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Sundance director of programming Trevor Groth joins 30West

Sundance director of programming Trevor Groth joins 30West
Festival director John Cooper salutes ‘bright mind and instinctual understanding of our filmmaker community.’

30West has scored a coup and hired longtime independent film champion and Sundance Film Festival director of programming Trevor Groth, who will officially start at the company in February.

Groth joined the programming staff at Sundance in 1993 and rose to become senior programmer in 2003 and director in 2009.

In a memo to staff, Sundance Film Festival director John Cooper was typically gracious. “Every new idea or program that was developed since I became director has been created shoulder to shoulder with Trevor,” Cooper wrote. “I will miss his bright mind and instinctual understanding of our filmmaker community.”

In his long-term role at Sundance, where in recent years he has worked alongside Cooper, Groth championed such Park City breakouts as Whiplash, Pi, Memento, and Napoleon Dynamite.

Through his guidance as head programmer for the festival’s short film section, Groth was among the
See full article at ScreenDaily »

30West Hires Sundance Programming Director Trevor Groth

30West Hires Sundance Programming Director Trevor Groth
30West has hired Trevor Groth, the longtime director of programming for the Sundance Film Festival, for an undisclosed post.

Groth will join the finance-production company in February. He first joined the programming staff of the Sundance festival in 1993, was named senior programmer in 2003, and director in 2009. While at Sundance, Groth was an advocate for a variety of notable independent titles including “Whiplash,” “Fruitvale Station,” “Hard Eight,” “Pi,” “Memento,” and “Napoleon Dynamite.”

Under his direction as head programmer for the festival’s Short Film Section, Groth also showcased the work of prominent filmmakers such as Spike Jonze, Cary Fukunaga, Taika Waititi, and Sarah Polley.

“For over twenty years Trevor has been one of the film community’s most consistent champions of original creative voices, all while exhibiting a fearless commitment to pushing the boundaries of film creation and distribution,” 30West said. “We could not be more thrilled that he has chosen to join us.”

30West announced
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Sundance Film Festival Programming Chief Trevor Groth Heads to 30West

  • The Wrap
Sundance Film Festival Programming Chief Trevor Groth Heads to 30West
30West has hired Sundance Film Festival programming chief Trevor Groth, who will join the company in February, it was announced Monday. Groth joined the festival in 1993 and was named Senior Programmer in 2003 and Director in 2009. During his time with the festival staff, he helped champion acclaimed titles such as “Whiplash,” “Fruitvale Station,” “Hard Eight,” “Pi,” “Memento” and “Napoleon Dynamite.” In his post, he also was one of the first to showcase the shorts of now prominent filmmakers such as Spike Jonze, Cary Fukunaga, Taika Waititi and Sarah Polley. Also Read: 2018 Sundance Film Festival Awards: The Complete Winners List “It’s...
See full article at The Wrap »

Sundance Film Review: ‘The Tale’

Sundance Film Review: ‘The Tale’
Thirty years ago, Jennifer Fox won the grand jury prize at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival for her documentary “Beirut: The Last Home Movie,” engaging with sex-positive and progressively feminist topics in her subsequent nonfiction work, most notably “Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman.” Both a natural extension of Fox’s career to date and a complete about-face, “The Tale” marks her first narrative feature, but only because traditional documentary wouldn’t do justice to this messy, meandering investigation into her traumatic first sexual experience, for the incidents it depicts are true, “at least as far I know.”

That’s how actress Laura Dern puts it, appearing as Fox’s taller, blonder, but no less independent screen proxy. A longtime supporter of the project, Dern plays Jennifer, a fearless, 50-ish documentary filmmaker interrupted while on location by agitated voicemail messages from her mother (Ellen Burstyn), who sounds really upset after discovering a decades-old short story Jennifer wrote at age
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Sundance 2018 Women Directors: Meet Alexandria Bombach — “On Her Shoulders”

“On Her Shoulders”

Alexandria Bombach is an award-winning filmmaker from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She founded her production company, Red Reel, in 2009. Bombach directed and produced the Emmy Award-winning series “Moveshake.” Her other credits include “Frame by Frame,” “23 Feet,” and the New York Times Op-Doc “Afghanistan By Choice.”

“On Her Shoulders” will premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival on January 20.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

Ab: The film is about Nadia Murad, a 23-year-old survivor of the Yazidi Genocide in Northern Iraq in 2014. Nadia and thousands of other Yazidi women were forced into sexual slavery after Isis militants murdered thousands of people. After Nadia escaped, she testified at the U.N. Security Council about this, which launched her into becoming the face of the Yazidis. There is an intimate understanding [in the film] of the toll this work takes on Nadia, and what it takes to get
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

USC Scripter Award Nominees Include ‘Logan,’ ‘Mindhunter’ and Margaret Atwood, Twice

USC Scripter Award Nominees Include ‘Logan,’ ‘Mindhunter’ and Margaret Atwood, Twice
The jury vote for the 30th USC Libraries Scripter Award nominees was so close that two ties resulted for the film and television categories. Due to a three-way tie in the nomination round, the writers of seven films and the works on which the films are based will compete for the honors this year.

The winner of the Scripter Award often goes on to other honors, including the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Winners in recent years include “Moonlight,” “The Big Short,” “The Imitation Game,” “12 Years a Slave” and “Argo,” which all won the Oscar in that category.

The finalist writers for film adaptation are, in alphabetical order by film title:

Author André Aciman and screenwriter James Ivory for “Call Me By Your Name” Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber for “The Disaster Artist” and authors Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell for their nonfiction book “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside ‘The Room,
See full article at Indiewire »

USC Scripter Award Nominees Include ‘Logan,’ ‘Mindhunter’ and Margaret Atwood, Twice

USC Scripter Award Nominees Include ‘Logan,’ ‘Mindhunter’ and Margaret Atwood, Twice
The jury vote for the 30th USC Libraries Scripter Award nominees was so close that two ties resulted for the film and television categories. Due to a three-way tie in the nomination round, the writers of seven films and the works on which the films are based will compete for the honors this year.

The winner of the Scripter Award often goes on to other honors, including the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Winners in recent years include “Moonlight,” “The Big Short,” “The Imitation Game,” “12 Years a Slave” and “Argo,” which all won the Oscar in that category.

The finalist writers for film adaptation are, in alphabetical order by film title:

Author André Aciman and screenwriter James Ivory for “Call Me By Your Name” Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber for “The Disaster Artist” and authors Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell for their nonfiction book “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside ‘The Room,
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

‘Wonder Woman,’ ‘Lost City of Z,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ Among USC Scripter Finalists

‘Wonder Woman,’ ‘Lost City of Z,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ Among USC Scripter Finalists
Finalists have been unveiled for the 30th annual USC Scripter Awards, celebrating adaptations of the written word.

Due to a three-way tie, there were seven nominees on the film side this year.

Chaired by USC professor and past president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman, the 2018 Scripter selection committee* selected the finalists from a field of 91 film and 28 television adaptations.

Nominees for film are:

Author André Aciman and screenwriter James Ivory for “Call Me by Your Name

Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber for “The Disaster Artist,” and authors Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell for their nonfiction book “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside ‘The Room,’ the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made”

Screenwriters Scott Frank, Michael Green, and James Mangold, and authors Roy Thomas, Len Wein, and John Romita, Sr., for “Logan”

Screenwriter James Gray and author David Grann for “The Lost City of Z

Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and author Molly Bloom for “Molly
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Wonder Woman,’ ‘Lost City of Z,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ Among USC Scripter Finalists

Finalists have been unveiled for the 30th annual USC Scripter Awards, celebrating adaptations of the written word.

Due to a three-way tie, there were seven nominees on the film side this year.

Chaired by USC professor and past president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman, the 2018 Scripter selection committee* selected the finalists from a field of 91 film and 28 television adaptations.

Nominees for film are:

Author André Aciman and screenwriter James Ivory for “Call Me by Your Name

Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber for “The Disaster Artist,” and authors Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell for their nonfiction book “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside ‘The Room,’ the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made”

Screenwriters Scott Frank, Michael Green, and James Mangold, and authors Roy Thomas, Len Wein, and John Romita, Sr., for “Logan”

Screenwriter James Gray and author David Grann for “The Lost City of Z

Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and author Molly Bloom for “Molly
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Sarah Polley And Mia Kirshner Show Support For Actresses Suing Soulpepper Theatre Company

  • ET Canada
After four actresses came forward with allegations of sexual assault against Soulpepper Theatre Company founder Albert Schultz, over 300 people are showing their support. Canadian actresses Sarah Polley and Mia Kirshner join those 300 who have signed a letter calling for action. Related: Canadian Actress Sarah Polley Says ‘Toronto’s Homeless Are In Crisis’ The letter, obtained by […]
See full article at ET Canada »

Canadian Actress Sarah Polley Says ‘Toronto’s Homeless Are In Crisis’

  • ET Canada
Sarah Polley is using her fame to bring attention to a crisis ravaging the homeless population of Toronto. The “Road to Avonlea” actress penned an article for Vancouver Metro on the horrifying conditions facing homeless people in Canada’s largest city. “On the afternoon of New Year’s Eve I stand, in shock, looking at the scene before […]
See full article at ET Canada »

Women Directors From Europe on Their Foreign-Language Films

Women Directors From Europe on Their Foreign-Language Films
With a record 27 women behind the 92 foreign-language film submissions, Variety posed the same questions to a selection of directors about their experiences. What was your biggest obstacle in making the film? What was the key to your breakthrough? What is your creative goal? Who are your filmmaking heroes? What would you like the world to know about being a woman film director and the message you want to send? Here are their stories.

Anahit Abad

Yeva” (Armenia)

“Funding the project is the biggest obstacle, just like for most filmmakers who are trying to make their first film. Particularly, I can say that some of the most important obstacles I faced during the production of my film are being a woman, being of Armenian descent and of course, the fact that I am shorter than average.

“With all the financial obstacles, the fact that I was raised in the Iranian cinema and the location was somehow unfamiliar … I used
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Alias Grace’ Review

On paper, Netflix’s newest original series, Alias Grace, appears to be another product of Seo and word cloud analysis:

“People watch period pieces like Downtown Abby and fiction based on true crime.”

Hulu had a big hit with adapting a Margaret Atwood book!”

“Women Behind Bars and Killer Women both get lots of hits among a key demo.”

Regardless if the methods for generating content like House of Cards and Stranger Things are stomach churning, the results are generally enjoyable. Alias Grace, based on Atwood’s fictionalized examination of the Irish immigrant at the center of a historical 19th-century murder, is no exception.

While a narrative primarily organized around the psychiatric evaluation (think In Treatment) of the increasingly troubled life of a young servant in Victorian Ontario may not be promising, the result is cooly intoxicating. Anchored by Sarah Gadon’s subtle performance as Grace Marks, and punctuated by stabs of del Toro-esque imagery,
See full article at Destroy the Brain »

Doc NYC 2017 Women Directors: Meet Julia Bacha — “Naila and the Uprising”

“Naila and the Uprising”

Julia Bacha is a Peabody award-winning filmmaker, media strategist, and the Creative Director at Just Vision. Her credits include “Encounter Point,” “Budrus,” and “My Neighbourhood.” Bacha’s work has been screened at Sundance, Berlin, and Tribeca Film Festivals, broadcast on the BBC, HBO, and Al Jazeera, and shared with Palestinian refugee camps and the U.S. Congress.

“Naila and the Uprising” will premiere at the 2017 Doc NYC film festival on November 12.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

Jb: “Naila and the Uprising” is about the courage of women’s leadership and the power of nonviolent resistance in the struggle for freedom, dignity, and equality. It follows Naila Ayesh, a young woman in Gaza who, when a national uprising breaks out, is forced to make a choice between love, family, and freedom. She embraces all three in a story that is both tragic and hopeful.

The film is framed by the First Intifada of the late 1980s, and Naila’s story serves as a window into the clandestine network of women who organized the most vibrant, nonviolent mobilization in Palestinian history.

“Naila and the Uprising” uses evocative animation, intimate interviews, and exclusive archival footage to bring out of anonymity the courageous women activists who fought a simultaneous struggle for national liberation and gender equality.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Jb: For over a decade, whenever I’ve asked Palestinian grassroots leaders about the models of inspiration that they draw on, they’ve consistently pointed me towards the First Intifada.

I knew after years of filmmaking in the region that, broadly speaking, the historical memory of the First Intifada had been clouded by a mainstream media narrative that simplified the uprising with images of stone-throwing Palestinian youth, Molotov cocktails, and burning tires. But I didn’t understand the extent of that misleading narrative until our team at Just Vision, for whom I’m the Creative Director, began digging deeper.

I was captivated by what we learned: that women played a key leadership role in a strategic and disciplined nonviolent movement, and that most of their stories had never been told. We knew we had the chance to tell a really crucial story.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

Jb: My hope is that audiences walk away with a more holistic understanding not only of the First Intifada, but also of social movements around the world.

One thing that’s jumped out at me while making films in Palestine and Israel is that the media often overlooks nonviolent organizing, even when it makes up the bulk of organizing. Even more so, women who stand at the frontlines are often made invisible in media narratives and historical accounts. That’s a theme we took on in “Budrus,” our 2009 documentary about a village’s nonviolent campaign to save their community from destruction.

“Naila and the Uprising” follows these themes, unearthing a remarkable story of women’s leadership and nonviolent organizing. My hope is that audiences will walk away with a more complete picture of the First Intifada and of Palestinian and Israeli organizing aimed at a rights-respecting future for everyone.

But I also hope they see the implications beyond the region, recognizing that we each hold a responsibility to look beyond the headlines to amplify women’s leadership and nonviolent organizing in social movements around the world.

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

Jb: Going back 30 years to make visible a story that was largely invisible at the time is a logistical and creative challenge. We set out to re-tell the story of the First Intifada from the perspective of the women who had guided it through its most disciplined and strategic stage. But we wanted to do it in a way that captured the exhilaration, fear, and inspiration that the women experienced at the time.

There was some visual documentation of the work they had done, but very little. There was even less of their personal journeys. Our archivists did an amazing job of doing really deep research to unearth every single instance of media coverage of women’s organizing from the time, and we illustrated the more intimate moments of their personal struggles with animation.

Piecing those together while honoring the courage and resilience of the film’s protagonists was by far the biggest challenge, and also the greatest joy.

W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.

Jb: We raised funding for the film from Just Vision’s community of supporters, which is comprised of private and public foundations, family foundations, and individuals who are passionate about film, human rights, conflict resolution, social justice, the Middle East, women’s rights, and independent news.

I feel incredibly lucky to have such a strong community of supporters for this work.

W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at Doc NYC?

Jb: It feels like we’re coming full circle by having our world premiere at Doc NYC. We pitched “Naila and the Uprising” back when it was still an untitled film at last year’s Pitch Perfect at Doc NYC, and won best pitch. That recognition, from some people who I deeply admire, gave us a huge boost.

Plus, as a documentarian living in NYC, there’s really no better festival for a world premiere. We’re pretty humbled to be here and excited about the community we’ll be sharing the film with.

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

Jb: The best advice is a well-known editing mantra passed down to me from Jehane Noujaim: One idea per scene. We worked together on “Control Room” and I’ve repeated that phrase since more times than I can count.

I can’t remember any specific bad advice, which probably is a good sign. It means the advice either disappeared after some trial and error or that I willfully cleared it out of my mind.

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

Jb: If you merely want to be a filmmaker, don’t do it. But if you need to be a filmmaker, start by finding people that you trust and love working with. It’s a really hard road and it can’t be done without a supportive community.

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

Jb: “Stories We Tell” by Sarah Polley. It’s brilliant storytelling, gorgeously shot, and so brave.

W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.

Jb: Like other systemic issues, female representation in the film industry is not going to change overnight. I believe we are going to see real change over decades, not years. I don’t mean this to be discouraging, I just think it’s realistic.

If we don’t do all the work we’re doing — and more — then we’ll not only not improve, we’ll risk losing the gains we’ve made. Still, when I see that Doc NYC has more than 40 percent of its films directed by women, I can’t deny it makes me feel excited to be among them.

Doc NYC 2017 Women Directors: Meet Julia Bacha — “Naila and the Uprising” 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 »

Doc NYC 2017 Women Directors: Meet Talya Tibbon — “Sky & Ground”

“Sky & Ground”

Talya Tibbon is an award-winning director, producer, and writer. She’s worked in four continents documenting wide-ranging subjects such as street gangs, mass shooters and those who survive their crimes, and human trafficking. She’s currently in the early production stages of a film about her father and his work identifying soldiers lost in battle. Her most recent film, “Amanpour — On Sex and Love in Berlin,” will air as part of CNN Originals in early 2018.

“Sky & Ground” will premiere at the 2017 Doc NYC film festival on November 12. The film is co-directed by Joshua Bennett.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

Tt: “Sky & Ground” is a film about a journey. On the surface it’s a physical journey — this family of three generations is trekking through seven countries with the hope of finding a new home in Germany. But the film is also very much about an emotional journey of dealing with the physical reality of displacement and reconciling those circumstances with the ties that keep families together.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Tt: I remember watching the enormous tsunami of people walking through the fields and the roads of Europe during the summer and fall of 2015. It was hard to shake off those images and it brought to mind history. I kept thinking how similar those images were to the black and white ones from Europe 70 and 80 years ago. Parts of my family went through a very similar journey.

When I first walked around Idomeni — this makeshift refugee camp that emerged on the border of Greece and Macedonia — I was a little overwhelmed. The place was absolutely insane and filled with anxious, restless energy. Emotions and tensions were running high. There were constant clashes with police, and between groups and families, and it seemed impossible to find any privacy or peace.

But inside the Sheikh Nabi-Abdulrahman tent there were lots of giggles, and there was singing, cooking, and of course bickering over chores — some sense of normalcy. I loved how despite the cards they were dealt, the uncertainty of the future, and all this chaos around them, this family managed to keep its dignity. It was what drew me to them.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

Tt: There are labels that get thrown around these days like “migrants” or “refugees.” They help put a distance between “us” and “them” and exempt people from identifying or empathizing to some extent. There were so many moments along the journey, with its ups and downs, that made me think how similar we all are. There are cultural differences and circumstances, but we are so much alike.

I want people who watch “Sky & Ground” to remember that the only difference between being a refugee and not is luck. We live in such a crazy world. Today refugees are people fleeing wars in Syria or Afghanistan; tomorrow it could be people fleeing because of climate change, and it could be you.

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

Tt: I learned so much from spending time with this family. I love them. But the closer we got, the harder some decisions became. What do I do when they worry about food, or where to sleep, or when their tent gets stolen, or when someone has a medical emergency? I’m a problem solver by nature and I really wanted this journey to be less painful for them.

But there were times when I had to step back and remind myself to draw the line and keep myself a filmmaker documenting this journey, not an activist. And then, of course, I had to deal with having to come back the next day and keep filming. But ultimately, I thought the biggest help I could be to them was by making this film and sharing their story with the world.

W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.

Tt: The film was funded as part of a multi-film project and social engagement campaign titled “Humanity On The Move.” We’re planning to broadcast the film in 2018 and incorporate community screenings and discussion groups that will focus on refugees and refugee resettlement. We’ve been generously supported by The Ikea Foundation, Emerson Collective, Neda Nobari Foundation, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Barrie Landry Foundation, and Wellspring Advisors Fledgling Fund.

W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at Doc NYC?

Tt: As a documentary fan I’ve been coming to Doc NYC for years. I love that there are so many films and so much choice. It’s one of my favorite New York things to do in the fall, which makes being given the opportunity to participate in it so great. But more importantly, what I’ve always loved about Doc NYC is that it’s not an industry event. It’s still very much a people’s festival with everyday New Yorkers coming out to see the films.

Whether it’s someone’s first film or their eighth, there’s always this great interaction between filmmakers and the audience. I’m very much looking forward to that.

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

Tt: Someone I really love always reminds me to choose my battles. As a director and woman in this industry, there are plenty of battles along the way and the wise people are those who choose which ones are worth fighting. This is still a work in progress for me.

The worst advice I received was from a very established director when I moved into making my own films. He said I was an excellent producer and I shouldn’t “risk” becoming a director. I’m so glad I didn’t listen to him.

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

Tt: Opportunities are rare. I wouldn’t just wait for those to come — take the initiative and make it yours. It’s one thing that keeps coming up when I speak with other women directors about our experiences. So many of us are kicking ourselves for the years we were waiting to be noticed or given the chance to fully own a project when we should have just stood up for ourselves.

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

Tt: When I watch a film I usually don’t try to guess whether a man or a woman directed it. But if I had to choose one I loved and was aware of the fact that it was directed by a woman, partly because it’s such a personal film and about a woman, it would be Sarah Polley’s “Stories We Tell.”

I loved the fact that she wasn’t just interested in a straight-forward portrait of her mother and her family, and loved how intimate that film felt.

W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.

Tt: It’s hard to believe that we are still having these discussions in late 2017 but sadly we are. I am encouraged by the conversation and by the fact that it’s an issue that has been noticed but I’m not sure how much it’s being addressed in an effective way.

These days discrimination is more opaque. When it comes to the actual work, it’s common that for a woman director, knowing what she wants and insisting on getting that gets easily perceived as being “difficult.” We are still expected to be agreeable.

These kind of hurdles which women have to overcome to get there are much higher than they are for men. But there are so many super-talented women in this industry who know what they are doing and know what they want and will still persist, and that leaves me optimistic.

Doc NYC 2017 Women Directors: Meet Talya Tibbon — “Sky & Ground” 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 »

'Alias Grace': How a True-Crime Drama Became the Most Relevant Show on TV

'Alias Grace': How a True-Crime Drama Became the Most Relevant Show on TV
For two decades, Sarah Polley has been desperately trying to adapt Margaret Atwood's book about a young woman who was abused, mistreated and silenced in the mid-1800s. By the time the 38-year-old actor-turned-writer/director brought the author's 1996 historical novel Alias Grace to the small screen – the six-hour miniseries began streaming on Netflix in early November – she had no idea she'd end up discussing the very same issues taking place in the 21st century. "I was imagining when I did press for [this], I would be introducing this as a conversation,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

‘Alias Grace’: An All-Women Team (With Some Inspiration From ‘American Psycho’) Created the Anti-‘Downton Abbey’

  • Indiewire
‘Alias Grace’: An All-Women Team (With Some Inspiration From ‘American Psycho’) Created the Anti-‘Downton Abbey’
“She feels like prey. She lives in a completely predatory world. Her job is to not respond to endless amounts of harassment and violence.”

This is how writer and producer Sarah Polley describes the central character of the Netflix/CBC miniseries “Alias Grace.” This is also a statement that makes the based-on-real-events story of Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), a 19th-century Canadian woman who spent years in prison after being convicted of murder, infinitely relatable to many women yesterday and today, but hopefully less so tomorrow.

“I think a lot of what [‘Alias Grace’] explores is what it meant to be a woman and how much it meant to be a young woman at that time, but also what it means to be a young woman at any time, when especially it’s exaggerated in Grace Marks’ case,” Polley told IndieWire. “I think a lot of women can relate to that, right now
See full article at Indiewire »

Alias Grace review – a blessed adaptation of Margaret Atwood's extraordinary novel

This cerebral true-crime miniseries, brilliantly adapted by Sarah Polley, is just as well done – and just as suited to our times – as The Handmaid’s Tale

On Netflix, Alias Grace is tagged “cerebral”. That is part promise, part warning, according to taste, but cerebral this adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s extraordinary, slippery, sinuous 1996 novel certainly is.

The plot is based on a real Canadian murder case. In 1843, 16-year-old Irish immigrant Grace Marks and James McDermott, her fellow servant in the household of Thomas Kinnear, were convicted of murdering Kinnear and his housekeeper-lover Nancy Montgomery. McDermott was hanged and Marks was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Related: Alias Grace: an astonishingly timely portrait of the brutality of powerlessness

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

‘Alias Grace’ Review: Margaret Atwood’s Novel Once Again Gets Beautiful, Brutal, and Feminist Treatment in Netflix Miniseries

  • Indiewire
‘Alias Grace’ Review: Margaret Atwood’s Novel Once Again Gets Beautiful, Brutal, and Feminist Treatment in Netflix Miniseries
Brace yourself: You’re going to want to binge “Alias Grace.” The six-episode limited series — streaming now on Netflix following its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and subsequent broadcasting in Canada on the CBC — is downright hypnotic, rapturous, and engrossing.

Watching evokes the sense of sinking into a great novel, which seems only fitting, given that it’s based on the 1996 book by Margaret Atwood, one of our greatest living novelists. But everything in the execution is owed to the detail-rich writing of Sarah Polley and direction of Mary Harron, who take this real-life tale of murder and give it rich depths, digging into the harm done to a human soul by a lifetime of oppression.

At the center of “Grace” is Grace Marks (played by Sarah Gadon in a star-making turn), a 19th-century Irish immigrant convicted of a notorious double murder, whose mental state comes
See full article at Indiewire »

A Guide to the Serial Killers (and Infamous Murderers) Taking Over Film and TV

From Jack the Ripper to John Wayne Gacy to Aileen Wuornos, the horrific legacies of serial killers have managed to both appall and intrigue, as people attempt to explore and understand the darkest depths of the human psyche. Hollywood has mined this territory for years, with dozens of scripted true-crime movies and TV series exploring the “why” of those who snap.

But why are we so obsessed? Alex Wolff, who stars in the new movie My Friend Dahmer, about the high school years of the notorious mass murderer Jeffrey Dahmer, has a theory. “People are interested in seeing how things happen and maybe finding out what things could be different,” he tells Et. “Like, what is it about him that’s so different from me, or my next-door neighbor who seems a little bit off? That’s why people are interested in seeing the birth of things like this -- for their own comfort, for their own life
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »
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