Movie City Indie Archive for May, 2008

First Run Features folded into Icarus Films

The company lives, but a familiar micro-distribution label disappears: “FIRST RUN/ICARUS FILMS BECOMING ICARUS FILMS.” Seymour Wishman, President of First Run Features, and Jonathan Miller, President of First Run/Icarus Films, announced today FRF-logo2.gifthat First Run Features has sold its interest in First Run/Icarus Films back to the company. The result of this transaction is that First Run/Icarus Films is now wholly owned by Jonathan Miller, who will continue as President of the company. Additionally, First Run/Icarus Films will change its name to Icarus Films, as of June 1, 2008.
First Run/Icarus Films was formed in 1987 when Icarus Films (founded in 1978) and First Run Features merged their non-theatrical divisions to create a new company to serve the non-theatrical marketplace.Founded in 1979, First Run Features is a leading distributor of fiction and documentary films, with a library of approximately 450 titles. First Run releases between 10 and 15 films annually in theatres, and around 50 new films per year on DVD. Recent releases have included Michael Apted’s 49 UP, Daniel Karslake’s FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO and Oren Jacoby’s CONSTANTINE’S SWORD.

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Mr. O'Reilly's Dance Remix (Um, Not Safe For Work)

Worth at least two distractions of 1:37 each. 1980s footage remixed in 1980s idiom.

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Chris Ware animation for "This American Life"

O my.

Indie is transcribing


While Simon Brook reclines.

Rain rain go away



Sears Tower

New litanies promised for Monday…

Fuckup shoes

PR: Lionsgate's Got Ollie's Dubya

ewmag.050808.jpgHere’s EW’s telling of the unfolding tale. And now from over the transom:
Studio Acquires Distribution Rights In North America, U.K., Australia, New Zealand
All-Star Cast Include Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, James Cromwell, Oscar® Winner Ellen Burstyn, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Scott Glenn, Ioan Gruffud
Set For Release October 17, 2008
SANTA MONICA, CA (May 8, 2008) – LIONSGATE® (NYSE: LGF), the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, announced today that in a deal with Omnilab Media it has acquired North American distribution rights from QED International to W, a biopic about President George W. Bush directed by Academy Award® winner Oliver Stone (WORLD TRADE CENTER, PLATOON, WALL STREET) from a screenplay by Stanley Weiser (WALL STREET). Lionsgate will also distribute W in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. The announcement was made today by Lionsgate President of Theatrical Films Tom Ortenberg.
W stars Josh Brolin (NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN) as George W. Bush, Elizabeth Banks (SEABISCUIT) as Laura Bush, James Cromwell (THE QUEEN) as George Herbert Walker Bush, Academy Award® winner Ellen Burstyn (REQUIEM FOR A DREAM) as Barbara Bush, Thandie Newton (CRASH) as Condoleezza Rice, Jeffrey Wright (SYRIANA) as Colin Powell, Scott Glenn (THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM) as Donald Rumsfeld, and Ioan Gruffud (FANTASTIC FOUR) as Tony Blair. The film’s producers are Moritz Borman, Jon Kilik and Bill Block.
W begins production on May 12th in Louisiana. Lionsgate is releasing the film on October 17, 2008.
“It’s an honor to be in business with Oliver Stone, a brilliant and consistently adventurous filmmaker,” said Ortenberg. “With W, he again demonstrates his creative vitality and genius for speaking to our times.”
Commented Block, “W is in the most innovative hands with Lionsgate and Omnilab Media. With the backdrop of the election this fall, W will be an event picture that will be eagerly anticipated. Oliver Stone, Moritz Borman and myself could not be more excited about Lionsgate leading the charge this October.”
Christopher Mapp said, “We had a great experience with Lionsgate on THE BANK JOB, and we are delighted to reunite with them as we continue our strategy in investing in quality films that are made by innovative and unique storytellers.”
Said Stone, “The impact of George W. Bush’s presidency will be felt for many years to come. Despite a meteoric, almost illogical rise to power, and a tremendous influence on the world, we don’t really know much about Mr. Bush beyond the controlled images we’ve been allowed to see on TV. This movie’s taking a bold stab at looking behind that curtain. I’m real pleased that Liongate [sic] has the independence necessary to bring this provocative story to an American audience.”

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Salvador Dali on heartburn

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Standard Operating Procedure: two clips and a trailer

This clip of Lynndie England—”It’s a man’s world”—is one of the marvels of Errol Morris’ Standard Operating Procedure.

Clip below: “Iraq war torture.”

Below: trailer.

Battle For Haditha (2007, *** 1/2)

Nick Broomfield’s Battle for Haditha, which depicts the notorious 2005 massacre of twenty-four Iraqi civilians draws on all the qualities of his decades-long practice as a documentary filmmaker, and its greatness may be indicated by the utter disinterest by U.S. distributors. Comparisons of its vérité approach to seeking broomfield_74005.jpgall sides of the conflict have led to comparisons to Apocalypse Now, but its most direct forebear would be Gillo Pontecorvo’s Battle of Algiers. Fearlessness in the pursuit of picturing the world is necessary. Writes Manohla Dargis in the New York Times: “Even as he creates an almost unbearable level of tension in his film — mostly through deft parallel editing that draws the marines, the victims and the insurgents inexorably together — Mr. Broomfield maintains a level of cool detachment throughout. That’s to the good of the movie, which, though technically exemplary, falters dramatically on occasion, becoming dangerously close to overheated whenever the characters speak for any length. The performers apparently did a fair amount of improvisation, and too often their talk veers into exposition, which, however heartfelt and true, paradoxically sounds (badly) scripted. At times there is a kind of therapeutic quality to the entire enterprise, almost as if the marines, the Iraqis and Mr. Broomfield were collectively trying to work through a nightmare from which none have awakened.” [Opens today in NYC at Film Forum; print via its international distrib, Hanway Films.]

Bubblegum for the internet: candy conglom skeetches on dump-Uwe Boll initiative

uwebwanadevil.jpgPR of the day: one of the products from the Cadbury Adams confectionary conglomerate piles on the unstoppable Uwe Boll, joining in the campaign for the online petition to stem his career. As received: “It’s a scientific fact that Uwe Boll makes the worst movies on planet earth. The only person that disagrees is Uwe Boll . The man himself said he’ll cease making movies if 1 Million people signed the petition at StopUweBoll.Org. To sweeten the incentive to sign, Stride Gum announced today that it will give out a million packs of gum IF the petition number reaches 1 million. It’s too late to stop Postal…, but with your help, we can reclaim our theaters…
The Makers of Stride, The Ridiculously Long Lasting Gum®, Offer
A Total of One Million Packs of Gum to Signers of the Anti-Uwe Boll Petition*
May 7, 2008, Parsippany, NJ – In an effort to protect the childhood dreams of millions of video gamers everywhere, the makers of Stride gum announced cadbury-5678.jpgtoday that they are launching a special campaign supporting the efforts of in their attempt to convince famed film director Uwe Boll to stop making video game-based films.
For years, Uwe Boll has piqued the ire of the gaming community by adapting many of their favorite games into universally panned films. On April 4, 2008, Uwe Boll remarked to legendary horror site FearNet that he’d consider acquiescing to his critics and abandoning making films in this genre if an online petition reached one million signatures. As of press time, the petition is just about 234,000 names, which is why Stride has decided to jump in.
“Since gamers are one of our most supportive groups, we’ve been looking for ways to return the favor,” said Gary Osifchin, Stride North American Marketing Director. “And what better way is there to get gamers’ backs than by helping them rescue their cherished videogames from the clutches of Uwe Boll ?”
In an effort to help boost signings, the makers of Stride have put out a special bounty. If the petition reaches the required 1 million signatures by May 14 at 5pm EDT, each signer will receive a digital coupon* for a pack of gum, downloadable on May 23, 2008, a day that could really use some long-lasting refreshment, particularly as it will see the debut of his latest videogame-based film.
“Look, it’s nothing personal against the guy. Maybe his non videogame-based films are unbelievable! But we’ve seen such intense passion for this cause that we couldn’t help but get involved,” said Osifchin. “Let the signing continue.” [The release continues below.]

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A moment of contemplation

Friday night

Brian Eno loves Barry Lyndon

Movie City Indie

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon