15 items from 2015
Jennie Livingston’s landmark film on New York’s voguing scene helped shine a light on one of the most influential subcultures, but it also saw its creator accused of wanton voyeurism. On the eve of a controversial screening, is Paris Burnt?
Few documentaries can claim to have sparked as much discussion and controversy as Jennie Livingston’s debut Paris is Burning (1991), the vibrant time capsule of New York’s ballroom subculture in the 80s. Seven years in the making, this stylish, poignant film followed African American and Hispanic gay men, drag queens and transgender women as they compete in simultaneously fierce and fun competitions involving fashion runways and vogue dancing battles, while sporting styles like Butch Queen, Town and Country and Luscious Body. Many of the contestants vying for trophies represent “Houses” (Pendavis, Extravaganza, Labeija) which serve as surrogate families and social groups for a predominantly youthful community largely ostracised from mainstream society. »
- Ashley Clark
Happy Gay Pride Month!
As celebrations kick off all over the world, you can queue up some of the best Lgbt films ever made on Netflix. Now streaming are great love stories like "Desert Hearts," as well as tearjerkers "A Single Man" and "The Hours," not to mention the musical "Rent," and award-winning documentaries about gay icons, including the immoral Divine and the voguing pioneers of "Paris is Burning."
Just don't wait too long: Movie availability is always subject to change. »
- Sharon Knolle
Read More: 5 Questions for Jennie Livingston, Director of "Paris Is Burning" and "Who's The Top?" On Saturday, April 18, the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship hosted a half-day of panel discussions with a gathering of documentary film editors, directors and producers to discuss the art of editing. The goal of the day and future events is to shine a light on the role of the editor in the filmmaking process, build community and celebrate an under-explored and often misunderstood collaboration between director and editor. Panelists included editors Toby Shimin ("How to Dance in Ohio"), Nels Bangerter ("Let the Fire Burn"), Mona Davis ("Running from Crazy"), Colin Nusbaum ("Tough Love"), and Mary Manhardt ("American Promise") and moderators Tom Roston ("Doc Soup") and Doug Block ("112 Weddings"). The day began with a Keynote from »
- Jonathan Oppenheim
The initiative runs now through April 17 in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and will be followed by another residency later this autumn.
The Gabrielle A Hanna Film Institute, an initiative of the Provincetown Film Society (Pfs), launched the women’s residency programme.
The project will allow female film-makers from around the world to work in the Cape Cod locale during the off-season alongside other artists and writers.
Pfs, in collaboration with local businesses such as Land’s End Inn, Roux and Sage Inn & Lounge, will provide lodging and meals and an inviting environment for film-makers to foster their work.
“When we first conceived of the idea of a film institute, we met with several leaders in the film world to explore ways in which we could have an immediate impact on our underserved communities,” said Provincetown Film Society CEO Christine Walker.
“We concluded that a residency programme for women would serve as a catalyst for change in an industry where an »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Outfest Fusion, the festival's annual celebration of Lgbtq people of color, comes to the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles this weekend. Of interest to this site, Lee Daniels will attend in person for a special screening of Fox's "Empire" along with producer Ilene Chaiken. The festival will also present a digitally restored version of the 1991 classic exploration of New York drag ball culture, "Paris Is Burning," as well as indie hit "Dear White People," with the producers in person. Find additional screening details and ticket info below, and for more on Outfest Fusion, click Here. 3/13 at 7pm:a screening of the hit Fox show Empire »
- Jai Tiggett
Celebrating its 12th year, Outfest Fusion is the only multicultural Lgbt film festival of its kind, running March 13-14 at the venerable Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Indie-pioneering writer, director and producer Rose Troche ("Go Fish," "The Safety of Objects" and Showtime's "The L Word") will receive the 2015 Fusion Achievement Award, presented by stars of "The L Word," prior to the short films gala on Saturday, March 14. On Friday the 13th, an upcoming episode of "Empire" will screen alongside a Q&A with the smash hit Fox series' producers. The event shares the evening with the Los Angeles premiere of the new digitally restored print Jennie Livingston's seminal 1990 Lgbt doc "Paris Is Burning" centered on New York City drag ball culture. The film comes courtesy of the Sundance Institute, the UCLA Film & Television Archive, the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project and Miramax. This year’s Outfest Fusion line-up »
- Ryan Lattanzio
The 12th year of the event will run from March 13-14 in Hollywood and kicks off with a screening of an upcoming episode of Empire followed by a Q&A with the producers, prior to a screening of a restored version of Paris Is Burning.
The line-up includes Dear White People (pictured), the world premiere of Ascendance: Angels Of Change, rom-com Eat With Me and the Us premiere of Stories Of Our Lives, the Kenyan film that just played in Berlin.
“It was a joy to curate 2015 Outfest Fusion in my new role,” said Outfest director of programming Lucy Mukerjee-Brown. “This year’s films are about telling your truth – a theme that runs through our entire »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Since establishing The Weinstein Company from the ashes of his Miramax brand in 2005, Harvey Weinstein has continued to use the awards season to the benefit of his film releases. It was bumpy going at first with failed attempts like "Bobby" and "The Great Debaters," but with 2008's "The Reader," things finally started to pick back up. Eight Best Picture nominations and two back-to-back wins later, he's out in front with another project right in his wheelhouse: "The Imitation Game." The Alan Turing biopic, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, landed eight Oscar nominations in January and has grossed $134 million worldwide. And it's adding theaters still, using the fuel of the circuit to stoke the fire at the box office. Meanwhile, Weinstein has turned up the heat on the campaign surrounding the film, calling for recognition of issues inherent in the material, as he's done with everything from "Silver Linings Playbook »
- Kristopher Tapley
Peter Debruge: Here we are, approaching the end of the Sundance Film Festival, and let me just say, having spent the last year attending festivals abroad, I miss American independent cinema, far too little of which lands overseas distribution. Sundance is the place where we can all stock up on all those squirrely, hard-to-categorize movies that come out between the blockbusters and cookie-cutter releases the rest of the year, and this year’s bounty leaves me optimistic — and for more reasons than just sheer entertainment value.
This is the most diverse Sundance lineup I can remember, featuring new films from black, Asian and Lgbt filmmakers set in their respective communities (“Dope,” “Seoul Searching” and “I Am Michael”), and while hardly a minority — except in Hollywood — a wealth of films directed by women, including the terrific, sexually liberated coming-of-age movie “The Diary of a Teenage Girl.”
But more interesting than that »
- Peter Debruge, Scott Foundas and Justin Chang
By Anjelica Oswald
After narrowing the Oscar documentary feature shortlist to five at the 87th Academy Award nominations Jan. 15, a number of notable exclusions were featured, particularly Al Hicks‘ Keep on Keepin’ On, which documents the mentorship and friendship of a jazz legend and a blind piano prodigy, and Steve James‘ Life Itself, about the life and career of famed film critic Roger Ebert. (James is no stranger to snubs and the exclusion of his 1994 film Hoop Dreams led to rule reform within the documentary category.) Both films hold 97 percent positive ratings on Rotten Tomatoes.
Some films surprised when they didn’t even land a spot on the shortlist, such as Red Army, which examines the rise and fall of the Soviet Union’s hockey team from the perspective of its coach. That film holds a 100 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
In light of these best documentary feature snubs, »
- Anjelica Oswald
The streets of Park City are already bustling with critics, corporations, patrons, over 1,800 scarlet and grey jacketed theater volunteers, and filmmakers for Sundance 2015. The 31st anniversary of the festival is taking on the hoards of theatergoers with innovative technology that will include a second year of using an electronic waitlist to check into a film up to 2 hours before a showing and cumulative updates from Twitter that will calculate what the most talked about films of the festival currently are. There will be a retrospective on the film Paris is Burning- which premiered here 24 years ago. Independent films here that are looking for distribution may go on to worldwide accolades like Whiplash or Beasts of the Southern Wild while others may simply begin a limited public reception on the festival circuit and then go straight to a streaming service if they’re lucky. A few pass holders and members »
- Lane Scarberry
Editor's note: Sundance Curiosities is a feature designed to preview films at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival. Entries are written by members of the Indiewire | Sundance Institute Ebert Fellowship for Film Criticism. Some of the most diverse portraits of Lgbt life in American film from the past couple of decades have had the Sundance Film Festival to thank for breathing life into them. This extends as far back as Jennie Livingston’s masterpiece "Paris is Burning," and more recently includes such offerings as Dee Rees’ "Pariah." There will always be higher profile films depicting the anguish and pressures of being a white gay man or woman, but the festival goes out of its way to find more marginalized queer voices that are also willing to engage with issues like race, class, gender or religion, even if a lot of these gems tend to be buried under the glut of coverage during the festival mayhem. »
- Ibad Shah
Here's the complete list of winners of the 8th annual Cinema Eye Honors:
Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking
Directed by Laura Poitras
Outstanding Achievement in Direction
Outstanding Achievement in Editing
Outstanding Achievement in Production
Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography (tie)
20,000 Days on Earth
Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Films Made for Television
The Price of Gold
Directed by Nanette Burstein
Produced by Libby Geist
Audience Choice Prize
Directed by Alan Hicks
Outstanding Achievement in a »
“Citizenfour,” Laura Poitras’ documentary about Nsa whistleblower Edward Snowden, won four awards at the Cinema Eye Honors in New York City on Wednesday, reinforcing its position as the dominant non-fiction film of 2014.
The film swept the top categories, winning Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking as well as Outstanding Achievement in Direction, Editing and Production.
It became the second film in Cinema Eye history to win four awards, after “Waltz With Bashir,” and the second to win best feature and best director after Steve James’ “The Interrupters.”
Also read: Edward Snowden Doc Director on Taking ‘Staggering’ Risks, Angering Powerful People
In December, »
- Steve Pond
In a new annual lunchtime ceremony, Cinema Eye Honors awarded today the Filmmaker-sponsored Heterodox Award to Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and feted Jennie Livingston’s Paris is Burning with its Legacy Award. Linklater as well as Livingston and her collaborators were all on hand to accept their awards at midtown’s Etcetera Etcetera. Of the divide between documentary and fiction, Linklater, who was on hand to accept the award, said, “I don’t even call it ‘a blurry line’… I’ve never really drawn a particular line between documentary and fiction.” Continuing, he said, “[Boyhood] is not a documentary but it’s certainly a document. It’s […] »
- Scott Macaulay
15 items from 2015
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