Filmmaker

Articles from Vol. 15, No. 3, Spring

A Noble Effort
IF YOU THOUGHT IT WAS HARD TO GET A FILM OFF THE GROUND IN THE STATES, try making one in West Africa. Filmmaker Souleymane Cissé (Yeelen) knows all too well the struggles as he's made films in Mali since the 1970s. Now he's trying to start a film community;...
Berlin International Film Festival
In his roundup of the 57th International Berlin Film Festival (Feb. 8-18) for the New York Times, A.O. Scott wrote, "Once a bastion of difficulty and high seriousness...the Berlinale...has grown into something bigger, more varied and perhaps less distinctive."...
Comic Strife
THE WAYS THAT A SHORT FILM CAN BE DEEMED COMmercially successful are fewer than those of a feature film. Awards are great, but there is no way for an awards committee to literally see every short made in a year. (I know; it's my job.) So around 2000...
Editor's Letter
WHILE IN EUROPE ON A BUSINESS TRIP, MY PARTNER ROBIN O'HARA COMmented to me how collegial directors in France are compared to their U.S. counterparts. In France, she said, directors are often friends, supporting each other through the filmmaking process...
Girl in the City
Julia Loktev's haunting DAY NIGHT DAY NIGHT unfolds the mystery of an American girl who becomes a suicide bomber.BROOKLYN-BASED ARTIST JULIA LOKTEV CRASHED THE INDEPENDENT FILM scene in 1998 with Moment of Impact, an artful portrait of her incapacitated...
Going Mobile
Six directors from the 2007 Sundance Film Festival recall their journeys making short films specifically for cell phones.WHILE MOST SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL attendees were still comparing notes or tallying deals following the 2007 fest, a handful of filmmakers...
Hear My Song
In John Carney's modern-day musical ONCE - which was a surprise hit at Sundance - we learn love is only a few beats away.WHEN BAZ LUHRMANN WAS PROMOTING HIS MUSICAL PHANTASMAGORIA Moulin Rouge, I asked him how far you could go in the other direction...
Higher Learning
"THERE WAS A TIME WHEN THOSE WHO WANTED TO GET INTO the film industry believed that film school was just about the only way to get their break. It's not like that anymore!" says Darren Alff, author of the recently published Film School & Beyond....
I Am a Bird Now
Marion Cotillard creates a riveting portrait of artistic inspiration and excess in Olivier Dahan's LA VIE EN ROSE.IN PERSON, FRENCH ACTRESS AND STAR MARION COTILLARD IS TALL, CONFIDENT and with a quicksilver responsiveness that skips from laughter and...
Ice People
"Nothing prepares you for the shock of the cold and the grandeur of the scale," says director Anne Aghion (In Rwanda We Say...The Family That Does Not Speak Dies) of the setting of her documentary Ice People. "You want to use words like 'amazing' and...
Industry Beat
As filmmakers find new distribution platforms for their films, getting press is still a struggle. By Anthony Kaufman"IT WAS INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING FOR me," says Jim McKay about the release of his latest film, Angel Rodriguez, which premiered on HBO last...
Load & Play
WHAT FILM HAS THE MOST DISTURBING FIRST FIVE MINUTES OF ALL TIME? DEPENDing on the day, my pick might be Philippe Grandrieux's Sombre, one of three especially noteworthy French films released on DVD this spring by Koch Lorber. The film begins with a...
My Mother's Fairy Tales
"It's a film about memory and how the past informs the present," says Paola Romagnani about her first feature, My Mother's Fairy Tales. The drama is the story of two long-estranged Italian sisters who meet in New York City, where one now lives, after...
Option Overload
Independent filmmakers are faced with more choices than ever when it comes to selecting a shooting format. By Jamie StuartLET'S SEE...THERE'S 8MM, SUPER 8, Double Super 8, Super Duper 8, 16mm, 16mm reversal, Super 16, anamorphic 16, 35mm, Super 35, 2-perf,...
Photogenius
REPORTSON 2 JEBENSTRASSE IN THE CHARLOTtenburg neighborhood of Berlin sits the Helmut Newton Museum, and upstairs, past the towering "Big Nudes" flanking the marble steps and above the loving recreation of the great photographer and artist's home office,...
Rotterdam Film Festival
Emphasizing "new directions in cinema" is one of the promoted goals of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (Jan. 24-Feb. 4), and this year's version represented the best - and worst - of that stance. Certainly, the festival presents the usual national-cinema...
Sff
Arriving at Sundance's midpoint proved timely this year due to the atypically inverted acquisitions pattern that developed early on. After the industry proclaimed that there were few standout titles available for acquisition, buyers held on tightly to...
South by Southwest Film Festival
Poised perfectly at the midpoint between Sundance and Cannes, the South by Southwest Film Festival and Conference (March 7-15) has grown over the last few years to become a mini-major of its own, kicking off the energy and momentum of the crowded spring...
Speak, Memory
Actress Sarah Polley makes her directorial debut with the unexpectedly romantic and wise AWAY FROM HER.WHETHER IT IS AS THE PARALYZED SURVIVOR IN ATOM EGOYAN'S THE SWEET Hereafter or the zombie apocalypse heroine in Zack Snyder's remake of Dawn of the...
Sundance Film Festival
Sex, deals and record cold took center stage at this year's Sundance Film Festival (Jan. 18-28), with midweek word of Oscar noms for '06 edition breakouts Little Miss Sunshine and Half Nelson arriving even as the new year's Next Big Things and Hidden...
The Human Animal
Robinson Devor's Sundance hit ZOO examines the unthinkable bond a secret group in Washington had with horses.NOTHING COULD BE MORE SENSATIONAL THAN THE ELEMENTS THAT MAKE up writer Charles Mudede's and director Robinson Devor's Zoo: a secret sexual society,...
The Super 8
1 IKLIPZLooking for an online medium to showcase your film? Be it feature, short or trailer, iKlipz. com allows filmmakers to "see, show and share" one another's work online. Members can upload their own films to personal profiles, watch independent...
The Toe Tactic
"It's not unlike a Calder mobile rotating around a table," says animator Emily Hubley about The Toe Tactic, her first feature. The film mixes live action and animation to tell the story of a young woman overwhelmed by memories of her father's death years...
The Vacation Planner
Eli Roth returns to the slaughterhouse with a new group of victims and more gore in HOSTEL: PART II.A BEAUTIFUL GIRL CRIES AS THE GAG in her mouth muffles her screams. The music grows louder and more disquieting as the camera rotates clockwise to show...
This Bitter Earth
After 30 years Charles Burnett's lullaby for America, KILLER OF SHEEP, finally gets its due."When I stumbled across a 16mm print of Killer of Sheep at film school in North Carolina, it was like finding gold. I had never seen an American film quite like...
Tragedy and Triumph
Premiering at Sundance following the sudden death of its writer-director, Adrienne Shelly's wonderful dramatic comedy WAITRESS is an especially bittersweet success.WHEN INDIE ACTRESS AND FILMMAKER ADRIENNE SHELLY WAS MURDERED by a 19-year-old construction...
West 32nd
Michael Kang follows his first feature The Motel with West 32nd, a New York noir about a young lawyer tangling with gang society on a homicide case in Manhattan's Koreatown. "It's a 180 from The Motel - there's not much sentiment," says Kang. "It's a...
What I Meant to Say
Alicia Van Couvering reports on the ascending independent film movement currently being dubbed "MUMBLECORE."(ProQuest-CSA LLC: ... denotes obscured text omitted.)WHEN IS IT TIME TO DEMARCATE A FILMMAKING "MOVEMENT"? WHAT IF THE filmmakers in this movement...
You Don't Know JACK
In JACK SMITH AND THE DESTRUCTION OF ATLANTIS, Mary Jordan takes us into the toubled mind of one of the forgotten geniuses from the 1960s New York avant-garde scene. By Steve Gallagher"THERE WAS A SHORT TIME, LATE IN 1963," WROTE P. ADAMS SITNEY, AUTHOR...