Category Archives: Delicious


Paul Korver and Dennis Bartok2015-best-of-la-laweekly

Most distributors of world-class foreign and independent cinema are based in New York. For the last year, Cinelicious Pics has been quietly balancing the art-house equation in L.A.’s favor. That feat is all the more impressive considering it’s headquartered in the middle of a company town that isn’t always as kind to subtitled fare as it could (or should) be. The company is the distribution wing of Cinelicious, which was solely a post production house before founder-CEO Paul Korver decided to branch out. Combining a sophisticated curatorial sense with a keen business plan, the company has yet to release a bad movie and is selective enough in its offerings for each film to feel like an event worth anticipating and celebrating. For a sample of its wares, seek out the Icelandic coming-of-age drama Metalhead, five-hour Indian gangster drama Gangs of Wasseypur or female-driven psychodramas Butter on the Latch and Thou Wast Mild and Lovely.


INDIEWIRE: Josh Lucas Puts a Dizzying Spin on Sibling Relationships in Exclusive ‘The Mend’ Trailer


By Sarah Choi
July 24, 2015

Sibling dysfunction never looked so good.

Making his feature film debut, John Magary stunned audiences at last year’s SXSW festival with his acerbic and strange sibling comedy, “The Mend.” The film was especially noted for Josh Lucas’ career-defining role as Mat, a volatile and self destructive man who attempts to build a stronger relationship with his more put-together brother, Alan (Stephen Plunkett.) Lucas’ stellar performance as Mat has already stirred up some awards buzz, and showcases his ability to play complicated and difficult characters.

The film unravels in three distinct acts, each part with its own stylistic and rhythmic uniqueness, which is already evident through the equally exclusive pulsating trailer. Check it out above, and catch a glimpse of the hilarity, drama and absurdity of “The Mend.”

Deep Cuts: The Challenging Pleasures of This Year’s Japan Cuts Film Fest



By Simon Abrams
July 7, 2015

“Japan Cuts,” the Japan Society’s annual survey of pop cinema, stands apart from film festivals that pander to contemporary trends, encouraging attendees to revisit the past through an eclectic slate of both new and repertory titles.

This year’s highest highlight is, tellingly, the new 4K digital restoration of Belladonna of Sadness (1973), a beautiful and disturbing X-rated animated fantasy based on Satanism and Witchcraft, Jules Michelet’s sensationalistic historical primer. Belladonna of Sadness’s rape-centered plot — a beautiful peasant (Aiko Nagayama) makes a pact with Satan (samurai movie star Tatsuya Nakadai) after he repeatedly violates her — is a tough swallow. But the film’s surreal animation style is jaw-dropping.

Co-writer/director Eiichi Yamamoto’s Yellow Submarine–meets–The Devils aesthetic is heavily influenced by Gustav Klimt’s golden paintings and Aubrey Beardsley’s art nouveau drawings. Yamamoto draws viewers’ attention to his feathery pencils and psychedelic watercolors by presenting his illustrations as a series of still images filmed in slow camera pans. These static animation cels are so gorgeous that they might persuade you not to dwell on Belladonna of Sadness’s more objectionable content.

LA WEEKLY: CINELICIOUS PICS is helping us see great movies that would otherwise be forgotten.



By Michael Nordine



The most exciting new presence in Los Angeles film culture doesn’t announce itself as such. Housed within a deceptively small-looking building on the 5700 block of Melrose, the newly launched Cinelicious Pics has already loosed an impressive slate of independent cinema upon the moviegoing world, with several others on the way. This is a boon for cinephiles everywhere, yes, but an especially heartening one for L.A. partisans tired of bemoaning the status of theatrical distribution and exhibition in the ostensible center of the film world.

For the record, “newly launched” is a somewhat misleading description: Cinelicious Pics is actually the distribution wing of post-production company Cinelicious, whose recent resume includes no less a film than Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. Its first release was the exceptional Giuseppe Makes a Movie, a documentary that played the Nuart this past October. Next came the Double Decker, an unofficial nickname given to Butter on the Latch and Thou Wast Mild and Lovely, two stirring films by promising newcomer Josephine Decker; neither received a theatrical run in Los Angeles, though Mild and Lovely did screen at AFI Fest and both are now available on art-house streaming site Fandor.

Cinelicious then opted to skip December lest any potential titles get boxed out of a typically crowded award season, but returned to theaters on Friday with its most ambitious release yet: Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur.

GOW_Theatrical_Print_Ad_760x532Gangs of Wasseypur West Coast AMC Print Ad

You may not have heard of the film, which is most easily (albeit reductively) described as the Indian answer to Goodfellas, but its release is no small thing. The two part, five-hour-long crime epic first made the festival rounds in 2012, acquiring a small-but-vocal following despite not landing a stateside distribution deal. Cinelicious acquired it at the end of the timeframe during which it could still be considered a “new” movie, as explained to me by three Cinelicious higher-ups before an in-house screening of Part 1 last month. That troika consists of Paul Korver (founder and CEO), Dennis Bartok (executive vice president, acquisitions & distribution) and David Marriott (acquisitions director).

The first part of Wasseypur is at the AMC Burbank 8 this week, with the second half following it this Friday. It’s easily Cinelicious’ most high-profile offering yet, and potentially its breakthrough.

Not that they necessarily need it to be. Cinelicious had already been involved in independent film and film restoration for years before Korver realized how much economic and creative sense it made to expand into distribution. “I knew I wanted someone who was more knowledgeable about film history than I was” in order to do so, Korver tells me during our meeting, and so he spent several months looking for such a candidate before being referred to Bartok in December of 2013.

“I had no idea you could know so much about film and film history,” Korver says of the former American Cinematheque programmer whose love of Indian cinema seems at least partially responsible for the decision to snatch up Wasseypur. The two later discovered Marriott, then a student at UCLA’s archival program, who started as an intern and came on full-time last summer. One of the many reasons the trio is optimistic is that their parent company allows them to create DCPs, DVDs, Blu-rays and all manner of other materials themselves rather than outsourcing to a third party.

Paul Korver (left) and Dennis Bartok (right)

As noted by Bartok, there’s also still a paucity of independent film distributors with genuinely bold programming strategies. L.A. has Strand Releasing, Austin has Drafthouse Films, Chicago has Music Box, and New York leads the way with the likes of Cinema Guild, Kino Lorber, A24 and others.

Cinelicious makes for a welcome addition to that group and has no plans to slow its momentum. The excellent Metalhead and a restoration/re-release of Japanese animated curio Belladonna of Sadness are two forthcoming titles to look forward to, with more to be announced in the coming months.

The trio can’t entirely answer the question on many L.A. cinephiles’ minds, however: Why is it so much harder to open an independent movie here than elsewhere? Marriott mentions that “New York is very well-served by its density, and Los Angeles obviously sprawls more,” while Bartok feels that, “in some ways, festivals have actually made it harder for films to get a theatrical run.” That’s a void Cinelicious is eager to fill, which should come as welcome news to underserved audiences in L.A. and beyond.

Gangs Gang

Lunch in Los Angeles with the GANGS OF WASSEYPUR Gang: Cinelicious Pics exec Dennis Bartok, presenter/producer Adi Shankar, director Anurag Kashyap, Cinelicious Pics exec Paul Korver, consultant Ben Rekhi (IM GLOBAL), and CAA agent David Taghioff. Missing from this picture? GANGS Producer Guneet Monga, Cinelicious Pics India acquisitions coordinator Anu Rangachar (both in India), and Cinelicious Pics director of acquisitions David Marriott… stuck holding the camera.

GIUSEPPE Gets A Poster


GIUSEPPE MAKES A MOVIE producer Mike Plante and producer/director Adam Rifkin with Cinelicious Pics president Paul Korver. Cinelicious Pics creative and graphic design team redesigned the new one-sheet for the theatrical release of the film. Check it!