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15 articles


The Rumpus Launches Manual Typewriter iPad App, Type Writer

5 hours ago

I grew up on a manual typewriter, the same one my mom used to write articles for Life Magazine in the ’50s and ’60s. It was a small portable in a beat-up canvas case, and you had to hit the keys hard. Later, my dad outfitted his basement home office with an Ibm Selectric. I loved that typewriter. It was a brick, a giant slab of molded something, and once you gave the keys a little push the thing would explode. The violence of it was kind of thrilling. Still, I don’t fetishize old-school typewriters, manual or electric. I can’t […] »

- Scott Macaulay

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“Everything Seems to be Licorice”: Land Ho!’s Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz on Shooting in Iceland

6 hours ago

Land Ho!, co-written and co-directed by Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens, is an odd-couple two-hander like Katz’s previous Cold Weather and Quiet City, and a progressively rural odyssey like Stephens’ Pilgrim Song, accented by the hues of regional color familiar from both directors’ palettes. But given the film’s Icelandic setting, perhaps another frame of reference is also called for. In interviews, the filmmakers frequently discuss the remoteness of the Icelandic landscape, its incongruity with the day-to-day lives of their characters, and, above all, its mysterious and “otherworldly” beauty. In Iceland, where I currently live, this view is not necessarily reflective […] »

- Mark Asch

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Watch: A Video Analysis of Punch-Drunk Love as Superman-Inspired

9 hours ago

As Spinal Tap observed, there’s a fine line between clever and stupid, and there’s a similarly thin divider between convincing argument and tenuous grasping. Is this 12-minute analysis of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love, which argues that it refers heavily to the 1978 Superman, reaching too far when claiming e.g. that the harmonium leading Adam Sandler to Emily Watson could be a stand-in for the Fortress of Solitude? Probably, but it’s an enjoyably go-for-broke interpretation regardless. In this formulation, Sandler’s Barry is Clark Kent — meek and mild at some times, superhumanly strong and violent at others — and Emily […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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A Round-Up of the Last Non-Linear Editor Updates

10 hours ago

June proved to be a rich month for non-linear editor users. Adobe released their latest Creative Cloud update, Apple updated Final Cut Pro X, Motion, and Compressor, the public beta of DaVinci Resolve 11 was released, and the Mac beta of Lightworks finally appeared.   Adobe Creative Cloud On June 17 Adobe released the second major update to Creative Cloud. For Premiere Pro this release adds a new masking feature for effects. You can now easily add an effect mask either using an Oval or a four-point polygon tool. A built-in tracking tool makes it possible to track a shape […] »

- Michael Murie

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“In Prison, I Had Some Peace of Mind”: Jafar Panahi on Closed Curtain

9 July 2014 12:30 PM, PDT

Dogs as pets have been banned in Iran, which provides the starting premise for Jafar Panahi’s Closed Curtain. A screenwriter (Kambozia Partovi, also the co-director) at a seaside villa has a dog smuggled into his house by friends. Once the animal’s inside, the man systematically draws curtains over windows on all three floors. The opening of Jafar Panahi’s Closed Curtain fictionalizes the necessary circumstances of its production: working in secret, the director was forced to draw the curtains for as much of the shoot as possible to make sure no one could see what was going on inside. There are […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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Trailer Watch: Starred Up

9 July 2014 12:19 PM, PDT

David Mackenzie’s Starred Up is more or less an exemplary entry in the prison drama genre. Narratively speaking, there isn’t anything wildly original at work, as the hotheaded protagonist Eric Love (Jack O’Connell) is starred up from juvie to the same higher security prison as his estranged father (Ben Mendelsohn). There, he is quick to make enemies amongst both the incarcerated and the administration, with the one exception being a puppy-eyed counselor (Rupert Friend), who claims to see something in Eric worth healing. What sets Starred Up apart are the performances (the charismatic O’Connell has received much notice, but Mendelsohn yet again proves he can do […] »

- Sarah Salovaara

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Testing the Bechdel Test

9 July 2014 8:49 AM, PDT

One of the clever recent innovations at the subscription streaming service Fandor is the ability to filter films using the Bechdel Test. Created by cartoonist Alison Bechdel, the Bechdel Test applies three criteria to judge the quality of female representation in a motion picture: 1) it has to have at least two [named] women in it; 2) who talk to each other; 3) about something besides a man. In a new video essay, “Beyond Bechdel: Testing Feminism in Film,” Lee interrogates the Bechdel Test using films from the Fandor library, asking whether the test is a meaningful criteria when considering […] »

- Scott Macaulay

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Borscht Corporation Launches Crowdsourced Scarface Redux

9 July 2014 8:09 AM, PDT

“Say hello to my little friend!” If you’ve ever fantasized unleashing your inner Tony Montana — or, more accurately, your inner ’80s-era Brian DePalma — then the latest crowdsourced art project from the Miami-based Borscht Corporation is for you. Borscht has announced Scarface Redux, a fan remake of the 1983 drug lord epic, with filmmakers from all over the world invited to direct and submit their own 15-second segment. The clip can be “live action, animation, puppets, legos, Chihuahuas, it doesn’t matter!”, the site says. The finished film will be screened at the Borscht Film Festival in December at a […] »

- Scott Macaulay

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Parsing Diy Distribution with the Cri Virtual Toolbox

8 July 2014 3:46 PM, PDT

Need to make a snap decision about a crowdfunding or Diy distribution platform? Then check out the Virtual Toolbox from Nyu’s Cinema Research Institute. The Cinema Research Institute at Nyu Tisch School of the Arts’ Graduate Film Program selects four fellows a year who “engage in the entrepreneurial exploration of the film business and initiate valuable research to be leveraged by the film community at large.” This year’s fellows have explored everything from dynamic pricing models to modeling film investment, but while we wait to learn more about their work, recommended and available online now is the Virtual Toolbox, created […] »

- Scott Macaulay

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Malcolm X in Dinesh D’Souza’s America: A Dialectical Double-Feature

8 July 2014 12:11 PM, PDT

Cities with active repertory theaters offer options for constructing cross-town do-it-yourself double-features, and a chance this Sunday to follow Malcolm X at BAMcinématek’s Spike Lee retro with Dinesh D’Souza’s America: Imagine the World Without Her seemed too dialectically productive to pass up. The connecting common component turned out to be a compact Malcolm soundbite (“We don’t see any American Dream. We’ve experienced only the American Nightmare!”), recited by Denzel Washington at the end of a longer peroration in Lee’s opening credits and presented as a stand-alone snippet from the real Malcolm in D’Souza’s film. It’s no surprise America ditches the […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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When Independent Film Anticipates An Audience

8 July 2014 8:00 AM, PDT

The arrival of summer blockbuster season and another Transformers installment means it’s time for critics to take to their think pieces and argue why Hollywood’s lowbrow, cash cow economy harms the more artful realm of independent film. The New Yorker’s Richard Brody, meanwhile, had the good, iconoclastic sense to pen an article entitled “The Real Threat To Independent Film,” whereby he concludes that the field’s dismantler does not lie within Hollywood, but in independent film itself. “The most audacious low-budget American independent filmmaking,” writes Brody, “is threatened much more significantly by misplaced critical praise for art-house mediocrities than by Hollywood.” […] »

- Sarah Salovaara

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Jordana Spiro at the Sundance Directors Lab, Part 2

8 July 2014 6:47 AM, PDT

[Jordana Spiro's first blog post can be found here.] I was directing my last scene for the lab. It was set in a tiny bathroom and the only place to be out of the camera’s view was the small bedroom on the side with the equipment. After the actors finished a take, the bedroom door opened and Robert Redford asked if he could join me and watch for a while. Sure you can, Robert Redford. We settled in together on the twin bed to watch the small monitor as the actors went for another take and then we talked through […] »

- Jordana Spiro

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Seeing in the Dark with the Sony a7S

7 July 2014 2:20 PM, PDT

When Sony announced the a7S mirrorless camera at Nab everyone was interested in its 4K capabilities, but it’s the low-light power of this camera that may be the true selling point. With the “S” standing for sensitivity, the a7S is the third a7 camera to be released. The a7 and a7R were announced in October of last year and started shipping in December. Those two models record HD video and stills at much higher resolutions than the a7S; the a7 has a 24.3 megapixel sensor capable of 6,000 x 4,000 pixel stills, while the a7R has a 36.4Mp sensor capable […] »

- Michael Murie

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Short Film: Saute ma ville, by Chantal Akerman

7 July 2014 1:59 PM, PDT

In 1968, at the age of 18 and six years before the release of her masterpiece, Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, Chantal Akerman made this short film, which announces themes and strategies she continues to this present day. From Amber Frost at Dangerous Minds: Akerman actually dropped out of film school before completing a single term in order to make it, selling stocks and working in an office to fund the twelve and a half minutes that eventually paved the way for her three hour plus opus. As with Jeanne Dielman, intense, oppressive boredom and domestic isolation […] »

- Scott Macaulay

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Trailer Watch: David Fincher’s Gone Girl

7 July 2014 10:02 AM, PDT

David Fincher’s second consecutive stab at a blockbuster book adaptation, Gone Girl, seems likely to pop up on the festival circuit (i.e., Toronto) before its October 3 release. In the interim, we have a newer, longer trailer, that relays the brooding tone of his previous procedurals The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Se7en, with Ben Affleck’s antihero, Nick Dunne, front and center. Having only made it through the first few chapters of Gillian Flynn’s bestseller, it will be interesting to see how Flynn (who penned the script) and Fincher incorporate the dueling first-person perspectives of Nick and his missing wife Amy (Rosamund Pike), beyond what appears […] »

- Sarah Salovaara

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15 articles



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