Cinematical's Indie Roundup

Indie Roundup reviews the past week of news from the independent film community and provides a peek at what's coming soon.

Friday Openings. Fox Searchlight opens Marc Webb's romantic comedy (500) Days of Summer on 27 screens in selected cities (Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, and Washington DC). Also in limited engagements: John-Luke Montias' crime story Off Jackson Avenue; Max Farberbock's drama A Woman in Berlin; Boaz Yakin's family drama Death in Love; and Eileen Yaghoobrian's very good doc Died Young, Stayed Pretty, about rock music poster artists, which I saw at SXSW and can recommend highly.

Deals. Overcoming negative reviews at Sundance, John Krasinski's Brief Interviews with Hideous Men has been acquired by IFC, which will release it in theaters and via on demand. Look for it September 25. Another Sundance '09 title, Oren Moverman's The Messenger, has been picked up by Oscilloscope, which plans an awards campaign in November for actors Ben Foster, Samantha Morton, and Woody Harrelson, as well as director/writer Moverman and co-scripter Alessandro Camon. [All details available at indieWIRE.]

Online / On-Demand Viewing. Margaret Brown's excellent doc Townes Van Zandt: Be Here to Love Me is available for free online viewing at Pitchfork TV for one week. It's a captivating portrait of a little-known artist and the "awkwardness of his genius," as Christopher Campbell aptly wrote in his review. If you're in the mood for some fictional thrills of the criminal heist kind, check out Wild Seven, with Robert Forster and Richard Roundtree, available for free at Babelgum for the month.

After the jump: Indie Weekend Box Office, Filmmaker Magazine's "25 New Faces," and indieWIRE turns 13!


Box Office. Lynn Shelton's Humpday, which is not a bromance, outpaced Bruno on a per-screen basis, averaging $14,369 at the two theaters where it opened. Despite moving from three screens to just one, Agnès Varda's The Beaches of Agnès still took in $13,584. Kathryn Bigelow's excellent war thriller The Hurt Locker continued to impress, earning $10,686 per engagement as it expanded to 60 screens. [All figures per Box Office Mojo.]

Filmmaker Magazine - Summer 200925 New Faces. The annual survey by Filmmaker Magazine could easily have resulted in a list of 125 new faces, says editor Scott Macauley. "We tried to select from a range of work representing different communities within our broader independent world."

The list -- which begins at their site right here -- is a great read and a good way to get acquainted with up and coming filmmakers who have already made an impact. Where available, web sites for their films are listed. The only real complaint I have is that I'd like to be able to see more samples of the filmmakers' work online.

Of course, readers who actually like to hold magazines in their hands can also go right out and buy the Summer 2009 issue, with Inglourious Basterd Quentin Tarantino's face on the cover.

13 is the New Lucky Number. Our friends at indieWIRE celebrate their 13th anniversary today. Eugene Hernandez, editor-in-chief and co-founder, lists 10 things that he's excited about on their site.

The daily, comprehensive coverage by indieWIRE of both the art and the business of independent films is unrivaled, and, on a personal basis, it makes my weekly roundup much easier to compile -- though I have to resist the temptation to simply source everything from them! indieWIRE has been able to survive and thrive thanks to tons of hard work and, no doubt, dozens of sleepless nights. Beyond the news items, I appreciate the team's ability to analyze the industry from a different, and very welcome, perspective. Here's to many more years of thorough independent film coverage.