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Moog Synthesizers at the Movies: Deep Cuts

(Photo by Mark Hyre, taken from Wikipedia Commons under public license) (Photo by Mark Hyre, taken from Wikipedia Commons under public license)

Over at the website of the Bob Moog Foundation, electronic music historian Thom Holmes has an interesting post about some lesser-known cinematic uses of the Moog, the pioneering analog synthesizer popularized by Wendy Carlos with 1968′s Switched-On Bach album, which introduced the public at large to the idea of electronic sounds as more than simple novelties. Carlos would go on to the soundtracks for A Clockwork Orange, The Shining and Tron, but many other movies in the ’60s and ’70s were quick to latch onto the instrument’s possibilities. Paul Beaver and Bernie Krause were among the Moog’s most productive practitioners at the time. They were extremely prolific while working under the inadvertently goofy handle “Beaver & Krause”: Holmes says Krause…  Read more

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IFP Announces Its 2014 Project Forum Slate

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IFP, Filmmaker Magazine’s publisher, announced today the 133 new films in development and works in progress  chosen for its Independent Film Wee Forum Project. A complete list of the projects can be found here. Featured works at the 2014 Independent Film Week include filmmakers and content creators from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, from documentarians Tony Gerber (Full Battle Rattle), Pamela Yates (Granito: How To Nail A Dictator), and Penny Lane (Our Nixon) to Michelangelo Frammartino (Le Quattro Volte) and Alexis Dos Santos (Unmade Beds), as well as new work from critically acclaimed artists and directors Aurora Guerrero (Mosquito y Mari), Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy), Travis Matthews (Interior. Leather. Bar) and Yen Tan (Pit Stop). “As we set…  Read more

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Transformers: The Asian American International Film Festival

A Time in Quchi A Time in Quchi

Over the years, many New York-based media arts organizations and the film festivals they produce have folded, or scraped by in spite of outdated approaches and rigid programming. Asian CineVision and its offspring, the Asian American International Film Festival, on the other hand, have proven to be the little engines that could. The secret to their success: a keen awareness of shifts in the zeitgeist and talent pool, without losing sight of the Asian American community they serve (with a value added outreach to non Asian American communities). They are masters of reinvention. The 37th edition of the AAIFF (July 24-August 2) is comprised of 18 features and 33 shorts whose point of origin and makers might be Asian American…  Read more

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Watch: The First Trailer for Hal Hartley’s Ned Rifle

Ned Rifle Ned Rifle

Here’s the first trailer for Ned Rifle, the third part of Hal Hartley’s “Henry Fool” trilogy, which began with the titular 1998 film and continued with 2007′s Fay Grim. The trailer’s wordless for a good chunk, but when we finally hear words, we know exactly what’s going on: Henry (Thomas Jay Ryan) and Fay (Parker Posey)’s son Ned (Liam Aiken) is going to find his dad and kill him. This capstone film — “probably” the final installment, the Kickstarter hedged its bets — was posted in advance of the film’s premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival later this year. Those who want more trailers while they wait should probably be following Hartley’s YouTube channel.

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“Who the Hell is From Maine?”: Director Lance Edmands on Bluebird and Regional Specificity

Bluebird Bluebird

I still have a Maine driver’s license, even though I’ve lived in Brooklyn for more than a decade now. When it comes up for renewal every few years, I travel back to the DMV in the town where I grew up and dutifully pose for a new photograph. People think this is crazy (and illegal) and I suppose they’re right, but it means a lot to me to be identified as a Mainer. When I get carded at a bar, the bouncer will take one look at my ID and inevitably say something like, “Maine? Who the hell is from Maine?” Well, I’m from Maine and I’m proud of it — although that wasn’t always the case. When I was…  Read more

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35mm Colors in Digital Translation in Boyhood

Boyhood Boyhood

One aspect of Boyhood that’s been relatively underdiscussed (assuming there are any such left) is its use of 35mm, which has been widely noted but little parsed. Richard Linklater’s repeatedly noted that the primary reason for shooting on film over 12 years was to ensure visual continuity from one year to the next. This doesn’t mean he’s a Luddite in any way, as he explains in comments from a recent screening at the BFI on technology’s pros and cons: There is nothing more stable than a 35mm negative. Had I started on the best HD camera back in 2002, I’d have been on my fifth by now. It was never even much of a decision. But I didn’t like the…  Read more

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Interview Avoidance and Bollywood Rip-offs: Park Chan-wook on Vengeance, End Titles and Medium Cool

Stoker Stoker

“Mr. Park Chan-wook is not giving any interviews. Sorry.” The Korean auteur was one of the biggest names present at the recently concluded 31st Jerusalem Film Festival, second only perhaps to Spike Jonze (who doesn’t really make for charming interviews). The problem with big names at festivals, though, is that securing a short meeting with them — let alone an interview — is difficult. The curt message from the festival press department, quoted above, is an example of that. Nevertheless, armed with the kind of resilience and never-say-die attitude that arises naturally out of journalistic passion and an empty bank account, I trekked over to a panel discussion Park Chan-wook was part of. At the end, I walked over to…  Read more

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Czech Dream: The 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

Waiting For August Waiting For August

Though the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival bills itself as “the most important film event in Central and Eastern Europe,” such a bold declaration belies the fact that KVIFF is anything but snobby and self-serious. Back in 2011 I covered the prestigious fest, located in a fairytale scenic, spa city – once frequented by Beethoven and Goethe – about an hour-and-a-half from Prague by car. (That would be a BMW, the “official car” of KVIFF, the company having its own “BMW Zone” where you can check out the latest models nearby the ultra-chic Grandhotel Pupp.) Returning three years later I still find myself surprised by how young this nearly 50-year-old festival feels. Taking advantage of the Czech Republic’s location as…  Read more

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Festivals & Events

The Humbling The Humbling

First Batch of 2014 TIFF Titles Announced

In a press conference this morning, Cameron Bailey and Co. released the Special Presentation and Gala selections for the upcoming edition of the Toronto International Film Festival. Lots to parse through as the slate boasts world premieres from Christian Petzold, Mia Hansen-Løve, Noah Baumbach, David Gordon Green,…  Read more

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on Jul 22, 2014

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Interviews

Stoker Stoker

Interview Avoidance and Bollywood Rip-offs: Park Chan-wook on Vengeance, End Titles and Medium Cool

“Mr. Park Chan-wook is not giving any interviews. Sorry.” The Korean auteur was one of the biggest names present at the recently concluded 31st Jerusalem Film Festival, second only perhaps to Spike Jonze (who doesn’t really make for charming interviews). The problem with big names…  Read more

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on Jul 22, 2014

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