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Thriller Indie

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Thriller Indie

Insights from home entertainment industry experts. Home Media blogs give you the inside scoop on entertainment news, DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases, and the happenings at key studios and entertainment retailers. “TK's Take” analyzes and comments on home entertainment news and trends, “Agent DVD Insider” talks fanboy entertainment, “IndieFile” delivers independent film news, “Steph Sums It Up” offers pithy opinions on the state of the industry, and “Mike’s Picks” offers bite-sized recommendations of the latest DVD and Blu-ray releases.

September 14, 2010
IFC Midnight Films to Hit VOD Day-and-Date With Fantastic Fest Premieres

IFC Films’ genre label IFC Midnight has partnered with Austin’s Fantastic Fest, the largest genre film festival in the United States, taking place Sept. 23-30. The movies will screen at the festival and will simultaneously be available through the movies-on-demand platform of cable systems such as those from Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and Bright House, hitting about 40 million homes.

Films acquired through the deal include Philip Ridley's devilish thriller Heartless, starring Jim Sturgess; Abel Ferry's High Lane, about a mountain-climbing trick gone wrong; Josh Reed’s Australian horror film Primal, about a girl who becomes feral after bathing in a watering hole in the outback; and Simon Rumley’s Red, White & Blue, about a nyphomaniac girl whose past conquest comes back to haunt her. They join previously announced Fantastic Fest 2009 acquisitions for the initial IFC Midnight offering, including The Human Centipede, The Good the Bad and the Weird and Doghouse.

“Following our successful day-and-date on demand partnerships with SXSW and Sundance, which have included several genre films, a partnership with Fantastic Fest is the next logical step,” said Jonathan Sehring, president of IFC Entertainment. “Tim League (CEO of Alamo Drafthouse and co-founder of Fantastic Fest) has cultivated some of the genre's most enthusiastic fans, and Fantastic Fest is an ideal festival with which to launch these four amazing films nationwide.”

By: Billy Gil

May 27, 2010
New Indie Titles, May 27: ‘It Came From Kuchar’ and More

It Came From Kuchar
It Came From Kuchar

Title: It Came From Kuchar
Genre: Documentary
Studio: First Run
Street Date: 6/29
Price/Format: $24.95 DVD
Reserve for purchase
Reserve on Netflix

This documentary interweaves clips of films by notorious underground filmmaking twins George and Mike Kuchar, who helped create and inspire ‘B’-movie sleaze, with interviews by fans and followers such as John Waters, Buck Henry, Atom Egoyan, Wayne Wang, Bill Griffith, Gerard Malanga, B. Ruby Rich and Guy Maddin.

Title: Machine Gun McCain
Genre: Cult/Thriller
Studio: E1/Blue Underground
Street date: 8/24
Prebook: 7/27
Price/Format: $19.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray
Reserve for purchase (DVD or Blu-ray)

No, not that McCain. This 1969 Cannes favorite stars John Cassavetes as an ex-con who stages a heist after his mob employer turns on him. The film co-stars Peter Falk, Gene Rowlands, Britt Ekland and Florinda Bolkan, and features music by Ennio Morricone.

Title: An American Journey: In Robert Frank’s Footsteps
Genre: Documentary
Studio: Kino-Lorber
Street date: 8/24
Prebook date: 7/27
Price/Format: $29.95 DVD

Filmmaker Philippe Seclier traces influential photographer Robert Frank’s trips across the United States that inspired his intimate images.

Title: A Town Called Panic
Genre: Animated
Studio: Zeitgeist
Street date: 7/20
Prebook date: 6/22
Price/Format: $29.99 DVD
Reserve for purchase
Reserve on Netflix

Based on a Belgian cult TV series, three plastic toys named Cowboy, Indian and Horse share a house in a village that attracts crazy events.

Title: Lights Camera Dead/F.A.R.T. the Movie
Genre: Cult/Horror
Studio: MVD
Street date: 7/27
Price/Format: $19.95 DVD/$9.95 DVD
Reserve for purchase (Lights/F.A.R.T.)

Nope, IndieFile is not too stuffy for this: MVD Visual and SRS Cinema are releasing two cult, er, “classics.” One is about two filmmakers who will stop at nothing to finish their zombie masterpiece. The other is about a man with two passions — television and flatulence — whose passions are about to come together in a big way. Guess which description is for which film.

By: Billy Gil

May 17, 2010
Acquisitions: Cannes and Beyond

The following titles have been acquired for distribution on DVD in the United States, at the Cannes Film Festival and beyond.

-Grindstone Entertainment Group, distributed on DVD by Lionsgate, has acquired the U.S. distribution rights for the films Ecstasy of Gold and Open House, according to indieWIRE.

-ContentFilm International picked up the rights to The Numbers Station, an actioner directed by Kasper Barfoed (The Candidate) starring Ethan Hawke. Principal photography will start in September.

-Entertainment 7 has picked up the rights to the war epic Quiet Flows the Don, starring Rupert Everett and F. Murray Abraham.

-Film Movement has acquired two films: Silvio Soldini’s Italian erotic drama Come Undone and Russian existential thriller How I Ended This Summer. Both films will see limited theatrical runs and be released first through cable VOD in the fall.

By: Billy Gil

May 11, 2010
IFC Bows ‘Midnight’ Label

IFC Films is launching a genre label called IFC Midnight for independent horror, sci-fi, thriller, erotic arthouse and action films. 

The label will bow four new films every month on video-on-demand, while select titles also will be released in theaters at the same time they premiere through VOD. The films also will be branded with the IFC Midnight label when they are released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc (MPI Media Group releases IFC films on disc).
“Many of our most successful VOD titles are those that might fall under the Midnight label — not just films that are straight up horror, erotic arthouse or genre films but also ones that shock audiences, push boundaries and stir up controversy — so officially creating IFC Midnight was the logical next step,” said president of IFC Entertainment Jonathan Sehring. “While we as a company continue to focus on a diverse range of films, this is one particular area which we are going to heavily brand and promote.”
IFC Midnight films will be in the same vein as past IFC films Lars Von Trier’s controversial Antichrist, Nazi zombie film Dead Snow, and erotic dramas such as The Exterminating Angels. Upcoming IFC Midnight titles include the gruesome The Human Centipede, about a mad scientist who wants to create — you guessed it — a living centipede made of people; the film has been screened theatrically and hits VOD this month. Other films will include prison drama Cell 211, directed by Daniel Monzón and recipient of eight Spanish Goya Awards, including best picture, only on VOD, starting in June; Doghouse, a British horror film screening through VOD in June; and Don’t Look Back, a thriller starring Sophie Marceau as a woman whose body morphs into that of a woman played by Monica Bellucci (I can think of worse things to happen, Sophie).
Films screening in July include Viking action epic Valhalla Rising and thriller Exam. French zombie flick The Horde (La Horde) and revenge film Vengeance come in August. And September will see the VOD premiere of Gaspar Noe’s (of Irreversible infamy) Enter the Void.

By: Billy Gil

May 06, 2010
New Indie Titles, May 6: ‘Shinjuku Incident’ and More

Title: Shinjuku Incident
Genre: Action
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Street date: 6/8
Prebook date: 5/6
Price/Format: $24.94 DVD
Reserve for purchase
Reserve on Netflix

What’s a Jackie Chan movie doing in IndieFile? Well, this one is a throwback to his classics and has been nominated for four Hong Kong Film Awards, including best picture. Chan stars as a Chinese immigrant to Japan who rises through the ranks of a black market mob to become the head of the infamous Shinjuku district. Special features include commentary on select scenes with Chan, as well as a behind-the-scenes featurette. 

Title: Fuel
Genre: Documentary
Studio: Cinema Libre
Street Date: 6/22
Prebook Date: 5/11
Price/Format: $24.95 DVD
Reserve on Netflix

The Sundance Audience Award-winning doc about alternative fuels features Sheryl Crow, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Larry David, Richard Branson and Robert Kennedy Jr.

Title: For My Father
Genre: Foreign/Thriller
Studio: Film Movement
Street date: 6/1
Price/Format: $24.95 DVD
Reserve for purchase
Reserve on Netflix

For My Father is an Israeli-German drama about a young Palestinian man on a suicide mission who finds forbidden love while awaiting the completion of his mission. It was nominated for seven Israeli Academy Awards. The Film Movement short film included on this DVD is Ali & the Ball, an Australian film about a young boy in a refugee detention center who must protect his mother and sister.

Title: Dark Arc
Genre: Dark Comedy
Studio: Vanguard
Street date: 8/24
Prebook date: 7/16
Price/Format: $19.95 DVD

A strange love triangle ensues when a visual performance artist and his muse stage visual events to influence the life of a down-to-earth graphic designer. Writer-director Dan Zukovic wrote and directed the ’90s cult film The Last Big Thing.

Title: Soundless Wind Chime
Genre: Drama/Gay/Lesbian
Studio: TLA
Street date: 6/22
Prebook: 5/25
Price/Format: $19.98 DVD
Reserve for purchase
Reserve on Netflix

This dreamlike film about a Swiss pickpocket and shy Chinese man falling in love has won numerous queer film festival awards, and it’s nice to see a low-key, atypical gay love story for a change.


By: Billy Gil


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