Most of us remember what happened last year at the Sundance Film Festival: Kevin Smith premiered his latest film, Red State, held an auction immediately after, and then bought the rights to his own movie as his way of “going rogue” from the studio system. Lost amidst the theatrics was the announcement of SModcast Pictures, Smith‘s independent distribution arm; outside of a few announcements — and a partnership with Phase 4 Films announced at this year’s Sundance — little news has come out about the endeavor. I had pretty much forgotten about it to be honest… until now.
Deadline reports that SModcast Pictures have made their first acquisition: the independent comedy Bindlestiffs, which premiered at this year’s Slamdance (the other January film festival in Park City), and which will be screening this week at SXSW. The comedy, directed by (and starring) Andrew Edison, the movie follows three high-schoolers who get suspended and decide to live out the plot of JD Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye in the inner city. Here’s what Smith had to say about the acquisition (via /Film):
[Bindlestiffs is] a ballsy high school comedy that was conceived by real, live high schoolers (who are actually way funnier than the 20-something adults who usually play teens in movies)! This mind-bendingly original and gut-bustingly hysterical first film is so confidently made and one-of-a-kind, I cannot wait to stand on a stage beside the ‘Bindlestiffs’ boys and smell the room after the audience has pissed themselves laughing at their debut film.
/Film was also kind enough to pull up a 3 minute red-band trailer that, while a few months old, gives you a good idea of what kind of movie Bindlestiffs will be. Check it out below:
Much like Red State (or exactly like Red State, I guess), Bindlestiffs‘ theatrical run will be of the “traveling roadshow” variety, where Smith will hold Q&A’s with the filmmakers after every screening. This is just the first of what will be many SModcast/Phase 4 releases; the deal calls for up to 12 releases each year under the SModcast banner, with 4 of them getting this platform release.
But, judging by the Bindlestiffs trailer, I’m up in the air as to if this was the right choice to start off with. On paper, the premise is great, but that trailer did not do much to endear me to the movie and its brand of humor. The low budget look doesn’t bother me in the slightest; a movie can look like absolute crap as long as it’s got more to offer. I’m just not convinced it does. But despite my snap judgment, I’ll be keeping my eye on Bindlestiffs and will check out as soon as I can. I like the passion Kevin Smith has when it comes to releasing truly independent works, and I want to see if that passion blossoms into something positive.
Bindlestiffs begins its theatrical run in June.
What do you think of the Bindlestiffs trailer? Should Smith have gone with something different as his first release?
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