Magnet

Culture Warrior

Last week, as I watched Quentin Dupieux’s Rubber, I noticed that the trailers on the rental Blu-Ray were all of titles sharing space at the top of my queue: titles like Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins, Kim Ji-woon’s I Saw the Devil, and Jason Eisener’s Hobo with a Shotgun. All, I quickly realized, had been released by the same studio, Magnet Releasing, whose label I recalled first noticing in front of Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson. After some quick Internet searching, I quickly realized what I should have known initially, that Magnet was a subsidiary of indie distributor Magnolia Pictures. The practices of “indie” subsidiaries of studios has become commonplace. That majors like Universal and 20th Century Fox carry specialty labels Focus Features and Fox Searchlight which market to discerning audiences irrespective of whether or not the individual titles released are independently financed or studio-produced has become a defining practice for limited release titles and has, perhaps more than any other factor, obscured the meaning of the term “independent film” (Sony Pictures Classics, which only distributes existing films, is perhaps the only subsidiary arm of a major studio whose releases are actually independent of the system itself). This fact is simply one that has been accepted for quite some time in the narrative of small-scale American (or imported) filmmaking. Especially in the case of Fox Searchlight, whose opening banner distinguishes itself from the major in variation on name only, subsidiaries of the majors can hardly even be argued as “tricking” audiences into […]

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By now you’ve already heard about The ABCs of Death – the anthology project being put together by Drafthouse Films, Timpson Films and Magnet. 26 directors, 26 letters of the alphabet, and 26 tales of horror and gore. The complete list of directors includes: Kaare Andrews, Angela Bettis, Ernesto Diaz Espinoza, Jason Eisener, Bruno Forzani and Helene, Adrian Garcia Bogliao, Xavier Gens, Noburo Iguchi, Thomas Malling, Yoshihiro Nishimura, J.T. Petty, Banjong Pisanthanakun, Simon Rumley, Marcel Sarmiento, Chris Smith, Srdjan Spasojevic, Timo Tjahjanto, Andrew Traucki, Nacho Vigalondo, Jake West, Ti West, Ben Wheatley, Adam Wingard, Anders Wulffmorgenthaler, and Yudai Yamaguchi. You no doubt counted that list and saw 26 filmmakers. You also noticed that two of them are a filmmaking pair, which means they still need one more to complete the series. That’s where you come in. This is your chance to have your name next to the guy that made A Serbian Film on a film’s credit sequence. Drafthouse Films is hosting an open short film competition to choose the last director where contestants will choose their own word (starting with the Letter T (my money’s on “Trebuchet”)) and craft a short based on it. Entries will be whittled down to a final 10 by a public voting system, and the winner will be chosen by the directors listed above. There’s no entry fee, and it’s open from now until October 1st at midnight PST. Grab your camera. Get started.

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Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins isn’t just one great movie. It’s two. The first is a reverent, calm look at the brewing battle that delivers a lot of tense moments and a bit of comedy. The second is a blood bath. Literally. There are people actually bathing in blood from thousands of sliced up foes. Those pieces come together to make one incredible movie that absolutely feels like Miike channeling Kurosawa after maxing out his credit card buying karo syrup and red dye. The characters are all compelling, and they’re even more fun to watch while they’re cutting down an army like so much wheat. The action is intense enough to make the audience need to wipe sweat off its collective brow, and the movie is coming to SXSW. To celebrate that, they’ve released a brand new, stylish poster that you can only see here at FSR (until you can see it everywhere else):

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Comedy. Drama. Thriller. These are the three words that the Apple website uses to describe Rubber, but you could add to that list, Horror, Psycho-Satire, Meta-Parody and a few other made up words. Rubber is a hell of a movie. It’s a ridiculous film about a killer psychic tire (named Robert) that shows that some filmmakers out there still have the stones and creativity to make something truly new under the sun. Directed by Quentin Dupieux, the movie now has a trailer for you to enjoy/decipher and a sweet release date of April 1st.

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Without thinking about it, what’s the one thing your life needs more of? You said, “Giant pig beast monster movies from Korea and a sense of purpose,” right? Of course you did. Fortunately, Magnet is giving you a sense of purpose by compelling you to seek out the porcine creature feature Chawz it’s bringing to the states. If we all ask nicely, maybe Rob Hunter will review it for Foreign Objects. The added Z to the Korean title is meant to evoke the classic Jaws, something it does not quite achieve without being told that it does. However, the film – which I’ve mercifully refrained from referring to as “hog wild” – promises a metric ton of blood-thirsty pig rampage killings. Finally something to double feature with Wild Hogs. [io9]

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