“How Much Does the Narrator Know?”: On Turning The Devil All the Time Into A Film At IFP Week 2020

The Devil All the Time

Donald Ray Pollock was a late bloomer. It never occurred to him to become a writer, but when he was 45, having sobered up the previous decade, he had an epiphany. His dad had just retired from the same paper mill at which he worked. “I saw him go home and sit on the couch and pop a beer. And I thought, ‘That’s going to be me in another 20 years,” Pollock said. “And so I started examining what my options might be. All I knew was factory work, but I did love to read. And so I thought, ‘How hard could it be to be a writer?’ Well, a lot harder than I ever thought it would be.” Jump some…  Read more


“Make Sure That What You Have On The Page Is Undeniable”: Black Independent Filmmakers On Going It Alone And Together At IFP Week 2020

Farewell Amor

Filmmakers of color have historically not had an easy path into the film industry. Though that’s been changing over the last few years, there’s a lot to learn from people who’ve had to fight to get their films funded, distributed and seen by audiences. The IFP Week 2020 panel “An Independent Black Filmmaker’s Story: The Journey to Reach Audiences” actually had more than one story. And while the filmmakers all had plenty of advice for those trying to break into an industry becoming gradually more open to non-white creatives, there was one overall message. “Don’t count on anybody else,” said Huriyyah Muhammad, producer of the New York immigrant drama Farewell Amor. “Don’t count on the calvary coming. You are the…  Read more


Back to One, Episode 127: Harry Melling

Some actors steal scenes, Harry Melling’s scenes steal movies. The limb-less thespian in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, the sinister Zuckerberg-like villain in The Old Guard, and now the “spider preacher” Roy Laferty in The Devil All The Time are just some of the characters he’s brought to life, who all feel like they continue to exist beyond their short time on screen. In this episode he talks about his early acting education performing in the Harry Potter films, the importance of “forgetting it all” in order to be in the moment, getting the “invitation” to “play,” and not getting down in Covid time, plus much more! Back To One can be found wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple…  Read more


“I Think This Will Become The New Normal”: NYC Cinema Programmers Talk About Adapting To COVID

In mid-March, New York City movie theaters went dark. The coronavirus pandemic exploded in America, hitting the city harder than anywhere else in the country. While some indoor institutions have partially reopened, including museums and bowling alleys, with indoor dining en route, there still remains, as of this writing, no such plan for places that show films — one of the richest and most diverse aspects of the city’s cultural life. The major multiplex chains are hurting, but so are NYC’s many smaller art house and repertory theaters, who’ve been forced to think way outside of the box to survive, and to do so without much guidance from the local and state leaders. So how are some of these places holding…  Read more


“I Was Doing a Page One Rewrite During Pre-production and Well into Production”: Yuval Adler on The Secrets We Keep

Joel Kinnaman and Noomi Rapace in The Secrets We Keep

Four of the best performances I’ve seen so far this year are all in the same movie, Yuval Adler’s riveting thriller The Secrets We Keep. Noomi Rapace, who also co-produced the film, plays Maja, a Romanian immigrant in post-World War II America who lives a quiet life with her physician husband Lewis (Chris Messina). Their placid existence is upended when Maja becomes convinced that her neighbor Thomas (Joel Kinnaman) is a Nazi who tortured her years before during the war. When Maja kidnaps Thomas and locks him in her basement, the film becomes a morally thorny and extremely suspenseful thriller in which the balance of power continually shifts between Maja, Lewis, and Thomas in fascinating ways. When Thomas’ wife Rachel…  Read more


“We Actually Respond, as Human Beings, to Nuance”: IFP Week 2020 Filmmakers on the Independence in the Time of Pandemic

Dawn Porter's John Lewis: Good Trouble

Going independent is a double-edged sword. On one hand, you have the freedom to do what you want, unencumbered by restrictive bosses. On the other, you lack the support system that comes with working for others. The three filmmakers who participated in the IFP Week 2020 panel "Blurring the Lines of Storytelling: How Do I Get My Story Out," moderated by journalist, author and philanthropist Soledad O’Brien, know that all too well. They’re all independent, free agents who may team up with a corporate monolith now and then but make their own paths. Before she went indie, Ursula Liang, a director and producer whose documentary Down a Dark Stairwell played this year’s True/False, had a cushy job. She worked at ESPN,…  Read more


“There Was No Going Back”: IFP Talks Change, Innovation, Circumstances and the 2020 IFP Week

“Once we said, ‘We’re doing this’, there was no going back,” stated IFP Executive Director Jeffrey Sharp earlier this week, remembering the moment this past March when he and the organization decided that the 42nd edition of IFP Week would go virtual. IFP Week, which began today, was among the first of the Fall film industry events to definitively move online, and it was a risk. “No one knew anything at that moment,” said Sharp about the progression of the pandemic and its impact on the industry. “But it was our board that really encouraged us to move quickly and definitively.” The decision was solidified when IFP’s sponsors agreed to return to the reconfigured event. “We told them, ‘We need…  Read more



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