Filmmaker

Articles from Vol. 16, No. 2, Winter

Bite on This
Mitchell Lichtenstein's directorial debut, Teeth, mixes satire, humor and horror to create a guilty pleasure that's sure to scare the hell out of most men who see it.You don't have to be fluent in Latin to guess the meaning of "vagina dentata." And whether...
Book of Shadows
Less a standard film reference volume than an obsessive and admittedly daunting lifelong labor of love, Video Watchdog editor Tim Lucas's mammoth study, Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark, is easily the most elaborate - and potentially intimidating...
Coming Home
With the Iraq war dominating the news, relatives or friends still overseas or home suffering from grave injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the argument is being made in film circles that no one wants to see the war depicted in our theaters....
Cut Off
Established in 1963, Michigan's venerable Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF) is the oldest event of its kind in North America exhibiting experimental and independent film. Last year, however, the continuity of that artistic legacy was severely threatened...
Digitally Independent Cinema
Converting theaters big and small to digital projection involves a complex mix of standards, art, money, technology, and logistics.As has been well-documented, the rollout of digital projection systems into theaters was, for years, notoriously slow getting...
Editor's Letter
A year ago in this issue I wrote about the metrics of independent film - what are they? In this business we talk about box-office grosses and acquisition figures, but how do you quantify other things, like the value of getting a particular message out...
Favela Fever
After the worldwide success of Fernando Meirelles's City of God, which made him the honest director in his homeland of Brazil and an Oscar nominee in the States, Meirelles wasn't through with the boys in the "favelas" and began the TV series, City of...
Fest Circuit
Reports from AFI Fest, Thessaloniki and Hawaii.AFI FestJUSTIN LOWEEvery film festival experiences turnover, marked this year at the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival (November 1-11) by the departure of longtime programming director Nancy Collet...
Forgive Us Our Trespasses
Having recently completed his "Death Trilogy," Gus Van Sant mixes film noir, Fellini and Portland skate culture to adapt Blake Nelson's young-adult novel, Paranoid Park. By Scott MacaulayWith his recent films - Gerry, Elephant and Last Days - writer-director...
GIANT Ambition
With a commanding, possessed performance by Daniel Day-Lewis and a subject that lies at the root of our modern nation, Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood is a transfixing journey into the American character. By James PonsoldtIn 1989 as Communism...
Hits & Misses
MARY GLUCKSMAN looks back on last year's theatrical landscape and the fate of Sundance's Class of '07.Every year the movie business gets another shot at disproving William Goldman's famous remark, "No one knows anything," and every year we marvel when...
Industry Beat
Sundance star power, but at what cost? By Anthony KaufmanRobert De Niro, Bruce Willis, Tom Hanks, Josh Hartnett and Mary-Kate Olsen they're usually not the actors we associate with films seeking a distribution home. But let's face it, it's Sundance-time,...
In Focus
Five new films in postproduction. By Mary GlucksmanAgainst the Current"It's about grief, loss and the true responsibility of friendship, but, like real life, it has as much comedy as tragedy," says Peter Callahan (Last Ball) about his second feature,...
In Memoriam: Mali Finn
My first real lessons as a filmmaker were given to me under a pale blue Los Angeles streetlight.I was a casting assistant. My first job in the industry, I was in a small office - myself, another assistant, an associate, a few interns. And Mali Finn.We...
In Memoriam: St. Clair Bourne
St. Clair Bourne was a friend and colleague. I can't recall when I first met him, but it seems as though he's always been around IFP's programs and events.It wasn't until I received notice of his illness through his regular e-mail missive, Chamba Notes,...
Let's Go to the Video Tape
Author Jonathan Safran Foer sits down with Michel Gondry to talk about his ode to amateur artmaking, Be Kind Rewind.In Michel Gondry's world anything is possible. If you want to erase someone from your memory, it can be done. Have a beautiful woman fall...
Load & Play
Filmmaker's look at the season's DVD releases.Quiet City and Dance Party, USA / 2 Films By Aaron KatzBenten Films, January 29This beautifully crafted two-disc special edition from Benten Films highlights one of mumblecore's most talented members. Aaron...
Navigating the Digital Divide
LANCE WEILER tells you how to distribute your independent film online.The promise of unlimited choice and shelf space due to an emerging on-demand universe of content has many in the industry struggling to figure out how new media revenue should be divided....
Once upon a Time in Romania
Romanian director Cristian Mungiu discusses his Cannes prize-winning tale about illegal abortion in the final days of the Ceausescu regime, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.Accepting the Palme d'Or at Cannes last May for 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, writer-director...
Playing the Percentages
David Cronenberg once said that however much money you have to make a movie, it's 10 percent less than what you need. If the Sundance filmmakers of 2008 could have had 10 percent more of something - anything - to make their movies, what would it have...
Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden
Given the huge success of Half Nelson, one would have expected that the movie's creative team, writer-director Ryan Fleck and writer-editor Anna Boden, would have progressed to movies with more stars and bigger budgets. Instead they did the opposite....
Songs of Enemies and Deserts
DAVID MARTINEZ recalls he and fellow director Shane Bauer's time filming the Sudan Liberation Army in Darfur."Traveling is a small dose of hell." Darfuri proverbOn the third day out of Bir Maza I dropped off of the cart, walked to a pile of boulders...
Sour Note
Call it the tale of the little horror film that could. When The Signal, an ultra-low budget thriller that intelligently retooled conventions of the zombie genre, screened at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, its subsequent popularity caught everyone by...
The Super 8
Eight things that will keep you in the know.1 Orson Welles At Work Though there are a slew of books on the films, ambition and appetite of Welles, this 11 x 9 hardcover behemoth chronicles the non-stop work of the actor-director-producer (and every other...
This Part of the Country
James Ponsoldt chats with David Gordon Green about leaving his Southern roots for the chilly climate of his latest film, Snow Angels.What does "regional" mean?For American filmmakers given the label, it connotes a quaintness, an otherness - people who...
'Till Death
After making two celebrated films set in contemporary Memphis, Ira Sachs finds meaning in the period genre film Married Life.(ProQuest: ... denotes obscured text omitted.)At first glance, Ira Sachs's latest film Married Life, a sly and comic thriller...
Wrong Turn
In his latest revealing documentary, Taxi To The Dark Side, Alex Gibney examines the Bush administration's questionable tactics in the fight against terrorism.With his recent films (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, which he directed, No End in Sight,...