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Trailer Watch: Interstellar, Now with Giant Waves

interstellar

Here’s the latest trailer for Christopher Nolan’s global warming/space travel epic Interstellar, now reported to clock in at a you-better-deliver 175 minutes. Where the last trailer had Michael Caine orating Dylan Thomas to urge humanity to not go gentle into that good night, this time the exposition gives a more concrete idea of what to expect, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your tastes. There’s also lots of Matthew McConaughey urging people not to give up and what appears to be the biggest tidal wave since The Abyss‘ director’s cut.

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Pintxos and Co-Production Forums: The 62nd San Sebastián International Film Festival

Magical Girl Magical Girl

If ever there was a city that embraced variety, San Sebastián is surely it. From its wide boulevards and art nouveau buildings, where Spanish royalty took time off in the 19th centur,y to its Bay of Biscay beaches that see surfers mixing with families and the higgledy-piggledy Old Town, where every bar is groaning under the weight of creative canapes (pintxos), this is a town that celebrates its own strengths while still being open to adventure. The same could be said of its film festival, which just celebrated its 62nd year and fourth edition under the directorship of José Luis Rebordinos with a strong program. Among a plethora of world cinema, the festival featured 16 world premieres of Spanish films,…  Read more

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6 Lessons on Filmmaking From Darren Aronofsky

Darren Aronofsky and Lynne Tillman Darren Aronofsky and Lynne Tillman

Last evening, The New Museum held a conversation between Lynne Tillman and Darren Aronofsky as part of their annual Stuart Regen Visionaries Series. Tillman began with an excerpt from Genesis, a winking reference to Aronofsky’s Noah as well as the frequent depiction of beginnings — of identities and obsession — in his work. Over the next hour and a half, the two parsed through his filmography in chronological order, weighing in on themes and construction. Below are a few major takeaways from the discussion, and if time is not of the essence, the full version can be viewed above. Using Format to Create Cohesion Per Aronofsky, filmmaking is about “how to make things blend.” With Pi, his decision to use black and white reversal film immediately pulled…  Read more

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NYFF ’14: Heaven Knows What, Eden, The Look of Silence

Heaven Knows What Heaven Knows What

Josh and Benny Safdie’s filmmaking sensibilities are perhaps best summed up by the finale of 2009′s Daddy Longlegs. Unable to hire movers for their spur of the moment decamp to Roosevelt Island, Lenny (Ronald Bronstein) tasks his sons with hoisting their refrigerator onto his back, bootleg straps in hand. Atop Lenny’s spine, the near industrial-sized fridge is then caught between the closing doors of the tram, culminating in a moment that is hilarious, pitiful, and unexpectedly affecting. For years, the Safdies had been perfecting this brand of physical comedy, verisimilitude, cheeky humor and creeping sadness, all rendered on film with a handheld long lens, until 2012′s Lenny Cooke coaxed them outside their comfort zone. If that archival-driven doc about a dream deferred was a toe down the rabbit hole, Heaven Knows What is a…  Read more

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Steven Soderbergh Re-imagines Raiders of the Lost Ark as a Masterclass in Staging

Raiders of the Lost Ark Raiders of the Lost Ark

A little belated in posting the latest installment from Steven Soderbergh’s guerrilla film school, but better than never, as the saying goes. Here, Soderbergh sets Steven Spielberg’s seminal blockbuster Raiders of the Lost Ark to an electronic tinged soundtrack and black-and-white wash. His reasoning is that a dialogue-free version allows the film to be appreciated as a master class in the elusive technique of staging. In my book, Fassbinder is the top of the heap as far as blocking goes, but Soderbergh makes the case for the other Steven in the following terms: I value the ability to stage something well because when it’s done well its pleasures are huge, and most people don’t do it well, which indicates it must not be…  Read more

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Watch: Don Hertzfeldt’s Fantastic The Simpsons Couch Gag

hertzfeldt

You’re hopefully familiar with animator Don Hertzfeldt’s fatalistic, sinisterly humorous, one-of-a-kind body of work. Last night The Simpsons let him take over the opening couch gag. The result is a phantasmagoric two-minute short that turns the clan into protozoa and reverses the flow of time. It’s very much of a piece with his recent work as anthologized in 2011′s It’s Such a Beautiful Day. Watch Homer chant “I AM SIMPSON!”; deriders of the show’s deathless downward spiral, you’ll be convinced that The Simpsons is still good for something. If you’re not familiar with Hertzfeldt’s work, you should follow that up with 1995′s Ah L’Amour:

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Kirsten Dunst on Celebrity Fandom in the Age of Instagram

LGS (5)

Director Matthew Frost and actress Kirsten Dunst team up for this short film, Aspirational, about celebrity fandom in the age of the selfie. A tag is worth more than a moment as Dunst encounters two fans outside her house. Via VS Magazine.

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Watch: The Eyes of Hitchcock by :: kogonada

eyes

Here’s the latest from video essayist :: kogonada, who Scott Macaulay interviewed earlier this week. Beginning, as you might expect, with the zoom into red eyes from Vertigo‘s opening credits and the zoom out from Janet Leigh’s dead eyes in Psycho, :: kogonada captures Hitchcock’s characters’ eyes in states of fear, hypnosis, dawning comprehension et al. This one’s via the Criterion Collection.

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Filmmaking

Left to right: Rebecca Green, Elisabeth Holm, Lisa Biagiotti and Mynette Louie at the IFP Filmmaker Conference. Left to right: Rebecca Green, Elisabeth Holm, Lisa Biagiotti and Mynette Louie at the IFP Filmmaker Conference.

43 Takeaways from Sundance Artist Services Day at the IFP Filmmaker Conference

“The most important task is to make great movies,” said Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam at the start of Thursday’s Artist Services Workshop at IFP’s Filmmaker Conference. “All this talk about audiences is meaningless unless you have something in your heart you want to…  Read more

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Sep 22, 2014

Festivals & Events

Elisabeth Holm, Gillian Robespierre and moderator Dan Schoenbrun Elisabeth Holm, Gillian Robespierre and moderator Dan Schoenbrun

Euro-Pudding and Look Books: Takeaways from Day One at IFP’s Filmmaker Conference

After sitting through the majority of the New Narratives presentations on day one of the Filmmaker Conference at IFP Film Week, my brain is almost too awash with content to compile anything but a listicle. From conversations with cinematographers like Reed Morano and producers like Mynette Louie to an Obvious Child…  Read more

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on Sep 15, 2014

Interviews

Hannah Murray, Olly Alexander and Emily Browning in God Help the Girl Hannah Murray, Olly Alexander and Emily Browning in God Help the Girl

“Making a Great Movie Music Moment”: Stuart Murdoch on God Help the Girl

There’s a certain rhetoric about the “perfect pop song” that feels like it peaked 25ish years ago somewhere on a bus in the UK, where earnest young people bonded over shared cultdom to pass the time, the guiding sensibility that (random example) led Orange Juice…  Read more

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on Sep 4, 2014

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