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9 articles

Buster Keaton’s The General Turns 90 with Tour and Live Score

20 hours ago

To celebrate the 90th Anniversary of Buster Keaton’s classic film The General, throughout August Portland’s historic Hollywood Theatre and Oregon Film will present a state-wide tour of the film with a new live score composed by film composer Mark Orton. Above you can check out a trailer for the film presentation. Considered one of the best comedies of the silent era, The General finds hapless Southern railroad engineer Johnny Gray (Buster Keaton) facing off against Union soldiers during the American Civil War. When Johnny’s fiancée, Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack), is accidentally taken away while on a train stolen by Northern forces, Gray pursues the soldiers, using various modes of transportation in […] »

- Paula Bernstein

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Every Film Is a Consciousness Working Through an Idea: Bingham Bryant and Kyle Molzan on For the Plasma

21 hours ago

As an anxious, post-youth New York City cinephile with a dismaying penchant for missing out, I found For the Plasma, Bingham Bryant and Kyle Molzan’s debut feature, an intimidatingly hep first watch. The tone, somewhere between goofy and morbid, between airless and chaotic. The horror-red title font. The surprisingly fun synth score. The high-waisted jean shorts. The blondeness. After I saw it at its sold-out premiere screening at BAMcinemaFest, way back in the spring of 2014, I scrambled to get ahead of the young, well-spoken directors’ influences, hoping to solve their self-proclaimed “digital-pastoral” puzzle the way I thought I knew […] »

- John Magary

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Redford Center Grants Program Backs Features with Environmental Bent

28 July 2016 12:04 PM, PDT

Last month, The Redford Center announced the launch of Redford Center Grants, a grant program aimed at supporting the production of films that seek to raise global awareness of environmental issues. Funded by The New York Community Trust, The Redford Center Grants program will support filmmakers with feature-length projects that are in early stages of development and that are focused on driving awareness, education and action on environmental topics. Though there is no specification that the films must be non-fiction, on the list of Films We Love, The Redford Center highlights documentaries such as Super Size Me, Gasland, Virunga, The Cove, and […] »

- Paula Bernstein

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Susan Seidelman on Smithereens, Fashion Influences and the Early Days of Public Access TV

28 July 2016 11:26 AM, PDT

In the opening shot of Smithereens, a pair of checkered black-and-white sunglasses dangle in the frame. Self-starter Wren (Susan Berman) swoops in, grabs them from the owner and keeps pushing through the subway station as if nothing’s happened. Wren wants to be in a band, but she doesn’t have any discernible abilities besides her fabulously on-point New Wave fashion sense. When not working a crappy copy store job, she’s going to shows and plastering up Xeroxes of a black and white still of herself all over the city, trying to drum up some kind of attention for herself. She only has eyes […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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Screenwriter Eric Heisserer on Lights Out, The Rules of Horror and Collaborating with James Wan

27 July 2016 10:11 AM, PDT

Eric Heisserer bristles at the label of horror movie screenwriter. It’s understandable. While his produced credits include a Final Destination sequel and the remakes of The Thing and A Nightmare on Elm Street, Heisserer points out that he has authored 56 feature film scripts and only eight of them have been in the horror genre. That connotation may change later this year when Heisserer’s screenplay for the sci-fi film Arrival hits screens from Prisoners and Sicario director Denis Villeneuve. But for now Heisserer and I are talking about Lights Out, a new horror offering based on director David F. Sandberg’s […] »

- Matt Mulcahey

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Ifp Announces No Borders, Spotlight on Docs Feature Films for Ifp Film Week

27 July 2016 10:01 AM, PDT

Ifp, Filmmaker‘s parent organization, announced today the 120 feature film projects that will take place in its annual Ifp Film Week, taking place September 17 – 22 for the first time in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Announced for the first time are the screenplays comprising the No Borders program, for projects seeking financing, and the doc works-in-progress seeking completion funds in Spotlight on Docs. They join the previously announced features in post-production from the Ifp’s Narrative and Documentary Labs. Particularly noteworthy this year are the roster’s gender diversity states: 40% of the narrative directors and 60 % of the documentary directors are […] »

- Scott Macaulay

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Watch: ’70s and ’80s Films Referenced in Stranger Things

26 July 2016 12:00 PM, PDT

A surprise critical hit for Netflix, the twisty sci-fi/horror/thriller/etc. series Stranger Things has also gained a great deal of attention for its knowing, deliberate references to classics of ’70s and ’80s genre films. Ulysse Thevenon has put together this split-screen video essay, with Stranger Things on the left and its reference point on the right. For another thorough overview in written form, check out Scott Tobias at Vulture. »

- Filmmaker Staff

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Watch: “Lars Von Trier – The Deconstructionist”

26 July 2016 9:00 AM, PDT

The ever-divisive Lars Von Trier is re-examined by Lewis Bond in this thorough video essay, which examines the way the Danish provocateur breaks down rules about the forms of cinema and then recombines them. Comes with lots of context and an amusing press conference clip of Willem Dafoe explaining on-set improv in Antichrist, where he didn’t even know if he’d be naked or not before starting a scene. »

- Filmmaker Staff

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Danny DeVito on The Ratings Game, Storyboarding and Test Screenings

26 July 2016 8:00 AM, PDT

In 1984, Danny DeVito made one of the most assured and entertaining directorial debuts in comedy history when he helmed The Ratings Game, a hilarious satire that premiered on Showtime only to disappear from circulation in the decades that followed. The movie tells the story of a New Jersey trucking mogul (DeVito) who moves to Los Angeles with dreams of making it in the TV business. When he falls in love with a woman (Rhea Perlman) who works for a ratings service, he figures out a way to rig the system in his favor, rising to the top with a […] »

- Jim Hemphill

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