Here are some nibbles for your Easter Movie Basket:
- Did you know that the original mascot of Walt Disney was a rabbit? Before the days of Mickey Mouse, there was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (who, incidentally, looks lots like Mickey). The character was stolen from the visionary and now Walt Disney Studios has gotten the rights to Oswald back -- 80 years later. Now the silent shorts featuring Oswald are going to come to DVD as part of "Walt Disney Treasures" collectible sets. However, if you're itching to see the Mickey-like character, you'll have to wait until December. This volume is coming out just in time for the holidays. It might have been more fitting to have it come out now, during Bunny season, but I guess people don't buy into bunnies as much as they do into Santa.
- Indie filmmakers now have a new way to distribute their features -- Indie911, via Hoooka. A site that primarily sells music, it is now getting into film with the release of Before the Music Dies, a documentary on the music business that will be released on the site tomorrow. It features the likes of musicians such as Erykah Badu, Eric Clapton and Bonnie Raitt. In a twist, the movie will be available without DRM or "Digital Rights Management" that pesky block that doesn't allow downloaders to burn purchased content to DVD. Chris Hyams says: "DRM is most onerous for the consumers who actually download content legally, and those are the people we are asking to become involved in the process and help spread the word." Music will be available for $9.99 hi-res, and $3.99 for portable low-res version -- both of which you can burn to your heart's content.
- 20-year-old Spanish actress María Valverdehas been cast as the lead in the upcoming Spanish Civil War romance, The Anarchist's Wife (or, is it "Wives"? Variety has called it both...). She joins a number of other notable European actors like Jean-Marc Barr and Nina Hoss in the story about Justo (Juan Diego Botto), a lawyer who turns into a radio journalist fighting for the Republican cause. He disappears, and his wife, Manuela (Valverde) must raise their children on her own, as she continues to hope that he will be found. The film is based on the story of Marino Noelle's (who co-wrote and will co-direct the feature) grandparents. After fighting against Francisco Franco in Madrid, his grandfather was deported to a concentration camp and then fought for the French Resistance. Whether he did reunite with his family or not, the filmmakers haven't shared. The film goes into production this May.