UPDATE: In a PR roller coaster that proved the power of internet pundits, Shia LaBeouf apologized publicly for failing to credit the graphic comic that inspired his short film Howard Cantour.com which he debuted online Monday. “I f***ed up,” he Tweeted from @thecampaignbook, the same account he had used to heavily promote the 2012 short which stars Jim Gaffigan as an internet film critic consumed by his own online influence. Ironically the film played dozens of film festivals last year including the Cannes Film Festival, but it wasn’t until it hit the web yesterday morning that keen-eyed bloggers noticed uncredited similarities between LaBeouf’s film and artist Daniel Clowes’ 2007 graphic novella Justin M. Damiano, including word-for-word dialogue and visuals lifted directly from the original. By afternoon the video was password-protected without explanation as the plagiarism accusations flew. LaBeouf broke his silence late last night with a mea culpa that also sounded slightly familiar: “Copying isn’t particularly creative work. Being inspired by someone else’s idea to produce something new and different IS creative work. In my excitement and naiveté as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation. I’m embarrassed that I failed to credit @danielclowes for his original graphic novella Justin M. Damiano, which served as my inspiration. I was truly moved by his piece of work & I knew that it would make a poignant & relevant short. I apologize to all who assumed I wrote it. I deeply regret the manner in which these events have unfolded and want @danielclowes to know that I have a great respect for his work. I f***ed up.”
PREVIOUS, MONDAY PM: What’s one way to get the attention of internet critics? Make a short film about internet critics. In HowardCantour.com, writer-director Shia LaBeouf (apparently based on this uncredited illustrated short by Ghost World‘s Daniel Clowes) slices into the tortured psyche of an online film critic and his philosophical struggles with auteur hero-worship, the misery that is other bloggers, and press junket catering. Read More »
In the last of its official program unveilings, the Sundance Film Festival today revealed the Short Films set to be shown in Utah next month. The Zambia Space Academy’s race to the moon, a billion people dance event, teen love amidst a 1972 Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders game and a look at the life and work of painter Robert De Niro Sr. are among the U.S., International, Documentary and Animated shorts chosen for the 2014 Fest, which runs from January 16-26. The upcoming 30th anniversary of the festival sees 66 short films to be screened from a record-breaking total of 8,161 submissions. Check out the Short Film slates here:
Sundance Premieres & Documentary Premieres 2014 Line-Up
Sundance Reveals U.S. & World Cinema Competition Slates
Sundance Unveils Spotlight, Midnight, Frontier Films & New Kids Slate
U.S. NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS
130919 • A Portrait of Marina Abramović / U.S.A. (Director: Matthu Placek) — This one-take, 3-D film majestically documents legendary performance artist Marina Abramovic, capturing the breadth of space in infinite detail: the life of an artist, her keen sense of transition, a space’s decay, and the ripeness of rebirth.
Afronauts / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Frances Bodomo) — On July 16th 1969, America prepares to launch Apollo 11. Thousands of miles away, the Zambia Space Academy hopes to beat America to the moon. Inspired by true events.
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