A new partnership between Alamo Drafthouse, the independent theater chain and distribution company, and Legion M, the world’s first fan-owned entertainment company, could help pave a new way for independent films to get financed and developed. The two companies announced yesterday that they had formed a strategic partnership to develop and distribute genre content, including feature films, shorts and virtual reality. On May 16th, Legion M launched a public equity crowdfunding campaign under new rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission under the the 2012 JOBS Act. Since it launched the campaign last week, the company has raised $400,000 from accredited investors and more than $130,000 from fans. It has also received non-committed reservations of more than $2 million in stock from more… Read more
To paraphrase E. L Doctorow: Making a film is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to drive with more than headlights. My film 306 Hollywood was one of ten films chosen for the IFP Documentary Lab, and participating is like driving on a well-lit highway. With five days of presentations and workshops with industry insiders and peers you get a blast of clarity on how to finish your film and get it out into the world. My brother Jonathan and I are a few years into making a feature-length documentary that uses fiction-film techniques to… Read more
Athina Tsangari is a director and producer whose films examine the negotiation of power. While they span genres and approaches, her pictures — including her latest, Chevalier — are consistently organized around this theme. Chevalier takes place on a boat in the Aegean Sea. The men on board decide to play a game in which they judge each other on… everything. I spoke with Tsangari about her past and future projects and about returning to Greece, which has just wrapped up another tense debt relief negotiation with the IMF and EU. Chevalier opens at the IFC on Friday. Chevalier opens today from Strand. Tsangari: You know, Chevalier, it’s a small film from a turbulent country that has been so much in… Read more
This one’s pretty self-explanatory: director Albert Gómez presents the first and last appearance of every major character in Quentin Tarantino’s movies in splitscreen. It does, of course, get bloody.
Seventeen years after director Todd Solondz introduced us to Dawn Wiener (Heather Matarazzo), the downtrodden pre-teen star of the darkly comic Welcome to the Dollhouse, the character, now all grown up (and played by Greta Gerwig), returns in the quasi-sequel, Wiener-Dog. Dawn is just one of several characters featured in Wiener-Dog, which tells a variety of stories, all revolving around a particular dachshund. Featuring Kieran Culkin, Tracy Letts, Danny DeVito, Ellen Burstyn, Julie Delpy, and Zosia Mamet, the film premiered earlier this year at The Sundance Film Festival and is scheduled to be released on June 24 by Amazon Studios and IFC Films. You can check out the first trailer above.
Yesterday we premiered Christopher Jason Bell’s short film One Times One; today, we’re following up with the premiere of his colleague/interlocutor Theodore Collatos’ short Albatross. It’s the story of a young girl being raised by her uncle, only to have their relationship disrupted by the unexpected return of her father. As Collatos told Bell in their conversation (which we published Tuesday), “I really wanted to continue to build a fictional story within the context of Matt Shaw’s actual life. Elements of real story beats with real people in a poetic and seasonal time structure. Seasons pass, family changes and the mysteries of life go on, while shooting free form scenes and letting what happened in front of the camera also dictate the story.”
For many directors, the thought of “directing actors” can instill panic. Directors who were once cinematographers, say, or who have worked on film sets, might be at ease working with crews or blocking shots but will freeze up when challenged to give notes to actors. Such performance anxiety is not surprising. Unlike the crew, with whom directors have the whole shoot to develop working relationships, many actors are only on set for a few days. So it’s understandable that directors may worry about “getting it right” when it comes to guiding them in their performance. But the thing is: there is no “right”. For starters, a brief note about these people called actors. Stereotypes about actors abound in the film… Read more
If you’ve seen a lot of video essays purportedly analyzing the themes, visual motifs etc. of various films, you’ll know that they are, by and large, not very good, simply latching on to famous film titles for an easy traffic layup. Enter Kentucker Audley: director and actor, proprietor of No Budge and the Movies brand. In this inaugural video essay, Audley takes an analytical look at Pleasantville. “It’s a really cool movie, as you probably remember,” he explains, “with cutting-edge cinematography and excellent themes,” nailing the fatuous tone of many an online underperformer. Bonus points for blithely naming the director as Ron Howard, over and over.
For many directors, the thought of “directing actors” can instill panic. Directors who were once cinematographers, say, or who have worked on film sets, might be at ease working with crews or blocking shots but will freeze up when challenged to give notes to actors.… Read more
After a decade working with Richard Linklater, cinematographer Shane F. Kelly has learned that the most important rule on a Linklater set is that the performers have primacy. “Rick wants you to provide him with a stage for his actors to work within. So as… Read more
Gone are the days when if you were lucky enough to sell your documentary to a single distributor, they would take care of the rest. Though a select group of established documentary filmmakers still operate along those traditional lines, the majority of independent filmmakers working in… Read more
Athina Tsangari is a director and producer whose films examine the negotiation of power. While they span genres and approaches, her pictures — including her latest, Chevalier — are consistently organized around this theme. Chevalier takes place on a boat in the Aegean Sea. The men… Read more