independent film

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New Sundance Boss Returns Festival to Artsy Roots

John Cooper vows 'less commercial, more independent' event

(Newser) - It might just be a transformative year for the Sundance Film Festival, which kicks off today in Park City, Utah. This’ll be the first outing under John Cooper, the festival’s first new director in two decades. Cooper’s goal: to make the festival “less commercial, more independent,... More »

A Look Back at Movies of the '00s

Which films will be remembered, and which ones deserve it?

(Newser) - The shifting sands of entertainment technology make a look at the past decade's movies a tricky proposition simply because standing the test of time means something different almost daily. "The possibility of a digital, on-demand afterlife guarantees at least a theoretically universal long-tail immortality to blockbusters and curiosities alike,... More »

Demi Moore: Call Me Puma, Not Cougar

Actress dishes on Ashton Kutcher, Twitter, and making indie films

(Newser) - Demi Moore is back in the spotlight at 47, thanks as much to her Twitter account as to her film career. She talks to W about upcoming roles in indie films The Joneses and Happy Tears, family life, and more:
  • On her status as a cougar: “I’m certainly
... More »

Smarten Up and See Education

Carey Mulligan's performance stands out in British indie film

(Newser) - Carey Mulligan's impressive performance in An Education stands out, as does novelist Nick Hornby's script. Critics agree the story of a 16-year-old seduced by an older man is a dazzling mix of acting, writing, and direction that transcends the typical coming-of-age tale:
  • “Prepare to be wowed by Carey Mulligan,
... More »

Credit Crunch Saps Funding for Indie Films

Drop-off in foreign rights sales leaves producers looking for cash

(Newser) - Independent film producers are losing a once-reliable source of funding, the sale of foreign-distribution rights. Traditionally, the demand for American movies has been so high that producers can sell the rights to distribute the film—in many cases, even before it’s finished—in order to cover costs. But the... More »

Sunshine Cleaning a Delightful Mess

Poignant comedy manages to scrub past the indie film clichés

(Newser) - Humor and poignancy don't merge that neatly in Sunshine Cleaning, but its offbeat charm managed to win over most critics. The story of sisters from a troubled family who go into the crime-scene cleanup business delves deep into emotional issues but remains a comedy, Kirk Honeycutt writes in the Hollywood ... More »

What to See From Sundance

Film festival spawns potential hits

(Newser) - This year’s indie love-fest Sundance spawned several movies that have a shot at real commercial success, with a roster of films showcasing “more old-fashioned storytelling,” writes Andrew O’Hehir in Salon. Jury prizes went to Push and We Live in Public, but here’s a sampling of... More »

Batman's Commissioner Gordon Dies

Pat Hingle, veteran tough-guy actor, mentored young

(Newser) - Actor Pat Hingle—whose characters included Commissioner Gordon in the '90s Batman movies and Norma Rae's father in the 1979 film—has died of blood cancer at his Carolina Beach home at the age of 84, the Wilmington Star-News reports. The Tony Award nominee and Broadway star had said he... More »

Rourke Clinches Wrestler

Actor makes a bodyslam of a comeback with portrait of a has-been

(Newser) - Mickey Rourke takes the title role of The Wrestler and pins it to the mat in a stunning comeback, say critics. The tragicomic portrait of a washed-up star still hitting the circuit decades past his prime "is not just a comeback performance but something much rarer: a rounded, raddled... More »

Ironically, Indie Movies All Alike

Meet Little Miss Juno Dynamite

(Newser) - From their sketched opening credits to obscure pop culture references to painfully hip soundtracks and formulaic plots, “indie” flicks have grown just as many clichés and conventions as their big-budget counterparts, writes Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post. “What started as a fiercely autonomous cinematic response to... More »

Carefully, Williams Opens Up

Actress gives first interview since Heath Ledger's death

(Newser) - In the wake of the media circus surrounding Heath Ledger's death, ex-fiancee Michelle Williams laid low and threw herself into her work, refusing all interviews until the New York Times recently sat down to discuss the four movies the actress has shot since last summer. "I don’t want... More »

Hollywood Movie Glut Wallops Indies

Many go straight to DVD as too many films vie for screens

(Newser) - A surplus of Hollywood movies is forcing many independent films off the big screen, and driving down box office takes for those that do make it, reports the Wall Street Journal. Mainstream films with bankable stars are being sent straight-to-DVD, as too many movies fight for too few theater slots... More »

Dark Days Ahead for Little Movies

Big money has bankrolled some bad small films lately; now it's pulling back

(Newser) - This has been a banner year for Hollywood blockbusters, but things look dour for explosion-free cinema, David Carr writes in the New York Times reports. Small movies have flooded multiplexes, choking each other out—a sign, producer Mark Gill says, of big-money backing meeting the ease of digital film-making. The... More »

Warner Bros. Closes 2 Indie Divisions

Shakeup was expected; 70 jobs will be cut

(Newser) - Warner Bros. announced yesterday that it is closing both its indie arms, Warner Independent Pictures and Picturehouse. Speculation had the studio merging the indie and art-house divisions, but the studio opted for even more cost-cutting, the LA Times reports. More than 70 employees will lose their jobs in the shakeup. More »

People Not Smart Enough

Critics say indie romantic comedy needs an IQ test

(Newser) - Critics like the big-name actors in family serio-comedy Smart People —especially Dennis Quaid, who stars as a cranky professor with much to learn about people—but think they might have been smarter to choose a different script. Screenwriter Mark Jude Poirier "is aiming for Scrabulous dialogue but his... More »

LiLo Going Full Frontal for $40K

Lohan asks to bare all in upcoming movie

(Newser) - Lindsay Lohan wants to bare the full monty in an upcoming flick where she's making a paltry $40,000 to play a nymphomaniac waitress. The sex scene only required a topless shot but she asked for the direction change so she could prove she was a "mature actress,"... More »

Web Videos May Be Ad Gold Mine

Market expected to explode as media companies retool

(Newser) - TV networks, major news organizations, and independent producers are all scrambling to create Web videos that will let them snag a portion of the ad dollars flowing online. Ad spending on Internet videos will grow to $4.3 billion by 2011, say researchers—a 455% increase over today. "It's... More »

No Juice in My Blueberry Nights

Film starring Norah Jones doomed by hackneyed script

(Newser) - As the lead in My Blueberry Nights, Grammy-winning jazz-pop chanteuse Norah Jones doesn't exactly dazzle. Her performance as a waitress, who ditches New York City for the open road after being ditched by her boyfriend, is "agreeable but bland," writes Todd McCarthy of Variety and "oddly behind... More »

Faithfull Shines in Irina Palm

1960s icon plays a grandma-turned-sex-worker

(Newser) - Irina Palm, about a frumpy grandmother who resorts to prostitution so she can pay for her desperately ill grandson's operation, is winning over critics, both because of its unsentimental portrayal of the sex trade and because of the performance given by its star, singer/songwriter/actress and '60s icon Marianne Faithfull. More »

Juno Scores at Spirit Awards

Film picks up 3 awards, along with The Savages , I'm Not There

(Newser) - Little-indy-that-could Juno won big at today’s Independent Spirit Awards, netting best actress for its star Ellen Page, best first script for writer Diablo Cody, and best feature film, the Los Angeles Times reports. The awards show, which honors only films made for less than $20 million, has drawn casually... More »

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