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Thompson on Hollywood

Review: Microbudget Indie 'By Way of Home' Punches Above Its Weight (TRAILER)

Reunited after a two-year estrangement, childhood friends Brooke and Morgan spend the early stages of "By Way of Home" catching up. The former, laid off and living with her parents, describes this state of affairs with a gentle euphemism ("the whole family's home"), but her delivery carries the unmistakable twang of disappointment.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • July 18, 2013 2:01 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Now and Then: Five Reasons 'Mumblecore' and 'Millennial' Don't Mean the Same Thing

Reading wave after wave of writing about the Millennial generation and the so-called "mumblecore" movement, you would be forgiven for thinking the commentators had somehow mistaken movies for real life.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • June 13, 2013 1:44 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Four Indies to Make Digital Debut via Sundance Institute's Artist Services Program

The Sundance Institute's distribution and marketing arm Artist Services will digitally debut four upcoming independent films. Beginning June 18, titles will be available everywhere from iTunes, Amazon and Microsoft Xbox to SundanceNOW.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • June 5, 2013 5:46 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Arthouse Audit: 'Hannah Arendt' Leads New Openings, 'The East' and 'Kings of Summer' Open Just OK

Early summer specialized releases are falling short of the initial grosses of breakout films from the last two years. But several films representing a range of audience appeal (primarily younger-oriented) are showing varying levels of strength. A surprisingly strong New York gross from the German film "Hannah Arendt" (Zeitgeist) is the initial standout entry.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • June 2, 2013 4:29 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Ford Foundation Adds Sundance's Mertes as JustFilms Director, Funding Social Issue Docs

One of the key posts in the documentary world has been taken by Cara Mertes, who was director of the Sundance Institute's documentary film program. She'll now be director of the Ford Foundation's social justice filmmaking program JustFilms, which was founded by departing Orlando Bagwell and is under the Ford Media Arts and Culture unit.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 30, 2013 2:11 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Now and Then: Remarkable New Doc 'La Camioneta,' a Masterful Miniature (TRAILER)

Spotsylvania County, Virginia and Queztal City, Guatemala are separated by nearly 3,000 miles of road, and by what would seem, at first, an unbridgeable cultural distance. But in Mark Kendall's remarkable documentary "La Camioneta" -- a brilliant microhistory of our globalized world -- you're hard pressed to consider them anything but neighbors.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • May 29, 2013 2:10 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Cannes 2012 Box Office Led by 'Moonrise Kingdom,' Will Strong Fest Sales Repeat in 2013?

Led by a recent year (and possibly all time) record of 21 of 22 official competition films gaining U.S. distribution (including some yet to play), 2012's Cannes line-up (from all sections) shows 58 total -- much above average -- out of 100 titles that were presented ending up with domestic rights acquired, most of them after their festival showings.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • May 13, 2013 2:06 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Arthouse Audit: 'Stories We Tell' Shows Initial Strength, Sole Successful Opening

So far the 2013 indie box office is running far behind last year--nothing comes close to 2012's booming "Best Exotic Marigold" or "Bernie," which were both standout performers far above this weekend's group of small-grossing releases, typical for this time of year. Few recent releases -- even those that had a glimmer of hope initially -- look to do as well as the best of a year ago. Sarah Polley's "Stories We Tell" opened to a promising response, and should appeal to main limited situations as opposed to being rushed out wide as most recent successes have.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • May 12, 2013 4:14 PM
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Zach Braff Responds to Kickstarter Campaign Vitriol: 'It's Not Like I Lobbied Congress'

Though he hasn't directed a feature since 2004's "Garden State," Zach Braff has been the talk of the town in recent weeks. With over 35,000 backers and nearly $2.5 million in funds with two weeks to go, his Kickstarter campaign has critics puzzled. Braff sat down with the LA Times in response.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • May 8, 2013 12:56 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Arthouse Audit: 'Mud' Scores Sole Strong Indie Opener Amid Specialized Market Struggles

"Mud" nearly made the weekend box office top 10 in only 363 theaters, towering over all the other new openings this week, none of which had a PSA of even $12,000 with limited New York/Los Angeles two to four theater openings. For the third time in several weeks, and in this case already in the first one, much of the money came from a wide variety of upscale theaters.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 28, 2013 4:16 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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