Although this video essay by Sareesh Sudhakaran is called “How Ridley Scott Covers a Dialogue Scene,” it more accurately investigates the ways in which Scott uses blocking and perspective to foreshadow the more sinister events of his 1979 mega-hit Alien. In breaking down the three scenes set inside the Nostromo’s dining area, Sudhakaran also draws attention to the more tradition applications of blocking, via its reinforcement of the shifting power dynamics amongst the crew. Check it out above.
French-born, LA-living filmmaker Alexandre Nahon premieres his directorial debut, Burning Shadow, tonight at the Miami Beach Cinematheque as part of its Art Basel screening series. The film, which has been described as having a Lynch or Cronenbergian vibe, is a take on one of my favorite storylines — the doppelganger tale, this time set in a City of Angels neo-noir universe. Filmmaker readers will recognize Nahon from his roles in Julie Delpy’s 2 Days films. Following the premiere, there will be the opening at the same venue of Nahon’s 3D 35mm photo show, “I Will Take You Out of Here,” […]
In The Morning After an interracial lesbian couple wake up the day after the 2016 general election to find their world changed. They drag their tired bodies out of bed to have brunch with one of the women’s fathers, who presents a charming, welcoming veneer despite his soon-to-be revealed political leanings. Written and directed by Lauren Minnerath, and starring Taylor Hess (a Filmmaker contributing editor) and Adenike Thomas, the short film methodically dissects an already tense instance of “meet the parents,” made all the more trying by the present circumstance. Check it out above.
One of the very best shorts of the year has made its way online. Actor David Call wrote, directed and stars in Cole, an elliptical drama about a combat veteran who’s suffered a traumatic brain injury and is struggling to reintegrate himself into the working world. With a steady, almost minimalist approach, Call relays the quotidian rejection that his character faces to heartbreaking effect. Check it out above.
From Troiscoleurs (Nicolas Longinotti) comes this sublime supercut based around a beautifully elegiac premise: what would be the effect of looking at the first shot of a director’s feature filmography alongside their last? What message is spoken, what story is told, either deliberately or by chance, by a split screen that crosses decades? While many of these filmmakers — who include Hitchcock, Renoir, Fassbinder and Ozu — may not have expected their final film to have been their last, some of these final shots contain more than an intimation of mortality. (The Tarkovsky first-last combination here is particularly striking.) From […]
New York-based animator Alexa Lim Haas made Filmmaker‘s 25 New Faces list in 2017 while her lovely short Agua Viva was still in post. With the film appearing on Vimeo this week, where it received a Staff Pick, now both we and all of you can experience it in its fully-inked glory. Agua Viva, which depicts the inner life of an immigrant Chinese nail salon worker in Miami, premiered at Sundance and Rotterdam this year and won jury prizes at SXSW and Dallas. It received quite a bit of support, including the Borscht Corp’s #NoBroZone Grant, the Time Warner 1st […]
Indiewire Senior Film Critic David Ehrlich’s “best movies of the year” supercut is always an amazing watch, a video in which individual cuts, sequences, and music intros generate dopamine hits as you silently, or while singing along, endorse and possibly decry some of the individual selections. This year’s edition, at 13 minutes-plus, is no exception. I was happy to see here a number of personal favorites here alongside Ehrlich recommendations that I haven’t seen yet (Paddington 2!) as well an opening section that draws from the trippy ending of Alex Garland’s underrated Annihilation.
On the heels of Nicolas Roeg and Ricky Jay, the movies lost another major figure today with the passing of the Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci. Bertolucci leaves behind something of complicated legacy, especially given Hollywood’s current sociopolitical climate. His treatment of Maria Schneider on the set of The Last Tango in Paris has led some to decry his standing, while others lament that such indiscretions are “in danger of [overshadowing]” his work. Whichever side of the aisle you may fall on, it’s hard to deny his eye for staging a scene. Above is one of the most memorable sequences from one of […]
The critic Adam Nayman has a new book out, with the self-explanatory title The Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together. It’s one of those large Abrams doorstops, like Matt Zoller Seitz’s books on Wes Anderson and Oliver Stone — filled with glossy, well-chosen pictures as well as thoughtful, eloquent analysis that more than justifies their literal heavy-osity. Nayman has now taken part in a new video for TIFF, where he focuses in on one of the themes running throughout his film-by-film essays: the notion of circularity in the films of Joel and Ethan Coen. Nayman starts with […]
Olivier Assayas speaks eloquently about his own work, able to talk about them both abstractly and practically. No surprise, then, that he’s as sharp when talking about other filmmakers’ films. A new video from TIFF finds the acclaimed French filmmaker — most recently of Non Fiction, Personal Shopper and Clouds of Sils Maria, and whose 1994 classic Cold Water was reissued earlier this year — talking Ingmar Bergman. Specifically he discusses Persona, the Swedish legend’s game-changing 1966 whatzit, about a caretaker (Bibi Andersson) tending to a damaged actress (Liv Ullmann). Bergman, according to Assayas, showed “that you could be both […]