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Oscar-winning Documentarian Julia Reichert Dies at 76

Julia Reichert's American Factory.

Documentary filmmaker Julia Reichert, who won an Oscar with her partner Steven Bognar for American Factory, has died. Reichert passed away in her Ohio home on Thursday night from urothelial cancer after being diagnosed as Stage Four back in 2018. She was 76.  Reichert’s filmography has championed the plight of marginalized Americans, particularly through the lens of gender and class. Her first film, Growing Up Female (1971), examined the lives of six women, ages four through 35, and their gendered socialization within American culture. The film was originally completed as her senior project while attending Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The seminal 49-minute doc was made for just $2,000. Frustrated with the lack of distribution opportunities by and for women…  Read more

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“Copaganda,” Kiarostami and Punisher Comics: Ramin Bahrani on 2nd Chance

Richard Davis in Ramin Bahrani's 2nd Chance

Richard Davis achieved redneck nirvana. The crude and quotable subject of 2nd Chance, Davis transformed in the 1970s from bankrupt pizzeria owner to small-town kingpin after inventing the bulletproof vest. The phrase “redneck nirvana” had a particular meaning for him: It meant he could suddenly afford to buy anything at the local KMart. Success soon unleashed his inner manchild. Davis devoted his leisure time to blowing shit up, burning through wives and producing straight-to-VHS movies that valorized police violence. “Redneck Nirvana,” it turns out, could serve as an alternate title for a film about Davis, a larger-than-life figure whose story offers a cartoonish portrait of America at its most violent and juvenile. 2nd Chance marks Ramin Bahrani’s debut as a documentary…  Read more

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“Pretend Sonic Youth Composed the Score to Jaws“: Deakin and Geologist of Animal Collective on Scoring The Inspection

22 years after the release of their debut album, the Baltimore-bred quartet Animal Collective is as prolific as ever. Members Avey Tare (Dave Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), Deakin (Josh Dibb) and Geologist (Brian Weitz) released their 11th studio album this year—the delectably jammy Time Skiffs—to a wave of acclaim the band arguably hasn't received since their indie-tronica staple Merriweather Post Pavilion in 2009. On the heels of Time Skiffs' success, the band has already hit the studio to record their forthcoming release, rumored to hit shelves and streamers from the band's longtime label Domino Records in 2023. This year has also featured an (almost) entirely new venture from the band: composing the score for Elegance Bratton's narrative debut The Inspection. Based…  Read more

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Dances With Films Kicks off Its Inaugural New York Edition

Dances With Films (DWF), the Los Angeles-based independent film festival, continues to celebrate its 25th anniversary by expanding to New York City. While the LA edition of the festival took place in June, today marks the beginning of DWF's inaugural NYC iteration, with festival screenings to be hosted at Regal Union Square from December 1 through 4. The lineup features over 70 feature, documentary and short film premieres. "Dances With Films champions independent voices throughout the world, so it was a natural fit to bring our unique brand of festival to the cultural capital of the United States,” festival founders Michael Trent and Leslee Scallon told Filmmaker. “We are currently wrapping up our 25th year and view New York City as…  Read more

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How the Oscar Contending Song “Brasília Bella” Is the Key to Watergate Film 18½

Vondie Curtis Hall, Catherine Curtin, Willa Fitzgerald and John Magaro in 18½

In making my Watergate historical fiction film 18½, I always knew that coming up with a consistent musical soundtrack was going to be essential for balancing the tone of a film that swings from comedy to thriller to drama at breakneck speed. One genre of music, and indeed one song, “Brasília Bella,” is the key to unlocking not only how our team navigated the tones and themes of the film, but also reflects the scale and scope of making an indie film at the high point of a global pandemic. Around 2018, I started working on the script for 18½ with writing/producing partner Daniel Moya. We discussed how our main character, Connie, a White House transcriber (played by Willa Fitzgerald), was…  Read more

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“We Joke That This is a Pre-COVID Movie Made from a Safe Social Distance”: Paweł Łoziński on The Balcony Movie

Four people and a dog seen from the point of view of a balconyThe Balcony Movie

The following interview originally ran as coverage of the Museum of the Moving Image's 2022 First Look festival. The Balcony Movie will screen at MoMI this weekend as part of their series In the Neighborhood: The Films of Paweł Łoziński, running from December 2-4. It is also currently playing on MUBI.—Editor As its title implies, Paweł Łoziński’s The Balcony Movie, which closes this year’s First Look Festival on March 20, is a film shot entirely from a balcony. Which may sound like the worst elevator pitch of all time until one realizes that the balcony belongs to the acclaimed Polish documentarian behind the lens (who also happens to be the son of also esteemed Polish documentarian Marcel Łoziński). Less concept film…  Read more

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Everything Everywhere All at Once Wins Best Feature at 2022 Gotham Awards

Ke Huy Quan as Waymond Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once was the top winner at the 2022 Gotham Awards, which took place at New York City's Cipriani Wall Street on November 28. The film, written and directed by 25 New Face alums Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, took home awards for Best Feature and Outstanding Supporting Performer for Ke Huy Quan's turn as struggling laundromat owner Waymond Wang. "This time last year, all I was hoping for was a job," Quan said during his speech. Other notable winners include Todd Field's TÁR for Best Screenplay and Charlotte Wells's (another former 25 New Face) Aftersun in the Breakthrough Director category. Gracija Filipović took home the Breakthrough Performer award for her role in Murina, directed by Antoneta Alamat…  Read more

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“It Was the Acting Olympics”: Women Talking Star Sheila McCarthy (Back To One: Episode 230)

Ever since her incredible performance in I’ve Heard The Mermaids Singing 35 years ago, Sheila McCarthy has been one of Canada’s most hardworking and reliable actors in theater, television, and film on both sides of the border. In her latest project, she joins a “murderers’ row” lineup of actresses like Judith Ivey, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Frances McDormand, and Rooney Mara in Sarah Polley’s powerful new film Women Talking. On this episode, she talks about how the production was both daunting and exhilarating, why it felt like the “acting olympics,” what having this “extraordinarily ordinary” powerhouse director at the helm brought out of her, plus wonderful stories about a debt owed to Liza Minnelli and a letter that changed Bruce…  Read more

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