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Weekly indieWIRE Clicks: The Best News, Reviews & Features

Weekly indieWIRE Clicks: The Best News, Reviews & Features

This week on indieWIRE Cannes 2011 came to a close, Lars von Trier spoke about his recent scandal, Scott Erickson attempted to revive Grand Rapids, Michigan and much more.


This week’s Small Screens column was doc heavy. Among those not to miss: “A Small Act,” Jennifer Arnold’s moving account of a Kenya-born boy and her Swedish sponsor, the Yves Saint Laurent love letter, “L’Amour Fou,” and the Martin Scorsese doc “Public Speaking.”

Days after it won the Palme d’Or in Cannes (and, on a lesser note, topped indieWIRE Cannes critics’ poll), Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” hits theaters in New York and Los Angeles, followed by a national rollout throughout June. It also becomes our second critic’s pick of the week (in a row, no less) to hail from Cannes 2011 (last week’s was Woody Allen’s “Midnight In Paris”). Click here to watch four clips from the film, via The Playlist.

“If you liked the megahit original, you may even enjoy Part II, while recognizing that it’s not very funny, that all the laughs seem to come from imposing your memory of the wild original on this retread,” wrote Caryn James in her lukewarm review of “The Hangover Part II.” For a report on the film’s New York premiere go to The Bin.

Leonard Maltin also took a look at “The Hangover, Part II” and was similarly unimpressed.

He also was not very fond of “The Tree of Life,” declaring, “I found the shots of protozoa, flowing water, and the cosmos itself to be beautiful but — boring.” Surprisingly, he was most positive about “Kung Fu Panda 2,” deeming it “quite good, a particular compliment at this point in the movie season.”


Cannes Film Festival artistic director Thierry Frémaux has a lot to oversee. indieWIRE sat down with Frémaux to talk about this year’s film selections, scandals and his overall impression of the festival. “I think that maybe this year looks like the intentions I had when I arrived.”

Thompson on Hollywood’s Anne Thompson caught up with Lars von Trier soon after he dug himself a big one in Cannes. Included in her post is a video interview with the Danish auteur and her thoughts on “Melancholia.”

Dennis Gansel’s films “We Are the Night” and “The Wave” are now screening at Brooklyn’s reRun Gastropub Theater. To coincide with the event, indieWIRE spoke with the director about his two most recent projects, his career overall and his German roots.


This year’s Cannes Film Festival proved to be yet another wild ride, full of scandals and sleepless nights. indieWIRE’s lead critic Eric Kohn did his best to process the experience, offering five lessons he took away from his time at the Croisette.

Kohn was not the only one trying to explain the Cannes experience. The main competition jury, led by Robert De Niro, gathered at a press conference to offer their thoughts on this year’s festival.

This week, we also offered our list of the 12 films to watch from Cannes (plus several more). Want to know what made the cut? Click here to find out.

Curious about which films topped the Cannes Critics Poll? Follow this link to see the critical hits.

Finally, click here for links to all of indieWIRE’s Cannes 2011 coverage.

Ira Sachs’ latest topped the list of projects we’re rooting for this week. For more on his new film “Keep the Light On,” and the other four that made the cut be sure to read indieWIRE’s column.

In a bid to reverse Michigan’s recent bad press and promote Grand Rapids, Scott Erickson released a one take lip dub to Don McLean’s “American Pie.” indieWIRE caught up with Erickson to discuss his motivation behind the elaborate project.

What could be better than watching a classic movie in a great theater, surrounded by like-minded people? Not much, according to Leonard Maltin who reported on the Los Angeles Conservancy’s 25th annual festival known as The Last Remaining Seats, which screens vintage classics.

indieWIRE launched its “Adventures in Indie Film Marketing” column, which takes a look at noteworthy campaigns. The first subject was Miranda July’s strategy for advertising “The Future.”


Richard LInklater’s “Bernie” will have its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Indiewire posted the details on the premiere and the rest of the Los Angeles Film Festival slate.

Screen Media purchased the North American rights to Sue Bourne’s “Jig.” In other acquisition news, “We Need to Talk About Kevin” found a home with Oscilloscope Laboratories. Finally, the Sesame Street doc “Being Elmo” was picked up by multiple distributors.

Another week, another Lars von Trier post. This week’s involves von Trier’s response to a letter the Iranian Deputy Culture Minister for Cinematic Affairs Javad Shamaqdari released to Persian media outlets Monday that criticized the Cannes Film Festival’s decision to declare the director “persona non grata”, after his controversial press conference comments. Click here to read the director’s thoughts.

Another doc, this one a short, examines Rwanda post-genocide. Click here to learn of a social media campaign the film’s distributor is tackling to give back to the people of the country.

In business news, David Linde and Reliance Entertainment have announced the official formation and funding of a new company. The company will establish a first look production and related distribution agreement with Universal Pictures. Tory Metzger and Adam Rymer were named as Head of Production and Chief Operating Officer, respectively. For Thompson on Hollywood’s report click here.

As part of its indie film series, Maya Entertainment, a distributor that caters to Latino and multicultural audiences, has acquired the Sundance U.S. Dramatic title “Benavides Born” for U.S. theatrical release.

Filmmakers listen up! In a guest post for Ted Hope’s Hope for Film blog, Jennifer Fox breaks down her six tips for launching a six-figure Kickstarter campaign. Click here to see what she has to say.

An independent film about Sarah Palin is poised for front-line deployment in the battle for the 2012 election. Real Clear Politics reported today that a two-hour, Palin-sanctioned documentary feature by conservative filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon is set for release before the HBO’s Palin-John McCain biopic “Game Change,” which director Jay Roach began shooting last month, can make its broadcast premiere.

The opening night of this year’s Cannes Critic Week, Valérie Donzelli’s “Declaration of War” has been acquired for US distribution by Sundance Selects. Inspired by the director’s experience in dealing with her child’s brain-cancer diagnosis, “Declaration of War” tells the story of a young couple who encounter a similar situation.

“Little Miss Sunshine” directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton’s “He Loves Me” has been picked up by Fox Searchlight, reported Thompson on Hollywood. Real life couple Zoe Kazan and Sunshine‘s Paul Dano will star. “Crazy Heart” star Jeff Bridges is being wooed to join them. Kazan also wrote the script.

Cameron Crowe’s “Pearl Jam Twenty,” which celebrates the twenty years of grunge rock band Pearl Jam, will be released in select US cities in September. Richard Abramowitz’s Abramorama will help with the film’s theatrical release. The film will also screen on PBS’s American Masters series.

Over 200 films from more than 30 countries make up the slate for the 35th anniversary edition of Frameline35, the San Francisco international LGBT film festival. The event kicks off of June 16th with Rashaad Ernesto Green’s drama “Gun Hill Road.” Geoffrey Sax’s BBC-produced dramatization of Christopher Isherwood’s 1976 memoir, “Christopher and His Kind,” will close the festival. Click here to learn of other highlights.

Memorial Day weekend at the movies has never exactly been associated with independent film. This week however, “The Tree of Life” is looking to change that. Will it be a success? Check out indieWIRE’s analysis of how it might all go down.

China Lion Film Distribution wants to bring Chinese erotic epic “Sex and Zen 3D: Extreme Ecstasy” to North American theaters—but which theaters want the movie? Check out indieWIRE’s report on how the company is trying to bring the racy film to American audiences.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, SnagFilms is making it easy to support America’s most recent veterans. Want to learn how to give back? Go here to find out.

Both the Aruba International Film Festival and the Silverdocs Documentary Festival announced their slates.

The Playlist posted the latest fake out teaser for “The Muppets,” that hit earlier today. Click here to see it and get their verdict on the clip, sure to go viral.

After “Bridesmaids” made such a promising splash, the future of female-led comedies has become optimistically uncertain. Sadly, a few Hollywood rom-com retreads are still on the docket, including “I Don’t Know How She Does It.” The Playlist provided the trailer for the Sarah Jessica Parker vehicle and reasons for why this does not look promising.

With the success of “The Artist” at Cannes, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has decided to put together the “Summer of Silents,” a program of notable silent films. Thompson on Hollywood reported on the full line-up of films in the series.

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