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The Editor's Blog

Contemplations and digressions from Filmmaker's Editor-in-Chief by Scott Macaulay

Filmmaker‘s Fall Issue, with Laura Poitras Cover Shot by Jacob Appelbaum, Online Now

Bill Binney and Laura Poitras (Photo by Jacob Applebaum)

Activist, hacker and computer security researcher Jacob Appelbaum, a subject in Laura Poitras’s riveting and important CITIZENFOUR, shot Filmmaker‘s Fall issue cover — an eerie portrait of Poitras at home in Berlin, filmed on discontinued Kodak Color Infrared (EIR) film.

Here, via email, is Appelbaum on the photograph:

I have been shooting with Kodak Color Infrared (EIR) film for the better part of a decade thanks to a kind introduction to the medium by Canadian artist Kate Young. Sadly shortly after discovery of the film, I learned that it was discontinued by Kodak. The film was given an extra lease on life by Dean Bennici. Dean bought a large supply and recut the film for people keen on shooting 35mm, 120, 4×5 and other formats. The cover photo of Laura was shot during the Summer of Snowden with one of the last EIR rolls in my possession.

(For the more technically-inclined, here’s Kodak: “The stock — now only available in sparse quantities — is an infrared-sensitive, ‘false-color’ transparency film on an ESTAR Base. It is intended for various photographic applications where infrared discriminations may yield useful results, such as: artistic, industrial, scientific, and aerial or technical ground photography. The amount of infrared reflectance present at any given time will affect the final color rendition.”)

Also shot by Appelbaum is the above photograph of Poitras and Willian Binney in Berlin. The shots, of course, illustrate our cover feature — a lengthy interview with CITIZENFOUR director Poitras as well as producer and editor Mathilde Bonnefoy. Sitting down with Poitras in Berlin very shortly before the film’s premiere at the New York Film Festival, I walk with her through the timeline of the film, focusing on her dual roles as print journalist and documentary filmmaker, the emotional effects of being surveilled, and, finally, the structural challenge to the film brought upon by her meeting Edward Snowden. Right now, the piece is print only, but I’ll be posting an edited remix of sorts, containing material cut from the print version, online this week before the film’s premiere.

Elsewhere in the issue, Brandon Harris interviews Gone Girl director David Fincher; Kaleem Aftab talks with Mike Leigh about Mr. Turner; Miriam Bale and Dear White People director Justin Simien discuss race and satire; Callum Marsh writes about Ruben Ostland’s Force Majeure; and Alix Lambert speaks with The Overnighters‘s Jesse Moss. In our Line Items section, David Leitner surveys current tech innovations in the world of non-linear editing systems; Esther Robinson continues her look at film and personal finances with an article on filmmakers who work in pairs; and Randy Astle draws out the issue of data visualization in documentary film. There is much more, of course, including our regular columnists. Check out the contents page here.

This issue is on newsstands and in mailboxes beginning this week. Digital subscribers should see this issue midweek in our digital edition, and all print subscribers can log-in to the site to read the entire issue now.

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