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This week's update highlights 6 new b-side releases from a diverse set of festivals including Slamdance, Denver Underground, Woodstock, Boston International, and Rome International. Once again, this selection demonstrates the broad range of style and subject matter I hope you are coming to expect from b-side.
Our latest shorts run the gamut from documentary to experimental, and are available for sale as DRM-free downloads for $.99 (portable version) and $1.99 (DVD quality version).
11:11 takes the classic relationship narrative and turns it literally upside down. The film runs backwards — not like "Memento," where the timeline is reversed, but the footage is actually run backwards. English becomes a foreign language (subtitled), broken things mend, and gravity reversed. As director Esther Peres explains, "Telling a break up story backwards takes unfortunate events and turns them around."
11:11 premiered at the Boston International Film Festival, where it was described as "Intellectually challenging and visually engaging, 11:11 plays like a sexy foreign film but is really a hip-hop comedy in reverse."
Space Thing is a collage of black and white imagery employing photographs, super 8 home movies and stop-motion animation to recall the fragmented nature of dreams and old memories; it was inspired by, and features, the electronic music of Manherringbone. Directed by Tim Busko, Space Thing has screened at several major film festivals include the 2006 Slamdance Film Festival.
Unicorn Pride is a short documentary about a small Texas town's community who claims to be the only high school in the nation with a Unicorn mascot. Kooky faculty, fanatical parents and students take their dedication of the Unicorn to another level. Mystical Creature or not: Unicorn Pride is justified. Directed by Linnea Toney, Unicorn Pride premiered at the Boston International Film Festival.
Our highlighted features this week look at death from 3 very different angles, and are currently available as downloads only for $2.99 (portable version) or $7.99 (DVD quality version). DVDs will be available later, and you'll be able to apply your download purchase toward owning the full DVD for ones that you enjoy most.
The Boy Who Loved Hearses tells the unlikely story of John Keel. John Keel's passion was cars; and the cars he loved above all others were hearses. He adored them. He studied them. By the time John was fifteen he was considered by many to be North America's greatest expert on hearses. By age sixteen John had memorized the entire catalog of every US-made hearse ever built, and had begun working on a comprehensive history of the American hearse. By the age of eighteen John Keel was dead, the cause of his death is still a mystery. Directed by Nicholas Kalikow, this documentary is the story of an all-too-short life, and the remarkable effect his brief existence had on all those who knew and loved him.
Shoot George is the story of George Baxter, an idealistic young screenwriter whose dreams of writing nonviolent movies are ruining his career. But when George mysteriously discovers a handgun on his doorstep, his fortunes suddenly change. This wild comedy of errors reveals the truth about guns, secret identities, and big box office. Directed by Adam Nadler, Shoot George premiered at the Woodstock Film Festival.
Infidel is the story of a street preacher who encounters a man in a greasy rib joint, and becomes convinced that she has been chosen by God to bring this solitary stranger to Jesus. What she doesn't realize is that he is a hired killer staking out the restaurant as he lies in wait for his intended victim. Both the preacher lady and the hit man are determined to carry out their mission. No matter what it takes. Written and directed by Peter O'Keefe, Infidel premiered at the Rome International Film Festival.
We hope you like these as much as we do. As always, please let us know what you think, and check back next week for more new releases.
Two years ago I started b-side because I wanted to bring great independent films to an audience beyond film festivals. But building a web site where filmmakers can sell their films is only one part of the puzzle. The real trick is helping people find something they're going to love, even though they've never heard of it before.
Most people are drawn to the familiar. One look at this year's top-grossing movies makes that pretty clear. As of today:
- Spider-Man 3
- Shrek the Third
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Now that's some out of the box thinking.
In other words, the top 3 are 3rd installments of massive franchises, the 4th is a toy line and a tv series, and the 6th is the 5th installment of the biggest book/movie franchise of all time. Only 300, which was a wildly popular graphic novel, required audiences to actually pause and evaluate a new idea before deciding to plunk down their $8.50.
b-side is all about the other side. Things you haven't seen before. Something where you don't know exactly what you're in for when the lights go down. But something we know you'll love.
If you're here reading this, odds are pretty good you're already interested in finding something new. But that doesn't mean you're less discerning with your time — or money.
So we're going to make it a bit easier for you to make that leap. For the next two weeks, anyone who registers with b-side will receive a free Portable download. Just sign up, and we'll send you a $2.99 gift certificate that can be used to download any film on the site.
It's that simple. The first round is on us. We think you'll like what you see.
At b-side, we want you to experience the other side of film....and the great films and filmmakers that dwell there. For a limited time, if you register on b-side, we'll give you a free movie download.
The b-side community is breaking down the wall between audiences and cool festival films...grab your hammer and start swinging!