By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

PHASE 4 FILMS ACQUIRES SUNDANCE HIT ‘NEWLYWEEDS’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE 

PARK CITY, UT, January 25 – Berry Meyerowitz, President & CEO of Phase 4 Films, announced today that the Company has acquired all North American rights to NEWLYWEEDS, the debut feature written and directed by Shaka King.  Produced by Jim Wareck, Michael Mathews, Shaka King and Gbenga Akinnagbe, with Andy Sawyer and Neil Katz serving as executive producers, NEWLYWEEDS just enjoyed its world premiere in the NEXT <=> section of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, which concludes this weekend.

 

Phase 4 is planning a day and date theatrical and VOD release for the movie this summer.  The deal was negotiated by Phase 4’s Larry Greenberg and Katharyn Howe with Glen Reynolds of Circus Road Films on behalf of the filmmakers.

 

“We are thrilled to be working with Shaka on his first feature.  NEWLYWEEDS is an audience pleaser and we are looking forward to exposing it to audiences nationwide,” said Meyerowitz.

 

In NEWLYWEEDS, a Brooklyn repo-man and his globetrotting girlfriend forge an unlikely romance. But what should be a match made in stoner heaven turns into a love triangle gone awry in this dark comedy that is part ballad of chemical dependency, part coming-of-age romance, part hallucinatory adventure. A bittersweet blend of comedy and drama NEWLYWEEDS is the story of Lyle (Amari Cheatom), a repo-man by necessity, who is also a preacher-man in his purple-hazed fantasy, who is also on the verge of becoming a family man unless he and Nina (Trae Harris), his beautiful young girlfriend, are done in first by their mutual adoration and voracious consumption of cannabis.  NEWLYWEEDS is also a clear-eyed portrait of a contemporary New York neighborhood vibrantly photographed by Daniel Patterson that makes great use of a supporting cast, which includes Tone Tank, Isiah Whitlock Jr. (“The Wire,” CEDAR RAPIDS), Tony award-winner Tonia Pinkins, Colman Domingo (LINCOLN), Hassan Johnson (“The Wire”), Adrian Martinez and Anthony Chisholm.

 

About Phase 4 Films
Phase 4 Films distributes feature films and special interest content across all traditional theatrical and new media platforms in North America. The company’s previous releases include the provocatively sexy road movie HICK, starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Blake Lively, and Eddie Redmayne; 2011 Sundance award-winner ANOTHER HAPPY DAY, Sam Levinson’s dark comedy about a dysfunctional family, starring Ellen Barkin, Demi Moore, and Ezra Miller; the Canadian tour of Kevin Smith’s RED STATE, starring Michael Parks, Melissa Leo and John Goodman; and Carrie Preston’s Sundance 2012 hit comedy THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID starring Anne Heche, Marcia DeBonis, and Alia Shawkat. Upcoming releases for the Company include Megan Griffith’s 2012 SXSW Audience Award Winner, EDEN, starring Jamie Chung and Beau Bridges, and Mark L Mann’s directorial debut GENERATION UM, starring Keanu Reeves (THE MATRIX, CONSTANTINE).

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Julian Schnabel: Years ago, I was down there with my cousin’s wife Corky. She was wild — she wore makeup on her legs, and she had a streak in her hair like Yvonne De Carlo in “The Munsters.” She liked to paint. I had overalls on with just a T-shirt and looked like whatever. We were trying to buy a bunch of supplies with my cousin Jesse’s credit card. They looked at the credit card, and then they looked at us and thought maybe we stole the card, so they called Jesse up. He was a doctor who became the head of trauma at St. Vincent’s. They said, “There’s somebody here with this credit card and we want to know if it belongs to you.”

He said, “Well, does the woman have dyed blonde hair and fake eyelashes and look like she stepped out of the backstage of some kind of silent movie, and is she with some guy who has wild hair and is kind of dressed like a bum?”

“Yeah, that’s them.”

“Yeah, that’s my cousin and my wife. It’s okay, they can charge it on my card.”
~ Julian Schnabel Remembers NYC’s Now-Shuttered Pearl Paint

MB Cool. I was really interested in the aerial photography from Enter the Void and how one could understand that conceptually as a POV, while in fact it’s more of an objective view of the city where the story takes place. So it’s an objective and subjective camera at the same time. I know that you’re interested in Kubrick. We’ve talked about that in the past because it’s something that you and I have in common—

GN You’re obsessed with Kubrick, too.

MB Does he still occupy your mind or was he more of an early influence?

GN He was more of an early influence. Kubrick has been my idol my whole life, my own “god.” I was six or seven years old when I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I never felt such cinematic ecstasy. Maybe that’s what brought me to direct movies, to try to compete with that “wizard of Oz” behind the film. So then, years later, I tried to do something in that direction, like many other directors tried to do their own, you know, homage or remake or parody or whatever of 2001. I don’t know if you ever had that movie in mind for your own projects. But in my case, I don’t think about 2001 anymore now. That film was my first “trip” ever. And then I tried my best to reproduce on screen what some drug trips are like. But it’s very hard. For sure, moving images are a better medium than words, but it’s still very far from the real experience. I read that Kubrick said about Lynch’s Eraserhead, that he wished he had made that movie because it was the film he had seen that came closest to the language of nightmares.

Matthew Barney and Gaspar Noé