1-20 of 32 items from 2017 « Prev | Next »
In today’s International Newswire, Turner and HBO launch a new Ott family brand in Scandinavia; Lionsgate UK re-teams with Noel Clarke; and as the TV industry builds up for mid-month’s Mipcom trade fair, Keshet Intl. revealing its Mipcom slate, a report suggests television remains the preferred screen of choice for viewing programs.
HBO Nordic, which operates in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, has launched Turner’s brand-new children and family Ott service Toonix. Created by Turner Emea, Toonix is targeted at 3-12-year-olds and their families. The service will offer a mix of kids’ series and movies, including popular content from Turner’s Cartoon Network Studios and Warner Bros. Animation. Among its key shows are “The Amazing World of Gumball,” “Lego Ninjago,” “Looney Tunes” and “The Powerpuff Girls,” all of which are fully localized, with offerings in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Finnish. Toonix will be available for consumers on www.hbonordic. »
- Ed Meza
Close-Up is a feature that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Chris Marker's Level Five (1997) is playing September 17 - October 17, 2017 in most countries around the world as part of the retrospective Chris Marker: An Essayist from the Future.Midway into Chris Marker’s Level Five (1997), Laura (Catherine Belkhodja) ponders aloud what ethnologists of the future might think of the video diaries she makes throughout the course of the film. Answering to their presumed curiosity, she tells those future detectives, “Yes it was customary for such tribes to address a familiar and protective spirit known as a computer…They’d consult on everything, it kept their memory. In fact, they no longer had a memory. It was their memory.” If one had to make a sweeping statement about this dense, multivalent film, one could do worse than suggest that Level Five’s subject is this externalization of memory into media addressed by Laura, »
There are few things more unpleasant than an encounter with a rat. However, the rodents are just as much a part of the urban fabric as anything else, and that’s particularly true in the fascinating documentary “Rat Film.” And today, we have the exclusive trailer for the film.
Directed by Theo Anthony, and featuring a score by electronic music wizard Dan Deacon, the film — “working in the spirit of Chris Marker, Agnès Varda, and Werner Herzog” — takes a look at the complex relationship between rats and the city of Baltimore.
Continue reading Exclusive ‘Rat Film’ Trailer: Baltimore’s History Runs With Rodents at The Playlist. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
The 2017 Locarno Film Festival recently wrapped its 70th edition, where several aspiring film critics participated in the latest edition of the Locarno Critics Academy, an international workshop to educate promising writers in the craft and discipline of contemporary film criticism. This year’s participants will contribute essays on highlights from the festival. Here’s an overview of their backgrounds and interests.
Name: Jaime Grijalba Gómez
Twitter handle: @jaimegrijalba
Home: Santiago de Chile, Chile.
Cinematic area of expertise: Chilean cinema, film festivals, horror cinema
Best movie you’ve seen in 2017: El mar la mar
Favorite book (or piece of writing) about film: Bresson’s “Notes on the Cinematographer”
I’m taking part in the Locarno Critics Academy because… I want to think that criticism today still has a role that goes beyond those interested in film or in making them. It has a role in society, and I want to find it. »
- Eric Kohn
Mubi's retrospective Chris Marker: An Essayist from the Future is showing July 29 - September 17, 2017 in many countries around the world.Chris Marker’s work exists in the intersection of fiction and documentary, in a realm of elusiveness that trades in interrogation, not in confident statements. He refuses categorization but, almost spitefully, a category was created to encompass his work, a category that isn’t quite a genre.In 1958, after watching Lettre de Sibérie(1957), André Bazin wrote that Marker’s first feature film resembles nothing hitherto seen in documentary films: “The important word is ‘essay,’ understood in the same sense that it has in literature – an essay at once historical and political, written by a poet as well. Generally, even in politically engaged documentaries or those with a specific point to make, the image (which is to say, the uniquely cinematic element) effectively constitutes the primary material of the film »
In my Escapes conversation with Michael Almereyda (Experimenter, starring Peter Sarsgaard) and Hampton Fancher (co-screenwriter of Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049) we start out with Federico García Lorca, Bruce Conner, Philip K Dick and Chris Marker. Then we encounter a Jean-Pierre Léaud, Tina Sinatra, Michael Pfleghar (Romeo Und Julia 70) connection and next stop over at Thom Andersen's Los Angeles Plays Itself, Brian Kelly and Flipper, Skinningrove on photographer Chris Killip, Yasujiro Ozu's influence on Wim Wenders (Yuharu Atsuta in Tokyo-Ga) and Jim Jarmusch.
Hampton Fancher: "It's looking at my life through other people's eyes."
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Each month, the fine folks at FilmStruck and the Criterion Collection spend countless hours crafting their channels to highlight the many different types of films that they have in their streaming library. This August will feature an exciting assortment of films, as noted below.
To sign up for a free two-week trial here.
Tuesday, August 1
Tuesday’s Short + Feature: These Boots and Mystery Train
Music is at the heart of this program, which pairs a zany music video by Finnish master Aki Kaurismäki with a tune-filled career highlight from American independent-film pioneer Jim Jarmusch. In the 1993 These Boots, Kaurismäki’s band of pompadoured “Finnish Elvis” rockers, the Leningrad Cowboys, cover a Nancy Sinatra classic in their signature deadpan style. It’s the perfect prelude to Jarmusch’s 1989 Mystery Train, a homage to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and the musical legacy of Memphis, featuring appearances by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Joe Strummer. »
- Ryan Gallagher
Since any New York City cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.
Hitchcock and Altman play for “Welcome to Metrograph,” while Annie is scheduled.
Film Society of Lincoln Center
The exhaustive, potentially exhausting “Scary Movies X” is underway.
The Edgar Wright-curated crime series and camp-centered cinema showings are ongoing. »
- Nick Newman
Studio: Remembering Chris Marker is a new hardcover release from Or Books that marries an introduction by Ben Lerner and an essay from Colin MacCabe with photos from Adam Bartos to create a beautiful tribute to the late filmmaker-artist Chris Marker (1912-2012). Colin MacCabe's interactions with Marker began in an atypical way in 2002. An acquaintance gave MacCabe a VHS copy of The Magic Face. As Marker was obsessed with the film, the tape served as MacCabe's proverbial ticket to a meeting with Marker at his Parisian apartment. Over the course of many years and many subsequent visits, the MacCabe-Marker friendship became increasingly strong as MacCabe assisted Marker in his numerous cinematic and artistic projects. Thus, Studio's central essay is more personal than analytical, which...
[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...] »
Mubi is presenting the world premiere of James N. Kientiz Wilkins' The Republic from July 4 - August 3, 2017.The cinema of James N. Kienitz Wilkins occupies an unusual space in the contemporary art scene. Most of his films are the result of some sort of conceptual procedure, a decision either to treat his original footage according to some abstract system or to apply his own logic to found material. And yet, there is a plainspoken quality to Kienitz Wilkins’ work that smooths out any potential “art damage” or intimidation factor. Kienitz Wilkins has successfully adapted some of the most critical weapons in the arsenal of experimental cinema to produce a stark poetry of the everyday.Kienitz Wilkins’ newest “film,” The Republic, is quite possibly his most radical effort to date. For starters, you will notice that I put the word “film” in quotation marks, since it is no easy matter to »
The Seasons In Quincy: Four Portraits Of John Berger co-director Colin MacCabe and photographer Adam Bartos will be joined by Ben Lerner and Experimenter director Michael Almereyda for an In Chris Marker's Studio panel discussion following the screenings of Marker's Cat Listening To Music (Chat Écoutant La Musique), Ouvroir, Second Life featuring Guillaume-en-Égypte and excerpts from Agnès Varda's Agnès De Ci De Là Varda at Metrograph in New York.
- Anne-Katrin Titze
That bad boy of (mostly) French cinema Walerian Borowczyk has been converting doubters into fans for sixty years, even though his pictures were never easy to see. Before he took a headlong leap into soft-core epics, he made some of the most creative and influential short films of his time — and they eventually became more erotic as well.
The Walerian Borowczyk Short Film Collection
1959-1984 / B&W and Color / 1:66, 1:78 and 1:37 flat Academy / 144 min. / Street Date April 25, 2017 / available through the Olive Films website / 24.95
Directed by Walerian Borowczyk
This release brings back memories of traveling short subject shows, usually several reels’ worth of experimental films that would tour college campuses. Even in High School I’d drag my girlfriend to the University of Riverside, where huge crowds looking for the ‘In’ place to be would stare in attention at hours of abstract visuals, expressing their approval »
- Glenn Erickson
Filmmaker Oren Moverman has never shied away from tackling difficult, seemingly impossible material to adapt to film with some of his writing work including the screenplays for Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There and the equally intriguing Brian Wilson biopic, Love and Mercy.
As a director and producer he’s followed suit with his 2nd film Rampart starring Woody Harrelson as an L.A. police officer with questionable motives, followed by a meditative look at homelessness with Richard Gere in Time Out of Mind.
For his latest movie, The Dinner, Moverman adapts Dutch author Herman Koch’s novel, which on the surface is about a dinner between two related couples with all the requisite food porn. As it progresses, it explores a variety of topics including mental illness and the battle of Gettysburg.
- Edward Douglas
“Do Donkeys Act?”
Ashley Sabin’s documentaries have screened internationally in festivals and on television worldwide. Her vast body of work includes four recent “animal ethnography” films based in the world of donkeys.
“Do Donkeys Act?” will premiere at the 2017 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival on April 27. The film is co-directed by David Redmon.
W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.
Encouraging us to respect a major language barrier we might not otherwise consider — the mystery and intrigue of donkey utterances — “Do Donkeys Act?” invites us to “step into their shade and listen closely” as we attune to a series of dramatic performances in which we eavesdrop on donkeys speaking amongst themselves.
By reclaiming the donkey from the indignity of a centuries-old, master-slave relationship — in which the dominant image of the donkey has been negative and related to stubbornness, jackassery, etc. — “Do Donkeys Act?” elevates a denigrated and degraded beast to the role of lead actor and performance artist. To paraphrase performance artist Marina Abramović, the donkey is present.
W&H: What drew you to this story?
As: We focused our lens and sound recorder on donkeys because of their bray. Late one night, we listened to a YouTube video of a donkey braying, and at that point we knew we had to make a film. The sound is musical and enchanting. I was pregnant with our first child, so it seemed like the kind of film on which we could embark.
The movie is about the phenomenology of being with the expressive donkeys. What surprised us, though, is how intuitive and empathic they are.
Turns out, we didn’t premiere the film until we had our second child! Sometimes, these documentaries take a while to simmer.
W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?
As: “Do Donkeys Act?” subtly subverts the notion of the “dumb beast.” It captures donkeys communicating emotionally with each other in the midst of healing from human cruelty and neglect.
It’s really about being present with these beautiful creatures and experiencing their sentience.
W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?
As: We have two wonderful producers, Deborah Smith and Dale Smith, who put in the first funds. They believe in us and the work we do, which is such a gift. Then my co-director, David Redmon, secured a Leverhulme Institute Grant in the UK, which allowed him to finish his book, publish articles on donkeys, and complete the movie. The rest was self-financed.
We’ve always worked in a way whereby we produce work, distribute it, and then use the funds from distribution to make the next piece. This means we had to work at a fast rate. This has since changed, as we have two children. We’re currently working on a new model.
W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at Hot Docs?
As: We used to live in Montreal, and, in fact, we filmed at a donkey sanctuary near Toronto in Guelph, Canada.
It is a real pleasure to return and share “Do Donkeys Act?” with a Canadian audience that has a passion for documentary.
W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?
As: Best advice: Cut on motion. This is an interesting way of thinking about editing. People, objects, landscapes, and donkeys are constantly in flux.
Worst advice: Use professional lighting. I don’t think that person understood our filmmaking style at all.
W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?
As: I feel fortunate to have found a wonderful partner. We have similar sensibilities. We also disagree enough to allow the filmmaking process to be challenging and interesting.
Editing is a lonely process, so if you can find good collaborators, it can help the film and the process.
W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.
As: It’s a tie between Kelly Reichardt’s “Old Joy” and Agnes Varda’s “The Gleaners and I.” Both have a beautiful simplicity to their narrative. They are playful, and I can feel the hands of the creator. The maker feels resourceful and creative.
They aren’t perfect films, but something about their imperfections also attracts me.
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.
As: I think it’s important to encourage women filmmakers, as well as other daring makers and new voices.
After having two children, a new issue has come to my attention: the lack of childcare at film festivals. How can a family of filmmakers fully participate without some childcare help? I think if this issue changes the division of labor between both women and men everyone would benefit greatly.
Hot Docs 2017 Women Directors: Meet Ashley Sabin — “Do Donkeys Act?” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Kelsey Moore
The 24th Sheffield Doc/Fest will open with the world premiere of Daisy Asquith’s “Queerama,” in keeping with the festival’s themes this year of resistance and change.
“This year at Doc/Fest we have our most urgent and loudest call to action to join the groundswell movements of resistance and change, where we celebrate those who disobey and resist to shape the future global narrative,” said Liz McIntyre, the festival’s CEO and director. “We’re stepping into the early scenes of a tragicomic new world story.”
Britain’s leading documentary festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest runs from June 9-14. Its official program launch will be on May 3,
Marking the 50th anniversary of Britain’s landmark Sexual Offenses Act, which decriminalized private homosexual acts in England and Wales, “Queerama” will be followed by a live performance by U.S. singer-songwriter John Grant, whose music features in the film. The documentary, »
- Robert Mitchell
The German Democratic Republic was the most intensely surveilled society in human history, and yet — as time marches on and the Cold War becomes nothing more than a memory, gray and alien — the fundamental irony of such a perfect spy state grows more striking by the day: By obsessively monitoring their friends and neighbors, the Gdr’s secret police were creating a perfect documentary of themselves.
For proof of that fact, look no further than Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker’s fascinating and necessary “Karl Marx City,” a vaguely Guy Maddin-esque swan-dive into the mysteries of life behind the Berlin Wall and the traumas of surviving it. A remarkable if occasionally unfocused work of Vergangenheitsbewältigung (“the process of coming to terms with the past”), this hypnotic autobiography leverages one woman’s fear to exhume the paranoia that once defined an entire country. In its haphazard search for facts, it »
- David Ehrlich
Taking a look at the French director’s fascinating filmography.
One of the biggest films of 2016, La La Land, owes a thing or two to French director Jacques Demy. The bright, colorful musical visually mirrors Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) and The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967), and director Damien Chazelle was able to capture something of the melancholic sweetness of Demy’s musicals. Demy is not one of the most famous French directors, however his films have a specific charm and intelligence that no other filmmaker could match. The way he blended Hollywood style with French culture was unlike any other filmmaker at the time.
Demy began his career in 1960s France, during the time of the “Nouvelle Vague” or French New Wave. This was the time of films such as Breathless, Jules and Jim, The 400 Blows, and Le Beau Serge. However, Demy lies a little bit outside of this group of filmmakers, and »
- Angela Morrison
The Film Society of Lincoln Center has today announced the fourth edition of Art of the Real, their essential showcase for boundary-pushing nonfiction film, scheduled to take place April 20 – May 2. Billed as “a survey of the most vital and innovative voices in nonfiction and hybrid filmmaking,” this year’s showcase features an eclectic, globe-spanning host of discoveries, including seven North American premieres and eight U.S. premieres.
“In our fourth year we’ve put an emphasis on placing works by first-time and emerging filmmakers alongside established names, with the aim to highlight the experimentation happening across generations, and to trace a new trajectory of documentary art that points to its promising future,” said Film Society of Lincoln Center Programmer at Large Rachael Rakes, who organized the festival with Director of Programming Dennis Lim.
- Kate Erbland
It’s awful, it’s terrible, it’s difficult to watch — but it’s finally available in its original 3-D, in the improved Space-Vision process. A giant monkey attacks Seoul, trashing cardboard buildings, toy boats and a dead shark (and it’s not shamming). Keep a good movie on hand to rinse this one away immediately afterwards. Not recommended for people taking prescription medication. If simians persist, consult your doctor.
Kl Studio Classics
1976 / Color / 2:35 widescreen 3-D / 87 min. / ‘Attacking Primate monstEr’ / Street Date February 28, 2017 / 29.95
Cinematography Tony Francis, Daniel L. Symmes
Editor Paul Leder
Original Music Bruce McRae
Written byPaul Leder, Reuben Leder
Produced by Paul Leder, K.M. Leung
Directed by Paul Leder
They say home video 3-D is in trouble, but viewers properly equipped are presently experiencing a renaissance in retrofitted and refurbished 3-D features. »
- Glenn Erickson
“1st film watched in 1st freshman film class was ’72’s History Lessons. It was a great ‘Welcome to boot camp, motherfuckers’ moment.” – Nick Pinkerton
Parsing the embarrassment of riches amongst ’60s French cinema, the annals of Official Film History tends to split us into the New Wave (Godard, Rivette, Rohmer, etc.), the left-bank (Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, Agnès Varda), and the successive “ Second New Wave” (Maurice Pialat, Jean Eustache, Luc Moullet). Bouncing between realism and the avant-garde, these filmmakers, to varying degrees of mainstream acceptance, left an undeniable mark on post-war art cinema. Yet provided you’re hip enough to know, there’s two particular names that seem to instantly dwarf the aforementioned, at least in the terms of uncompromised Film Art: the husband-wife duo of Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet — or, if you prefer, the synthesized, punchier Straub/Huillet.
The mystique that has emerged around this duo is not »
- Ethan Vestby
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