We're saddened to hear about the reports of Beastie Boys founder Adam Yauch aka MCA losing the battle with cancer he'd been fighting for the last year. While Yauch has been considered a pioneer in the music business for decades as part of the Beasties, one of New York's most iconic musical acts, he had become quite a player in the world of independent cinema with the formation of a film distribution branch of Oscilloscope Laboratories.
The last time I personally had a chance to interview Yauch was in 2008 for his basketball doc Gunnin' for that #1 Spot--an interview you can read here-- and at the time, Oscilloscope Laboratories was just getting started with Yauch's doc being its first release.
In the past four years, they've been responsible for releasing some truly cutting edge films such as Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin, Oren Moverman's The Messenger, the heartbreaking doc Dear Zachary, Evan Glodell's Bellflower and Kelly Reichardt's Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, both starring Michelle Williams. They have fifty titles they've released either theatrically or on DVD in their four short years of existence, which is quite impressive.
This is a sad day and if you only knew Yauch for his work with the Beastie Boys, this is a great opportunity to check out some of Oscilloscope's film releases to really get the full picture of what he'd been doing for independent film in the last four years.