Featured

They Came From Within: Bong Joon-ho on Parasite

Parasite

“This is so metaphorical!” Ki-woo’s metatextual reaction to the unlikely gift of a stone from his friend Min early in Bong Joon- ho’s Palme d’Or–winning Parasite isn’t the film’s most startling moment, but it’s an early jolt that both sets and undermines viewer expectations. Ki-woo (wide-eyed Choi Woo-shik—Okja, Train to Busan) lives in an underground apartment with his underemployed family, including humbled but unvanquished father Ki-taek (Bong regular Song Kang-ho, unsurprisingly great) and scheming sister Ki-jung (Park So-dam, cynical and hilarious). When Ki-woo becomes a tutor for the daughter of a rich family, the action settles into that family’s stunning modern abode, and the lines appear to be set for a straight-up class-war narrative—perhaps a “social thriller,” even. But the…  Read more

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NYFF 2019: Bacurau, Varda by Agnès and The Irishman

Udo Kier and Sonia Braga in Bacurau

A number of cinematic styles, narrative modes, and political agendas collide in Bacurau, one of two South American films on NYFF’s Main Slate this year. Urgent, yet vague enough to feel timeless, the film depicts a form of unhinged white supremacy in the outback of northern Brazil. We’re told up top, quite ominously, that Bacurau takes place “a few years from now,” as if to suggest that the wholly irrational racism herein is just around the corner. An angry movie, at once frightening and funny, it’s bound to rattle viewers aesthetically, politically, or both. Bacurau, a fictional town, is already at a crisis before quasi-colonialist maniacs show up. There’s little in the way of clean water, vaccines, or cell service.…  Read more

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Made For These Times: Ulrich Köhler on In My Room

Hans Löw in In My Room

Ulrich Köhler’s In My Room begins with what looks like a DCP glitch. The view is from a handheld news camera entering a press conference scrum, its operator confirming in voiceover that he’s rolling while roaming from lectern to lectern. Each time an official statement is delivered, the image cuts to the aftermath—the as-yet-unseen cameraman, Armin (Hans Löw), has confused the “off” and “on” switch, and the inadvertent B-roll he shot is unusable. All of Armin’s life is similarly shabbily disarrayed: At a club, he picks up a young lady and brings her home, but an ill-phrased refusal to let her use his toothbrush sends her packing. After being chewed out at work, Armin leaves the city, heading first for…  Read more

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The Future of iPhone Filmmaking with FiLMiC Creator Neill Barham

Four camera angles displayed on the iPhone with FiLMiC Pro

Since Sean Baker’s Tangerine hit the scene as the first feature film shot on iPhone, more filmmakers have embraced mobile production as a viable filmmaking tool. Steven Soderbergh shot Unsane and High Flying Bird on an iPhone 8. Claude Lelouch shot over 30% of his latest film, The Best Years of a Life, on an iPhone and loved the experience so much that his next film (not yet released) was shot entirely on an iPhone. Behind all these iPhone-lensed features there has always been one go-to app: FiLMiC Pro. FiLMiC Pro unlocks professional-level control over the phone’s camera, including exposure, focus, color temperature, LOG recording, live shot analytics and many other features. I got a chance to chat with Neill…  Read more

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Back to One, Episode 78: Cassidy Freeman

The wise and talented Cassidy Freeman plays Amber, wife of Danny McBride’s character Jesse, on the hilarious new HBO comedy series The Righteous Gemstones. She talks about the wonderful troupe mentality on that show, what acting in 60+ episodes of Smallville did to build her craft early in her career, the importance of creativity for the actor, plus much more! Back To One can be found wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher. And if you’re enjoying what you are hearing, please subscribe and rate us! Photo credit: Catie Lafoon

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Ungentrified: Production Designer Scott Dougan and Visual Effects Supervisor Jim Rider on The Deuce

Illustration for The Deuce (David Swayze/HBO)

David Simon’s latest HBO series, The Deuce (co-created with George Pelecanos), represents another entry in a career-spanning investigation of institutional corruption and decay, this time focusing on the sex and pornography industry in New York City during the 1970s. Primarily viewed through the eyes of bartender and club owner Vincent Martino (James Franco) and sex worker-turned-pornographer Eileen “Candy” Merrell (Maggie Gyllenhaal), The Deuce uses the sex trade as a microcosm for various developments in late-stage capitalism, including gentrification and urban renewal.  As the series shifts periods over the course of its three-season run—1971–1972 in the first season, 1978 in the second and 1985 in the third, currently being filmed—we see how the Times Square area becomes an intersection for a…  Read more

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“Here I Am, a Stranger, Texting Children”: Michael Beach Nichols on Wrinkles the Clown

Wrinkles the Clown

It’s tempting to sum up this weekend’s pop culture focus as rooted in chronic coulrophobia. As Todd Phillips’s Joker, the latest big screen incarnation of the DC Comics ubervillan, opens across 4,000 theaters, a fear of clowns (coupled with a pathetic lack of common sense gun laws) has collectively stricken the country. Temporary bans have been put in place that discourage moviegoers from adorning clown makeup, security amped up for extensive bag checks, and theater chains encouraged to emphasize Joker’s well-earned, hard R-rating. Has the mere thought of clowning (that is, the obscuring of identity under facepaint) brought about an unfathomable mass hysteria? That collective fear is at the forefront of Wrinkles the Clown, the latest documentary from Michael Beach…  Read more

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“We Didn’t Try to Colonize the Boy in Making the Film”: The Dardenne Brothers on Young Ahmed

Claire Bodson and Idir Ben Addi in Young Ahmed

For 20 years running, the films of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have confronted a single fundamental facet of modern life: class. From their breakout La Promesse (1996) to The Unknown Girl (2016), the messy tangle of money, employment, and morality has defined their work. The brothers take a hard turn, in subject if not style, with Young Ahmed. The film debuted at Cannes, like their previous seven features, where it won the Best Director prize earlier this year. Despite that honor–which they won over Almodóvar, Tarantino, and Malick among other heavyweights–the film has earned the harshest reviews of the Dardennes’ career. Unlike the universal acclaim that greeted Two Days, One Night (2014), Young Ahmed has divided (at best) critics and festival…  Read more

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Festivals & Events

This Action Lies

TIFF 2019, Last Days: Uncut Gems, Atlantis, Jallikattu, This Action Lies

At Marriage Story‘s TIFF premiere, the audience applauded the Netflix logo; a night later, the same happened for A24 at Uncut Gems. The latter makes slightly more sense—rightly or wrongly (no comment), A24 has coherent brand cachet in positioning itself as Art-Fixated rather than purely profit-motivated—but…  Read more

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on Sep 16, 2019

 

@FilmmakerMag

  • @vrizov Yeah, the motorcycle scene. Odd reference for a headline.
  • RT @ScreenSlate: Want to see the experimental films that inspired Ad Astra? Tonight @gregzinman & @GoldsmithLeo, scholars/curators who con…
  • RT @awards_watch: PARASITE is looking at a $348,000 weekend and a $116,290 per-theater average, making it the best per screen debut of the…
  • RT @seanoneal: I once interviewed Robert Forster for a profile of David Lynch. He gave me all these incredible extemporaneous replies—fully…
  • Here’s a Giorno piece I always loved, “Its a Mistake to Think You’re Special.” youtu.be/TVoVTIKRauo
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