Click here to read this year’s edition of the 25 New Faces of Film.
Perhaps the simplest way to describe Laura Poitras’s All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is as a conversation between two artists who are committed to the truth potential of lens-based mediums. The film, which won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival and will be released in theaters this fall by NEON, is Poitras’s portrait of Nan Goldin, one of the most celebrated photographers of her generation. What may be less known is that Goldin is also an organizer of campaigns for social justice to which she brings as much fiercely dedicated energy as she does to her photography. […]
From working in the camera department, I can still picture vividly some of the worn-down bodies I observed between takes: DPs, camera operators, ACs, grips and electricians standing at slightly odd angles, gripping their lower backs with one hand like a scissor jack propping up their spines. Whenever a fellow assistant or operator passed me a rig I didn’t have enough strength to hold properly, I would feel my lower back compensating in a way I knew it shouldn’t, and it wasn’t hard for me to understand that that strain might stick around if I kept it up. I heard […]
“Animated movies are usually made by a slow and complex process involving the coordinated efforts of many artists, draftsmen, photographers and other specialists,” begins a curious instructional film Bell Telephone Laboratories Inc. released in 1964. After asserting that with an “electronic computer,” an animator could bypass “tedious” labor, the opening scroll concludes, “this very film was produced entirely by the process which is about to be described.” What follows is a concise and visually fascinating demonstration of BEFLIX (“Bell Flix”), one of the earliest computer animation techniques. Images in the demo—created with a “mosaic” grid of squares, each programmed to […]
Nanny, the feature debut from writer-director Nikyatu Jusu, evokes a truly rebellious spirit, channeling West African folklore as a liberatory chaos agent to confront the xenophobia, racism and misogyny that regularly besets immigrants working as domestic laborers in the United States. Aisha (Anna Diop), a Senegalese woman living in New York City, is initially ecstatic when she lands a gig as a live-in nanny for a wealthy family in Manhattan. Amy (Michelle Monaghan) and Adam (Morgan Spector) appear to be well-intentioned employers, and their daughter Rose (Rose Decker) instantly connects with Aisha. However, she quickly realizes that the family’s swanky […]
Back in the fall of 2021, still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I had come to terms with the apparent fate of my film, The Automat, about the Horn & Hardart automats that operated in the United States from the late nineteenth to late twentieth centuries. The Automat had been accepted to the 2020 edition of the Telluride Film Festival—which was, of course, canceled. But I was alive, and none of my friends and family had perished of COVID. And, while a couple of other festivals I had been invited to chose to not program the film in […]
U know what I hate? Financiers who ghost u after expressing lots of interest, asking for this that & the other thing, mtg w/yr team. I understand financiers who are too busy to reply in 1st place. But what's up w/ones who suddenly go cold after being so hot? DO NOT GHOST ME.❌👻 — Mynette Louie (@mynette) March 3, 2022 On March 2, 2022, Mynette Louie, producer of award-winning films like The Tale and I Carry You with Me, tweeted out the above complaint, railing against what anecdotally appears to be a lamentable industrywide trend of financier ghosting. Filmmakers and […]
Charlotte Wells has been saying that her first feature, which she calls “emotionally autobiographical,” was inspired by leafing through a family album and realizing how young her father was when she was born. A bittersweet aura permeates Aftersun, in which Sophie, just turned 11, spends a week before the start of term with her father, 30-going-on-31 Calum, on vacation at a Turkish hotel, just across the road from the all-inclusive resort where they sneak food from the buffet. Like Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) in Sofia Coppola’s similarly liminal and hotel-set Somewhere, Calum’s arm is initially in a cast—the presumed vestige […]