11 items from 2014
In spirit of the final days of streaming service SundanceNow Doc Club's online Agnes Varda retrospective, hand-curated by film programmer Thom Powers, Toh! has the exclusive on a new video essay that takes a peek at the irreverent French auteur's career. Watch below. Through July, you can watch "From Here to There" on SundanceNow Doc Club. It's a fascinating five-part documentary series that follows Varda as she wends her way through the international art scene, encountering friends and fellow filmmakers including the late Chris Marker, Manoel de Oliveira, Jacques Demy and more. Thanks to Doc Club, you can also watch Varda classics "The Gleaners and I," "The Beaches of Agnes," "Daguerreotypes" and "Cinevardaphoto." Varda will be featured until July 1, but Doc Club members can still access the films via the Sundance archives. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
At the end of each week, we pinpoint engaging conversations that took place over the past week on Twitter and highlight worthwhile messages from the indie film community. To be clear, there is no defined system for selecting these tweets. There's no ranking system, no winners, no losers. It's merely a very subjective way of saying that these tweets informed, amused, educated or intrigued us. Check 'em out, follow us on Twitter and then join the conversation. So what is it with the industry that kept Mike Cahill and Brit Marling from getting studio offers like Edwards did?— Elle Schneider (@elleschneider) May 23, 2014 What a fun surprise... "Jon Hamm 'shaken and weeping' after watching The Act of Killing on an American Airlines... http://t.co/fluXQEqu4R— Joshua Oppenheimer (@JoshuaOppenheim) May 20, 2014 Perfect setting to sit in dark theaters watching pretentious films, don't you think? #Cannes pic.twitter.com/16qaafNVKw— Thom Powers »
Then are still ten days left in May, which means there are still ten days left in the SundanceNOW Doc Club retrospective of the films of Chris Marker. And in celebration, they've put together a great new video essay that shines a light on the famously elusive director, who was fascinated by memory, existence, cinema -- and cats. Watch below. Handpicked by renowned Tiff documentary programmer Thom Powers, here's the streaming lineup for May's "Chris Marker and His Legacy" series, which includes several enticing online debuts:"Sixth Side of the Pentagon" (1967)"Chris Marker’s Bestiary" (1994) -- Online Debut"One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevich" (1999) -- Online Debut"Remembrance of Things to Come" (2001)"The Case of the Grinning Cat" (2004) SundanceNOW will also stream a selection of films inspired by Marker's work: "To Chris Marker, An Unsent Letter" (2013) by director Emiko Omori, Jem Cohen's wonderful "Museum Hours" (2012) and "Description of. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Attention cinephiles: SundanceNOW Doc Club has a juicy slate of streaming titles coming up. This May, the online VOD service will present a fantastic array of films from experimental director Chris Marker. Then in June, SundanceNOW will also host the exclusive Us premiere of French auteur Agnes Varda's TV miniseries "Agnes Varda From Here to There." Handpicked by renowned Tiff documentary programmer Thom Powers, here's the streaming lineup for May's "Chris Marker and His Legacy" series, which includes several enticing online debuts:"Sixth Side of the Pentagon" (1967)"Chris Marker’s Bestiary" (1994) -- Online Debut"One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevich" (1999) -- Online Debut"Remembrance of Things to Come" (2001)"The Case of the Grinning Cat" (2004) SundanceNOW will also stream a selection of films inspired by Marker's work: "To Chris Marker, An Unsent Letter" (2013) by director Emiko Omori, Jem Cohen's wonderful "Museum Hours" (2012) »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Lance Armstrong is proof that even the best liars eventually fold to the burden of ugly truths. Under the immense pressures of competitor accusations and threats of legal action against him, Armstrong finally cracked, and when he did, director Alex Gibney had just recently wrapped The Road Back. The film was intended to document the cycling legend’s return to the Tour de France, but when Armstrong decided to come clean about his long disputed use of performance enhancing drugs, Gibney was forced to put the film back into production, sitting down with his subject once again, shooting new interviews and revisiting the original ones with a new understanding of the icon’s extreme hubris and his unique political position as charitable cancer survivor turned cycling super star. What was once a triumphant comeback story of a man passed his prime trying to clear his name as continuous smear campaigns »
- Jordan M. Smith
SundanceNOW and their Doc Club program have released the full video of last week’s Spotlight on Women Directors panel out of the Sundance Film Festival.
Moderated by Indiewire’s Anne Thompson (@akstanwyck), the panel of talented women filmmakers included Rory Kennedy (Last Days in Vietnam), Shola Lynch (Free Angela and All Political Prisoners), Judith Helfand (Cooked), and Lucy Walker (The Crash Reel).
Curated by Thom Powers (@ThomPowers), January focused on the amazing women directors currently working in documentary filmmaking.
Click here to access the rest of January’s program: http://www.sundancenow.com/doc-club/spotlight-on-women-directors/35. Join Doc Club to access the 8 films highlighted. Sign up now and get your first month free.
SundanceNOW, the digital sister to Sundance Selects, is an online destination where independent film fans can download, watch instantly and discuss a broad range of independent films from around the globe. Offering the option to stream, download »
- Michelle McCue
At Sundance I had the opportunity to moderate a Spotlight on Women Directors panel featuring four prominent women in documentaries: Rory Kennedy ("Last Days in Vietnam"), Lucy Walker ("The Lion's Mouth Opens"), Chicken & Egg's Judith Helfand ("Everything's Cool") and Shola Lynch ("Free Angela and All Political Prisoners"). These demanding filmmakers share how sexism has impacted their work, how they pick their stories, when to kill an idea when it isn't good enough, and how to decide when their films are finished. Sundance Now programmer Thom Powers introduced the lively discussion, below. »
- Anne Thompson
Over the years, Sundance has been famously friendly to eco-themed docs, providing high-profile premieres for films such as “An Inconvenient Truth” and “The Cove,” as well as political hot potatoes like “Why We Fight” and “8: The Mormon Proposition.” Among fests, Sundance is hardly alone in offering a platform to left-leaning docs. Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, while Alex Gibney’s “Taxi to the Dark Side” is just one of many lefty Tribeca offerings.
By contrast, “2016: Obama’s America” co-directors Dinesh D’Souza and John Sullivan avoided the U.S. fest circuit altogether — and it doesn’t seem to have hurt the film in the slightest. “2016” earned more than $33 million, making it the second-highest-grossing political doc after “Fahrenheit 9/11.”
For most nonfiction pics, however, the fest circuit is a vital component of a film’s life cycle, which is why businessman-turned-documaker Dennis Michael Lynch »
- Addie Morfoot
Thom Powers is the documentary programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival; and artistic director for the Montclair Film Festival, Doc NYC festival, and Stranger Than Fiction screening series at IFC Center. He also programs for the Miami International Film Festival and teaches at the School of Visual Arts. Over at the Stranger Than Fiction web site, Powers writes about how filmmakers can make better deals for themselves in all distribution channels: theatrical, television, digital and international. He also gets input from filmmakers, publicists and sales agents on topics such as digital rights, educational rights and deal terms. Though his focus on documentary film, his advice works for all independent filmmakers. Read his full article here. Over the years, I’ve seen too many filmmakers become embittered by their distribution deals. Sometimes they had unrealistic expectations, sometimes they got caught in bad deals. The filmmakers who feel disgruntled range »
- Thom Powers
The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya? “Remembering Rain Man: The $350 Million Movie That Hollywood Wouldn’t Touch Today” — Matt Patches at Grantland gives the dearth of serious adult dramas from studios a face and a nickname. A production history that’s definitely, definitely of a different era. “Distribution Advice for 2014” — Speaking of which, Thom Powers offers his own insights alongside a compilation of advice from documentary filmmakers on the next, next step toward success. “As Indies Explode, an Appeal for Sanity” — Manohla Dargis wrings her veteran hands on the doorstep of another potentially sale-crazy Sundance. “‘Am I Crazy For Even Considering This?’ Stuntwoman Zoe Bell Says, ‘Yes,’ Then Does It Anyway” — A thorough, telling interview with the most famous working stuntwoman via Matt Zoller Seitz that will make you want to hit the gym. »
- Scott Beggs
Toronto International Film Festival and Stranger than Fiction programmer Thom Powers is well known for his curation of documentary film, but with the New Year he’s offering something more: documentary film distribution guidance. For filmmakers entering the festival circuit, his “Distribution Advice for 2014″ is a must read. In a detailed intro, Powers discusses various distribution options, ranging from traditional to hybrid to Diy strategies. Then, he gathers specific advice from filmmakers, journalists, producers, publicists and sales agent. Below are three of those recommendations, and check out the entire post at the link to read many more. Dan Cogan (Co-founder, […] »
- Scott Macaulay
11 items from 2014
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