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Independent Movies

ENTERTAINMENT
May 21, 2006 | Rachel Abramowitz, Times Staff Writer
ON May 1, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu skipped out on the final mix of his film "Babel" to take his family to the immigration rallies in downtown L.A. While his absence might have given heartburn to the production staff hurtling to get the Brad Pitt-Cate Blanchett film ready for the Cannes Film Festival, to Gonzalez Inarritu, it was worth it. "It was like Simon Bolivar's dream -- people from all over Latin America," says the 42-year-old Mexican director. "I didn't feel any rage or any anger.
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BUSINESS
May 2, 2006 | Lorenza Munoz, Times Staff Writer
Hoping to cash in on the increasing popularity of so-called specialty films, the country's second-largest theater circuit is about to start showcasing independent films in theaters in markets where art house viewers are believed to reside. AMC Theatres will announce today that it has designated 72 theaters as AMC Select venues.
NEWS
March 30, 2006 | Kevin Crust, Times Staff Writer
THE Method Fest, spotlighting breakthrough performances in independent movies, opens Friday with the romantic drama "Dreamland." Along with screenings of 22 features and 40 shorts, the festival hosts seminars and panels and will present lifetime achievement awards to Julie Harris and Ruby Dee. Like many of the films in the festival, "Dreamland" features a good cast of actors doing strong work in a film whose parts are greater than its sum.
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 1, 2006 | Mary McNamara, Times Staff Writer
And the Oscar nominees for best picture are ... five movies most people haven't seen. Turning its back on the traditional shoo-ins -- platform extravaganzas, personal-victory dramas, to say nothing of popular comedies and fantasy films -- the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated for best picture a group of films straight from an art-house marquee: "Brokeback Mountain," "Capote," "Crash," "Good Night, and Good Luck" and "Munich."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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."
NEWS
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.
BUSINESS
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."
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