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“We Needed a Killer Concept Trailer”: Jim LeBrecht and Nicole Newnham on Crip Camp, Battling the Health Care System and Working with the Obamas

Crip Camp

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

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True/False Film Fest 2020: The Value of the Theatrical Experience (Coronavirus Remix)

How to Disappear

"You guys are going to spend the next year stuck quarantined with buskers," a friend wrote on my way to True/False, which seemed to be sliding just under the wire of possibility even before I got there--a foreboding confirmed by day two, when SXSW became the first film festival to cancel. Onscreen, every handshake and hug was charged with an unintended jolt; in the theaters, elbow bumps were exchanged, nervous jokes made and telltale pools of soapy foam collected at the bottom of bathroom sinks. On its last day, True/False added one of SXSW's now-homeless premieres, a special by (noted landlords' rights advocate) Hannibal Buress, to the lineup. Drawn by the unexpected light of stand-up comedy, a line of hundreds…  Read more

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“People Live on Hope When There’s Limited Freedom”: DP/Director Gonzalo Amat on The Man in the High Castle and SEAL Team

Gonzalo Amat on set

Two of the most elegantly directed and photographed shows on television and streaming right now—and two of the most disparate in terms of their visual style and tone—share a common filmmaker, cinematographer and director Gonzalo Amat. I first became aware of Amat’s work as director of photography on The Man in the High Castle, Amazon’s bold and nerve-shredding adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s sci-fi novel that imagines an alternate America ruled by Japanese and German powers following a US loss in World War II. In its fourth and final season, The Man in the High Castle jumps between multiple realities and dimensions, juggling dozens of major characters without ever losing its penetrating emotional focus, thanks to consistently strong writing and…  Read more

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Sheltering in Place: The Independent Film Community Faces the Coronavirus Shutdown

It was February, 2020. At New York’s Steiner studios, the largest studio lot outside of LA, people were busily prepping Lin Manuel Miranda’s highly anticipated directorial debut, Tik, Tik…Boom! The movie was set to begin shooting in two weeks, and Jessie Pellegrino, a seasoned assistant prop master, paused her work to sit through a mandatory Netflix HR meeting. Near the end of the session, one of her colleagues raised his hand. “What’s Netflix’s plan for us if coronavirus forces our shoot to shut down?” The HR rep responded the best she could at the time. They were working on it; they were tracking it closely. Pellegrino remembers finding the question alarmist. But it stuck in her mind like a mental…  Read more

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Back to One, Episode 104: Miriam Shor

Miriam Shor is unrecognizable as Lorraine Ela in the powerful new Netflix film Lost Girls. It’s the kind of performance that doesn’t feel performed, that doesn’t get recognized often because it’s invisible. We talk about that phenomenon this half hour, and break down a hilarious moment from the show Younger, where Shor played the beloved character Diana Trout. She talks about the importance of feeling like she is in collaboration with a director, and how being cast in a role you don’t think you’re “right for” can help you grow. 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…  Read more

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“You Staying Healthy?”: Joel Potrykus Pandemic-Calls Indie Film Dudes

Writer/director Joel Potrykus, who broke down the anxieties of the filmmaking process recently for Filmmaker, is doing what a lot of us are doing in this time of quarantine: checking in to see how our friends are doing. Here, in a video by Ashley Young, he lets us eavesdrop as he finds out how folks like director Dustin Guy Defa, Oscilloscope's Dan Berger, Neon Indian's Alan Palomo,  Indiewire's Eric Kohn and the harder-to-get writer/director Alex Ross Perry are handling the isolation.

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Lessons To Be Learned From Ida

Ida

One unexpected silver lining of this global pandemic has been the sudden gift of extra time – hours that otherwise would have been spent on school pickups and commutes – and when I’m not engaged in trying to entertain a restless three-year-old, I’m happy to squander some of it on watching old movies. One of my favorite films of the past decade is Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida.  Pawlikowski gained more widespread attention for his 2018 film, Cold War, but it’s Ida, a comparatively small film about a nun novitiate, that feels like a perfect one for this very strange moment in time. The story is set in Poland in the early 1960s, a place still reeling from the effects of war and dominated…  Read more

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Filmmaker’s Spring, 2020 Issue Online and Un-Paywalled

Talia Ryder in Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Courtesy of Focus Features)

Filmmaker's Spring 2020 issue is now online, arriving in mailboxes, and at whatever newsstands and bookstores that are still open amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. And because so many of us are working from home, sheltering in place, or on some form of lockdown, we've released every article from the paywall and are also providing to all a link to a free PDF of the entire issue. As Managing Editor Vadim Rizov wrote in a tweet, the issue's runlist is one organized around something of a now-phantom slate of films and topics. Going to press at the end of February, the calendar it assumed -- one in which certain feature films methodically rolled out throughout the Spring, in which filmmakers looked to our…  Read more

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