Movie City Indie Archive for October, 2008

Gran Torino, a film by Dramis Pereo, produced by Flurshurlinger Mishloff and Skofrol Framuk

a film by dramis pereo.pngThe trailer for Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino is up; the credit block on the splash page is… unusual?

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Indie is bouncing from interview to interview

Close-ups at work: women on Sarah Palin

Close-ups work.

Lance Hammer on filmmaking today: The adults have left the room

A few optimistic words from the director of Ballast.

What was the most viewed indie of the weekend with 165,00 viewers? Princess of Nebraska

On Monday, I had a conversation with filmmaker Lance Hammer about how movies like his Ballast could make money in the present and emerging market. And while he’s an optimist about the future of filmmaking, he was less than sanguine about the possibility of breaking even with a film like his today. Which is why this news release leaves me with mixed feelings: “165,000 + views in a two-day period is the biggest online opening ever for a feature-length studio film: Wayne Wang’s new film The Princess of Nebraska made its world premiere on YouTube™ on Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 12:00am EST. With more than 165,000 views in its first two days, the online launch represents the most successful studio film premiere in YouTube’s history. In relation to a theatrical release, the film would have placed around 15th on the box office charts. Magnolia Pictures’ Ray Price said, “It’s astounding that over a two day period The Princess of Nebraska became the most widely viewed independent film in the country.” That’s a lot of eyeballs. An interesting small film is getting seen. What’s next? [The film is below.]

Wayne Wang's Princess of Nebraska

Wayne Wang’s career as a feature director came with one of the first micro-budgeted success of the once-burgeoning American independent movement (in theatrical terms, at least), 1992’s Chan is Missing Much of his work is with women or bears Chinese and Chinese-American themes, even as he alternates studio work with smaller projects, such as Brooklyn-by-the-block Smoke (1995), written by Paul Auster. With a modest amount of money on hand after shooting, a companion film, Blue in the Face was made in five days by Wang and Auster, and there’s a similar occasion a decade later, with Wang’s latest, the generational drama A Thousand Years of Good Luck in theaters now, and the teensy-scaled The Princess of Nebraska, a story of a young woman making a momentous choice, shot with smaller, mostly consumer-level cameras, including the main character’s cell phones, now showing via YouTube’s Screening Room for free starting today (It’s embedded above.) A primary reason these almost guerilla-scaled collaborations appeal to Wang is how contrary they are to the style of editing in contemporary studio-budgeted projects, where a moment for reflection is a moment to be snipped. It’s called a “pacing pass,” or a review of the assembly to make sure that everything is always moving at the briskest of clips. “Well, that’s true with all these studios now. You preview, you preview, and you’re already chopping things out. And then at the end, they go through a pacing pace and basically anything that is a moment of taking a breath, for the audience to think, they take it right out. So that’s what the studio films have become. There are no characters: they’re heroes, they’re comic strip heroes, and they’re very one-note most of the time. There are a few films that go and deal with characters but there are very few of them. And plot! Everything has to be part of the plot. Everything is so cause-and-effect, it’s unreal. That’s why, again, in my film there are a lot of things that are not explained. A lot of things that don’t lead to something. Which is part of their lives and their conflicts.” Wang is open to evolving forms of distribution, but says, “We need to look at the world in both those ways. The sad thing is probably that the theater films are all going to be event films. That’s the reality.” And smaller pictures? The easy-to-laugh director says, laughing, “It’s fun to do. It’s almost like throwing all the rules out the window.”

Abel Ferrara takes a pirouette around Little Italy

[Via The Circuit.]

One take: "Humbled"/"Choice"

Guinness unleashes fridge magnet in Buenos Aires

V. nice sense of place.

Kim's video would like you to adopt 55,000 videos

Kim's public offer.jpg

Guillaume Depardieu was 37

The U.S. trailer for The Duchess Of Anglaise.

Kennedy had a catchy jingle in 1960

Indie is screening

American mystic

Not Mickey Rourke.

Photographer William Claxton was 80



Movie City Indie

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“I think [technology has[ its made my life faster, it’s made the ability to succeed easier. But has that made my life better? Is it better now than it was in the eighties or seventies? I don’t think we are happier. Maybe because I’m 55, I really am asking these questions… I really want to do meaningful things! This is also the time that I really want to focus on directing. I think that I will act less and less. I’ve been doing it for 52 years. It’s a long time to do one thing and I feel like there are a lot of stories that I got out of my system that I don’t need to tell anymore. I don’t need to ever do The Accused again! That is never going to happen again! You hit these milestones as an actor, and then you say, ‘Now what? Now what do I have to say?'”
~ Jodie Foster

“If there’s one rule Hollywood has metaphysically proven in its century of experimentation, it’s that there’s no amount of money you can’t squander in the quest for hits.

“Netflix has spent the past couple years attempting to brute-force jailbreak this law. Its counter-theory has seemed to be, sure, a billion dollars doesn’t guarantee quality but how about three billion dollars? How about five billion dollars? Seven?

“This week’s latest cinematic opus to run across no-man’s-land into the machine-gun emplacements has been the Jared Leto yakuza movie ‘The Outsider.’ Once again, debuting on Netflix, another thing called a movie that at one glance doesn’t look like any kind of movie anyone has ever seen before, outside of off-prime time screenings at the AFM.

“If you’re working at a normal studio, you have one or two of these total misfires in a year and people start calling for your head. How many is Netflix going on? Fifteen? Twenty? This quarter? Any normal company would be getting murdered over results like that.”
~ Richard Rushfield