In Mike Ott’s California Dreams (which I reviewed here), five aspiring actors are shown giving auditions and later acting out scenes in a film-within-the-film. Although this nested film is supposed to be a fiction, and also looks like one thanks to the gorgeous work of cinematographer Mike Gioulakis, the script is drawn – or appears to be drawn – directly from the actors’ biographies. One of the fascinating aspects of California Dreams is that Ott never allows you to know for certain how much is real and how much is fabricated. It was therefore a pleasure to be able to […]by Giovanni Marchini Camia on Feb 15, 2017
Some lines from Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor’s somniloquies: “I don’t wanna see your ass, Mrs. Dangerfield.” “Welcome to Midget City. Yes, we built it from the ground up. We have our own police.” “I’ve seen the past. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it! I want the future. The present is squalid!” “Kill the cunt! KILL THE CUNT!!” These are all spoken by Dion McGregor, a musician from New York described in the film’s opening titles as “the world’s most prolific sleep-talker.” Over a period of six years, McGregor’s flatmate recorded hundreds of his elaborate, vividly narrated […]by Giovanni Marchini Camia on Feb 13, 2017
If any one moment encapsulated the fervor for U.S. independent cinema among the young cinephiles of Wroclaw (pronounced Vrot-swof, by the way), it arrived at around 11:00 PM on my final night of attendance at the 4th edition of the city’s American Film Festival (22-27 Oct, 2013). I was strolling back to my hotel in the company of Killer Films honcho Christine Vachon and Tennessee-based producer Ashley Maynor when a lissome young Polish fellow with rosy cheeks, Kurt Cobain hair, and a T-shirt bearing the legend ‘Hipsters Don’t Wear Frames’ suddenly appeared. With a shallowness of breath that suggested he’d […]by Ashley Clark on Nov 4, 2013
With its famously catholic tastes and sprawling slate, the International Film Festival Rotterdam is a place to get lost. A week into its 10-day run, a fairly subdued 42nd edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam has unfurled a smattering of buzz-worthy world premieres and its usual mix of budding talents from unusually farflung spots on the globe, high-art provocations, exhaustive considerations of an emerging national cinema or two and obscure auteur retrospectives. However, I’ve found that it’s always the surprises here that grab you, little films you’d otherwise never see except in this context, that make the trip worthwhile. I […]by Brandon Harris on Jan 30, 2013
Tonight at the HSBC offices in midtown was the IFP’s Independent Film Week launch party. Attending were participating filmmakers, several of our 25 New Faces, and many folks from the New York production community. But flying in from L.A. were Mike Ott and Atsuko Okatsuka, whose Littlerock — winner of the Filmmaker-sponsored “Best Film at a Theater Playing Near You” Gotham Award — premieres today at Cinema Village. Read Ray Pride on the movie here, and then check out the film. It’s highly recommended.by Scott Macaulay on Aug 12, 2011
The Film Independent Spirit Awards just wrapped (see it on IFC tonight @ 10ET) and Darren Aronofsky‘s thriller Black Swan was the big winner taking home four awards, including Best Feature, Best Director for Aronofsky and Best Female Lead for Natalie Portman. Winter’s Bone won the supporting acting prizes with John Hawkes taking it for actor and Dale Dickey for actress while James Franco won Best Male Lead for 127 Hours, Banksy‘s Exit through the Gift Shop won Best Documentary and Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg won Best Screenplay for The Kids Are All Right. Also, “25 New Face” alum […]by Jason Guerrasio on Feb 26, 2011
by Ray Pride on Jan 24, 2011
With his second feature, the Gotham Award-winning Littlerock, California native Mike Ott explores the dreams of a small California town through the eyes of a visiting pair of young Japanese tourists. By Ray Pride.