Spring 2023

A mother wearing a flannel shirt with a slicked-back ponytail cradles her song in her arms, who is wearing a white tank top and gold chain necklace.

One Step Ahead: Chinonye Chukwu Interviews A.V. Rockwell on A Thousand and One

The ever-changing landscape of New York City is the captivating, challenging backdrop of A Thousand and One, writer-director A.V. Rockwell’s feature debut. Chronicling a mother and son’s loving yet fraught relationship from 1993 through 2005, the film incorporates speeches and news reports detailing specific policies of mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg across two decades, a device that serves as a concrete reminder of time passing and stakes rising for the film’s protagonists. Strict jaywalking laws, the advent of stop-and-frisk and increased gentrification initiatives become tangible perils that the Harlem-based characters must navigate, lest they lose the freedom they’ve worked […]

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Features

Noah Cowan's headshot in black and white.

Remembering Noah Cowan

Noah Cowan, who died in January at the age of 55 of glioblastoma multiforme (a form of brain cancer), was a passionate and erudite multihyphenate in the world of international cinema. A programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival who went on to become its co-director, as well as inaugural artistic director for the festival organization’s year-round theatre, the Bell Lightbox, he was also a distributor (Cowboy Pictures), nonprofit leader (the Global Film Initiative and SFFILM) and a business consultant and strategist. He was also a writer and critic. For much of this magazine’s first decade, Noah was a contributing […]

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  • A Vietnamese person rides in a small wooden boat toward a building in the distance, crossing water that is full of floating lily pads. Form Follows Function: Noah Cowan on Three Winter Festivals Circa 1999

    The following essay appeared in Filmmaker‘s Spring, 1999 print issue and is being reprinted in remembrance of Noah Cowan. Cowan, a festival programmer, non-profit executive director and critic, was also Filmmaker‘s Contributing Editor and chief festival correspondent, and he passed away January, 25, 2023 in Los Angeles. “Festival strategy” has become one of the more annoying buzz terms of the American independent film “industry.” However, the presence of three major festivals, all distinctive and legendary, clustered together in the winter months demands, in fact, that any serious American independent filmmaker finishing a film in the fall recognize the need for […]

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  • A gaggle of partygoers wear fringed rainbow jackets and ornate accessories as they rave. Binge Watch: How Silicon Valley Lifestyles Are Being Portrayed on Screens Large and Small

    A number of recent films and television shows have been set in the tech industry. And regularly, I notice these projects can’t seem to decide: What’s the problem with Silicon Valley, anyway? One might draw a straight line from a character like Wall Street’s Gordon Gekko to jobs lost and houses foreclosed upon, but the consequences of “disruption” can be trickier to distill into lines as visceral and powerful as “greed is good.” I was thinking about this when I watched part of Super Pumped on a plane earlier this year. As it happens, American Airlines is one of the […]

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  • A woman with a dirty blond bob haircut holds two ceramic figures that have recently been fired in the kiln; a man wearing a utility jumpsuit unloads other kiln creations in the background. A Need to Focus: Guy Maddin Interviews Kelly Reichardt About Showing Up

    Talking to The Guardian’s Xan Brooks in 2014, Kelly Reichardt reflected on the students she’s taught in her teaching position as an artist in residence at Bard. “The kids I know, I love them, but they’re not mad the way we used to be,” she noted. “They seem so unafraid and so un-angry. It makes them very nice people. It doesn’t make for great art. I ask them all the time: ‘Aren’t you mad at anything?’ They look at me like I’m off my rocker.” That sense of simmering discontent percolates through Michelle Williams’s performance as Lizzy, a ceramics sculptor […]

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