News

Pioneers of African-American Cinema

It's arrived -- thanks in part to a successful Kickstarter campaign, this nearly comprehensive compendium of American 'Race Films' is here in a deluxe Blu-ray presentation. Pioneers of African-American Cinema Blu-ray Kino Classics 1915-1946 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 952 min. / Street Date July 26, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 99.95 Directed by Richard Norman, Richard Maurice, Spencer Williams and Oscar Micheaux

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Black Cinema History? We didn't hear a peep about any such thing back in film school. Sometime in the 1980s PBS would broadcast a barely watchable (see sample just below) copy of a creaky silent 'race movie' about a 'backsliding' black man in trouble with the law, the Lord and his wife in that order. The cultural segregation has been almost complete. It wasn't until even later that I read articles about a long-extinct nationwide circuit of movie theaters catering to black audiences, wherever the populations were big enough to support the trade.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Joshua Reviews Kino Lorber’s Pioneers Of African-American Cinema Box Set [Blu-ray Review]

It’s hard to consider the release of a piece of entertainment, specifically a DVD and Blu-ray box set, as a culturally significant moment, but then again there are few items quite like the newest release from the team at Kino Lorber.

After a refreshingly successful Kickstarter campaign, Kino Lorber has finally released their groundbreaking collection, Pioneers Of African American Cinema, and to call it one of the year’s best home video releases is to truly understate the sociological import carried within this release.

Silent era and early-talkie cinema, as seen by many a film aficionado, is a deeply problematic world. Primarily helmed by white men, films more than occasionally featured everything from frustratingly cartoonish caricatures of African-American characters (furthering stereotypes like the “Mamie”) to white actors donning black face (of which there is also a great deal within this set as well) in what is seen today as a disturbing bit of racism.
See full article at CriterionCast »

Second showing: unearthing the lost history of African American cinema

Nearly 500 ‘race films’ were produced in the Us between 1915 and 1952 but lost due to a combination of neglect and poor preservation, yet a new project shines spotlight on the early 20th-century films of Oscar Micheaux and others

Contemporary film-makers such as Ava DuVernay (Selma) and Nate Parker (Sundance prizewinner The Birth of a Nation) have recently delved into key moments in African American history for subject matter. But now a Kickstarter-funded restoration and distribution project – Kino Lorber’s ‘Pioneers of African American Cinema’ – aims to shine a long-overdue spotlight on the trailblazing wave of black American independent film-making that flourished in the early part of the 20th century.

Executive produced by Paul D Miller (aka DJ Spooky) and curated by historians Dr Jacqueline Stewart and Charles Musser, the project focuses on a thematically and stylistically diverse group of low-budget movies written, directed, starring and frequently funded, distributed and exhibited by black film-makers.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Trailer Watch: DJ Spooky’s Rebirth of a Nation

“Remix culture applied to cinema” — that’s the elevator pitch for DJ Spooky’s latest release, Rebirth of a Nation, a multimedia work that uses remixing, original scoring and various DJ techniques to interrogate D.W. Griffith’s 1915 The Birth of a Nation. Collapsing the three hour film into an hour of sound and image, DJ Spooky’s project critically analyzes the film’s legacy on both film grammar and the depiction of race in the more than a century since. Originally commissioned by the Spoleto Festival, Rebirth of a Nation has been performed around the world and is now available on CD, with […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Trailer Watch: DJ Spooky’s Rebirth of a Nation

“Remix culture applied to cinema” — that’s the elevator pitch for DJ Spooky’s latest release, Rebirth of a Nation, a multimedia work that uses remixing, original scoring and various DJ techniques to interrogate D.W. Griffith’s 1915 The Birth of a Nation. Collapsing the three hour film into an hour of sound and image, DJ Spooky’s project critically analyzes the film’s legacy on both film grammar and the depiction of race in the more than a century since. Originally commissioned by the Spoleto Festival, Rebirth of a Nation has been performed around the world and is now available on CD, with […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine_Director Interviews »

DJ Z-Trip Revives Silent Film Classic at Tribeca Film Festival

There should be little, if any, link between Pete Rock and Cl Smooth's iconic 1992 hip-hop track "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)" and silent film star Harold Lloyd's 1928 action-comedy classic Speedy. But Z-Trip, the genre-bending Los Angeles musician who provided a live DJ score for the film Wednesday night at the Tribeca Film Festival, has carved a 15-year career unearthing unorthodox throughlines.

In this case, it was Pete Rock's instantly recognizable looped horns of Tom Scott's "Today" laced over one character's call-to-arms bugle blast, just
See full article at Rolling Stone »

From River of Grass to Living Los Sures: George Schmalz on Kickstarter’s New Curated Restoration Initiative

As part of a new restoration initiative, Kickstarter is partnering with various distributors, filmmakers and organizations to raise funds to preserve and proliferate significant and niche films on the verge of obsolescence. The first five projects to campaign through the site are River of Grass, Kelly Reichardt’s wonderful, underseen debut; a Kino Lorber selection of “Pioneers of African Cinema,” presented by DJ Spooky; the German exploitation film Bloody Friday; Living Los Sures, UnionDocs’ update on the 1984 documentary Los Sures; and the VHS ’90s horror flick, Jungle Trap. There are distribution plans in place for all of the films, should the necessary funds come through: Oscilloscope is planning a VOD, DVD...
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine_Director Interviews »

From River of Grass to Living Los Sures: George Schmalz on Kickstarter’s New Curated Restoration Initiative

As part of a new restoration initiative, Kickstarter is partnering with various distributors, filmmakers and organizations to raise funds to preserve and proliferate significant and niche films on the verge of obsolescence. The first five projects to campaign through the site are River of Grass, Kelly Reichardt’s wonderful, underseen debut; a Kino Lorber selection of “Pioneers of African Cinema,” presented by DJ Spooky; the German exploitation film Bloody Friday; Living Los Sures, UnionDocs’ update on the 1984 documentary Los Sures; and the VHS ’90s horror flick, Jungle Trap. There are distribution plans in place for all of the films, should the necessary funds come through: Oscilloscope is planning a VOD, DVD and […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

November 18th Blu-ray & DVD Releases Include The Dark Half, The Twilight Zone, and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

  • DailyDead
This Tuesday, genre fans have a Lot to look forward to, as we have a trifecta of horror classics coming from Scream Factory, as well as the new 4K restoration of the 1920 German classic, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari from Kino Lorber.

As if that’s not enough, Image Entertainment is releasing the Limited Edition Fifth Dimension box set for The Twilight Zone this week, the cult classics Moontrap, Christmas Evil and Trancers are all making their HD debuts and we’ve got a few indie films being released on November 18th too, including Automata, Housebound and Ragnarok.

Spotlight Titles:

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari- 4K Restored (Kino Lorber, Blu-ray & DVD)

In 1920, one brilliant movie jolted the postwar masses and catapulted the movement known as German Expressionism into film history. That movie was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, a plunge into the mind of insanity that severs all ties with the rational world.
See full article at DailyDead »

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Blu-ray Special Features & Cover Art

  • DailyDead
The late, great film critic Roger Ebert once wrote that The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari could very well be “the first true horror film.” Us audiences will soon be able to experience the sinister actions of hypnotist Dr. Caligari and the sleepwalking Cesare in a 4k transfer of the legendary 1920 silent film that’s hitting shelves in November, and we have a look at the Blu-ray cover art and special features.

From Kino Video, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Blu-ray will be available beginning November 18th. In February, the restored version of the film showed at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival, the same city it premiered in 94 years earlier.

The 4k transfer of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was recently re-released to select theaters in England and will come out on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK on September 29th. We have the synopsis, special features, and making-of restoration
See full article at DailyDead »

Independent Film Week -- Now Accepting Narrative Submissions

Every year the Independent Filmmaker Project (Ifp) puts together a series of events during what is known as the Independent Film Week, where storytellers for all media have an opportunity to connect with industry and peers to advance their projects in an environment that promotes community, growth and career sustainability. Filmmakers, content creators, innovators, and audiences come out in force to experience first-hand the expanded opportunities Ifp offers the international film and media community.

Film Week encompasses the Filmmaker Conference, and the concurrent Project Forum that both showcase how great projects and creatives can connect with collaborators and audiences to make work that stands out in a crowded marketplace across multiple platforms and mediums.

Each day of the conference guides filmmakers in the art, technology and business of independent filmmaking. Project Forum has had a prolific history in the independent community supporting both emerging and established independent filmmakers at critical stages in their development processes. The organization championed the early work of pioneering independent filmmakers Charles Burnett, Todd Haynes, Mira Nair, Michael Moore, Joel and Ethan Coen, Kevin Smith, Todd Solondz, and Wayne Wang. Recently, it has also played a vital role in launching the first films of many of today’s rising stars on the independent scene including Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Debra Granik, (Down to the Bone), Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know), and Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden (Half Nelson).

2014 slate launches in August.

2014 Deadlines

Emerging Storytellers : May 2, 2014 (Application Now Online - U.S. residents or those able to work in the U.S. only)

No Borders International Co-Production Market : May 2, 2014 (U.S. producers) / May 23, 2013 (International Partner submissions) (Application Now Online)

Independent Filmmaker Labs : March 7, 2014 (Documentary); April 4, 2014 (Narrative)

Spotlight on Documentaries : May 2 (early) / May 23 (final) (Application Launches in April)

Independent Film Week is:

Project Forum : A highly respected forum for the discovery of new projects in development and new voices on the independent film scene. Project Forum consists of Emerging Storytellers (screenplays from emerging writer/directors), No Borders International Co-Production Market (screenplays represented by established producers with some financing in place), Trans Atlantic Partners (showcase of new projects from experienced producers from Europe, Canada, and the Us), Independent Filmmaker Labs (documentary and narrative features in post-production), and Spotlight on Documentaries (documentary feature works-in-progress) programs. Applications went live March 15.

Filmmaker Conference : Ifp’s annual exploration into the art and business of 21st century storytelling. Presenting filmmakers and cross-platform innovators. 2013 featured multimedia musician DJ Spooky, case studies of Our Nixon and interactive documentary Hollow, as well as inclusive discussions exploring the art & business of 21st century storytelling. For a more hands-on experience, the Conference also offers Live Pitch Workshops, showcasing top talent and industry leaders and Meet the Decision Makers, featuring small group meetings with tastemakers who can further your project! Launched in 2013, #ArtistServices NYC presented by Sundance Institute, hosts fierce conversations around the latest technology and trends in independent filmmaking.

Festival Forum : The leading gathering of international and U.S. film festival programmers, The Festival Forum is a professional association that advocates for the needs and interests of film festival organizers. The Forum also provides a collaborative platform for members to develop curatorial and operational efficiencies, professional standards and best practices, and leverage their collective interests to the international film community. Founded in 2010, the Festival Forum includes over 100 U.S. & International festival programmers and executives, including representatives from Berlin, Cannes, Full Frame, Hot Docs, New York Film Festival, New Directors, Rotterdam, Slamdance, Sundance, SXSW, and Tribeca.

Sneak Preview Screening Series : Where Ifp alumni filmmakers introduce new works to industry, fellow filmmakers, and the movie-going public.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

'Citizen Koch' Controversy, 'Leviathan' Director and DJ Spooky To Take Center Stage at Ifp Conference

  • Indiewire
'Citizen Koch' Controversy, 'Leviathan' Director and DJ Spooky To Take Center Stage at Ifp Conference
Ifp's 2013 Filmmaker Conference, which runs from September 15-19 at the New York Public Library's Bruno Watler Auditorium, will feature keynotes from cinematic non-fiction's posterchild, the famously laconic Lucien Castaing-Taylor ("Leviathan"), "Rebirth of a Nation" multimedia artist DJ Spooky, and "The Hunger Games" producer Jon Kilik. The controversy surrounding public television organization's revoked funding for the documentary "Citizen Koch" will be explored on the panel "Documentaries that Disturb the Power Structure" with "Citizen Koch" filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal, as well as "Park Avenue" producer Mette Hoffman Meyer and Itvs's Claire Aguilar. The conference, which focuses on important issues in the independent filmmaking community will also feature case studies on the production and release of "Fruitvale Station," "Our Nixon" and the interactive documentary "Hollow."  The Sundance Institute's Artist Services will also present their tips for direct distribution...
See full article at Indiewire »

Ifp Announces Filmmaker Conference Highlights

Independent Film Week is less than a month away, and today Ifp announced some highlights of the event Filmmaker Conference, which will take place at Lincoln Center between September 15 and 19. The keynote speakers this year include Leviathan director Lucien Castaing-Taylor and musician and filmmaker DJ Spooky while there will be case studies of Ryan Coogler’s Sundance-winning Fruitvale Station, Penny Lane’s archival doc Our Nixon, Dave Grohl’s Sound City and Elaine McMillion’s web doc Hollow. From the press release, here’s the info that was unveiled today: Each day of the conference guides filmmakers in the art, technology and business of […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine_Director Interviews »

Review: ‘Room 237’ is ‘The Shining’ According to Fans

In 2006, during the initial years of YouTube’s expanding popularity, this mash-up of The Shining went viral. By recasting the tone of Stanley Kubrick’s canonized 1980 horror film as a romantic comedy, complete with a Peter Gabriel song, the video’s act of both subverting and highlighting genre conventions made an incredibly effective case for how audiences can actively rework, rethink, or even contradict some of Hollywood’s most sacred texts. It’s this particular web 2.0-enabled democratic approach – not only to The Shining, but to movies in general – that lays the groundwork for Rodney Asher’s Room 237, a “subjective documentary” that investigates theories around the most notorious adaptation of any of Stephen King’s novels. Room 237 lends a microphone to five select uber-fans of The Shining. We never see these fans, and we only peripherally come to understand a bit about them (one is a history professor, another
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Napster Documentary 'Downloaded' Debuts At SXSW 2013

Napster Documentary 'Downloaded' Debuts At SXSW 2013
"Downloaded," the first film selected by SXSW thanks to its perfect intersection of the festival's three themes of music, film and interactive technology, opens with the squelchy crunch of a dial-up modem, a sonic signifier of just how far we've come since 1998. The film by Alex Winter, formerly of "Bill and Ted" fame, tells of the rapid rise and dramatic fall of pioneer file-sharing tech, Napster.

"It could have been told from one perspective or the other, and so to make a documentary that had historical perspective and also tells both sides of the story in an objective way is difficult to do," noted infamous Napster co-founder Sean Parker after the world premiere screening at the Paramount theatre ended in rapturous applause. "Coming here, I wasn't sure how the audience would react, but it seemed like everyone was pretty into it. The guys in front of me were really into it,
See full article at Huffington Post »

Kino Launches National Screening Campaign of 'King: A Filmed Record: From Montgomery to Memphis'

Mastered in HD from the 35mm preservation negative, the 3-hour, landmark, Academy Award nominated film for Best Documentary (1970), King: A Filmed Record...Montgomery to Memphis, was released on DVD, on January 15, courtesy of Kino Classics. And now Kino Lorber is launching a national theatrical campaign for the film, partnering with Maysles Cinema to present the film on Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 4pm, at the Church of the Intercession, located at 550 W 155th St. in New York City. There is a suggested $10 admission. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion at 7:15pm featuring Harry Belafonte, DJ Spooky, and Richard Kaplan. And in...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Davidson: DJ Spooky Spins Into Oblivion at the Met

  • Vulture
What does an august museum do when it feels stodgy? What’s the institutional equivalent of a midlife crisis? To the 6 million visitors who march through its halls each year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art may seem like a sublime and lively place. Even so, the Met has hired itself a relevance guru: Paul D. Miller, a.k.a. DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid, the turntable master who careers from topic to topic with the mild inquisitiveness of an intellectual souvenir collector and the sonic adventurousness of customer-service-line hold music. The Met didn’t just decide to present Miller in a five-concert series; it named him the museum’s first artist-in-residence, overhauled the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium to satisfy his technical needs, and tapped various curators and departments to participate in a yearlong festival of interdisciplinary high jinks called “The Met Reframed.” Remind me: Why does the Met need reframing?
See full article at Vulture »

'Let Fury Have the Hour' Doc With John Sayles and Tom Morello to Get Theatrical Release Dec. 14 Via Cavu Pictures (Video)

  • Indiewire
'Let Fury Have the Hour' Doc With John Sayles and Tom Morello to Get Theatrical Release Dec. 14 Via Cavu Pictures (Video)
Cavu Pictures has acquired rights to Antonino D’Ambrosio’s political documentary “Let Fury Have The Hour.” The New York-based distributor plans a theatrical release beginning December 14 at New York’s Quad Cinema, followed by an expanded rollout through January. Using subjects such as Eve Ensler, Lewis Black, John Sayles, Shepard Fairey, Tom Morello, Edwidge Danticat, Wayne Kramer and many others, “Fury” looks at the last 50 years of social history to make the case for activism and creative response as an antidote to cynicism. SnagFilms (Indiewire’s parent company) has VOD rights to “Fury,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, and will make the film available digitally mid-February. Read More: John Sayles, Antonino D'Ambrosio & DJ Spooky Discuss 'Let Fury Have the Hour' and the 'Post-Truth' Era at Paley Doc Fest “Building on the glowing reviews that ‘Let...
See full article at Indiewire »

Syfy Announces 28 New Projects in Development

Earlier today, reported on the news that Syfy would be adapting Stephen King’s The Eyes of the Dragon. Syfy has officially announced that project as part of their new development slate, which includes 28 new scripted and reality projects:

“New York – April 24, 2012 – Coming off Syfy’s most watched First Quarter ever in total viewers, Adults 18-34 and key women demos, Syfy and Chiller President Dave Howe today ignited the imagination of the advertising community by unveiling the next phase of the channel’s largest original programming slate in history. This will feature Syfy’s most original primetime hours ever, a record 28 scripted and reality development projects and the 2013 premiere of the highly-anticipated Defiance, the visionary transmedia experience that will unite television and Massive Multiplayer Online (Mmo) gaming for the very first time.

Said Howe: “Syfy’s Upfront celebrates the power of Igniters, our influential audience who has the highly coveted
See full article at DailyDead »

Breaking News: Syfy Announces New Scripted and Reality Programming Including Stephen King Adaptation

Syfy is having its Upfront tonight, during which they present their schedule and slate of projects in development to potential advertisers, and the announcements are flowing. An adaptation of a Stephen King novel into a miniseries, a new Charlaine Harris weekly series, a great movie being adapted into a weekly series, and a whole load of new reality shows may be in our future. Where to begin? We’ll break this down into manageable bites, but have included the entire press release below for your study.

First up, new series! We’ve already told you about some of these, but now we’re getting official word. For scripted series, Syfy is now confirming that Defiance, the series that will affect and be affected by the game of the same name, will be coming in 2013.

All other new series on or soon to be on the schedule are unscripted/reality shows – eight of em!
See full article at ScifiMafia »
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