ReelPolitik

Who is Captain America? The Real "Winter Soldier"

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • October 25, 2013 3:26 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The Marvel property "Captain America" is an easy target for ReelPolitik, one in which I took great joy in aiming at when the reboot was released (see: "Captain America" review: Old-fashioned propaganda or just old-fashioned?). Now I wouldn't have bothered to return to Cap except that I recently discovered the subtitle of the sequel: "Winter Soldier," which coincidentally or not, shares a name with one of the Vietnam era's most virulent anti-war docs.

The Bad Metrics of Box Office Reporting

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • October 25, 2013 11:24 AM
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  • 1 Comment
In my latest Industry Beat column for Filmmaker Magazine, I continue my ongoing fascination with the way that VOD and digital distribution are impacting the independent film landscape. Mainly, the article focuses on the ways that the film industry measures success--an outdated and increasingly irrelevant metric known as theatrical ticket sales.

"12 Years A Slave" Wins Gotham Awards

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • October 24, 2013 10:43 AM
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  • 3 Comments
As much as I enjoy the Gothams, New York's independent film awards ceremony and IFP fundraiser, the actual winners are rarely, if ever, a surprise. While the Gothams don't take place for another month, it's safe to say that "12 Years A Slave" will win the big prizes, increasing its momentum as it heads to the Academy Awards next year.

New York Indie Film Loses its Focus

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • October 3, 2013 9:06 AM
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  • 8 Comments
With every well-heeled film institution or corporation that abandons New York City, the once indie film center loses some of its capital. And in the capital-intensive world of the film business, that's not a good thing for adventurous filmmakers who need adventurous financiers. It's bad enough that Focus Features, the longstanding Universal subsidiary that once supported Gotham auteurs like Jim Jarmusch ("The Limits of Control"), Noah Baumbach ("Greenberg") and the Coen brothers ("A Serious Man"), lost its main art-film advocate James Schamus, who balanced a shrewd knowledge of overseas playability with bold aesthetics, but the real nail in the coffin is the company's shuttering of its New York offices.

"Manuscripts" Travels; Rasoulof Can't; Iranian Filmmaker Held in Iran

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • October 2, 2013 2:46 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Ever-evolving human rights violations in Iran against its filmmakers is often difficult to grasp. One moment, there appears to be liberalization and rejoicing; the next there are crackdowns and arrests. Is it clear to anyone what exactly Jafar Panahi's situation within Iran is at the moment, given that he has continued to make movies when he's been banned from doing so? His compatriot, Mohammad Rasoulof, who was arrested around the same time, has always appeared to be in a better position with the authorities, but recent news to the contrary suggests he is facing a pushback from the new Iranian regime.

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