Click here to read this year’s 25 New Faces of Film.
Photography was all over the New York City art world of the late 1980s. There was the Pictures Generation—artists like Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger and Laurie Simmons, who began in the mid ’70s and whose conceptual use of appropriated or staged photographs cast a critical and sometimes seductive eye at the way mass media imagery shaped consciousness. Jeff Wall, Philip-Lorca diCorcia and, later, Gregory Crewdson were bringing the staging techniques of film and theater to photographs charged with emotional and narrative possibility. And the work of photographers of an earlier generation, like Diane Arbus and Robert Frank, was still highly […]
March 16, 2019: Barbara Hammer died today. On this sad occasion we’re reposting this article from our Fall, 2018 edition — a conversation this extraordinary filmmaker at Temple University with Elisabeth Subrin, Sarah Drury, and a number of attending students. It’s a talk that covers her early years as an artist, her process for making work, and, finally, her thoughts on illness and end of life. *** On May 2, 2018, legendary filmmaker Barbara Hammer was honored at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she was awarded its Department of Film and Media Arts Annual Tribute Award, selected by the film […]
In September 2015, I launched a Kickstarter campaign—a tongue-in-cheek effort to raise $308 to make 12 hats embroidered with the word “movies.” Three years later, I find myself president of Movies Brand, a company that has released more than 30 products emblazoned with the word “movies,” worn by the likes of Mel Brooks, Josh Safdie, Ana Lily Amirpour, Larry Karaszewski and some 2,000 others. So, how did a Kickstarter joke turn into a real business? Well, it depends on what you mean by a real business. Some background may be in order here. My first love wasn’t hats. It was […]
I’m not sure whether or not Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria is a masterpiece, but I’m certain that it warrants being compared to quite a few films that are. The one that immediately sprang to mind when the lights came up was The Godfather. With The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola took the gangster movie and attempted to expand its emotional range and social and political themes without sacrificing the visceral pleasures of genre filmmaking. Guadagino’s Suspiria attempts to do something similar with the horror film, with a startling degree of success. Here is a curious fact of film history. Though horror movies […]
The good news: Film festivals and film-support organizations in the United States have never been more vocal in their support of underrepresented filmmakers. At Sundance 2018, the number of films made by women (37%) and people of color (more than 30 projects) was at an all-time high. And other events are following suit. But the bad news is that the independent film business’s gatekeepers—the programmers and critics who have the power to make or break these films in the marketplace—remain an #IndustrySoWhiteandMale. To be sure, there have been gains in these areas. This May, Sundance hired Kim Yutani as its […]
“The discovering began after I moved to Alabama in 2009 to teach photography and coach basketball. Photographing in my day-to-day, I began filming using time to figure out how we’ve come to be seen.” — RaMell Ross, Hale County This Morning, This Evening The film Hale County This Morning, This Evening defies easy summary. It’s an ontological inquiry: a pushback against dominant narratives of what it means to be black in the historic South, an invitation to the African American diaspora to return to its roots and participate in the reimaging of blackness. It’s also a poetic exaltation of two young […]
“All it takes is one good egg.” This refrain is uttered more than a few times throughout the course of Tamara Jenkins’s Private Life, her first feature since 2007’s The Savages. A meditation on marriage, middle age and the haves and have-not’s of fertility, the film stars Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti as an artist couple—she’s a writer, and he runs both a theater group and an artisanal pickle company—desperate to conceive in their 40s. While the pair loads up on IVF hormones and diminishing hopes, they must also make room in their realistically cozy East Village apartment for their […]