Indie Roundup is your weekly guide to what's new and upcoming in the wonderful world of independent film. Pictured above, clockwise from upper left: Watercolors, Down Terrace, The Human Centipede (First Sequence), The Dungeon Masters.
Deals. Regent Releasing has acquired Watercolors, a drama directed by David Oliveras. Flashbacks reveal the troubled relationship between Danny (Tye Olson), a budding artist, and Carter (Kyle Clare), a high school swimming star. Years later, Danny is still dealing with the aftershocks. "Writer/director David Oliveras has created a powerful and erotic feature length debut," wrote Gregg Shapiro in Chicago Free Press. The film plays in New York and Los Angeles starting on January 22 as part of a three-film series, and starts January 29 in San Francisco. More information is available at the official site.
Our friends at indieWIRE report that Magnet Releasing has picked up Ben Wheatley's Down Terrace, described as a criminal 'genre bender.' Our own William Goss saw it at Fantastic Fest and wrote: "No effects, no names, no nothing but drama unfolding as it should, or rather, as it would. No, it may not fit the traditional bill for Fantastic Fest fare, but it sure is one fantastic film." Down Terrace will play at Slamdance later this month and at other festivals this spring, with a theatrical release anticipated this summer.
The distribution rights to another Fantastic Fest title, The Human Centipede (First Sequence) have been acquired by IFC Films. indieWIRE says it will be available via the IFC in Theaters platform. Check the Cinematical review by Todd Gilchrist, who saw it at Screamfest.
After the jump: On Demand viewing tips -- The Dungeon Masters are coming! -- and a sweet and crazy Indie Weekend Box Office report.
On Demand Viewing. A profile of three individuals who play Dungeons & Dragons, Kevin McAlester's The Dungeon Masters delves into their lives without making fun of them. "Once you get past the geek factor," wrote Kevin Kelly for Spout, "it remains a portrait of three very different individuals, and you get an intimate look into their lives. The gaming almost becomes peripheral as you find out who these people are and what they are like at home, at work, and in their own worlds." Kevin also wrote about the film's award-winning poster.
The doc is sometimes funny, sometimes painful, and ultimately illuminating. The Dungeon Masters will be available via Amazon VOD on February 12. In advance of that, you can check out the trailer posted by Drew McWeeny at HitFix a few days ago.
Starting today, you can check out Enzo G. Castellari's Inglorious Bastards, the inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, on Time Warner and Comcast video on demand. (QT's award contender is debuting on VOD today as well.) It's a great, glorious (no pun intended) flick; check out my review as well as observations by Todd Gilchrist. And, yes, Castellari's movie is an independent as they come.
Indie Weekend Box Office. In its fourth week of release, Crazy Heart expanded from 12 to 33 screens and topped the chart with an average of $14,004, according to Box Office Mojo. Jeff Bridges is pretty terrific and Maggie Gyllenhaal is pretty sexy, a potent combined selling point.
The soundtrack could also drive further interest; Ryan Bingham appeared on the David Letterman show on Monday night to sing the title song. While I have my reservations about the film itself, which feels wearyingly familiar, Bridges' performance is a must see.
Debuting doc Sweetgrass earned $9,870 at one theater (Film Forum) in New York. As I noted in November, Sweetgrass "follows the last sheepherders to trail their flocks up into Montana's Beartooth mountains for summer pasture," per its official synopsis. Ilisa Barbasch and Lucien Castaing-Taylor directed. Check the official site to see where it will be playing in the coming weeks.
"Exploitation pastiche" Bitch Slap opened in three theaters and grossed an average of just $4,085 per location. "It's like an issue of Maxim that flips its own pages," wrote our own William Goss, "but keeps stopping to read the articles, and it's got nothing on the likes of Sin City or even Death Proof." If you're still curious, you can check out the official site, which may be better than the movie.
With averages between Sweetgrass and Bitch Slap, Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon made $9,675 (five theaters) and Tom Ford's A Single Man earned $7,497.