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French Producers Strongly Contest Industry Contract To Set Salary Minimums For Crews

By | Friday March 29, 2013 @ 6:00am PDT

About 1,600 French film business heavyweights have signed a petition against a proposed regulation that would set pay and personnel minimums for crews on any movies produced in the country. The legislation is due to be signed by the labor minister next month and put into effect in July. But the increasingly heated concern is that by setting a bar for salaries, crew costs could rise dramatically and endanger about a quarter of films produced per year. Technicians unions and French majors Gaumont, Pathé, UGC and MK2, are in favor. Among the petition’s signatories against are Luc Besson, Guillaume Canet, Vincent Cassell, Robert Benmussa, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Costa Gavras, Isabelle Huppert, Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, Patrice Leconte, Vincent Maraval, François Ozon and Amour producer Margaret Menegoz. Their belief is that such films as 2011′s 13-time César nominee Polisse would not have been made under the proposal. Nor would Leos Carax’s Cannes sensation Holy Motors which was only able to make its budget by having the crew accept 20% below their normal salaries in exchange for participation. The producers have penned their own collective agreement and the government said just yesterday that it has appointed a mediator to try and get the two sides talking.

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Specialty B.O.: ‘Loneliest Planet’ Leads Debuts; ‘Sessions, ‘Holy Motors’ Hold Solid

By | Sunday October 28, 2012 @ 10:26am PDT

Brian Brooks is managing editor of MovieLine.

Newcomers and holdovers came in flat in an unmemorable weekend for Specialty Box Office. The Loneliest Planet bowed solid with a $10,200 average in two locations. Sundance Selects will take the movie starring Gael García Bernal to the top 15 markets in the next two weeks. Rocky Mountain Pictures, the group that brought on this year’s record-breaking doc 2016: Obama’s America, debuted District Of Corruption in three theaters, averaging $7,374 for the weekend’s second-best showing among the titles reporting. Cohen Media Group’s The Other Son debuted in 41 theaters, averaging just over $3K. Radius’ theatrical debut of Pusher landed with a thud, taking in just over $5K in 14 locations. The TWC multiplatform label stressed that its VOD run is primary, but did not report figures. The distributor’s co-head Tom Quinn said, “It’s done great on VOD. On its face it’s about the genre and its gotten good traction.” Among holdovers, Fox Searchlight’s The Sessions expanded strongly, with a weekend best theater asverage of $11,500. Indomina’s Holy Motors remained in in two theaters but held steady with a average of $7,648. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘The Sessions’ Tops Debuts; ‘Holy Motors’, ‘Brooklyn Castle’, ‘The Flat’ Solid

By | Sunday October 21, 2012 @ 9:40am PDT

Brian Brooks is managing editor of MovieLine.

Fox Searchlight’s highly anticipated The Sessions starring John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy debuted with a robust $30,100 average in its four-theater run in New York and Los Angeles, by far topping newbies in the specialty arena, in another crowded field of newcomers. Three other titles debuted with fairly solid showings. Producers Distribution Agency’s Brooklyn Castle bowed with an $11,061 average in two New York theaters, placing it second in per-theater average among the newcomers, but whether the homegrown pic will exhibit legs in other cities. Sundance Selects’ doc The Flat averaged over $10K in two NYC venues, while Cannes/NYFF surreal feature Holy Motors also bowed in two Gotham theaters, averaging $9,744.

“It was quite an impressive weekend. It exceeded our expectations a bit,” said Searchlight’s SVP Distribution Frank Rodriguez. “We thought it would come in in the $20K-25K per screen range, so we were very happy. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Holy Motors’

By | Saturday October 20, 2012 @ 3:55pm PDT

Writer-director Leos Carax’s Holy Motors opened this week in New York City. The Indomina release stars Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Eva Mendes and Kylie Minogue. The unusual movie about a man (Lavant) who dons a variety of disguises as he travels via limo will make its way to the NuArt in Los Angeles on November 16th.

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘The Sessions’, ‘All Together,’ ‘Holy Motors’, ‘Tai Chi Zero’

By | Thursday October 18, 2012 @ 10:39pm PDT

Brian Brooks is managing editor of MovieLine.

Jane Fonda, Kylie Minogue, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy and more have debuts in the specialty realm this weekend. Fox Searchlight hosted a series of word-of-mouthers for The Sessions, which it nabbed at Sundance. NYC distributor Kino Lorber is teaming with Tribeca Film for its first title going out via theatrical day and date with French-language All Together. Cannes favorite Holy Motors will head out in theaters via Indomina, opening in New York this weekend, followed by releases in various U.S. cities following a string of festival premieres. And niche Asian film company Well Go USA is releasing the first movie in its Chinese-language “franchise,” Tai Chi Zero.

The Sessions
Director-writer: Ben Lewin
Cast: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, Moon Bloodgood, Annika Marks
Distributor: Fox Searchlight

Fox Searchlight snagged Ben Lewin’s The Sessions at Sundance, where it won an Audience Award in January under its original title The Surrogate. Searchlight SVP Distribution Frank Rodriguez said the film will attract a core of cinephiles and an “over-40 audience” though it won’t be limited to those. “The film has John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy, so I think some younger audiences will be drawn to it,” Rodriguez said. Read More »

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French Director Leos Carax To Receive Locarno Film Festival’s Pardo D’Onore

After a 13-year absence, French helmer Leos Carax returned to the Cannes competition in May with his well-received Holy Motors. Indomina then acquired the film for the US. It stars Denis Lavant, Eva Mendes and Kylie Minogue. Now, Carax is being honored at Locarno. The Pardo d’Onore award has gone to “a master of contemporary cinema” for the past 24 years. Marking the honor, the festival will screen Carax’s repertoire of five features that includes Holy Motors, 1984′s Boy Meets Girl, 1986′s Bad Blood, 1991′s The Lovers On The Bridge and 1999′s Pola X. Portmanteau work, Tokyo!, to which Carax contributed a segment, will also run. Previous Pardo d’Onore recipients include Bernardo Bertolucci, Ken Loach, Jean-Luc Godard, Abbas Kiarostami, Aleksandr Sokurov, Hou Hsiao-hsien, William Friedkin and Abel Ferrara. The 65th edition of the Locarno Film Festival runs from Aug 1-11.

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Indomina Rolls With ‘Holy Motors’ For U.S.

By | Sunday May 27, 2012 @ 1:28am PDT

The Indomina Group has acquired US distribution rights to Leos Carax’s Cannes competition title, Holy Motors. The film enjoyed a robust reception when it premiered here last week to mark Carax’s first time in competition since 1999’s Pola X. Some are calling it a strong candidate for the Palme d’Or tonight. The experimental work chronicles a few hours in the life of Monsieur Oscar, a shadowy character chauffeured around Paris in a white limousine who takes on different roles for his various “appointments.” Longtime Carax collaborator Denis Lavant stars along with Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue and Michel Piccoli. Indomina’s Rob Williams negotiated the deal with Wild Bunch’s Carole Baraton.

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