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13 articles


“It Takes a Lot to Make a Film that Comes from Yourself”: The Babadook‘s Jennifer Kent

26 November 2014 9:36 AM, PST

Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook, a frightening new film that finds the horror in the familial, opens Friday in theaters and on demand, almost a year after its debut at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Focusing on a mother and son terrorized by a lanky, ghost-like creature who originates from a withered pop-up book, Kent’s film does quite a lot with limited resources. Incorporating stop-motion animation, stylized lighting, and an effective use of sound, debuting Australian filmmaker Kent has a deft sense of control — a husband who dies in a car crash as he drives his pregnant wife to the hospital to give birth is pretty hefty stuff. […] »

- Erik Luers

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Tfi Sandbox Relaunches

26 November 2014 9:18 AM, PST

A year and a half ago the Tribeca Film Institute launched the Tfi Sandbox, an online resource for documentary transmedia projects with connections to the New Media Fund and other real-world resources. Since then the Sandbox has helped produce some amazing work, such as Elaine McMillion Sheldon’s Hollow, and last week the site received an upgrade, which you can check out here. The new Sandbox, essentially a more robust version of the previous iteration, features everything from introductory information for those just testing the waters of interactive nonfiction to specific funding, technology, and festival/distribution resources for those at work on […] »

- Randy Astle

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Björk’s Biophilia Available to Download

26 November 2014 9:16 AM, PST

Björk has been releasing Biophilia, in one way or another, for over three years now, transforming what could have simply been yet another album into a master class on multi-platform releases and extended community-building endeavors. In October 2011 the album came out–though she had begun working on it as early as 2008 and had released its first single that June–and broke ground for the artist as a multilayered concept album dealing with the environment, ecology, and economics, all presented in a highly textured sonic envelope of electronica. Tight on the album’s heels came some remixes, released together in the 2012 album […] »

- Randy Astle

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2014 “Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You” Series Announced

26 November 2014 7:32 AM, PST

Ifp, Filmmaker and the Museum of Modern Art are pleased to present this year’s slate for Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You, the annual series that spotlights films currently without theatrical distribution. Screening at MoMA from December 12 – 15, this year’s five films are Approaching the ElephantEvaporating Borders, The Mend, L for Leisure, and Uncertain Terms. Past selections include It Felt Like Love, Frownland, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty and Sun Don’t Shine, all of which eventually secured distribution. Read below for a full description of each of this year’s titles. Approaching the Elephant 2014. USA. Directed by Amanda Rose Wilder. Little Falls, NJ, 2007: the new Teddy […] »

- Sarah Salovaara

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Watch: Tarkovsky Behind the Scenes of The Sacrifice

25 November 2014 2:22 PM, PST

A newly restored print of Andrei Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice wraps its run at Bam tonight, so now’s as good a time as any to take in Directed by Tarkovsky. A compilation of 50+ hours of behind the scenes footage shot by d.p. Arne Carlsson, along with excerpts from Tarkovsky’s book Sculpting in Time, editor Michal Leszczylowski’s documentary is an insightful window into the Russian great’s exacting process. Especially intriguing is his language barrier work with the actors, of whom he writes, “Cinema demands the truth of a state of mind that cannot be concealed, and the director has to induce the right state of mind in […] »

- Sarah Salovaara

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The 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations

25 November 2014 1:03 PM, PST

The nominations are out for the annual Film Independent Spirit Awards bestowed by Film Independent. As the logo above suggests, the Film Independent Spirit Awards will be celebrating their 30th anniversary with this edition. Leading the nominations count is Birdman with six nominations, followed by five apiece for Selma, Boyhood and Nightcrawler. Note the special awards for Inherent Vice and Foxcatcher, both of whose budgets exceed the $20 million cap for regular award eligibility. The awards are announced February 21, and their official site can be found here. Best Feature (Award given to the producer. Executive producers are not awarded.) […] »

- Filmmaker Staff

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Francesca Coppola on Her Kickstarter Project, Jonny Come Lately

25 November 2014 11:54 AM, PST

Writer/director Francesca Coppola has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for her second short film, Jonny Come Lately. Below, she writes about the short’s themes and issues, her decision to shoot on film and the power of community. Please visit her Kickstarter page and, if you are able to, consider donating. I’m only a few hours away from hitting the launch button on my first Kickstarter campaign to complete the funding for my second film, Jonny Come Lately. There is a whirlwind of feelings at play here and a maelstrom going through my head right now; I’m nervous, exhausted, confused, but […] »

- Francesca Coppola

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Watch: Paul Thomas Anderson Talks to Mike Figgis about Boogie Nights, 1998

25 November 2014 8:25 AM, PST

This 1998 interview with Paul Thomas Anderson has been online for a while; credit to The Seventh Art for finally bringing it to my attention. Talking with fellow director Mike Figgis after only two features under his belt, a supremely unfazed Anderson eats pizza while holding forth on Boogie Nights‘ origins as a short film equally inspired by Zelig and This is Spinal Tap, shares a lot of opinions about inadequate porn performances, discusses a written-but-never-filmed sex scene for Don Cheadle’s character, and generally shows almost no self-consciousness about saying whatever he wants. Emblematic of the era sentence: “I was actually with Quentin Tarantino the other […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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Watch: Behind Interstellar’s Sound Design

24 November 2014 11:39 AM, PST

Deborah Stratman’s bewitching short film Hacked Circuit, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year, presents a roving, unbroken look inside the foley post-production process at an La studio. Along those lines, this featurette with Interstellar‘s Supervising Sound Editor and Sound Designer, Richard King, provides perspective into the blockbuster’s unusually naturalistic and practical sound effects. To capture the essence of a dust storm, King and his team built a sand gun and fired it against a rusty car; to convey a car ripping through a cornfield, they built a rig and did it for themselves. Just as Nolan eschews green screens, he refrains from the use […] »

- Sarah Salovaara

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Birdman: Five Points of Contention

24 November 2014 9:16 AM, PST

Having barely survived Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 21 Grams when it came out, I was inclined to stay away from his filmography for the rest of my life. But people I respect and trust — Iñárritu haters no less — kept saying that Birdman was actually quite good, so I popped in; two hours later, I felt as if my initial disinterest had been validated the hard way. Praise first for Edward Norton’s note-perfect rendition of the actor as a toxically always-“on,” reflexively self-dramatizing narcissist. Swaggering into conversations and pushing them into weird rhythms he can play with without regard for the […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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Hope for Film Author Ted Hope on Life, Independent Film and Systems Reboots

24 November 2014 8:00 AM, PST

Ted Hope — producer, Good Machine co-founder, and now CEO of Fandor — is no tongue-tied wallflower in the independent film community. Indeed, his passionate commentary, counsel and editorializing on topics ranging from net neutrality to making better films to a “systems reboot” of the independent film economy seem to be everywhere these days. But while his website, Twitter account and frequent speeches at industry events may make it seem that his opinions have been enabled — or at least turbo-charged — by this current social media age, he has, in fact, been lobbing list-driven rhetorical broadsides for years. (Don’t […] »

- Scott Macaulay

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The Economy of Web Series and Five Questions for This Is Not a Conspiracy Theory Director Kirby Ferguson

24 November 2014 7:00 AM, PST

Kirby Ferguson’s four-part web series, Everything is a Remix, was a brilliant blend of form, content and delivery system. A discussion of not just the legal issues surrounding fair use and appropriated content but also the nature of creativity itself, Ferguson’s work scored hundreds of thousands of views, launched a Ted talk and established this savvy director at the forefront of the Diy web content creation business. With his new recently launched series, This is Not a Conspiracy Theory, he is aiming to make that web content creation business more of a, well, business by switching from free to a […] »

- Scott Macaulay

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Ten Lessons on Filmmaking from David Lynch

24 November 2014 5:00 AM, PST

After 25 years, the wait is over for Twin Peaks fans. David Lynch and Mark Frost have announced a return to the mythical town coming in 2016 to Showtime. The show is often credited for having paved the way for the golden age of television today, when many TV programs rival cinema for compelling stories. Through the episodic medium of television, Lynch was able to create a multi-layered world full of rich stories, diving deep into the lives of its characters. The season will pick up in the present day and bring back many of the show’s iconic roles. Shortly […] »

- Ariston Anderson

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