Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I never keep up with Sundance as it is happening each year. I find paying attention to most news as it rolls in to be dreadfully boring, and then there are the old cliches about Sundance being too commercial, no longer about true independent filmmaking, etc. But I just came across this New York Times article, about how this year's Sundance has a new director, John Cooper, who is apparently focusing more on independent, less commercial filmmaking. Should I be paying attention this year?

Whatever the case, I do know that Eric
Mendelsohn's 3 Backyards looks interesting, and the Duplass Brothers' new film, Cyrus, stars John C. Reilly!

Update: Karina
Longworth's review of Cyrus. This paragraph stood out:

"If it's somewhat surreal to sit down to a Duplass Brothers film and have it preceded by the Fox Searchlight logo and trumpet-and-drumbeat theme, the opening scene following that corporate stamp offers a sensation that could only be described as uncanny. A beautiful woman encounters a scruffy manboy, and they proceed to have an argument about his inability to meet her expectations. It all looks and feels familiarly low fi--almost like a sequel to The Puffy Chair, catching up on that film's couple long after they've broken up and have managed to stay friends twenty years later. Except for the fact that the woman is played by Catherine Keener, and the man is played by John C. Reilly, and even though neither is a massive star outside of Indiewood, within this context their faces feel so larger-than-life that the classic Duplass anticipatory zooms take on a whole new quality of invasive creepiness."

In other words, their style remains the same, but with more expensive cameras and bigger name actors. Sounds fine to me; I love John C. Reilly, and I like the idea of their bare aesthetic in the service of a "bigger" film. Which is not to say that it's the first film of its kind with such an aesthetic, of course. Karina's review isn't without its caveats, but I'm still excited.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

At long last, a new post

I'd love to start posting more consistently. There are reasons why I don't: I feel as though I am regurgitating news about certain films, and unless I have something to add, I don't feel there's a point. People reading most indie film news sites are going to know these things already. Of course, if they're really small films, they need all the blog mentions they can get, so perhaps I'm being a little too down on myself. Another reason is that news on a lot of films is scarce, particularly of what is going on in the underground. And, many of these films are hard to come by. I've been mentioning Matt Porterfield's films since I began this blog, but I have yet to see anything except the videos he's linked to on his website (although I've just discovered that Hamilton is now available on Netflix and Amazon; I'll be getting on that ASAP). And I've been busy with a job I'd rather not be doing. But the final and perhaps biggest reason is that my interests extend far beyond simply film, and for this reason I may start posting about things that may have nothing to do with this blog's main subject, just to give me some momentum.

I do have some interesting news: Mattew Porterfield's film Putty Hill, which was apparently made before Metal Gods, is premiering at the Berlinale International Film Festival. You can find a teaser trailer here. And here's a separate site for Metal Gods.

Also, Tom and Mary Russell are two underground independents who have made a couple of films in the past few years, and they're offering them for $15 each on Amazon until the 31st of this month. I've not seen either of their films, but I do read their blog occasionally, and I think I'll be buying their soon-to-be-unavailable DVDs to see what they're all about.