On Jan. 1, 2009, two hours after the New Year’s stroke of midnight, a Bay Area Rapid Transit officer fired upon and killed an unarmed Oscar Grant on the platform at Oakland’s Fruitvale Station. Grant had been returning home to East Bay from San Francisco with friends when a fight broke out in the subway car. Cops pulled a number of people off the train, and with Grant face down and restrained, an officer named Johannes Mehserle shot him in the back. Later, Mehserle would say he meant to draw his Taser instead of his pistol. The incident was recorded […]
While making After Tiller, Lana Wilson and Martha Shane struggled to get support from granting agencies cautious about supporting a film about such a hot-button topic as third-trimester abortion. In response to the pair’s bid for support, one major film grant organization said, “We’re waiting to see where this movie comes down.” Or, in other words, “We can’t support the film unless we support the way you depict this contentious issue.” The genius of After Tiller is that it doesn’t “come down” anywhere. It doesn’t make a case or take sides. At a time when documentaries about major political and […]
Stunning black-and-white photos of movie theaters — old-style palaces and tacky multiplexes alike — sit underneath the credits of The Canyons, the 18th feature from veteran director and screenwriter Paul Schrader. Except rather than evoke the majesty of the 20th century’s dominant art form, they depict its collapse. These theaters are guttered, wrecked, their seats torn out, signage empty, neon fixtures torn and dangling from the ceilings. Some of these theaters — vintage single-screen Art Deco houses — are surely no longer viable in the modern era. The demise of the pictured strip-mall multiplexes, however, is most likely the product […]
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Editor’s Note: The subject of this article, the Made in NY Media Center by IFP, is developed and operated by IFP, also the publisher of Filmmaker. Cantankerousness is a disease that can affect even the smartest among us — back in the day, Socrates protested his ideas shouldn’t be written down, fearing that there was no way the written word could capture the meaning and emotion of the human voice. But instead of honoring the wise old man’s wishes, his young pupil Plato recorded his inspiration’s objections, using the very medium that Socrates was so set on strangling at its […]