Indie Roundup reviews the past week of news from the independent film community and provides a peek at what's coming soon.
Festivals. As one of our two resident Canadians, Monika B. fittingly wrote about the Toronto International Film Festival, which kicks off tonight. If Telluride warmed things up for the fall film scene, Toronto aims to light the sucker on fire. The hardest part for indie fanatics is keeping up with all the offerings that will soon be on tap. Keep it right here at Cinematical for our coverage from Toronto, and watch this space every week to catch up on any major news items you might have missed. (And for those who keep asking, yes, The Brothers Bloom, pictured in the collage in the upper left, will be coming to DVD soon -- it's due on September 29, complete with an audio commentary by director Rian Johnson and producer Ram Bergman plus deleted scenes.)
Deals. Acquisition news is spiraling out of control, so I suggest checking indieWIRE for the latest and greatest, where they have details on deals for Richard Linklater's latest, wild and funny music doc Nerdcore Rising, and much more.
Online / On-Demand Viewing. If you missed Linklater's baseball doc Inning by Inning: A Portrait of a Coach when it played on ESPN, now's your chance to catch up -- it's just become available at the iTunes movie store. Don't hesitate to check it out if you're not a sports person; Jette Kernion says: "I'm not into baseball at all, but [the coach] is fascinating to watch at work." If you're a basketball nut and a doc lover, you might enjoy 3 Points, which follows Houston Rockets star Tracy McGrady on a trip to Darfur; it's available at Hulu.
Immigration joys and sorrows at the Indie Weekend Box Office -- after the jump!
Box Office. Ignoring the Labor Day doldrums, Amreeka marched to its own beat, raking in $17,887 per screen at the four theaters where it opened, according to Box Office Mojo. Released through National Geographic Films rather daringly in the week before 9/11, Amreeka concerns a Palestinian single mother and her son who try to settle down in the American Midwest, facing a range of challenges, some new and sold old. Maybe it's not so daring: fish-out-of-water immigrant comedy / dramas have great and wide appeal, and Amreeka sounds like it's hit a nerve.
American fashion doc The September Issue continued to draw well, dropping just 11.7% in its second week of release, resulting in a per-screen average of $9,746 as it increased its theater count to 20. Japanese family drama Still Walking kept rolling on nicely, taking in $6,866, on average, at the eight locations where it's playing.
Romance, anyone? My One and Only expanded into 77 theaters and maintained a good average of $6,536, pushing it past the $700,000 mark in total gross in its third week. What's the appeal? Renée Zellweger, to be sure, draws some interest, as may the presence of Kevin Bacon, but it's likely that the premise is the star.
Zellweger stars as a mother who goes in search of a wealthy socialite to provide properly for herself and her children. Of course, she brings the kids along, so cuteness is guaranteed. It's based on a "childhood recollection" of George Hamilton, who may be known more for his eternal baked-on tan than any of his film roles, which include Love at First Bite, Zorro, the Gay Blade, and The Godfather III. (I know, a serious disconnect there, right?)