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Specialty Box Office: 'Gatekeepers,' 'Koch,' Oscar Shorts Off To Strong Stars; 'Quartet' and 'Amour' Keep Growing

3 February 2013 10:18 AM, PST

Four documentaries and the annual collection of the short films nominated for the Academy Awards opened this weekend to generally promising results, giving the specialty box office a nice start to February. The Mvp out of the, er, gate was Dror Moreh's Oscar-nominated documentary "The Gatekeepers," which tells the story of the Israeli Shin Bet from the perspective of six former heads of Israel’s secretive internal security service. Sony Classics released the film on 3 screens and saw a very promising $66,677 gross, for a $22,226 average. That's the second best average of any film to officially debut in 2013 (just behind "Quartet"). Its total including an Oscar qualifying run is $86,015. Also debuting in a tragically timely fashion was Neil Barsky's "Koch," which coincidentally opened in two New York theaters on the same day that it subject -- former NYC mayor Ed Koch -- died. The film -- released by Zeitgeist Films -- grossed. »


- Peter Knegt

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'Wreck-It Ralph' Leads Annie Award Winners

2 February 2013 10:30 PM, PST

"Wreck-It Ralph" led the 40th Annual Annie Award winners, honoring the best in animation filmmaking. The film -- in the running for the animated feature award at the Oscars -- won 5 awards including best animated feature. Full list of winners below: Best Animated Feature 'Wreck-It Ralph' Best Animated Short Subject "Paperman" Animated Effects in an Animated Production "Rise of the Guardians" Animated Effects in a Live Action Production "The Avengers" Character Animation in a Feature Production "ParaNorman" Character Animation in a Live Action Production "Life of Pi" Character Design in an Animated Feature Production "ParaNorman" Directing in an Animated Feature Production Rick Moore, "Wreck-It Ralph" Music in an Animated Feature Production "Wreck-It Ralph" Production Design in an Animated »


- Peter Knegt

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'Pi,' 'Karenina' and 'Skyfall' Lead Art Directors Guild Awards

2 February 2013 10:07 PM, PST

The 17th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards were handed out tonight by the Art Directors Guild, with two Oscar nominees -- "Anna Karenina" and "Life of Pi" -- winning the period and fantasy categories, respectively, while "Skyfall" won in the contemporary category. Full list of winners in film and television below. Contemporary Film Skyfall Production Designer: Dennis Gassner Period Film Anna Karenina Production Designer: Sarah Greenwood Fantasy Film Life Of Pi Production Designer: David Gropman Episode of a Multi-Camera, Variety, or Unscripted Series Saturday Night Live
 Episode: Mick Jagger, Host; Production Designer: Keith Raywood Awards, Music, or Game Shows 84th Annual Academy Awards Production Designer: John Myhre One-Hour Single Camera Television Series Game Of Thrones Episode: “The Ghost Of Harrenhal”; Production Designer: Gemma Jackson Episode »


- Peter Knegt

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Ben Affleck Wins 2013 DGA Award; 'Sugar Man,' 'Girls,' 'Breaking Bad' Among Other Winners

2 February 2013 9:14 PM, PST

The 65th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards were handed out tonight in Los Angeles, celebrating both film and television in the past year. The big story of the night was Ben Affleck becoming only the third person in history to win the DGA but not get an Oscar nomination. His win for "Argo" bodes well for the film becoming the first since "Driving Miss Daisy" and only the third in Oscar history to win best picture without a best director nomination. Other major winners included Malik Bendjelloul for best documentary director ("Searching For Sugar Man"), Lena Denham for television comedy ("Girls") and Rian Johnson for television drama ("Breaking Bad"). Full list of winners: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Feature Film Ben Affleck Argo Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary Malik Bendjelloul Searching For Sugar Man Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Drama Series »


- Peter Knegt

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'Koch' Director Neil Barsky Explains the Importance of Revisiting the Life of Ed Koch, Former NYC Mirror (1924-2013)

2 February 2013 10:10 AM, PST

Neil Barsky's first feature-length film as a director is a documentary on one of the most enigmatic politicians in New York history:  Mayor Ed Koch, who is remembered as both plucky and cowardly, a man willing to fight for what he believed in but unsure how to have a conversation about his disagreements.  Yesterday, as "Koch" was set to debut in New York, news came that the former mayor died at 88 of heart failure.  In their obituary for the mayor, The New York Times describes him by saying the late mayor is "as opinionated as a Flatbush cabby, as loud as the scrums on 42nd Street, as pugnacious as a West Side reform Democrat mother.     Indiewire chatted with Barsky yesterday, as he was headed to do Q&A's at the film's opening night screenings in New York, about his experience making the film and dealing with the man. The »


- Bryce J. Renninger

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Watch: Trailer for Alison Ellwood and Alex Gibney's Showtime Band Doc 'History of the Eagles'

1 February 2013 2:41 PM, PST

"History of the Eagles," a two-part documentary about the Eagles directed by Alison Ellwood ("Magic Trip") and produced by Alex Gibney, heads to Showtime on February 15th and 16th at 8pm after the first part had its world premiere at Sundance in January. The films piece together never-before-seen home movies, archival footage and new interviews with band members, as they reflect on their long and sometimes troubled history together. As one of them puts it, "It's just about a journey from innocence to experience." Read More: Showtime Picks Up Two New Music Docs For February, Both Featuring Mumford & Sons Showtime also premiered R.J. Cutler and Greg Finton’s “The World According to Dick Cheney” at Sundance, with plans to air it in the spring, and earlier this week announced plans to air "Mumford & Sons: The Road to Red Rocks" and "Big Easy Express" on February 1st and 8th. »


- Alison Willmore

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Vote for Project of the Week! Will It Be 'Insatiable,' 'Pockets,' 'Jaya' or 'Stars'?

1 February 2013 1:31 PM, PST

Vote below for this week's Project of the Week. The winning filmmaker will receive a digital distribution consultation from SnagFilms and will become a candidate for Project of the Month. That winner will be awarded with a creative consultation from the fine folks at the Tribeca Film Institute! The four projects up for the prize: "Insatiable," "Rocks in My Pocket," "Jaya" and "Looking at the Stars." Voting will end on Monday February 4, at 11Am Eastern. Note:  Votes are confirmed by email.  After voting, please look for an email from Poll Daddy and confirm your vote.  Indiewire nor PollDaddy use your email address after the confirmation, but if you do want to sign up for our newsletter, why Don't you mosey on over here and do so! Which Project Do You Most Want to See? »

- Indiewire

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New App From Matthew Modine Allows Kubrick Fans Insight Into 'Full Metal Jacket' Production

1 February 2013 12:58 PM, PST

Stanley Kubrick fans now have an opportunity to explore the making of his 1987 Vietnam War film "Full Metal Jacket" like never before with a new iPad app, created in a collaboration between the film's star Matthew Modine and artist Adam Rackoff. The partially Kickstarter-funded app is comprised of Modine's personal diary, whose detailed accounts from the film's two year shoot originally made up the 2005 book "Full Metal Jacket Diary." Now, with the help of Rackoff, the original diary has been adapted into an app that combines audio effects, original footage, interviews, and Modine's original diary into one all-encompassing experience, now available on Apple's App Store or at the www.fullmetaljackdiary.com, along with stills from the set and the diary in print form. For those interested who do not own an iPad, "Full Metal Jacket Diary" has been accepted into the "App" category of the 4th Annual new Media Film. »


- Cameron Sinz

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Watch: Nash Edgerton's Gory and Hilarious Sundance Short 'Bear' Debuts Vice Shorts

1 February 2013 12:54 PM, PST

The sort-of sequel to 2008's popular short "Spider," "Bear" sees Nash Edgerton team up with frequent collaborator David Michôd (Director of 2010's acclaimed "Animal Kingdom") and rising star Teresa Palmer ("Warm Bodies"). It was one of our 10 Shorts You Must See at Sundance, and if you missed it at the festival, here's your chance to see why. The gorily goofy 10 minute film about a birthday prank gone terribly wrong is the debut short from a new arm of Vice's YouTube channel called Vice Shorts. New shorts will debut every Friday, and upcoming films include an impressive roster of up-and-coming talent like "Hesher" director Spencer Susser (another frequent Edgerton and Michôd collaborator) and music video director Ray Tintori. Check out the short below: »


- Mark Lukenbill

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Watch: Even 'Sesame Street' is Poking Fun at 'Downton Abbey'

1 February 2013 11:51 AM, PST

"This is Upside Downton Abbey! Everything is upside down here!" "Sesame Street" offers up the latest spoof of their very successful and very serious fellow PBS series "Downton Abbey" in the video below, in which the should-be simple act of having tea and crumpets becomes extremely challenging for two muppets because of the directionally challenged nature of their estate. Perhaps it's all a metaphor for the Julian Fellowes' series' insistence on sticking to the old traditions, feasability be damned? »


- Alison Willmore

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Exclusive: Steven Soderbergh Calls 'The Canyons' "Fascinating" and Hints at a "Spectacular Sex Scene"

1 February 2013 11:23 AM, PST

Paul Schrader and Bret Easton Ellis' Hollywood satire "The Canyons" has been marred with bad buzz ever since Stephen Rodrick's damning (and fantastically entertaining) New York Times Magazine feature ran, exposing a production fraught with trouble from the get-go. In addition to that, the film's been rejected by both Sundance and SXSW, despite Schrader's involvement. One of the most fascinating reveals made in the Rodrick's article involved none other than Steven Soderbergh, who was approached by producer Braxton Pope, unsatisfied with Schrader's rough cut. According to Rodrick, Soderbergh offered 72 hours of his time to have a go with the footage, but Schrader refused his input. Indiewire sat down with Soderbergh yesterday to discuss what he's said will be his final feature to open theatrically, "Side Effects," and naturally, the conversation veered to "The Canyons." "I never wanted that to go beyond Paul," »


- Nigel M Smith

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Watch: Dave Grohl and Stevie Nicks Perform 'Landslide' at Sundance

1 February 2013 11:02 AM, PST

For your Friday entertainment: In recognition of today's release of Dave Grohl's 'Sound City,' here's a clip of the January 18 Sound City Players show at the Sundance Film Festival, this one featuring a stripped-down arrangement of Stevie Nicks and Grohl performing "Landslide." Read More: Watch: First-Time Director Dave Grohl Admits: 'I haven't the slightest idea how this sh*t works' Video credit goes to Grohl obsessive Jon Bernstein. »


- Dana Harris

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Where to Watch the First Episode of David Fincher's 'House of Cards' for Free Online

1 February 2013 10:39 AM, PST

Netflix launched its David Fincher original series "House of Cards" today -- read our review here -- in its 13-episode first season entirety. For those without a subscription, the company has made the first episode, which Fincher directed in what is his first TV venture, available for free online for one month in all Netflix territories at netflix.com/houseofcards starting today. "The creative team in front of and behind the camera have delivered a riveting 13-chapter narrative that we're proud to present to Netflix members today," said Netflix's Chief Content Office Ted Sarandos. "By offering the first episode for free, including to non-members, we are opening up this fascinating world for everyone to see and are confident they'll want more." Read More: 'House of Cards' Showrunner Beau Willimon on Netflix, Ideal Politicians and Working With David Fincher We'd actually suggest that the show doesn't »


- Alison Willmore

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Watch: First-Time Director Dave Grohl Admits: 'I haven't the slightest idea how this sh*t works'

1 February 2013 10:00 AM, PST

"Sound City" director Dave Grohl makes no bones about it: When he made his documentary about the storied Los Angeles recording studio, he had no idea what the hell he was doing. During last month's Sundance Film Festival, Grohl stopped by Indiewire's studios at Chase Sapphire to talk about why he made the film and what he hopes will come from it. Read More: Watch: Dave Grohl and Stevie Nicks Perform 'Landslide' at Sundance The film is in limited theatrical release as of today, but it's more likely that you'll watch it as an iTunes download, through VOD at Gravitas Ventures or buy it at the Sound City website. Check out the interview and the trailer for the film below: »


- Dana Harris

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The 5 Indie Films You Must See This February

1 February 2013 9:24 AM, PST

So while it's true that February isn't exactly the prime month for quality independent filmmaking to find release (and many of us are still catching up on the plethora of such that was released toward the end of last year), the month ahead most definitely has a few high quality options, two of them Oscar nominees finally making their way to theaters. From Steven Soderbergh to William Shakespeare, check out Indiewire's picks for February's 5 best options, and then head over to the full month's calendar, as there are many worthy films (including studio offerings) that didn't end up making this list. 1. Side Effects (February 8) Director: Steven Soderbergh Cast: Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Channing Tatum Distributor: Open Road Current Criticwire average: B+ (see all grades) Why Is It a "Must Sees"? While somewhat questionable in its "indie" designation here, it was too hard to deny Steven »


- Peter Knegt

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Watch: Exclusive Action Packed Scene From 'Day of the Falcon' Starring Antonio Banderas and Freida Pinto

1 February 2013 9:21 AM, PST

In this exclusive clip from Jean-Jacques Annaud's "Day of the Falcon," unsuspecting Bedouin villagers scatter for safety as a warplane fires at their desert encampment. Set in the 1930's just as oil is discovered in the Middle East, the sprawling Arabian epic tells the story of two rival kingdoms plagued by war, and the two young lovers who try to bring peace to the ravaged region. Equal parts  "Romeo and Juliet," "Lawrence of Arabia" and "There Will Be Blood," the film boasts a strong cast that includes Antonio Banderas, Mark Strong, Freida Pinto, and Tahar Rahim. "Day of the Falcon" premiers on VOD today, February 1, 2013 and opens in select theaters March 1, 2013. Watch the scene below: And below, watch the film's trailer: »


- Zoe Beyer

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Lifetime Picks Up Julia Ormond Supernatural Drama 'Witches of East End'

1 February 2013 9:14 AM, PST

Julia Ormond made a strong impression as Marie Calvet, the flirty, dissatisfied Québécois mother-in-law Don Draper (Jon Hamm) when he married Megan (Jessica Paré) in the last season of "Mad Men." Now the actress is due for a return to the small screen in "Witches of East End," a new Lifetime series that's just been given a 10-episode order. Ormond will star in the series as Joanna Beauchamp, who lives in the Long Island seaside town of East Haven with her two grown daughters, Freya (Channing Tatum spouse Jenna Dewan-Tatum) and Rachel Boston ("In Plain Sight"). Freya's engagement to a wealthy newcomers forces Joanna to admit to her children that they come from a line of immortal witches, one that includes her sister Wendy ("Twin Peaks" star Mädchen Amick). The show, which is based on Melissa de la Cruz's novel of the same name, is due to launch this year. »


- Alison Willmore

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Qu(e)eries: What's The Best Queer Film Playing In Theaters Right Now?

1 February 2013 8:43 AM, PST

While much excitement (and the last edition of this column) has been devoted to the handful of generally fantastic new queer films -- "C.O.G," "Concussion," "Interior. Leather Bar," "Pit Stop," "Kill Your Darlings," "God Love Uganda" -- to come out of last week's Sundance Film Festival, the fact of the matter is that it's gonna be a while before any of these films actually hit theaters. But there is one great Lgbt-focused film you can go see right now (at least if you're in New York, though soon enough in most other major cities): Eytan Fox's "Yossi," a sequel-of-sorts to his 2002 film "Yossi & Jaggar." "Yossi" quietly premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last April, where it was picked up by Strand Releasing. It came out in New York last weekend to rather little fanfare, but it's definitely worth seeking out.  I wasn't the biggest fan of its. »


- Peter Knegt

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'House of Cards' Review: Why David Fincher's First TV Series is Tailor-Made for Binge-Watching

1 February 2013 8:42 AM, PST

Today, Netflix dropped all 13 episodes of the initial season of its first major original series, "House of Cards," online for its subscribers -- a political drama from Beau Willimon, David Fincher and Kevin Spacey, who plays the lead role of Representative Frank Underwood, House Majority Whip and consummate political animal. It's a bold business move for the company, a direct challenge to cable networks like HBO who've built their brand around quality programming -- why go to the linear channels trickling out content when you can watch a hopefully equivalent series online, from the same place many people these days are going for their TV anyway? It's also, hype aside, a genuine glimpse of a possible future for the medium. Giving up half of the serialized aspect of a serialized show is a gamble, one that threatens to do away with the anticipation and the months-long conversation that for some »


- Alison Willmore

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Watch: Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas Pop Up in Trailer for Almodovar's 'I'm So Excited'

1 February 2013 8:21 AM, PST

After exploring significantly darker work with 2009's noir "Broken Embraces," and 2011's psychological horror film "The Skin I Live In," Pedro Almodovar appears to be pursuing a much more lighthearted tone for his next film, "I'm So Excited," as the just-released trailer shows. While the Spanish-only clip offers only a small glimpse of the film, the trailer's vibrant colors, sexual absurdity and loose, fast paced tone makes it clear that the film is more in line with Almodovar's early career melodramatic comedies, particularly "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" and "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" The film follows the passengers and crew of an imminently doomed plane, as hysteria begins to take over the plane's interior. The trailer also gives brief glimpses of cameos from Almodovar regulars Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas against a significantly less star-studded cast than those found in his »


- Cameron Sinz

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