VOD Spotlight:  John SlossJanuary 12, 2010


VOD Spotlight:  John Sloss

FilmBuff

John Sloss is the founder of Cinetic Media and Cinetic Rights Management, which launched the Cable On Demand channel, FilmBuff in 2009. On Demand Weekly interviewed Sloss regarding his first foray into Video On Demand and what he hopes FilmBuff will accomplish.
 
On Demand Weekly: You've had a notable career in helping independent films find their way to the big screen with other film distributors. What prompted you to create FilmBuff?
John Sloss: TV is the greatest impulse medium and I believe Cable VOD (Video On Demand) is a sleeping giant. With the crisis in the independent distribution market, I saw that even though distribution was challenged, VOD offers filmmakers a way to make real money. And, for audiences, the whole idea behind FilmBuff is to offer exclusive film selections culled from the very best new releases, festival winners and box-office sensations..
 
ODW: What makes for a successful VOD release?
JS:  Two things: what the content is and what you do with it. The content has to be high-quality, relevant programming. Relevant is a big deal for us. Since VOD is such a time-sensitive medium, that is films are only up for 90-120 days, we take seriously the goal of curating great content that is appropriate for that time period.
 
For example, Boondock Saints 2 is coming into the VOD window; we programmed the original film to appear alongside it. Another example is day-and-date films where the VOD window has attention drawn to it by the simultaneous theatrical release. Then, once you have the content, it comes down to what you do with it. We have a highly specialized internal marketing team who focuses solely on driving awareness for each of our VOD releases.
 
ODW: What was your most successful VOD release in 2009?
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SHOCK DOCTRINE - On Demand Direct from the Sundance Film FestivalFebruary 04, 2010


SHOCK DOCTRINE - On Demand Direct from the Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Selects

Updated...
 
The Sundance Selects film label as part of the Direct from the Sundance Film Festival initiative chose three films being screened at the festival that simultaneously became available nationwide On Demand. "The Shock Doctrine" was one of them and made its North American premiere at Sundance and simultaneously On Demand January 28, 2010.
 
Directed by Mat Whitecross and Michael Winterbottom, based on the best-selling book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein, this documentary seeks to illustrate the central thesis of the book: that the embrace of Milton Friedman's free market economic theories, mainly by the right has led to increasing exploitation of crises for profit by big business and governments in a manner analogous to insidious "shock therapy treatment."
 
The filmmakers put forth that followers of Friedman's ideas are very aware of the "utility of crisis." That is, shocks (war, natural disasters, etc.) make for a perfect environment to install free market policies where they were having trouble before.
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Direct from the Sundance Film Festival - UNCLE KENT Now On DemandJanuary 22, 2011


Direct from the Sundance Film Festival - UNCLE KENT Now On Demand

Sundance Selects

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: Direct from the Sundance Film Festival - UNCLE KENT On Demand (Sundance Selects).

Learn about all five films available simultaneously from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and On Demand here.

UNCLE KENT

Mumblecore’s Mid-Life Crisis
By Adam Schartoff

Kent (Kent Osborne), a solitary 40-year old animation artist, mostly sits around his Los Angeles apartment drinking beer, hitting the bong and working at his computer. Clearly Kent’s a smart and talented man whose earnestness draws people to him, but lately Kent seems to be shrinking from life.
 
He prefers spending time online or hanging out with his cat to actually going out and meeting someone. Joe Swanberg’s new movie UNCLE KENT, one of the Sundance Selects choices that will air on VOD during the course of the festival this month, finally drags the mumblecore generation into full adulthood, kicking and screaming.
 
UNCLE KENT (Sundance Selects)
UNCLE KENT (Sundance Selects)

Kent has become skeptical about getting married; he’s reconciled being single. Sex, for instance, is generally handled autonomously. As he says to his pal Kev (Kevin Bewersdorf), “I can sit on the couch until I’m hungry and then eat whatever I want.”  Despite his protests, its clear that he still yearns for emotional connection. Hence, inviting Kate for a weekend visit.  Kate, as played by newcomer Jennifer Prediger, is a woman Kent recently met on Chatroulette, an online video chat service. She flies in from New York City on the premise of business –she’s an environmental journalist -  but also ostensibly to figure out how she feels about Kent, not to mention the boyfriend she left at home.  

In order to keep himself emotionally in check, Kent hides behind his video camera through much of their weekend. Otherwise they tiptoe around each other barely recognizing the obvious attraction they share for each other. Instead they behave almost adolescently sharing explicit and intimate details of each other’s past and current sex lives. This titillating process eventually leads them to meeting up with a young woman named ---- whom they meet on Craiglist and whom they end up taking home for a threesome. 
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Direct from the Sundance Film Festival - UNCLE KENT TrailerJanuary 23, 2011


Direct from the Sundance Film Festival - UNCLE KENT Trailer

Sundance Selects

There are five films premiering Direct from the Sundance Film Festival and On Demand simultaneously. Learn about all five Movies On Demand from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival here.

Joe Swanberg's UNCLE KENT is available now. Check out our review HERE and the trailer below.

 

 

UNCLE KENT is Available under Sundance Film Festival via Sundance Selects On Demand Until 2/28/11
Running Time 72 Minutes / TV MA

Direct from the Sundance Film Festival
Learn about all five films available simultaneously from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and On Demand here.

 

Other Reviews of Direct from the Sundance Film Festival films...

SEPTIEN

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Direct from the Sundance Film Festival - SEPTIEN TrailerJanuary 23, 2011


Direct from the Sundance Film Festival - SEPTIEN Trailer

Sundance Selects

There are five films premiering Direct from the Sundance Film Festival and On Demand simultaneously. Learn about all five Movies On Demand from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival here.

Michael Tully's SEPTIEN premieres Monday (1/24). Look for our review tomorrow. Check out the trailer in the meantime below.

 

 

SEPTIEN is Available under Sundance Film Festival via Sundance Selects On Demand Until 2/28/11
Running Time 79 Minutes / TV MA

Direct from the Sundance Film Festival
Learn about all five films available simultaneously from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and On Demand here.

 

Other Reviews of Direct from the Sundance Film Festival films...

UNCLE KENT

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Coming of Age Teen Sex Comedy or Sci-Fi Horror Film?  It’s Your Guess…April 18, 2011


Coming of Age Teen Sex Comedy or Sci-Fi Horror Film?  It’s Your Guess…

Sundance Selects

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: KABOOM (Sundance Selects).

 

A Tuscan backdrop to a puzzle, a mystery, a moment in time…
By Cynthia Kane
 
KABOOM is a film that’s so absurd, so over the top; the storyline defies all imagination, plus Director Gregg Araki has cast nothing but gorgeous youngsters and a couple gorgeous not-so-young folk, too. KABOOM exists entirely for the moment, in the moment.
 

Greg Araki
 
It’s the Kuchar Brothers mixed with John Waters mixed with early Gregg Araki…which means, it’s not for everyone, but it’s thoroughly entertaining. Just don’t think or look too hard for meaning. In the end, you’ll get it if you let yourself go for the ride.
 
The story: a college freshman, Smith (Thomas Dekker), who is sexually “undecided” arrives at a UCLA–like university with his best high school buddy, Stella (Haley Bennett) who just happens to be a lesbian. His roommate, Thor (Chris Zylka) is a hunky surfer-dude, dumb as a doorpost, who lusts for waves and girls. Their resident advisor is a druggy, older student called The Messiah (James Duvall). Or so it all seems…
 
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Direct from the Sundance Film Festival - SEPTIEN Now On DemandJuly 06, 2011


Direct from the Sundance Film Festival - SEPTIEN Now On Demand

Sundance Selects

Editor's Note: ODW's review of SEPTIEN from Sundance Film Festival 2011 is republished for the current VOD release.

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: Direct from the Sundance Film Festival - SEPTIEN On Demand (Sundance Selects).

Learn about all five films available simultaneously from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and On Demand here.

By Chris Claro

 

SEPTIEN
 
Challenging. Obtuse. Infuriating. The world of independent film is often all three at once. So it is with director Michael Tully's SEPTIEN, as undefinable and indescribable a horror film as one is likely to encounter all year. SEPTIEN tells the story of two brothers, Amos and Ezra, living together on a farm in the mountains. When their long-gone brother, Cornelius -- played by Tully -- returns home, the film swerves into a surreal trip that includes sports hustling, gas huffing, and the scary de-evolution of this backwoods clan.
 
SEPTIEN (Sundance Selects)
Michael Tully / SEPTIEN (Sundance Selects)
 
Generating an air of menace from the first frame, Tully keeps the audience off-balance throughout what turns out to be a surprisingly conventional three-act structure. Ezra, vaguely feminine, seems more of a mother to his brothers than a sibling, cooking and obsessively scrubbing their rundown house. Amos spends his time painting macabre, sexually explicit works in the shed. 
 
SEPTIEN (Sundance Selects) 
SEPTIEN (Sundance Selects)
 
And the nearly silent Cornelius plays tennis and basketball -- brilliantly -- against locals for money, even as he filches gas from nearby pumps and passes out in fume-induced euphoria in the woods. Clearly damaged, haunted by some long-ago happening, it's only a matter of time before the three brothers are offered an opportunity for redemption. Or is it revenge?
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SIMON KILLERApril 11, 2013


SIMON KILLER

IFC Films

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: SIMON KILLER (IFC Films).


See the latest Independent Movie On Demand (IMOD) Trailers here...

 

SIMON KILLER
A contemporary cautionary tale in the City of Lights….
By Cynthia Kane

 
As the film opens, the tone and the music – and perhaps the title if you read it as tongue-in-cheek – gives a sense that we’re going to be watching a quirky, maybe even humorous coming-of-age story about a young guy, a recent graduate sewing some wild oats in Paris and across the European continent after breaking up with his college girlfriend.
 
 

But we’re actually in for something far more interesting.

Simon (Brady Corbet – MELANCHOLIA, MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE, FUNNY GAMES, MYSTERIOUS SKIN, “24”) has fled for a summer of travel and escape before facing the future. Able to stay at a friend’s apartment in Paris, he wanders aimlessly, lonely and depressed. It’s clear he continues to be obsessed by the recent past – the breakup, the ex-girlfriend, the future? Life itself? There’s something boiling up underneath, this is clear. What that is… not so clear.

One day Simon walks into a prostitute bar. He encounters and solicits Victoria (Mati Diop – Claire Denis’ 35 SHOTS OF RUM.) As her character is more fully divulged, we discover an extremely vulnerable and damaged young woman, taken in by our Simon. He carries her (and us) along for a ride as he slowly descends in to a kind of hellish self-created chaos, where we discover he is not who he’s led us to believe…in fact, who and what is he is, is simply left to our imaginations.

Parasitically attaching himself to Victoria, they hatch a plan to blackmail and extort several of her clients. She wants the money for freedom and to start a better life. Simon? A new dose of confidence, no matter how it’s won, proves very dangerous for anyone in this young man’s sphere. That he’s a compulsive liar becomes clear. A neurotic and depressed kid who’s borderline psychotic… not so clear. Has he always lacked empathy, morals all his young life or has the breakup fractured any decency within him?

In short, he’s an untrustworthy character that hooks us in as craftily as he does every character in the film. At first…

The cast more than delivers. Corbet and Diop give us believable, aching portrayals of broken individuals. Corbet’s Simon is subtle yet provides us flashes of insight into this disturbed mental state. He starts to crumble and fall apart under his multitudes of lies; it makes you wonder if we’re glimpsing a kind of monster created by a generation of entitled young American white males, a kind of American Psycho of the millennial generation. His rage and inability to deal with pain like an adult are unnerving. One might ask is he a Robert Chambers or a Joran ven der Sloot in the making?

Kudos to the film’s soundtrack. 
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