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“Always Maximize Your Shooting Time”: Lodge Kerrigan on Keane

Damian Lewis in KeaneDamian Lewis in Keane

If every film is a document of its own making, then Lodge Kerrigan’s Keane, shot in real locations in and around New York City in 2004, is also a depiction of the period in which it was made. Viewing the film on the occasion of a new digital restoration by Grasshopper Film that begins a theatrical run at Film at Lincoln Center today, I was struck by the numerous billboards and posters placed atop taxi cabs that the film’s lead character, William Keane (Damian Lewis), obliviously walks by. Short of pointing at the screen, Leonardo DiCaprio-style, as I noticed a poster for the upcoming season of The Sopranos or a cab ad advertising Bernadette Peters in Gypsy on Broadway, I…  Read more

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“We Tested a Million LED Flashlights”: DP Chris Teague on Only Murders in the Building

Episode 203, "The Last Day Of Bunny Folger," of Only Murders in the BuildingOnly Murders in the Building (Photo by Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu)

After joining forces to solve a killing (and create a true crime podcast) in the first season of Only Murders in the Building, the trio of Steve Martin, Selena Gomez and Martin Short find themselves the suspects in another slaying in the latest batch of episodes of the Hulu series. Set in New York in the fictitious swanky apartment building the Arconia, the show’s entire inaugural season was lensed by longtime Big Apple resident Chris Teague (Obvious Child, GLOW, Russian Doll). For the new season, Teague’s role expanded to the director’s chair for two episodes. With the season finale premiering next Tuesday, Teague spoke to Filmmaker about creating faux cityscapes on stage, being inspired by Touch of Evil and Vertigo and finally getting…  Read more

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Trailer Watch: Jafar Panahi’s No Bears

Jafar Panahi stars as himself in No BearsJafar Panahi stars as himself in No Bears

The first trailer has arrived for acclaimed Iranian director Jafar Panahi's No Bears, which features the director starring as a version of himself. According to the official synopsis, the film follows "two parallel love stories in which the lovers struggle with hidden and unavoidable obstacles, the force of superstitions and the mechanics of power." Along with the film's new trailer, Celluloid Dreams has uploaded two snippets from the film to their YouTube channel: one scene that contextualizes the film's title, and another that depicts the oft-paradoxical hurdles Panahi faces in continuing his cinematic practice. A politically defiant and visually vital filmmaker, Panahi's latest feature arrives shortly after his arrest by the Iranian government, charging him with "propaganda against the system." The last…  Read more

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“Spielberg is the Master of Layering Multiple Actors Within a Frame”: DP Jeff Cutter on Prey

The Predator (Dane DiLiegro) and Naru (Amber Midthunder) in PreyThe Predator (Dane DiLiegro) and Naru (Amber Midthunder) in Prey (Photo by David Bukach)

1987 was a good year to be a young action movie fan. RoboCop, Lethal Weapon and Predator all hit theaters within five months of each other before landing on VHS, where they could be watched again and again provided you or a friend had parents with an appropriately laissez faire attitude toward R ratings. That cycle of action films made a deep impression on a teenaged Jeff Cutter. Predator, in particular, brought forth an unexpected revelation about the nature of moviemaking. “I saw Predator in the theater when it came out and absolutely loved it,” said Cutter. “The Terminator was one of my all-time favorite movies and I didn’t really understand why it was so good, but I sort of equated it…  Read more

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Evil Star Katja Herbers on Over-Directing: I Know How Not to Listen” (Back to One, Episode 216)

Dutch actor Katja Herbers plays forensic psychologist Kristen Bouchard on the hit series Evil, which just finished its third season at Paramount+. On this episode, she talks about how saying no to the audition actually secured her the role, and hitting it off with “the Kings” (show runners Robert and Michelle King) helped her feel ownership of it. We get into the beautiful weeds about the pitfalls of over-directing and how she often simply ignores direction or translates it into something she can use. She explains why laboring over an emotional through-line is unnecessary, how working with the girls that plays her kids fuels her work, why she was worried about getting fired from Westworld, and much more. Back To…  Read more

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“I Never Made a Living Making Movies”: Michael Roemer on Nothing But a Man and The Plot Against Harry

Michael Roemer's Nothing But a ManNothing But a Man

This past spring, Michael Roemer’s 1984 family melodrama Vengeance Is Mine enjoyed a moment in the spotlight thanks to a revival run at Film Forum. But that was only the latest renaissance for the 94-year-old Roemer, who made a number of movies with a delayed reception of one kind or another. Nothing But a Man (1964), a Southern-set story centered on a black railroad worker and his family relationships, received a very limited initial release, and The Plot Against Harry (1969), a deadpan New York comedy about a small-time Jewish gangster, went from seeming a lost cause to playing in the New York Film Festival in 1989. Going even further back, Cortile Cascino (1962), a TV documentary about a mother…  Read more

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Read Interviews With The 2021-22 Student Short Film Showcase Winners, a Collaborative Award From The Gotham, JetBlue and Focus Features

The winners of the third annual Student Short Film Showcase, a collaborative award bestowed by The Gotham, JetBlue and Focus Features, are currently available to stream here at Filmmaker, on Focus Features’s YouTube channel and in the air as part of JetBlue’s in-flight entertainment selection.  More than 20 graduate film schools submitted works to be considered for the Student Short Film Showcase, and the winners selected for the 2021-22 slate hail from diverse backgrounds and schools across the country. Columbia College Chicago grad Akanksha Cruczynski creates an amusing yet melancholy work of autofiction with Close Ties to Home Country, which stars Cruczynski as a loose version of herself on a fraught dog sitting assignment. Jun Hee Han, who graduated with an…  Read more

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“We Wanted the Film to Feel Like a Memory, a Dream of Childhood…”: Director James Ponsoldt on His Coming-of-Age Neo-Noir, Summering

Still from SummeringSummering

In Summering, James Ponsoldt's return to cinema following several years of episodic television work, four young girls, best friends about to enter different junior high schools, find their final moments of group bonding upended by a shocking discovery: a dead body. Encountered near a secret spot they dub Terabithia (after the YA novel and film Bridge to Terabithia), the gruesome find turns into a challenge. What if rather than calling the police or telling their parents these friends could actually solve the mystery of this deceased middle-aged man's identity and cause of death? It'd be both a kind of end-of-summer ritual as well as an early reckoning with the complicated world of adult issues they are not far from entering.…  Read more

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