Down in the Boondocs: The NYFF’s Go-To Films (I)

Timbuktu: (l-r) Toulou Kiki, Layla Walet Mohamed, Abel Jafri, unknownTimbuktu: (l-r) Toulou Kiki, Layla Walet Mohamed, Abel Jafri, unknown

The expansive New York Film Festival is no longer the greatest-hits affair of three decades back when it was built around 20-25 titles, a majority of which were what had been on display at the previous Cannes. The arrangement was…  Read more


Creatures and Class Politics: Travis Knight, Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable on The Boxtrolls

The BoxtrollsThe Boxtrolls

The latest animated feature from Laika, the Portland-based studio that delivered Coraline and ParaNorman, is a surprisingly idiosyncratic blend of children’s adventure and political satire. Based on Alan Snow’s novel, Here Be Monsters, Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable’s The Boxtrolls…  Read more


Lessons from the Cutting Edge Tour


I spent a half-day at Adam Epstein’s “The Cutting Edge Post-Production Tour” last week. Epstein, who is the editor for the Saturday Night Live Film Unit, has spent the past month and a half traveling the country presenting on how…  Read more


Risking It All: Helly Luv, Kurdistan’s Pop Star and Mardan Actress

Helly Luv on the set of "Mardan" directed by Batin Ghobadhi.Helly Luv on the set of Mardan

“Right now, the Kurdish freedom fighters — the peshmerga — are protecting the whole world.” Middle Eastern politics start to sound different when explained by pop sensation Helly Luv. Nicknamed the “Lion Girl” in her native Kurdistan, Luv is known for her…  Read more