13 items from 2017
It reportedly had to fight tooth and nail for festival placement of any kind, yet few titles on last fall’s circuit earned praise like that bestowed upon Bertrand Bonello‘s galvanizing Nocturama. A picture caught somewhere between the nastier side of Robert Bresson and more melancholy inclinations of George A. Romero, it follows a group of teens determined to coordinate a series of bombings throughout Paris — which indeed made the movie a difficult sell mere months after Isil-sponsored attacks on the very city, and continues to make it more hot-button than anyone could’ve anticipated.
But it’s getting a U.S. release this summer from Grasshopper Film, who have let us premiere Nocturama‘s rapid-fire, fear-drenched domestic trailer. If you’re even the slightest bit intrigued by what’s seen therein, you’ll want to give this picture a shot: as I said in my review out of Tiff, »
- Nick Newman
If you're unfamiliar with the story, it's set in a near-future America that has been decimated by environmental troubles, war and the onset of an infertility crisis nobody knew how to solve.
It’s a harrowing look at could happen when the rights we’ve fought for and won in a democracy are threatened and lost because of complacency.
In other words, it’s a story that could be about our society today if we not careful.
Having never imagined myself a feminist by the traditional definition of the word, but I am so incredibly proud to be a part of television today which is on the receiving end of so many talented women creating spectacular programming. This is how it should always be.
Not only did Atwood write The Handmaid’s Tale in response to »
- Carissa Pavlica
Women directed nearly 40 percent of the films screening in Competition at this year’s edition of the Tribeca Film Festival, and there are plenty of women-centric projects in the fest’s lineup. Whether you’re most interested in features or documentaries, stories about friendship or feminist awakenings, we’ve got you covered. We’ve assembled some of the most promising-sounding films in the program, but this is by no means an exhaustive list of projects by and about women at the fest— just some of the highlights.
Besides the features listed below, other noteworthy titles include Jessica Devaney’s short “Love the Sinner,” a doc about her growing up Evangelical and how the Pulse shooting affected her, and Zohar Kfir’s “Testimony,” a Vr doc centered on sexual assault survivors. You can also check out “Out of this World: Female Filmmakers in Genre,” a special screening of three genre shorts helmed by women, and interview events with Barbra Streisand as well as Lena Dunham and frequent collaborator Jenni Konner.
Tribeca runs from April 19–30. Plot synopses below are courtesy of Tribeca.
“The Divine Order” — Written and Directed by Petra Volpe
What it’s about: Political leaders in Switzerland cited “Divine Order” as the reason why women still did not have the right to vote as late as 1970. Director Petra Volpe explores this surprising history through the story of Nora, a quiet housewife from a quaint village searching for the fierce suffragette leader inside her. With Marie Leuenberger, Max Simonischek, Rachel Braunschweig, Sibylle Brunner, Marta Zoffoli, Bettina Sucky.
Why we’re interested: Women have had the right to vote in the U.S. for less than 100 years, and sadly there are women around the world that still can’t cast ballots. It’s easy to slough off women’s fight for the vote as a thing of the past, but “Divine Order” stresses that this chapter in history remains largely unwritten. “This got swept under the rug and was not talked about much in history lessons,” Volpe explained in an as-yet-unpublished interview with Women and Hollywood. “That is so typical for women’s history — it’s untold. I made this movie because I wanted to honor all the women who fought for so long and so hard.”
What it’s about: All current art is fake. Nothing is original. These are some of the statements exposed in artist Julian Rosefeldt’s film. Starring Cate Blanchett, we witness a series of vignettes which draw upon artist manifestos that question the true nature of art. A chameleonic Blanchett gives a tour-de-force performance as she transforms in each segment like never before
Why we’re interested: Frankly, this description of “Manifesto” makes the film sound more than a little pretentious. But we simply can’t and won’t turn down the opportunity to see Cate Blanchett take on 13 characters. When you watch a film starring the inimitable actress, you’re guaranteed a standout performance. So with “Manifesto,” we can expect 13 standout performances. The unconventional project — which originated as a multi-screen film installation — sees the two-time Oscar winner playing characters as varied as a factory worker, puppeteer, and scientist.
“For Ahkeem” (Documentary)
What it’s about: “For Ahkeem” is the moving portrait of 17-year-old Daje Shelton, a Black girl in North St. Louis, as she navigates the many challenges of growing up in inner city America with one goal: to graduate high school.
Why we’re interested: Most films depict larger-than-life characters with experiences that are pure fantasy for the viewer. So it’s a welcome change to see a down-to-earth movie featuring a relatable protagonist with a relatable goal. Daje wants what we all want: a good life. Featuring subtle commentary on the U.S. education system, “For Ahkeem” shows how unnecessarily difficult it is for young people like Daje to earn a high school diploma, something that should be a fundamental right for everyone.
What it’s about: When Mae (Emma Watson) is hired to work for the world’s largest and most powerful tech and social media company, she sees it as an opportunity of a lifetime. As she rises through the ranks, she is encouraged by the company’s founder, Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), to engage in a groundbreaking experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy, ethics, and ultimately her personal freedom. Her participation in the experiment, and every decision she makes begin to affect the lives and future of her friends, family, and that of humanity
Why we’re interested: “Beauty and the Beast” has officially grossed more than a billion dollars at the box office, and “The Circle” marks “Harry Potter” alumna Emma Watson’s follow-up to the Disney smash sensation. It appears as though Watson is playing another heroine, and this time around, she’s taking on a god of the tech industry. “The Circle” promises to tackle timely questions and concerns about privacy laws and online identity, and will be a nice change of pace from Watson’s delightful turn as Belle.
What it’s about: Catherine (Julia Garner) and Iris (Juno Temple) are childhood friends home from college for a hot New England summer. As they attempt to enjoy parties and skinny-dipping and the usual vacation hijinks, a shared trauma in their past becomes increasingly difficult to suppress. As the wedge between the friends grows, they each pursue forbidden affairs to cope. With Alessandro Nivola, Maggie Siff, Philip Ettinger, Mamoudou Athie.
Why we’re interested: “This is a film about grief. Sorry! There are some laughs, too, and it’s sexy, I promise. But essentially, this is a movie about the effect of grief on the friendship of two young women,” writer-director Garcia told us in a soon-to-be-published interview. We love narratives about female friendship, and Garcia explained that the plot of “One Percent More Humid” is “an amalgam of true stories about young people and fatal car accidents.” Stories about grief are typically centered around middle-aged parents who have lost children, so it will be interesting to see two young women grappling with the aftermath of a tragedy.
What it’s about: In a support group for adults living with autism, David — a smooth talker struggling to hide his disability — meets a woman with similar learning challenges, and they quickly forge an intimate bond. Starring a cast of nonprofessional actors on the autism spectrum, “Keep the Change” details an underrepresented community with authenticity, optimism, and humor. With Brandon Polansky, Samantha Elisofon, Nicky Gottlieb, Will Deaver, Jessica Walter, Tibor Feldman.
Why we’re interested: Hollywood usually ignores people with disabilities, and when they are depicted, they’re often reduced to single-note characters. That’s why we’re happy that “Keep the Change” — like Alexandra Shiva’s “How to Dance in Ohio” — depicts the inner lives of those on the autism spectrum with actors who are actually on the spectrum. Instead of presenting David as if he is the subject of a public service announcement, Israel shows him as just another person looking for love.
“I Am Evidence”
What it’s about: Every year in cities around the United States, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of rape kits are left untested in police storage facilities. Produced by Mariska Hargitay, “I Am Evidence” exposes this shocking reality, bringing attention to the way in which police have historically processed sexual assault cases. Through an exploration of survivors’ accounts, the film sheds light on these disturbing statistics, and shows what can be achieved when evidence — and the individuals it represents — are treated with the respect we all deserve. An HBO Documentary Film release.
Why we’re interested: Adlesic and Gandbhir told Women and Hollywood they were drawn to tell this story because of “the outrage [they] felt” when they learned “it’s estimated that there are 400,000 untested rape kits in the Unites States.” Hopefully that outrage is contagious. If you aren’t horrified and disgusted by how the justice system treats rape survivors, “I Am Evidence” will likely make you reconsider your stance. The filmmakers hope that audiences leaving the theater “have a better understanding of the survivor experience” and “ask their legislators to pass laws that require the testing of all rape kits in a timely manner and to follow up on the findings of those tested kits.”
What it’s about: “Copwatch” is the true story of We Copwatch, an organization that films police activity as a non-violent form of protest and deterrent to police brutality. In her feature film debut, director Camilla Hall crafts an intriguing and timely profile of citizen-journalist-activists — including Ramsey Orta, who filmed Eric Garner’s fatal arrest — who seek to disrupt the ever-present challenge of police violence.
Why we’re interested: If the Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad taught us anything, it’s that much of the public is still shockingly ignorant about movements like We Copwatch and Black Lives Matter. “Copwatch” strives to show that being anti-police brutality is not the same as being anti-police. Like her subjects, Hall uses her camera to spotlight racially-charged violence and hold those responsible accountable. At a time when amateur videos expose the unfounded violence racial prejudice can provoke — from traffic stops to United Airlines — this doc is more relevant than ever.
“Wasted! The Story of Food Waste”
What it’s about: Each year, $218 billion — or 1.3 billion tons — of food is thrown out. With nearly a billion people worldwide facing starvation, food conservation is a more urgent issue than ever before. Executive produced by Anthony Bourdain, Chai and Kye’s fast-paced and forward-thinking food doc takes viewers on a tour of inventive new ideas for recycling waste and maximizing sustainability from innovative chefs like Massimo Bottura, Dan Barber, and Danny Bowien, who turn scraps into feasts before our eyes.
Why we’re interested: “One of the perks of working with Anthony Bourdain and on shows like ‘The Mind of a Chef’ is that you come in contact with a lot of chefs. Being in their worlds, their restaurants, and their kitchens, we see close-up what makes these people tick and also what boils their blood,” Chai and Kye told us in an upcoming interview. “Time and again, food waste was something that chefs railed against. It’s bad business. It shows laziness, a lack of creativity, and worst of all, disrespects the time, money, labor, and craft needed to grow the ingredients.” Most people would be appalled if they realized the sheer amount of food that gets thrown out daily, yet this subject is rarely broached in the mainstream media. “Wasted!” will explore why this is a problem we all need to be thinking about, talking about, and working to solve.
What it’s about: Dipti, Amrita, Ritu, and Seema are all young, modern women in India looking to get married — some desperately, some reluctantly. “A Suitable Girl” follows them over the course of four years as they juggle family, career, and friends, intimately capturing their thoughts on arranged marriage, giving them a voice, and offering a unique perspective into the nuances of this institution.
Why we’re interested: There is a western assumption that arranged marriages are inherently backwards and inferior to matches based on Disney-esque “true love.” But most people who accept this notion haven’t considered, or consulted, those who are actually in arranged marriages. “A Suitable Girl” moves past perception by directly engaging with the brides-to-be. Mundhra and Khurana listen to the young women without judgment or pre-existing expectations. And they discover that arranged marriages are based on many factors: timing, money, class, familial obligations, the couple, etc. Just like all unions.
What it’s about: Known for her unmatched beauty, Hedy Lamarr’s fans never knew she also possessed a beautiful mind. Immigrating to Hollywood in the late 1930s, Lamarr acted by day and sketched inventions by night, even devising a “secret communication system” for the Allies to beat the Nazis. “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” reveals how Lamarr gave her patent away to the Navy, receiving no credit for her engineering innovations, even as she was immortalized as a legend of the silver screen.
Why we’re interested: Society loves to force women into boxes, and “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” shows just how unfair and ill-advised this tendency is. While Lamarr has been immortalized for her appearance, the actress’s brilliant inventions haven’t received their fair due. “Who wouldn’t want to make a story about Hedy?! She was a wild child. Some claimed she was a spy. She was a movie star and later a drug addict and a recluse. Her life was crazy enough before we discovered she came up with a technology we use in our digital devices every day,” Dean told us in an upcoming interview. “I spent years profiling inventors and innovators for Bloomberg Television and Businessweek but I never heard a life story that came close to Hedy’s story. I suppose it also particularly resonated for me because, as a short, quiet woman who always wanted to be a director, I know a little about what its like to want to do something that no one expects you to do.”
“The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” (Documentary)
“The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson”
What it’s about: Featuring never-before-seen footage and rediscovered interviews, Academy Award nominee David France (“How to Survive a Plague”) follows a new investigation into the mysterious death of self-described “street queen” Marsha P. Johnson, one of the courageous black transgender activists who spearheaded the modern gay civil rights movement.
Why we’re interested: Accurate representations of trans characters and real-life trans people are severely lacking. Narratives like “3 Generations” and “The Danish Girl” caused controversy by casting cis actors to portray trans characters. Others like “Stonewall” minimize or outright ignore the role trans activists played in the fight for Lgbtq rights. “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” is essential because it tells a trans person’s story through her own perspective — a strategy the rest of Hollywood should emulate.
What it’s about: Featuring interviews and rare footage of U2, Blondie, Duran Duran, Joan Jett, The Cure, Billy Idol, and Depeche Mode, “Dare to Be Different” is a nostalgic look at Wlir 92.7, the radio station that introduced these bands to a U.S. audience. Director Ellen Goldfarb tells the story of the rise and fall of this institution, and the birth of the punk and new wave communities.
Why we’re interested: There are about a hundred existing documentaries about The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan. No disrespect — they are legends for a reason — but we’re excited that Goldfarb is documenting the rise of music that’s not strictly from the ’60s and ’70s. Female artists like Blondie and Joan Jett have been especially overlooked in music history, so we’re psyched to find out more about these influential voices and how they have resonated with fans.
What it’s about: Photojournalist Kate Brooks turns her lens from war zones to a new kind of genocide in this sweeping and sobering film. As the single-digit population of the Northern White Rhino ticks closer to extinction, Brooks exposes the epidemic of highly effective poachers and trafficking syndicates, and the heroic efforts of conservationists, park rangers, and scientists to protect these majestic creatures
Why we’re interested: “In 2010, I went to Kenya on a long planned vacation after embedding with a medevac unit at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. It was in the Maasai Mara that I was able to heal from some of the inhumanity I had witnessed,” Brooks recalled to Women and Hollywood in a soon-to-be-published interview. “Upon seeing a herd of wild elephants for the first time, I was reminded in an instant that in spite of all the human destruction on the planet, there was still some natural order. That experience ultimately led me to want to help them.” Brooks’ mission to help endangered elephants and rhinos evolved into an epic journey. “Production spanned four continents and the film is in five languages,” she explained. Since animals can’t speak for themselves, docs like “The Last Animals” are crucial in educating the public about how our behavior affects different species — and why it matters. Plus, Brooks is a photojournalist, so we’re betting the wildlife footage from “The Last Animals” is visually stunning.
Tribeca 2017 Preview: Arranged Marriages, Endangered Animals, the Justice System, & More was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Women and Hollywood
The most populous city in Canada has appeared on-screen in many different ways over the years.Enemy (2013)
There are many ways in which cities are portrayed in cinema. Sometimes cities are anonymous and nameless, and sometimes cities become characters in the films they are portrayed in. Cities can be merely incidental settings, or the specific locations within a city can be incredibly important both narratively and visually. The people within a city tend to represent the place itself: how they act, how they dress, where they work, how they speak, and what they eat. All of these things can be related to the place they live. Cities are home to an infinite multitude of experiences — people from different places, with different families, different wants and desires and identities.
There are cities that are frequently remembered as being iconic within the world of cinema. Paris, Rome, New York, Venice, Chicago, and London have all received loving portraits in »
- Angela Morrison
David Bowie created his ethereal, iconic Ziggy Stardust look in 1972, which was around the time renowned rock music photographer Mick Rock first began photographing the late idol. Rock—who also shot such rock luminaries as Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, and Debbie Harry—carefully documented Bowie’s spaceman alter ego, helping to save the breathtaking images for posterity. “The Man Who Shot the Seventies” recently teamed up with Magnolia Pictures on Shot! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra Of Rock, a documentary that catalogs many of the signature looks Rock has captured over the years. The A.V. Club is premiering this exclusive clip from the documentary, which was released on April 7, below.
In the clip, Rock describes Bowie’s prepossessing nature, which led him to recognize early on how keen the photographer’s eye was. The rock star’s manager told him, “David says that you see him the way he ...
- Danette Chavez
What makes a truly remarkable non-fiction motion picture? Is it a captivating central figure? Is it the density with which the filmmaker delves into the picture’s biographical or sociological center? Or is it simply the filmmaker’s ability to make an engaging film aesthetically?
That’s the root question when discussing the latest film from director Barnaby Clay, entitled Shot! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock.
The Rock in the film’s title isn’t so much rock and roll music, although that’s clearly a major player within the film. Instead Clay’s picture shines a light on an unsung icon with quite an interesting cross-sectional view of music history. A career spanning pre-glam psychedelica all the way into the new millennium, photographer Mick Rock has lensed artists like David Bowie and Queen, all while evolving into a poet of sorts. If you want a true look at the history of popular rock music, »
- Joshua Brunsting
Legendary music photographer Mick Rock is the first to admit that he may have mistaken his surname for his destiny — or maybe it’s that his surname simply was his destiny. Of course, it wouldn’t have meant very much had he been born in another time, or even in another place, but that wasn’t how the cards were dealt. Michael David Rock was born in Britain in 1948, one year and a few miles away from a man who would eventually come to feel that “Bowie” suited him better than “Jones.” And so, from the very start, Mick Rock was on something of a collision course with rock and roll, a passenger waiting to make good on his one-way ticket to the soul of the 20th century.
If “Shot! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock” stands slightly above the recent onslaught of docs about people on the periphery of the music world (e. »
- David Ehrlich
Chuck Berry passed away on March 18 in Missouri, Variety reports. The 90-year-old guitarist was a cornerstone of rock and roll music, with energetic hits from the ’50s such as “Maybellene” and “Roll Over Beethoven.” He is also credited with perfecting onstage swagger, posing with his guitar and rocking out in a way that heavily influenced countless bands, from The Rolling Stones to Bruce Springsteen and beyond. Outside of effectively creating rock music, Berry also had a defining impact on the film industry, soundtracking two of cinema’s most iconic scenes and influencing scores of filmmakers and actors.
But even that cultural touchstone is eclipsed by Marty McFly’s cover of “Johnny B. Goode »
- William Earl
With warm spring weather right around the corner (that is, once we get through Storm Stella tomorrow with some sheet masks and online shopping), we’re feeling ready for a spring hair change to go along with it. And naturally, a number of celebrities have beaten us to it, with tons of stars now sporting what appears to be the hairstyle of the next few months.
Normally natural brunettes, including Olivia Wilde, Katy Perry and Kate Mara, made dramatic cuts and color changes that have us dying to run to our stylists to create for ourselves. And even blonde stars »
- Kaitlyn Frey
Blondie and Garbage are teaming up for a U.S. tour this summer. Blondie & Garbage Team Up For Joint Summer Tour The tour, called the “Rage and Rapture Tour,” comes just after the release of Blondie’s new album Pollinator, which will be out May 5. Tracks will feature appearances from Dave Sitek, Sia, Charli Xcx, Laurie Anderson, Devonté Hynes, Joan Jett, Johnny […]
The post Blondie & Garbage Team Up For U.S. Tour [Ticket Info] appeared first on uInterview. »
- Hillary Luehring-Jones
Like its parent film, T2 Trainspotting’s soundtrack eschews cosy Cool Britannia nostalgia for something weirder and better. The original soundtrack was a sharp mix of cult classics and of-the-moment artists. Rather than get Blur and co back, Danny Boyle has called on a more leftfield lineup of young guns, the likes of Mercury-winning Edinburgh alt hip-hop trio Young Fathers, Brixton scuzz rockers Fat White Family and deliciously demented Irish rappers Rubberbandits. The classic side of things is held up by Queen, Run Dmc, Blondie and more, with the whole bookended by Trainspotting’s biggest tracks reborn: a mad-dog Prodigy remix of Iggy’s Lust for Life and Underworld’s Slow Slippy. In our retromaniac world, it might not attain the original’s classic status, but it’s all the better for its bravery.
Continue reading »
- Emily Mackay
Few movies leave the viewer as bewildered and blown away as Danny Boyle’s 1996 “Trainspotting.” That’s probably the reason it has evolved over the last decade from a cult classic into a right of passage for all coming-of-age cinephiles. You can’t go grow up loving movies these days and miss the mayhem that heroin addict Mark Renton gets into with his circle of friends (or that ceiling-crawling baby), which makes the prospects of the upcoming sequel all the more exciting and risky. Can a follow-up really capture the magnetic chaos of the original? The cast and crew are here to assure you, “yes.”
In an exclusive behind-the-scenes video below, director Danny Boyle and the cast calm your nerves by citing the screenplay as the real source of the sequel’s success and existence. »
- Zack Sharf
Danny Boyle’s 1996 film “Trainspotting” follows a group of heroin addicts in an economically depressed Edinburgh in the late 1980s. Based on Irvine Welsh’s novel by the same name, the film went on to become a critical and commercial hit around the globe. Besides parking controversy for its subject matter, the film also produced two acclaimed soundtracks that featured music from and inspired by the film, including Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, Primal Scream, Pulp, New Order and more.
Now, Boyle has prepped a sequel, “T2 Trainspotting,” due out early this year, based on Welsh’s sequel “Porno,” that picks up 20 years after the events of the first film. Ahead of the film’s release, the soundtrack has leaked onto Amazon UK, as reported by NME, and features music from artists young and old. »
- Vikram Murthi
13 items from 2017
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