IFC Films Picks up “Enter the Void,” “Life During Wartime”

1/23/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Tim Strain

IFC Films has announced it has acquired the rights to distribute “Enter the Void” and “Life During Wartime,” according to Screen Daily and Dark Horizons.

Both films have already drawn controversy for their content and directors. “Enter the Void’s” Gasper Noé is best known for “I Stand Alone” and “Irrevirsible,” both incredibly bleak works that explore the dregs of society. “Life During Wartime’s” Todd Solondz has made “Palindromes,” “Happiness” and “Welcome to the Dollhouse,” among others.

“Void” revolves around a drug-dealing teen who is killed in Japan, then reappears as a ghost to watch over his sister. The film is supposed to be a total trip, and audiences should expect a very experimental and surreal experience. Further details about the film’s plot are spotty, but the production stills indicate that this will be something along the lines of a nightmarish acid trip. Noé is one of the most brutal and experimental filmmakers currently working.

Solondz’s film has been touted by a few who saw it at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival as something of a return to form for the director. It is a quasi-sequel to 1998’s “Happiness,” involving the same characters. Some actors will return to the same roles while others will be acting as replacements. One of the most interesting casting calls is Michael Williams, best known as Omar on “The Wire,” who will be playing the role that was originally Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s in “Happiness.” Ciarán Hinds, Gabby Hoffman, and Allison Janney co-star.

The acquisition is a good thing for both films. Both divided audiences at last year’s Toronto Film Festival. Mike Goodridge of Screen Daily says Void is a film that will instantly achieve cult status among young adults. If audiences care to, they can lose themselves in Noe’s images and trip on his imagination. If they don’t, they will be bored to tears.“ Todd McCarthy of Variety says “Life During Wartime” could be Solondz’s best film yet.

Both films will be released in theaters and on IFC On Demand simultaneously, and that date has yet to be announced. IFC Films has been giving this treatment to many of its movies lately, as well as offering many of its films on Netflix Instant as well as teaming up with Criterion to have a number of its contemporary works released through the highly-regarded Criterion Collection. Many of last year’s most best films, including “Che,” “Summer Hours,” and “Hunger” will all be part of the IFC-Criterion deal.

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