Movie City Indie Archive for September, 2010

RIP Sidney Falco

RIP Josephine; Bernard Schwartz; Tony Curtis

RIP Joe Mantell: “Forget It, Jake…”

A perfect line and a perfect line reading. Still stellar even in a snip from a trailer.

Teasing Athina Rachel Tsangari’s ATTENBERG (nudity)

From a co-producer of Yorgos Lanthimos’ Dogtooth; impressive word from Toronto-goers like Daniel Kasman. Haven’t seen Dogtooth? The Greek theatrical release trailer is below.
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Arthur Penn Was 88

Born September 27, 1922; Died September 28, 1922. The still, from Mickey One (1964), belies the film’s mood. Below, the opening five minutes, as shot by in ominous, lovely black-and-white by Ghislain Cloquet. It may have been his most eccentric enterprise, aside from Penn And Teller Get Killed.

This Is That Not All That There

Shuttering the brick-‘n’-mortar offices of This Is That Productions, Ted Hope email blasts 6,000 colleagues and acquaintances with a little William Carlos Williams-styled enjambment… also parsed out via Twitter: “Email blasted my poem in homage to WCW eating the plums on my change of address & the impossibility of keeping TITofc open. Whew… I never thought it was surprising that the company could have the #1 film in USA & still not afford to keep ofc open… If i could buy one book on financing indie film @KTFfilms And on investmt structure it would be Das Kapital or Shoot to Kill… Why do people think negative when you say you are leaving the physical world and will continue to strive virtually?…. Fire sale: Mac OS X Serve v10.5 Purchased in march 2009 best offer over $1000 DM me”

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R.I.P. Sally Menke

Sundance Channel Promos CARLOS

Chicago International Film Festival Turns 46

kutza

The Chicago International Film Festival turns 46. It’s been founder Michael Kutza’s baby since its inception. “North America’s oldest competitive film festival” runs October 7-21. The schedule was announced September 21 at Lucky Strike Lanes, a floor below the AMC River East 21, the downtown multiplex where all festival films are shown. Some notable titles arrive from other festivals, including the Palme d’or-winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Remember His Past Lives, by School of the Art Institute alum Apichatpong Weerasethakul. [Photo: Ray Pride]

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Opening Night, 7th Reykjavik Int’l Film Festival

A quirky festival in a fascinating land: I attended last year’s sixth Reykjavik International Film Festival, and just got the press release from Friday night’s opening of the seventh: “The seventh edition of the Reykjavik International Film Festival was officially declared open by Jón Gnarr, the Mayor of Reykjavik, at the Festival’s opening party on Thursday evening. The party, attended by a host of Iceland’s film, stage and television personalities including Oscar Nominee Fridrik Thor Fridriksson (Best Foreign Language Film, Children Of Nature, 1991), took place at the National Theatre building which is more accustomed to hosting stage plays than film screenings, obviously. However, the architect Gudjon Samuelsson designed the grand theatre early in the 20th Century also to be suitable as a film screening room, albeit a very grand one.

“And that was only too fitting, as the National Theatre did very well in hosting the screening of the opening film of RIFF 2010, Cyrus, which is presented in the Special Presentations category and directed by Jay and Mark Duplass, was met with several fits of belly laughter as well as repeated nods of approval, and a rapturous applause when the lights came back on. The comic relief was met with welcoming spirits after a rather acidic “Festival Splash” opening speech where veteran film producer Thor Sigurjonsson took the opportunity to lash out at the Icelandic government’s plans to cut down grants to film and tv production.

“But spirits were high, happy and optimistic in the party after the screening, where copious amounts of champagne were washed down with greetings and congratulations regarding the happy days ahead. After all, RIFF has only just begun and it promises to be a feast of fine, fresh cinema as always. We’ll see you when the lights are switched on again.” [Photos: HAG]
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Postering CARLOS

Paging Sidney Lumet… Sidney Lumet to the courtesy phone, please.

Promo Item Of The Day: Never Let Me Go Naked

If you’ve seen the film, the postmark is ominous and comic: “National Donor Programme.”

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David Byrne On The Wall Street Soundtrack

Via David Byrne’s mailing list, notes on his substantial contribution to Oliver Stone’s latest. “On Friday, the movie Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps comes out, and I’m all over the soundtrack! Oliver Stone’s film recreates scenes from the bank collapses and bailouts, and the attendant shenanigans of a couple of years ago… and of course Gekko is back. Stone approached me about music a while back, and I met him at an office and gave him a pile of records. He ended up mainly using a lot of songs from my recent collaboration with Brian Eno (“Everything That Happens Will Happen Today”), a few songs from recent solo and dance score records, and a reprise of “This Must Be The Place,” the Talking Heads song that was used in the first Wall Street movie. It was almost like I’d scored the picture. Stone was super accommodating – inviting me numerous times to view rough assemblies to be sure I was OK with how the music was being used. This is pretty unusual; most times licensing a song for a movie is a bureaucratic formality, and the artist is never invited into the process. That said, I’ve only turned down movie song use once or twice for aesthetic reasons – if I thought a scene made unfortunate associations with a song. If you’ve got these recordings already, this all won’t mean anything to you, but if not, and if you see the movie and wonder, what was that music? – here is your answer. The music, along with some score pieces by fellow Scot Craig Armstrong, is available today on iTunes, and via all the usual download and online outlets.” (Info.)

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Ariel Schulman, Co-Director, CATFISH

Ariel Schulman

Elysian Hotel, Chicago, 20 September 2010.

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Flinging Into The Fall Film Season

Movie City Indie

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What do you make of the criticism directed at the film that the biopic genre or format is intrinsically bourgeois? That’s the most crazy criticism. That’s an excuse for not engaging with the content of the movie. Film critics sometimes, you know, can be very lazy.

Come on, formal criticism is valuable too. But I’m amazed when this is the thing they put in front of the discourse. My situation is that I’m dealing with a highly explosive subject, a taboo subject that nobody wants to deal with.

Karl Marx? Yes, this is the first film ever in the Western world about Marx. And I managed to make an almost mainstream film out of it. You want me at the same time to play the artist and do a risky film about the way my camera moves and the way I edit? No, it’s complicated enough! The artistic challenge — and it took me ten years with Pascal to write this story — was the writing. That was the most difficult part. We were making a film about the evolution of an idea, which is impossible. To be able to have political discourse in a scene, and you can follow it, and it’s not simplified, and it’s historically true. This is the accomplishment. So when someone criticizes the formal aspects without seeing that first, for me, it’s laziness or ignorance. There’s an incapacity to deal with what’s on the table. I make political films about today, I’m not making a biopic to make a biopic. I don’t believe in being an artist just to be an artist. And by the way, this film cost $9 million. I dare anyone in the United States to make this film for $9 million.
Raoul Peck on The Young Karl Marx

“The Motion Picture Academy, at considerable expense and with great efficiency, runs all the nominated pictures at its own theater, showing each picture twice, once in the afternoon, once in the evening. A nominated picture is one in connection with which any kind of work is nominated for an award, not necessarily acting, directing, or writing; it may be a purely technical matter such as set-dressing or sound work. This running of pictures has the object of permitting the voters to look at films which they may happen to have missed or to have partly forgotten. It is an attempt to make them realize that pictures released early in the year, and since overlaid with several thicknesses of battered celluloid, are still in the running and that consideration of only those released a short time before the end of the year is not quite just.

“The effort is largely a waste. The people with votes don’t go to these showings. They send their relatives, friends, or servants. They have had enough of looking at pictures, and the voices of destiny are by no means inaudible in the Hollywood air. They have a brassy tone, but they are more than distinct.”All this is good democracy of a sort. We elect Congressmen and Presidents in much the same way, so why not actors, cameramen, writers, and all rest of the people who have to do with the making of pictures? If we permit noise, ballyhoo, and theater to influence us in the selection of the people who are to run the country, why should we object to the same methods in the selection of meritorious achievements in the film business? If we can huckster a President into the White House, why cannot we huckster the agonized Miss Joan Crawford or the hard and beautiful Miss Olivia de Havilland into possession of one of those golden statuettes which express the motion picture industry’s frantic desire to kiss itself on the back of its neck? The only answer I can think of is that the motion picture is an art. I say this with a very small voice. It is an inconsiderable statement and has a hard time not sounding a little ludicrous. Nevertheless it is a fact, not in the least diminished by the further facts that its ethos is so far pretty low and that its techniques are dominated by some pretty awful people.

“If you think most motion pictures are bad, which they are (including the foreign), find out from some initiate how they are made, and you will be astonished that any of them could be good. Making a fine motion picture is like painting “The Laughing Cavalier” in Macy’s basement, with a floorwalker to mix your colors for you. Of course most motion pictures are bad. Why wouldn’t they be?”
~ Raymond Chandler, “Oscar Night In Hollywood,” 1948