Clockwise from upper left: The Most Dangerous Man in America; Everyone Else, Owning the Weather, Broken Embraces.
A weekly column, Indie Roundup seeks to inform, enlighten, and link, link, link about the independent film world.
Deals. It's like 1971 all over again! The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, directed by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith, recounts the circumstances and drama surrounding Ellsberg's decision to leak thousands of pages of top secret documents about the Vietnam War to The New York Times. First Run Features has acquired distribution rights, according to indieWIRE, and will roll the documentary out theatrically in February 2010. It's on the Oscar shortlist for Best Documentary and sounds like a must see. Watch the trailer, which plays like a spy thriller, after the jump.
Our friends at indieWIRE also report that distribution rights to Everyone Else, an independent German film directed by Maren Ade, have been acquired by Cinema Guild, which will release it in theaters sometime next year. Everyone Else is a film "in which a German couple travel to Sardinia," wrote Karina Longworth at Spout, "and watch, almost as if helplessly, as their seemingly solid relationship erodes upon contact with foreign forces." Check out the very intriguing trailer after the jump.
Online / On-Demand Viewing. What's the connection between North Carolina and Denmark? Owning the Weather, Robert Greene's doc about weather modification, debuted at the Full Frame fest in North Carolina this spring, and now, timed to coincide with the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, the film has been made available via various cable on demand systems. Look for it on the FilmBuff channel; it will be available on iTunes and Amazon VOD later this month.
Indie Weekend Box Office: Putting aside the phenomenal per-theater average of Disney/Pixar's The Princess and the Frog ($373,855, per Box Office Mojo), we come to another studio production that opened in limited engagements: Jason Reitman's Up in the Air ($78,763 average at 15 theaters).
Finally we come to an actual independent flick, Pedro Almodovar's Broken Embraces, starring Penelope Cruz, which dropped 24% yet still averaged $44,285 in its third week at the two theaters where it's playing in New York. Sony Pictures Classics will open it in a few more theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, before expanding wider on December 18 and again on December 25. Good things come to those who wait, they say. Grrr.
As Jenni Miller reported, the eagerly anticipated comedy Mystery Team (pictured) opened in The City That Never Sleeps. She explained how you can Demand It in your town. Meanwhile, it earned $11,259 at one theater, a great showing for the DERRICK comedy troupe.
Richard Linklater's Me and Orson Welles, with Zac Efron as the titular "Me" and Christian McKay as the famed director, reaped an average of $7,917 at the five theaters where it's playing in its second week of release. Freestyle Releasing expands the release this weekend; the official site links to ticket buying sites to find out where it's playing.
Norwegian black metal doc Until the Light Takes Us opened at one theater and grossed $7,246. Who knew there was any money in Norwegian black metal? Nick Schager of Slant Magazine describes it as "a fan-perspective depiction of the Nordic black metal scene so superficial and poorly assembled that it not only crucially fails to address the cultural forces that might have spawned the country's prime musical export ... but it also neglects to include more than cursory snippets of the tunes themselves."
This Week's Trailers: First up, The Most Dangerous Man in American: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.
Next, from Germany, Everyone Else.