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Billy Gil graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and has worked for People and Daily Variety. He is the editor of the Pipeline section and IndieFile, both of which highlight independent films on DVD. For IndieFile tips and inquiries, email bgil@questex.com. For inclusion on IndieFile's Feedroom channel, contact Renee Rosado (rrosado@questex.com). Follow IndieFile on Twitter, at Twitter.com/IndieFile.

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13 Nov, 2009

News From AFM 2009

This year IndieFile is reporting updates from the American Film Market (AFM). This page will be updated as news comes in, so check back. If you have news, please send it to indiefile@questex.com or bgil@questex.com.

• Jan. 21 — David Minnihan’s Father John pitch has won the American Film Market’s 2009 Favorite Film Pitch contest. He will receive a People’s Choice Award. Congratulations, David!

• Jan. 7 — AFM has announced five nominees for its first Favorite Film Pitch Award: Stephanie Bell (The Devil of Appalachia), Carlo Besasie (All the Queen's Men), Mouncey Ferguson (Forger), Barry Kneller (The Mechanics) and David Minnihan (Father John). Fans voted on the pitch during the 2010 People's Choice Awards Jan. 6, for the pitch they wanted to see get made into a film.

• More acquisitions — Indican Pictures has acquired Re-generation, a sci-fi film they compare to the likes of Blade Runner and Twelve Monkeys. Starring Peter Stebbings and Clark Johnson, the film will be released in February 2010. Additionally, Breaking Glass has acquired distribution rights for the catalog of Unearthed Films (formerly distributed by TLA Releasing), comprising 26 titles. The deal includes U.S. and select international VOD rights. 

• Nov. 9 — Some news from Cinema Epoch on acquisitions: The company has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Skirt Day, starring Isabelle Adjani. Adjani stars as a teacher at a school for “difficult” children who becomes inadvertently involved in a hostage crisis. The film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. The film will be released theatrically in early Spring and is one of Cinema Epoch's first theatrical acquisitions in the arthouse/foreign language market. Cinema Epoch also acquired North American distribution rights to Korean films Eye for an Eye and Fighter in the Wind from sales company Finecut, as part of Cinema Epoch's theatrical series of contemporary Korean cinema, which will screen in a tour of U.S. Cities, followed by DVD releases. More titles in the series are forthcoming.

•    Nov. 8 — A panel on changing independent film strategies backs the adage “the more things change, the more things stay the same” — everyone wants a theatrical release, but getting one and having it be successful is trickier than ever (read more here).

But perhaps the strangest thing I heard — or rather, saw — at AFM was footage of Michael Jackson's Neverland estate. And not the pseudo-crazy stuff — the private wing, with junk strewn about everywhere, Christmas garland permanently adorning the stairway and childlike mannequins all over the place. The footage was apparently taken during a police investigation. Alexander Nohe of Walking Shadows has seven hours of this stuff he's selling. Hey look, This is It has already made close to $60 million in the U.S. Alone. My guess is he won't have too much trouble finding a buyer.

•    The 30th AFM is playing host to more than 80 newly accredited acquisition companies, according to Jonathan Wolf, AFM managing director and EVP of the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA). That more than doubles the number of first-time participants in most previous years. This year AFM is screening 486 films in 28 languages, including 75 world premieres and 328 market premieres.

•    Artist View for the 20th year held an opening night party, at Ye Olde King's Head Pub in Santa Monica, Calif. Filmmakers and cast from MTI Home Video films Pandemic and California Dreaming were in attendance. Pictured (L-R): Scott Jones, president, Artist View Entertainment; Patricia Richardson, actress, California Dreaming; Ricki Maslar, producer, Pandemic; Larry Brahms, president, MTI Home Video.


•    Artist View also picked up worldwide distribution for psychological thriller 31 North 62 East, starring John Rhys-Davies of “Lord of the Rings” fame; crime thriller Chicago Overcoat, starring Frank Vincent and Kathrine Narducci of “The Sopranos”; and suspense thriller The Other Side of the Tracks, starring stars Brendan Fehr (“Bones”) and Tanyia Ramond (“Lost”).

•    Bass Entertainment Pictures has inked with Epic Pictures Group for the international releases of psychological thriller Junkyard Dog, starring Vivica A. Fox and Brad Dourif, and action film Kill Speed, starring Andrew Keegan, Nick Carter and Tom Arnold. Both films screened at AFM. Epic also nabbed domestic distribution rights to Kill Speed.

•    Producer/director Damian Chapa (Polanski Unauthorized) and actress and co-producer Leslie Garza host the world premiere of Bobby Fischer Live, telling chess champ Bobby Fischer’s life story, at the Fairfax Theater in Los Angeles Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m., with a red carpet at 6:30 p.m. Worldwide rights are available through Amadeus Pictures.

•    American Cinema International (ACI) has acquired two comedies from writing/directing team the Polish Brothers: Stay Cool, starring Winona Ryder, Mark Polish, Sean Astin, Hilary Duff, Josh Holloway, Jon Cryer and Chevy Chase; and Smell of Success, with Billy Bob Thorton, Teo Leoni and Kyle MacLachlan.

By: Billy Gil

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11 Nov, 2009

Metromix Picks Top 50 Movies of the Decade

Mulholland Drive
Mulholland Drive

Like any good film fan with mild OCD, I love lists. So I was excited to see for the first time a list of the best films of the decade thus far with Metromix's top 50 movies of the decade. Metromix is unveiling the list in groups of 10 over the next five weeks. Its first 10 already have two of my favorites — Mulholland Dr. and Before Sunset — as well as the most talked about movie in theaters right now. See if any your favorites made the list, and check back every week to see updates.

By: Billy Gil

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2 Nov, 2009

Emmy Winner Leslie Jordan Gets Into ‘Eating Out 3’

Leslie Jordan in Eating Out: All You Can Eat
Leslie Jordan in Eating Out: All You Can Eat

For being openly gay in an industry with a crowded closet, Leslie Jordan has had a marathon acting career. The diminutive actor has made quirky cameos and played memorable reoccurring characters on TV since the 1980s, in such shows as “Newhart” and “Murphy Brown” through this decade on shows such as “Ugly Betty” and “Boston Legal,” until one of those roles landed him a Primetime Emmy in 2006 for playing the caustic Beverly in “Will & Grace.”

Now with an autobiographical book out, My Life Down the Pink Carpet, Jordan returns to film with a role in the third edition of the campy “Eating Out” series, Eating Out: All You Can Eat. The movie comes to DVD Nov. 10 from Ariztical Entertainment at $24.95. In the film, Jordan plays an older gay man at an LGBT center who offers words of advice to the film’s young lead.

On becoming involved with “Eating Out” …

Jordan: The director, Glenn Gaylord, got in touch with my agent and told me they had this great little script. I was a little hesitant, thinking, not only is it low budget, but it’s part three! Why didn’t they want me for one and two? But we all went to lunch and he was really enthusiastic about it. I did this play for a number of years called “Southern Baptist Sissies,” and in that play I got to play an older gay man who in the end got to help a younger gay man, and that drew me to this role. My part is so small, but I have a pivotal part where I got to help one of the young gay hunks.

On not having seen the first two films …

Listen I’m the most self-centered SOB, I try so hard to be au currant, but I just hadn’t seen them. When I showed up at the lunch, I hadn’t even read the script. But I B.S.-ed my way through.

On his elder statesman status in the gay community …

Jordan: In my generation, we had no one. There was not one single person on the face of this earth that I could go to saying listen, I’m having a problem with this gay thing. I think my generation who came around in the late ’60s and early ’70s and went through the ’80s with the AIDS epidemic, we have something to say.

On doing low-budget films …

Jordan: I’ve reached a point in my career where sometimes I hesitate, I’m so spoiled. You do low-budget and you almost feel like your career is going backwards. The opposite happened to what I thought would happen. I thought I would be miserable, but I got caught up with the enthusiasm of the piece. I think it was the first time in the series that gay people were really playing gay people. … We got lucky this time. They hired four really good actors that happened to be gay. That really gave the project a fun feel. It wasn’t like straight boys having to kiss gay boys.

We had our first screening recently. I told my friend, we’ll sit on the aisle and if it’s really bad, we’ll just leave. … But it’s adorable. I’m so proud of it.

On critics of the film …

I would sit all those critics down and say listen, I would take criticism from someone who has done it, but until you’ve taken your baby and worked for years and tried to get it up and you know the pitfalls and you know what it’s like being on the set, having to shoot fast and furious, you need to give us an f-ing break.

On working with gay icon and John Waters muse Mink Stole …

We didn’t have scenes together really, but she was on the set with me. I think John Waters movies like saved my life when I was this little gay closeted boy in Knoxville, Tenn. I’m such a fan of hers.

On his oeuvre, which includes such films as Frankenstein General Hospital, Black Velvet Pantsuit and Farm Sluts

Jordan: I had forgotten about Farm Sluts. Someone on the radio asked me about that and I said yeah, I did that right after Horse Hung Hispanics. I thought they were trying to say I did porn.

On his ’90s Blockbuster ads in which he starred with a dog ...

Jordan: Paramount hired me, and it was like the gig of a lifetime. They said we’re gonna put this on every single release from  Paramount this year. It was me and I had this dog and I was in this video store trying to rent and it was a trick dog, and I send him to get things. I’m telling you it was like, this was way before Internet, it was one of these underground things where people would come up to me and ask about it. It kind of made me famous.

On “Will & Grace” and his Emmy …

Jordan: The show was already over, which was kind of interesting because I thought after four years of being on the show, why am I being considered a guest star? But it turns out if you do less than five episodes a season, you’re considered a guest star. When I won, the only drawback is they don’t present that category at the Emmys, they present it a week early on Bravo called the Creative Arts Emmys. It’s 75 of the most boring awards. But I tell you, I was really honored because I’ve always felt there are two ways you can combat homophobia, and one is through comedy. Another way is to put a face on it, and I think “Will & Grace,” America welcomed those characters into their homes. There was a lot of progress made. It was more than just winning an Emmy. It was winning an Emmy for a show I was so proud to be a part of and a show that really broke new ground.

I got a call about a month ago, and it was Megan Mullally, but Megan called and goes, “So honey, what do you think? ‘Karen, the Musical?’” I said, “Megan, you don’t own that character, you’d have to clear that with NBC and the creators.” She said, “Oh honey I’ve done that.” So apparently it’s being written.

On what he gets recognized the most for …

Jordan: It depends on what part of the country I’m in, or what part of town. If I’m in a gay area, it’s “Will & Grace” and “Sordid Lives.” But it’s interesting, I’m recognized for this five-episode arc I did on “Boston Legal.” It was the first season, it was a lot time ago. David [E.] Kelley said he wanted to write a murderer that was so friendly and sweet that people would forget I was a murderer. I killed my mother with a skillet, and James Spader got me off. Betty White takes me under her wing and she ends up being afraid I’m gonna kill her with a skillet, and she kills me with a skillet. Only David E. Kelley would come up with this.



NOTE: This is the "clean" version of Ariztical's trailer, but it ain't that clean.

By: Billy Gil

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29 Oct, 2009

Charlyne Yi Makes Us a ‘Paper Heart’

The sudden popularity of Charlyne Yi is one of those things that makes 2009 a great time for entertainment. The actress and comedian has become famous not only from her memorable bit roles in films like Knocked Up, in which she played one of Seth Rogen’s goofy stoner friends, but for her awesomely awkward YouTube videos, like “Face,” which is just her using one of those built-in webcam effects to distort her face and create characters based on how she looks.

Paper Heart, which comes out on DVD and Blu-ray Dec. 1, is a different story. The film, which Yi co-wrote and stars in, still has her trademark goofiness, but it’s also more cerebral, as Yi, along with director and co-writer Nicholas Jasenovec, tackles the great question of love and what it means to different people, from a Nashville divorcé with a deer’s head mounted on his wall, to a gay couple in New York, to bikers in a biker bar, to a divorce court judge and family lawyer who are married to each other. The film is interspersed with interludes of Yi telling stories using crude paper puppets as well as a fictional love story between Yi, playing a version of herself, and actor Michael Cera. Also Jasenovec is in the film, but he’s played by actor Jake Johnson. It’s a lot less confusing when you actually see it.

HM: Have you seen Paper Heart since it came out?

Yi: No, I haven’t. I watched it throughout the whole editing process, so I watched it maybe 200 times, maybe 150 times. So I’m kind of sick of it. It’s hard to pay attention to it cause you’re numb to it.

HM: Is any of it painful for you to watch?

Yi: Every time where I’m onscreen is painful for me. The things I enjoy most is when the documentary subjects are talking.

HM: Where did the idea for the movie come from?

Yi: It originally was going to start out as a documentary. It was mainly because when I was around 19, I was performing around comedy venues, and I found myself hanging out with 40-year-old comedians who are single and I said, “Wow, I don’t really hang out with anyone my own age.” And I turned on the TV and “elimiDATE” was on, where one guy has like three girls in the Jacuzzi, and it’s really gross, and I was like, “Is this what’s hip, what people my age do?” And I was questioning, how am I gonna meet people? I’m not really socializing because I’m always working. So I went into a mini nervous thing where I was like, I want to meet someone …

People would surprisingly open up to me about their love stories. It was like the thing where I was the bartender but it was only me. This guy who went home and saw an old picture of before he met his wife, and he had this photo where they were posing in a photograph but they hadn’t met until like five years later. And he hadn’t seen this photo until after the marriage and it was like this shock, like, she was always there. I realized how exciting it was to have stories about love. … So I came to my friend Nick with the idea and he was like, “you know ideally if we have enough time we should shoot you falling in love so you can learn what falling in love is firsthand.” I wasn’t comfortable exposing my life like that and I think it’s impossible to capture that. … So that kind of inspired the idea of keeping it in the realm of real and fabricating a thru line.

HM: As far as the special features go, does the making-of featurette go into all that, and is Michael Cera involved?

Yi: I think Michael was shooting at that time. So I think he was supposed to be a part of that where it was like combined shooting for the Year One DVD, but that fell through. But we do have behind-the-scenes footage and interviews intertwined with me and Nick and Jake Johnson. And then there’s footage that didn’t make it in.

HM: I was sort of surprised that the interviews with the other actors and comedians were so short compared with the interviews with the regular folk. Are the extra comedian interviews taken from those same interviews or are they with other people that didn’t make it in the film?

Yi: The comedians that got trimmed down, they were our friends, and we realized one, it didn’t feel right putting their stories next to the strangers stories, it felt almost false, so we just used them as a way to kind of set up who my character — who I am. I get confused. And also like, no offense, but their stories were just kinda … it felt weird.

HM: What is going on at the part of the film during a montage where it looks like you’re in a play?

Yi: That was a play and we really did film that. It’s so confusing, I know. There was this bit where we did a dating game with audience members, and there’s a bachelor, and we go on a date and we’re eating dinner and we’re dancing to the Beach Boys, and at one point his crazy ex-girlfriend comes out (it’s a man with a wig) and I’m like, you didn’t tell me you had a girlfriend. And that’s what that whole part was, me fighting with the crazy ex-girlfriend.

We wanted to put that on the DVD, but we couldn’t get rights to the music to “The Dating Game” and when I’m swinging on the rope it was the “Indiana Jones” music, so unfortunately we couldn’t get the rights to that.

HM: My boyfriend is obsessed with you and wants to know what your favorite Web page is and who your favorite YouTube person is.

Yi: I don’t know! It’s not even like someone famous, it’s this little kid who covers songs. I was amazed because he covered this song and I thought he wrote it. And I was like, that’s such a good song, you’re so good little boy! And I found out he didn’t write it. I don’t know who he is. And my favorite Web page, I guess it’s YouTube ’cause that’s the only thing that entertains me.

HM: Of all your YouTube videos, I really loved “Face,” but I thought “The Music Scientist” was a really cool idea (Yi writes songs and sends them to musician friends, who cover the songs). Is that something you would do more with down the line?

Yi: I want to keep doing that. I write songs like all the time, but a lot of them are bad. I already have a few people on the list that said they would do it, but I don’t want to waste their turn by giving them bad songs. I did give some bad songs to people and they made them into gems I was like wow, you’re a genius.

HM: What are you working on now? Will there be a Paper Heart 2?

Yi: No, there will not be a Paper Heart 2, unfortunately, or fortunately. I’m writing something [for a major cable network] with Nick and Jay, who plays Nick. We’re not allowed to talk about the project, so we’re just waiting on that. Me and my friend Paul Rust (who is in Paper Heart and is the lead in I Love You, Beth Cooper), him and me are writing something for Judd Apatow. Those are just projects that have been around since before Paper Heart. I feel like everything takes forever to see if it can be made or not.

HM: I also loved your bit on the “Rotten Tomatoes” show about your top five movies and how The Beautician and the Beast was No. 1. Do you have any recent favorites or kind of recent cheesy movies you’re into?

Yi: I totally love 17 Again (laughs). It’s like an ’80s movie, you know? It’s totally cheesy and romantic. That was pretty well done for those types of movies. It felt like the movie Big, it was good.


By: Billy Gil

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27 Oct, 2009

Fred Dekker Talks ‘Night of the Creeps’

Night of the Creeps
Night of the Creeps

Night of the Creeps isn’t a horror film, or an ’80s teen comedy, or an alien sci-fi film — it’s all of those things. It’s no wonder the film never really made it to the same echelon as movies like Evil Dead or Nightmare on Elm Street, despite sharing similar qualities, as the movie unsettlingly hops from genre to genre. What other movie starts with a claymation alien invasion, moves to a Revenge of the Nerds style frat comedy and ends up in monster movie territory?

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the film on DVD and Blu-ray Disc today, in a director’s cut that includes Fred Dekker’s original ending. The discs also include such special features as commentary with Dekker, commentary with the cast, deleted scenes and making-of featurettes. We spoke with Dekker about his long-unreleased film.

IndieFile: This DVD has the ending you originally intended. Were you urged to change it?

Dekker: It was very much a compromise, a disagreement between myself and the studio that arose because the [intended] graveyard ending required a CG shot. I made the mistake of showing it to the audience in an unfinished form, and it was confusing to them and the studios. So they said, let’s change the ending. It gave it that Friday the 13th style cheap scare at the end. I’ve always hated that ending. So when Sony asked, “What you want to do?” I said, “I want to put the ending back on.”

IndieFile: It does tie it back to the beginning of film.

Dekker: It closes the circle. I’m a big fan of that in movies.

IndieFile: What were some of your inspirations making this film?

Dekker: I think they’re pretty apparent in the film. Obviously Night of the Living Dead, the Romero trilogy as I think of it. Day of the Dead, which is my favorite. Alien was obviously an influence in terms of the space critter that gestates inside the body. There was a huge — strangely enough, I only realized this since his death — but john Hughes was a huge influence as well. And then there were those cheesy ’50s movies like The Blob and It Came from Outer Space that informed it.

It just occurred to me that I just watched [REC], which I really liked a lot, and as I was watching I was thinking, “OK, they’re starting with a Blair Witch approach, then it starts to get scary and we’re getting into Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later territory, then there’s a little Exorcist in there,” and I was thinking, “Oh! This is a mashup.” And I was thinking of how there are these things on the Internet where they take two movies that are completely different and mash them together and I realized what I was doing was a mashup. This is a John Hughes comedy with Romero zombie movies and a dollup of It Came From Outer Space and Alien. But I think it’s important that it works without knowing that.

IndieFile: We had [another Dekker film] The Monster Squad come out on DVD two years ago and now Night of the Creeps. Has it been exciting to finally have your films come to DVD?

Dekker: Oh yeah, and even more so, because of the interest, is the chance to get to see it on big screens. I’ve shown it in Toronto, in Texas, in Scotland. These movies play very, very well with a theatrical audience, so it’s always fun to get the laughs and the cheers and all that stuff.

IndieFile: Can you walk us through some of the special features on this disc?

Dekker: There are two commentaries. One is myself and producer Michael Felsher. He’s a big fan of the movie and knows it well. I admit I sometimes drive in the car and say, “Hello, welcome to the director’s commentary for Night of the Creeps.” It’s a fun commentary. Michael and I were talking a mile a minute. The other is with the cast. Then there’s a documentary that Michael Felsher produced and directed. It’s really wonderful, walking us through the making of the film, the release and its resurrection recently.

IndieFile: Was it fun to get the old cast and crew back together?

Dekker: It was great. If you have friends you haven’t seen in a long time but you were very close, it’s like no time passed at all. We just got right back into the groove. It got me excited about working together with them again in some way.

IndieFile: I wanted to ask you about the line “Thrill me,” spoken by Detective Cameron (played by Tom Atkins) repeatedly throughout the movie. In a special feature, you say that’s the first thing that came to you. Where did that come from?

Dekker: I don’t know. It just seemed that it spoke volumes about the attitude of someone. I thought it was a great way to introduce a character. In two words it just says that this guy is tired and weary and really needs a reason to get out of his char.

IndieFile: What would you tell the uninitiated watching Night of the Creeps for the first time?

Dekker: I would tell them that my staff and I and our hair and makeup and wardrobe departments went to a great deal of trouble to recreate the mid-1980s and you would never know that we just made the movie last year. I would say forgive its ’80s-ness, forgive it its analog sound effects, and just enjoy it.

By: Billy Gil

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22 Oct, 2009

Pattinson’s ‘Little Ashes’ Comes to DVD

Beltrán and Pattinson in <i>Little Ashes</i>
Beltrán and Pattinson in <i>Little Ashes</i>

Genre: Drama
Studio: E1 Entertainment
Street date: 1/26
Prebook: 12/29
Price/Format: $26.98 DVD
Reserve for purchase
Reserve on Netflix

Robert Pattinson ditches his vampire cape — and his clothes, in at least one talked-about scene — for a cheesy moustache to play surrealist artist Salvador Dalí in Little Ashes. The film follows a young Dali at university, where he meets fellow luminaries in writer Federico García Lorca (Javier Beltrán) and filmmaker Luis Buñuel (Matthew McNulty). Lorca becomes infatuated with Dalí and their friendship turns into something more.

So what’s the story with this movie — is it an excuse to get Pattinson out of his clothes and into some gay mess, or is it actually a good movie that he just happens to star in? The reviews have been all over the place. But Marina Gatell’s performance as a fellow writer enamored with Lorca has gotten praise all around.

E1 Entertainment must have sold their souls or something to get a hold of two Pattinson movies in one year (the other, The Haunted Airman, came out last week).

NOTE: This isn’t the official trailer, but I like this one because the girl says “ready your drool bibs.”

By: Billy Gil

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21 Oct, 2009

SXSW Holds Design Competition

Film design folk, take note: the SXSW Film Festival is holding a title sequence design competition. The first-ever “Excellence in Title Design” award will be given to the best movie title sequence at the festival, taking place in Austin March 12-20, 2010. There also will be an “Excellence in Poster Design” award given.

Entries will be judged by Kyle Cooper of Prologue Films, who directed the sequences for Paramount’s Iron Man and Tropic Thunder; Karin Fong of Imaginary Forces, whose work has appeared in the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, The Wexner Center and publications; Alex Ulloa of The Art of the Title Sequence, a Web resource on film and TV title design, and Femke Wolting of Submarine Channel, an online channel and production company. Submissions are open, and the deadline to submit is Friday, Dec. 11, 2009. The submission fee is $10. Submissions must be hosted online (through such mediums as YouTube HD and Vimeo, or personal or professional sites). Check it out at sxsw.com/film/screenings/design_awards.

By: Billy Gil

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13 Oct, 2009

AFM Announces Screening Schedule

The 30th American Film Market (AFM) is just around the corner, and the schedule has been announced, with 445 films screening, 73 of those being world premieres and 311 market premieres. The schedule is available at www.TheFilmCatalogue.com.

Stars of the films include Steve Buscemi, Michael Caine, Marion Cotillard, Robert Duvall, Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy, Helen Mirren, Julianne Moore, Sissy Spacek, Natalie Portman and Naomi Watts. Who doesn’t love all of those people?

AFM takes place Nov. 4-11, at and around the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Premieres include Get Low, starring Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek and Robert Duvall (K5 International); Unthinkable, starring Samuel L. Jackson (Sierra Pictures); Harry Brown, starring Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer (HanWay Films); Within The Whirlwind, directed by Marleen Gorris and starring Emily Watson (Telepool GmbH); Coach, starring Hugh Dancy, Liane Balaban and Mamie Gummer (Lightning Entertainment); The Last Flight, starring Marion Cotillard and Guillaume Canet (Gaumont); Snowmen, starring Ray Liotta, Christopher Lloyd, Bobby Coleman and Doug E. Doug (MPower Pictures); Mother and Child, starring Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington (WestEnd Films); Storm Warriors, starring Aaron Kwok, Ekin Cheng, Nicholas Tse, Charlene Choi and Simon Yam (Universe Films); and The Meaning of the 21st Century, narrated by Michael Douglas (Worldwide Film Entertainment).

By: Billy Gil

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6 Oct, 2009

‘NY Times’ Fave ‘Lake Tahoe’ Comes to DVD

Genre: Drama
Studio: Film Movement
Street date: 11/10
Price/Format: $24.95 DVD
Reserve for
Reserve on

Lake Tahoe is a Spanish-language coming-of-age comedy/drama (I will not say dramedy; I hate this word) about a 16-year-old boy who crashes his car and encounters strange characters while looking for a car part, such as a young mother who sings for a punk band and a young mechanic obsessed with martial arts. The film was the New York Times critics pick and won best film, supporting actor and director (Mexican director Fernando Eimbcke) at the Ariels. A short film is included with the DVD, as they are with all Film Movement releases: Noodles, by French director Jordan Feldman.


By: Billy Gil

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5 Oct, 2009

Anchor Bay Opens ‘Paper Heart’

Genre: Comedy/Drama/Documentary
Studio: Anchor Bay
Street date: 12/8
Prebook: 10/29
Price/Format: $29.98 DVD $39.98 Blu-ray
Reserve for purchase (DVD or Blu-ray)
Reserve on Netflix

Dec. 1 Anchor Bay is releasing pseudo-doc cuddlefest Paper Heart on DVD and Blu-ray. Charlene Yi, the funny Asian girl from Knocked Up, co-wrote and stars in the film, which weaves interviews with ministers, children, lawyers and plenty of others about love together with a sort of fantastical love story between her and actor Michael Cera. I don’t think it really matters which parts of it are real. No one cares that “The Hills” isn’t real. It’s original and Yi and Cera are irresistible geeks for the ages.


By: Billy Gil

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