“They may as well salute Al Qaeda,” a guy sitting behind me at the 40 Shades of Blue press screening quite sincerely grumbled after seeing one of the “Independent” mini-trailers that precede all of the screenings here. These short films, which basically serve as cinematic headers for a credit roll of festival sponsors, occupy a strange place in the festival each year. They’re intended to be amusing but innocuous — little film tidbits to reinforce the idea that “You are at a Film Festival!” — but their sheer repetition invariably transforms them into gauche cinematic eyesores by festival’s end. This […]
A little over a year ago Filmmaker ran a feature entitled “Who Inspires Us?” [Summer 2004] in which we asked filmmakers to list current inspirations on their own work. Manito director Eric Eason cited the Japanese author Haruki Murakami, who was actually a recommendation to him from our own Managing Editor Matt Ross. Anyway, I hadn’t read any of Murakami’s work but the citing stuck in my head and I wound up buying his The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle this fall at a time when I particularly needed something great to read. 600-plus pages later I’m a die-hard Murakami fan, and […]
At Filmmaker we’ve been trying to figure out editorial synergies between our daily blog and our quarterly magazine, but the below is not exactly what we had in mind. In the issue of the magazine that comes off the press today, attorneys Steven Beer and Maria Miles haved penned an article explaining the new Federal tax breaks for independent film, hailing it as a landmark windfall for independent film producers and investors. Today via Variety comes this disappointing article by William Triplett titled “Congress likely to take back indie tax break.” “Possibly as soon as next month, Congress will consider […]
We were happy to read via Variety that former Miramax acquisitions exec Arianna Bocco, who recently left the company, has landed at Gershs’ New York office where she will head “an independent feature film packaging unit” with a special emphasis on bringing international filmmakers into the Gersh fold. An admirably straight shooter in the tangled world of acquisitions, Bocco was a tenacious exec for both Miramax and her previous employer, New Line, and worked on such films as City of God.
The enterprising and publicity-savvy filmmaking duo of Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato have an entertaining Web site up for their Sundance entry Inside Deep Throat, a Brian Grazer-produced doc on the infamous porn film (number 50 on Filmmaker magazine’s “50 Most Important Independent Films” list almost a decade ago) that will hit theaters this spring. The directors post a blog on the site as well as some interesting links, the most fascinating of which is this link to local Park City paper The Park Record. Titled “Sundance documentary reveals local’s role in Deep Throat,” the article is a portrait of […]
I know as a blogger I’m supposed to ferret out obscure links from publications you’ve never heard of. But here I go again — two links in a row from the New York Times. Still, if you’re a producer you’ll be interested in this sobering piece about Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney’s Section 8, proving that the producing biz is a tough one even if you’re an Oscar-winning director and matinee-idol movie star. An excerpt: “[Says Soderbergh,] ‘I think you could make an argument that it is not important to have too much taste as a producer if you are […]
Actor and director Crispin Glover has a Web site up for his latest feature What is It?, which looks like one particularly bizarre and interesting entry in what seems like a very strong Park City at Midnight lineup. (I’ve seen Old Boy, and it’s pretty great, and while I’ll write more about David Slade’s Hard Candy later, I have a feeling that by fest’s end folks will both be wondering why it wasn’t in Competition and will be shortlisting actress Ellen Page as a future star.) [N.B. the Quicktime movie trailer on Glover’s site doesn’t always work, possibly due to […]
Somehow, I don’t think the folks at Apple promoting iMovie had this in mind. From today’s New York Times comes this very disturbing article by Fox Butterfield about the methods by which youth gangs are threatening grand jury witnesses. (Times registration required.) The article talks about a two-hour DVD doc entitled Stop Snitching being distributed “grass-roots style” in local neighborhoods which puts out a threatening message to witnesses of violent crime. After detailing several instances where witnesses around the country have been murdered because of their grand jury testimony, the article notes: “And in each city, CD’s and DVD’s titled […]
A small addition to the world’s very strange weather woes of the moment, this news out of Park City. One and possibly two skiers have been trapped in a giant landslide in Park City, Utah near the Canyons Resort, just days before this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Well done piece by Eddie Borges in the New York Observer about Blueprint, the new New York-based collaboration between Initial Entertainment’s Graham King and former Miramax exec Rick Schwartz, famous for his supporting role in Project Greenlight. Writes Borges, “And so, earlier this year, Blueprint opened its sparsely furnished offices in a second-story loft overlooking Mercer Street in Soho, marking the arrival of a new big fish in the small pond of Manhattan’s film world. For, despite the apparent frugality of its offices, as a subsidiary of Mr. King’s Santa Monica-based film sales company, Initial Entertainment Group, which just secured […]