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“I Don’t Feel Like I Gave Birth to Jesus”: Wes Craven on A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street A Nightmare on Elm Street

Wes Craven, one of the greatest horror directors of all time, a man who directed classics in almost every decade of his professional life,passed away yesterday, August 30, of brain cancer in Los Angeles. Last October, Craven spoke to Filmmaker‘s Jim Hemphill about perhaps his most celebrated creation, A Nightmare on Elm Street. As a way of remembering Craven, we are reposting it today. On November 9, 1984, Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street opened in American theaters and changed the movie industry forever. Serving as a bridge between the primal ferocity of Craven’s earlier work (Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes) and the visually expressive professionalism of his later films (The Serpent and the Rainbow,…  Read more

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“We’re Not Very Good at Sharing in This Country”: David Simon on Show Me a Hero, Public Housing Today and Moving from Journalism to Television

Show Me a Hero Show Me a Hero

David Simon (Homicide, The Wire, Treme) has a new miniseries on HBO, Show Me a Hero, and it’s about the fight for public housing and desegregation in Yonkers, N.Y. in 1987. And if you think that doesn’t sound dramatic or exciting, you’d be dead wrong. I watched all six hours straight through and found the series riveting from the first scene to the last. After watching the series I read the book (of the same title, by Lisa Belkin and equally riveting). The book has been out of print, but is being re-released with an introduction by Simon, in which he writes: National health care, gun violence, the death of the working class, draconian law enforcement and mass incarceration, global…  Read more

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No Mimes, Please! Soderbergh Recuts Antonioni’s Blow-Up

Blow-Up Blow-Up

“For legal reasons, all of the footage with the mime troupe will have to be excised,” writes MGM “executive receptionist Tureen Patarga” to one Michelangelo Antonioni about his movie, Blow-Up. “Apparently one of the striped shirts worn by a cast member was originally created by the noted designer Hermoine Girth-Schnitt and was not cleared for use by the costume department.” Any on-set producer, particularly on a low-budget picture with lightly-staffed departments, has experienced that morning-of irritation: “Hey, is this okay to use? Can we clear this?” Usually it’s a rock-star poster, a t-shirt, or some ambiguous knick-knack foregrounded in the frame, and for whatever reason nothing else will do…. As this video post by Steven Soderbergh proposes, even iconic auteurs…  Read more

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Trailer Watch: Blue Velvet Revisited, Directed by Peter Braatz

Blue Velvet Revisited Blue Velvet Revisited

Marking the David Lynch film’s 30th Anniversary, this Fall will see the release of Peter Braatz’s Blue Velvet Revisited, a feature-length documentary consisting of Super 8 footage the director shot on the North Carolina set of Blue Velvet. Braatz previously made a short film out of this material, No Frank in Lumberton, but now he’s pulled out all the stops, commissioning a brand-new soundtrack that excites me just as much as this footage does. That soundtrack, featuring new work recorded in 2015 by Tuxedomoon, Cult with No Name and John Foxx, is already available for pre-order on Amazon and iTunes. For more information on the film, follow the Blue Velvet Revisited Facebook page. And here’s copy from the Crammed website:…  Read more

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Watch: Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia vs. the Original

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In his latest video essay, Kevin B. Lee places the original 1997 Insomnia (directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg) on the left and Christopher Nolan’s 2002 Hollywood remake on the right. Juxtaposing the same sequence, Lee textually annotates the many differences in tempo, shot choices, framing et al., making it easy to see how two very different sensibilities approach the same sequence. More from Lee at Fandor.

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For Cinematographers: A Chart To Quickly Set Hyper-Focal Distances on Digital Cameras

GH2 Hyper Focal Distance Table

Earlier this week, I posted my interview with The Creation of Meaning director Simone Rapisarda Casanova, in which he mentioned a solution he came up with to save time on finding hyper-focal distances:  I decided to use micro-four-thirds lenses from Panasonic and Olympus. They’re really small, the only drawback is manually focusing with them as they’re really made for auto-focus. I mostly shot in hyper-focal to keep the biggest depth-of-field possible. The marks on those lenses are kind of useless if you shoot like this, because then you have to have your smartphone to calculate the right hyper-focal distance every time. So I spent some time making a nice graphic that I print and stuck on the back of the camera, and…  Read more

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Hitchcock + Haneke: DP Edu Grau on The Gift

The Gift The Gift

Amongst a summer movie season awash in sequels, remakes and presold tentpole properties, it’s rare to find a sleeper at the multiplex, an unknown quantity with the ability to surprise an audience. Such is The Gift, an unnerving psychological thriller that begins as a post-Fatal Attraction variant before veering into the domain of Roman Polanski and Michael Haneke. Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall star as a married couple leaving behind personal tragedy in Chicago to start a new life in Los Angeles. Shortly after their arrival, Bateman bumps into former high school classmate Joel Edgerton, who begins to insinuate himself into the couple’s life. Directed by Edgerton and produced by the ubiquitous genre film shingle Blumhouse, The Gift marks a departure…  Read more

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Filmmaking

Taxi Driver (Illustration by Kent Osborne) Taxi Driver (Illustration by Kent Osborne)

What Everyone Does on a Film Set

For those new to physical production, here is a list of film set departments, with notes on their staff positions, responsibilities, benefits and attractions. (This is a companion piece to “The Seven Arts of Working in Film: A Necessary Guide to On-Set Protocol.) Production Personnel…  Read more

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Aug 24, 2015

Festivals & Events

kickstarter film fest

Why the Kickstarter Film Festival is Expanding to 32 Screens for its Fifth Edition

Previously, the Kickstarter Film Festival showcased everything from feature film excerpts to apps funded on the site over the course of one evening in Brooklyn, Los Angeles and London. For the 5th edition, Kickstarter has pared down the lineup to include two features and three shorts,…  Read more

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on Aug 26, 2015

VOD Picks

  • queenof
    Queen of Earth Drama
    IFC Films
    IMDB page
    8/26/15 MOD VOD
  • wolfpackposter
    The Wolfpack Documentary
    Magnolia Pictures
    Official site
    7/10/15 MOD VOD

@FilmmakerMag

  • RT @TheHorrorMaster: My friend Wes has left us too soon. He was truly an Old School director. I had a great time directing him. I'm... h…
  • listen to Siouxsie Sioux's "Love Crime," first new song in eight years, recorded for 'Hannibal' series finale. brooklynvegan.com/archives/2015/…
  • RT @joshgondelman: All you Miley Cyrus haters are going to feel so foolish when it turns out she's actually Elena Ferrante.
  • RT @CaseyNeistat: ps MTV had 2 minutes (120 seconds) allotted for Kanye's acceptance speech. he took 25. #Kanye2020
  • I am officially moving myself up to Gen X.