Full Frame’s 9th Annual A&E IndieFilms Speakeasy Closes with “Framing the Conversation: Stanley Nelson”

Stanley Nelson at Full Frame (photo: Ken A. Huth)

Taking place on a Saturday afternoon in the lobby of The Durham Hotel, “Framing the Conversation: Stanley Nelson” was the final panel discussion in a series of A&E IndieFilms Speakeasy chats at this year’s Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. (Though the festival itself is an arm of the Center for Documentary Studies at the prestigious Duke University, these always informative, free-to-the-public, laidback talks have been the 22-year-old Full Frame’s secret weapon for close to a decade.) In town to interview Nelson, the down-to-earth founder of Firelight Media, a recipient of both the MacArthur “Genius Grant” and a National Humanities Medal from President Obama, and a filmmaker whose over three-decade career now includes his latest for PBS’s “American Masters” series Miles…  Read more


Watch: Caveh Zahedi’s “Not Getting Stoned with Alex Ross Perry”

Alex Ross Perry, writer/director of the highly recommended and in-theaters Her Smell, is the guest in this latest installment of filmmaker Caveh Zahedi’s self-explanatory interview show,(Not) Getting Stoned with Caveh. As is the case with the show as well as its sister series, Getting Stoned with Caveh, Zahedi takes a few hits before drawing out his subjects in conversation. Here, the totally straight Perry discusses with Zahedi subjects ranging from small talk at parties to sociability to cinephilia in general. And, oh yeah, at the instigation of a cinematographer friend, Zahedi varies his practice here, switching from his usual two-camera setup to one single camera. He’s not happy with the results, a displeasure that’s registered formally — and punitively —…  Read more


“DocsStillSoWhite: Moving From Ally to Accomplice” at Full Frame’s 9th Annual A&E IndieFilms Speakeasy

“DocsStillSoWhite: Moving From Ally to Accomplice” — the title inspired by a curriculum developed by the panel’s moderator Seena (“The Woke Coach”) Hodges — was the second of two diversity-centric A&E IndieFilms Speakeasy discussions presented at this year’s Full Frame. Speaking before an impressively packed house in The Durham Hotel lobby early on a Saturday morning, the upbeat Hodges began by reminding the four panel participants to be mindful of the allotted hour (while wryly apologizing for the “colonial construct of time”). She then asked the two teams of filmmakers — two black producers working alongside two white directors — to introduce themselves and to also discuss the genesis of their Full Frame-selected docs. The two female media-makers spoke up…  Read more


The Z 6, Z 7 and Related Gear: Nikon Shows off Their Latest Filmmaking Tools at NAB

Announced towards the end of last year, Nikon had their two new full-frame mirrorless Z mount camera systems on full display at NAB, which ran April 6 – 11 in Las Vegas. The Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 can both shoot full-frame 4K Ultra HD, can output a 10-bit N-Log signal via HDMI, can record up to 120 fps at 1080p, and contain standard video recording functions such as autofocus and timecode. While the Z 6 obviously has a lower ranking model number and is over a third less expensive than the Z 7 ($1,995 vs $3,399, body only), when it comes to video features both camera’s abilities are nearly identical. The main difference in the two models mostly…  Read more


Art of the Real 2019: Darkness, Compulsive Cinephilia and Godard

Film Catastrophe

2016: not a good year for most people, and certainly not for Frank Beauvais. His Just Don’t Think I’ll Scream is the opening night film at this year’s sixth annual Art of the Real series, Film Society of Lincoln Center’s perspective on the year in nonfiction. Handily for me, Beauvais (a music supervisor and documentarian making his feature debut) has written his own IMDb synopsis, upon which I cannot improve: January 2016. The love story that brought me to this village in Alsace where I live ended six months ago. At 45, I am now alone, without a car, a job or any real prospects, surrounded by luxuriant nature, the proximity of which is not enough to calm the deep distress…  Read more


“That’s Thirty Years of Footage I’ve Accumulated”: Kidlat Tahimik on BalikBayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment and His Pioneering Career in the Philippines

Kidlat Tahimik at Play-Doc (photo by Tamara de la Fuente)

One of the pioneers of independent cinema in the Philippines, Kidlat Tahimik has been tinkering away on his latest film since 1979. Like much of his output, the pugnaciously titled BalikBayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment, Redux IV (2017), resembles as much a collage of moods, periods, film stocks and video formats as it does any kind of coherent movie. Working from an original 33-minute cut assembled in the early 1980s, the film is in part about Enrique of Malacca, a slave who accompanied his master Ferdinand Magellan on the first circumnavigation of the globe.  What showed at Play-Doc, the small Galician festival where I met with Tahimik earlier this month, was a new(-ish) 160-minute revision of the 140-min Redux III…  Read more




The 50 Most Anticipated American Films of 2019

Hello! Happy New Year! The fine folks at Filmmaker have invited me back to put together my (now) annual list of the 50 most anticipated American films of the year. I thought about making the list shorter this time around (because 50 blurbs is really…  Read more

Jan 7, 2019


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