In this week's edition of Indie Roundup, we begin with prison and end with a liberating acceptance speech.
Deals. Tough prison drama Bronson has been acquired by Magnet Releasing, the genre arm of Magnolia Pictures. Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (the Pusher trilogy) and starring Tom Hardy as the real-life inmate who adopted the name and persona of the titular tough guy movie star, Bronson moved Scott Weinberg to describe it as "raw, blistering, harsh and compelling in the way that only a really good 'prison film' can be." [via indieWIRE]
News. In unhappy distribution news, "after 43 years in business, New Yorker Films has ceased operations." That's the simple statement posted on their official site. Eugene Hernandez at indieWIRE notes that the company has "a legendary legacy, boasting a long-standing track record in international film distribution, bringing a staggering number of international auteurs to this country's movie theaters over more than four decades. The company's crucial role in establishing a lasting film culture in this country cannot be underestimated."
Indeed, New Yorker Films played a crucial role in my own personal education, giving me the opportunity to see challenging work like Werner Herzog's Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Wim Wenders' The American Friend, and Wayne Wang's Chan is Missing, among many others.David Hudson at IFC's The Daily rounds up reactions ranging from dismay to shock. Reportedly, the company's film library will be sold off at auction to satisfy a loan taken out by its former owner.
After the jump: Indie Weekend Box Office, San Jose's Cinequest opens, and Mickey Rourke's Spirit Awards speech.
Box Office. As Eric D. Snider brought to our attention in his weekly Indie Spotlight, three well-reviewed indies opened last Friday. Based on per-screen average, one of them made the Top 10 at Box Office Mojo: Bollywood import Delhi 6 scored $6,698 per screen at 90 locations. Andrzej Wajda's historical drama Katyn did even better in its single engagement, grossing $11,053. Not many came out to watch Eleven Minutes, the 'year in the life' doc that followed fashion designer / Project Runway winner Jay McCarroll; the film made just $918 per-screen at four theaters.
Festivals. The 19th edition of the Cinequest Film Festival gets under way in San Jose, California, tonight with the world premiere of Ellie Kanner's "dark romantic comedy" Wake, starring Bijou Phillips, Ian Somerhalder, and Danny Masterson. Cinequest will showcase more than 150 films; more than half are world, North American, or US premieres. Complete details and screening information can be found at the fest site.
Awards.The Independent Spirit Awards were handed out on Saturday, with Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler winning for both Best Feature and Best Male Lead (the adorably profane Mickey Rourke). Melissa Leo nabbed Best Female Lead for Frozen River, and Tom McCarthy won as Best Director for The Visitor.
If you missed the live broadcast, here is the highlight of the show, Mickey Rourke's wonderfully rambling, spontaneous speech -- definitely NSFW due to profanity. Enjoy!