Filmmaker

Articles

Vol. 28, No. 2, Winter

Commodity Fitishism
The visual exquisiteness of Peter Strickland's films has sometimes led to them being regarded as precious bon-bons-laced with strychnine-that favor style over substance. It's an argument that applies no more to his self-financed feature debut Katalin...
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Everyday I Write the Book
Creating cinema without concern for the economic system in which you operate is a privilege few can exercise. Like most filmmakers I know, I make films not only as a form of expression but also as a means of financial subsistence. I wrestle with the...
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Dispossessions
Mati Diop conjures films that can feel like half-remembered dreams. Blending documentary and fantasy, they are both uncannily lucid in their sensory detail and strangely hazy in their fragmented and elliptical narratives.Like most people, I first encountered...
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Allowing for Transitions
Marielle Heller's A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood centers on New York-based journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys), who's assigned to profile Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) for Esquire in the late 1990s. For editor Anne McCabe, who cut Heller's previous...
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Start Your Engines
Supervising sound editor Donald Sylvester was working on James Mangold's Fordv Ferrari before shooting even started. "They had mocked up some of the races with visual effects and pre-viz," Sylvester says, "proving that you can see the right scene, but...
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The 2019 Ifp Gotham Awards
For over 40 years, the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) has served as the New York City-based home for independent storytellers around the world. As the demand for diverse voices and unique ideas grows in our ever-changing media landscape, IFP continues...
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Parlays and Teasers
I first learned of Josh and Benny Safdie s Uncut Gems-a comedy/drama built around the self-delusions, self-destructions and unbridled compulsions of a midtown Manhattan diamond dealer- back in 2011. The brothers had just completed their first feature...
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Dressing for Business
Hustlers, Lorene Scafaria's adaptation (from a 2015 New York article by Jessica Pressler) of the real-life tale of savvy strippers scamming their wealthy clients in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, is one of the year's top crowd-pleasers, and its...
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Parasite's Eight-Minute Meal
Bong Joon-ho's class warfare thriller Parasite has already entered the food film canon, and its signature entrée sits in the dead center of the highbrow-lowbrow matrix. Jjapaguri (translated as "ram-don" in the subtitles) is a mashed-up concoction of...
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Fast, Cheap and Good
"I've wasted the greater part of my life loohingfor money, and trying to get along.... trying to make my work from this terribly expensive paint box which is...a movie. And I've spent too much energy on things that have nothing to do with a movie. It's...
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Memory Play
The credits of Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood are filled with the director's usual suspects. Cinematographer Robert Richardson, editor Fred Raskin and assistant director William Paul Clark are among the consummate craftspeople who...
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Editor's Letter
Welcome to Filmmaker's final issue of 2019, which continues something of a new tradition: our Sound and Visionaries section, where we spotlight six below-the-line artists in the awards conversation whose work particularly impressed us. And, accompanying...
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Economy of the Arcane
Pedro Costa will not separate films from how they are made. We cannot escape that "how" from what we are seeing on screen, so we must make films the hard way. It is not enough for us to get them made: We must know our technicians closely, see that they...
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Hits & Misses 2019
The times, they keep a-changin'.In its immediate aftermath, the story out of Sundance 2019 was its bounteous acquisition market and record-setting sales numbers-from New Line's $15 million purchase of Blinded by the Light to Amazon Studios' $27 million...
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Sonic Menace
Thunderous farts and the roiling sea, booming foghorns and the menacing squawks of predatory seagulls-the Melvillian world of Robert Eggers's supernatural-tinged film The Lighthouse offers a composer many sources of sonic inspiration. Mark Korven, who...
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Sound and Visionaries
FILMMAKER PICKS BELOW-THE-LINE ARTISTS TO CELEBRATE THIS AWARDS SEASON. PLUS, TIM GRIERSON, MARK ASCH AND BEATRICE LOAYZA IDENTIFY THE SECRET IMPULSES CONNECTING 2019'S MOST NOTEWORTHY FILMS.SORRY, WE'RE ALL WE'VE GOT: THE LIMITS OF COMMUNITY IN 2019'S...
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Photographing Memory
Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, based on hitman Frank Sheeran's (Robert De Niro) account of the murder of Teamster luminary Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), talks back to its characters' memories as much as it does the director's past films. It's Sheeran's perspective...
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Southern Subjects
No shortage of talented musicians have appeared before Les Blank's camera, their porch-strum music often laid over savory shots of local cuisine. Like the wind-blown grass Blank always finds time to include, the films undulate between revelry and reflection,...
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Where Do I Go from Here?
I've had depression described to me as an obsession with the past, anxiety as a fixation on the future. In my experience with both, this has proven to be accurate. With my filmmaking, I feel in control, but when it comes to my own life and my influence...
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Digital Wanderlust
Two major anniversaries in digital technology happened in 2019. October 29th marked the fiftieth year since the first message was transmitted via ARPANET, an early network of computers developed by the U.S. Department of Defense and hosted at universities...
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When the Streaming's Over
Brick-and-mortar video stores Vulcan Video and Beyond Video offer a cinematic life beyond the queue. Eric Allen Hatch reports."A producer buddy once said to me, 'You go to New York and Los Angeles to make movies, but you go to Austin to actually watch...
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Self-Criticism in Theater Two
Abby Sun argues thatfilm festivals' performative politics of change is not enough.Over the past year, various reckonings- from continued collective and individual action around #metoo to protests against institutions accepting donations from the Sackler...
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The Inner Reaches out of Space
"I think one of the things I am most concerned about is how we interact with space in a bodily way," says LA-based video and VR artist Kate Parsons, who will co-teach an undergraduate studio class, ;'The Inner Reaches of Outer Space," next spring at...
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Vol. 27, No. 3, Spring

Editor's Letter
Ask me what's changed the most regarding pitching independent film over the years and the first thing I'll say is the rise of the lookbook. In the 1990s, lookbooks were exotic things. A few directors had them, but the cost of making them made these collections...
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