Spring 2019

Elementary Force: Claire Denis on High Life

No one expected Claire Denis to soften with age. At 72, the French auteur has been a daring and unpredictable force in cinema for three decades now. After delivering last year’s talky romantic comedy Let the Sunshine In, which offered the unexpected sight of Gérard Depardieu as a lovesick psychic, Denis has returned with a certified leap into the unknown.  High Life is the filmmaker’s first English-language film, her first science fiction foray, and her first featuring eye-popping CGI. Boasting an international cast that includes Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Mia Goth and André Benjamin, and set to be released by […]



On Decks: The Art (and Necessity) of the Independent Film Lookbook

Lookbooks are an increasingly vital part of the filmmaking process. A good lookbook can make a pitch, just as a bad one can dissuade an investor, producer or financier from a project. Yet the creation of lookbooks is rarely discussed. The topic is missing from the many labs and tutorial programs set up to help first-time filmmakers—even though a good lookbook is perhaps the quickest way for a project to stand out. Simply put, refined visual knowledge and the skillful conveying of that knowledge is power for a director. When we interviewed Reed Morano last year about her work on […]

  • Locked in Rage: Writer/Director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre on The Mustang

    A wild horse is captured, transported to a prison facility where he will be “broken,” or trained, in a program that doubles as a form of therapy for the inmates inside. A broken man is released from solitary confinement into the main population, where his ability to banish his anger is dependent on the relationship he forges with that horse, a brilliant brown mustang. The Mustang, the first feature from Paris-born, LA-based filmmaker Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, is an artfully restrained, quietly moving film built around the most elemental of oppositions: freedom vs. imprisonment, man vs. animal, violence vs. self-control. And […]

  • Moonshot: Todd Douglas Miller on Apollo 11

    Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11, which premiered at this year’s Sundance, originated from the simple idea of using archival footage to revisit, in time for its 50th anniversary, the first moon landing. For those who’ve grown up watching the same images trotted out over and over—Neil Armstrong bouncing on the moon, a burning ring of fire propelling itself backwards toward Earth as Apollo leaves the planet—the premise seems tedious and redundant, an ossified staple of Baby Boomer montages regularly intercut alongside clips of Woodstock and the Vietnam War, now freshly recharged by nationalistic rumblings about a space force. And as […]

  • Digital Haves and Have-Nots: Disappearing SVOD Deals and Independent Film

    Subscription streaming services are dominating the independent film marketplace—in more ways than you think.  Yes, Amazon dropped nearly $50 million at Sundance to buy several movies, and Netflix spent another $25 million in the days and weeks that followed. Beyond inflating acquisition costs over industry norms, the outsized influence of the over-the-top new media giants are affecting all sectors of the distribution business. Some industry veterans suggest this isn’t so different from previous bullish markets when well-heeled specialty divisions like the Weinstein Company or Fox Searchlight drove up prices. “Sundance has been competitive for years, so I’m not sure it’s […]


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Also: Lookbook Case Study: 306 Hollywood Lookbook Case Study: A Woman, A Part Lookbook Case Study: About a Mountain Women-Only Space Breathe Deep Editor’s Letter

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