Anne Thompson, whose “Risky Business” ran in Filmmaker for the past year, recently moved over to The Hollywood Reporter where her identifiable and accessible brand of smart industry reporting has already garnered a number of scoops and interesting pieces. Her latest is an intriguing piece on indie mogul Bob Yari, which implies that the producer is holding off on a deal for Mike Mills’ well-reviewed Sundance entry Thumbsucker so he can self-distribute it through a new distribution venture. Writes Thompson: Yari isn’t thrilled by how his films have performed so far. Most distributors, he finds, use the domestic release as […]
Ted Hope (who penned the Highsmithian title above) forwarded this email from director Barbet Schroeder regarding the disappearance of a friend of his in Iraq: Dear friends, Sorry to bother you with my own home made spam but it is unfortunately the only thing I can do for now. My close friend Florence Aubenas has disappeared in Bagdad a month ago. No news whatsoever since then. She was doing her job as a journalist for the daily paper “Liberation”. Everybody in France knows about it but I see nothing in the English speaking press. The only protection I can provide […]
I’ll have some stuff to say in the next day or so about Rotterdam and also, belatedly, Sundance, but while it’s still up and free I’m linking to this rave review in Screen International for Caveh Zahedi’s I Am a Sex Addict, which, unfortunately, premiered at Rotterdam before I got there. But from the sounds of it, there will plenty of opportunities to see it at festivals and, hopefully, in the theaters in the future.
Cinema is full of failed literary adaptations, attempts by famous directors to translate the work of their favorite novelists into images and screen action. Most of these films crash, however, by the sheer weight of their ambition. Tackling a writer’s best known book, they invariably disappoint his or her hardcore partisans when what’s particularly riveting about the work becomes less interesting when it’s visualized. Japanese director Jun Ichikawa avoided all of the Great Author-to-Film pitfalls with his Tony Takitani, an adaptation of a story by the great Haruki Murakami. Not so much a film as a celluloid ode to Murakami […]
Saw back to back screenings in the Sundance “experimental” Frontier section to kick off my festival moviewatching this year. Frequently ignored by most industry, the Frontier section always contains a few real discoveries by filmmakers the fest tags as “experimental” but who will go on to make the mark in the indie scene. A few years ago J.T. Petty debuted his chillingly simple near-silent ghost story Soft for Digging in the section and last year Jonathan Caouette’s Tarnation screened there as well. This year the Frontier “filmmaker to watch” may be Kyle Henry, whose Room is an excellently directed and […]
For years, the only op-ed conservative voice I’ve enjoyed has been William Safire’s at the New York Times, and this is despite the fact that I disagree with many of his positions. So, I took note of the columnist’s four-piece departure in the Paper of Record this past Monday and recommend, while it’s still free, this final column and thoughtful discussion of the need for perpetual personal change. Writes Safire: Combine those two bits of counsel – never retire, but plan to change your career to keep your synapses snapping – and you can see the path I’m now taking. […]
“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.