Louis C.K. to Direct, Star in Indie Film

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Borys Kit writes: Louis C.K., the comedian who has conquered the small screen with his low-key, angst-ridden FX show Louie, is returning to the land of movies.

And mirroring Louie, C.K. will perform triple-duties for the film — writing, directing and starring in the indie I’m a Cop, which is being produced by heavyweight producer Scott Rudin.

“I don’t feel like I need anyone to tell me anything with a TV show because I know exactly what I’m doing, but I’d be arrogant to think that I can take someone’s $8 million and just turn in a movie. Movies are different. There’s a permanency to them.”

Rudin is producing with Dave Becky and Blair Breard, the latter an exec producer on C.K.’s Louie as well as a couple of the comedian’s specials, including the upcoming Louis C.K. Live From the Comedy Store.

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“I was dealing with people every day whose pressures I didn’t understand, and I wasn’t very nice about how I said no to them. I put myself in a position I didn’t have to be in. A lot of what makes this kind of stuff work is empathy.”

The script tells of a depressed middle-aged man who is a volunteer police officer living in the shadow of his mother, a highly decorated retired officer. Read the rest of this entry »


北京独立影像展被停办 China Shuts Down Beijing Independent Film Festival

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Started as a film forum in 2006, the festival over the years has grown to be one of the most important events for China’s independent films, but also has attracted the attention of authorities eager to regulate free speech.

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities blocked an annual independent film festival from opening on Saturday, said organizers of an event that has become a rare and influential venue for the showing of films that could be critical of the government.Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 7.43.45 PM-764937

“It’s very clear that the Xi Jinping regime is determined to control the ideological realm, which has not been emphasized so much for a long time.”

— Chris Berry, professor of film studies at King’s College London

The Beijing Independent Film Festival’s artistic director, Wang Hongwei, and executive director, Fan Rong, said authorities had forced the cancellation of the event, which was scheduled to run through Aug. 31. Wang and Fan are with the Li Xianting Film Fund, the festival’s organizer.

Li Xianting, founder of the film fund and a movie critic, posted memos on social media over the past week saying that state security personnel had been pressuring him to cancel the festival and that he had come under police surveillance. Both Wang and Fan verified the authenticity of Li’s posts. Read the rest of this entry »


China Moves to Chill Interest in Independent Films

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After attracting the attention of authorities for years, the Beijing Independent Film Festival was cancelled at the demand of police earlier this month. Amid a government crackdown on dissent that is rapidly gaining momentumChina’s leaders seem to have deemed independent films a threat. AP reports:

Filmmakers whose edgy themes contrast with the rosier images of the country’s mainstream industry are accustomed to censorship of content deemed to show China in a negative light.

But independent filmmakers say authorities now appear to be trying to chill the sharing and discussion of their films, amid a broader clampdown under Chinese leader Xi Jinping on public discourse that could potentially undermine the country’s one-party rule, including the arrests of bloggers who post sensitive material and activists who have accused officials of corruption.

[…]“They just want us to make films about food, clothes, entertainment. They don’t want people to think, they don’t want people to have the freedom to express themselves, they don’t want people to have independent and free ideas,” said Yang Lina, an independent documentary maker whose first fictional  — about urban Chinese women — debuted at Rotterdam’s international  festival this year.

Read the rest of this entry »