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Darwin’s (Distribution) Nightmare

Darwin's (Distribution) Nightmare

Distribution talk seems to dominate lately, its just such a hot topic that its hard to overlook it here…

Hubert Sauper‘s excellent and haunting documentary about the impact of the Nile Perch on Tanzania’s Lake Victoria region, “Darwin’s Nightmare”, opens today at The IFC Center in Manhattan (note: just read an interesting letter from an IFC projectionist in the Village Voice today). Also opening is the highly acclaimed “Junebug”, a film that indieWIRE reviewers Reverse Shot this week likened to Jarmusch’s “Stranger Than Paradise” in its significance.

The big question, of course, is what sort of fate these two acclaimed new movies will face given Friday’s debut of such terrific new auteur titles as Jarmusch’s latest “Broken Flowers” and Wong Kar-wai’s “2046”

Against such stiff competition, I don’t think I’d want to be Jonathan Jakubowicz’s “Secuestro Express” or Michael McGowan’s “Saint Ralph”, also opening Friday (but who knows, I haven’t actually seen those two.) But what about “My Date With Drew”? Just maybe those excellent one-sheets posted all over town will lure in moviegoers, I know I am curious to see the doc…

How will the runaway success of “The Aristocrats” affect all of this, given that it is likely to gobble up movie screens and media attention? That one is poised for a very very successful run (just look at the smiles on the faces of the folks at ThinkFilm).

Assuming we can safely write off films like this Friday’s “Dukes of Hazzard” (sorry Jay!) (and next week’s “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo”), movies that do well this weekend will face an onslaught of small specialty/art house/indie, as well as a few wide releases next weekend in NYC, with the openings of the excellent Werner Herzog doc “Grizzly Man”, David Mackenzie’s “Asylum”, the docs “The Century of the Self”, “The Goebbels Experiment”, and“A State of Mind”, and Marcos Siega’s darkly funny “Pretty Persuasion”.

Why the glut of interesting movies all of a sudden? One NYC indie company exec I was chatting with yesterday said its all about “6 weeks” — that being how long a distributor hopes to keep a film on screens…thinking that if a film, like say “Broken Flowers”, hits the six week mark successfully, it can play well through the Fall. I haven’t tested that one with bookers, but its worth watching…


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