December 15, 2013 |
Tom Laughlin, who came to fame as the half-Native American, half-white ex-Green Beret in the 1971 indie blockbuster "Billy Jack," died Thursday at age 82. A lot of his films are on DVD and on streaming services. If you want to go back to his earliest films, check out "The Delinquents" (1957) -- which was directed by Robert Altman -- "South Pacific" (1958) and even "Gidget" (1959). And for those who want to revisit his best-known films, or perhaps see them for the first time, here are five: PHOTOS: Tom Laughlin, filmmaker who drew huge following for 'Billy Jack,' dies "The Born Losers": Laughlin first introduced Billy Jack in this low-budget 1967 biker film, which American International Pictures released in 1968.
December 12, 2013 |
Awards season is a boisterous clamor for attention, full of prestige picture releases and endless marketing dollars strewn to support them - all with the goal of taking home a few statues early next year. But amid the ado there are exceptions: The low-budget, slow-burn films that refuse to go away and end up on nomination lists. Think "Precious," think "Winter's Bone," think "Beasts of the Southern Wild. " Filmmakers know those pictures run on charisma and not marketing dollars, but they also know that awards season is when they can shine.
December 8, 2013 |
"Metro Manila," a thriller about a poor farmer who moves his family from the rice fields of the northern Philippines to Manila in hopes of a better life, was the big winner Sunday evening in London at the Moët British Independent Film Awards, earning honors for best film, director for Sean Ellis and achievement in production. James McAvoy was named lead actor for the crime comedy "Filth," and Lindsay Duncan won lead actress for the comedy-drama "Le Week-end. " Supporting actor honors went to Ben Mendelsohn for "Starred Up," and Imogene Poots won supporting actress for "The Look of Love.
December 4, 2013 |
At its inception 30 years ago, the Sundance Film Festival was dedicated to low-budget films made outside the studio system, a celebration of fresh cinematic voices telling daring, imaginative stories. Back then Hollywood stars barely factored into the equation. It's this legacy that makes the lineup for this January's festival all the more startling: A-list actors will be as deep in Park City, Utah, as the mountain resort's snow. The shift is a consequence of the tilt of studio slates - where adult dramas have been routed by comic-book adaptations, sequels and remakes - and the economics of independent film financing, where having recognizable performers is often the only way to attract funding.
November 30, 2013 |
Some jobs - catching fastballs, singing pop songs, dancing en pointe - are a lot easier when you're young. Add to that list directing independent movies, where it's not the physical demands that wear out many filmmakers but the financial stresses. At some point, most indie directors tire of the never-ending hustle for the money to make and release their movies and repair to the more lucrative worlds of television and studio fare. That's what makes the career of John Sayles so remarkable.
November 26, 2013 |
Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave," the acclaimed, unflinching look at the brutality of slavery in America, earned the most nominations Tuesday for the 29th Film Independent Spirit Awards. The film received seven nominations, including best picture, director, lead actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor, supporting actor for Michael Fassbender and supporting actress for Lupita Nyong'o. Alexander Payne's "Nebraska" followed with six nominations, including film, director, lead actor for Bruce Dern, supporting actor for Will Forte and supporting actress for June Squibb.