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MoMA’s Doc Fortnight 2018 Sets Full Slate (Exclusive)

MoMA’s Doc Fortnight 2018 Sets Full Slate (Exclusive)
Julien Temple’s 2017 Spanish-language documentary “Hanbaneros” will open Doc Fortnight 2018, the Museum of Modern Art’s 17th annual showcase of nonfiction films from around the world.

Notable among the films that will make their world premieres at the MoMA festival are Jeffrey Perkins’s “George,” about the life of Lithuanian-American avant-garde artist George Maciunas, and Susanna Styron’s “Out of My Head,” in which doctors, neuroscientists and activists give a glimpse into the world of migranes. “George” and “Out of My Head” will both play for one week during the second week of the festival, as Doc Fortnight expands its format.

Set to run February 15-26, Doc Fortnight 2018 will exhibit 20 documentary features and an extensive program of short films, with filmmakers and artists present for discussions following many of the films. Screenings represent the North American, U.S., or New York or world premieres for nearly every film in the festival.

Organizers dedicated
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Tom Hanks Fondly Recalls Jonathan Demme, a Filmmaker Unafraid to Break the Rules

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Tom Hanks Fondly Recalls Jonathan Demme, a Filmmaker Unafraid to Break the Rules
Before he was one of the most revered actors on the planet, Tom Hanks was best known for more comedic performances in films like “Big,” “The ‘Burbs,” and “Turner & Hooch.” That changed when he starred in Jonathan Demme’s “Philadelphia,” for which he won his first Academy Award; the second, for “Forrest Gump,” came just a year later. As part of Entertainment Weekly’s efforts to recall those we lost in 2017, Hanks has shared his fond recollections of a filmmaker who wasn’t afraid to ignore the rules.

Read More:Paul Thomas Anderson Shares 5 Reasons Why Jonathan Demme Was His Favorite Filmmaker

Prior to their collaboration, Hanks was simply a fan of Demme’s. “I took my wife out on one of our first dates it was to go see his Talking Heads concert film ‘Stop Making Sense,’” he recalls. “I remember ‘Something Wild’ was a fantastic movie, ‘Married to the Mob,
See full article at Indiewire »

In Memoriam: Movie Stars We Lost in 2017

In Memoriam: Movie Stars We Lost in 2017
The past year saw the loss of some renowned character actors, including John Hurt, Bill Paxton and Harry Dean Stanton. We were both shaken and stirred by the death of Roger Moore, who played James Bond more than any other actor. On the other side of the camera, directors Jonathan Demme as well as horror masters Tobe Hooper and George A. Romero died in 2017.

Here’s a month-to-month look at some of the biggest names in the film world who died in 2017.

In January, “The Elephant Man” star Hurt died on Jan. 27. The 77-year old actor also starred in “Alien” and “Midnight Express.” Emmanuelle Riva, the French star of “Hiroshima Mon Amour” and more recently, “Amour,” died on Jan. 27 at 89.

Bill Paxton, who appeared on TV in “Big Love” and in films including “Titanic” and “Aliens,” died Feb. 25. He was just 61.

The Silence of the Lambs” director Demme, who had been suffering from cancer, died April 26 at
See full article at Variety - Film News »

MoMA’s 17th Doc Fortnight Sets Opening And Closing, Jonathan Demme Tribute

MoMA’s 17th Doc Fortnight Sets Opening And Closing, Jonathan Demme Tribute
The 17th Doc Fortnight, the Museum of Modern Art’s annual showcase of recent documentary film, will open with Julien Temple’s Habaneros and close with the experimental Hibridos, The Spirits of Brazil. The festival, slated for Feb. 15-26, will also honor the late Jonathan Demme with a retrospective of his non-fiction features. The tribute to Demme will include screenings of Stop Making Sense, Swimming to Cambodia, Haiti: Dreams of Democracy, Neil Young Journeys and I'm Caro…
See full article at Deadline »

‘Mindhunter’ Trailer: New David Fincher Netflix Series Offers a First Look at ‘The Co-Ed Killer’

‘Mindhunter’ Trailer: New David Fincher Netflix Series Offers a First Look at ‘The Co-Ed Killer’
We’re just days away from the release of “Mindhunter,” and while our multiple previous glimpses at the new Netflix series have been downright Fincherian, they’ve been more atmospheric than plot-driven. With the premiere on the horizon, the latest official trailer is finally ready to introduce audiences to a new character.

Mindhunter” follows the based-on-true tales of 1970s FBI agents who enlisted help from serial killers to catch similar criminals on the loose. In the series, Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) make their way to federal institutions for some eerie, special assistance.

Read More:‘Mindhunter’: Why David Fincher’s Return to Netflix Could Be More Significant Than ‘House of Cards

Enter “The Co-Ed Killer,” a real-life figure in true crime and California history who’s still in state prison at the California Medical Facility. (As someone who spent his entire childhood in Northern California,
See full article at Indiewire »

Toronto Film Review: ‘Gaga: Five Foot Two’

Toronto Film Review: ‘Gaga: Five Foot Two’
The phrase rock star, as we know it, means a couple of things. It means rock star. And it also means someone who’s the celebrated badass master of his or her domain — he’s the rock star of tax attorneys, she’s the rock star of personal trainers, he’s the rock star of plumbers. By that measure, Lady Gaga is the rock star of rock stars. She may not be at the dizzying commercial apex she was when she revolutionized the music business with her rhapsodic dance pop (at this moment, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift seem a little higher in the heavens). But in her fusion of sex, fashion, grooves, moves, aura, outrage, and — how can I put this? — sheer awesome ecstatic electricity, she’s still on the edge of glory, on a towering peak all her own.

At the Toronto Film Festival, right before the premiere of “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” a
See full article at Variety - Film News »

NYC Weekend Watch: Deeper Into ‘Nocturama,’ ‘Memories of Murder,’ ‘Stop Making Sense’ & More

Since any New York City cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.

Film Society of Lincoln Center

Go “Deeper Into Nocturama” and see Bertrand Bonello’s influences, including Lynch, Kiarostami, and Carpenter.

“’77” winds down with 3 Women and The Devil, Probably.

Museum of Modern Art

Dark City, Groundhog Day, and more play in the sci-fi series.


The Demme series continues, including Stop Making Sense.


“Old School
See full article at The Film Stage »

Soundtracking: "Stop Making Sense"

This week, Chris Feil's series on music in the movies ponders the concert movie...

Who killed the concert movie? While the subgenre never reached the commonality of the music video, that particular form’s rise is timed right around the concert film’s demise. But perhaps it was just a form that seldom met the heights of “you are there” excitement or insight into the performer as Jonathan Demme and Talking Heads’s Stop Making Sense.

For such a distinctive visually-defined group as the Talking Heads were in music video form, Stop Making Sense remains their defining document. As much as David Byrne is the creative spearhead of the band and that radical rebellious sound, Demme’s insight is what makes this more than just a filmed event or way to see a popular band if they skipped over your town. If a concert is a singular way to live
See full article at FilmExperience »

Paul Thomas Anderson Shares 5 Reasons Why Jonathan Demme Was His Favorite Filmmaker

Paul Thomas Anderson Shares 5 Reasons Why Jonathan Demme Was His Favorite Filmmaker
Programmers at Brooklyn’s BAMcinématek had already been planning Jonathan Demme month when news of his death broke, the comprehensive retrospective of one of American cinema’s most influential voices took on new meaning in the wake of his passing — and brought some of his disciples out of the woodwork. These included Paul Thomas Anderson, who moderated a series of conversations throughout the program’s opening weekend.

The series kicked off with the 1986 slapdash comedy and road movie “Something Wild,” and Anderson was on hand to interview the film’s producer Ed Saxon and SXSW founder Louis Black, a longtime friend of the late director. But it was Anderson, who’s currently in post-production on his December release “Phantom Thread,” who naturally consumed the spotlight. “This is so thrilling for me, and nerve-wracking to be here,” he said by way of introduction, calling himself the “master of ceremony for the weekend.
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Todd Haynes to Direct Velvet Underground Documentary With Killer Films

Todd Haynes to Direct Velvet Underground Documentary With Killer Films
Todd Haynes, visionary director of “Carol” and “Far From Heaven,” is teaming longtime collaborator Christine Vachon’s Killer Films to direct his first documentary, about legendary rock group The Velvet Underground. David Blackman and Universal Music Group will also produce.

Variety reported the news out of the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland, where Haynes received the Pardo d’onore Manor award for career achievement. Haynes’ debut feature “Poison,” played in festival competition in 1991. The festival screened “Wonderstruck,” the newest film from Haynes which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, alongside “Poison.”

Read More‘Wonderstruck’ Trailer: Todd Haynes Restores the Beauty of Silent Cinema in Oscar Hopeful

Haynes is also working with Amazon on a limited TV series ““an intensely important figure of immense historical and cultural influence,” the director told Variety.

The new project is currently in development, but will feature interviews with the living members of the band, as
See full article at Indiewire »

The Best Films of 2017 (So Far)

The Best Films of 2017 (So Far)
With new movies from Christopher Nolan, Kathryn Bigelow, and Steven Spielberg on the horizon for the second half of 2017, it’s tempting to conclude that the year is off to a slow start. Truth be told, there have been no shortage of quality releases so far — you just have to look a little harder than the likes of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Wonder Woman,” although both those hits are encouraging in their own way. Because studios tend to hold their serious Oscar contenders till Q4, any mid-year list of favorites naturally skews toward fun, so don’t be surprised to see comedy and horror films among the films that have electrified us so far. Except for “Get Out” — the biggest and most welcome surprise so far this year — the list is alphabetical.

Get Out

Jordan Peele’s racial-nightmare horror movie (pictured, above) is ticklish and disturbing enough to feel like “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” directed by Roman Polanski. The powerful connection it has made with audiences demonstrates one of the eternal — but perpetually forgotten — lessons of the movie business: If you dare to make the forbidden film that everyone says you’re not “supposed” to make…they will come! – Og

Beatriz at Dinner

The first comedy of the Age of Trump. In this darkly witty collaboration between director Miguel Arteta and screenwriter Mike White (their first dual outing since “Chuck & Buck” and “The Good Girl”), Salma Hayek is all luminous angelic flakiness as Beatriz, a downtrodden New Age massage therapist who gets invited to a client’s high-powered dinner party. There, a proudly piggish real-estate baron (John Lithgow) brings out her vengeful inner tiger. Is he a Trump figure? Yes, but less for his tycoon bluster than for the way he stands in for the death of empathy. – Og

The Big Sick

Did you notice that romantic comedies have disappeared? That makes Michael Showalter’s indie gem not just a Sundance breakout film but a witty, heart-rending new model for the romcom genre. Set in Chicago, it’s about Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani), a stand-up comedian from a traditional Pakistani Muslim family, and Emily (Zoe Kazan), whom he falls in love with but secretly thinks he’s forbidden to marry. Romance and comedy are but two dimensions in a tale of illness, identity, and the way the peskiest of parents can be your best friends. – Og

Baby Driver

Buckle up for attitude and adrenaline as Edgar Wright revisits the idea behind his music video for Mint Royale’s “Blue Song,” focusing on a getaway driver with a penchant for pop tunes. This unapologetic exercise in style might not be deep, but it makes for some swell summer entertainment. — Pd

Contemporary Color

Although the world lost “Stop Making Sense” director Jonathan Demme earlier this year, we’re fortunate that singer David Byrne is still breaking the sound barrier — and that brothers Bill and Turner Ross were there to witness this ecstatic brainchild, in which top pop acts with 10 high school color guard squads. — Pd

Heal the Living

Gifted French helmer Katell Quillévéré shows compassion for even the most minor characters touched by a tragedy that enables a life-saving heart transplant in this stirring French melodrama. Though it barely made a blip in theatrical release, watch for this deeply felt festival gem when it hits home video in August. — Pd

Land of Mine

How long can you hold your breath? If the answer is anything less than 101 minutes, you might want to rethink watching this white-knuckle Danish war movie, a runner-up for the foreign-language Oscar, in which a team of German soldiers (kids, really) are tasked with removing landmines buried by their comrades. — Pd

The Lego Batman Movie

It lacks the sheer everything-in-this-film-is-awesome novelty of “The Lego Movie,” but it brings off something else. In portraying Batman (played to manly-voiced comic perfection by Will Arnett) as a ruthlessly monomaniacal, paralyzingly insecure compulsive loner, disconnected from everything but his heroic self-branding, Chris McKay’s animated dazzler comes closer to portraying a superhero as a complex being than any comic-book movie has in years. — Og

Lost in Paris

The year will be hard-pressed to deliver a funnier movie than the latest from physical-comedy partners in crime Abel and Gordon (check your local arthouse listings!). Whether dancing along the Seine or dangling from the Eiffel Tower, the duo make Paris their playground. And don’t miss the last performance by Emmanuelle Riva, who died in January. — Pd


While nothing can top Blumhouse’s brilliant “Get Out” in the horror-as-social-critique category, director Julia Ducournau creeps the bejesus out of audiences with her own unnerving outsider story. Intense hazing scenes prove every bit as scary as the infamous finger-eating moment in a fever-dream that dares us to identify with the monster, a shy French med student who develops a taste for human flesh. – Og

The Settlers

Attempting to deconstruct the 70-year morass of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis may be a fool’s errand, but no documentary in years — or perhaps decades — has captured the story behind the story the way that Shimon Dotan’s eye-opening chronicle of the Israeli settlement movement does. It allows you to glimpse the grand design of events in a way that even the Israeli leaders who presided over them often didn’t. – Og


After a long stretch of bloated, borderline-embarrassing movies, M. Night Shyamalan pulled off his best surprise yet, delivering ingenuity on a shoestring with this tricksy multiple-personality thriller, which embraces its limitations while making the most of its central asset: a tour-de-force lead performance from cracked-out chameleon James McAvoy. — Pd

Their Finest

While the modern film industry reevaluates the under-representation of women in key roles, Danish director Lone Scherfig reminds that the problem is nothing new, focusing on a female screenwriter’s contributions to England’s wartime propaganda effort. The movie has it all: comedy, romance, intrigue, and a scene-stealing turn from Bill Nighy. — Pd

Related storiesOscars at the Halfway Mark: 'Logan,' 'Get Out' and Women DirectorsPlayback: Kumail Nanjiani on 'The Big Sick' and the Need for RepresentationAnsel Elgort Is Excited for 'Baby Driver' to Make Him 'Look Like a Bada--'
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Stop Making Sense June 17th at Webster University ‘A Tribute to Jonathan Demme’

“I wanna introduce the band by name!”

Stop Making Sense screens Saturday, June 17th at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood). This is the fourth film in their ‘Tribute to Jonathan Demme’ The movie starts at 8:00pm.

Stop Making Sense (1984) is an action-packed concert film… not in the sense of leaping towers of pyrotechnics… but in the way of seeing David Byrne falling back, standing up, shoving lamps, and running around risers, while musicians emerge song-by-song and various backgrounds come and go. Everything is in perfect place for this concert film directed by Jonathan Demme –and, even better, it’s nonstop. There are no minute-long, audience-panning breaks; if one song ends, the next one’s almost there. And, of course, there’s the music. See this one at Webster U and you’ll be treated to some wonderful tracks -from a spastic, minor-keyed “Psycho Killer” to a somehow strangely touching,
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Melvin And Howard June 16th at Webster University ‘A Tribute to Jonathan Demme’

“No one seems to love or understand me. Oh what hard luck stories they all hand me”

Melvin And Howard screens Friday, June 16th at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood). This is the third film in their ‘Tribute to Jonathan Demme’ The movie starts at 8:00pm.

Paul Le Mat is an average Joe named Melvin E. Dummar in Melvin And Howard (1980) an effective combination of drama and comedy from director Jonathan Demme. Melvin often finds it difficult to make ends meet, no matter what line of work he’s in. Then, one day, it seems as if his luck might change. A stranger leaves on his desk a will proclaiming Melvin to be one of 16 heirs to the fortune of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. Once upon a time, Melvin had given a lift to an aged, decrepit looking individual (Jason Robards) who claimed to be Hughes. The
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Crazy Mama June 10th at Webster University ‘A Tribute to Jonathan Demme’

Crazy Mama screens Saturday, June 10th at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood). This is the second film in their ‘Tribute to Jonathan Demme’ The movie starts at 8:00pm.

A band of beauty shop desperadoes cartoonishly plunder their way from California to Arkansas to reclaim the old family farm in the 1975 hillbilly masterpiece Crazy Mama directed by Jonathan Demme and produced by Roger Corman, who made a whole series of these backwoods desperadoes flicks in the ’70s.

Cloris Leachman stars as Melba Stokes, who runs a beauty parlor in Long Beach, California with her mother Sheba (Ann Sothern) and her daughter Cheryl (Linda Purl). When the shop is repossessed by banker Jim Backus (aka Thurston Howell III in a great little cameo) Melba and the ladies head back to Arkansas and the family farm which was stolen away from them when shea was a girl. Along for the ride is Cheryl’s boyfriend,
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‘Documentary Now!’: The Secrets to Recreating Film History the Right Way

‘Documentary Now!’: The Secrets to Recreating Film History the Right Way
IFC’s “Documentary Now!” has always gone for more than the cheap laugh. While it’s a mockumentary of public-tv programming and the documentaries they feature, the real pleasure lies in watching how it will create homages to great nonfiction filmmaking.

“We really wanted you to be clicking through the channels, landing on our show and thinking that it is a real documentary, and then suddenly say, ‘Hey, hold on for a minute — that’s Fred Armisen, what’s he doing in this documentary?'” said Alexander Buono, the executive producer who has co-directed and served as cinematographer on every episode of the show’s two seasons.

Buono and his fellow co-director, executive producer Rhys Thomas, started their collaboration on “Saturday Night Live” where every week they were charged with creating send-ups of everything from a suspense drama to a pharmaceutical commercial to a music video.

Read More: How ‘The
See full article at Indiewire »

Caged Heat Kicks off ‘A Tribute to Jonathan Demme’ June 9th at Webster University

“Even for criminals you’re just a particularly poor reflection on womanhood.”

Caged Heat screens Friday, June 9th at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood). This is the first film in their ‘Tribute to Jonathan Demme’ The movie starts at 8:00pm.

Who doesn’t love a good Women’s prison film? – Chained Heat, Hellhole, Ilsa She Wolf Of The SS, The Big Bird Cage, The Big Doll House, Reform School Girls, and The Concrete Jungle all sit proudly on my Wip (Women in Prison) DVD shelf. One of the very best of this beloved subgenre is Caged Heat (1974), a wonderful exploitation masterpiece and the directing debut of Oscar-winner Jonathan Demme, that has everything you could possibly hope for in a Women-In-Prison movie: nudity, shower catfights, lesbian coupling, race wars, murder, chain-swinging, switch-blade slashing, and shock therapy!

Chained Heat stars Erica Gavin (of Russ Meyer’s Vixen fame) as Jackie,
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Stanley Weston, Creator of ‘GI Joe,’ and ‘Thundercats,’ Dies at 84

Stanley Weston, Creator of ‘GI Joe,’ and ‘Thundercats,’ Dies at 84
Stanley Weston, the creator of the “G.I. Joe” action figure and subsequent animated kids’ series, died May 1 at the age of 84, TheWrap has learned. Born in Brooklyn in 1933, Weston was drafted into the Army shortly after the end of the Korean War. After his service, he took a job at the New York ad agency McCann Erickson while taking night classes for a Mba at Nyu, after which he entered into the licensing industry with his own company, Weston Merchandising. Also Read: Jonathan Demme's 10 Best Movies, From 'The Silence of the Lambs' to 'Stop Making Sense' (Photos) In.
See full article at The Wrap »

Rushes. Tribeca Awards, "The Godfather" Reunion, John Ford Updated, May Day

Get in touch to send in cinephile news and discoveriesNEWS Ricky D'Ambrose, who has made several excellent video interviews with directors for the Notebook, is kickstarting his feature debut, Notes on an Appearance. Above is a beguiling, cryptic teaser for the project. The Tribeca Film Festival wrapped last week (read our coverage) and the many awards have been announced, including Keep the Change for U.S. Narrative, Son of Sofia for International Narrative, Bobby Jene for Documentary, and Treehugger : Wawona for the immersive storytelling Storyscapes Award.Recommended VIEWINGSpeaking of Tribeca, the festival hosted a The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II reunion and on-stage conversation with director Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and more. Lucky for us, they broadcast and recorded the whole thing.Bill and Turner Ross's stellar documentary 45365, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW in 2009, is now free to stream online.
See full article at MUBI »

Jonathan Demme Praised Documentary ‘Heroes’ in 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Speech — Watch

Jonathan Demme Praised Documentary ‘Heroes’ in 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Speech — Watch
Just five months before his death last week, Jonathan Demme was onstage at the Doc NYC annual Visionaries Tribute lunch in New York, where he delivered a gracious speech after receiving a lifetime achievement award for documentary filmmaking. In his speech, Demme mostly talked about other filmmakers and champions of documentary film that were also in the room.

Read More: Jonathan Demme and Performance: 10 Videos That Capture His Musical Genius

“There’s a lot of heroes here,” Demme said. “Stanley Nelson, Alex Gibney, Michael Moore. This is just like a deluge of great documentary filmmakers.” Nelson also received a lifetime achievement award at the ceremony.

Demme also made a point to thank the executives, producers and distributors he’s known and worked with over the years, including Molly Thompson, the founder and head of A&E IndieFilms, longtime producer and distributor Ira Deutchman, and Doc NYC’s executive director Rapheala
See full article at Indiewire »

Film Feature: Remembers Jonathan Demme

Chicago – The impact that director Jonathan Demme had on the last couple generations of cinema will live beyond his passing last week, at the age of 73. The Oscar-winning filmmaker also made an impact with the film writers of – Jon Espino, Patrick McDonald and Spike Walters.

Director Jonathan Demme on the Set of ‘The Silence of the Lambs

Photo credit: 20 Century Fox Home Entertainment

The director was described as “the last of the great humanists” in the obituary, and followed through on that description with an incredible run of films in the 1980s and ‘90s, which included “Melvin and Howard” (1980), “Something Wild” (1986), “Swimming to Cambodia” (1987), “Married to the Mob” (1988), “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991) and “Philadelphia” (1993). He also created one of the greatest rock documentaries ever, “Stop Making Sense” (1984, featuring the Talking Heads) and worked extensively with Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young on other rock docs. He
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