Written by Misc

Film Releases In January

It’s now January, and that means that the films you can see in the cinema are suddenly good. On the other hand, the releases will come and go so fast, that you probably won’t be able to see all them.
I both understand and really don’t understand why the cinema industry treats films in this way. It’s essentially because of awards. It’s Oscar season, and Golden Globe season and BAFTA season, et al. The people who get to vote have memories like sieves seemingly, and can’t be trusted to remember a film that came out in April by the time the nomination forms come around. So studios hold back films until the last possible minute, give them a limited release (the proper releases often only coming after a film has achieved a few gongs or nominations), and let them stack up on top of one another.
If you’re even quite a regular cinema goer, you’re going to find it hard to keep up. Of the serious films, this week sees Che: Part One and The Reader. Then coming up we have Slumdog Millionaire, The Wrestler, Frost/Nixon, Revolutionary Road, Milk and Valkyrie. That’s just January, and the list probably isn’t inclusive.
Still awards season does mean one good thing for the eager film fan – the “For Your Consideration” websites. If nominees can’t be bothered to watch the personalised DVDs of these films that drop through their letterboxes (and immediately find themselves released on the internet as a result), then the film companies spend lots advertising in trade magazine and on their websites. They helpfully list all the locations (like Aspen) where you can catch screenings. But of late, they’ve also started including scripts for films up for writing awards, and it’s nice to be able to legally download these.
So here’s my list of what’s currently available should you also want to read through a few screenplays:
http://www.universalpicturesawards.com/ has screenplays for Frost/Nixon and Changeling.
http://www.miramaxhighlights.com/ has screenplays for Mike Leigh’s Happy Go Lucky and Doubt which I know nothing about.
http://www.paramount2008.com/ doesn’t have anything apart from screening details.
http://www.foxsearchlight.com/awards/ has nothing just yet beyond screening details and a note that you should see their films in cinemas as they were meant to be shown – but curiously has a “screener disposal form” to certify that you’ve duly destroyed the screener that they have in fact sent you. I’m really looking forward to Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire next week.
http://www.vantageguilds.com/ has The Duchess, Defiance and Revolutionary Road the new Sam Mendes film.
http://warnerbros2008.warnerbros.com/hfpa/ has The Dark Knight and will have Gran Torino and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
http://www.filminfocus.com/awards08/index.php has Burn After Reading and Milk.
http://www.weinsteincohighlights.com/ has The Reader and Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
I hope this helps. Obviously, I wouldn’t recommend actually reading the things until you’ve seen the films, but there’s nothing like getting in early is there?
PS Just noticed that there’s a script site that helpfully does all this work for you, so I needn’t have spent ages trawling about hitting refresh at Variety. They’ve got loads more!