Sundance Film Festival

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Every week there are dozens of film news stories. Every week, we read them all and bring you the five most important ones in the single most important blog post you’ll ever read (today [at this moment]).

1. Sundance Alumni Head Upstream for Distribution

Thousands of movies have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival over the years, but only a comparative handful of those movies ever find theatrical distribution. Now a new partnership between the Sundance Institute and film distributor New Video will offer hope to festival filmmakers whose work has fallen through the cracks of the studio system. Soon any director that’s ever played Park City will have the opportunity to release his or her film through Sundance/New Video onto one (or all) of six web portals: Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, iTunes, YouTube and SundanceNOW. Let the reconsideration of forgotten 90s indie gems begin. [The New York Times]

2. Situation PARANORMAL, All Effed Up

The first PARANORMAL ACTIVITY cost in the neighborhood of $15,000 to make and $350,000 to acquire by distributor Paramount. So far, the three films in the series have grossed a combined $573 million worldwide, making it one of the most profitable franchises in film history. In other words: it wasn’t if there would be a PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4, but when. And now we know: October 19, 2012. You can probably pencil in PARANORMAL 5 for October 2013 too, unless the ghosts realize the studio executives are profiting off their unpaid labor and they decide to strike for better wages. No word yet on the creative team who’ll be terrorizing some innocent but intensely stupid family with a penchant for self-documentation. [/Film]

3. A Voice Goes Quiet

J. Hoberman has been a fixture at the alternative weekly newspaper The Village Voice since the early 1980s. Not anymore — Hoberman was laid off by The Voice‘s parent company on Wednesday. “I was shocked, but not surprised,” Hoberman said of the news. I was fortunate enough to take a class Hoberman taught in grad school; on IFC.com, I shared some of his best lessons about film criticism. One of them was “Watch for excess words” so we’re going to move on to the next story immediately. [Daily Intel]

4. Awards Season Produces More Nominees

T-minus seven weeks and counting until the Academy Awards. And until the Academy Awards, get used to the continuing barrage of award nominees and winners because, really, who doesn’t love talking about the same four movies for three straight months? This week’s biggest awards news came courtesy the Producers Guild of America, who announced their nominees for the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award. Ten films will vie for the big prize on January 21st: THE ARTIST, BRIDESMAIDS, THE DESCENDANTS, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, THE HELP, HUGO, THE IDES OF MARCH, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, MONEYBALL, and WAR HORSE. What? No CHIPWRECKED?!? I demand a recount. [Movie City News]

5. “Put your hands where I can see ‘em! On second thought…”

Speaking of ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED, the most interesting screening of that film that will ever occur under any circumstances took place last week at the North Riverside Park Mall in North Riverside, Illinois. That’s where one Edward L. Brown of Chicago stood “entirely naked” in front of a crowded theater, “stretched out his hands and displayed his genitalia for all to see before sitting back down to enjoy the movie.” I can’t decide what’s the crazier movie theater activity: streaking or paying to see CHIPWRECKED. Brown was arrested and charged with sexual exploitation of children and disorderly conduct. After he was removed from the theater the film was stopped, because it would have been cruel to scar those kids for life twice in the same hour. [Riverside-Brookfield Landmark]