margin call

The United States of Cinema: 10 American Indie Classics

Article: The United States of Cinema: 10 American Indie Classics

Hollywood blockbusters aren’t the only reason the whole world watches American movies. Declaring independence from major studios, some of the most creative filmmakers bring their visions to life in the land of the free. Get patriotic with these ten stateside classics, all airing in July on SundanceTV.

Legal download: Stock traders on demand

Article: Legal download: Stock traders on demand

The world of film is changing. For one thing, there’s not much actual film anymore. The future is digital; more and more, it’s streaming on our computers, too. Every week in Legal Download, we survey the landscape of online movies to bring you a snapshot of what’s available. This week, we treasure some volatile films about stock traders.

5 films that prove the Spirit Awards are better than the Oscars

Article: 5 films that prove the Spirit Awards are better than the Oscars

The old adage is just as true of awards shows as it is of movies: bigger does not mean better. The Oscars might get all the press, they might have all the prestige, but that doesn’t mean they’re superior to all other movie awards. Case in point: this year, the Spirit Awards, the Oscars’ indie alternative, the Elizabeth to the Academy’s Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, honored all sorts of outstanding movies that barely even garnered a mention on the big show. Does that mean those films were inferior? Nope; it means the Oscars were. Here are five films that prove the Spirits Awards’ are better than the Oscars.

Sundance '11 alumni score Academy Award nominations

Article: Sundance '11 alumni score Academy Award nominations

The Oscar nominations are in and, frankly, it was not Sundance’s best year at the Academy Awards. Though independent films made a very strong showing across the board, capturing some 60 total nominations, by and large Sundance alumni got lost in the shuffle. Films from the 2011 festival scored just four nominations. Et tu, Academy?

Five winners & losers from Sundance 2011

Article: Five winners & losers from Sundance 2011

The 2011 Sundance Film Festival was banner year, introducing many awards-bait films into the fold, and one unique box office hit. There were, however, also some incredibly hyped films acquired at Sundance that, whether it be faulty marketing, a poor release strategy, or general disinterest, failed to connect with audiences. Here are the five winners (MARGIN CALL) and losers (LIKE CRAZY) among the films that were purchased at last year’s Sundance Film Festival. We’ve already seen one sale at Sundance 2012 (Sony Pictures Classics just picked SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN), so it will be interesting to see if there were any lessons learned from this lot:

HAPPY FEET TWO: King of the ensemble film

Article: HAPPY FEET TWO: King of the ensemble film

Folks, we’ve got a number of ensemble films out at the moment – big casts with big names. One, J.C. Chandor’s MARGIN CALL, a first feature that attracted some of the biggest names in Hollywood, surprised even the most cynical of cinephiles. That’s a no-no in most industry circles, the prevailing wisdom being, “a new director just can’t attract the talent.” Go J.C. Chandor! Bring us back to the 90s! Other ensembles recently in theatres include TOWER HEIST and…HAPPY FEET TWO, which I would argue is the most ensemble-y of them all…

MARGIN CALL is one long, tense night

Article: MARGIN CALL is one long, tense night

The most elegant quality of J.C. Chandor’s indie hit MARGIN CALL is the way in which time unfolds. It works in that hyper-dramatic way that critical life events do, burning into your memory with hours slowing into what seem like days and minutes stretching forward almost interminably. It’s practically the only cinematic tool Chandor has to play with because, speaking of play, his film – about the last 24 hours in the life of an investment firm peddling bad mortgage bonds in 2008 – feels like one. Thankfully his singular touch on the experience of time unfolding saves a film without costumes, locations or interesting lighting (it’s a lot of fluorescents inside a very drab office). We’re left with the script and the performances, which is fine, but raises the question – why not throw this on a stage and be done with it?

Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Irons on MARGIN CALL

Article: Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Irons on MARGIN CALL

The cast of MARGIN CALL sits down for an interview at the Honda Power of Dreams Studio, Sundance Channel HQ. Want to see more? Check out clips from the festival here. Be sure to satisfy all your festival needs with the latest buzz, top stories, and celebrity interviews from Sundance Channel’s coverage of the 2011…

Sunday Morning Deal Making

Article: Sunday Morning Deal Making

By Sunday morning, with the snow taking a break and the sun shining, the deal-making aspect of Sundance finally kicked into high gear. Woohoo!

Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions announced that they’d closed a deal for MARGIN CALL, the Kevin Spacey financial thriller that excited early interest from buyers and is considered one of the more broad-reaching films here.

Sundance Film Festival Deals: MARGIN CALL

Article: Sundance Film Festival Deals: MARGIN CALL

Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions announced Sunday that, following all-night negotiations, they had teamed up to acquire the domestic distribution rights to J.C. Chandor’s financial-industry thriller MARGIN CALL. The film, which officially debuts at the Sundance Film Festival on Tuesday, Jan. 25, but was screened for the press and members of the industry on Friday morning,…