Spring 2022

Alexander Skarsgård in Robert Eggers’s The Northman

O, Vengeance! — Robert Eggers on His Bloody Viking Epic, The Northman

Soft-spoken but direct in his goals, Robert Eggers is dedicated to precise historical accuracy—even though the filmmaking process can prove painful. The director’s previous two films, the 19th century-set The Lighthouse and the 17th century horror film The Witch, were released by A24 to critical acclaim. Now, Eggers travels further back in time for his largest production yet, The Northman, a bloody 10th century Viking epic that’s equally brutal and poetic.  In the opening minute, young Amleth (Oscar Novak)—son of King Aurvandil (Ethan Hawke) and Queen Gudrún (Nicole Kidman)—is horrified to witness his mother kidnapped and his noble father slain […]

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Features

Anna Cobb in We’re All Going to the World’s Fair

Portal to Portal: Jane Schoenbrun on We’re All Going to the World’s Fair

The central promotional image for We’re All Going to the World’s Fair is of a young girl, covered in glow-in-the-dark paint, holding up a googly eye to her face as she barrels toward a laptop camera. This is Casey: She is a kid, and she is on the internet and she is in her bedroom, alone. The film takes its name from its own invented World’s Fair Challenge, an internet myth that causes something dark to alter within its participants. Sources vary on what exactly happens: Some people appear to be sucked into their computers, some turn to plastic, some […]

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  • How to Deliver Your Film to a Festival (2022 Edition)

    In 2018, I wrote a version of this article1 that treated the exhibition dominance of Digital Cinema Packages (DCP) as a historic certainty. Technology had advanced enough where the cost and/or ability to create a DCP were no longer considered a burden for independent filmmakers. As always with historic certainty, history happened: The COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed the widespread adoption of virtual film festivals. Separately, the call for justice and equality led to the widespread adoption of accessibility features for films. These concurrent developments, combined with the decline of the theatrical market and technological obsolescence, have created an environment that can […]

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  • Ethan Hawke in Michael Almereyda’s Tesla Kiss Me Before You Wake Up: An Excerpt From Michael Almereyda’s Book, Tesla: All My Dreams Are True

    Tesla: All My Dreams Are True, forthcoming from OR Books, is a jigsawed account of my attempts at conjuring a movie about Nikola Tesla over the past 40 years, tracking questions and clues about the elusive inventor’s life and legacy. The following excerpt is one of the least self-effacing of the 25 chapters, in which the author shamelessly confides early experiences as a screenwriter and director while Tesla’s name is hardly mentioned. This is in keeping with one of the book’s epigraphs, an injunction from Derek Jarman: “As the film falls apart, gather up your mistakes and treasure them.”  See shadow puppet plays and imagine […]

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  • Goodbye to the 14-Hour Day: The Entertainment Industry’s Shifting Work/Life Balance

    “[I]t’s as if our whole society is burned out.”—The New York Times Magazine, Feb. 20, 2022  During the ongoing “Great Resignation,” tens of millions of Americans—including those in the film industry—have quit their jobs. But the employment shifts in the entertainment business have as much to do with people leaving their work as with reassessing the ways in which they work. After months of pandemic-mandated pauses and soul-searching, phrases such as “work/life balance” and “self-care”—previously anathema to a culture of all-hours dealmaking and work—have finally arrived. If, as one executive says, “14-hour workdays, sleep deprivation and, too often, unhealthy meals” used […]

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