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5 Questions For Traitors Director Sean Gullette

7 hours ago

From 2005 to 2010, Sean Gullette (still most commonly ID’d as the star of Pi) lived full-time in Tangier, Morocco. Expanding on a 30-minute short made in 2010, Gullette’s feature directorial debut Traitors tracks a Clash-esque femake punk rock band (their big chorus is “I’m so bored with Morocco”) stuck in Tangier. When frontwoman Malika (Chainmae Ben Acha) decides to pay for a demo recording session with a one-off drug run, the film’s second half takes her out of the city and up to the Rif Mountains. The Tribeca Film Festival is the latest stop on an extensive festival circuit […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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What to See from the Tribeca Film Festival Online

19 April 2014 9:11 AM, PDT

Screenings have just kicked off in Manhattan for the Tribeca Film Festival, but as always not all the films are showing in theaters–and there’s more available online this year than ever before. Here’s a quick guide to what you can see and how to see it. Streaming select titles: Four feature films and four shorts will be online after their initial theatrical screenings this week and next; they’ll also be eligible for an audience choice award with prize money totaling $15,000. All of Tribeca’s online material discussed below, including these eight films, is available at http://tribecafilm.com/online. The short films include: * Love in […] »

- Randy Astle

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Tribeca: 5 Questions for Glass Chin Writer/Director Noah Buschel

19 April 2014 6:00 AM, PDT

“Boxing has always drawn dumb, confused macho guys like myself,” writes filmmaker Noah Buschel. “It’s cool, it’s tough, it’s naked, it’s true…. But the thing about boxing, as Norman Mailer pointed out, is that it’s just as sensitive as it is murderous. If you go to a boxing gym, and Floyd Mayweather’s not there, it is a remarkably quiet and tender place.” Buschel heads straight into that quiet and tender place with his latest, Glass Chin, premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival. Since he’s already written an essay for us about the film itself, we sent Buschel a set of […] »

- Scott Macaulay

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Five Questions For Ne Me Quitte Pas Directors Sabine Lubbe Bakker and Niels van Koeverden

18 April 2014 2:56 PM, PDT

Sabine Lubbe Bakker and Niels van Koeverden’s Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don’t Forget Me) takes its name from a Jacques Brel song whose fervid tone fits its disheveled subjects well. Marcel and Bob are best friends: deep in rural Belgium, they wile away their hours in a drunken haze, footage that straddles a productively uncomfortable tragic-comic line. Marcel’s wife leaves him at the beginning, which gives him more time to spend with older, more grizzled, seemingly more resigned Bob: their epic drinking bouts regularly punctuate the film, getting into more and more dangerous territory as spiral downward and, unnervingly, take […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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Last Hustle: John Turturro on Fading Gigolo

18 April 2014 11:35 AM, PDT

John Turturro’s Fading Gigolo has a title that sounds both more elegiac and salacious than the movie ultimately is. The dynamic 57-year-old character actor’s fifth feature as a director features a rare Woody Allen performance outside of his own movies as beleaguered Murray, who’s been forced by the choppy economic winds to shutter his elegant little Manhattan bookshop. Turturro plays Fioravante, one of Murray’s employees and seemingly his best friend. When the store closes, Fioravante takes a job in a flower shop, while Murray spends most of his days looking after a gaggle of black children that are ostensibly the […] »

- Brandon Harris

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Five Questions With Fishtail Director Andrew Renzi

18 April 2014 9:30 AM, PDT

After serving as a producer on films including Afterschool and Two Gates Of Sleep and directing three shorts, Andrew Renzi is transitioning to directing features with not one but two films in 2014. First up is Fishtail, a portrait of life on a Wyoming cattle farm shot in a mere four days. Speed doesn’t mean sloppy haste: Fishtail makes full use of its 16mm widescreen frame, carefully capturing agricultural processes that connect the present to the old American West. Later this year, expect Renzi’s Richard Gere-starring drama Franny; his documentary premiered yesterday at the Tribeca Film Festival. In an email […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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“Let Some Air In!”: Nathan Silver on Directing Improvisation

18 April 2014 8:00 AM, PDT

I asked Nathan Silver to write a guest post on directing improvisation, largely because a spur of the moment slipup — in which one of his actors mistakenly entered a scene and decided to stay put — ended up reshaping the narrative of Soft in the Head, which opens today at Cinema Village. I wanted to know how he tacitly guides the actors without stifling them, how much preparation his outlines necessitate, and what sort of challenges the process presents in editing. He sent me the following, with the note that he “might be having a nervous breakdown.” Incidentally, it’s […] »

- Sarah Salovaara

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Spell of the Cat People

18 April 2014 6:00 AM, PDT

I was watching TV late at night, in a motel room. Having been on the highway all day, I just wanted to get the speeding landscape out of my face and eyes. I searched through the channels for something that had some gravity to it. Something that would pour molasses all over the spinning tires in my mind. Jacques Tourneur’s Cat People had just started. Within a minute, it had blasted the day away, and rolled me like a black-and-white wave. Soft, hypnotic, thunderous. The movie came out of the TV, went into my head and then down into my […] »

- Noah Buschel

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Five Questions With Intramural Director Andrew Disney

17 April 2014 1:00 PM, PDT

Take a look at Andrew Disney’s website — with his commercials, music video work et al. neatly assembled in their own sections — and you’ll see a very well-organized director adept at representing himself. An Nyu alum, Disney (yes, he’s related, though not closely) made his feature debut with 2011’s Searching for Sonny, shot in his hometown of Fort Worth. Now an Austin resident, Disney returns with Intramural, a comedy of arrested development about a group of friends who get their fifth grade football team back together. Pitched as being in the vein of Wet Hot American Summer and Hot […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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Trailer Watch: David Michôd’s The Rover

17 April 2014 11:31 AM, PDT

I was a big fan of David Michôd’s familial crime drama Animal Kingdom, and not just because I saw it on an airplane. If his follow-up The Rover looks to try on a rather generic premise — a hero on the hunt for what’s rightfully his — that’s hopefully not much cause for concern: Animal Kingdom found its strength not in plot, but in its characterization and pacing. Reteaming with the always reliable Guy Pierce, Michôd trades in the rest of his local ensemble for the dubious star wattage of Robert Pattinson, performing an indiscernible accent as a discarded gang member. Premiering in […] »

- Sarah Salovaara

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Five Questions with Five Star Director Keith Miller

17 April 2014 10:00 AM, PDT

A generational meditation on masculinity, Keith Miller’s sophomore film Five Star explores the relationship between Primo — a Blood since puberty — and his would-be protégé, John. Set against sun-scorched Brooklyn projects, the film folds a casual shooting style into heavier thematic territory. Maintaining an alternately protective and imposing arm, Primo struggles to reconcile his history with his paternal instincts as John is pulled deeper into the gang’s underbelly. Filmmaker spoke to Miller about the film’s non-fictional foundations and his collaboration with the leading “non-actors.” Five Star world premieres today in the World Narrative Competition at the Tribeca Film Festival. Filmmaker: This is a world […] »

- Sarah Salovaara

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When Filmmakers Dream: A Story of Attainable Success

17 April 2014 8:39 AM, PDT

When filmmakers dream, we dream big. And why not? Shoot for the stars, and hell, you might just get one to act in your next movie. While not every filmmaker has designs for commercial success, one would be hard-pressed to find one that would shun recognition and the opportunity to create more films and get paid to do so. Every young filmmaker would love his or her first film to win Sundance so they can be plucked out of obscurity, handed the keys to Hollywood, and asked to direct every episode of True Detective. And why the hell not? When […] »

- Seth Fisher

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2014 Cannes Lineup Announced

17 April 2014 7:27 AM, PDT

There were few surprises to be had at this morning’s announcement of the Competition, Un Certain Regard and Special Screenings sections for the 2014 Cannes Film Festival — perhaps barring Fremaux’s proud, misleading assurance that a whopping 15 female directors were included in the lineup, which is evidently French for eight. Familiar faces returning to the Croisette include Assayas, Cronenberg, Zvyaginstev, Bilge Ceylan, Hazanavicius, Egoyan, Loach, Leigh and the Dardennes, whose Two Days, One Night may prove to be Marion Cotillard’s successful shot at the Best Actress title, after snubs for Rust and Bone and The Immigrant. The two American titles in Competition […] »

- Sarah Salovaara

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Trailer Watch: Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida

16 April 2014 12:30 PM, PDT

Recent Grand Jury Prize recipient at the Sarasota Film Festival and a Fipresci winner in Toronto, Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida tells the story of a would-be nun who haphazardly uncovers her Jewish background. Set in 1960s Poland, the discovery leads the eponymous Ida through a tear in her family’s history, stretching as far back as the Nazi occupation. Music Box Films releases the formally and emotionally stunning Ida on May 2. »

- Sarah Salovaara

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Jon Jost Announces Fundraising Plans For 2K Transfers of Mark Rappaport’s Films

16 April 2014 8:15 AM, PDT

The fight between the great director Mark Rappaport (Local Color, From The Journals Of Jean Seberg) and Boston University film scholar/Cassavetes specialist Ray Carney has its origins in 2005, when the filmmaker entrusted copies of his movies to the professor. In 2012, Rappaport went public with the troubling contention that Carney refused to return his work, effectively making it impossible for the director to earn any revenue from exhibiting the films. As Rappaport wrote last year, “the chances of anyone or any organization either having the interest, inclination, and, even more importantly, the cash to go through the very expensive […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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25 Picks for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival

16 April 2014 7:00 AM, PDT

The Tribeca Film Festival opens today, and, as usual, it’s a multi-headed hydra with splashy events, panels, talks but also, of course, films by new and emerging filmmakers. And while Tribeca has garnered a reputation in recent years as a solid platform for international directors with either world or U.S. premieres, this year the American independent section seems particularly strong. Indeed, it was easy to whip out this list of 25 picks I’m especially interested in seeing and that tie closely with the American indie focus of this magazine. Docs look especially sharp, with a number of them dealing with […] »

- Scott Macaulay

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For Holy Week, Philippines Censor Board Makes Sure Buses Show “Wholesome” Movies

15 April 2014 12:29 PM, PDT

In the Philippines, Holy Week (the period between the last day of Lent and Easter Sunday) is a big deal, as you’d expect from the third largest Catholic country in the world. Part of Holy Week involves a mass exodus from capital Manila to smaller villages as residents go to be with their families, creating major logistical headaches on the traffic front. As part of gearing-up efforts, inspections of the bus stations began yesterday. 594 buses were granted special permits to drive outside of their normal routes, part of a larger array of regulatory measures. Separately, the country’s censor board […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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Trailer Watch: Obvious Child

15 April 2014 11:49 AM, PDT

Ahead of its June 6 release, A24 has released the trailer to yet another potential hitmaker in their arsenal: Gillian Robespierre’s Obvious Child. I interviewed Robespierre about the film for our upcoming Spring issue, which upends the traditional romantic comedy route of boy meets girl by wedging an abortion into the mix. Jenny Slate stars as Donna Stern, a comedian whose pathological on-stage oversharing is momentarily stunted when she finds herself pregnant by a one night stand. Surrounded by a winsome ensemble — including Gaby Hoffman and Gabe Liedman — Donna juggles her misstep and budding relationship with Max (Jake Lacy) […] »

- Sarah Salovaara

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History on Autopilot: Errol Morris’ The Unknown Known

14 April 2014 12:01 PM, PDT

Throughout season one of The Newsroom, viewers could play an idle game before each episode: which recent news item would be put through the Aaron Sorkin wringer, morphing from painful recent incident to an amusing babble of rapid-fire speech set in comfortably familiar rhythms? Sorkin’s been around so long his trademark back-and-forth/walk-and-talk exchanges smack of self-parody even when well-executed. His familiarity/inflexibility suggests a belief that any historical event or dramatic situation can be processed through the writer’s usual dialogue tricks and emerge with a sufficiently revelatory perspective. The same erroneous assumption underlies Errol MorrisThe Unknown Known, which has expanded […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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Welcoming Vadim Rizov as Managing Editor

14 April 2014 9:59 AM, PDT

I’d like to welcome to our Filmmaker staff our new Managing Editor, Vadim Rizov. After an exhaustive job search — thanks to the over 200 of you who applied — we hired Vadim, who previously covered the True/False Film Festival for us. Many of you know Vadim’s bylines from Sight and Sound, Little White Lies and Indiewire, not to mention his posts last year at The Dissolve. Vadim also posts his reviews at Letterboxd and other stuff at his personal blog, Infinite Philistinism. Vadim’s a very smart writer whose interest in culture extends beyond independent film to music and literature. […] »

- Scott Macaulay

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