11 items from 2011
First Run Features announced today its acquisition of the award-winning documentary The Pruitt-igoe Myth from filmmaker Chad Freidrichs. First Run is planning a March 2012 theatrical launch with VOD, home video and television to follow. The deal was negotiated by Film Sales Company head Andrew Herwitz and First Run’s Marc Mauceri.
The Pruitt-igoe Myth tells the story of the transformation of the American city in the decades after World War II, through the lens of the infamous Pruitt-Igoe housing development and the St. Louis residents who called it home.
It began as a housing marvel. Built in 1956, Pruitt-Igoe was heralded as the model public housing project of the future, “the poor man’s penthouse.” Two decades later, it ended in rubble – its razing an iconic event that the architectual theorist Charles Jenks famously called the death of modernism. The footage and images of its implosion have helped to perpetuate a myth of failure, »
- Michelle McCue
Phil Ochs: There but for Fortune
Directed by Kenneth Bowser
Phil Ochs: There but for Fortune stands apart from typical 1960s documentaries. This is due largely to the intelligence and passion of Phil Ochs himself. This is not a film about a moment of disillusionment with American culture, but rather the desire to challenge and change. Ochs stands apart as a singular talent who blends a genuine political criticism with a wicked sense of humour.
The film jumps right into Ochs’ career. We will occasionally bounce back into the past to establish a bit of context but the film does not dwell on his childhood or adolescence. His music is omnipresent, there are few moments that are not coloured with his protest music. The music is not just a backdrop, but appropriately as a means of suggesting both the power or powerlessness of the musician during the is era. »
Fall is the best time of year for music and film fans in Montreal. Festivals and shows a-plenty, for most it becomes a draconian decision between what to see and what to miss. A select few become so totally fixated on this decision making process that they fail to see anything at all.
For those living under a rock, Montreal’s premiere film festival Pop Montreal starts up this week. Though it’s diverse set of musical shows big and small are often the highlight, it is truly a multi-disciplinary fest and has a bit of everything, including a mini-film festival. Film Pop’s programming is helmed by Kier-La Janisse. For those who don’t recognize the name, she is the founder of Montreal’s own Montreal’s Psychotronic Film Centre, Blue Sunshine. A fan of all things cinema, there are few people more qualified to organize a kick-ass line-up as she is. »
This year, Pop Montreal, an annual smrgasboard of concerts and music-themed films, celebrates its 10th anniversary. While the concert side of the equation is typically stacked (including, but not remotely limited to, a free Arcade Fire concert), the film portion is no slouch either. This year, film topics include legendary folkie Phil Ochs, The Replacements, Alan McGee and Creation Records, Aice Donut, and the Vancouver punk scene, among others. The fest runs from Sept. 21st-25th here in Montreal – the complete lineup and press release are below.
Montreal, August 11th, 2011 – Where music and movies make out in the dark: Film Pop returns. From September 21st to the 25th, as the Pop Montreal festival turns 10, Film Pop will once again resurface an always-pertinent array of underground musical films and captivating documentaries. Throughout the 5 days of the festival, Film Pop events will be held in 3 main venues: Blue Sunshine (3660 St-Laurent), the Pop »
First Run Features will release Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune, a documentary film on the noted American protest singer/songwriter (or “topical” singer/songwriter, as he preferred) on DVD on July 19.
The life and career of the legendary protest singer/songwriter is examined in Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune.
Over the course of a meteoric music career that spanned two turbulent decades, folk performer Phil Ochs sought the bright lights of fame and social justice in equal measure, a contradiction that eventually tore him apart.
The 2010 movie features extensive archival performance and interview footage of Ochs, as well as scenes reflecting the turbulent political climate of the 1960s during which he emerged as a spokesperson on causes such as racial injustice, political oppression, the horrors of war and labor issues.
The film includes interviews with family members and many of the artists and activists who knew him from »
By Kathy Harr
Camus said, "Yes, there is beauty and there are the humiliated. Whatever the difficulties the enterprise may present, I would like never to be unfaithful either to one or the other."
That describes the folksinger-songwriter Phil Ochs as seen in Kenneth Bowser's new documentary, Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune. Bowser, who is married to actress Amy Irving and has also made a films about Saturday Night Live, Preston Sturges andFrank Capra, is probably best known for making the film based on Peter Biskind's Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. His next project may be one based on another Biskind best-seller, Down & Dirty Pictures.
There But for Fortune, which is slowly releasing nationally, including San Francisco'sBalboa Theater this weekend, was called a “A complex portrait of an ultimately unknowable man,” by Peter Rainer http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Movies/2011/0107/Phil-Ochs-There-But-for-Fortune-movie-review. “At once an unsentimental portrait of the »
You know how if you say a word over and over, it starts to sound strange?
That's kind of what happens in the above "Saturday Night Live" promo that touts former cast member Dana Carvey's hosting gig on Saturday (Feb. 5). Carvey and Andy Samberg, channeling "Wayne's World," say "Schwing!" so many times that the word loses all meaning. (Kudos to both of them, though, for keeping a relatively straight face throughout the bit.)
Carvey's turn as host marks his first in-person appearance on the show since 2000 (he lent his voice to a brief cartoon in the Robert De Niro-hosted episode in December). Linkin Park is the musical guest on Saturday.
In other "SNL" news, NBC will present another documentary about the show's history on Sunday, Feb. 20. "Saturday Night Live Backstage" will include clips, musical performances, audition footage and interviews with cast members and hosts about events and controversies in the show's long history. »
January 7-9th 2011
There was a lot of movement in the top ten films over the weekend with one significant accomplishment-True Grit lasso.ed itself into the number one spot bringing in $14,605,135 and horse kicked Little Fockers into number two pulling in $13,487,245.
The surprise of the weekend was Relativity.s new release Season Of The Witch, starring Nicolas Cage, flying into the number three position with a decent showing of $10,612,375. It was released in 2,816 theaters with an average $3,769 per theater.
Tron: Legacy was barely edged out of the spot, but only moved down to the number four slot.
Screen Gem.s Country Strong strummed its way into number six by opening in 1,422 more theaters. Now with a 1,424 theater showing, it had the second highest per theater average of $5,145.
The number one highest grossing per theater average was The King.S Speech with $8,462 in 758 theaters. The unfortunate two movies finally »
- Allison Ritcher
There's always the temptation to stay inside during the winter, made even more compelling by the wide array of films you can watch at home. But that would be ignoring the 89 reasons why the only place more inviting than a couch near the fireplace is a seat at your local arthouse where the options range from the ancient Roman war epic "The Eagle" with Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell to the fantastical Palme d'Or-winning elegy "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" from Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Many awards contenders will expand across the country while those sick of such serious fare can fall back on revenge-themed thrillers with Jason Statham, Nicolas Cage or the deadly Korean twosome of "The Housemaid" and "I Saw the Devil," the action stylings of Donnie Yen ("IP Man 2") and Tony Jaa ("Ong Bak 3"), or the comedies of John C. Reilly and Ed Helms ("Cedar Rapids »
- Stephen Saito
Despite fan backlash at his decision to go electric, Bob Dylan has had it pretty good, especially by comparison. Any average Joseph on the street could tell you who he is and probably hum a tune or two, whereas his politi-folk peers were largely forgotten. Dylan was able to transcend; artists like Phil Ochs, subject of documentary "Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune" by "Easy Riders and Raging Bulls" director Kenneth Bowser, were not so lucky and mostly forgotten. Labeled as the "anti-Dylan" not only for his radically different singing style but also for his penchant towards undisguised topical protest… »
January is a terrible month for film-goers. There is just no way around it. A few Oscar-hopefuls see expansion and we get a few film festival leftovers, but for the most part it is studio dumping ground. I couldn’t even muster up 10 picks like normal. It does make it a good month to catch-up on everything you may have missed last year, so check out our Best Films of 2010 list, and if you dare, see the short list below of recommended January releases.
December films expanding wider:
I Love You Phillip Morris (Jan. 7th)
Rabbit Hole (Jan. 14th)
Barney’s Version (Jan. 14th)
The Way Back (Jan. 21st)
The Company Men (Jan. 21st)
Biutiful (Jan. 28th).
Five to See:
- Jordan Raup
11 items from 2011
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