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Weekly indieWIRE Clicks: The Best News, Reviews & Features

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire April 29, 2011 at 8:23AM

This week on indieWIRE Tribeca doled out their awards, Edwards Burns doled out advice, some indies found homes and more.
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This week on indieWIRE Tribeca doled out their awards, Edwards Burns doled out advice, some indies found homes and more.

Tribeca Film Festival

Lisa Aschan’s “She Monkeys” (Apflickorna) and Alma Har’el's “Bombay Beach” topped the Tribeca Film Festival Jury Awards on Thursday night in New York. For the full list of winners click here.

Before of the Tribeca Film Festival handed out their awards, Spout posted their Top 5 Films of the Tribeca World Narrative Competition.

As the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival approached its mid-way point earlier this week, the festival’s audience award tracker had Lee Hirsch’s doc “The Bully Project” leading the pack thus far, followed by three more docs: Michael Collins’ “Give Up Tomorrow,” Tony Hardmon and Rachel Libert’s “Semper Fi: Always Faithful,” and Dori Berinstein’s ”“Carol Channing: Larger Than Life”.

indieWIRE's Peter Knegt caught two documentaries detailing the lives of two American icons: Renée Richards and Carol Channing.

Knegt also highlighted "The Swell Season," which documents three years in the life of the band of the same name, best known for their work in the Irish indie musical "Once." Knegt called the film a "charming and polished new entry into the music documentary corpus, and one sure to find considerable play at festivals beyond its premiere at the ongoing Tribeca Film Festival."

News

When news hit that film critic Elvis Mitchell had been let go by Movieline, Anne Thompson over at Thompson on Hollywood! took the opportunity to knock him down a few pegs (to put it mildly). Eric Kohn came to Mitchell's defense (sort of) in his latest blog post.

The Academy earlier this week revealed key dates for the 84th Academy Awards. Stay up to date here.

If it was ever in doubt, Terrence Malick’s "The Tree of Life " will in fact debut at Cannes, despite Icon UK’s one-time insistence that they would open it ahead of the fest," reported Anne Thompson earlier this week. The new international poster for the film also hit that day.

Darren Aronofsky will head the jury for the 2011 Venice International Film Festival. No stranger to the festival (his “Black Swan” premiered there last year, and “The Wrestler” won the festival’s top prize in 2008), Aronofsky will be the president of the International Jury for the Competition for the 68th edition of Venice, which runs August 31-September 10, 2011.

The once turned actor turned reality show trainwreck Gary Busey has joined the cast of "Piranha 3DD," The Playlist reported.

“Le Bien-aimés” (The Beloved) by French director Christophe Honoré will close out the 64th Festival de Cannes May 22nd, the festival said Thursday. The film will screen following the festival’s awards.

San Francisco International Film Festival

The Playlist reported on the opening night of the 54th Annual San Franscisco International Film Festival where Mike Mills' dry romantic dramedy "Beginners" kicked things off. Click here to read the quote heavy dispatch.

In case you missed indieWIRE's report on Christine Vachon's talk at the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival, make sure to catch up on all she had to say on the "state of cinema."

Oliver Stone also dropped down in San Francisco for the event to accept his Founder's Directing Award. After a career-highlights clip reel, Stone and journalist David D’Arcy took the stage for an informal Q&A.

indieWIRE was on the scene to report on the festival standouts.

Reviews

indieWIRE caught a slew of films at the 10th Tribeca Film Festival over the weekend. "Bombay Beach" earned the highest grades from Eric Kohn, who gave the film an A, and dubbed the film "not unlike [Terry] Gilliam’s oeuvre - both dreamlike and intimately familiar."

"Grave Encounters" ended up on Kohn's chopping block with a C. "“Grave Encounters” lacks the imagination that could have injected it with more intrigue," he wrote of the horror entry.

Kohn tore into Tony Kaye's "Detachment," starring Adrien Brody. "Kaye renders his shrill and didactic melodrama about the pratfalls of the education system in shockingly amateur terms. However, there’s an element of sheer spectacle in seeing a top-tier cast assembled for such a deeply awful production." Ouch.

The documentary "Despicable Dick and Righteous Richard" got off much easier, earning a B+ from Kohn.

The same went for the experimental sci-fi flick "Beyond the Black Rainbow," the feature-length debut of director Panos Cosmatos. "...a wacky, carefully designed, totally inscrutable science fiction puzzle," Kohn wrote of the film. "With a minimum of plot and consistently extraordinary visuals, Cosmatos delivers an intoxicating mindtrip that defies logic in favor of a hypnotic rhythm."

Alex Gibney's baseball documentary "Catching Hell," earned an A- from Kohn. He also fell for the technologically savvy love story, "Flowers of Evil."

"Automobile junkies and environmentalists are likely to embrace the movie with the same excitement they brought the first one, although since it doesn’t reveal a lot of new information," wrote Kohn of "Revenge of the Electric Car," the follow-up to the 2006 documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car." The film earned a B from Kohn.

Film critic Caryn James opted for the romantic drama, "Last Night," starring Keira Knightney and Sam Worthington. "From its long delay in getting here, you’d expect the 2009 Keira Knightley romantic drama, 'Last Night,' to be a disaster, but not at all," wrote James. "It’s merely small and slight, the kind of blithe little relationship film that feels more European than American."

"By now, we just look at Will Ferrell and get ready to laugh, but not so fast. He gives a performance that most dramatic actors could only dream of - restrained, nuanced, enormously moving – in the uneven yet finally eloquent little indie "Everything Must Go," wrote James in her review of the Tribeca film. Click here to read her full take on the film.

Daniel Walber over at Spout meanwhile opted for Dennis Lee's "Jesus Henry Christ," starring Toni Colette and Michael Sheen. "I suppose that this movie was inevitable," wrote Walber. "After a decade in which “500 Days of Summer,” “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Juno” made great success out of quirky humor and eccentric characters, we were bound to some day find ourselves face to face with a miserably mediocre attempt to keep the creativity going. “Jesus Henry Christ” tries so hard to be original, cute, funny and unique but just ends up looking foolish and exhausted."

'"Sympathy for Delicious" Is A Drab, Outdated Drama' reads the title to The Playlist's review of Mark Ruffalo's directorial debut. Read the review here.

- Go to page 2 for this week's Interviews, Features and Acquisitions -

Interviews

Anne Thompson chatted with "Last Night" director Massy Tadjedin. The rookie director opened up to Thompson about the long journey her film took to get to the Tribeca Film Festival.

"L'amour fou" director Pierre Thoretton caught up with indieWIRE during Tribeca to discuss his Yves Saint Laurent documentary.

Tribeca Film Festival vet and indie stalwart Edward Burns stopped by the Apple Store in SoHo for Apple and indieWIRE's Meet the Tribeca Filmmaker series to talk about his low-budgeted romantic dramedy, "Newlyweds," which is closing the festival on Saturday.

To celebrate the NYC theatrical premiere of Lynn Shelton’s (“Humpday”) rediscovered debut feature “We Go Way Back,” which hits the reRUN Gastropub Theater theater this Friday for a week-long engagement, indieWIRE asked Shelton to reflect back on the 2006 Slamdance award-winning film and dissect one of her favorite scenes from the drama.

Acquisitions

News broke early this week that The Weinstein Company had acquired Lee Hirsch's "The Bully Project," currently playing at the Tribeca Film Festival.

ARC Entertainment and Barry Gordon's XLrator announced they nabbed U.S. distribution rights to Guy Moshe's martial-arts action film "Bunraku," starring Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson.

Film Movement also nabbed North American distribution rights to Marius Holst’s Noreweigan thriller “King of Devil’s Island,” starring Stellan Skarsgard.

Features

The summer movie season isn’t exactly best known for independent film. With billions of dollars set to be spent on a record amount of sequels (“Kung Fu Panda 2,” “Transformers 3,” “Pirates of the Caribbean 4,” “Final Destination 5,” “Harry Potter 8,” etc., etc., etc.), one has to wonder: How much space is left for the little guys. But don't fret. As indieWIRE's Summer Indie Preview makes clear, there are 20 films to be on the watch for.

Filmmakers know that finding cash is one of the hardest parts of filmmaking. While some film festivals offer prestige and exposure as their only rewards (think Sundance, Toronto), many smaller festivals offer prizes with cash or in-kind awards—often the first financial return for the filmmakers’ hard work. With that in mind, indieWIRE collected information from some of the world’s most important film festivals on what cash prizes they offered in association with their film awards.

In this week’s in-production column, indieWIRE puts the spotlight on a nearly complete film by Jay Duplass. From Kickstarter: The new project from “Small Town Gay Bar” director Malcolm Ingram, which tells the story of the bathhouse-club that gave Bette Middler and Barry Manilow their start; an original epic fantasy; the new project from Sundance alum Rodney Evans (“Brother to Brother”); and a photo project from the filmmakers of “Battle for Brooklyn,” which heads to Hot Docs this week.

Clio Barnard's "The Arbor" came out as the clear critics' pick in this week's Critical Consensus column.

In indieWIRE's weekly VOD/DVD/Blu-ray column, Brian De Palma's classic thriller "Blow Out," and the Tribeca films "The Bleeding House" and "The Bang Bang Club" were among the flicks to make the cut. Click here to see to the other picks.

This article is related to: Carol Channing: Larger Than Life





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