Monday, July 2, 2007

Benten Films To Release Swanberg's LOL

I've been pretty impressed with how well independent films have been distributed lately: walking into my local Borders and seeing Mutual Appreciation and Kissing on the Mouth on shelves was pretty surreal -- after all, my first, non-fancy copy of MA came from the MA website. Therefore, I'm pretty thrilled to see that LOL, Joe Swanberg's latest film to hit the DVD market, is being released by a the newly created Benten Films. Benten Films (also on Myspace), created by Andrew Grant (of the wonderful blog, Like Anna Karina's Sweater) and Aaron Hillis (The Village Voice, Premiere), will see LOL as the company's first release, and future plans include releases of "underrated gems" that include both "lost masterpieces" and "future classics." In fact, other must-see (so-called) "mumblecore" films will see DVD releases with Benten: Todd Rohal's The Guatemalan Handshake as well as Aaron Katz's Quiet City and Dance Party USA. Like Criterion, the releases will be given the deluxe treatment, with many bonus features as well as supplementary artwork. These films will be available widely in stores, too, which is a nice change from buying those bare-boned (but still much-appreciated) DVDs off filmmakers' websites. Anyways, for $28, which is, I guess, pretty standard for any newly released DVD you could buy today, you're getting quality in both the format and the content. So what's not to love?

Oh yeah, and you can download the film's soundtrack for free on the Benten Films website... the soundtrack's by one of the film's lead actors, Kevin Bewersdorf. It's all pretty electronic, as is fitting to the film's central computer theme. Is there anything these people can't do?

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