Mega-talented multi-hyphenate Hannah Marks started writing Banana Split when she was still a teenager. It was loosely based on her real life. She rewrote it with her writing partner Joey Power as her acting credits piled up in stuff like The Runaways, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. Then, after she co-directed her first feature (with Power), After Everything, she was able to get Banana Split made with herself in the staring role, directed by Benjamin Kasulke. In this half hour, she talks about the ups and downs of standing her ground and seeing the dream of making this hilarious and smart teen comedy come true, what directing has taught her about acting, why she refuses to… Read more
One thing that's been uplifting to observe throughout all the recent closures of movie theaters, festivals, and other cultural institutions has been how individuals and companies have stepped in to provide relief, support, and camaraderie during an unprecedented crisis. This is true in the virtual and augmented reality community as much as in the broader film industry, as content creators and distributors have come together to support each other as their work has come to an essential standstill. Of course, some companies and services have seen an uptick in their business, as consumers explore using VR products to hold meetings, even in gaming platforms like Rec Room that weren't intended as business solutions. Likewise, the social music platform WaveXR and the… Read more
Here's a lovely one-minute animation by Robertas Nevecka that captures the confusing anxiety felt by those of used to working on film sets but who are now stuck at home. Nevecka is a Lithuanian assistant director whose film set drawings can be found on Instagram. Related at Filmmaker: "What Everyone Does on a Film Set."
Although it borrows liberally from earlier films like A Face in the Crowd, The Producers, and Network, there’s nothing else quite like Spike Lee’s 2000 satire Bamboozled, the most ferociously funny movie of the writer-director’s career as well as one of his most formally adventurous. It’s a movie of extremes, raucous in its gleeful willingness to offend (as Mel Brooks said of The Producers, it “rises below vulgarity”) and relentless in the psychological trauma it inflicts on both its characters and its audience, with Lee’s mission being nothing less than a history of racist representation in American pop culture and a state of the union address at the end of the decade that gave us everything from In Living Color… Read more
Keeping calm and carrying on (digitally, that is) during the global pandemic, CPH:DOX fittingly launched its five-day CPH:CONFERENCE series with a program titled “Science is Culture.” The “day celebrating the value of science in society and exploring how new approaches to science storytelling can engage the audience” was moderated by Jessica Harrop, supervising producer of science-centric doc studio Sandbox Films. (And impressively so. Not only did Harrop seem to be downloading questions directly from my head, but she kept the proceedings running swiftly and smoothly, all while sheltering in place from her Brooklyn apartment no less.) While every discussion was filled with insightful dos and and often surprising don’ts (I’m talking to you, Neil deGrasse Tyson -- or at least keynote… Read more
The 1970s: an oil and energy crisis, numerous coup d'états (some failed, some successful), a massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics, the rise (Margaret Thatcher, Augusto Pinochet) and falls (Richard Nixon) of world leaders, the beginning (Lebanon) and end (Vietnam) of drawn-out wars, and a New York-based serial killer who terrorized young adults because his neighbor’s dog ordered him to. Oh, to go back again! Stateside, the '70s saw further proliferation of rock music, drugs, second-wave feminism, the Black Panther movement and general political unrest and upheaval. Titled after a since-closed Catskills camp for disabled youth that was itself something of a liberation movement, Jim LeBrecht and Nicole Newnham's Crip Camp documents LeBrecht’s camp experience as a hormone-raging teenager diagnosed with spina… Read more