OSCILLOSCOPE’S DRUNK ON EGG NOG, ACQUIRES “JINGLE BELL ROCKS!” / August 26th, 2014

Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today that it has acquired U.S. rights to JINGLE BELL ROCKS, a feature documentary from director Mitchell Kezin. The film will be released by O-Scope during the upcoming holiday season.

In Jingle Bell Rocks!, Kezin delves into the minds of some of the world’s most legendary Christmas music fanatics and hits the road to hang with his holiday heroes – including hip hop legend Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons of RUN-D.M.C., The Flaming Lips’ frontman Wayne Coyne, filmmaker John Waters, bebopper Bob Dorough, L.A. DJ and musicologist Dr. Demento, and Calypso legend The Mighty Sparrow. In his search for the twelve best, underappreciated Christmas songs ever recorded, Kezin both asks and answers the question, “Why, when Christmas rolls around, are we still stuck cozying up with Bing Crosby and dreaming of snow?”

Equal parts social history, pop culture pilgrimage and revealing character study, Jingle Bell Rocks! follows this motley crew of merry misfits as they confront the Christmas music mainstream, reinventing the seasonal soundtrack for the 21st century. With rollicking live performances, intimate interviews, and a kaleidoscope of touching and rare archive footage, Jingle Bell Rocks! is a cinematic sleigh-ride into the strange and sublime universe of alternative Christmas music. It’s also a mix-tape of twelve of the weirdest, wildest, most poignant Christmas songs you’ve never heard.

About the acquisition, Oscilloscope’s Dan Berger and David Laub said, “As lovers of great underground music and terrifically offbeat characters, we felt this film was a perfect fit for O-scope. Mitch has made a funny and endearing documentary that we think will be a holiday staple for years to come. At least for us two Jews.”

Filmmaker Mitchell Kezin said, “It’s been an incredibly long and difficult journey bringing this film to completion and to have it end up embraced by Oscilloscope in this way is truly a Christmas miracle! I won’t be asking Santa for anything more this Christmas and with O-Scope by my side, I look forward to saving Christmas music, one great unknown song at a time!”

Jingle Bell Rocks! is the debut feature documentary from Mitchell Kezin produced in collaboration with Daniel Cross, Mila Aung-Thwin & Bob Moore of EyeSteelFilm Inc., along with Jeffrey Kline of Darby Pop Productions.

OSCILLOSCOPE IS GETTING LOW DOWN; ACQUIRES ACCLAIMED SUNDANCE DRAMA / May 7th, 2014

Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today that it has acquired North American rights to Jeff Preiss’ LOW DOWN, starring John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, Glenn Close, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and Flea (with featured turns by Caleb Landry Jones, Tim Daly and Taryn Manning). The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January as an early cut (where it won the Best Cinematography award) and has just been announced or New York’s BAM CinemaFest, looks at the life of Amy-Jo Albany and her relationship with her father, legendary jazz pianist Joe Albany. Oscilloscope will continue to play the film at festivals in the lead-up to its theatrical release.

Based on the memoir by Albany, the film is a compassionate, tender look at the complex relationship between Amy-Jo (Fanning) and her father Joe (Hawkes), a man torn between his musical ambition, his love for his daughter, and his suffocating heroin addiction. Set against a sensuously textured 1970s Hollywood, the film beautifully evokes a colorful, seedy world of struggling musicians, artists, and vagabonds, in which Joe and Amy-Jo strive to live the lives they want against seemingly insurmountable odds.

About the Acquisition, O-scope’s David Laub and Dan Berger said, “Low Down is a truly wonderful film. Jeff immerses us fully into this unique world—every detail is perfect – and paints complex, sympathetic characters simultaneously real and larger-than-life. We’re very excited to share his incredible vision, and the cast’s tremendous performances, with the world.”

Filmmaker Jeff Preiss says, “I’ve been so privileged over the last ten years working with Amy-Jo, distilling her amazing story into a film. Taking the next step with O-Scope feels like having found the perfect fit to bring everyone’s hard work to a larger audience.”

Low Down was produced by Albert Berger & Ron Yerxa of Bona Fide Productions and Mindy Goldberg of Epoch Films. The film was executive produced by Amy-Jo Albany, Burton Ritchie, Win McCormack, Flea, Anthony Kiedis, and Daniel-Konrad Cooper. The screenplay was written by Amy-Jo Albany and Topper Lilien.

The deal was negotiated by the UTA Independent Film Group’s Bec Smith and attorney Linda Lichter.

OSCILLOSCOPE FORGETS THE ORANGE JUICE, JUST ORDERS THE PULP / April 9th, 2014

Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today that it has acquired US rights to Florian Habicht’s witty, innovative documentary PULP: A FILM ABOUT LIFE, DEATH, AND SUPERMARKETS. The movie is an homage to the legendary titular band (perhaps the smartest and most charismatic in all of all Britpop) as they prepare to say farewell after 25 years of performances and 10 million albums sold. PULP had its world premiere at this year’s SXSW Film Festival and will next screen at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival. It will continue to play select festivals ahead of its release in theaters and across digital platforms.

Though culminating with the farewell concert the band played to thousands of adoring fans in their hometown of Sheffield, England, PULP is by no means a traditional concert film or rock doc. As much a testament to the band as it is to the city and inhabitants of Sheffield, PULP weaves exclusive concert footage with man-on-the-street interviews and dreamy staged sequences to paint a picture much larger, funnier, moving, and life-affirming than any music film of recent memory.

About the acquisition, O-scope’s Dan Berger and David Laub said, “We were enamored by PULP from the moment it started. As fans, we felt predisposed to appreciate it, but couldn’t have been more thrilled to experience a film that did so much more than simply showcase a band that we like. Florian proves himself as one of the great music documentarians, as he not only masterfully captures the world and music of Pulp, but gives voice to all the common people who love them and have supported them in their inspiring and unique success.

Filmmaker Florian Habicht said, “When I saw Pulp perform at Radio City in NYC exactly two years ago, I would never have dreamt I’d have my own film about them playing in cinemas in the U.S.We set out to make a film where the band isn’t the centre of the universe, since this approach seemed to be in line with Pulp’s own attitude to life and fame. So their home town and its inhabitants became a big part of the movie. I loved spending time in Sheffield and I loved spending time with the band, and hope that American audiences will too.”

PULP: A FILM ABOUT LIFE, DEATH, AND SUPERMARKETS was produced by Alex Boden for Pistachio Pictures, with Hugo Heppell, Susan Jacobson, Will Clarke, Mike Runagall, Eve Gabereau, Edward Fletcher and Steve Milne of British Film Company serving as Executive Producers. PULP was made with the support of Screen Yorkshire through the Yorkshire Content Fund.

The deal was negotiated by O-Scope’s Dan Berger and David Laub with Altitude Film Sales’ Mike Runagall on behalf of the producers.

OSCILLOSCOPE REMINISCES, DISCOVERS THE PAST IS A GROTESQUE ANIMAL / April 1st, 2014

Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today that it has acquired worldwide rights to Jason Miller’s THE PAST IS A GROTESQUE ANIMAL, an intimate, enlightening portrait of the endlessly versatile indie pop band of Montreal. The film, which is currently in post-production and is set to bow later this year, is the result of a passionate fanbase that brought the project to life through a successful Kickstarter campaign that resulted in nearly $100,000 in pledges.

THE PAST IS A GROTESQUE ANIMAL is a personal, accessible look at an artist – frontman Kevin Barnes – whose pursuit to make transcendent music at all costs drives him to value art over human relationships. As he struggles with all of those around him, family and bandmates alike, he’s forced to reconsider the future of the band, begging the question – is this really worth it?

About the acquisition, O-scope’s Dan Berger and David Laub said, “As fans of of Montreal, we have been excited by this project since we first became aware of it via Kickstarter. We were exceptionally pleased when THE PAST IS A GROTESQUE ANIMAL turned out to be an incredibly well-made, relatable film and are extremely excited to come on board at this early stage to unleash it upon the masses.”

Filmmaker Jason Miller said, “I’m not sure if they actually liked the whole film, or just the scene with Kevin Barnes’ penis flapping around, but either way, I’m thrilled to release my first film with the infamous Oscilloscope Laboratories!”

of Montreal frontman Kevin Barnes said, “It is difficult for me to be totally objective about the documentary, but I feel that it is a fairly unflinching and honest portrait of my life in music over the last twenty years.”

‘THE PAST IS A GROTESQUE ANIMAL’ was produced and edited by Jason Miller and Andrew Napier (producer of the 2013 Academy Award®-winning short film ‘Curfew’), executive produced by Matt Lunsford and Seth Hubbard of Polyvinyl Records and is a production of Shrine. For more information: ofmontrealmovie.com

OSCILLOSCOPE FORGES AHEAD, ACQUIRES “ART AND CRAFT”; FILM TO WORLD PREMIERE AT TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL / March 26th, 2014

Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today that it has acquired North American Rights to ART AND CRAFT, Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman’s deft, richly entertaining art caper doc. The film will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival next month and O-scope is planning a theatrical release in late summer/early fall.

ART AND CRAFT is the story of the charismatic, complex Mark Landis, perhaps the most prolific art forger in US history. For over 30 years, he’s duped curators throughout the country with precise imitations of a vast range of works, from fifteenth century masterpieces to Picasso. His actions are mysterious to many — while he could fetch millions on the open market, he donates his counterfeits for free, going so far as to pose in such guises as a Jesuit priest or a philanthropic donor. Enter Matthew Leininger, a registrar from Cincinnati who was conned by Landis years ago and who has been pursuing him obsessively ever since. What begins as a game of cat-and-mouse between Leininger and Landis eventually turns into something more surprising and complicated, proving once again that truth can be stranger than fiction.

About the acquisition, O-scope’s Dan Berger and David Laub said, “We’ve been discussing Art and Craft for some time and as excited as we were to see it, nothing could have prepared us for how blown away we’d be. Sam and Jennifer, along with co-director Mark Becker, capture these amazing characters with the perfect mixture of humor and heart, resulting in one of the most entertaining and moving documentaries we’ve seen in years. We’re honored that they have chosen to work with us on it.”

Filmmakers Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman said, “We couldn’t have dreamed of a better home for this film. O-Scope embodies the perfect mix of mensch and mischievous; like our main subject — they are art and craft.”

Cullman previously co-directed the Academy Award® nominated documentary If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, which was also released by O-Scope. Grausman is the director of the acclaimed documentary Pressure Cooker, which won awards at several film festivals and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. Rounding out the filmmaking team is co-director Mark Becker, the director of Romantico (nominated for two independent Spirit Awards), Executive Producers Lisa Kleiner Chanoff and Bonni Cohen of Catapult Film Fund and Christopher Clements, Julie Goldman and Carolyn Hepburn of Motto Pictures. Marc H. Simon of Cowan DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.