Releasing tomorrow, January 1, 2021, on digital platforms is Thomas Balmès’s Sing Me a Song, which finds the French documentarian returning to the town of Laya in Bhutan, the scene of his excellent 2014 documentary Happiness, to learn how one of its subjects, an eight-year-old monk named Peyangki who’s now a teenager, is dealing with the late arrival to his monastery of the internet and social media. Needless to say, the combination of adolescence and technology has created profound changes in Peyangki’s life — changes that provide insight into the ways in which these forms of communication have changed all […]
The first trailer for Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, which has been scoring critic’s nods all season (it just place first in Indiewire’s critic’s poll), just dropped. Wrote Steve Dollar out of the New York Film Festival, “McDormand’s performance, which maps as much brooding interiority as it surveys Fran’s uncertain road ahead, is the unvarnished, flinty thing Oscar nominations are made of, and the mutual intensity of focus that she shares with Zhao locks in on the most minor of details. It’s a story of ‘how’ as much as ‘why,’ and the way scenes build up out of the smallest moments, glances, […]
Eli Daughdrill, who posted here in 2017 during the crowdfunding campaign for his new feature, Faith, now sees that film finished, in release, and with a new trailer. It’s a picture about faith and religion that, as Lindsey Dunn writes at 1 of My Stories, avoids the tropes of faith-based storytelling and “offers representation of a Christian in crisis in a way that feels authentic, refreshing, and uncomfortable.” Check out the trailer above and find the film on-demand through Vertical Entertainment at iTunes, Amazon Video and more.
Opening in theaters and on demand January 15, 2021 from Magnolia Pictures is the debut feature from documentary filmmaker Lance Oppenheim, Some Kind of Heaven. Featured in Filmmaker‘s 2019 25 New Faces, Oppenheim makes documentaries that are as attuned to their subjects’ interior lives — their fears, dreams, insecurities and aspirations — as to their physical surroundings. “How fantasy informs the way people live their lives, the camera has to do the same,” he told me when I interviewed him. “The only way to get into these people’s lives and their stories is to accurately depict the headspace they are […]
In my 25 New Face profile of Victoria Rivera, I quoted the writer/director on how, for her upcoming ocean-set feature Malpelo, she and her producer are exploring using the virtual background technology recently employed by The Mandalorian. The benefits of this technique are explained nicely in this Vox video, in which Charmaine Chan, a compositor who has worked for ILM, shows how virtual backgrounds improve upon traditional green screens in various ways, including lighting and camera movement.
The pandemic has upended many film anniversary tribute plans, as well as inspired others. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Darren Aronofsky’s iconic Hubert Selby adaptation, Requiem for a Dream, its soundtrack players, the Kronos Quartet, perform composer Clint Mansell’s now iconic theme. Of course, they’re appropriately distanced and masked. Listen here to a lovely version of a track that’s graced countless indie film mood reels in the two decades since its composition. Lionsgate has released a new 4K Blu-ray edition of the film you can read about here.
Netflix has just dropped the first teaser for Mank, David Fincher’s first film since 2014’s Gone Girl. Working from a script by his late father, Jack, Mank re-examines the writing of Citizen Kane. Its title hints at the presumed agenda, which is to re-litigate the issue of whether screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz was the true force behind Orson Welles’s debut. It’s worth noting that Jack Fincher never had a screenplay credited to him in his life, although his IMDb page claims that “He once wrote a Howard Hughes biopic before it was decided to go with John Logan [sic] script for The Aviator (2004) instead.” Mank is […]
We’re pleased to share the exclusive trailer premiere for Tyler Taormina’s Ham on Rye, which will be released virtually on October 23rd in 20+ theaters nationwide. An unorthodox teen coming-of-age movie with an increasingly sinister twist whose details are best left unspoiled, Taormina’s debut feature premiered at last year’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival before making its international premiere at Locarno. DP and co-producer Carson Lund wrote an essay for us last year about the film’s microbudget production, and specifically four lessons learned from the process of making Ham on Rye, which deployed over 100 cast members on a number of outdoor locations with […]
People are shooting again. And as film production lurches forward amidst a mass of new protocols and restrictions, Film Finances has brought together members of their own working group — both company executives and producers — as well as producers who have been working in the field to discuss shooting in the age of coronavirus. Among the topics discussed in this very informative webinar are: * What percentage of a film’s budget should be allocated towards Covid-19 compliance? * What’s the job of the Health Safety Supervisor, and what should their team look like? * The use of apps to […]
In the brisk, 43-minute anthology film, Cinema-19, a group of experimental filmmakers respond to the coronavirus pandemic with diverse and imaginative results. The films are all 190 seconds long and, say the curator/organizers, filmmakers Usama Alshaibi and Adam Sekuler, “do not attempt to summarize the pandemic, but instead focus on the personal, the political, the sensual, the distant, the abstract, and the absurd.” Highlights include Courtney Stephen‘s poetic essay film on irises, hundreds of which she encountered on walks in the five-mile radius she and her mother were confined to during quarantine. (“This is a trick,” she says in voiceover. […]