20.March.2012: From The Hollywood Reporter comes news that Sundance Selects has picked up Adam Leon’s Gimme the Loot days after the film won the Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize at South by Southwest. Sundance Selects/IFC Films president Jonathan Sehring places the film in the same company as other recent IFC acquisitions made at SXSW (Weekend, Tiny Furniture, and Medicine for Melancholy). Entertainment Weekly’s Karen Valby talks to Leon, and the filmmaker owns up to an unusual range of influences for Gimme the Loot, Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby vehicles from the 1970s , Bob Hope and Bing Crosby road movies, Morris Engel’s Little Fugitive, and one director in particular: “For me it feels like everything comes back to Robert Altman.”
Speaking of Altman, USA Today’s Whitney Matheson reports that Kansas City filmmaker Gary Huggins has discovered the auteur’s lost 1951 instructional film Modern Football while searching through a stack of films. She writes, “Modern Football is one of 27 sponsored films Altman made for the Kansas City, Mo.-based company Calvin Communications. No other print is known to exist.”
More local matters from The Chicago Reader’s Ben Sachs, who reports on the reopening of the Logan Theatre as well as an “outpouring of calls” following earlier news of the potential closures facing the Portage Theater. Sachs weaves the news in with a amusing reflection on Seeking Justice: “For me, the most charming moment of the recent Seeking Justice comes just before Nicolas Cage faces down the bad guys in an abandoned shopping mall. ‘This is a nice mall,’ Cage says, in an inexplicable throwaway line. ‘Someone should fix it up.’ The movie’s presented plenty of swell New Orleans locations up till this point, but this may be its most direct statement of civic pride. I practically expected a representative from the New Orleans zoning department to enter the frame, blueprints in hand, ready to field offers from potential investors in the audience.”
Guy Maddin’s new film, Keyhole, showed at SXSW, but The Playlist’s Oliver Lyttelton and Aaron Hillis sat down with the Canadian director in Austin to talk about his unusual Spiritismes project: “‘I just wrapped the first stage of an insanely over-ambitious project, the first eighteen days of shooting at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, a project I’m going to shoot this year. One hundred short films in one hundred days in four different countries, four different public spaces: the Pompidou, MOMA in New York, the Winnipeg Art Gallery in Winnipeg and the Biennale in Sao Paoulo…They’re adaptations of…lost, unrealized and aborted projects. I became really haunted a few years ago by the fact that I just couldn’t see a lot of the great films made by my favorite directors, because they’re gone.’”
Kim Morgan sounds enraptured by the Pompidou events at her Sunset Gun blog: “The beautiful set (created by Guy’s superb, artistic production designer, Galen Johnson) has been broken down, the costumes (by the excellent, creative, sublimely patient Elodie Mard) have been boxed up, the live stream voyeur cams have been turned off, the Pompidou onlookers are staring at other exhibits and not at…” She lists many of Maddin’s cinephilic reveries, including one starring Geraldine Chaplin and Luce Vigo. “Watching the daughters of Charlie Chaplin and Jean Vigo hold hands in seance and look into each others eyes (conjuring Jean Vigo’s unrealized Lignes de la main) was exceptionally moving,” Morgan writes. Several of Maddin’s earlier films are streaming on Fandor (Careful, Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary, Cowards Bend the Knee), and Jonathan Marlow’s expansive interview with the director is available on Keyframe.