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.

Deals. Both Eugene Hernandez at indieWIRE and Anne Thompson at Thompson on Hollywood described the sale of Tom Ford's A Single Man as an electrifying event at the Toronto International Film Festival. Riding a wave of good buzz from the Venice festival, the debut feature from the famed fashion designer stars Colin Firth "at a turning moment in his life after the death of his longtime lover," Eugene wrote. "Despite a distinctly gay storyline, there was little doubt that this universal story of middle-aged lonliness and isolation in the 1960s would quickly find a home." Anne notes that it's "gorgeously designed ... it's an idealized L.A. shot like an Italian movie of the period, plus a stunning digitally-enhanced color palette." The Weinstein Company won the bidding war, as Monika Bartyzel noted this morning.

Festivals. Speaking of Toronto, be sure to check out all the great coverage from our team of writers on the scene to find out what's been hot -- and not so hot -- during the first half of the fest.

News. Not much news has been happening outside Toronto during the past week. In fact, in my usual rounds of news sites and search engines, I have found ... nothing much of interest! (Sorry if you made some news that you thought was notable and either I don't agree or don't know about it.) Come back next week, and I'm sure something interesting will have happened by then. In the meantime, did I mention our great coverage from Toronto?

How do you make crude oil sizzle? Find out in Indie Weekend Box Office -- after the jump!


'Crude'Indie Weekend Box Office. September began in a very Crude manner last weekend, as Joe Berlinger's documentary cleaned up at the single theater where it opened, earning $16,595 according to Box Office Mojo. Berlinger explores a legal case in which 30,000 Amazon jungle residents in Ecuador banded together against allegedly irresponsible drilling by Texaco. Jeffrey M. Anderson felt that Berlinger is clearly on the side of the people. "Aside from that," he wrote in his review, "Crude is a fine work of journalism, gathering an incredible amount of facts and presenting them with clarity and perspective. I'd hesitate to call it a masterpiece, though, mainly because its immense scope hinders it from being a really personal or timeless work." More information is available at the official site.

Immigration flick Amreeka continued to touch nerves at the four theaters where it's playing, averaging $8,223 per screen. One of our commenters, NP, felt the movie is "really good" and "deserves a wider release." Well, NP, National Geographic Films will be rolling the film out across the country in coming weeks, starting this Friday when it opens in more theaters in the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas, as well as Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, and other Northern California cities. Check the official site for details; I hope to see it after it opens in my area next week.

Crude wasn't the only doc to score in its opening weekend. No Impact Man averaged $7,608 at two theaters. Directed by Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein, the film follows Manhattan-based author Colin Beavan as he makes a life-changing decision that affects not only himself, but his wife and infant daughter as well. I wrote a bit more about the film when we debuted the lovely poster.

Expanding into 111 theaters, The September Issue lost none of its appeal. The fashion doc averaged $6,251 per screen, and has grossed more than $1.2 million so far in three weeks of release. Dave Boyle's modest comedy White on Rice managed a modest take of $4,040 per screen at two theaters.