13 items from 2017
One of my favorite films is 2002’s “The Hours.” It is a melodramatic film in some ways, and hugely depressing, too. But at the age of 17 it was absolutely lyrical for me, and that sensibility has not faded for me in the nearly two decades since. But “The Hours” was crucial for other reasons, too. It’s not just a film I loved at a young age; it’s a film that prompted my entrée to critical thinking and awards-season reporting, as I tracked the movie’s progress from one dusty theater in my 24-screen multiplex to the Academy Awards. I was 17 years old when I first read the name Harvey Weinstein in the pages of my religiously perused Entertainment Weekly. I did not realize then, as I know now, that Weinstein was involved in four out of the five nominated Best Picture movies that awards season — “Gangs of New York,” his personal favorite, »
- Sonia Saraiya
A documentary about a gay street gang is the natural successor to Paris is Burning and Tangerine
Related: Burning down the house: why the debate over Paris is Burning rages on
In the winter of 2013, film-makers Toby Oppenheimer and Dana Flor took a bunch of Washington DC street kids for a burger at a local branch of the fast-food chain Denny’s. They’d heard about the Check It gang from local radio DJ Ronald “Mo” Moten while researching a documentary on go-go, the raw, indigenous Washington DC music genre. “He said these kids are like nobody you’ve ever met,” says Flor. The go-go doc was soon abandoned. Trouble Funk would have to wait.
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- Paul Flynn
An eye-opening documentary about New York’s underground Lgbt ball culture
Sara Jordenö’s vivid documentary about New York’s underground ballroom scene glows with the heat of radical empathy. Jordenö casts her subjects – gay black and brown teens who find freedom in dance and drag – in warm reds and oranges, giving each individual their moment by fixing on their faces as they make direct eye contact with her camera.
The elephant in the room is Jennie Livingston’s 1990 vogueing documentary, Paris Is Burning, which casts a long shadow over the film. There are two main differences here: firstly, Kiki comes from the community it depicts (Twiggy Pucci Garçon, one of the film’s stars, has a co-writer credit). Secondly, while Paris Is Burning was mostly set against the backdrop of the Reagan era, Kiki takes place in Obama’s America. Inevitably, the dramatic stakes feel different; the urgency of »
- Simran Hans
Were you Team “Moonlight” or Team “La La Land”? Now you don’t have to choose. As vibrant as it is vital, Manhattan-made indie “Saturday Church” tells the all-too-common coming-out story of a young black gay man … as a musical, blending elements of those rival best picture nominees into a winning new combination. While hardly as accomplished as either, writer-director Damon Cardasis’ colorful, you-are-not-alone debut should delight Lgbt audiences — especially young ones — thanks to a handful of dynamically choreographed identity-empowerment ballads that would be right at home on either next year’s Oscar ballot or a NYC vogue ball playlist.
In recent years, the challenges facing trans youth have garnered so much public attention, you’ve surely heard a story like Ulysses’ before — although you’ve never heard it quite like this, as Cardasis’ goosebump-inducing songs (composed and co-written by Nathan Larson) elevate this otherwise familiar tale to a higher realm. »
- Peter Debruge
As film nonprofits go, Miami’s Borscht Corp has a different way of doing things. Whether it’s buying a speedboat as the first step in fundraising for a feature, or “canceling” a secret party on social media to throw off the cops, Borscht’s organizational methods are as experimental and visionary as the work it produces. That includes the Borscht Film Festival, a “quasi-yearly” event showcasing films, sculpture, performances, and installations by emerging regional filmmakers.
While Borscht may sound obscure, it lies at the heart of Barry Jenkins’ success. When Borscht co-founder (and “Moonlight” co-producer) Andrew Hevia saw Miami native Jenkins’ first feature, the San Francisco-set “Medicine for Melancholy,” he became determined to bring Jenkins back to Miami to shoot a film. Borscht commissioned a short film from Jenkins, “Chlorophyl,” for the 2011 festival. “That sort of re-awakened [Jenkins] to the city,” said Borscht co-founder Lucas Leyva, an accomplished filmmaker and producer himself. »
- Jude Dry
A very happy International Women’s Day (and, related, Happy A Day Without A Woman those exercising their ability to strike in order to help highlight the important contributions made by women in the workplace and the world at large) to all of our readers! With this important day in mind, we’ve assembled a list of films, all currently streaming online, that would not exist without the female creators (writers, directors, sometime-stars, and more) who crafted them. It’s just a taste — a nibble, really — of some of the industry’s best examples of forward-thinking, female-driven work.
Read More: IndieWire Stands With Women: 27 TV Shows Created by Women, Starring Women, That We Absolutely Love
Take a peek, and appreciate the power of women and their strong-as-hell creativity and drive.
“Paris Is Burning” (Netflix)
Jennie Livingston’s incisive, intimate and wildly entertaining documentary about New York City “drag ball culture »
- Kate Erbland
If the words Paris Is Burning don’t automatically send your wrists flicking, legs swishing, or face twisting then please politely exit stage right to your nearest local library, pick up a copy of the seminal drag ball documentary, and then keep reading. For those of you already wrapped up in Labeija, you’ll want to peep this trailer for the documentary Kiki – a compassionate check-in on the contemporary state of voguing that centers on a diverse community of queer performers in the Harlem ball scene. This trailer provides a glimpse of the hugely talented group practicing – nay slaying – on the Christopher Street Pier, creating a makeshift home to express their talents and personal experiences to audiences and to one another, as well as their commentary on society's discriminatory attitude towards the different identities that the citizens of the scene inhabit. Check it out below.
Having already seen this exceptional, »
- Daniel Crooke
Nearly thirty years after the landmark documentary Paris is Burning, a new film is taking a modern look at ball culture in New York City. Sara Jordenö‘s Kiki, which premiered last year at Sundance Film Festival and will get a release later this month via IFC Films, profiles a handful of Lgbtq people who are deeply involved with the scenes. Ahead of the release, the first trailer has now arrived which looks to be a beautiful celebration of this culture.
We said in our review, “Director Sara Jordenö, a Swedish visual artist, made Kiki in collaboration with Twiggy Pucci Garçon, a self-described gatekeeper of the Kiki scene. Co-credited as screenwriters, it’s easy to picture Garçon leading Jordenö in observing the subculture and its constituents without ever becoming too invasive. The documentary favors a measured approach, watching the dancing from a distance and calculating when to move in closer. »
- Leonard Pearce
Today on Netflix a new series debuts starring the long lost Drew Barrymore called Santa Clarita Diet but it's apparently a gore-fest so perhaps skippable? Those of you with a high tolerance for such things can let us know. But there are several enticing options that have just made available for streaming. As is our habit, we've freeze framed a handful plus of new selections at random places and are sharing anything that came up.
This is my idol, Paulina. Someday I hope to be up there with her.
Paris is Burning (1990)
The best documentary of all time? Well, one of 'em at least. And 100% the most quotable as you hear lines from it practically every day still thanks to drag going more mainstream.
Seven more after the jump including Magic Mike »
- NATHANIEL R
With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.
Despite a loose script that justifies little, Italian director Luca Guadagnino’s follow-up feature to his glorious melodrama I Am Love is a sweaty, kinetic, dangerously unpredictable ride of a film. One is frustrated by the final stroke of genius that never came, but boy was it fun to spend two hours inside such a whirlwind of desires, mind games, delirious sights and sounds. »
- The Film Stage
"Everyone's unique. And the Kiki scene is a place for young people to explore that uniqueness." IFC Films has debuted a trailer for a fantastic documentary titled Kiki, about the "Kiki" community of Lgbtq youths in New York City. Directed Sara Jordenö, the film profiles a community in NYC known as Kiki, where any young Lgbtq can find support and friendship, and their chosen form of expression is dancing. It's a very exuberant, hopeful documentary filled with personal stories and inspiring footage of the group taking on New York with some rad dance movies. I first saw this film at Berlinale last year, and it's outstanding, certainly worth your time. It's an intimate and affecting look at how communities can make a big difference. Here's the official trailer (+ poster) for Sara Jordenö's documentary Kiki, direct from YouTube: 25 years after Paris Is Burning introduced the art of voguing to the world, »
- Alex Billington
If you hear the word “vogue” and still think of Madonna, it’s all the more reason to put the upcoming documentary “Kiki” on your must-see list. A bona-fide movement in the Lgbtq community, it’s now breaking into the mainstream, and the film takes a close look at the scene.
Read More: The 20 Best Movies Of 2017 That We’ve Already Seen
Credited to both Kiki gatekeeper Twiggy Pucci Garçon and Swedish filmmaker Sara Jordenö, “Kiki” brings viewers a modern look at a world they might’ve last seen in 1990’s seminal “Paris Is Burning,” showing how it has evolved, and what it means to a whole new generation of performers.
Continue reading It’s Time To Vogue In New Trailer For Documentary ‘Kiki’ at The Playlist. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Next month, Netflix has a wide variety of films — modern to classic, animated to horror, Oscar winners to new indies — and we’ve picked seven that you should watch once they’re made available on the streaming service, either for the first time or as part of a nostalgic binge. Enjoy.
1. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (available February 1)
The 1993 stop-motion classic directed by Henry Slick and produced by Tim Burton tells the story of Jack Skellington, a resident from Halloween Town who stumbles through a portal to Christmas Town and decides to celebrate the holiday.
2. “The Blair Witch Project” (available February 1)
Directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, the 1999 found footage horror film became one of the most successful indie films of all time when it was released. The movie follows three film students »
- Liz Calvario
13 items from 2017
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