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2012 | 2011

1-20 of 27 items from 2011   « Prev | Next »


Film: Movie Review: Limelight

21 September 2011 10:01 PM, PDT | avclub.com | See recent The AV Club news »

Documentary filmmaker Billy Corben kicked off his career with 2001’s Raw Deal: A Question Of Consent, a provocative (and risible) Sundance conversation-starter that used real footage to determine the verity of a rape charge at a University Of Florida fraternity. From there, Corben firmly established himself as a chronicler—and even champion—of outlaws, from the drug smugglers of Cocaine Cowboys, Cocaine Cowboys II, and Square Grouper: The Godfathers Of Ganja to the notorious Miami Hurricanes football teams of the ’80s in the 30 For 30 doc “The U.” His latest effort, Limelight, extends some more sympathy to the »

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"Limelight," reviewed

11 September 2011 8:50 PM, PDT | ifc.com | See recent IFC news »

A version of this review ran as part of our coverage of the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.

Billy Corben is the drug documentary kingpin of indie film. He's made two docs about cocaine, one about marijuana, and now "Limelight," about New York City's ecstasy soaked club scene in the 1990s. His particular specialty are films that ape their subject's pharmacological effects: "Cocaine Cowboys" is twitchy and paranoid; "Square Grouper" is mellow and easygoing to a fault. "Limelight" sends us tripping on a relentless 100-minute roll.

The man who leads us on this journey is Peter Gatien, a one-eyed club empresario from Canada who moved to the Us and started opening upscale discos all along the Eastern seaboard. New York, Miami, Atlanta, and then back to New York where he created his crown jewel: Limelight, a massive dance complex housed in a former Episcopal church. The AIDS epidemic of the mid-1980s nearly killed his business, »

- Matt Singer

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Netflix Nuggets: Beautiful Ninja Elephants in Stone Boats

16 May 2011 9:30 PM, PDT | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Netflix has revolutionized the home movie experience for fans of film with its instant streaming technology. Netflix Nuggets is my way of spreading the word about independent, classic and foreign films made available by Netflix for instant streaming.

The Beautiful Person (2008)

Streaming Available: 05/17/2011

Synopsis: After transferring to a new high school, beautiful Junie (Léa Seydoux) starts dating fellow student Otto (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet), but she soon finds herself falling for Nemours (Louis Garrel), an Italian teacher already entangled in secret affairs with a pupil and colleague. Loosely based on Madame de Lafayette’s novel La Princesse de Clèves, this French drama explores the great pain that often accompanies love.

Average Netflix rating: 3.2 Araya (1959)

Streaming Available: 05/17/2011

Synopsis: Director Margot Benacerraf offers this acclaimed 1959 film that chronicles the harsh existence of Venezuelan laborers who manually recover salt from the tropical marshes in Araya, an ancient salt-producing region in that country.

Average Netflix rating: 3.3 Red, »

- Travis Keune

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DVD Playhouse--May 2011

9 May 2011 12:13 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Interview | See recent The Hollywood Interview news »

DVD Playhouse: May 2011

By

Allen Gardner

Blow Out (Criterion) Brian De Palma’s greatest Hitchcock homage, with a dash of Antonioni thrown in for good measure. John Travolta gives one of his best turns as a sound-effects engineer who unwittingly records a political assassination, then finds himself hunted by a ruthless hitman (John Lithgow, a memorably creepy psycho) after saving the life of the kindly, albeit dim-witted call girl (Nancy Allen, excellent) who was with the deceased. Terrific blend of suspense and very black humor, perhaps De Palma’s finest hour as an auteur. Beautifully shot by Vilmos Zsigmond. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Interviews with De Palma, Allen, cameraman Garrett Brown; Photo gallery; De Palma’s 1967 feature Murder a la Mod; Trailer. Widescreen. Dolby and DTS-hd 2.0 surround.

Kes (Criterion) Ken Loach’s landmark 1970 film is both a heart-rending portrait of adolescence, and a pointed socio-political commentary on life in the North of England. »

- The Hollywood Interview.com

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Tribeca 2011: "Limelight," Reviewed

28 April 2011 7:59 AM, PDT | ifc.com | See recent IFC news »

Billy Corben is the drug documentary kingpin of indie film. He's made two docs about cocaine, one about marijuana, and now "Limelight," about New York City's ecstasy soaked club scene in the 1990s. His particular specialty are films that ape their subject's pharmacological effects: "Cocaine Cowboys" is twitchy and paranoid; "Square Grouper" is mellow and easygoing to a fault. "Limelight" sends us tripping on a relentless 100-minute roll.

The man who leads us on this journey is Peter Gatien, a one-eyed club empresario from Canada who moved to the Us and started opening upscale discos all along the Eastern seaboard. New York, Miami, Atlanta, and then back to New York where he created his crown jewel: Limelight, a massive dance complex housed in a former Episcopal church. The AIDS epidemic of the mid-1980s nearly killed his business, but when a tough guy from Staten Island with the temerity to »

- Matt Singer

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[Tribeca Video Review] Limelight

25 April 2011 12:33 PM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Documentary director Billy Corben is in the midst of a prolific 2011. The Cocaine Cowboys director premiered his marijuana doc Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja at SXSW (where we reviewed it and interviewed him). He has Dawg Fight coming later in the year, and he recently debuted Limelight at the Tribeca Film Festival. The doc follows Ontario-born Peter Gatien on his rise and fall as the “King of New York Clubs.”

Taking an exhilarating Goodfellas-esque approach on the fame, money, and lifestyle that came with opening the four biggest clubs in NYC, Corben introduces a set of real-life eclectic characters that could easily be found in Scorsese’s masterpiece. With a focus on the 80s and 90s club scene, specifically Limelight, we learn how Gatien climbed the ladder and was then hit with legal trouble due to the drug-fueled frenzy in the clubs.

Gatien’s slick and engaging demeanor make him the perfect doc subject. »

- Jordan Raup

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The Best of SXSW Film Festival 2011

29 March 2011 9:45 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

South By Southwest is largely awesome as a condition of place. Austin is an amazing case study that has much going right. It is a city of filmmakers, lovers and scholars with public and private support. An organization with the most visible influence is the Austin Film Society, which sponsors filmmaker financially through the new Texas Filmmakers Fund (partly funding two strong films I saw – Where Soldiers Come From and Five Time Champion) amongst other initiatives. I think SXSW Film has grown partly because Texas filmmaking has grown. There is a large display of strong work including the festival’s Lone Star States showcase. This is as much a local festival as it a national festival (and shockingly less so an international festival, with very little work from other non-traditional Hollywood funding bodies like Europe).

The flexibility of SXSW to discover new voices is one of their leading strengths. If »

- John Fink

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Andrea Berloff To Scribe ‘Cocaine Cowboys’

23 March 2011 9:41 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

World Trade Center screenwriter Andrea Berloff has been tapped to write the feature version of Cocaine Cowboys, Paramount’s narrative adaptation of the documentary by Square Grouper director Billy Corben. [THR]

Cocaine Cowboys is the true story of Jon Roberts, a wounded Vietnam vet who went on to be a cocaine kingpin in Miami in the 1970′s before becoming a government prisoner. The documentary chronicles the vast tapestry of the drugs, crime and vice that forever linked the words “coke” and “Miami.”

Berloff – who also has the Nwa bio Straight Outta Compton in development – takes over the project from Generation Kill screenwriter Evan Wright, whose book on the subject (co-written with Roberts), American Desperado: My Life — From Mafia Soldier to Cocaine Cowboy to Secret Government Asset, will be published later this year.

Having written Oliver Stone‘s fairly tepid World Trade Center, let’s hope a little of Stone’s old-school »

- Anthony Vieira

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[SXSW Interview] Director Billy Corben and Team on ‘Square Grouper’

22 March 2011 8:36 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

I’ve been a fan of Billy CorbenAlfred Spellman and their Miami-based production company Rakontur since the highly entertaining documentary Cocaine Cowboys premiered in 2005 at the Tribeca Film Festival. Their latest, Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja recently had its world premiere at South By Southwest, and The Film Stage sat down with director Corben, producer Spellman, producer/researcher Lindsay Snell, and a member of the film’s infamous Black Tuna Gang chronicled in the film, straight out of jail – Robert Platshorn.

After a film festival and college tour, the film will be released on DVD (April 19th) and Video on Demand (April 22nd) by Magnolia Pictures. Rakontur’s next film, Limelight will follow in Cocaine Cowboy’s footsteps, premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival next month.

Tfs: Thanks for sitting down with us – your stories from your first film Raw Deal: A Question of Consent to Cocaine Cowboys »

- John Fink

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"Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja," Reviewed

19 March 2011 1:01 PM, PDT | ifc.com | See recent IFC news »

With "Cocaine Cowboys," filmmaker Billy Corben simultaneously told the story of the South Florida drug trade of the 1970s and replicated some of the scene's live-wire energy with twitchy editing and frenetic pacing. He didn't just tell you what '70s Miami was like; he gave you a tate of what it felt like too. Corben's new film, "Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja," takes a similar approach to South Florida's pot smuggling trade of the same period. But in this case, Corben may have replicated his subject's pharmaceutical effects a little too well. I've heard of movies for potheads; "Square Grouper" is movie as pothead: mellow, genial, and a little sleepy.

"Cowboys" weaved a massive tapestry of crime and vice across two continents, but "Square Grouper" is a small-scale anthology, three different stories of high times in the Florida lowlands. In the first and best segment, the Ethiopian Zion »

- Matt Singer

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[SXSW Review] Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja

15 March 2011 9:39 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Billy Corben has been working in the dark side of underground South Florida economies since his Cocaine Cowboys series. Here, with Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja, he shifts his drug of choice to something a bit more mellow. The film is a documentary of the economies as well as the personalities – on both sides of the law – responsible for marijuana distribution. Given access to a slew of subjects – some have spent more than 25 years in prison – Square Grouper is a well-made, well-rounded documentary. Told in three parts – from Coptic Farms, a Star Island import operation which had the Government of Jamaica (and it’s prime minister) in its pocket to Everglade City, where the local sheriff’s department is on the distributors’  payroll to the Black Tuna Gang, a smuggling operation center.

The title (“Square Grouper”) is a term for fishing bails of marijuana that have been thrown over board. »

- John Fink

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SXSW Film 2011 Cheat Sheet

9 March 2011 8:50 AM, PST | ifc.com | See recent IFC news »

...Or we should say "Cheat Sheets" since this year's SXSW Film Festival boasts over 140 films, requiring more than just one page to cover every single one of the narrative and documentary features that will be playing in Austin from March 11th through 19th. While the festival has already provided a very helpful schedule to flip through and Pdf of the screening grid online, consider this your quick hit guide to all the features at the festival - every title leads to its corresponding festival page in addition to links to trailers, official sites, filmmakers' Facebook pages and Twitter accounts so you can follow the action from the festival or from home.

Meanwhile, there will be plenty of action during these next two weeks on IFC.com where, in addition to our live video page, Matt Singer (@mattsinger) and I (@mfrushmore) will be filing reviews and interviews throughout the film festival. »

- Stephen Saito

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Trailering: SXSW Film

25 February 2011 11:53 AM, PST | ifc.com | See recent IFC news »

We're just two weeks away from the kick-off of South by Southwest 2011 -- and while I'm prepping for our big Spirit Awards weekend, I'm also trying to really dig into this year's SXSW schedule. Thankfully, SXSW's YouTube channel has almost 100 trailers uploaded. I picked out five of the more intriguing looking (but maybe a little lesser known) films to share here. This is what I picked:

"Fightville"

Directed by Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein

SXSW Premiere: Saturday March 12, 4:30 Pm, Vimeo Theater

The newest documentary from the directors of "Gunner Palace" is the story of what a baseball fan like me would describe as the "minor leagues" of Mixed Martial Arts: the training ground where young fighters are made or destroyed. Mma is a huge part of the modern sports scene but it's been almost completely unexamined from a documentary perspective, so I'm really looking forward to seeing this.

"Surrogate Valentine »

- Matt Singer

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Page 2: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Stanley Kubrick, Wolverine, Jim Henson, Zombieland, Christian Bale, Battlestar Galactica

8 February 2011 8:00 PM, PST | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

[1] What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 30 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might've missed that you think should go in /Film's Page 2 - email us [2]! Is that Wolverine, or 2 Batmen looking face to face? [fanboyz [3]] Brendan Gleeson, Robert Patrick, Sam Shephard and Liam Cunningham have joined the cast of Safe House. [variety [4]] [5] Blastr [6] has collected 37 highly useful illustrations of Star Trek's starship bridges. Rachel Bilson (The Oc, Jumper) will reunite with Josh Schwartz for the CW hourlong pilot Hart of Dixie. The comedic drama centers on a young New York City doctor (Bilson) who "inherits a medical practice in a small »

- Peter Sciretta

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Magnolia Acquires Pot Doc 'Square Grouper'

8 February 2011 11:37 AM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Magnolia Pictures announced Tuesday the acquisition of global rights to "Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja," Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman's documentary about South Floridian pot smuggling in the 1970s. Corben and Spellman are best known for the TV docu-series  "Cocaine Cowboys," as well as the Espn "30 for 30" installment "The U," which chronicled the Miami Hurricane football dynasty. The film will make its debut at SXSW, then be distributed by Magnolia later this year. Here's the full Magnolia announcement: Magnolia Pictures Acquires World Rights to Marijuana Doc Square Grouper: The Godfathers Of »

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Magnolia Goes for SXSW Pot Doc "Square Grouper"

8 February 2011 10:51 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Magnolia Pictured has picked up world rights to the documentary "Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja," from Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman, the filmmakers behind "Cocaine Boys" and Espn's "The U," ahead of its world premiere at SXSW. "Square Grouper" tells three separate stories to present a portrait of South Florida's pot smuggling culture in the 1970s. "Billy and Alfred have struck gold again with 'Square Grooper.' They are consistently »

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SXSW 2011 – Film Lineup Announced, Schedules Launched

2 February 2011 6:00 PM, PST | HeyUGuys.co.uk | See recent HeyUGuys news »

‘Tapping into the cultural zeitgeist,’ at SXSW 2011

Austin, Texas – The SXSW 2011 Feature Film Lineup was unveiled Wednesday afternoon. The festival lineup will consist of 130 features, in nine full days of programming, promising to deliver a film-going experience unlike previous years.

With a reputation for taking chances on relatively unknown filmmakers, the SXSW panel of judges carefully picked 130 films from 1,792 feature-length film submissions, (1,323 U.S. and 469 international). The program consists of 60 World Premieres, 12 North American Premieres and 16 U.S. Premieres.

The main competition categories return with eight Narrative Features, and eight Documentary Features, both competing for their respective Grand Jury Prize. New for films in competition this year, are awards for screenplay, editing, cinematography, music, and acting.

(The Midnighters and SXFantastic feature sections, along with the short film program, will be announced next week.)

Here are a few of the Features to be screened, among many others.

Narratives:

The Beaver (World Premiere)

Dir. »

- Albert Art

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SXSW Film Festival Line-Up Announced

2 February 2011 5:08 PM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Readers of Sound On Sight can be sure that we will indeed be covering the SXSW Film Festival once again. As previously reported, Duncan Jones’ latest film Source Code is opening the festival and there will also be premieres for the documentary Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, Greg Mottola’s Paul, and Jodie Foster’s The Beaver. Now the full line-up has been announced it is incredible.

Hit the jump to check out the line-up, and be sure to visit our site during the event.

The 2011 SXSW Film Festival runs from March 11 – 19th in Austin, Texas.

SXSW Film Announces 2011 Features Lineup

Austin, Texas – February 2, 2011 – The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival is thrilled to announce the features lineup for this year’s Festival, March 11 – 19, 2011 in Austin, Texas. The 2011 lineup continues the SXSW tradition of tapping into the cultural zeitgeist, highlighting emerging talent and breakthrough performances and supporting first-time filmmakers. »

- Ricky

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South By Southwest Film Festival Unveils 2011 Lineup! (“Yelling To The Sky” & “Blacktino” Make The Cut!)

2 February 2011 12:39 PM, PST | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

The South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) just announced their entire 2011 feature film lineup, and there’s isn’t a lot of note, with regards to this blog’s focus.

Titles you should be aware of – all of which we’ve previously profiled on Shadow And Act – include, Victoria Mahoney’s feature film debut, Yelling To The Sky (which will actually make its world debut at the Berlin Film Festival later this month); plus Blacktino, the first feature film from writer/director Aaron Burns, a self-described “blacktino nerd from Austin, Texas,” who got his start at Robert Rodriguez’s Troublemaker Studios doing visual effects; Benda Bilili, a documentary about a band of homeless, disabled Congolese; and last, but not least, Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, a documentary about the black man that happens to be the man behind the puppet (which also played at Sundance).

There might be »

- Tambay

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SXSW Film Festival Announces 2011 Features Lineup

2 February 2011 11:59 AM, PST | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

The South by Southwest Film Festival has announced their features lineup for the 2011’s Festival, which will take place March 11th to the 19th in Austin Texas. Read the full press release after the jump. SXSW Film Announces 2011 Features Lineup Austin, Texas – February 2, 2011 – The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival is thrilled to announce the features lineup for this year’s Festival, March 11 – 19, 2011 in Austin, Texas. The 2011 lineup continues the SXSW tradition of tapping into the cultural zeitgeist, highlighting emerging talent and breakthrough performances and supporting first-time filmmakers. The Midnighters and SXFantastic feature sections, along with the short film program, will be announced next week. “This is the most exciting moment for us. After a fantastic festival of discovery in 2010, we can finally unveil the line up for this year’s event,” says Film Conference and Festival Producer Janet Pierson. “SXSW prides itself on taking chances, sifting for »

- Peter Sciretta

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2012 | 2011

1-20 of 27 items from 2011   « Prev | Next »


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