We're right in the thick of things, movie fans. Fall movie season is in full swing, and we've seen some great titles release to date. But November brings another round of great titles opening and it's time to take stock.
Featured in November are releases that define what awards season is all about - big names, lush productions and dramatic storylines. From a silent film quieting even the most skeptical critics to a leading man in his second release of the season, the temperatures are cooling down just as the box office is heating up, particularly with a promising Thanksgiving weekend slate on the books.
Check out previous Fall Movie posts (here's September, and here's October) to see what else I've been seeing these last few weeks, and then click over to continue reading what I'm looking forward to in November.
As you may recall, I'm posting each month those Fall movie releases I'm most looking forward to (and some I'm ignoring all together!). It's an exciting time of year for movie-lovers, so I thought it'd be fun to start a conversation around the best, most anticipated films hitting the big screen each month as the year wraps up.
You can check in on all of my September picks here. As for October, the releases kick into full gear this month, so there are a lot of titles to cover. This month includes one of September's stars popping up again, the debut of a younger sister with a familiar last name (and it's not Fanning), as well as two action-flick players (who co-starred in 2009's Star Trek) appearing in very different roles than their sci-fi counterparts.
Continue reading to get up to speed on all I'm anticipating (and one I'm very much avoiding) in October.
When I was a new grad, waiting tables to pay bills and wondering if I'd ever find a job, I cut back on every single expense out there. I got haircuts at the salon training school; I ate a LOT of Spaghetti Os; I dreamt of watching cable one day when I'd "made it."
But as hard as my mother tried to convince me to, I would not, under any circumstances, compromise on my 3-disc at a time Netflix habit. It was years before streaming existed, and those three discs - in heavy rotation - were all that kept me entertained on nights I was sure I'd be eating ramen forever.
Today, I'm down to one disc at a time and stream the service on my computer, my TV (via Wii) and my phone (it came in mighty handy one cold winter evening I was stranded on the interstate because of an accident ahead of me).
When it was announced weeks ago that they'd be separating out discs and streaming plans, I griped. How could you charge the same for a streaming library no where near as big (or at least vastly different) from the cavernous reach of the DVD library? But I figured I'd pay the extra (maybe finally cancel the cable I'd since been able to afford) and nothing much would change for me.
Then the bottom dropped out. Shares dropped 8%. One million subscribers dropped the service all together. Reed Hastings sends a "humble" email acknowledging the mistake.
Except that's not at all what the email does. Instead, it's one big "eff you" to customers, saying in no uncertain terms where exactly we stand in the company's priorities: the bottom.
Read on for my take on all that's wrong with this latest "solution"...and once I calm down a bit, we'll see about Netflix alternatives
In case you weren't sure, we're movie people here at the Indy Film Fest. As such, there are certain favorite times of year - January and the gems that come out of Sundance is always exciting; late February and the Oscars are almost as good as Christmas.
But nothing quite compares to the final few months of the year when all the best films come pouring out of every nook and crannie and into movie theaters like little gifts from the filmmaking gods. Just looking at the release calendar for September through December is enough to get me swooning.
And what kind of movie person would I be if I didn't share a bit of that swooning with you?
Here's how this is gonna work: Each month, I'll post those films I'm looking forward to seeing in the weeks ahead - and why. And just to prove that I'm paying some attention here, I'll even post a few that I'm purposefully avoiding. It'll be fun - you can let me know what you're excited about, what you've seen and loved, or what you'd like me to see and chime in on!
The hot topic du jour in the festival office is the opening night film. What film matches the mood we're seeking? Which will help us build buzz? Much thought and discussion goes into this one decision.
While we're digging into our selections and programming this year's lineup, you can have a festival in your own living room. If you're a netflix subscriber, the 2010 opening night film Barry Munday is available to watch instantly.
In the film, Barry loses his ability to procreate after a bludgeoning via trumpet (ouch!). He learns he has unwittingly impregnated a recent sexual partner, no matter that he doesn't recall even meeting her. A quirky and hilarious tale unfolds as Barry tries to navigate a new relationship and the path to parenthood. Earns points for a stellar cast and frequent laughs.
Do tell: have you discovered any of your festival favorites on Netflix?
Is it just me, or does it feel like the Indy film scene is heating up? Dare we even label it a "film scene?" As a volunteer entrenched and smitten with this festival, I thought maybe it was just me being hyper-aware of movie happenings.
What do you think? Are you happy with the local film offerings? Is there anything you'd want to see more of?
Image credit: Carbon Arc via Flickr
It's all I can do to keep from listening to Christmas music until after Halloween, let alone Thanksgiving, so it probably won't surprise you to know that I've been rotating through my holiday movies for about as long. Every year, there are a handful of films I have on hand to keep the festive mood going - White Christmas, The Family Stone, A Christmas Story. They're classics and, like good friends and a glass of wine, always sure to put you in a good mood.
With that in mind, I thought it'd be fun to share my top five favorite Christmas movies. Keep reading to get the scoop, then please - share yours in the comments!
If the Oscars are the big man on campus during Awards season, then the Golden Globes - presented each year by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association - are the kid brother. They're fun for a while, cute in their own way and have a striking resemblance to their more strapping counterpart, but overall, you just can't take them all that seriously.
That couldn't be more appropriate than now, as the HFPA has announced their nominees. Taking a look at the list, it's hard to take the line-up seriously, given the blatantly snubbed, the inexplicably included and the antiquated comedy/drama structure to the categories. As if that's all there is.
At first glance, it's a fairly expected list - the films getting most of this year's awards buzz cleaned up pretty nicely. The King's Speech snagged the most nominations, a feat it may just repeat come Oscar time in late January. Behind it in quantity is The Fighter, with Mark "Say hi to your Motha for me" Wahlberg and Christian Bale. The ratings controversy around Blue Valentine didn't stop it from getting a couple nods for indie powerhouses Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams.
So far, so good.
If programming the festival is the most fun part of my job leading up to the event, the most fun following each year's festival is Awards season, when nominations and accolades are pouring out of the industry and, every once in a while, a few of our feted films receive a little love.
This year is no exception - to date, four different films have garnered the attention of the Awards Gods, and we couldn't be more proud. I don't have kids, but I bet this is what it feels like when they get on the honor role.
So far, a few great documentaries have been shortlisted for Academy Awards (the first step to a nomination). In February, we featured an exclusive Indianapolis screening of Disturbing the Universe: The William Kunstler Story; it's now shortlisted for a Best Doc Oscar, in the ranks with the likes of Waiting for Superman and The Tillman Story.
Also on a shortlist - a shortlist for short films - are two 2010 Festival award winners. Winner of the Social Justice Award, Born Sweet was listed in the Best Short Doc category, while Best American Spectrum Short Film God of Love nabbed a spot among the ten short films up for nominations in the Best Live Action Short Film category. Congrats to filmmakers Cynthia and Luke!
And lastly, the festival proudly presents a screening of SXSW Grand Jury prize winner Marwencol on December 9 - it's now the recipient of a nomination for Best Documentary at the Independent Spirit Awards, presented on Oscars-eve, February 26.
Congratulations to all these incredible films and their filmmakers! And remember - when you're looking for striking, award-winning independent film in Indianapolis, look no further than the Indy Film Fest.