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A Matter of Trust: Independent Film and the Blockchain

Trust Machine: The Story of Blockchain, courtesy of SingularDTV and Futurism Studios

In his novel Enduring Love, Ian McEwan constructs a striking metaphor of the tension between individualism and cohesion that lies at the core of modern society: Five strangers rush to save a child stuck in the passenger basket of a hot air balloon being uplifted by the wind. As the balloon soars, the helpers find themselves in midair, hanging from its ropes. Their cumulative weight keeps the balloon hovering over the ground, but one person letting go would break this fragile pact and put the others in greater danger. This scene, which resembles a social psychology experiment, asks the question: How do we establish a system of trust that overcomes our individualistic instincts and promotes collective progress? (Spoiler: In the…  Read more

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Watch: Richard Linklater’s Anti-Ted Cruz Campaign Ad

A new contribution to the Texas midterm battle between Ted Cruz and aspirant challenger Beto O’Rourke, this campaign ad is directed by Richard Linklater. It stars Sonny Carl Davis, something of a legend in Texas film, going back to his roles in Eagle Pennell’s The Whole Shootin’ Match (1978) and Last Night at the Alamo (1983). The ad does not explicitly endorse O’Rourke; it’s 30 seconds of Davis fiercely trash-talking Cruz in a diner, a chopped-down monologue that plays like an outtake from Linklater’s Bernie. There’s a reason for that: it’s Davis who delivers that film’s monologue breaking down the “five different states” of Texas, and the set-up is the same, down to the shirt Davis is wearing. It’s the first in a series of anti-Cruz…  Read more

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Alonso Ruizpalacios on Museo, Casting Gael Garcia Bernal For His Shortness and Never Meeting Your Heroes

Gael Garcia Bernal in Museo

Alonso Ruizpalacios’ two features to date are both about Mexico City’s recent past. The writer-director first gained international visibility with 2014’s Güeros, a black-and-white road trip movie set in the 1990s using the protests at the National Autonomous University of Mexico as backdrop for an intimate coming-of-age plot. For his sophomore venture, Museo, Ruizpalacios enlisted major star Gael García Bernal and one of Güeros’ cast members, Leonardo Ortizgris, to address a larger than life, yet based on real life, crime story. 1985 was a chaotic year for Mexico City, aside from the devastation left in the wake of a massive earthquake in September; the cultural heritage of an entire nation was endangered when two young men from the suburb of Satélite…  Read more

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Insecure DP Ava Berkofsky on Avoiding “Seinfeld Shots,” Faking Coachella and Lighting Mega-Churches

Insecure

A row of symmetrically stacked airport luggage carts; the tumbling red-and-blue cylinders of a 7-Eleven Slurpee dispenser; the still life of neatly arranged condiments and coffee creamers on a diner countertop. While the romantically and professionally struggling twentysomethings that populate HBO’s Insecure make their share of pilgrimages to taco trucks, clubs, and even Coachella, it’s those tableaus of Los Angeles at its most quotidian that make the sprawling city feel as if it’s being viewed through a different lens. With the show’s third season recently wrapped up, cinematographer Ava Berkofsky spoke to Filmmaker about how she “makes L.A. feel like L.A.” Filmmaker: As with season two, you shot five episodes and then handed off three episodes to another cinematographer, this time…  Read more

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“Film is of its Nature Unruly… and Your Job is to Master its Unruliness”: Director Paul Greengrass on the Filmmaking and Politics of 22 July

22 July (Photo: Erik Aavatsmark, Netflix)

22 July is a difficult film. Any film about the 2011 terror attack and massacre on Utøya island in Norway would have to be. Less expected is the film’s strong political edge. In that sense, 22 July is something of a return to roots for Paul Greengrass. Before taking on the Bourne franchise, the director made a mark with his 2002 docudrama Bloody Sunday, about the Bogside massacre of Northern Irish protesters by British soldiers in 1972. In that film, as in his new one, Greengrass combined his trademark visceral, shaky-cam documentary aesthetic with a strong sense of political urgency. In the interim, Greengrass has experimented with similar real-life tragedies in United 93 and Captain Phillips, but 22 July acts…  Read more

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Back to One, Episode 25: Private Life‘s Kathryn Hahn

Kathryn Hahn has joked about her plethora of “best friend or randy crazy lady” roles in comedies like How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days, Anchorman and Step Brothers. But recent projects by Jill Soloway (Afternoon Delight and I Love Dick) and Tamara Jenkins (the new Netflix film Private Life) have cast Hahn in the lead role, and suddenly we have an exciting leading lady who’s much more than a scene-stealer extraordinaire. She lets us in on a fascinating process she has for getting into the “I” of the character, talks about the road that lead to Private Life with co-stars Paul Giamatti and Kayli Carter, and cites the Alan Watts quote, “You’re under no obligation to be the…  Read more

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“We’re Using the Caribbean as a Lens Through Which to Explore Intersectionality”: The 2018 Third Horizon Film Festival

Black Mother

The trailer for this year’s Third Horizon Film Festival—the third Third Horizon, as time would have it—was beautiful, because the films comprising it are beautiful: wide-eyed children, skin aglow with flames, the massive, lime-green expanse of sugarcane fields, a sea coursing like blood. The preview’s song begins with a dissonant, bell-like din, stretched like sinew over the rest of the track, which moves a lot like, actually, waves: steel drums clanging like a ticking clock; keys that progress upward, then down, till the whole song heads somewhere melancholic, toward a wisp of its former self. Third Horizon Film Festival is based in Miami and took place this year at O Cinema (save for opening night, at the Pérez Art Museum…  Read more

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Columns

Back to One, Episode 25: Private Life‘s Kathryn Hahn

Kathryn Hahn has joked about her plethora of “best friend or randy crazy lady” roles in comedies like How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days, Anchorman and Step Brothers. But recent projects by Jill Soloway (Afternoon Delight and I Love Dick) and Tamara Jenkins…  Read more

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on Oct 9, 2018

Festivals & Events

Black Mother

“We’re Using the Caribbean as a Lens Through Which to Explore Intersectionality”: The 2018 Third Horizon Film Festival

The trailer for this year’s Third Horizon Film Festival—the third Third Horizon, as time would have it—was beautiful, because the films comprising it are beautiful: wide-eyed children, skin aglow with flames, the massive, lime-green expanse of sugarcane fields, a sea coursing like blood. The preview’s…  Read more

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on Oct 8, 2018

 

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