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The Past in the Present: Garrett Bradley on Time, Her Documentary about Activism and the Carceral State

Fox and Rob Rich in Time (Courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Filmmaker's Summer 2020 cover story, Ashley Clark's interview with Time director Garrett Bradley is being published online today for the first time to mark the film's New York premiere this coming Sunday (with virtual screenings continuing until September 25th) at the New York Film Festival. For over half a decade, New York-born artist and filmmaker Garrett Bradley has been steadily building an impressively diverse yet tonally and stylistically harmonious CV. Bradley’s work has encompassed film, television and the gallery space; short, longform and multi-channel ventures; and ambitious explorations of the porous boundaries between fiction and nonfiction. It has often focused on the landscapes and inhabitants of New Orleans, where Bradley has been based for much of her professional life, and the…  Read more

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“Did Mark Wahlberg Just Give Me the Job?”: Reinaldo Marcus Green on Good Joe Bell at TIFF 2020

Reid Miller and Mark Wahlberg in Good Joe Bell

It’s been seven-and-a-half years since Jadin Bell, a high school student from La Grande, Oregon, committed suicide following a period of intense bullying. Harrased by fellow classmates for being a gay young man in a deeply conservative town, Jadin’s suicide made national news. It also inspired his father, Joe, to set out on a cross-country roadtrip (on foot!), spreading an anti-bullying message to any good samaritan who would listen. On October 6th, 2013, Joe Bell would also tragically lose his life, being hit by a semi-truck while in the midst of his improbable journey. Good Joe Bell, the second feature from director Reinaldo Marcus Green (a former 25 New Face of Independent Film), recounts Joe’s trip as well as the final…  Read more

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“A Hundred Shooting Days and Almost a Hundred Scripted Locations”: Mick Garris on 1994’s Stephen King’s The Stand

Stephen King’s The Stand

When Stephen King published The Stand in 1978, the book represented a major increase in scale and ambition for the author, whose story of a nationwide battle between forces of good and evil was both his longest and most sophisticated novel to date. 16 years later director Mick Garris took a similar leap when he graduated from modest horror fare like Critters 2: The Main Course and Psycho IV: The Beginning to helm the miniseries adaptation of The Stand, a four-night, six-hour (not counting commercials) epic with hundreds of sets and speaking roles. Stephen King’s The Stand premiered on ABC in May 1994 to spectacular ratings and solidified the relationship between Garris and King that had begun with Sleepwalkers in…  Read more

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“We Were Determined to Locate and Use the Lenses from Gone With The Wind“: Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz on Antebellum

Janelle Monáe in Antebellum (photo by Matt Kennedy)

Antebellum, the debut horror/thriller from filmmaking duo Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, wasn’t initially scheduled to be released this week. Originally slated for a late April theatrical bow, the film’s public exhibition was indefinitely put on hold once the COVID-19 pandemic hit and closed all movie theaters for the foreseeable future. After waiting in the wings for several months, Lionsgate decided to move forward with a North American digital release (opening the film elsewhere theatrically around the globe) and the unintended timing couldn’t be more apt. Antebellum’s much-dissected trailer, portraying an African-American woman (played by Janelle Monáe) enslaved in the Antebellum South under extremely brutal conditions, implied a socially conscious horror film with hints of a modern day twist. Why, for…  Read more

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“People Tend to Push the Film Away”: Cristi Puiu on Malmkrog

Malmkrog

There was nothing at Berlinale quite like Malmkrog. I say this first with the authority of having seen it almost immediately after my train arrived on the first of what would be ten disappointing days at the 70th edition of the festival. Relative to Malmkrog, the other big directors at the festival mostly played it safe. And having this behemoth—an adaptation of a 1900 Russian text by Vladimir Soloviev entitled War and Christianity: Three Conversations—as the inaugural film of the new Encounters section at the festival was one of the boldest decisions undertaken by the festival’s new artistic team. That the section as a whole didn’t live up to its first epic entry is understandable.  Malmkrog is broken into six sections, each…  Read more

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12 Films Not To Miss at the 2020 New York Film Festival

Lover's Rock

I'm not going to deny it -- the dip in New York's temperature signifying the approach of Fall coupled with the migration of the New York Film Festival from Lincoln Center to my Lower East Side living room has left me melancholy. Other out-of-town festivals I might have skipped this year, but there hasn't been a New York Film Festival in 30 years that I haven't attended at least a few screenings, to say nothing of the associated parties and events. But while I'm missing the casual encounters in the lobbies, the spotlight that shines on the film teams post-screening in their box at the Alice Tully Hall, and, of course, the Tavern on the Green opening night, I'm thankful for…  Read more

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“If You’re in the Right Location at the Right Time, You Shouldn’t Need Much Light”: DP Greig Fraser on The Mandalorian

On the set of The Mandalorian

Laboring in a greenscreen expanse for months on end never seemed like a particularly pleasant way of working. Not for the crew, confined to a windowless stage with walls roughly the same hue as green Tropical Skittles. Not for the actors, performing in a world they can’t see. And not for the cinematographer, surrendering control of the background that will ultimately replace the verdant swath of green. StageCraft, a new technology that employs a vast array of LED video screens, provides an appealing alternative for capturing virtual environments. Created in partnership with Epic Games and Industrial Light & Magic, StageCraft offers photo-real backgrounds that blend seamlessly with partial sets, practical props and actors, while also supplying interactive lighting. Essentially, it’s a tool…  Read more

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NYFF 2020: Lovers Rock

Lovers Rock

Steve McQueen: now with handheld camera! Lovers Rock is, per its official publicity copy, one of “A Collection of Five Films” about British West Indian life in the '70s and '80s drawn from the backgrounds and personal stories of McQueen’s friends and family. This party film is the only one not directly based on a true story but is instead based on collective experience; judging by synopses of the other four, it’s also the lightest thematically. That makes it a good fit for NYFF’s opening night selection (even if no actual opening night party will be following; two of the other films will also be showing the main slate). As a party movie, there are certain generic expectations: hazy good vibes, increasingly drunken…  Read more

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