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Weekly indieWIRE Clicks: The Best News, Reviews & Features

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire July 29, 2011 at 7:45AM

This week on indieWIRE a slew of new releases got graded, Toronto announced some of its early titles, Dominic Cooper talked his double turn in "The Devil's Double" and much more.
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This week on indieWIRE a slew of new releases got graded, Toronto announced some of its early titles, Dominic Cooper talked his double turn in "The Devil's Double" and much more.

News

The North American premiere of Roman Polanski’s latest film, “Carnage,” will open the 49th New York Film Festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, which produces the anticipated annual event, said Friday. More here.

The Toronto International Film Festival will slowly be announcing slate of its 36th edition over the next few weeks. For now we know that George Clooney's "The Ides of March," Luc Bsson's "The Lady," Bennett Miller's "Moneyball" and Madonna's "W.E." are among the titles selected.

At a press conference this week in the Canadian city, festival co-director Cameron Bailey and CEO and director Piers Handling were on hand to announce the first batch of TIFF’s 36th slate (which is expected to eventually be made up of 250 or so films as the film slowly announces their schedule). More here.

Though highly speculated earlier this week, the lineup for the 2011 Venice Film Festival was officially announced this week. Joining previously announced opening and closing films “The Ides of March” (directed by George Clooney) and “Damsels in Distress” (directed by Whit Stillman) were a mostly expected list including new works from David Cronenberg, Steven Soderbergh, Roman Polanski, Todd Solondz, Alexander Sokurov, Tomas Alfredson, Mary Harron, William Friedkin and Madonna.

In case you were away from your computer last weekend, here’s a tidy package of our weekend coverage that includes news from Comic-Con, box-office reports, a big trailer debut and more.

"I hate to beat a dead horse, but “The Undefeated,” the Sarah Palin documentary, has finally been revealed as the modest box office performer that it always was," wrote Anthony Kaufman in his analysis of the film's box office performance. Go here for his full report.

Andrea Arnold seems to enjoy working with raw, unpolished talent. She directed the completely unknown Katie Jarvis to huge critical praise in “Fish Tank” and the director is hoping to repeat that success with James Howson, another newcomer who landed the lead role in the forthcoming adaptation of “Wuthering Heights.” Go here for The Playlist's first look at the film.

Comic-Con wrapped up last Sunday, but not without a few more noteworthy panels and announcements.

Whit Stillman’s “Damsels in Distress” will close out the 68th Venice Film Festival on Saturday, September 10th, it was announced this week.

As of August 31st, film website Gordon and the Whale will be shutting down. In a heartfelt letter to readers, owner and editor-in-chief Chase Whale explained that the website will no longer be creating fresh content at the end of next month. Go here for more.

Terence Davies, Sarah Polley, Julie Delpy and Wang Xiaoshuai are among the directors lined up to screen their new works at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, the event said this week, unveiling some of this year’s Official Selection. More here.

Oscilloscope Laboratories has officially announced that Lynne Ramsay’s “We Need To Talk About Kevin” will get an Academy Award qualifying run on December 2, 2011. More here.

Janus Films has acquired North American rights to Aki Kaurismaki’s “Le Havre,” which premiered to rave reviews in competition at Cannes earlier this year. More here.

The GOP screened a clip of the Ben Affleck film "The Town" in a misguided attempt to rev up support for John Boehner's debt plan. Jon Stewart responded in our online clip of the day here.

Hot Trailers

Pedro Almodóvar returns to arthouses this year with “The Skin I Live In” and for those who think they know what to expect from the director whose oeuvre includes films like “Bad Education,” “Volver” and “All About My Mother” his latest may be a bit of a shock. Watch the trailer if you dare.

After the flop that was 2005’s “Elizabethtown,” Cameron Crowe comes back with a vengeance in 2011. He’s got three films in the can all coming out at various times this year, his Oscar hopeful, “We Bought A Zoo,” his Elton John doc, “The Union,” which chronicles John and Leon Russell‘s collaborative album which premiered at Tribeca earlier this year and finally, his “Pearl Jam Twenty,” documentary which was announced as part of the Toronto International Film Festival this week. Watch the trailer here.

If you’re a Kevin Smith fan (or just curious to see him dabble in another genre), you’ll no doubt be curious to check out the just-released trailer for the satirical horror pic "Red State." What unfolds in the two-and-a-half-minute spot is chilling to the bone and full of profanity. It opens with Melissa Leo coercing three boys to sleep with her, only to drug them, kidnap them and lock them up in cages. Next thing you know, they find themselves in a Church where a crazed Michael Parks preaches about doing away with sinners. A whole lot of mayhem ensues.

Rookie director and established author Julia Leigh is blowing up this year. Her feature directorial debut “Sleeping Beauty” got mixed reviews at the Cannes Film Festival in May, but got people talking and is sure to keep people talking when it hits theaters on October 28 courtesy of Sundance Selects. Early this week it was announced that the film adaptation of her 2001 psychological novel “The Hunter,” will world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Go here for the film's just-released teaser.

That George Clooney is at it again! Following his mildly received period sports comedy “Leatherheads,” Clooney seems to be back in “Good Night, and Good Luck.” mode with his Venice Film Festival opener “The Ides of March.” The first trailer just dropped for the political thriller and from the looks of it, you’ll be hearing a lot more about Clooney’s latest come awards season.

So you think Kevin Smith’s Christian-skewering horror “Red State” was the flick to stir up the most controversy at this year’s Sundance Film Festival? Think again. Lucky McKee’s exploitation film “The Woman” arrived in Park City without the advance buzz “Red State” came riding in on, but thanks to one very angered audience member, “The Woman” generated its fair share of controversy. Go here for the film's new shocker of a trailer.

Reviews

Not sure what to see this weekend? We don’t blame you! With a slew of anticipated titles hitting the screen today (including “Attack the Block,” “Cowboys & Aliens,” “The Future,” and “The Interrupters”), deciding what’s worth paying top dollar for ain’t easy. To help you out, we’ve compiled all of the reviews published this week on indieWIRE and our Blog Network. Have a look at them here

Features

In honor of last weekend's Comic-Con, Basil Tsiokos covered the the iW-curated comics-related section of Hulu Docs. Check out more here.

In honor of iW's fifteenth anniversary, we've been sharing some cool articles from our archive. This one is straight from the diary of the Queen of Indie herself, Parker Posey, as she chronicles the making of "Suburbia." Check it out here.

Every Friday, indieWIRE profiles an big indie project while it's in the works. This week's is "Four," Joshua Sanchez's first feature, which examines two complicated suburban relationships. Find out more about this promising film here.

A study from the Smithsonian Institute wasted 23 years and who knows how much money to tell us that the mediocre Jon Voight boxing movie "The Champ" is the saddest film of them all. Really? Well, we've got some films that will actually leave your eyes puffy here.

Jill Sprecher’s comic thriller, “The Convincer,” has lost a lot since it premiered at Sundance seven months ago. The film lost its original title; it’s now called “Thin Ice.” The film lost its editor, Stephen Mirrione, who won an Oscar for his work on “Traffic.” The film lost its composers, Emmy-winner Alex Wurman and Grammy-winner Bela Fleck. And it has lost its filmmakers, writer-director Jill Sprecher and her sister/co-writer Karen Sprecher, whose credits include “Clockwatchers” and “13 Conversations About One Thing.” They will see ATO Pictures release a new edit of their film this fall, without their participation. -- Full story here.

Steve James’ documentary “The Interrupters” has been garnering praise after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year (it currently has the highest score of any film this year on criticWIRE). Here Academy Award-nominee James shares a scene from his film (produced by James and Alex Kotlowitz, whose original New York Times article inspired the film), and offers a glimpse into his method.

This week on the small screen, Todd Solondz revisits the characters from “Happiness,” Canadian up-and-comer Xavier Dolan gets his heart broken and much more.

In May, Focus launched the first annual Story Camp. Conceived by Focus CEO James Schamus, Story Camp is designed to bring something rarely seen to Focus’ development slate: Filmmakers with projects budgeted under $1 million. There’s no application process or specific qualifications; participation is by invitation only. Go here for our First Person with Schamus to learn more.

Christine Vachon, recently celebrated at NewFest, New York’s annual LGBT event, where she was given the festival’s inaugural Visionary Award, Vachon spoke to an audience at Lincoln Center’s new Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center about her early years in the business, her collaborations with Todd Haynes, and how she’s preparing for the future.

"Hoop Dreams" director Steven James is releasing his new documentary "The Interrupters" this weekend, but it's a different version from the one that premiered at Sundance. indieWIRE critic Eric Kohn spoke with James about the various cuts here.


Interviews

You may not know the name Neil Kellerhouse, but you definitely know his work. He’s the graphic designer behind the posters for “The Social Network,” “I’m Still Here,” “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” and more recently “Haywire” (which you can read more about here) among many others. He’s also done work for The Criterion Collection, Pixar, and gets regular calls to work with directors like Steven Soderbergh and David Fincher. Go here for The Playlist's interview with the artist.

While Hamish Linklater is a familiar face on the small screen with a lead role opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus in “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” and appearances on an array of shoes including “Ugly Betty” and “Pushing Daisies,” he breaks out this weekend on the big screen opposite Miranda July in her second feature “The Future.” In the whimsical romantic dramedy, Linklater plays Jason, one half of a couple whose decision to adopt a stray cat backfires when it forces them to face what the future really holds. Go here for our interview with the actor.

Say El Bulli and those in the culinary know may conjure up images of “molecular gastronomy,” impossible reservations and a foodie paradise. Situated in an idyllic cove along Catalan, Spain’s Costa Brava region, El Bulli boasts three Michelin stars and was named top restaurant in the world by “S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants” from 2007 - 2009. The creative process that goes into El Bulli’s annual reinvention gets the spotlight in director Gereon Wetzel’s marvelous doc, “El Bulli: Cooking in Progress.” The verite-style film observes the annual quest to remain at the forefront of culinary invention, in which Adrià and his team seek to outdo their previous menu with the help of high-tech equipment, bizarre N2O cartridges, cameras, chopping blocks and knives that help them create mushroom juice, sweet-potato meringue, freeze-dried peppermint or foamed beetroot. Go here for our interview with the film's director.

Dominic Cooper plays a double role in the new Iraq war thriller "The Devil's Double." indieWIRE sat down with the rising star to chat about his acclaimed performance here

Writer/director/producer Lucrecia Martel was born in the northern province of Salta, Argentina. After relocating to Buenos Aires, she directed a series for Argentine television and a few short films. One of them, “Dead King” (1995), won an award in the Havana Film Festival, earning her some notoriety. In 2001 Martel released her first feature film, “The Swamp,” and won the Alfred Bauer award at the Berlin International Film Festival that year, and her film, along with Iñárritu’s Amores Perros and Meirelles’ “City of God” inaugurated a brilliant decade in new Latin American cinema. indieWIRE caught up with Martel in Sarajevo to talk film, career, the “women of Lucrecia Martel” and more.