Featured

Meet the Team Behind Zucchini, the Blue-Haired, Swiss Boy That’s Stolen Hollywood’s Heart

My Life is a Zucchini

If comforting hugs could be delivered in visual form, My Life as a Zucchini would be the warmest of them all. Kindhearted but not sugarcoated, Claude Barras’ first animated feature has quickly become a global phenomenon, winning many international awards and now an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature. Its most delightful victory, however, is in dealing with hardship and tragedy with honest tactfulness wrapped in colorful design. Social realism filtered through the magical physicality of stop-motion is the recipe at the root of this touching adaptation of French scribe Gilles Paris’s novel, for which Girlhood director Céline Sciamma served as screenwriter. As unconventional as the pairing might appear, it resulted on film that is a masterclass in the…  Read more

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~27 Movies Shot on 35mm Released In 2016

This is my third time rounding up the previous year’s US theatrical releases shot in 35mm, and this year’s number is substantively lower than 2014 (39) and 2015 (~64). This seems like an anomaly, not a permanent trend: following the high-profile push by J.J. Abrams et al. to force studios to pony up for a certain amount of Kodak celluloid for the forseeable future, the company seems solvent enough (and they’re bringing back Ektachrome!). Some celluloid regulars (Spielberg, Nolan, Abrams, Tarantino) sat the year out, while Woody Allen jumped to digital, and there are fewer straggler releases that were completed three or four years ago that were still shot on film. As usual, my tally does not account for exclusively 16mm-based…  Read more

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“I Have a Problem with that Whole Narrative of Coming from Someplace Bad and Getting Out of It”: Micah Magee on Her Debut Feature, Petting Zoo

Petting Zoo

Favorably compared by Variety to fellow Texas filmmakers Terrence Malick and Rick Linklater, San Antonio-raised Micah Magee has been based in Europe for over a decade. But despite having made several shorts there, when it came time to direct her first feature her heart returned to the Lone Star state. Petting Zoo, shot in San Antonio and cast primarily with locals with little acting experience, is a deeply felt coming-of-age story that captures what its like to be young in Texas as perhaps no film has before. Based on Magee’s own experiences of teenage pregnancy, Petting Zoo follows Layla (in a breakthrough performance by Devon Keller), a high school senior with little family support who turns down a scholarship to…  Read more

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Watch: Jessica Dimmock’s Doc on Senior Transgender Women, The Convention

The Convention

The Convention is filmmaker Jessica Dimmock’s short documentary about a convention comprised of transgender senior women. She writes: The film explores the annual Esprit gathering, where transgender women in their senior years who have been closeted their whole lives gather for a week of shared experience and understanding in a logging town in Northern Washington. For the attendees, many of whom are not out to their wives or children, this may be the only week of the year that they are not in hiding. I traveled to this event many times over the past years while Christopher LaMarca and I were filming our documentary, The Pearl. The film is part of Shatterbox Anthology, a series from Refinery 29 and the…  Read more

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Five Questions for American Fable Writer/Director Anne Hamilton

American Fable

The below interview was originally published during SXSW 2016, when debuting filmmaker Anne Hamilton premiered her ’80s-set, gothic thriller, American Fable, which melds del Toro-esque fantasy with a critique of Reagan-era economic policy. The film opens today in New York at the IFC Center. World premiering in the Visions section of SXSW is American Fable, the debut film from 2014 AFI Directing Workshop for Women graduate Anne Hamilton. Before beginning her career in film by working on the set of Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, Hamilton studied law and philosophy, and, as she relates below, she applied aspects of her education to her first foray as a director. Below, she discusses her career path, the political dimensions of her…  Read more

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“I’ve Always Been Cautious of Measuring Success”: Kazik Radwanski on How Heavy This Hammer

Erwin Van Cotthem in How Heavy This Hammer

After premiering on home soil at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, Canadian filmmaker Kazik Radwanski’s second feature film, How Heavy This Hammer, screened at the Berlin International Film Festival to critical acclaim. A New York premiere, as part of the Museum of the Moving Image’s annual winter First Look series, wouldn’t surface until a year later where, in anticipation of its Gotham debut, it was deemed by the Village Voice as “striking, clear-eyed, and very, very funny” and “justly celebrated as one of the best Canadian films in years.”  A microbudget film about an overweight Canadian father saddled with a combative attitude and love for computer games (well, one computer game in particular), Radwanski’s latest is a film led by an impatient, complex character. As How Heavy This Hammer opens for…  Read more

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5 Questions for Lovesong Writer/Director So Yong Kim

Lovesong

A 25 New Face from 2006, So Yong Kim’s Lovesong premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016 and opens today in New York from Strand Releasing. The below interview was originally published during the film’s Sundance premiere. While continuing to make subtle, emotional, character-based stories, So Yong Kim’s cinema has been one of change and evolution. Her debut feature, 2006’s In Between Days, spent several days surveying the burgeoning first love of two Korean teenagers living in Toronto. Largely filmed in Korean, and shot on a micro budget with non actors, the film landed Kim on our 25 New Faces list. Speaking to S.T. Van Airsdale for Filmmaker, Kim said of her future career, ““I don’t see myself making…  Read more

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Filmmaking

~27 Movies Shot on 35mm Released In 2016

This is my third time rounding up the previous year’s US theatrical releases shot in 35mm, and this year’s number is substantively lower than 2014 (39) and 2015 (~64). This seems like an anomaly, not a permanent trend: following the high-profile push by J.J. Abrams et…  Read more

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Feb 22, 2017

Festivals & Events

Bright Nights

Berlin Critic’s Notebook 2: Bright Nights, A Fantastic Woman

Thomas Arslan’s flaccid anti-Western Gold, which screened here in Competition four years ago, spoiled what could have been a brilliant hat-trick for the Berlin School alumnus following Vacation and In the Shadows. With Bright Nights he’s back in great form, once again showcasing his flair for precise, intimately scaled dramas.…  Read more

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on Feb 16, 2017

VOD Picks

@FilmmakerMag

  • These are 3 great and quite stylishly produced books at an incredible price. Highly recommended. twitter.com/lixilamb/statu…
  • RT @huskydusty: Really interesting podcast about the VFX industry and how film tax subsidies work. itun.es/us/N_8iv.c?i=1… https://t.co/BZx…
  • Was just asked to be an eminence grise.
  • RT @vrizov: A little later than usual, my round-up of last year's theatrical releases shot on 35mm. Lotta raw info, dive in. https://t.co/g…
  • @insequential I like and have followed the filmmaker’s work. But I wrote back and said the screener was unwatchable.
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