Sunday 20 Apr

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Features · The Girl Who Kicked the...

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest' arrives with great buzz, high expectations from viewing venue

Rod Lott December 2nd, 2010

As far as Hollywood was concerned, the foreign film was through. Finito. Muertos.

As far as Hollywood was concerned, the foreign film was through. Finito. Muertos.

"With a few minor exceptions, the foreign-language film had died on the vine," said Brian Hearn, film curator at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. "American distributors were not willing to take them on anymore. And then this comes along."

By "this," Hearn referred to 2009's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," the Swedish crime thriller about the mismatched duo of disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) and punk hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) attempting to solve an apparent murder of a missing woman.

Two immediate sequels followed, "The Girl Who Played with Fire" and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest," all of which are based on the late Stieg Larsson's blockbuster novels and comprise what is called the "Millennium Trilogy."

The films were a critical and commercial sensation in Europe " a feat eventually duplicated in America. In fact, "Tattoo" and "Fire" are now OKCMOA's all-time top-grossing films, said Hearn, who expects a similar record-breaking reception for the local debut of "Hornet's Nest," showing Friday through Sunday for the next two weekends.

For those who need to catch up, "Fire" repeats the Wednesdays and Thursdays prior; "Dragon" on Tuesday.
But the trilogy almost wasn't imported to the U.S., he said, because the indie distributors who might've swooped on the rights a decade ago either aren't around anymore or just didn't care.

Enter Music Box Films, a relatively new art-house player based in Chicago.

"To be honest, I wasn't fully aware of it," said Ed Arentz, Music Box co-founder. "Most of the American buyers were in the same category."

One streamed viewing of "Tattoo" changed all that.

"It was a little bit bigger than a postage stamp. But it had enough impact on my laptop that we really felt like there was something there," Arentz said. "We acquired it based on that viewing experience. When a film works on that scale, you can kinda handicap how it will work with audiences."

He attributed the films' phenomenal reception to their faithfulness to the novels and the character of Lisbeth, who's "really quite riveting. She's someone who refuses to be victimized."

But instead of hitting only megaplexes, Music Box wasn't about to shut out boutique venues like OKCMOA's Noble Theater, which is the only cinema in the metro area to screen any part of the "Millennium Trilogy."

"Most of the films we distribute are foreign-language, and Brian and exhibitors like him across the country are where we turn to, so it'd be pretty dumb of us to turn our backs on them," Arentz said. "All along, our goal was to make this film cross over, but lure audiences to the independent theaters.

For that, Hearn and his counterparts are thankful. Each time OKCMOA has screened "Tattoo" or "Fire," it has sold out the 1,000-seat space.

"That film has been banking art-house cinemas. It literally has saved some. It was literally our best year ever," Hearn said. "For a foreign film to gross north of $10 million is remarkable in this day and age. It's a freakish anomaly. In my 15 years here, I've never seen anything like this. It's become this rabid, 'gotta see' thing."
"Rod Lott
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