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Editor's Note

Scott is currently attending the Rotterdam Film Festival and will return with an Editor's Note next week. Check out his dispatches from Rotterdam along with the latest film news at our blog.


In its second weekend in limited release, Jieho Leeís debut feature looks at the ancient Chinese proverb that life is broken down into four simple emotions: happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love. But there's nothing simple about the stories in this film. Using some of the best talents working today such as Forest Whitaker, Brendan Fraser, Kevin Bacon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Andy Garcia, Emile Hirsch and Julie Delpy, Lee examines these emotions in small interweaving vignettes. Whitaker plays a stockbroker who bets his life on a horse race; there's a gangster (Fraser) who can see the future; a pop star (Gellar) falls into the clutches of a crime boss (Garcia); and a doctor (Bacon) rushes to save the life of his love (Delpy). Topped with exemplary camera work and some HD effects, the film (thanks to its cast) is a gripping tale of the human spirit and the serendipitous moments in life that changes everything.


By Jason Guerrasio

There were a number of teen angst movies this past year -- Eagle vs. Shark, Superbad -- but the one I thought brought the most originality to a very watered down genre was Jeffrey Blitz's Rocket Science, and seeing it again just reaffirms my belief. Armed with great writing, a humorous yet sensitive performance by the talented Reece Daniel Thompson as the film's unorthodox lead Hal Hefner, and an amazing score by Clem Snide frontman Eef Barzelay, the film is a smart and funny look at the awkward high school years. read more

To read more posts on our favorite upcoming DVDs, click here.


This week on the blog we recap the Sundance Film Festival with reviews of our favorite films including Fields of Fuel, IOUSA, Anywhere, USA and Sugar; Jamie Stuart's latest short film from Sundance (pictured left); and the complete list of winners.

To read more posts from our blog, click here.


IFP-supported projects won top prizes at both the Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals this year. Three-time IFP Market alum Courtney Huntís Frozen River (pictured top left) (Emerging Narrative 2004 and 2005, No Borders 2006) was awarded the Dramatic Competition Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. IFPís Rough Cut Lab alum Tom Quinnís The New Year Parade (pictured bottom left) (2007 Narrative Rough Cut Lab) won the Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Slamdance Film Festival. Also awarded at Sundance was Alex Riveraís Sleep Dealer (No Borders 2000), which won both the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award and the Alfred P. Sloan Prize, given to an outstanding feature film focusing on science or technology as a theme. At Slamdance, a Special Jury Honorable Mention for Documentary Feature was given to Cynthia Lesterís My Mother's Garden (IFP Market Spotlight on Documentaries 2006).


By Ray Carney

The following essay by Ray Carney on Aaron Katzís Quiet City accompanies a 2-disc DVD release from Benten Films out this week of Quiet City and Katz's first film, Dance Party, USA.

Mainstream film is so much an art of the maximum Ė the biggest, the flashiest, the fastest, the most exaggerated Ė that it is easy to forget that the great films all go in the opposite direction. They are, almost without exception, triumphs of minimalism. They rely on subtlety, understatement, indirection, and simplification. In Stranger than Paradise, Down by Law, and Mystery Train, Jim Jarmusch sets long sections of each work in almost empty rooms. In Femme Douce and LíArgent, Robert Bresson silences his characters to such an extent that room tone and traffic noises become more important than what the characters say to each other. In Joan of Arc and Gertrud, Carl Dreyer immobilizes his actors and actually prevents them from ďactingĒ by insisting that they talk in conversational tones even at moments of high drama. But the effect of these acts of reduction is the opposite of a feeling of emptiness or depletion. As is so often the case in art, less is more. read more

Festival Deadlines

Seattle International Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Feb. 1
Festival Dates: May 22 - June 16

NewFest: The New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Feb. 1
Festival Dates: June 5 - 15

Brooklyn International Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Feb. 15
Festival Dates: May 30 - June 8

Akron Independent Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Feb. 26
Festival Dates: April 3 - April 6

To see more fest deadlines, click here.


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