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Canon Reformation (4): Vanilla Sky, Dig!

Tom Cruise in Vanila Sky

Low on the list of "unexpected things in the last two months that wouldn't have occurred under pre-pandemic circumstances" but still notable: Rachel Handler publishing a long interview on Vulture with Cameron Crowe about Vanilla Sky. This is an infamously unloved movie, the beginning of Crowe's decadent phase when he (unjustly) became something of a punchline, and regardless any retrospective defense/look back would logically happen next December, in time for the 20th anniversary. The current prompt, of course, is the eerie opening of Tom Cruise running through a totally empty Times Square, which, as they say, hits different now: "We were told so often when it happened, 'Take a good look. This will never happen again,'" Crowe marvels in Vulture. "It’s…  Read more

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Hot Docs 2020: Doc-Makers Discuss the Newly Virtual Deal Maker and Distribution Rendezvous Programs

#BLESSED

Hot Docs was one of the first of the Spring, 2020 film festivals to forge ahead through the pandemic chaos and reemerge on the online side as a more streamlined event. North America’s largest doc fest took the hybrid approach of postponing public screenings while providing a Hot Docs at Home streaming option to those social distancing in Canada. It also transferred its conference and market to the digital realm. Hot Docs also expanded its industry running dates to a whopping full month (April 30-May 31) of online accessibility, uploading everything from the “Why Art Matters in a Time of Crisis” keynote address by Kenyan filmmaker Sam Soko (director of the Sundance-premiering doc Softie), to live streamed panel discussions like “Surviving…  Read more

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Hot Docs 2020: Decision Makers Discuss the Newly Virtual Edition of the Forum, Deal Maker and Distribution Rendezvous

Hot Docs was one of the first of the Spring, 2020 film festivals to forge ahead through the pandemic chaos and reemerge on the online side as a more streamlined event. North America’s largest doc fest took the hybrid approach of postponing public screenings while providing a Hot Docs at Home streaming option to those social distancing in Canada. It also transferred its conference and market to the digital realm. Hot Docs also expanded its industry running dates to a whopping full month (April 30-May 31) of online accessibility, uploading everything from the “Why Art Matters in a Time of Crisis” keynote address by Kenyan filmmaker Sam Soko (director of the Sundance-premiering doc Softie), to live streamed panel discussions like “Surviving…  Read more

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“I Believe That Post-María Puerto Rico Functions Like a Handbook For Our Times”: Director Cecilia Aldarondo on Her Hurricane María Doc, Landfall

Landfall

2017’s Hurricane María was an undeniable disaster, borne most brutally by the thousands who died in Puerto Rico during the storm and those who were left to mourn them. But as Cecilia Aldarondo’s new documentary Landfall makes clear, there is nothing ‘natural’ about the devastation -- before, during, and after the hurricane -- that the people of Puerto Rico have had to endure. A haunting meditation on the aftershocks of crisis and the trauma of state failure, Landfall is an exquisite film, by turns tender and compassionate, cinematically adventurous and self-assured, and politically unflinching in its indictment of those moneyed interests now feasting on the US colony’s organized neglect.  When the film opens all is silent but for two voices speaking quietly…  Read more

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“The Most Important Thing in an Image is the Feeling That What You’re Seeing is Completely True — Like an Accident….”: Bruno Santamaría on his Hot Docs Digital-Debuting Things We Dare Not Do

Things We Dare Not Do

Executive produced by Laura Poitras and Charlotte Cook, and making its debut at this year’s (virtual) Hot Docs, Bruno Santamaría’s Things We Dare Not Do is a stunning look at the small Mexican town of Roblito through the eyes of its deeply impoverished, yet happy-go-lucky, youngsters. Serving as mother hen to the carefree kids,  for whom random violence seems no more noteworthy than water delivery day or a taco snack, is 16-year-old Ñoño. Though the vivacious teen’s exploration of his own gender identity forms the basis of the film’s title, Things We Dare Not Do is no mere coming out saga. It’s a visually risk-taking, multilayered portrait of growing up and learning to live out loud. Filmmaker took the opportunity to…  Read more

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“Stay Open to the Moose Head on the Table”: Director Lesli Linka Glatter on Homeland, Learning from Lynch and Spielberg, and Resuming Production

Lesli Linka Glatter on the set of Homeland

Lesli Linka Glatter began her career in the arts as a choreographer and dancer, and this early experience clearly informs her work as a director. On shows as varied in genre and style as Twin Peaks, NYPD Blue, True Blood and Mad Men, one thing remains consistent when Glatter is at the helm: an astute attention to the dramatic rhythms that are created by finding the precise visual corollary for whatever is going on emotionally in a scene. Hers is a cinema of extreme precision, defined by clear, bold choices when it comes to her compositions and rigorous control over light and color; it’s no surprise to learn that one of her mentors was Steven Spielberg. Yet as Glatter notes…  Read more

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IFP Week 2020 Will Go Virtual

Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP, and Filmmaker's publisher) announced today that the 2020 edition of its long-running signature program, IFP Week, will be virtual. The program, which has drawn thousands of directors, producers, screenwriters, financiers and executives to panels, workshops and one-on-one meeting events in IFP's Brooklyn home, will, this September 20 - 25, take place through digital platforms. The announcement today makes IFP one of the first film organizations to announce a virtual Fall event in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. “Given the ever-changing landscape of today’s world we have decided to host IFP Week virtually this year to provide a safe and creative vision for the event, while also providing an opportunity for us to expand our reach to…  Read more

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Back to One, Episode 109: Brian Cox

He was an acting legend before Succession, but Brian Cox’s brilliant portrayal of Logan Roy on the smash hit HBO series just might put him in the pantheon. He gets deep into the psychology of that iconic character on this episode and takes us back to his early days of discovering Shakespeare, creating the role of Hannibal Lecter in Manhunter, learning the importance of cultivating mystery in a character, freeing himself in the work, and not taking his characters home with him. 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! Follow Back To One on…  Read more

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