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IFC Buys Controversial Winterbottom Movie

IFC Buys Controversial Winterbottom Movie

Michael Winterbottom’s “The Killer Inside Me”, a film that stoked controversy when it debuted here at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this week, has been acquired for U.S. distribution by IFC Films.

Adapted by John Curran, from Jim Thompson’s book, the film revolves around a small town Texas sheriff and a series of murders. It stars Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, and Kate Hudson.

“I don’t understand how Sundance could book this movie,” was the first question at the film’s post-screening Q & A, according to a Thompson on Hollywood report from Sundance, “How dare you? How dare Sundance?”

Thompson spoke with Winterbottom later, and he told her, “Like all noirs, it has violence in it. It’s violent and shocking, cathartic in a way. [Jim] Thompson is trying to create this imaginary dark wild Texas. It’s also a quite tender story. The audience didn’t understand that when they watch this shocking violence, Casey is not the hero where the audience gets off on it. It should be shocking and brutal.”

While the film has a ‘C’ grade in indieWIRE’s criticWIRE survey of festival titles, its marks are all over the map, ranging from a B+ to a D-. Next up for the film is a competition slot at next month’s Berlin International Film Festival.

The deal marks the first pick-up of the festival for IFC, which had been aggressively in the hunt for Derek Cianfrance’s “Blue Valentine.” Known for its day-and-date theatrical/VOD release model, the company was pursuing a more traditional release for “Valentine,” but the movie was sold to The Weinstein Company.

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