Brian De Palma has been accused by detractors of being nothing more than a shameless Hitchcock imitator. Peet Gelderblom’s video essay puts that to the test, using De Palma’s beloved split screen to compare and contrast shots from both director’s films. Hitchcock is on the left, De Palma on the right.
“I want to make films on the other side of fashion, on the other side of taste,” whispers a melancholic starlet into a velvety black void. It’s the 1930s, and the alluring actress — known in Europe as “La Divina” — has been brought to Hollywood to vamp in commercial confections alongside an American matinee idol. She doesn’t fit in. She wants to play real roles, like Dorian Gray or Christ. Her nervy agent is bewildered. “That’s art!” he scoffs. “Who’s gonna to pay for that?” Brooke Dammkoehler’s 45-minute La Divina (1989), a buoyant pastiche of Golden Age melodrama by way of Fassbinder, gives us a campy, impressionistic biopic of a Garbo-like figure (played by Michelle Sullivan) who ascends to Hollywood… Read more
This video from Blank on Blank animates excerpts from a fairly heavy interview with Francis Ford Coppola that touches on death, loneliness and solitude. It was conducted in 1996 while Coppola was promoting, of all things, Jack. He also discusses changing reception of his films over time, with an emphasis on Apocalypse Now.
Nakom is the first ever feature film in the Kusaal language and the first Ghanaian narrative film to have screened at the Berlin International Film Festival. Following the world premiere in Berlin, the film made its U.S. debut at the New Directors/New Films festival in New York. Last month, Nakom was nominated for the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award for films budgeted less than $500,000. On the eve of their Berlin premiere, co-directors Kelly Daniela Norris and T.W. (Trav) Pittman said they were most excited to screen in Nakom, the rural village in northern Ghana where they lived for four months without electricity or running water and where their story was imagined and filmed. But though the film has played for audiences… Read more
Following the announcement of its competition, NEXT, New Frontier, premieres, midnight, kids, spotlight and special events slates, Sundance rounds out its slate with a list of the shorts to be shown during the festival. Some quick highlights: Come Swim, Kristen Stewart’s first narrative short; Fish Story, the new short by documentary filmmaker Charlie Lyne (Beyond Clueless), who’s also been a contributor to Filmmaker; and a new film from Jim Cummings, winner of last year’s Short Film Grand Jury Prize for Thunder Road. He returns with The Robbery, whose one-line synopsis is unimprovable: “Crystal robs a liquor store—it goes pretty OK.” U.S. NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS American Paradise / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Joe Talbot) — A desperate man in Trump’s America tries to shift his luck with the… Read more
In the summer of ’64, after President Lyndon B. Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act which enabled African-Americans to vote for their government, many young men and women (primarily white) took to Mississippi to join the Mississippi Summer Project, a season long initiative that would register African-Americans to vote in an increasingly dangerous, highly segregated and hate-filled state. At the same time — and as politically removed from the tense, racist climate as could be — two groups of white, male country blues fans (unbeknownst to each other) from the “big cities”also headed to Mississippi to search for the whereabouts of two long-forgotten blues singers, Skip James and Son House. How these men’s obsession with tracking down their idols intersected with the… Read more
David Ehrlich’s justly popular annual supercut of his personal choices for the 25 best films of the year is here. From Weiner at #25 to Moonlight at #1, it’s a solid list, but the meat, as always, is in the editing, which finds many points of association between these disparate films.
In partnership with IFP, Filmmaker‘s parent organization, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment has announced this year’s ten projects to be chosen for Made in NY Fellowships. The projects, which span documentary and narrative filmmaking as well as gaming, post-production, animation, VR and media/technology platforms, will receive yearlong incubator positions at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP. Read the full press release below. NEW YORK, NY – Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) Commissioner Julie Menin and the Made in NY Media Center by IFP today announced the recipients of the second year of Made in NY Fellowships, a year-long program to provide expanded resources and opportunities for New Yorkers to bring their media projects to the next… Read more
For film lovers of all stripes, the launch this month of FilmStruck, a new streaming service partnership between Turner Classic Movies and the Criterion Channel, is nothing short of a major event. As Netflix tilts more and more towards television and original programming, and actual… Read more
Warning: This post contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead and the future of America In case you’re behind on your DVR, allow me to catch you up on the much-talked about cliffhanger ending from last season’s Walking Dead finale. After a ton of build-up,… Read more
TUESDAY AFTERNOON WRITE-THROUGH In 2008, Barry Jenkins remembered on one of several trips up to the podium tonight at the 26th Annual IFP Gotham Awards, held, as usual, at Cipriani Wall Street, he was in this same room as one of the nominees for Best… Read more
Following its New York premiere this past Thanksgiving weekend, Sophia Takal’s highly recommended psychological drama Always Shine opens today in 16 markets across the United States. When the film premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, I wrote Sophia Takal makes her long-awaited to follow-up… Read more