Indie Roundup is your weekly guide to what's new and upcoming in the independent film world. Pictured above: Cooking With Stella, The Extra Man, Collapse.
Fest Scene. The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles will open with Cooking With Stella on Tuesday, April 20. The diplomatic comedy features Seema Biswas as a scheming personal chef; Lisa Ray and Don McKellar also star. Now in its eighth year, the festival has developed a good reputation as a showcase for the wide range of pictures emerging from India. The Waiting City, with star Radha Mitchell in attendance, will close the fest on April 25. Check the web site for trailers and more information.
A day later, Independent Film Festival Boston gets underway. The Extra Man, starring John C. Reilly, Katie Holmes, Kevin Kline, and Paul Dano, will be the opening night presentation. The film was recently acquired by Magnolia Pictures, as noted by our own Peter Hall. IFFB, also in its eighth year, will screen Sundance titles such as Cyrus, The Killer Inside Me, and Winter's Bone. The fest closes on April 28 with James Franco's doc Saturday Night. A list of films is available at the fest site.
Online / On Demand Viewing. Described by our own Kevin Kelly as the scariest movie that came out last year, Chris Smith's Collapse is now available on iTunes. In the documentary, "one man uncannily outlines the dark path our nation and world are heading down." Just a trifle less scary, Nicolas Cage and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans will be available on cable VOD systems on the same day as its DVD premiere: next Tuesday, April 6.
After the jump: Indie Box Office: remember last weekend?
Indie Box Office Weekend. What film topped the charts last weekend? By per-screen average, Lbs. The six-year-old picture finally opened in one theater in New York, earning $11,690, according to Box Office Mojo. Carmine Famiglietti wrote and stars as a dangerously overweight man who goes into seclusion to try and slim down; Matthew Bonifacio directed.
Michael Tully at Hammer to Nail wrote: "In its message, its spirit, and its overriding ambition, Lbs. is to be fully commended. But in many other ways, it feels like a conventional festival film that wears its age rather unwell." More information is available at the official site.
By number of screens, Atom Egoyan's Chloe was the biggest indie release, playing in 350 theaters and earning an average of $2,573 per location, for a total of $900,688. Peter Kneght at indieWIRE points out that it's already made more money than Egoyan's last film, Adoration. The article credits stars Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson, but I wonder how much of the heat is courtesy of the quickly rising Amanda Seyfried?
Also debuting last weekend: Catherine Breillat's Bluebeard ($8,370 at one screen). The film inspired J. Hoberman of The Village Voice to describe it as "psychologically rich, unobtrusively minimalist, at once admirably straightforward and slyly comic."
Disney animation doc Waking Sleeping Beauty opened nicely: $6,623 average on five screens. Cinematical's Christopher Campbell wrote about it in his Doc Talk column last week, and Jeffrey M. Anderson spoke with directors Don Hahn and Peter Schneider.