3 items from 2011
"The sleeper hit of the 2010 film-festival and indie-awards circuit, Mike Ott's moody micro-budget Littlerock patiently observes the California road trip of college-aged Japanese siblings Atsuko (Atsuko Okatsuka, also the film's co-writer) and Rintaro (Rintaro Sawamoto)." Karina Longworth in the Voice: "En route to Manzanar (the filmmakers leave viewers to draw on their own knowledge, if any, of what that destination portends until the film's very end), their car breaks down in the tiny desert town of Littlerock, where they soon fall in with a local crowd of young layabouts."
"Amid the keggers and daytime bike rides is plenty of drug use, an overdue loan, and a menacing alpha-male bigot (Ryan Dillon)," notes Bill Weber in Slant, "but Ott uses the threat of violence as a mere layer of mood, keeping his focus on the mutable, and often unspoken, themes of identity and the nature of attempts to explore and redefine it… »
Memphis-based filmmaker Kentucker Audley (Team Picture, Open Five), selected for Filmmaker’s “25 New Faces” list in 2007, is releasing today online his new film, Holy Land (pictured here, with stars Bunny Lampert and Cole Weintraub), and with it a platform for fellow directors working in the no-budget trenches. The site is called “No Budge Films,” and it is described simply as “a place to watch no-budget films… Post your short film or feature // for a short run or indefinitely.” Why such a simple site? “Because most films don’t get distributed + it’s cool to give away your film for free + you don’t owe anyone money because you raised your budget on Kickstarter,” Audley writes in his site’s mission statement.
After Audley told me about the site, I asked him a couple of questions which he answered by email. Our conversation is below.
Filmmaker: Why did you decide to become a de facto distributor? »
- Scott Macaulay
Reviewer: James Van Maanen
Rating (out of 5): **
What a collection of talent is gathered here: writer/directorJoe Maggio, who gave us the wonderful Virgil Bliss (2001) and the interesting Paper Covers Rock (2008); a cast of indie pros like James Le Gros, who’s coming up on a 30-year career of mostly independent film and TV, in which he’s always good and often charismatic; Joshua Leonard, so different here from his work in last year’s Humpday; the lovely Amy Seimetz, currently on a roll, after Alexander the Last, Tiny Furniture and Open Five; and producer/co-starLarry Fessenden, who’s always fun to watch ( I Sell the Dead, Wendy and Lucy) and whose production company Glass Eye Pix has given us some wonderful little “scare” movies of late. The result of all this talent blended into a chef-gets-revenge-on-food-critic thriller (in which even Mario Batali makes an appearance) is the disappointing Bitter Feast. »
3 items from 2011