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‘Mudbound’: Dee Rees, Faith, and the Long Path She Took to Make Her Epic Oscar Contender

‘Mudbound’: Dee Rees, Faith, and the Long Path She Took to Make Her Epic Oscar Contender
Dee Rees is a tall woman of fierce charisma. She’s the kind of director who talks fast, ideas coming so quickly that those less inclined can barely keep up. And yet her output has been slow: After Focus Features snapped up her breakout 2011 feature debut “Pariah” at Sundance, it was four years before HBO Film’s Emmy and DGA-award-winning 2015 biopic “Bessie.”

“There’s an assumption that men who do small personal movies can leap to deliver larger things,” said “Bessie” producer Shelby Stone. “It’s much harder for women.”

Finally, we get to see Rees fulfill her promise with “Mudbound,” a Sundance triumph that set the 2017 festival sales record with its $12.5 million sale to Netflix, and opened AFI Fest November 9 after wowing crowds at seven film festivals.

When Rees received the Sundance Next Fest Vanguard Award in August, her presenter, “Pariah” star Kim Wayans, said it best: “The introverted,
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

‘Mudbound’: Dee Rees, Faith, and the Long Path She Took to Make Her Epic Oscar Contender

  • Indiewire
‘Mudbound’: Dee Rees, Faith, and the Long Path She Took to Make Her Epic Oscar Contender
Dee Rees is a tall woman of fierce charisma. She’s the kind of director who talks fast, ideas coming so quickly that those less inclined can barely keep up. And yet her output has been slow: After Focus Features snapped up her breakout 2011 feature debut “Pariah” at Sundance, it was four years before HBO Film’s Emmy and DGA-award-winning 2015 biopic “Bessie.”

“There’s an assumption that men who do small personal movies can leap to deliver larger things,” said “Bessie” producer Shelby Stone. “It’s much harder for women.”

Finally, we get to see Rees fulfill her promise with “Mudbound,” a Sundance triumph that set the 2017 festival sales record with its $12.5 million sale to Netflix, and opened AFI Fest November 9 after wowing crowds at seven film festivals.

When Rees received the Sundance Next Fest Vanguard Award in August, her presenter, “Pariah” star Kim Wayans, said it best: “The introverted,
See full article at Indiewire »

‘The Notebook’ Director Nick Cassavetes Boards ‘Have You Seen Her?’

‘The Notebook’ Director Nick Cassavetes Boards ‘Have You Seen Her?’
The Notebook” director Nick Cassavetes has signed on to helm the romantic drama “Have You Seen Her?” from Metalwork Pictures and Paris Film Inc., with shooting set for early next year.

Cassavetes will direct from a script he is co-writing with Paul Johansson. Andrew Levitas will produce for Metalwork Pictures, with his Rogue Black label financing. Rob Paris will produce under his Paris Film banner alongside co-writer Johansson.

Producers are keeping the logline for “Have You Seen Her?” under wraps except for saying that it is an international romance in the vein of “The Notebook,” which launched the careers of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in 2004. The story is an original idea that Cassavetes has been developing for more than a decade.

Nick and I have literally been on the verge of writing this for years,” Johansson said. “We’re incredibly excited to be partnering with Rob and Andrew who have put us on a very fast
See full article at Variety - Film News »

New Class of Women at Sundance Fellows Announced

Ramona Diaz is part of the new class: Sundance

Marielle Heller (“The Diary of a Teenage Girl”), Elyse Steinberg (“Weiner”), and Jennifer Phang (“Advantageous”) are just a few of the amazing alumna of the Women at Sundance Fellows program. The Sundance Institute has announced the sixth annual class of its year-long fellowship, which includes mentorship, personal coaching, travel grants to participate in activities at Sundance Film Fest, and other forms of support.

The six women chosen to participate are “emerging and mid-career narrative and documentary directors and producers, selected from a pool of recent Sundance Institute alumnae.”

This year’s fellows include Ramona Diaz, director of “Motherland,” a doc about the world’s busiest maternity hospital, and Eliza Hittman, writer-director of “Beach Rats,” a drama about a Brooklyn teen exploring his sexuality. When Hittman won Sundance’s U.S. drama directing award for the film she said, “I think there is nothing more taboo in this country than a woman with ambition, and I am going to work my way through a system that is completely discriminatory towards women. And Hollywood, I’m coming for you.”

Check out all of the fellows and their bios below, courtesy of Sundance.

Ramona Diaz is an award-winning Asian-American filmmaker best known for her compelling character-driven documentaries that combine a profound appreciation for cinematic aesthetics and potent storytelling. Her films have demonstrated her ability to gain intimate access to the people she films — be they rock stars, first ladies, dissidents, teachers or mothers — resulting in keenly observed moments and nuanced narratives. While she has focused exclusively on stories of Filipinos and Filipino Americans, the themes of Ramona’s stories are universal. Her films have screened and won awards at Sundance, the Berlinale, Tribeca, Silverdocs, Idfa, and many other top-tier film festivals. She has received funding from Itvs, Caam, Sundance Documentary Fund, MacArthur Foundation, Tribeca Institute, Catapult Film Fund, and Chicken & Egg, among others. All four of Ramona’s feature length films — Imelda, The Learning, Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, and Motherland — have broadcast on either Pov or Independent Lens on PBS. She has also served on numerous film festival juries and funding panels. For the past four years, Ramona has been a film envoy for the American Film Showcase, a joint program of the U.S. Department of State and the USC School of Cinematic Arts that brings American films to audiences worldwide. She has conducted master classes and production and post-production workshops all over the world, including in Iraq, Laos, Morocco, Qatar, Zimbabwe, the Congo and throughout the United States. Recently, she was awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and was inducted into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Sabrina Schmidt Gordon is an award-winning documentary filmmaker from New York City. Her editing debut won an Emmy for Wgbh’s Greater Boston Arts series, and she has continued to distinguish herself as a producer, editor, and director. Her latest film, Quest, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017. It has won Grand Jury prizes at several festivals, including the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, where it also won the Human Rights award. Her feature debut as a producer and editor, Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, also premiered at Sundance, in 2006, and was named in the Chicago Tribune’s “Best Documentaries of 2007.” In 2015, Sabrina co-produced/directed, and edited BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez. It received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Culture and Arts documentary, and won the Best Film Directed by a Woman of Color award at the African Diaspora International Film Festival. Sabrina is also the co-producer and editor of Documented, the story of Pulitzer Prize-winning undocumented journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas. The film had record viewership on CNN, with over a billion impressions on Twitter, generated Oscar buzz, and was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Best Documentary Film. Her television credits include The New Mad Men, which won the Imagen Award for Best National Informational Program for Maria Hinojosa’s acclaimed PBS series, America by the Numbers. Sabrina also creates content for organizations and video journalism platforms. Among these are The Ford Foundation, Frontline, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Witness, American Masters, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Agricultural Missions, the National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights, and more. Her commitment to social justice extends to consulting on and producing engagement and impact campaigns for media projects. Sabrina is on the faculty at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the Cuny Graduate School of Journalism. She is co-chair of the Black Documentary Collective and serves on many media panels and juries. She is an honors graduate from New York University.

Eliza Hittman is an award-winning filmmaker, born and based in Brooklyn, New York. Her debut feature film It Felt Like Lovepremiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Next and the International Film Festival Rotterdam in the Tiger Competition in 2013. It was a New York Times, The Village Voice, and Los Angeles Times Critics’ Pick. She was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Indie Film. She was nominated for a Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Gotham Award and two Independent Spirit Awards for It Felt Like Love, Best Cinematography and the John Cassavetes Award. Her second feature, Beach Rats was selected for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab and premiered in U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, where she was given the Directing Award. The film was the Centerpiece film at New Director’s New Films and premiered internationally at Locarno. She is an Assistant Professor of Film/Video at Pratt Institute.

Angela C. Lee is a Spirit Award nominated producer dedicated to creating bold and captivating stories that promote empathy and exploration. Her first feature film Songs My Brothers Taught Me, premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival and Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes. The film was distributed by Kino Lorber and nominated for multiple Spirit Awards including Best First Feature and Best Cinematography. Angela is currently in post-production on the fiction short The Row, commissioned by Indigenous Media through their Project Her Incubator and in development on fiction feature projects The Space Between, about a woman obsessed with becoming a professional bodybuilder, and Sparkle Panthers, a comedy set in the arena of eSports and multi-player online gaming. She is a 2015 Sundance Institute Creative Producing Lab Fellow and has also been supported by the Berlinale Talents and Co-Production Market, Film Independent, Ifp, PGA Diversity Workshop and the Center for Asian American Media. Angela is also the Senior Manager of Artist Development at Film Independent where she oversees the filmmaker labs program including Screenwriting, Directing, Producing, Episodic, Documentary Labs and the Fast Track Finance Market. Previously, Angela served as Director of Creative Affairs at Vox3 Films in New York. Prior to her career in entertainment, she was an Associate at Goldman Sachs. Angela currently serves as Co-President of DragonSprouts, a 501(c)3 organization that supports Mandarin Immersion language programs in the La Unified School District. A native Chicagoan now based in Los Angeles, Angela graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in Economics.

Lana Wilson is an Emmy Award-winning director, writer, and producer based in New York. Her new film, The Departure, premiered in competition at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival to critical acclaim. The Departure was called “A genuinely spiritual experience” by The Washington Post, “Stunning” by Filmmaker Magazine, and “Tender and quietly moving…like a haiku” by TheNew York Times. The film had a held-over New York theatrical run at Metrograph, and is now playing in additional select Us cities. Wilson’s first film, After Tiller, premiered at Sundance in 2013 and went on to win an Emmy Award for Best Documentary. It was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, four Cinema Eye Honors, and the Ridenhour Prize. After Tiller was theatrically released in 50 Us cities by Oscilloscope and nationally broadcast on Pov. It was named one of the five best documentaries of the year by the National Board of Review and featured in “Best of 2013” lists in the La Times, the Village Voice, Indiewire, Artforum, and more. Wilson has also worked in television, including writing and producing the premiere episode of the documentary miniseries I Am Rebel for National Geographic Studios. Previously, Wilson was the Film and Dance Curator for Performa. Wilson is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt and has also taught at UnionDocs and Dctv. Her work has been supported by the Sundance Documentary Fund, Itvs, Candescent Films, Artemis Rising Foundation, Chicken & Egg Pictures, the Tribeca Film Institute, the Ida, Nysca, and the MacDowell Colony. She holds a B.A. in Film Studies and Dance from Wesleyan University.

Lauren Wolkstein is a New York City-based filmmaker originally from Baltimore, Maryland. Her award-winning short films include Social Butterfly (2013 Sundance Film Festival), Cigarette Candy (2010 SXSW Grand Jury Prize) and The Strange Ones co-directed with Christopher Radcliff (2011 Sundance Film Festival). Lauren and Christopher adapted The Strange Ones into their first feature film of the same name, starring James Freedson-Jackson and Alex Pettyfer, which world premiered to critical acclaim at the SXSW Film Festival in 2017, receiving the Jury Award for Best Breakthrough Performance. It had its international premiere at the Champs-Élysées Film Festival where it took home the Grand Jury Prize for Best American Independent Feature Film. Vertical Entertainment and DirecTV picked it up for distribution and it will be released theatrically in January 2018. Lauren also recently completed collective:unconscious, a collaborative feature spearheaded by Dan Schoenbrun, which was the first omnibus to premiere in the Narrative Feature Competition at SXSW in 2016. Filmmaker Magazine listed her as one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2013. Lauren received her Mfa in film directing from Columbia University and is an assistant professor of Film and Media Arts at Temple University. Wolkstein is currently developing a project about a female player in the male-dominated world of high stakes poker.

New Class of Women at Sundance Fellows Announced was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Errol Morris Set for Lifetime Achievement Award at Second Annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards

  • Indiewire
Errol Morris Set for Lifetime Achievement Award at Second Annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards
Keep up with the glitzy awards world with our weekly Awards Roundup column.

– The Broadcast Film Critics Association (Bfca) and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (Btja) have announced that Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Errol Morris as the recipient of the Critics’ Choice Lifetime Achievement Award. Morris will receive his award at the second annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards gala event, set to take place on Thursday, November 2 at Bric in Brooklyn, New York, hosted by Penn Jillette.

Journalist and author Kathryn Schulz will present the Critics’ Choice Lifetime Achievement Award to Morris. Damien Echols will present the previously announced Critics’ Choice Impact Award to filmmaker Joe Berlinger. Additional award presenters include: Clive Davis, Matt Dillon, Gilbert Gottfried, Barbara Kopple, Lawrence O’Donnell, Linda Perry, and Fisher Stevens, Diane Warren, among others.

Read More:Helen Mirren Set for Chaplin Award, European Film Academy Honors Newcomers, and More — Awards Roundup

Netflix will release Morris’ newest offering,
See full article at Indiewire »

Trailer Watch: WWII Vets Return to Mississippi in Dee Rees’ “Mudbound”

Mudbound

A new trailer has landed for “Mudbound,” Dee Rees’ highly anticipated follow-up to her Emmy-winning TV movie “Bessie.” The multi-perspective Southern epic follows two men as they return home from WWII: Ronsel (Jason Mitchell) and Jamie (Garrett Hedlund). The former is black and the latter is white, and while they bond over their shared experiences abroad, they are welcomed back to very different circumstances in the United States.

“I went over to fight for my country to come back and find they hadn’t changed a bit,” says Ronsel in the spot. Over there, he was “liberated,” and people “lined up in the street waiting” for him and his fellow soldiers. But back in Mississippi, he’s ordered to use the back door of a shop. And his family works as sharecroppers on Jamie’s family’s farm.

The two form an uneasy friendship, but it’s clear that Ronsel and Jamie both have a lot of baggage, and their burgeoning relationship attracts the attention of many, including Jamie’s intensely racist father.

Mudbound” scored the biggest deal out of Sundance this January. The ensemble cast includes Carey Mulligan, Mary J. Blige, and Jason Clarke.

Rees won the John Cassavetes Award at the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards for “Pariah,” her first narrative feature.

Mudbound” launches on Netflix and in select theaters November 17.

https://medium.com/media/551e13ae30874989ccaf7a0ab5423e97/href

Trailer Watch: WWII Vets Return to Mississippi in Dee Rees’ “Mudbound” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Why Bria Vinaite, as a Loving Mother From Hell, Is the ‘The Florida Project’s’ Not-So-Secret Weapon

Why Bria Vinaite, as a Loving Mother From Hell, Is the ‘The Florida Project’s’ Not-So-Secret Weapon
It’s this year’s little indie movie that could. In the last two weeks, audiences have gotten the chance to experience “The Florida Project,” Sean Baker’s raw, funny, lyrical, heart-wrenching drama about a little girl and her punk-rebel-slattern mother living in a lavender-walled Orlando motel along a tourist strip on the outskirts of Disney World.

Anyone who sees the film is bound to be struck by the extraordinary qualities of its acting. Brooklynn Prince, who plays 6-year-old Moonee, whiling away the summer by getting into the sort of mischief that seems all too genuine in its destructive innocence (even when it involves the soiling of car windshields or the burning of abandoned real estate), gives one of the most vivid child performances in memory. You never doubt, for a moment, that Moonee is a real kid, with true-blue feelings that didn’t come out of a screenwriter’s manual, yet by the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Smt Thursday Trailers: ‘Snake Outta Compton’ Red Band Trailer

(Aotn)-Ok, Smt Heads, you’ve waited til the midnight hour for your Thursday Trailer fix… And the night time is the right time! The red band trailer for the craziest, new indie spoof “Snake Outta Compton” has smacked the interwebs hard. So, let’s get in on the fun!

Check the red band trailer right now: Warning: Explicit Language

Coming Attractions: And now for something completely different for Thursday Trailers!

John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction: Vortex #1 is the newest comic offering from the Horror Movie Master and his collaborators. Check out the book trailer here:

With all communication lost from a mining asteroid, space station Benson dispatches a rescue ship to investigate. What the team discovers threatens not only to overwhelm and destroy them, but could ultimately threaten all life on Earth. Vortex is the second story of John Carpenter’s monthly anthology series Tales of Science Fiction.
See full article at Age of the Nerd »

Exclusive Interview: Carlos Sanz talks rescuing Jeff Bauman in Stronger, what Bauman represents, Crank, and more

Robert Kojder chats with Carlos Sanz about his role in Stronger

Carlos Sanz gives an incredibly moving and emotional performance as “the hero in the cowboy hat” that saves Jake Gyllenhaal in the Jeff Bauman biopic Stronger. On the TV side, he’ll also be appearing in the brand new series Ten Days in the Valley which premiered a couple weeks ago on ABC. From both the big and small screen, Carlos has been seen in films such as Runner Runner, Crank and The Take; and on TV starring in 24, NCIS, Bones, Scorpion, The Fosters, The Closer and The Shield. He’s also the older brother of SNL alum, Horacio Sanz. An award-nominated theater artist, he has worked around the world including the Royal Shakespeare Company, and worked alongside such talents as the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman.

First of all, congratulations on being a part of the film. It
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

‘Florida Project’ Director Sean Baker on America’s ‘Hidden Homeless’

‘Florida Project’ Director Sean Baker on America’s ‘Hidden Homeless’
There are independent filmmakers. And then there are independent independent filmmakers — the ones who live in thrall to their muse, with a spirit that might be called defiance. Or maybe fearlessness.

Sean Baker is one of those directors. In movies like “Tangerine,” “Starlet” and his new and transporting “The Florida Project,” he tells close-to-the-bone tales of scavengers and outcasts, the desperate and the lost, and his filmmaking has a renegade glow: He takes you so close to his characters that it’s as if you’re eavesdropping. To heighten the intimacy, he shot “Tangerine,” his 2015 drama about transgender street hookers in West Hollywood, entirely on an iPhone. The result was raw, real, revolutionary (not to mention weirdly beautiful).

“It was the most appropriate medium for that film,” says Baker, sitting in a coffee shop in Greenwich Village, not far from his old digs at Nyu, where he studied film in the early ’90s. “And
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Dee Rees to Direct Film Adaptation of Joan Didion’s “The Last Thing He Wanted”

Dee Rees on “Strombo”

Dee Rees has lined up her next project before her latest has even hit theaters. Since its debut at Sundance, “Mudbound” has been earning rave reviews and causing plenty of Oscar buzz. Rees will follow up the epic story of family, friendship, and racism in the post-wwii South with a film adaptation of a Joan Didion’s 1996 best-seller “The Last Thing He Wanted.” Deadline reports that she’ll helm the political thriller, which follows a Washington Post journalist who becomes involved in the world of arms dealing.

Marco Villalobos is penning the script.

Rees made her feature debut with 2011’s “Pariah,” a semi-autobiographical drama centering on a Brooklyn-based lesbian teen exploring her sexuality and coming-of-age. Rees won the John Cassavetes Award at the Independent Spirit Awards and the Gotham for Best Breakthrough Director for the film, and followed it up with Emmy winner “Bessie,” an HBO TV movie starring Queen Latifah as blues performer Bessie Smith.

Mudbound” scored the biggest deal out of Sundance, with Netflix paying $12.5 million for the ensemble drama. Set in rural Mississippi, the story follows two young men, one black and one white, as they return from WWII to work on a farm. The cast includes Garrett Hedlund (“Unbroken”), Jason Mitchell (“Detroit”), Carey Mulligan (“Suffragette”), and Mary J. Blige (“The Wiz Live!”). Many are speculating that the film could earn awards recognition, including nods for Rees as co-writer and director. “Mudbound” will launch on Netflix and select theaters November 17.

Dee Rees to Direct Film Adaptation of Joan Didion’s “The Last Thing He Wanted” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

‘Mudbound’ Director Dee Rees to Helm Joan Didion Adaptation ‘The Last Thing He Wanted’

  • Indiewire
‘Mudbound’ Director Dee Rees to Helm Joan Didion Adaptation ‘The Last Thing He Wanted’
Dee Rees, whose awards friendly second feature “Mudbound” hits Netflix this fall, has signed on to direct an adaptation of Joan Didion’s political thriller “The Last Thing He Wanted.” Elevated’s Cassian Elwes (“Dallas Buyers Club”) optioned the novel from Didion last year for Rees to direct following their successful collaboration on “Mudbound.” Marco Villalobos will pen the screenplay.

“This work is one of my favorite Joan Didion novels and is a brilliant and layered piece of fiction,” said Rees. “I am forever attracted to interesting, unexpected characters and Didion is one of the greatest masters of the form. I’m so excited to be able to interpret this literary masterpiece.”

Read More:‘Mudbound’ First Trailer: Dee Rees’ Powerhouse Drama Goes From Sundance Darling to Oscar Contender

The novel is a political thriller about a Washington Post journalist who quits her job covering the 1984 Presidential primaries to care for
See full article at Indiewire »

Intimacy and Intensity: The Faces of John Cassavetes

By Jacob Oller

The actor/director expressed the power of expressions. ohn Cassavetes was a student of particular human behavior. He didn’t care for sweeping gestures about the world at large, but finding those same gestures in the faces of his friends. He shot his films independently, bringing cinéma vérité (or something like it) to a future filled with […]

The article Intimacy and Intensity: The Faces of John Cassavetes appeared first on Film School Rejects.
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

The 1970s – The Best Era In Cinema History?

Tom Jolliffe on the 1970s and why it is the best era in cinema history…

There will always be a great deal of debate about the best era for cinema. For my two cents I’ll say with a great deal of assurance that the best period in cinema history was the 1970’s. There was most certainly a transition through that decade which saw the gritty cinema of the late 60’s onward, into the birth of the blockbuster as we know it today.

You could almost split the 70’s into two categories, although I will make some mention of sub-categories like the Blaxploitation period too. On one hand directors were beginning to really move as far from the traditional classic Hollywood production code as they could. Boundaries were being pushed and optimism was being replaced with deeply pessimistic work. It wasn’t all happy endings. Things were getting dark, reflecting
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Kelly Reichardt on Nature, Politics, and What She’d Change About Documentary Filmmaking

Kelly Reichardt’s ability to capture the plight of everyday people is evident in works like Wendy and Lucy, Old Joy, and Certain Women, all of which perfectly capture the heightened feeling of isolation propelled by the modern world. Her brilliant observations on the ways in which we try to reach out to one another, and our desire to connect are at the center of a mid-career retrospective taking place at the Museum of Modern Art, where they are screening the six films she’s made since 1994. Reichardt is an American auteur in the tradition of mavericks like John Ford and John Cassavetes, who worked outside the system to make sure their visions were never compromised by studio interference.

In the two decades she’s been making films, Reichardt has also become an excellent chronicler of our times. Like the journals kept by the characters in Meek’s Cutoff, in
See full article at The Film Stage »

American Horror Story - Cult episode 2 review: Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark

Ron Hogan Sep 13, 2017

American Horror Story Cult plays on real fears and real politics mashed into a blender of creepy clowns and honeycomb. Spoilers...

This review contains spoilers.

See related Twin Peaks season 3: Kyle MacLachlan chats about the finale Looking back at Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

7.2 Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark

Fortunately for Sarah Paulson, she has a much calmer week this week than she did during Election Night. Rather than screaming and breaking down multiple times, she only has a few crying jags. For most of the episode, rather than being completely irrational, she's more paranoid and anxious. Ally's fear turns inward, rather than outward, which allows Sarah Paulson to do more subtle work this week as a woman taken to the very fringes of her ability to withstand life. When there are dangers lurking in every shadow and your personal and professional life seem to be falling apart,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Jeff Lipsky Launches Glass Half Full Distribution Consulting Firm – Toronto

  • Deadline
Jeff Lipsky Launches Glass Half Full Distribution Consulting Firm – Toronto
Exclusive: Veteran indie executive Jeff Lipsky is launching his latest venture, Glass Half Full Media. The distribution consulting firm will provide services for U.S. and international producers, filmmakers and sales agents. Based in New York, Glass Half Full has recruited former Film Society of Lincoln Center Film buyer Matt Kaszanek. The company makes its debut at the Toronto Film Festival. Lipsky began his distribution career working alongside John Cassavetes on A Woman…
See full article at Deadline »

Trailer Watch: Families in the American South Collide in Dee Rees’ “Mudbound”

Mudbound

Atrailer has finally landed for the biggest hit out of Sundance 2017, Dee Rees’ “Mudbound.” The drama is set in the rural American South during World War II, and the spot kicks off with two vets bonding over their experiences on the battlefield.

We see Jamie (Garrett Hedlund) — who returned home just weeks prior — collapsing on a busy road and staying on the ground when he mistakes a loud noise coming from a car for an attack. He’s offered a hand by Ronsel (Jason Mitchell), who assures him that it’s alright. “They say it stops eventually,” Ronsel says, seemingly referencing Ptsd.

Later in the trailer, Ronsel is told by a loved one, “You just come back. Come all the way back.” But neither men can shake the war or the scars it’s left them with, and their shared experiences lead to an unlikely bond in the Jim Crow South.

Mudbound” tells the “epic story of two families pitted against one another by a ruthless social hierarchy, yet bound together by the shared farmland of the Mississippi Delta,” according to its official synopsis. The film “follows the McAllan family, newly transplanted from the quiet civility of Memphis and unprepared for the harsh demands of farming. Despite the grandiose dreams of Henry (Jason Clarke), his wife Laura (Carey Mulligan) struggles to keep the faith in her husband’s losing venture. Meanwhile, Hap and Florence Jackson (Rob Morgan, Mary J. Blige) — sharecroppers who have worked the land for generations — struggle bravely to build a small dream of their own despite the rigidly enforced social barriers they face.” Both families are welcoming home loved ones from the war — Jamie and Ronsel.

Rees’ follow-up to her Emmy-winning TV movie “Bessie” scored raves from critics and the biggest deal out of Sundance this January. She won the John Cassavetes Award at the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards for “Pariah,” her first narrative feature. The semi-autobiographical drama centers on a lesbian teenager. “I started the movie when I was going through my own coming out process,” Rees told us. “I was reading a lot of Audre Lorde and listening to Nina Simone, but Audre Lorde was who I latched on to and followed her life journey. I could really relate to her experiences about fitting in and always being the ‘other.’”

“If I were a white guy who had done ‘Pariah,’ my next film would have been huge,” Rees recently observed. According to Variety, even after the success of “Pariah,” “Bessie,” and “Mudbound,” she still has to “fight to get her movies financed and distributed.” “I do think there’s a different trajectory,” she acknowledged. “Films are talked about differently. It’s like a film by an independent black director gets talked about for who made it, not for what the film is.”

Mudbound” will launch on Netflix and in select theaters November 17.

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Trailer Watch: Families in the American South Collide in Dee Rees’ “Mudbound” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Interview: Dan Bush

Earlier this month I had the gracious opportunity to interview director Dan Bush – best known for 2007’s The Signal and 2014’s The Reconstruction of William Zero. Bush’s most recent work – The Vault – is a unique blend between the heist and supernatural thriller genres; set for a September 8th release. Starring James Franco & Francesca Eastwood, The Vault’s theatrical release is a space to watch.

Dan, going from a largely independent film maker, ‘The Vault’ seems to be moving you towards larger ‘blockbuster’ style features. Is this kind of filmmaking & releases a goal of yours to reach? Or would you prefer to stay at an independent level.

I just love making movies, I’ll make a blockbuster if someone wants to give me a budget anywhere in the world. However, I do believe that limitations make us better filmmakers. With all the things you have to consider when making a bigger movie: the unions,
See full article at The Cultural Post »

How Josh and Benny Safdie Used Guerrilla Filmmaking to Hack Their Way Into Hollywood

  • Indiewire
How Josh and Benny Safdie Used Guerrilla Filmmaking to Hack Their Way Into Hollywood
Long before Robert Pattinson took a risk on them by starring in the gritty heist movie “Good Time,” sibling directors Josh and Benny Safdie spent a decade making scrappy, low-budget movies on the streets of New York. Now, they’ve been to Cannes three times, won fans from Hollywood executives and Martin Scorsese alike, and set up their own production company.

Just a few weeks after “Good Time” landed acclaim in competition at Cannes, a big studio project offered them a project. And they said no.

“It’s been a strange confluence of events,” said Benny in an interview a few days before the movie’s release in New York. “It’s just weird, because now there are a lot more people asking us questions—“

Josh, who’s a year and half older at 33, cut in. He does that a lot. “All of a sudden, everyone’s like, ‘Oh, you speak our language.
See full article at Indiewire »
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