Indie News

Netflix Reveals Ridiculously High Viewership Totals For ‘Bird Box’ & ‘Sex Education’

Netflix sure does like to play coy about numbers. But lately, when it serves the company’s best interests, the streaming service will throw out some viewing totals to show how popular some content is. This was made famous by those early numbers for the Sandra Bullock film “Bird Box,” which touted viewership in the tens of millions. And now, Netflix seems to be doing it again for a couple of the company’s newest series.

Continue reading Netflix Reveals Ridiculously High Viewership Totals For ‘Bird Box’ & ‘Sex Education’ at The Playlist.
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‘Anywhere With You’ Trailer: A Young Couple Tries To Make A Life For Themselves In La

“Anywhere with You” is an upcoming indie drama about the trials of young adulthood and being on your own, together. Directed by Hanna Ladoul and Marco La Via, the film will be available on Digital and Video on Demand this February. Originally released under the name “We the Coyotes” at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, the movie is the first feature film of the two French directors.

Continue reading ‘Anywhere With You’ Trailer: A Young Couple Tries To Make A Life For Themselves In La at The Playlist.
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Final 2018 Oscar Nominations Predictions: ‘Roma,’ ‘Burning,’ ‘A Star Is Born’

After countless screenings, Q&A’s, red carpets, screeners, hand holding, for your consideration ads, talk show appearances and cocktail parties, between 160 and 190 contenders are going to be rewarded with Oscar nominations bright and oh, so unnecessarily early on Tuesday morning. And almost just as many who didn’t hear their name called will try to get back to sleep knowing they no longer have to starve themselves for the February telecast. Granted, this season hasn’t had the distraction of a historic presidential election or an industry-changing #MeToo movement, but have been controversies late in the game.

Continue reading Final 2018 Oscar Nominations Predictions: ‘Roma,’ ‘Burning,’ ‘A Star Is Born’ at The Playlist.
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‘Lords Of Chaos’ Trailer: Curch Burnings & Murder Help Bring The Story Of Norwegian Black Metal To Life

The story of the Norwegian Black Metal band Mayhem is a legend that anyone familiar with extreme music is probably familiar with. It’s a tale of suicide, murder, and church burnings, among other things. And that infamous story is brought to life in the new film “Lords of Chaos.”

Read More: Two New ‘Lords Of Chaos’ Teasers Give Glimpses Of Jonas Åkerlund’s Film About Norwegian Black Metal

In the first trailer for the film, you get the bare basics.

Continue reading ‘Lords Of Chaos’ Trailer: Curch Burnings & Murder Help Bring The Story Of Norwegian Black Metal To Life at The Playlist.
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After the Producers Guild Awards This Weekend, ‘Ozark’ Could Be Set for Emmys Glory

The Emmys never sleep. Although television’s top awards show is more than eight months away, we start harvesting tea leaves with Saturday’s Producers Guild Awards, followed by the DGA and WGA awards in swift succession. While most of the attention naturally will go to the guilds’ film prizes and what they mean for the Oscars, these programs are (very) early bellwethers for TV as well.

While it’s nice to garner accolades from critics organizations and the HFPA, the more important notices come from the guilds: That’s where the voters are, and where most critics and HFPA members aren’t. Acknowledgement from the guilds means being celebrated by your peers — the same peers who again cast their votes come Emmy time.

That said, the Emmy season is still so nascent that it’s too early to even formulate the year’s most pressing issues. Even so, there are several shows — some new,
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‘Lords of Chaos’ Trailer: Rory Culkin Totally Shreds as a Murderous Metalhead

‘Lords of Chaos’ Trailer: Rory Culkin Totally Shreds as a Murderous Metalhead
A quick glance at Jonas Åkerlund’s music video credits and one might be surprised that the guy who directed “Telephone” for Lady Gaga would make a murder thriller about angsty teenagers in a black metal band. But in the latest narrative feature from the Norwegian filmmaker, “Lords of Chaos,” which just released its first official trailer, Åkerlund stays true to his metal roots. Cutting a striking figure with his signature long black hair and leather jacket, Åkerlund’s latest film is a love letter to his youth — death metal style.

The official synopsis reads: “A teenager’s quest to launch Norwegian Black Metal in Oslo in the 1980s results in a very violent outcome. Lords of Chaos tells the true story of True Norwegian Black Metal and its most notorious practitioners — a group of young men with a flair for publicity, church-burning and murder: Mayhem.”

“Life was easy back then.
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Documentaries Could Sell Big at Sundance 2019, But Buyers Should Exercise Caution

Will the recent box office success of documentaries impact sales at this year’s Sundance Film Festival? “Hell, yeah,” said Magnolia Pictures Eamonn Bowles, whose company released “Rbg,” one of last year’s top-grossing documentaries.

While documentaries have experienced greater theatrical market share and overall ticket sales in past years, 2018 will be remembered as the first time four independently-released nonfiction films earned more than $10 million, three of which premiered at Sundance.

Reflecting the widespread interest in uplifting real-life stories as an antidote to the dire political climate over the last 10 months, the four films reached a total box-office of nearly $60 million, while another seven documentaries surpassed $1 million. It’s this renewed appetite for entertaining nonfiction, along with more streaming companies outside of Netflix hitting a film festival that’s continually premiering the year’s top documentaries, that could propel Sundance 2019 into the record books.

Many industry insiders say bigger companies
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Ernie Hudson Suggests The Original Cast Will Return In Upcoming ‘Ghostbusters’ Sequel

Just last week, there was no hope for a new “Ghostbusters” film and it appeared as if the franchise was currently dead. But now, not only do we know that filmmaker Jason Reitman is going to tackle his father’s old franchise but we actually saw a teaser debut and know that a reboot-quel, set in the same universe as the original, is scheduled to hit theaters in summer 2020.

Continue reading Ernie Hudson Suggests The Original Cast Will Return In Upcoming ‘Ghostbusters’ Sequel at The Playlist.
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Netflix Unveils ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’ Choice Results, Including Least-Picked Ending

The first choice viewers must make in Netflix’s “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” is whether the protagonist, Stefan (Fionn Whitehead), should eat Frosties or Sugar Puffs for breakfast. As it turns out, a lot of people prefer Frosties. Netflix has taken to its various social media accounts to reveal some of the choices “Bandersnatch” viewers have been making since the choose-your-own-adventure film debuted December 28, and 60% of all viewers had Stefan eat Frosties instead of Sugar Puffs.

As previously reported, “Bandersnatch” contains five different endings, all of them varying in different tones. “Black Mirror” creator Charlie Brooker said he intended for each “Bandersnatch” ending to feel different, with some being funny and others being more brutal. Which “Bandersnatch” ending was the least viewed? Netflix says it was the most emotional of the five options, in which Stefan goes on the train with his mother.

Perhaps the most interesting data provided on Netflix
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Close-Up on Jean Rouch's "The Lion Hunters"

Close-Up is a feature that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Jean Rouch's The Lion Hunters (1966) is showing January 3 – February 1, 2019 in the United States as part of the retrospective, The Groundbreaking Ethnography of Jean Rouch.The Lion Hunters (1965) is, on the surface—on the very surface—an adventure story. A band of hunters leave the safety of their village and go into the wilderness to hunt down a pack of lions. These are not ordinary lions, who adhere to the leonine custom of only targeting the sick and eating what they kill. They are rather an outlaw band, who kill wantonly and for sport. Thus the hunters have a moral purpose: their goal is to restore balance, to fix a flaw in the natural order which has caused both human and animal alike to fall crooked. And in this they succeed. After the usual trials they kill most of the lions in question,
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‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Review: Season 2, With Pike and Spock, Boldly Charts a New Course

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‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Review: Season 2, With Pike and Spock, Boldly Charts a New Course
[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for “Star Trek: Discovery” Season 2, Episode 1, “Brother.”]

The Season 2 premiere of “Star Trek: Discovery” definitely feels like the beginning of something. “Brother,” launching Thursday on CBS All Access, is all about establishing a new status quo, a new chain of command, and most importantly a new mission focused on exploration over conflict. Where that mission will take this ambitious yet flawed series, however, is as yet a mystery.

Picking up moments after Season 1 ended, Captain Pike (Anson Mount) of the U.S.S. Enterprise (you may have heard of it) comes on board Discovery with news from Starfleet — the Enterprise has been disabled by massive systems failure, so he’s taking command of the good ship Discovery to investigate some odd signals that “have the Federation’s hackles up.” That quest leads the Discovery to a rescue mission on a crumbling asteroid, but no real answers as yet to what those signals might be,
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‘Black Panther’ Could Dominate the Oscar Craft Nominations

Marvel’s “Black Panther” is being called the X-factor in the Oscar craft races, and could dominate on Tuesday, grabbing somewhere between four and eight nominations. That’s primarily because of the imaginative and opulent depiction of African culture and black identity through Wakanda.

It’s world building at its finest, thanks to director Ryan Coogler’s social consciousness and detailed collaboration with production designer Hannah Beachler, costume designer Ruth Carter, and cinematographer Rachel Morrison. Together, they created a powerful force of Afrofuturism that elevated the McU.

Read More: ‘Black Panther’: Building Wakanda on Ryan Coogler’s Vision of Identity and Unity

As a result, Beachler and Carter should definitely secure nominations. In fact, for Beachler it would mark the first in her craft for an African-American. However, Morrison (who made history last year as the first female Oscar nominee in cinematography for “Mudbound”) is more of a long
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‘Smilf’ Season 2 Review: Confronting Trauma, From Woody Allen to Harvey Weinstein

‘Smilf’ Season 2 Review: Confronting Trauma, From Woody Allen to Harvey Weinstein
Smilf” is two shows in one, and only half of them work. The first show is an experimental mishmash of short films exposing the world to a woman’s experience in 2019 — particularly, an abused woman’s experience. The other show is a more typical serialized narrative, tracking a single mother trying to get her life together.

In the show’s second season, the more classic half is damn near stagnant. Bridgette Bird (creator and star Frankie Shaw) faces added hardship, sure, but in the first five episodes she does little to address it. Meanwhile, Shaw’s creative side — the one that got her short film into Sundance and later landed a deal for her own Showtime series — should elicit strong reactions ranging from outright shock to deep contemplation. Not all of the basketball star’s big shots swish through the net, but even Shaw’s acrobatic airballs are far more
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Netflix Claims 40 Million Households Watched ‘You,’ Is Still Vague on What That Actually Means

As a great Greek thinker once mused, “If I hover my mouse over an icon for a Netflix show and it starts auto-playing in my browser, have I really watched it?” As part of its quarterly earnings report, the streaming giant declared that 40 million households had viewed “You,” the Penn Badgley-led series that premiered on Lifetime last summer before finding a new home at Netflix. With Season 2 of the series still on the way, those numbers represent the total from the series’ first four weeks of availability on the platform.

That figure is similar to the one provided for “Bird Box,” the film that in addition to spawning a rash of blindfolded antics across the globe, also drew eyeballs from 45 million subscribers. That number, first sent out in a tweet, was eventually clarified to Variety by a Netflix spokesperson to mean that 45 million accounts had watched at least “70% of the total running time including credits.
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Universal Pulls ‘Happy Death Day 2U’ Release in Parkland, Florida as It Coincides With Shooting Anniversary

Universal Pictures will not open its upcoming horror movie “Happy Death Day 2U” in theaters in and around Parkland, Florida as the February release coincides with the first anniversary of the Parkland school shooting tragedy. The studio is also moving up the movie’s release nationwide from February 14 to February 13 as to entirely avoid the Parkland anniversary.

The Blumhouse-backed “Happy Death Day 2U” is the sequel to the 2017 surprise horror hit “Happy Death Day,” written and directed by Christopher Landon and starring Jessica Rothe and Israel Broussard. Prior to Universal changing its release plans, the sequel’s theatrical date was called into question by Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was one of 17 students killed when a gunman opened fire at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018.

“My daughter and 16 others were killed on February 14th,” Guttenberg wrote on Twitter. “Universal Studios is releasing a movie called ‘Happy Death Day 2U
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‘Rust Creek’ Review: Enthralling Kidnapping Thriller Is Like a Feminist ‘Breaking Bad’

‘Rust Creek’ Review: Enthralling Kidnapping Thriller Is Like a Feminist ‘Breaking Bad’
It’s hard to choose a single moment that best exemplifies the hard-edged feminist lens at work in director Jen McGowan’s chilling “Rust Creek,” but the image of the teenage Sawyer (Hermione Corfield) gruffly ripping off her acrylic nails to scale a ditch is a top contender. It’s a move that might be perceived as funny in a more commercial genre film, but is entirely believable in McGowan’s understated and plausible nightmare — making it all the more chilling.

Intimate in scope to its great advantage, “Rust Creek” begins and ends with Sawyer’s journey, with a stable of male friends and foes providing color and intrigue. When she receives word of a job interview in Washington D.C., the soon-to-be college graduate hops in her red SUV and hits the road. Following her navigation app, Sawyer turns off the highway to avoid traffic, and quickly finds herself
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Simulation Training: Action Director Lawrence Ribeiro on Exercises That Help Prepare for Stunts

The following is an excerpt from action director Lawrence Ribeiro’s new book Action Realism. Due to the speed and the nature of stunts and my overall point of view (shooting with the intent of making the images visceral or dynamic), I have come up with some exercises. Scenarios, locales, speeds and context of the story will dictate how I train. Sometimes you need a supply of guts, sometimes you need to overcome your fears, but the truth of the matter is that my feet rarely touch the ground when shooting. It’s more mental than physical, as a few close calls can […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Simulation Training: Action Director Lawrence Ribeiro on Exercises That Help Prepare for Stunts

The following is an excerpt from action director Lawrence Ribeiro’s new book Action Realism. Due to the speed and the nature of stunts and my overall point of view (shooting with the intent of making the images visceral or dynamic), I have come up with some exercises. Scenarios, locales, speeds and context of the story will dictate how I train. Sometimes you need a supply of guts, sometimes you need to overcome your fears, but the truth of the matter is that my feet rarely touch the ground when shooting. It’s more mental than physical, as a few close calls can […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine_Director Interviews »

Jackie Chan & Filmmaker Jim Jarmusch Each Have Two Films Coming To The Criterion Collection In April

Jackie Chan finally joins the Criterion Collection in April with two of his most legendary films, and he’s joined by some of the greatest filmmakers of all time, with yet another solid group of films getting the special treatment.

Chan’s famous films “Police Story” and “Police Story 2” are getting the double-bill Criterion treatment. As you might expect, both films are getting brand-new 4K restorations and alternate 5.1 surround soundtracks, but there’s way more on the special-feature side of things that will be sure to excite any fan of Hong Kong cinema.

Continue reading Jackie Chan & Filmmaker Jim Jarmusch Each Have Two Films Coming To The Criterion Collection In April at The Playlist.
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‘Fast Color’ Trailer: Gugu Mbatha-Raw Puts an Indie Film Spin on the Superhero Genre

‘Fast Color’ Trailer: Gugu Mbatha-Raw Puts an Indie Film Spin on the Superhero Genre
Gugu Mbatha-Raw has delivered strong performances in “Beyond the Lights,” “Belle,” and the Emmy-winning “Black Mirror” episode “San Junipero,” but the actress takes her talents to the next level in the upcoming “Fast Color.” The drama marks the latest directorial effort from Julia Hart, best known for her breakout 2016 debut “Miss Stevens,” starring Lily Rabe and Timothée Chalamet. For this go-around, writer-director Hart has filtered the superhero genre through a grounded, low budget independent film lens.

Fast Color” stars Mbatha-Raw as a woman who comes into her own after discovering she has superhuman abilities. When her powers are discovered, the woman is forced to abandon her family in order to protect them. Years later, her mission to remain unseen brings her back home. Starring opposite Mbatha-Raw is an ensemble featuring Lorraine Toussaint, Saniyya Sidney, Christopher Denham, and Emmy winner David Strathairn.

In his review out of the SXSW Film Festival last year,
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