This week on indieWIRE the Alamo Drafthouse said “no” to texting, “Super 8” divided critics, Tommy Wiseau embraced midnight screenings and much more.
Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room” has evolved from critical disaster to cult phenomenon, complete with interactive midnight screenings. indieWIRE chatted with Wiseau about developing a devoted following: “We violated the fire marshal code. Meaning that there were too many people showing up for the film.”
In Part Two of the Wiseau interview, indieWIRE continued a dialogue with the director about what he’s learned from the midnight screenings, working with modern technology and his upcoming television projects.
“The Real Dirt on Farmer John” director Taggart Siegel investigates the decline in the world’s bee population in his latest documentary, “Queen of the Sun.” Click here to find an interview with Siegel where he discusses what led him to make the film and his passion for anthropology.
“The Tree of Life”‘s Laramie Eppler and Tye Sheridan are gaining attention for their nuanced, beyond-their-years performances in Terrence Malick’s experimental drama. indieWIRE chatted with Eppler and Sheridan about snagging their roles, bonding with their costars and what it was like to have Brad Pitt as their father.
Kitao Sakurai’s “Aardvark” will screen at the Brooklyn Film Festival this weekend. indieWIRE investigated the blend of reality and fiction that characterizes the film’s story of a blind man overcoming alcoholism and his relationship with his Jiu Jitsu instructor.
Djo Tunda Wa Munga’s “Viva Riva!,” which made a splash at the Toronto International Film Festival, almost never saw the light of day. Follow the link to learn about how the director went through four editors before completing his project.
Lisa Leeman’s “One Lucky Elephant” took ten years to make. Leeman spoke to indieWIRE about the long road to completing her documentary and the challenges of having your main talent be an elephant.
The Seattle International Film Festival ‘s new Fly Filmmaking Challenge initially might seem like a bad idea but indieWIRE found the pros of the program. Click here to read more about the new initiative, which gives filmmakers the funds to create a movie in three days.
Ever been tempted to create a Slamdance in your own hometown? indieWIRE reported on a trio of Seattle filmmakers who tried to do just that.
The four projects who made this week’s in-production column included “Bump and Run,” from writer Stephen Schaller and French director Patrick Alessandrin. Also featured were a Kickstarter project about a Banksy art piece/shelter, the new Patrik-Ian Polk feature and an animated film centering on cicada royalty.
JJ Abrams has turned Coppola’s forecast into plot, if not practice: “Super 8” is literally about a fat kid in Ohio making a movie. However, it uses that grain of inspiration to create an enjoyable sci-fi nostalgia trip with the help of a familiar name: Steven Spielberg. Eric Kohn reviews.
Eric Khon offered his thoughts on three releases hitting theaters this week: Michael Winterbottom’s buddy-comedy “The Trip,” the affecting documentary “One Lucky Elephant,” and the monster mock doc “The Troll Hunter.”
Following Richard Ayoade’s “Submarine”, Michael Winterbottom’s “The Trip” follows fictionalized versions of actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as they stop at some of the best restaurants and inns in the north of England. More here.
Last month, indieWIRE reported on the two-hour Sarah Palin-sanctioned documentary feature, “The Undefeated,” which has been crafted to boost her pre-presidential campaign (and counter the HBO Palin-McCain biopic “Game Change”). Directed by conservative filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon, the film has been making the rounds among a select pool of critics and conservative bloggers. The verdict? Decidedly mixed.
This week in Small Screens, Mike Leigh’s latest character study hits a home-run with critics, “The Housemaid” gets a kinky redo, Bill Hicks gets the doc treatment and more. iW reports.
Not sure which films are worth your time this weekend? indieWIRE compiled this week’s reviews to help you make worthwhile choices.
Sheffield/Doc Fest, the UK’s largest international documentary film festival, was host to two world premieres, “At Night I Fly,” and “Just Do It.” indieWIRE was on the scene to cover the impact of these provocative films.
Sarah Palin’s documentary “Undefeated” will make it to theaters, courtesy of AMC. Click here to learn more about how the controversial doc found its way to the big screen.
“Midnight in Paris” is gaining the type of success rarely attributed to a Woody Allen film. indieWIRE broke down the reasons for the film’s surprise accomplishments in terms of reviews, theaters reached and box office draw.
The list of filmmakers to be featured at the upcoming Karlovy Vary Film Festival in “Variety’s Ten Euro Directors to Watch” was released this week. indieWIRE reported on the ten directors who were selected by Variety‘s international critics.
It was a big week for “The Human Centipede II.” In probably the best piece of marketing the film could receive, Empire revealed that the BBFC—British Board of Film Classification—rejected the sequel to the cult film, effectively barring any screenings or DVD release for the film in the country. Check out The Playlist’s report to find out why. A day after the British Board of Film Classification’s announcement, “Centipede” director Tom Six lashed out at the organization. Finally, “Human Centipede II” continued to generate controversy with the news its UK distributor, Eureka Entertainment, will appeal the British Board of Film Classification’s denial of a classification certificate.
This week also proved to be a strong one for acquisitions, with Cinema Guild taking US rights to Hong Sangsoo’s Cannes Selection “The Day He Arrives,” while Magnet Releasing grabbed US rights to horror comedy “Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil,” which won the Midnight Audience Award at SXSW and the Jury Prize for First Feature at Fantasia. Samuel Goldwyn Films also announced its acquisition for US theaters, Ami Horowitz and Matthew Groff’s doc, “UN Me,” an indictment of the United Nations and its “inefficiency and corruption” at the heart of the transnational organization.
In festival news, the 64th Locarno International Film Festival revealed the first two titles in its International Competition: Mia Hansen-Løve’s “Un amour de jeunesse,” and Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio’s “Sette opere di misericordia.” More here. Meanwhile, Rotterdam will bring a new festival to Curaçao. The festival, with about 20 films in total, will emphasize Caribbean and Latin-American films, but will also include various independent and artistic films, documentaries and shorts, as well as an educational program for children, and even a drive-in screening.
Outfest’s 29th Annual Gay & Lesbian Film Festival kicks off in L.A. on July 7th and runs until the 17th with 163 films (67 features and 96 shorts) from 25 countries, along with over a dozen panels and special events. Read more here. NewFest will open on July 21st with David Weissman’s documentary “We Were Here,” a look back at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco. Rashaad Ernesto Green’s Bronx-set “Gun Hill Road,” a family drama centering on a transgendered teenager, will close the festival July 28th.
Some of China’s biggest film names will be toting the party line in a new blockbuster celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party. Read more (if you dare) here.
The Alamo Drafthouse kicked out a patron for texting in the theater. And when the livid (former) customer left a voicemail outlining the extent of her dismay, they turned it into the best before-the-movie PSA, ever. Go here to watch the video. We called Alamo owner Tim League to ask him a few questions about the patron, the policy and the PSA. iW reports.
While documentary filmmakers wait to find out if an Arizona tax court considers their work to be a business or a hobby,, the U.K.‘s Guardian and the New York Times looked closely at some of the business models underlying nonfiction movies. Or, to put it as plainly as the Guardian’s headline: “Can you make a film and a profit?” Go here to view highlights from both pieces.
The California Film Commission has awarded $100 million in tax subsidies to 27 film and TV projects, 10 of which are independent films. The process sounds a little like an old-fashioned land grab.
indieWIRE will celebrate its 15th anniversary throughout the month of July with a series of screenings in New York including several films that have played a role in the site’s coverage over the years. The 92YTribeca will host weekly retrospective screenings each week of the month. Additionally, indieWIRE is once again partnering with Rooftop Films for an anniversary celebration, hosting the New York premiere of the Sundance hit “Bellflower” on July 15. (Oscilloscope will release the film on August 5.) For more information go here.
Does the growing popularity of VOD and online film streaming diminish the importance of the theatrical run? At this weekend’s Produced By conference in Burbank, it was a matter of perspective. Harvey Weinstein said that for now, theatrical is still vital. Weinstein’s longtime acolyte, Kevin Smith, meanwhile sang the praises of VOD at a session devoted to independent film innovations. For more click here.
Finding the people you want and avoiding those you don’t can make film-festival schmoozing can seem like an Olympic event. Here’s the good and bad news: A new iPhone app promises to level the playing field. It’s called (appropriately enough) Sonar. And, using social network data, it shows who’s in a room with you. For more about the app click here.