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Independent Movies

March 5, 2006 | Kenneth Turan, Times Staff Writer
IT'S hard to say what the most examined, scrutinized and analyzed event in the civilized world might be, but around this time of the year in this part of the country it's got to be the Academy Awards. If we as a nation had paid even a fraction of this much attention to the prewar situation in Iraq, a lot of things would be different right now. But even focusing on a situation doesn't guarantee that observers will get things right, with those Oscars being a case in point.
March 3, 2006 | Lynn Smith, Times Staff Writer
If there are any filmmakers who really mean it when they say it's a thrill just to be nominated, that would be Marshall Curry, the producer, director, cinematographer and editor of the Oscar underdog "Street Fight," and his executive producers Liz Garbus and Rory Kennedy. The documentary, which describes the politically and even physically brutal 2002 mayoral race in Newark, N.J., was Curry's first feature film, shot almost all on his own and with his own money.
February 27, 2006 | Susan King
When Steven Spielberg received his nomination medallion at the Directors Guild of America's awards ceremony last month for "Munich," he quipped that he felt like he was actually at the Independent Spirit Awards. And for good reason: Spielberg was the only filmmaker nominated for the DGA award whose movie was released by a major studio.
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.
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