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13 articles


“Let Me Work it Out”: Four Takeaways from Veep Writer Alexis Wilkinson on She Does Podcast

15 hours ago

Alexis Wilkinson went from being the first black woman President of Harvard’s acclaimed humor publication, The Lampoon, to writing for HBO’s hit comedy series, Veep. She’s become an outspoken public figure and writer–with work featured in Slate, Opening Ceremony and Time–but as we know, big victories such as these don’t come without a lot of work, a few disruptions and some twists and turns in the road. In this episode of She Does podcast, Alexis recalls her experiences of “comping” or trying out for The Lampoon multiple times, finding her place in the middle of an elitist institution, losing her […] »

- Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg

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Creating a Promotional Video for the Kindle Best-Selling Sci-Fi Series Post-Human, Part 2

11 February 2016 10:00 AM, PST

In Part I, David Simpson, author of the bestselling sci-fi novel series Post-Human, talked about how he became first an author and then a filmmaker by creating a short promotional piece for his series. The resulting video represents what Simpson thinks the opening sequence of a Post-Human film might look like. He accomplished this with virtually no experience, a tiny crew and a location that cost a third of his budget. In this Part II he talks about the equipment he used, and how he planned and executed the production. Filmmaker: How did you plan out what you were going […] »

- Michael Murie

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Watch: Sam Scoggins’ J.G. Ballard Short, The Unlimited Dream Company

11 February 2016 9:00 AM, PST

Having just posted the trailer for Ben Wheatley’s upcoming adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s classic dystopian novel, High-Rise, now’s a good time to check out this considerably more obscure — yet, for fans of the British writer, equally rewarding — film. With a hat tip to Dangerous Minds, check out Sam Scoggins’ rather Ballardian author’s portrait, which mixes interview footage with both imagery and storytelling strategies drawn from Ballard’s work. »

- Scott Macaulay

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“Are We Telling Stories with Images through the Camera or from a Computer?” Ed Lachman on Shooting Carol in Super 16mm

11 February 2016 7:00 AM, PST

Ed Lachman has been the director of photography on a long list of visually stunning movies. He has worked repeatedly with director Todd Haynes. This year he is nominated for an Oscar for his work on Carol, an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel that stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. For Carol, Lachman creates a beautiful pastiche of color and texture to invite the audience into the world of New York in the 1950s as well as the emotional state of two women suddenly and deeply in love. Lachman and I sat down in L.A. to talk about Carol and […] »

- Alix Lambert

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Time Travel via Production Design: Jia Zhangke’s Mountains May Depart

11 February 2016 6:00 AM, PST

Mountains May Depart begins as a love triangle, whose three connecting lines separate and recross across three segments in 1999 (two years after Jia Zhangke’s debut feature), 2014 and 2025. The 1999 opening brings us back to Jia’s native Shanxi, whose streets by now look very, very familiar to anyone who’s kept up with his work. As Tao, the woman at the center of the love triangle, Jia’s professional/personal partner Zhao Tao is introduced in period peasant style: strategically layered brightly lined sweaters, nothing too form-fitting or fashion-forward, hair straight and uncomplicatedly pulled-back. In 2014 — following marriage and divorce to wealthy Zhang Jinsheng (Yi Zhang) — she’s […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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Watch: Costume Designer Sandy Powell on Carol

10 February 2016 1:48 PM, PST

Yes, it’s a promotional featurette produced by The Weinstein Company, but this video of the great costume designer Sandy Powell talking about designing Carol is illuminating. Powell discusses conceiving clothing for both Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara while keeping in mind what their sartorial choices illuminate about their characters. Also, her comment about costuming for the period — that the “look” of a decade doesn’t really kick in until halfway through as people are stuck in the fashions of the previous decade — is spot on. »

- Filmmaker Staff

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Creating a Promotional Video for the Kindle Best-Selling Sci-Fi Series Post-Human

10 February 2016 9:00 AM, PST

David Simpson is the author of the bestselling sci-fi novel series Post-Human. There are currently five books in the series, with two more planned. Born in Ireland, he has lived in Vancouver since 2000 and believed he would end up a teacher of English until he discovered self-publishing on the Kindle. Having had success self-publishing, he hoped to create a promotional video for the series that might lead to the production of an actual movie. The resulting video represents what Simpson thinks the opening sequence of a Post-Human film might look like. The truly fascinating part of the story is […] »

- Michael Murie

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Six Filmmaking Takeaways from a Novelist-turned-Director

10 February 2016 7:00 AM, PST

The path that finally led to the making of The Removals — a feature-length paranoid lo-fi thriller and love story produced by Two Dollar Radio — was a very, very long and twisty one. As it probably is for many films. I spent five weeks in the summer of 2015 with an amazing crew and actors making a film that I had been dreaming about and plotting out in fits and starts since I was about 20-years old. And I’m 50 now. I basically had to unlearn everything I thought I knew about the creative process. Here are a few […] »

- Nicholas Rombes

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Flesh and Blood: A War

10 February 2016 6:00 AM, PST

Written and directed by Tobias Lindholm (A Hijacking), A War — one of the five nominees for Best Foreign Language Film — examines the divide between the military and domestic spheres in the life of Claus Pedersen (Lindholm regular Pilou Asbaek). He is unit leader of a small Danish Nato contingent in Afghanistan; his wife, Maria (Tuva Novotny), tries her best to hold down the home front, a battleground of another sort in which their three young children are non-lethal combatants. The separation of these domains becomes more and more clouded; the occasional satellite phone call is about all that […] »

- Howard Feinstein

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SXSW Announces Midnight Movies and Final Titles Added to 2016 Lineup

9 February 2016 12:00 PM, PST

  Here’s the last group of titles to be added to SXSW’s slate. All the midnight features are here, as well as are new titles for the other slates, including the much-expanded “Festival Favorites” section. Features   Midnighters Scary, funny, sexy, controversial – provocative after-dark features for night owls and the terminally curious.   Carnage Park Director/Screenwriter: Mickey Keating The year is 1978. A team of wannabe crooks botch a small-town bank heist and flee with their hostage deep into the California desert, where they find themselves in a harrowing fight for survival against a psychotic ex-military sniper. Cast: Ashley […] »

- Filmmaker Staff

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Trailer Watch: Ben Wheatley’s J.G. Ballard Adaptation High-Rise

9 February 2016 6:02 AM, PST

“How’s the high life?” Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleston) is asked. “Prone to fits of narcissism, mania and power failure,” he replies. This new UK trailer for Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise establishes the woozily dystopic tone. (No, Portishead’s much-discussed cover of Abba’s “Sos” isn’t in it.) “High-Rise begins at the end, with Tom Middleston amidst ruin and bloodstains, roasting the leg of a dog on a spit, so when his character Dr. Robert Laing first moves into the building, we already know where things are headed,” Whitney Mallett wrote from last year’s Tiff. “Sex, violence, and retro-modernism are everywhere, even […] »

- Filmmaker Staff

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Watch: Jason Tippet’s My Gal, Rosemarie

8 February 2016 12:42 PM, PST

Jason Tippet is the co-director of the lovely Only the Young, which premiered at True/False in 2012. That portrait of California skater kids who evangelize for the Lord was distinguished by Tippet and co-director Elizabeth Mims’ impressive ability to seemingly never repeat an immaculate shot set-up in even the most returned-to locations. From the opening shot My Gal, Rosemarie shows Tippet hasn’t lost his eye for finding strong compositions in domestic spaces, opening here with a hanging hummingbird feeder viewed from directly below, a defamiliarized circle with birds floating weightlessly around it. This is the home of Ray and Rosemarie: the latter, age 90, finds […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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On Being an Independent Filmmaker and Watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens Six Times

8 February 2016 7:00 AM, PST

Like a lot of people, I went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens when it opened in December. By my fourth screening, I started to feel embarrassed. By my sixth, I was at peace again. Most times, I went with combinations of family and friends (though that third screening was definitely solo) because Star Wars had helped shape these relationships years ago. Just as important, it was the series that hooked me and so many of us on filmmaking. In 1983, PBS aired From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga during their December telethon. I was […] »

- Tom Quinn

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