." He even dished on working with Nicolas Cage and offered his thoughts on the actor's recent arrest.
Also be sure to check out Quebec director Denis Villeneuve discussing his Academy Award nominated drama, "Incendies."
Web-based indie distributor and retailer IndiePix has entered the VOD market with IndiePix Unlimited, a subscription-based VOD store with 200 films on offer. IndiePix Unlimited launched on April 19 at 9am EDT, with a going rate of $7.95 a month.
The National Association of Theater Owners published an open letter speaking out against the launch of premium VOD, which puts films out on VOD 60 days after release. Among the 23 filmmakers that signed the letter: James Cameron, Michael Bay, Peter Jackson, Kathryn Bigelow, Guillermo del Toro and Michael Mann.
indieWIRE was proud to announce this week the latest blog network addition, Shadow and Act, a resource for news and analysis around African-Americans across all entrainment platforms.
Red Flag Releasing nabbed North American rights to the Sundance AIDS doc "We Were Here" for a September release. And ahead of its North American premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to David Gelb’s directorial debut, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” a documentary that about the life and work of master sushi chef Jiro Ono. The company plans for a theatrical release later this year.
In other buying news, Snag Films acquired domestic VOD and digital rights to director Iara Lee’s “Cultures of Resistance.” indieWIRE reported on the details of the deal, including the key figures and full press release.
Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker Tim Hetherington was killed in Libya, it was reported by Vanity Fair (where Hetherington worked as a contributing photographer). indieWIRE, Thompson on Hollywood and The Playlist all reported on the sad turn of events.
Following the tragic news of the untimely deaths of photojournalist Tim Hetherington and photographer Chris Hondros in Libya, Thompson on Hollywood put together a tribute to their work. Included in the obituary are clips from Hetherington's "Restrepo," several of their photographs and statements regarding their passing.
The anticipation continues to mount over the upcoming release of Terrence Malick‘s “The Tree Of Life.” This week's hullabaloo concerns the first still of that much-discussed dinosaur. The Playlist offered a peek at the creature.
SXSW favorite "Attack the Block" has released a trailer. Click here to check out Joe Cornish's alien-invasion comedy.
In this week's in-production column, indieWIRE took a look at “Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede,” the adaptation of a sci-fi comic novel starring Jon Heder. Also profiled are four more Kickstarter projects.