CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 14, 2011 |
Bert Schneider, the iconoclastic producer behind a trio of influential movies — "Easy Rider," "Five Easy Pieces" and "The Last Picture Show" — that captured the rootlessness and discontent of the late 1960s and '70s and became symbols of a new era in Hollywood, has died. He was 78. Schneider had been in failing health and died of natural causes Monday at Olympia Medical Center in Los Angeles, said his daughter, Audrey Simon. The son of a Hollywood power broker — his father, Abraham, ran Columbia Pictures in the late 1960s — Schneider helped revitalize moviemaking in the "New Hollywood" movement in which directors, not studios, held the creative reins and made movies that embraced the sensibilities of the emerging counterculture.
March 12, 2013 |
One story depicts girls coming of age in India. Another follows a group of seniors as they compete in an international pingpong championship in Mongolia. Closer to home is the portrait of local priest Father Greg Boyle and his work with ex-gang members. Then there's a look at "fruit detectives" from around the world in search of exotic varieties. Those are among eight documentaries that will be shown on designated nights at two dozen theaters nationwide this spring as part of the Docurama series.
January 31, 2007 |
JOHN SLOSS has been called independent filmmaking's consigliere. He's part lawyer, part salesman, part problem-solver who became an avid film buff watching a movie a day as a projectionist and usher while attending the University of Michigan. Honored films he's been involved with include "Boys Don't Cry," which won Hilary Swank her first acting Academy Award, best documentary Oscar winner "The Fog of War" and current best picture nominee "Little Miss Sunshine."
June 20, 2011 |
"The Art of Getting By," about a high school slacker more interested in a girl than in his homework, barely lived up to its name this weekend at the box office. The film, which stars young actors Freddie Highmore and Emma Roberts, had what even distributor Fox Searchlight acknowledged was a "disappointing" opening. According to a studio estimate, the movie collected only $700,000 from 610 theaters for a dismal per-theater average of $1,148. "The Art of Getting By" — previously titled "Homework" when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January — did worse than two other independent movies that opened this weekend and also played at the Utah event.
November 7, 2011 |
It's not uncommon for independent movies to debut on video-on-demand the same day they are released in theaters. Most of the time, however, such low-budget films are playing in only about half a dozen theaters nationwide. That wasn't the case, however, with "Margin Call. " The Wall Street drama debuted in 56 theaters three weeks ago and simultaneously became available to cable subscribers who wanted to watch the picture from the comfort of their own homes. The movie has since expanded to 178 theaters and has brought in $2.5 million since its opening, according to an estimate from distributor Roadside Attractions.
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.