News & Updates
November 1, 2017
Discover some of the SXSW alumni films on release this month, such as BILL NYE: SCIENCE GUY, THE LIGHT OF THE MOON, and MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND. Continue on for a complete list with trailers and more info.
One of America’s most beloved scientists takes us along for the ride on his journey to save the world.
Now In Theaters
Sensitive, frank, and as timely as it gets, Jessica M. Thompson’s feature debut is a clear-eyed inquiry into trauma and recovery, buoyed by an extraordinary lead performance from Stephanie Beatriz.
In Theaters November 1
MAYA DARDEL (screened at SXSW as A Critically Endangered Species)
Narrative Feature, World Premiere, 2017
Website | Trailer
Horrifying, allegorical and seductive, Most Beautiful Island is a remarkable debut from filmmaker, writer and lead actor Ana Asensio. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize in the 2017 Narrative Feature Competition.
In Theaters November 3
On Demand November 3
Former SNL player and Master of None co-star Noelle Wells appears in front of and behind the camera in her beguiling, hilarious directorial debut.
Now In Theaters
In one of his final roles, Anton Yelchin stars with Lucie Lucas as fleeting lovers in this gorgeous film, steeped in melancholy and romance.
In Theaters November 17
This cautionary tale follows a young Nigerian-American financier as he attempts to navigate the difficult terrain where ambition, temptation and responsibility collide. A striking debut feature.
In Theaters November 10
On Demand November 28
A visionary Texas artist gets a much deserved documentary treatment in the directorial debut of editor and Richard Linklater collaborator Sandra Adair.
On Blu-ray/DVD November 7
Uncategorizable and mesmerizing, Song of Granite is truly unique, hybrid portrait of Irish folk music hero and icon Joe Heaney.
In Theaters November 15
A powerful examination of rehabilitation and masculine fragility that’s as compassionate is it is confrontational and emotionally hardcore. A truly unmissable film. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize in the 2017 Documentary Feature Competition.
Now in Theaters
On Demand November 21
Source: SxSW Film
October 30, 2017
How do you fake the look of 16mm with your DSLR when shooting on film gets too expensive?I cut my photographic teeth on a Canon 5D Mark II and …
Source: CW’s Flipboard Feed
October 29, 2017
Have you heard of “Amityville: The Awakening?” Neither has anyone else, it seems, as the latest installment in that strangely long-lasting horror franchise made just $742 in 10 theaters this weekend, ranking it among the poorest openings ever.
There are a few reasons for that, however. The film, which stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bella Thorne and was filmed in 2014, was released for free on Google Play a few weeks back; it’s also making its way to Blu-ray and DVD next month. That, combined with essentially zero advertising, explains how it averaged just $74 per theater.
Released by Dimension Films — the genre wing of the Weinstein Company, whose future is uncertain in the wake of the ongoing Harvey Weinstein scandal — “The Awakening” is the 10th installment in the “Amityville” series and a direct sequel to the original film. Like a lot of horror movies of late, it completely ignores every other sequel made before it.
Source: IndieWire film
October 29, 2017
When indie director Ava DuVernay (“Selma”) became the first woman of color to tackle a $100-million tentpole, Disney’s upcoming sci-fi/adventure, “A Wrinkle in Time,” her biggest fear was tackling VFX. But at Saturday’s Visual Effects Society Summit at the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills, DuVernay described how, as a black woman from Compton, she learned to incorporate the technical language into her storytelling arsenal.
“I pride myself as the queen of the scene in a room…I know how to make the past and the present,” said DuVernay during her keynote Q&A the day after winning a BAFTA Britannia Award. “I don’t know how to make the future — until now.”
One Step at a Time
But when ILM visual effects supervisor Rich McBride (Oscar-nominated for “The Revenant”) broke the process down into layers, the experience became a transformation.
“There are pieces of the puzzle that I didn’t need to see or comment on,” added DuVernay. “I’ve been able to learn and speak to [visual effects] in a robust manner. You can create as an artist with these tools. There’s no separation. The way I’m shaping life with cinematography, I’m doing with my visual effects supervisor.”
Finding the Emotion
In adapting the 1963 novel by Madeleine L’Engle as a multi-racial adventure (starring Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and Chris Pine), DuVernay defined everything by emotion, including the VFX. That required improvisation and flexibility. So no matter how much action revolved around flying planets, running and falling creatures, and tesseracting through different dimensions, the director wanted to ground it in reality.
And once DuVernay understood the visual context of a shot, she became a VFX nerd. “This needs more texture around the edges and occlusion of light,” she said.
After a preview screening revealed a scene that was visually confusing, the director requested a VFX change. “It hit me as a whole,” DuVernay said. “This whole scene, an exterior [set], I want to take that out, put it inside [an interior digital scene], roto out the people and put them in [the other] scene.”
Although DuVernay admitted that she might never take on another $100-million movie, she implored the VFX community to embrace diversity. “How will you treat a woman of color? Give them the tools to blossom,” she said.
Source: IndieWire film
October 29, 2017
“Blade Runner 2049” hasn’t proven to be the moneymaker many were hoping for, but it has inspired a great deal of affection from much of its audience. Among the most talked-about moments is a sex scene involving Ryan Gosling’s Officer K, his hologram Joi (ana de Armas), and a prostitute named Mariette (Mackenzie Davis) hired to bridge the physical gap between the two would-be lovers.
The women merge in the sad, innovative scene, synchronizing their movements so as to make K feel like he’s actually with Joi. They aren’t entirely in sync, however — and, according to VFX supervisor John Nelson, the imperfection was by design.
“We’d rehearse, and then we’d shoot Mariette first, and then Denis would pick a take, then I would go through that take with the script supervisor,” Nelson tells Syfy about shooting the sequence.
“We’d use a stopwatch and time out it: ‘At two seconds in she lifts her hand. At four seconds in she touches his face. She begins to walk around at eight seconds in.’ Then I would take an iPad and I would put it in front of Ana, right in front of where Ryan is, and she would line up to get right on top of where Mariette was, line up Joi to Mariette.”
“If you’re looking at a glass and you put water into it, you see the front side of the glass but you also see the back side,” he adds. “We mapped out what that back shell would look like, as if you had a bottle that had a label on both sides. It’s as if you look through the front of the bottle and see the label on the back of the bottle, but backwards.” Read his full interview here.
Source: IndieWire film
October 29, 2017
This pre-Halloween weekend, multiple specialized distributors opened and expanded significant fall season releases. Comedy “The Square” (Magnolia), this year’s top Cannes prize-winner, launched at a high level for a subtitled film on the road to national release and Oscar contention.
No other opening reached its levels. “The Novitiate” (Sony Pictures Classics) drew disappointing results. “Bill Nye: Science Guy” (PBS) showed some initial promise, while “Jane” (Abramorama/National Geographic), another documentary about a well-known scientist, primate conservationist Jane Goodall, showed strong second weekend results. A24’s “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” led second weekend expansions.
The Square (Magnolia) – Metacritic: 74; Festivals include: Cannes, Toronto 2017
$76,000 in 4 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $19,000
Ruben Ostlund’s Cannes Palme d’Or-winner, despite a 2.5 hour length, opened unusually well for a subtitled film. The Swedish Oscar entry, a comedy about the art world, opened at four prime New York/Los Angeles locations with a strong ad presence and some filmmaker appearances. A comparable release, the most recent Foreign Language Academy Award winner “The Salesman,” debuted after its nomination in January to a $24,000 PTA in one less theater. “The Square” is also outperforming Ostlund’s previous release “Force Majeure,” which opened three years ago to a total of $23,000 in two theaters.
What comes next: 11 additional theaters in the current markets and three new cities begins its expansion this Friday.
Novitiate (Sony Pictures Classics) – Metacritic: 73; Festivals include: Sundance, Toronto 2017
$22,577 in 3 theaters; PTA: $7,526
An American girl finds her decision to become a nun more complicated than expected in this 1960s drama that, despite significant marketing from SPC and favorable reviews, achieved only minor results in New York and Los Angeles.
What comes next: Chicago, San Francisco and Washington lead the list on new cities adding on this Friday.
Bill Nye: Science Guy (PBS) – Metacritic: 73; Festivals include: South by Southwest, San Francisco, Los Angeles 2017
$9,150 in 1 theater; PTA: $9.150
This documentary about America’s best known TV science expert is a respectable theatrical release for PBS before it airs on the network.
What comes next: Los Angeles is next on Nov. 10
God’s Own Country (Orion) – Metacritic: 84; Festivals include: Sundance, San Francisco, Seattle 2017
$16,820 in 2 theaters; PTA: $8,410; Cumulative: $22,691
The British rural gay romance opened in New York and Los Angeles to decent response with strong reviews.
What comes next: A national big city expansion is set for November.
All I See Is You (Open Road) – Metacritic: 43; Festivals include: Toronto 2016
$135,504 in 283 theaters; PTA: $479
Marc Forster’s Toronto 2016 debut with Blake Lively and Jason Clarke (about a blind woman regaining her sight) had a limited release with few ticket buyers across big cities nationally.
What comes next: Not likely to hang around even for a second week.
Mansfield 66/67 (Filmbuff) – Festivals include: Rotterdam, Frameline 2017
$6,600 in 1 theater; PTA: $6,600
This documentary on Jayne Mansfield and her death in a car crash opened in Los Angeles, with nearly all the gross on Friday night.
What comes next: Mostly calendar dates (some less than full weeks) are scheduled around the country.
Brimstone and Glory (Oscilloscope) – Festivals include: True/False, San Francisco, Hot Docs 2017
$3,000 in 1 theater; PTA: $3,000
This documentary about fireworks and their important role in Mexican life had a minor opening in Los Angeles at one theater.
What comes next: San Francisco and Albuquerque open this Friday.
Let There Be Light (Atlas)
$1,800,000 in 373 theaters; PTA: $4,826
Sean Hannity as executive producer looks to have helped with the marketing of this fundamentalist right-wing religious drama about an atheist who discovers religion after a near-death experience. The heartland-centric results were better than most recent similar efforts with Saturday up a bit from Friday, showing more than pre-sale group interest. Actor Kevin Sorbo directed as well as acted.
What comes next: These grosses should lead to more interest and expansion.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer (A24)
$221,552 in 33 theaters (+29); PTA: $6,713; Cumulative: $392,453
The second weekend for Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest English-language film is decent, though not at the level of “The Lobster” last year. This initially would appear to be a decent arthouse performer but not likely to have the modest crossover results of his earlier hit.
Jane (Abramorama/National Geographic)
$151,376 in 25 theaters (+22); PTA: $6,055; Cumulative: $231,504
Excellent results for the second weekend expansion of this documentary about legendary primate raiser Jane Goodall. Previously unseen recordings of her with her animals — and her romantic cinematographer–have significant appeal with likely much greater interest still to come.
Wonderstruck (Roadside Attractions)
$126,007 in 42 theaters (+38); PTA: $3,000; Cumulative: $213,221
Despite continued good reviews, Todd Haynes’ innovative young-adult mystery is not seeing results equal to its acclaim as it quickly expanded to more big cities its second weekend. Amazon continues to provide major support, but is meeting continued resistance.
BPM (Beats Per Minute) (The Orchard)
$7,470 in 4 theaters (+2); PTA: $1,868; Cumulative: $22,914
This acclaimed French AIDS resistance group drama (the country’s Oscar submission) despite strong reviews is not finding much interest in its second weekend with San Francisco now added (Los Angeles is next this Friday).
Tragedy Girls (Gunpowder & Sky) 2-18
$12,420 in 18 theaters (+16); PTA: $690; Cumulative: $30,242
This riff on the slasher genre expanded for Halloween to minimal results.
Aida’s Secrets (Music Box) 1-10
$21,302 in 8 theaters (+7); PTA: $2,663; Cumulative: $31,494
Child holocaust survivor siblings find each other decades later in this documentary which expanded to Los Angeles and outlying New York locations its second weekend to reasonable results.
Ongoing/expanding (grosses over $50,000)
Victoria & Abdul (Focus) Week 6
$1,612,000 in 1,044 theaters (-16); Cumulative: $17,712,000
The winner and still champion among fall specialized releases, this Judi Dench starrer is now Focus’ biggest limited release since “The Theory of Everything” three years ago.
Marshall (Open Road) Week 3
$921,369 in 821 theaters (no change); Cumulative: $6,966,000
The wide release for this biopic on the early career of the Supreme Court Justice is holding on to current theaters but with continued minor response.
The Florida Project (A24) Week 4
$539,234 in 145 theaters (+33); Cumulative: $2,149,000
Sean Baker’s acclaimed American independent film continues to see robust results as it quickly expands. The grosses continue to be less than A24’s breakout “Moonlight” last year (which saw a similar release pattern), but that was not a typical release. This looks to be headed to a gross considerably higher and one of the better specialized releases of the year.
Loving Vincent (Good Deed) Week 6
$449,453 in 160 theaters (+46); Cumulative: $2,108,000
This unexpected fall sleeper, which animates in the style of Van Gogh’s paintings, is an exception to the failure of many biographical films this season. It continues to see above-average per-theater grosses and already has passed $2 million with likely significantly more to come.
Goodbye Christopher Robin (Fox Searchlight) Week 3
$330,000 in 213 theaters (+152); Cumulative: $633,036
The third weekend for this biofilm about writer A.A. Milne and his son continues to see weak response as it quickly expands.
Battle of the Sexes (Fox Searchlight) Week 6
$310,000 in 291 theaters (-254); Cumulative: $12,010,000
The Emma Stone/Steve Carell recreation of the famous woman vs. man tennis match continues its run with some remaining interest even if it never reached expected levels.
Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5
$94,816 in 185 theaters (-147); Cumulative: $665,000
SPC as usual maximizes the playoff of its latest film, about the key Watergate leaker, even though the interest has been minimal with its ultimate gross likely to fall short of $1 million.
Lucky (Magnolia) Week 5
$(est.) 75,000 in 81 theaters (-30); Cumulative: $(est.) 683,000
Harry Dean Stanton’s final lead performance continues to be the draw as this release continues with modest results.
Faces Places (Cohen) Week 4
$72,960 in 42 theaters (+16); Cumulative: $269,382
Upcoming Honorary Oscar winner Agnes Varda’s likely final film, a personal documentary and road movie in and around France, continues its respectable arthouse run with new reviews keeping its Metacritic score of 95 ahead of any 2017 release so far.
Human Flow (Magnolia) Week 3
$61,000 in 36 theaters (+7); Cumulative: $272,064
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s documentary about refugees around the world continues its major market expansion with modest results and ongoing positive reviews.
Professor Marston & the Wonder Woman (Annapurna) – Week 3
$53,500 in 181 theaters (-778); Cumulative: $1,526,000
A quick end for the surprisingly wide run for this biofilm about the kinky life of the man who created the comic book figure.
Breathe (Bleecker Street) Week 3
$51,652 in 148 theaters (-167); Cumulative: $378,931
A fadeout as well for this Toronto premiered story of a real couple who overcome physical restrictions to travel the world.
Wind River (Weinstein) – $29,697 in 80 theaters; Cumulative: $33,620,000
Columbus (Superlative) – $11,490 in 18 theaters; Cumulative: $989,139
Dina (The Orchard) – $10,628 in 19 theaters; Cumulative: $59,681
Source: IndieWire film
October 29, 2017
Donald Trump Tweets About Michael Moore’s ‘Total Bomb’ Broadway Show; Moore’s Response Holds Nothing Back
With the news that Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation has yielded its first charges and someone may be arrested as early as Monday, Donald Trump is once again focusing on the important things: Michael Moore’s Broadway show. “While not at all presidential I must point out that the Sloppy Michael Moore Show on Broadway was a TOTAL BOMB and was forced to close. Sad!” he tweeted; those first five words may be the most self-aware thing he’s ever written.
Moore responded hours later: “You must have my smash hit of a Broadway show confused with your presidency– which IS a total bomb and WILL indeed close early. NOT SAD.” He then pointed out that a U.S. service member had been killed in Afghanistan yesterday, accusing Trump of not even being aware of this latest casualty; Moore also referred to Mueller’s grand jury and the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
Moore’s one-man show, “The Terms of My Surrender,” officially opened on August 10 and was advertised as a 12-week engagement from the outset — which is to say, it completed its scheduled run. Moore won an Academy Award for his documentary “Bowling for Columbine,” while Trump once used a presidential debate as an opportunity to complain about “The Apprentice” never winning an Emmy.
1) You must have my smash hit of a Broadway show confused with your presidency– which IS a total bomb and WILL indeed close early. NOT SAD https://t.co/URgXgzWWVk
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) October 29, 2017
Source: IndieWire film
October 28, 2017
With these VR tools, you can step into your CG set and direct as if it were really there.<p>If Lucasfilm and its visual effects division, Industrial …
Source: CW’s Flipboard Feed
October 27, 2017
Did you know that the stories you hear from us on NPR and our podcast are excerpts of interviews pulled from the StoryCorps Archive? Participants visit one of our recording locations with a friend or family member to record a 40-minute interview with the help of a trained StoryCorps Facilitator, or record a conversation using the StoryCorps App. We’re sharing this unedited interview from the StoryCorps Archive with you in its original form.
In this interview recorded at the San Francisco StoryBooth, Susan Aberg talks with Rachael Tsukayama about a terrible accident she had on a Hawaiian hiking trail.
The trip began as a tranquil retreat, with days spent snorkeling and swimming with sea tortoises. But not long before it drew to a close, a short hike quickly morphed into a violent free-fall down a cliffside precipice. “One or two seconds is all it took to go thirty-five or forty feet off the trail… I felt like I was going in slow-motion, and I thought I was dying. There was no doubt that I was not going to survive this, because I was going head-first off the trail,” Aberg recalls.
Eventually Aberg tumbled into a brush of tropical foliage that broke her fall. “It seemed so wonderful that I thought, ‘Is this heaven?’” she says. She survived with a broken finger and five fractures in her shoulder, but the fall most impacted her outlook on life. “I feel in a way the accident was a gift,” she says, “I’ve learned empathy and patience. I’ve re-imagined what my life could become.”
All material within the StoryCorps collection is copyrighted by StoryCorps. StoryCorps encourages use of material on this site by educators and students without prior permission, provided appropriate credit is given. This interview has not been fact-checked, and may contain sensitive personal information about living persons.
Source: SNPR Story Corps
October 26, 2017
To commemorate the 25th edition of the SXSW Film Festival, we continue our weekly alumni spotlight on careers launched, artists discovered, powerful performances, and more with comedian, actor, directer, writer, and producer Michael Showalter.
Showalter’s career started with the now cult classic, Wet Hot American Summer. He wrote the ensemble comedy with David Wain and acted the role of Gerald “Coop” Copperberg and Alan Shemper. The film went on to spawn a prequel and sequel series on Netflix.
In 2015, after an active career writing, performing, producing and directing episodics, Showalter brought his second directorial feature to the SXSW Film Festival, Hello, My Name Is Doris, starring Academy Award Winner Sally Field in the title role. The film received the Audience Award in the Headliners category. Hello, My Name Is Doris was praised for its defiance of elderly stereotypes and for Field’s comical and emotional performance.
Showalter co-created the dark, comedy series Search Party with Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rodgers. The show had its episodic world premiere at SXSW 2016 and the series has been renewed for a second season which airs on November 19, 2017 on TBS.
This past SXSW, Showalter directed one of the most exciting and buzzed about screenings at the festival, The Big Sick, which played in the Festival Favorites category and earned the Audience Award. The film was produced by SXSW alum Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel and co-written by Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani. The Big Sick has received widespread critical acclaim and is one of the highest grossing and most successful independent films of 2017. Watch coverage from the event here, you won’t want to miss the surprise appearance by comedian Hannibal Buress.
We are proud to share Michael Showalter’s #SXSWFilm25 story with you.
“SXSW changed my life by giving my movie Hello My Name Is Doris an amazing launching ground. I remember so vividly the electricity in the audience that night. After the screening, we all knew something special had transpired and we all hugged each other and cried happy tears in the dark as we waited for the lights in the theater to come back up so that we could do our Q&A. This little film we’d all given our blood, sweat, and tears to had never been seen by audience before and to have it seen by such an enthusiastic and supportive audience, such a gorgeous theater, and in such a dynamic city like Austin was more than I, as a filmmaker, could have ever hoped for. That SXSW screening stands-out for me as a singular moment in my career. I will forever be indebted to Janet and SXSW for giving us that incredible opportunity.”
Stay tuned to SXSW News each week for more 25th edition stories.
Join Us For SXSW 2018
Grab your Film Badge today for primary access to all SXSW Film events including world premieres, roundtables, workshops, and parties. Register to attend by Friday, November 17 and save. Book your hotel through SXSW Housing & Travel for the best available rates.
See you in March!
The World Premiere of My Name Is Doris – Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for SXSW
The post 25 Years of SXSW Film Festival – Michael Showalter appeared first on SXSW.
Source: SxSW Film