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Film Festival News and Reviews: Sundance, Cannes and more

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    "Foreign Land" and "Shakespeare Among Top Miami Fest Winners

    Italian director Daniele Vicari's "The Past is a Foreign Land" won the world competition at the Miami International Film Festival, which concluded last weekend, taking home a $25,000 prize. Lance Daly's "Kisses," meanwhile took the audience nod in the section. MIFF's signature Ibero-American competition, which spotlights work from Spain, Portugal and Latin America gave its $25,000 grand jury prize to Mariano Llinas's "Historias Extraordinarias" (Argentina), while "Nora's Will" by Mariana Chenillo took the audience nod in the category. In the festival's documentary competition category, dubbed "Dox Competition," "Shakespeare and Victor Hugo's ...

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    SXSW Snapshot: Kristian Fraga's "Severe Clear"

    Kristian Fraga's "Severe Clear" breaks free of the "Iraq war movie" stigma by remaining essentially apolitical. The movie exclusively relies on cheap camcorder footage shot by U.S. soldier Mike Scotti during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, offering a fascinatingly intimate look at the fraternization and search for adventure shared by many members of the military. Because "Severe Clear" takes place five years in the past and doesn't compare the state of the war to its current chaos, the movie contains on a timeless feel. It takes the focus off this specific incursion and emphasizes character motives, universal morality issues, and the two-w...

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    SXSW Snapshot: Brett Gaylor's "RiP: A Remix Manifesto"

    Brett Gaylor's "RiP: A Remix Manifesto" studies the paradoxes of copyright law and its discontents, but mainly it's a celebration of remix culture in the twenty-first century. Using music sampling artist Girl Talk as his primary case study, Gaylor explores the ways a new generation of artists have uncovered original methods for creating something new from the fabric of something old -- and he slyly ties the trend to a consistent aspect of art history. Touching on infamous situations such as the recording industry's sloppy lawsuits against music downloaders, he surveys a wide variety of discussions taking place in both legal and aesthetic circ...

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    SXSW Round Up: Panel Reports, Movie Reviews and Video Interviews From Around The Web

    “This isn’t where we are going to be making money now,” “Super Size Me” director Morgan Spurlock told a large crowd on Monday at SXSW. “If you are looking to pay your rent, not so much, if you’re looking to pay your phone blll, you have a chance.” As indieWIRE's Eugene Hernandez reported, the the discussion later "shifted to panelists’ reluctance to talk about the hard traffic numbers, Spurlock offered a line that has already been picked up by media and bloggers: 'The reason numbers aren’t releaed is because the numbers are pathetic.” Spurlock continued, “It’s because the numbers are sadly low by what we would expect from film and television....

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    San Sebastian To Pay Tribute to Brooks

    San Sebastian To Pay Tribute to Brooks

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    SXSW Snapshot: Jody Hill's "Observe and Report"

    "Observe and Report," filmmaker Jody Hill's first feature since the cult hit "The First Foot Way," continues his remarkable knack for making audiences sympathize with a psychopath. Unlike any Seth Rogen vehicle that has come before it, this one actually gives him a bona fide character to play, rather than letting him go on autopilot as a goofy manchild. The strange, dark story of a mall cop intent on capturing an anonymous flasher allows Rogen to put on a fascinating persona, the best he has ever played. As the self-absorbed Ronnie Barnhardt, he dares you to dislike him, and comes pretty close to pulling it off. But as the plot moves forward ...

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    SXSW Snapshot: Kris Swanberg's "It was great, but I was ready to come home"

    Kris Swanberg's first feature, "It was great, but I was ready to come home," really works as a visual essay exclusively based around the title sentiment. Swanberg's patient, somewhat haphazard portrait of two friends (Swanberg and Jade Healy) on a trip to Costa Rica drifts from one fairly innocuous development to another, but a keen psychological undercurrent gradually emerges over the course of the swift 65-minutes running time. As it becomes clear that Swanberg's character still has feelings for her ex-boyfriend, the serenity of the duo's surroundings start to become a space for meditation, while Healy just wants to have fun. They don't run...

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    Spike Lee's "Kobe" To Premiere at Tribeca

    The Tribeca Film Festival has announced that Spike Lee's basketball doc "Kobe Doin' Work" will have its world premiere at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival as the gala premiere of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival. The premiere will take place on Saturday April 25, 2009. The 2009 Tribeca/ESPN Spor...

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    Digital Distribution: "Gigantic" Exposure? "Pathetic" Revenues"?

    With limited theatrical options for getting their films in front of audiences today, numerous filmmakers have explored (or at least pondered) the Internet as an outlet. While most seem to covet a slot on iTunes -- the platform that generates the greatest revenues -- the need to work with an aggrega...

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    IMDb's Needham: A Play Button on Every Page

    "We want a play button on every single page of IMDb," said the popular film site's founder Col Needham during a SXSW Q&A moderated by indieWIRE's Eugene Hernandez.

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