“Enjoy the ride,” said Eva Husson before she screened her first feature film in January at the Rotterdam International Film Festival. Roughly 100 minutes later, a stumbling crowd poured out of the cinema as if collectively descending a roller coaster exit ramp, vertigo subsiding with each stabilizing step. Husson’s Bang Gang: A Modern Love Story , which opens in New York and Los Angeles on June 17 from Samuel Goldwyn, is about the sexual unleashing of French suburban teens and the boundaries that shape their relationships. An explosive score integrating electronic and classical music reverberates within the rhythm of the […]
When Tangerine was released in 2015, much of the press attention focused on the fact that it was shot entirely on an iPhone 5s. Though that technical feat is impressive, the raw beauty of the film is equally striking. Set on Christmas Eve, Tangerine follows transgender sex workers and best friends Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya Taylor) on an odyssey through various Los Angeles subcultures. At Fandor Keyframe, a new video essay (above) by LJ Frezza examines the film’s unique aesthetic and how director Sean Baker and DP Radium Cheung found beauty from a position of marginalization.
“I needed structure!” says former goth Colleen Lunsford (Addison Timlin, star-to-be) in a revelatory moment in Little Sister, the latest feature by Brooklyn-based Zach Clark (White Reindeer, Vacation). It is one of two unaffected masterpieces (the other is Ira Sachs’s Little Men, which I’ll review when the increasingly daring Magnolia Pictures releases it) screening at BAMcinemafest (Jun 15-26) that I was fortunate enough to catch early — two for two! Colleen is exasperated trying to explain to her estranged, self-absorbed mom, Joani (Ally Sheedy, better than ever), why she left home to seek out spiritual redemption in a cloistered New […]
July 12, 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the American theatrical release of Boyz N The Hood, John Singleton’s debut as writer-director. This powerful drama, set in crime-riddled South Central L.A., became a benchmark for a new wave of black American cinema in the early 1990s and, in addition to boasting commanding turns from Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett, helped to launch the screen careers of a remarkable constellation of talent, including Cuba Gooding Jr., Ice Cube, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, and Regina King. The film was both a critical and commercial success, and 24-year-old Singleton became both the first […]
After living with a story in your head for 20 years and finally getting it onto a page and into a lens, any validation you can get of having made the right decision is welcome. Having produced a handful of micro budget features, and co-directing one of them, I’ve definitely needed some wind in the sails after months of living with films that are in the can, and Cold November is no exception. Getting to the finish line with the available resources, which admittedly are not many on this budget level, is a delicate dance, teeming with unknowns and varied […]
One of the best podcasts to launch last year was She Does, a series of audio portraits of women creators across film, music, new media, journalism and more. It was created by two filmmakers, Elaine McMillion Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg, who previously collaborated on Sheldon’s award-winning interactive documentary Hollow. Using data visualization and web storytelling techniques to examine the economic and social history of one rural West Virginia town, Hollow landed Sheldon on Filmmaker‘s 25 New Faces list and announced her as a documentarian committed to exploring all the new forms non-fiction storytelling can take in a digital world. Hence, […]
At a time when both traditional theatrical film exhibition and nonprofit operations are confronting new obstacles, Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum is re-defining the role of the regional independent film center. The recent promotion of 27-year-old Courtney Sheehan, from Artistic Director to Executive Director marks a new direction for the 20-year-old film center. Since Sheehan joined the organization as program director in 2013, The Northwest Film Forum has increased box office and ramped up audience engagement, donated hundreds of hours of venue rental space and staff time to community groups, and created new partnerships. Recent program partnerships include KEXP, Civilization, Fandor, Brick Lane Records, the University of Washington, the […]
In the latest episode in “The Discarded Image” video essay series (above), filmmaker and video essayist Julian Palmer tackles the art of slow-motion. “The world moves at a rapid pace. Our lives slip through our fingers. We have no control of time – except, of course, if you’re a filmmaker,” intones Palmer, who adds that “filmmakers intuitively manipulate the speed of the image.” The video highlights various examples of how slow-motion is used to heighten emotion in tense or violent situations, focus in on details viewers might otherwise miss, and also how it can help “to get inside the head […]
George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, John Turturro, and composer Carter Burwell are among the talking heads who analyze the filmmaking brothers’ oeuvre in VICE Guide to Film‘s recent episode on the Coen Brothers (above). The segment, which amounts to an extended video essay, breaks down scenes from some of their most memorable films and delves into their collaboration process. Discussing the directing duo, Turturro says, “It’s like a two-headed monster.” Previous episodes of the show have focused on the work of Kelly Reichardt, Gus Van Sant, John Carpenter, Todd Haynes, and other directors.
Academy Award-nominated animator Bill Plympton has released his latest feature film, Hitler’s Folly, for free on the Internet. Running 67 minutes, the controversial mockumentary, which mixes live-action with bits of animation, re-imagines Adolf Hitler as a successful animator and artist. “This is a very very provocative and kind of wacky look at the movie industry and also Hitler’s career if he became a cartoonist,” explains Plympton in the introduction to the film (which you can watch above). Plympton wrote, directed, designed and animated the film, which stars Nate Steinwachs (Goddess of Time) and Dana Ashbrook (Twin Peaks). Reviewers have not been kind to the film, with […]