Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Like Christmas in July...

Every once in a while the stars align and we end up with a day that's chock full of DVD releases. Well, today is one of those fateful days. We've got three films hitting the shelves as we speak, and they offer our fans a little sex, a little romance, and a little ... puke.

Without further ado, here are the goods:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The New Face of Horror

The Horror genre seems never to be in short supply of films. Our Vicious Circle Films label, however, strives to highlight those horror films that reinvent the usual slasher or ghost story aesthetic. Chad Ferrin's "Someone's Knocking at the Door" is one such film.

Though it follows a standard slasher premise, the villains are particularly ghastly in this case: they're a man and woman who rape their victims - a group of college students experimenting with drugs - to death. That's to say, violent intercourse is the cause of death (there's a reason SKATD has been deemed the most depraved film of the 21st century). Aside from the unusual death scenes, SKATD is also resplendent with quirky filming techniques and surreal sound effects. Plus the soundtrack, which is dominated by mellow indie rock songs, clashes with the murder and chase sequences, somehow rendering them even more unsettling.

SKATD's stylistics are carried over to the film's posters, which showcase some unusual, yet intriguing design choices. Take the poster above, whose bright colors betray the dark, grisly nature of the film. Don't be fooled.

Spotlight on: Todd Verow

Image source: bangorfilms.com

He’s earned a name for himself as digital cinema’s bad boy and as a pioneering director of queer cinema. Whether you love his films or hate them (and whichever side you stand on, you’re certainly not alone), you can’t deny his enthusiasm for filmmaking. Since his first feature "Frisk," released in 1995, Todd Verow has churned out 20 films at breakneck speed.

His storylines range from sweet, autobiographical coming-of-age tales like "Vacationland" to the dark and disturbing portraits in his “Addiction Trilogy.” Verow’s been hailed as a new kind of director in publications like Variety, Wired, and Time, thanks to his ever evolving filmmaking techniques, which are in themselves commentaries on digital technology. The experimental "Hooks To The Left," for instance, was filmed using a Nokia cell phone, while his latest film festival entry "Deleted Scenes" constructs a romance with just that – loosely connected “deleted scenes” taken from the theoretical narrative of a relationship.

Our QC Cinema label is excited to be working with Todd on his next release – "The Final Girl"(coming to DVD August 31). The film uses his usual digital vérité handheld camera aesthetic, but throws a few new elements into his typical storytelling approach. For one, it’s his first lesbian narrative (the film is about a missing woman named Leena and the four other women who can’t seem to get her out of their minds). Secondly, it’s a French language film shot in Paris (For the record, Verow is American– born in Bangor, Maine). It’s a captivating film, and one that doesn’t attempt to offer audiences all the answers.

We expect "The Final Girl" to be just as divisive as Verow’s earlier work – it begins, after all, with one of the rawest and steamiest sex scenes of recent memory – but those with their eyes on the frontlines of digital cinema are encouraged to check it out. For a taste of Verow’s style, see the trailer for "The Final Girl" below.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Girls that bite

Left to Right: Alyona Kazarova, Christien Le Roux, Rachel Waters, Ellie Jeffreys, Ngozi Ibeanu

Check out the cast of vixens from Catherine Taylor's vampire film Temptation (out now on DVD!). They're like the Spice Girls, except with fangs.

Queer cinema gets a breath of fresh air thanks to 'Spinnin''

Those of you familiar with queer cinema may also be familiar with some of the typical plot elements of the genre: coming of age, homophobia, strained parent-child relationships, AIDS. When handled in clichéd manners, these topics can get a little… depressing, if not tiresome.

Enter Spinnin’, a film whose plot includes all the above-mentioned topics, yet presents them in a manner that somehow feels fresh. From first-time director Eusebio Pastrana, the film centers on a gay couple looking for a surrogate mother to provide them with a child. Set in sun-drenched Madrid, the film’s tone is unabashedly exuberant – which suits the film's underlying message of embracing life and accepting others. The characters accept a priori that life has challenges, and as they repeat throughout the film: “Love has edges … wounds keep you alive.”

Spinnin’ was warmly received at international film festivals – and even won the Best Feature Film award at the Barcelona Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival, yet the film nearly fell through the cracks shortly thereafter. Luckily, we here at Breaking Glass Pictures are all for second chances: we’re bringing Spinnin’ to DVD July 27.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Is it hot in here, or is it just our films?

A couple weeks ago we announced the “Summer of Sex” in celebration of our steamiest two summer DVD releases: “Sex Stories” (just released this week!) and “Sex and the USA” (out July 27). Both films complement each other, since “Sex Stories” is more playful romp while “Sex and the USA” is more cautionary tale. They also serve as perfect bookends to the hottest time of year.

In this post, we’ll focus on “Sex Stories,” which plays like a French version of “Sex and the City” (only the sex scenes are far more explicit). The plot follows two groups of friends – one all male, the other all female – who congregate at two separate dinner parties. Needless to say, the conversations quickly turn salacious. Each dinner guest has a steamy story to tell, and each sexual escapade is depicted in a series of humorous – yet unflinchingly realistic – vignettes.

“Sex Stories” raises the question: how far can a sex scene go without pushing a film into the category of “adult” or, more bluntly, “porn?” Though the scenes of love-making are less veiled than the love scenes of usual mainstream cinema, the filmmakers’ intention is to entertain (and even educate) rather than arouse.

You may not be surprised to find that the film’s director – the mononymous Ovidie – is a former adult film actress and director. However, in recent years the intello du X (intellectual of the X), as she is often called in her home country, is more politician than pornographer. She’s a frequent political commentator and an advocate of sex workers’ rights – including equal treatment for women in the industry and increased awareness of health issues. But does Ovidie’s latest project succeed in redefining the boundaries of mainstream cinema? You be the judge.

The trailer for “Sex Stories” below should whet your appetite (Warning: NSFW). Watch it and let us know what you think. Don’t be surprised if you’re craving a cigarette by the time the credits roll.

Introducing The Breaking Glass Pictures Blog!

Welcome to the new BG Blog, a place where you can find all the insiders’ news on Breaking Glass Pictures' ever-expanding library of groundbreaking indie films. In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve got some huge summer releases up our sleeves. As we prepare for the flood of excitement, we’d hate for any of our films to get lost in the fray. This is where the blog comes in. We’ll be bringing you – our loyal fan – info on all our new films, plus interviews and profiles of the people who made them.

Now is definitely an exciting time for Breaking Glass Pictures. We’re prepping the August 3rd release of “The Living Wake,” a critics’ favorite that stars Jesse Eisenberg and Mike O’Connell. If you haven’t heard of Jesse (he first caught the attention of indie fans in “The Squid and the Whale), you will very soon. This guy’s got talent, and he’s about to blow up thanks to his starring role alongside Justin Timberlake in David Fincher’s upcoming film “The Social Network.” Fans of Monty Python’s absurdist humor or Wes Anderson’s delicate styling will fall in love with “The Living Wake.” See it, and you’ll understand why Jesse was nominated for the 2010 BAFTA Rising Star.

Mike O'Connell (left) and Jesse Eisenberg star in "The Living Wake"

We’ve also got a few envelope-pushers this summer, namely “Sex Stories” and “Sex and the USA.” They may have you rethinking the sexual boundaries of mainstream cinema (more on them in an upcoming post).

Fans of our LGBT label QC Cinema will also be getting a slew of summer releases – one lesbian film, several gay, and one bisexual (Transgender films to come in the future! We plan to earn every letter in “LGBT”).

We can’t wait to tell you about our films, so stay tuned, and be sure to leave comments. Our titles tend to elicit strong opinions, and we want to hear yours. Trust us, we’re listening.