Recommended on a Friday: Gimme Danger, Dreamlands, The Fosters, Killer Party

Hito Steyerl (b. 1966), Factory of the Sun, 2015. (Photo: Sarah Wilmer) Hito Steyerl (b. 1966), Factory of the Sun, 2015. (Photo: Sarah Wilmer)

This pre-Halloween weekend is unexpectedly light on new releases. For Filmmaker readers, the most significant of the newcomers is Jim Jarmusch’s Cannes-premiering documentary on The Stooges, Gimme Danger. If you’re any kind of Iggy Pop fan — and, although not an obsessive or a completist, I count myself as one — than this doc is a must-see. It’s certainly not a revolutionary rock doc, consisting straightforwardly of Iggy’s own present-day interviews; comments by fellow band members, other musicians, and various colleagues and music execs; fantastic concert footage (albeit less of it than you want); and a smattering of archival footage clips used to provide tongue-in-cheek punchlines to Pop’s various quips. That said, Jarmusch is both a friend and a fan…  Read more


Writer-Director Zach Clark on His Twisted Little Sister

Little Sister Little Sister

In Zach Clark’s Little Sister, Colleen (Addison Timlin), a former goth girl turned nun, returns home to her dysfunctional family for the first time in years after learning that her brother Jacob (Keith Poulson) is back from fighting the war in Iraq. To cope with her passive father, Bill (Peter Hedges), her bipolar, pot-smoking mother, Joani (Ally Sheedy), and her depressed, disfigured brother, Colleen resurrects her goth persona in hopes of livening things up. Set in 2008, against the backdrop of President Obama’s election, the dark family comedy manages to be both tender and pointed. In a review of the film in Filmmaker, Howard Feinstein called Little Sister “an unaffected masterpiece,” writing that “Clark balances the melancholy with outsized bursts of joy.” Filmmaker‘s Scott Macaulay declared Little Sister his favorite film…  Read more


“When I Looked at All the Ways You Can Fail in VR, That Was a Turn-On”: Doug Liman on His VR Sci-Fi Thriller, Invisible

Doug Liman on the set of Invisible Doug Liman on the set of Invisible

Released today, Invisible is director Doug Liman’s first foray into virtual reality, a five-part science-fiction thriller that places viewers in the midst of a tale involving corporate secrets, future tech and family treachery. The series takes off from the question one sometimes mulls: what superpower would I choose for myself? Says producer Julina Tatlock of the production company 30 Ninjas, “One of the top superpowers people would choose is invisibility — and we’ve all dreamed about being rich. By creating Invisible in VR, we are able to immerse the viewer into that glam, exotic and at times terrifying world in a way no other medium could offer. We’ve taken a fast-moving cinematic story-created a world, and plunged the viewer into…  Read more


Watch: Tony Zhou on Marvel’s Lackluster Scores and Temp Track Mediocrity


In this video essay, Tony Zhou gets deep into why the Marvel Connected Universe — the highest-grossing franchise of all time — sports not one memorable musical theme that people can recall. The answer involves a crippling dependency on temp tracks bordering on the potentially lawsuit-worthy, making this a good look at the general state of Hollywood musical scores beyond the MCU.


Beyond Telefilm Canada: Curating the Future of Canadian Film at VIFF’s “Future//Present”

Never Eat Alone Never Eat Alone

What does a Canadian film look like? This could be construed as a bad joke with limitless punch lines, the film equivalent of “a man walks into a bar…” But this query isn’t meant to drag my own national cinema, which has produced great filmmakers like Alanis Obomsawin, David Cronenberg and Michael Snow. Instead of a set-up to a gag, this line of questioning opens a conversation about the future of Canadian cinema, especially when it comes to funding. This topic was front of mind at the Vancouver International Film Festival this year, which debuted a new program, curated by Adam Cook, that focussed on emerging Canadian talents: The Intestine (Lev Lewis), Lights Above Water (Nicolas Lachapelle and Ariel St-Louis Lamoureux), The…  Read more


Watch: The Look of Fear


Just in time for Halloween, Fandor shares the above video essay which analyzes how film can effectively convey fear. Spanning 1920-2014, the video highlights the best reaction shots featuring “the look of fear.” In the accompanying essay, Daniel Mcilwraith explains, “This video asks you to contemplate several questions within these faces of fear. Which gender is most burdened with the look of fear? Which is more effective: paralyzing shock or a piercing scream? I asked myself why the look of fear was so persistent in horror cinema—perhaps it can tell us more about the human face as the most powerful cinematic spectacle.”




The Fine Print: How To Understand and Negotiate a Film Distribution Contract

There are many new distribution options for the independent producer. The old media includes theatrical, broadcast/cable, home video; new media’s alphabet soup includes TVOD, SVOD, AVOD, EST, PPV, streaming and nontraditional theatrical. As new distribution channels develop, new distribution companies emerge. But not all distributors…  Read more

Jul 25, 2016

VOD Picks

  • les
    Les Cowboys Drama
    Cohen Media Group
    Official site
    10/11/16 MOD VOD
  • swissarmy
    Swiss Army Man Comedy Drama
    Official site
    9/30/16 MOD VOD


Barry Jenkins (Photo by David Bornfriend, Courtesy of A24) Barry Jenkins (Photo by David Bornfriend, Courtesy of A24)

Inside Looking Out: Barry Jenkins on Moonlight

Occasionally a movie has the look and feel of something totally original, immediately allowing one to see the protean leap its maker has taken from novice to master. Someday, when the American movie landscape is no more, simply the purview of art historians who live…  Read more

on Oct 20, 2016


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