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“I Was Drawn… to the Pure Mystery of It”: Liz Garbus on Her HBO Doc, Who Killed Garrett Phillips?

Who Killed Garrett Phillips

In 2011 the small town of Potsdam, NY was rocked by an inexplicable atrocity: 12-year-old Garrett Phillips was discovered murdered in his home. The tragedy in turn launched a manhunt, which led to the ex-boyfriend — or rather, one of the ex-boyfriends — of Garrett’s mother Tandy Cyrus being arrested for the crime. Which only led to more questions as this man, Oral “Nick” Hillary, happened to be the beloved soccer coach at Clarkson University. And also one of the few black men in town. Liz Garbus’s Who Killed Garrett Phillips? painstakingly follows the twists and turns that unfolded over the five years from Garrett’s death to Hillary’s trial. Through a treasure trove of materials — including police recordings, courtroom…  Read more

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“There’s This Idea that Filmmakers are Social Workers, Which They’re Not!”: Errol Morris on His Portrait of a Holocaust Revisionist, Mr. Death

The following interview of Errol Morris originally appeared in Filmmaker‘s Fall, 1998 issue. In 1988, Fred A. Leuchter, an engineer from Massachusetts who made a living designing more “humane” electric chairs, was hired by Ernst Zundel, the publisher of several pro-Hitler, Holocaust-denying tracts, to conduct a forensic investigation into the use of poison gas in Nazi concentration camps. On his honeymoon, Leuchter travelled to Auschwitz and, with his wife sitting in the car reading Agatha Christie novels, illegally chipped away at the brick, collecting mortar samples which he transported back to the States. Testing these samples for traces of cyanide gas, Leuchter “proved” that the Holocaust never occurred. Taking these findings, Zundel published The Leuchter Report, which sold millions of copies around…  Read more

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“If I’m Not Nervous About Getting Fired Between Wrap and Dailies…I Probably Didn’t Push Myself Hard Enough”: Cinematographer David Klein Discusses his Emmy-Nominated Work on Deadwood: The Movie

Robin Weigert as Calamity Jane -Photo: Warrick Page/HBO

When HBO pulled the plug on Deadwood a dozen years ago, it left the denizens of the lawless South Dakota boomtown dangling at the end of a Season 3 cliffhanger. The show’s ostensible hero (marshal Seth Bullock, played by Timothy Olyphant) and villain (saloon owner Al Swearengen, played by Ian McShane) were left equally battered and bruised by a common enemy in ruthless mining magnate George Hearst. Imagine if the original Star Wars trilogy ended after The Empire Strikes Back and you’ll get a sense of the incompleteness that has haunted Deadwood fans over the years – myself included. HBO has salved that wound with Deadwood: The Movie, a fitting farewell full of perfectly played grace notes that picks up…  Read more

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Glitches in the Matrix: Adventures in the CGI Wilderness

Homo Economicus

“Working with computer graphics, labor becomes so present in your mind because you’re hunched over a computer for such a long time trying to deliver something that looks right,” the artist Alan Warburton told me. What’s “right” tends to be a seamless and effortless look, which means there is a paradox to the trade—all that work, at best, appears as if it never happened at all.  Warburton’s art practice, which mines his commercial work at post-production studios, departs from these objectives. His labor is noticeable, rather than invisible—imperfect and unfinished in projects like his animation series Homo Economicus (2018). That series is reminiscent of Robert Longo’s Men in the Cities for an “auto-fill, auto-content-aware generation,” as the bodies of three…  Read more

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Cindy Silver: The Dancer, Teacher, Mother, Reluctantly Abides In Cutting My Mother

Cutting My Mother

“I’m not an editor… I’m not a director. I’m also not an actress.” But Cindy Silver is the mother, teacher, and compliant subject of her son, writer and director Nathan Silver (Stinking Heaven, Thirst Street), who asks his mother to act in nearly all of his films. In his new docuseries Cutting My Mother, playing Anthology Film Archives today beside Exit Elena (also featuring Cindy), he asks more of her than he ever has before. He asks her to direct her own film. [Silver’s short, Solo, plays at the Anthology as part of the program.] As a child, Nathan drew depictions of his mother with scars and his father, Harvey, shot portraits of her on black and white film. She’d…  Read more

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Filmmaking

Image courtesy of Carolyn Funk

The 24 Films (More or Less) Shot on 35mm Released in 2018

For five years, I’ve been rounding up the previous year’s US theatrical releases of films shot, in whole or significant part, on 35mm—yes, this year’s tally is lower than any of my previous totals. The total number is unlikely to soar above 40 anytime in…  Read more

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Apr 24, 2019

Festivals & Events

Parasite

Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite Wins Cannes Palme d’Or; Mati Diop’s Atlantics Picks Up Grand Prix

South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s dark social satire/thriller Parasite won the Cannes Film Festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or. It’s the first time a Korean director has won the award, and jury president Alejandro González Iñárritu said the jury was unanimous. First-time French-Senegalese feature filmmaker…  Read more

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on May 25, 2019

 

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