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Thompson on Hollywood

WATCH EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Ira Deutchman's Sundance Art House Convergence Keynote on Independent Marketing

Anyone wondering about the future of the film industry should pay heed to Ira Deutchman's warnings about sticking to the same old ways. They aren't going to work much longer. Think local and consider appointment cinema, he suggests wisely. "There's too little commercial product chasing too many screens, and too much good product chasing too few good screens." And, he sums up: "Distribution is easy. Marketing is hard. Old fashioned showmanship has got to come back."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 23, 2013 3:56 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Review: Urban Poverty and Youthful Pluck Coexist in Ken Loach's 'The Angels' Share'

Just four days after the death of Margaret Thatcher, the divisive British prime minister who transformed the United Kingdom during the 1980s, Ken Loach's new film "The Angels' Share" opened last Friday at the the IFC Center in Manhattan's West Village. The timing, although of course coincidental, was instructive: it was Thatcherite policies that created the very socioeconomic conditions that Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty--a long-time collaborator of the English-born director--set out to highlight in their film.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • April 16, 2013 11:19 AM
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Review: Antonio Campos Returns with Sexy, Disturbing 'Simon Killer,' Q & A

"Simon Killer" marks the second feature by Antonio Campos, who previously wrote and directed the Cannes Un Certain Regard selection "Afterschool" (2008). "Simon Killer" is an icy exercise in troubled masculinity, and a bold pronouncement of cinematic style that's as strong an American indie as any in recent memory. (See IFC's Kubrickian poster below, as well as highlights from Campos' AFI FEST Q&A last fall.)
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • April 4, 2013 11:45 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Band OK Go Challenges Filmmakers to Make a Music Video for New Song 'I'm Not Through'

Band OK Go and company Saatchi and Saatchi are challenging emerging filmmakers to create a music video for "I'm Not Through," a brand-new song from the band's upcoming fourth album. Lead singer Damian Kulash has offered interested filmmakers a bit of inspiration, creating a montage of Instagram photos set to the new song, which can be viewed here.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 1, 2013 3:11 PM
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Now and Then: Quentin Dupieux's 'Wrong' Exposes the Limits of Surrealism

Drafthouse Films, the distributor of Quentin Dupieux's bizarre new film, "Wrong," describes the French director and electronic musician (stage name: Mr. Oizo) as "one of the world’s most fearless cinematic surrealists." The surreal does indeed seem to be Dupieux's preferred register, but this leads me to a trickier question. Should we care?
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • March 26, 2013 3:21 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Arthouse Audit: 'Gimme the Loot' Delivers; Two New Comedies Flounder

With A24 taking last week's limited smash "Spring Breakers" wide quickly to mainly non-arthouses, this week's new films offer only modest promise for future bookings. IFC's "Gimme the Loot" had a standout New York opening, but the company, which thrives with appropriate Video on Demand placement, is taking the film in that direction shortly. Two other films, "The Sapphires" and "Starbuck," both comedy/dramas with formulas that have worked in the past, delivered modest openings in New York and Los Angeles.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • March 24, 2013 4:18 PM
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Review: Pre-'Les Mis,' Minnie Driver & Gang Sing Live in Welsh High School Musical 'Hunky Dory'

Welsh filmmaker Marc Evans' elegiac, semi-autobiographical high school musical "Hunky Dory," which played at SXSW last year after its UK release, is finally opening in NY and LA theaters and on VOD March 22 via distrib Variance. The delightful comedy written by Laurence Coriat, set in the sweltering hot summer of 1976, stars a winning Minnie Driver as a drama teacher who mounts a glam rock version of Shakespeare's "The Tempest."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 21, 2013 4:02 PM
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  • 1 Comment

America Gets the Dystopic Treatment in New Animated Indie 'Silver Circle'

It's 2019, and runaway inflation has sunk the American economy into a cesspool of sky-high prices and rampant unemployment. A loaf of bread costs $50; bars advertise bargain deals on $90 beer Tuesdays.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • March 18, 2013 4:07 PM
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Film Independent Chiefs McManus and Welsh Preview Indie Spirits, Take Stock of LACMA and LAFF

Just a year ago, long-time Film Independent staffers Sean McManus and Josh Welsh took on new roles as co-presidents of Film Independent, which runs many vital programs for the West Coast independent film community, as well as the Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival. They replaced Dawn Hudson, who left FIND to become the CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. I talked to the two men on the phone about where they are and where they're going--and the upcoming Indie Spirits, my favorite awards event.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 20, 2013 5:46 PM
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Now and Then: In 'For Ellen,' the Many Faces of Paul Dano

Put a quarter in the jukebox and the rocker Joby Taylor (Paul Dano) transforms. His loping gait diffuses into trance, a manic, writhing riff on his stage persona. It's a conversion experience of sorts, fittingly enough: "For Ellen" is a tale of many metamorphoses.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • February 19, 2013 1:34 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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