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Independent Movies

December 11, 2005 | Susan King, Times Staff Writer
In the first major movie award announced this year, "Brokeback Mountain," Ang Lee's sweeping drama about the doomed love affair between two cowboys, was voted Saturday as best picture of 2005 by the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. Lee also won best director honors. Edgy independent films dominated the acting categories. Best actor honors went to Philip Seymour Hoffman for his performance as writer Truman Capote in "Capote."
September 1, 2005 | Merrill Balassone, Times Staff Writer
WHETHER it was a projectionist drunk on homemade grog or faulty wiring that made equipment go up in smoke, independent film producer John Pierson was in for a challenge when he took over a rickety 288-seat movie theater on Fiji's remote island of Taveuni. At first, the New York transplant was comforted by the locals who reassured him with their oft-repeated slogan -- "no worries." That is, until he deciphered the code.
April 6, 2005 | Lorenza Munoz, Times Staff Writer
Director Craig Brewer is so hot that two studios are willing to pay more than $10 million for his film "Black Snake Moan." Never mind that he has yet to shoot a frame of film. Or that the plot involves a white nymphomaniac who must be "cured" of her disorder by an older black bluesman. "Would the script that I've written been considered last year? Absolutely not," he said. "There might be a change in the way Hollywood thinks about challenging movies."
April 2, 2004 | Maria Elena Fernandez, Times Staff Writer
On the heels of heated meetings recently with independent producers and public broadcasters in New York and San Francisco, Corporation for Public Broadcasting executives were expecting more fireworks when they brought their roadshow to Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon. Instead, all but a handful of the 125 or so independent filmmakers and producers in attendance were there primarily to learn more about the corporation's $20-million initiative, "America at a Crossroads."
March 15, 2004 | R. Kinsey Lowe, Times Staff Writer
Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" maintained a solid hold on the nation's box office in its third weekend, taking in an estimated $31.7 million, distributor Newmarket Films reported Sunday. The Johnny Depp thriller "Secret Window" opened in second place with an estimated $19 million, and the kid-spy sequel "Agent Cody Banks: Destination London" slinked into the No. 5 spot with about $8 million, just over half the opening weekend total of $14.
November 23, 2003 | Patricia Ward Biederman, Times Staff Writer
At Cinema Libre, a small new film studio and production house in Canoga Park, the decor sets the counterculture tone. From beneath his ever-present baseball cap, muckraker Michael Moore grins down from a poster for his "Bowling for Columbine" documentary. Studio offices are named for film revolutionaries -- the production office for Costa-Gavras, the special effects suite for Jean-Luc Godard.
July 31, 2003 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Serge Silberman, 86, an independent French film producer whose credits include Akira Kurosawa's "Ran" and Luis Bunuel's Oscar-winning "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie," died of undisclosed causes on July 22 in Paris. Born in Lodz (now Poland), Silberman survived the Nazi concentration camps and arrived in Paris in 1945. He launched his producing career in 1953 and founded the Greenwich Film Co. in 1966.
November 1, 2002 | Michael Mallory, Special to The Times
Astrange thing happens in "Frida," Julie Taymor's new film about painter Frida Kahlo, when she has a nightmare after a near-death experience. It also occurs in the middle of "Bowling for Columbine," Michael Moore's documentary salvo against America's gun culture. It happens as well in this fall's black comedy "Just a Kiss" whenever a character on screen steps into dangerous territory.
When Gary Winick took Sigourney Weaver to lunch at the Payard Bistro here, he simply wanted her to star in his new film, "Tadpole." But he did even better. The actress not only agreed to take the part, but snagged the restaurant as a location for a key scene in the film. "We wanted to shoot a scene where the women in the film have tea at the Plaza Hotel," Winick recalled over lunch at a considerably more downscale eatery around the corner from his mixing studio.
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