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Fish Tank (2009) More at IMDbPro »


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Andrea Arnold Named Jury President of BFI London Film Fest’s Official Competition

2 October 2017 12:01 PM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Arnold: Cinéma Canal+/YouTube

Fish Tank” director Andrea Arnold is heading to the 61st BFI London Film Festival. The Hollywood Reporter confirms that the Oscar-winning filmmaker will lead the official competition’s jury. Arnold will preside over a jury that includes actress Lily Cole (“Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie”) and producer Emma Thomas (“Dunkirk”), amongst others.

Arnold isn’t the only woman who will serve as a jury president. “The Trip” producer Melissa Parmenter is heading the first feature competition.

Red Road,” “Wuthering Heights,” and episodes of “I Love Dick” and “Transparent” are among Arnold’s directing credits. She screened her most recent feature film, “American Honey,” at last year’s edition of BFI London Film Fest. The Cannes’ Jury Prize and British Independent Film Award-winning flick follows a group of teens and young adults who travel through the Midwest selling magazine subscriptions.

“We’ve grown up mainly on male stories, and most of the films have been written and directed by men — and that’s only half of the human race,” Arnold has said. “I remember going to a women’s film festival and feeling a slight amount of trepidation, but actually it was fantastic. Some of the films made me cry because they really spoke to me. It was then I realized up till then I had mostly been spoken to by men in cinema.”

Arnold won an Oscar in 2005 for her short film “Wasp.”

The BFI London Film Fest begins Wednesday, October 4, and will run through October 15. “Battle of the Sexes,” Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton’s biopic about the famous Billie Jean King v. Bobby Riggs tennis match, will make its European premiere as the fest’s American Express Gala on October 7. Among the other films screening are Guillermo del Toro’s dark fairy tale “The Shape of Water” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Tiff’s People’s Choice Award winner starring Frances McDormand as a grieving mother hell-bent on justice.

Andrea Arnold Named Jury President of BFI London Film Fest’s Official Competition was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Rachel Montpelier

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Andrea Arnold Heads Up London Film Festival Jury

2 October 2017 7:46 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Andrea Arnold — the celebrated British director behind American Honey, Fish Tank and Red Road — has been named jury president for the official competition of the BFI London Film Festival, which kicks off Wednesday. 

The helmer will lead a group of jury members including filmmaker Babak Anvari, who won a BAFTA last year for his debut feature Under the Shadow; actor Eric Bana; film journalist and programmer Ashley Clarke; actress and model Lily Cole; Russian filmmaker Alexei Popogrebsky; and Emma Thomas, producer of Dunkirk, the Dark Knight trilogy and Inception.

Elsewhere, documentary filmmaker and Passion Pictures head John Battsek will lead »

- Alex Ritman

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Andrea Arnold to Preside Over Les Arcs European Film Festival Jury

18 September 2017 9:46 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Andrea Arnold, the critically acclaimed British director of “American Honey,” is set to preside over the jury of the 9th Les Arcs European Film Festival.

The festival, which takes place in the French Alps, has been compared to Sundance for its showcase of European independent cinema and South by Southwest for its mix of films and live music programming. Frederic Boyer, who is the artistic director of Tribeca Film Festival, is also in charge of the Les Arcs festival’s feature film lineup.

Arnold’s most recent film, “American Honey,” a drama with Sasha Lane and Shia Labeouf, won the Jury Prize at Cannes last year. The helmer had won Cannes’ jury prize twice before, with her feature debut, “Red Road,” and her second film, “Fish Tank.” Both films also won BAFTA awards. Her third film, “Wuthering Heights,” competed at Venice in 2011.

Arnold also received an Academy Award for best live-action short with “Wasp” in 2005.

The other »

- Elsa Keslassy

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Tiff 2017 Women Directors: Meet Valerie Faris — “Battle of the Sexes”

8 September 2017 9:01 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Battle of the Sexes”: Fox Searchlight

Valerie Faris and her husband, Jonathan Dayton, have co-directed music videos for R.E.M., The Smashing Pumpkins, Janet Jackson, Oasis, and many others in the 1990s and 2000s. Their previous film credits include “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Ruby Sparks.”

Battle of the Sexes” will premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival on September 10. Dayton co-directed the film.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

Vf: The film is an intimate portrayal of the private lives of Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs leading up to the Battle of the Sexes match.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Vf: I was particularly interested in the story of Billie Jean beginning a kind of personal transformation by becoming a leader in the fight for equal pay for women in tennis while having her first affair with a woman.

Billie Jean’s courage to put so much on the line to make change both in her professional and personal life remains very inspiring to me.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

Vf: I hope they will go out and have a stimulating conversation about the thoughts and feelings the film raised for them, how it relates to their own lives, and — maybe in the bigger picture — what has changed in the last 44 years and what has not.

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

Vf: I think we all felt pressure to do justice to these larger than life characters. We worked to keep each character dimensional and the film complex, never reducing anyone or any subject to a cliché or a binary argument.

W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.

Vf: Fox Searchlight and Danny Boyle and Christian Colson brought the film to us. I think they liked the idea of a husband and wife team directing a film titled “Battle of the Sexes.” This is our third film with Fox Searchlight.

By normal Hollywood standards this is a low-budget production, but it’s our biggest budget yet and big by Searchlight standards as well. We were fortunate to put together an amazing cast that made greenlighting the movie very easy.

W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at the Toronto International Film Festival?

Vf: It’s a real thrill to screen the film alongside so many other great films. It’s the ideal way to release a film: With a festival to usher it into the world, it gets the conversation going about the film in a very organic way.

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

Vf: Never go to bed angry at your husband/partner.

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

Vf: Probably what I would tell all filmmakers — and myself for that matter — is to do what you are uniquely suited to do, don’t judge yourself, and put a lot of love and hard work into what you’re doing.

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

Vf: This is the hardest question. There are so many I love. Andrea Arnold’s “Red Road” and “Fish Tank” are two of my favorites. I love her style of storytelling. There’s so much drama but it never feels forced or contrived. I’m always right with the characters following them through the surprising turns of the story.

I’m also a big fan of Robbie Ryan’s cinematography. He worked on both of those films.

W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.

Vf: With so many venues to present films now, there should be more opportunities as well. I think it’s our turn. The public is ready for some new blood and new stories.

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Tiff 2017 Women Directors: Meet Valerie Faris — “Battle of the Sexes” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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Tiff 2017 Women Directors: Meet Iram Haq — “What Will People Say”

7 September 2017 11:01 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

“What Will People Say”

Iram Haq is a Norwegian actress, writer, and director. Her directorial debut short, “Little Miss Eyeflap,” screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009. Her feature film debut, “I Am Yours,” premiered at 2013’s Toronto International Film Festival and was selected as Norway’s official Oscar entry. “I Am Yours” has gone on to win a number of prizes at festivals around the world.

“What Will People Say” will premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival on September 9.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

Ih: This film is about living in between two cultures and a painful love story between a father and a daughter.

Nisha, a 16-year-old girl with a Norwegian-Pakistani background, lives a double life. She is a more traditional girl at home, but she is like any other Norwegian youth with her friends. One day, her father finds her with a Norwegian boy. That event completely changes her life.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Ih: This was a story that was dear to me. I have been working on the script for several years, and I wanted to be ready to tell this story in a more mature way.

I didn’t want this story to be black and white. I wanted to understand her parents’ point of view and their actions in regards to social control. I also wanted to go deeper into the struggle between parent and child. I wanted to explore the different nuances and complexity of an emotional conflict that so many girls go through.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

Ih: I hope the audience gains a better understanding of what happens when people are unable to do what they want. I also hope they they get a better understanding about what it’s like to live in between two different cultures.

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

Ih: It was great fun to make a film in several countries with different languages, cultures, and people.

The biggest challenge was knowing the right choices for my story and film. I always try to follow my gut feeling while at the same time focusing on the story I wanted to tell.

W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.

Ih: It took a few years to make it all happen. I wrote the script for several years. My producers and I then obtained funding from Norway, Sweden, Eurimages, and Germany.

W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at Tiff?

Ih: That is a big deal for me! I am very thankful and proud that my film will be showed there. And, of course, Tiff allows the story to reach a larger audience — which is fantastic!

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

Ih: I was once advised to start cleaning toilets and then move my way up from there because I couldn’t just start to make movies without experience. But I realized that hard work and the will to dare was the best way for me to make movies.

If you really want something, you will learn whatever it is you need from yourself. So, if it’s something you really want to do, just do it!

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

Ih: Dare to follow your heart and dreams. Tell those stories you really want to tell. Make the movie you want to make.

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

Ih: Andrea Arnold’s “Fish Tank” is one of many great female-directed films. This movie shows a very strong and honest picture of a teenage girl’s struggle in a dysfunctional family. To me, this will always be an important story to tell.

W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.

Ih: I really believe that change is going to happen, but this issue still needs a lot of attention. We need to be aware of this problem because women’s voices are equally as important as men’s. I believe in equality, and we simply have to insist on this change.

Tiff 2017 Women Directors: Meet Iram Haq — “What Will People Say” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Kelsey Moore

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Tiff 2017 Women Directors: Meet Jenna Bass — “High Fantasy”

5 September 2017 10:31 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

“High Fantasy”

Jenna Bass is a director and writer whose work has premiered around the world, including Sundance, Berlinale, Göteborg, Busan, and Durban International Film Festivals, where she has been heralded as ushering in a ‘New Wave’ of South African cinema. Her previous works include “The Tunnel” and “Love the One You Love.” Bass is the editor and co-creator of Jungle Jim, an illustrated pulp-literary magazine for African fiction. She is currently engaged in a Vr collaboration with artist, Olivie Keck and indie game developers, Free Lives, as well as co-writing a fantasy animation feature screenplay for “Sanusi Chronicles.”

“High Fantasy” will premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival on September 8.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

Jb: “High Fantasy” is a found-footage body-swap satire from South Africa. It follows a group of four young South African friends on a camping trip to an isolated farm where they inexplicably swap bodies.

Capturing their predicament on their phone cameras, they must deal with all the complications that come from being another race or gender in the so-called Rainbow Nation.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Jb: Like a lot of South Africans of my generation, I’d been profoundly moved by the Fees Must Fall university protests in 2015 which, while demanding accessible, decolonized education, highlighted the extreme inequality in our country that has barely shifted since democracy arrived in 1994.

The movement brought to light the very complex identity politics around race, class, gender, sexuality, and ownership that inform every aspect of our society, and for some time I was looking for a way to capture that zeitgeist for an audience of that generation.

At the same time, these issues are still undoubtedly global, and I believed they were on the minds of young people everywhere.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

Jb: I think the wonderful thing about film is how it can be such a strong catalyst for conversation. I would love to see audiences leaving the cinema just talking about the film, what they think, how it relates to their own lives. It’d be great if they recognized their lives on the screen.

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

Jb: Just deciding to make it in the first place. I got a lot of advice that making this film was a very bad move — it was too micro-budget, too uncommercial, too controversial, just too difficult. Deciding to do it anyway was probably the biggest hurdle to overcome.

W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.

Jb: I was very fortunate that two producers who I’d worked with before believed in me and supported the film. I put in the start-up finance myself, and with some investment from them, plus a private investor, we were able to raise enough to shoot the film and get it to a watchable form so that we could seek finishing funds.

W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at the Toronto International Film Festival?

Jb: It’s a dream to represent these characters, these issues, this story, and our style of filmmaking on an international stage.

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

Jb: Worst advice: Raise finance through product placement.

Best advice: Don’t compromise.

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

Jb: Trust yourself.

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

Jb: It’s a tie between “Near Dark” by Kathryn Bigelow and “Fish Tank” by Andrea Arnold. I love both these films — “Near Dark” because it was the first film that made me realzse the gender disparity in the films I’d grown up admiring and “Fish Tank” because it is such excellent, perfect storytelling.

W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.

Jb: Generally speaking, yes, I think things are changing. But these changes seem to still be privileging white women rather than women of all colors, and this is not the kind of diversity we should be fighting for.

As a white woman in the South African film industry, despite the challenges I have experienced due to gender, I have nonetheless managed to pursue my own work. However, I see that the glass ceiling remains very much a reality for many of my black colleagues — which should be unacceptable in our country.

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Tiff 2017 Women Directors: Meet Jenna Bass — “High Fantasy” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Lyra H.

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Curzon launches monthly subscription VoD offering

21 August 2017 5:40 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Curzon12 will stream recent and classic movies; first lineup revealed.

Curzon is beefing up its online offering with the launch of Curzon12, a monthly VoD service built into its membership packages.

The service will host 12 recent and classic movies which will be available to stream when logging in with a Curzon membership.

Scroll down for first lineup

Each month’s curated lineup, taken exclusively from Curzon’s library, is selected by the company’s programming team and is designed to complement the films playing across Curzon’s cinemas and its day-and-date service on Curzon Home Cinema that month.

The collection will feature the work of directors such as Yorgos Lanthimos, Charlie Chaplin, Andrea Arnold, Satyajit Ray and Agnes Varda as well as lesser known filmmakers.

The offering will be accompanied by a monthly newsletter that will delve deeper into three headline titles for that month.

The subscription is a benefit for existing and future members at no additional »

- andreas.wiseman@screendaily.com (Andreas Wiseman)

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Hampstead: is the grey pound ruining British cinema?

19 June 2017 1:59 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

From Diane Keaton’s new film to the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Venus, the over-60s are taking up too much screentime. It’s time to fight back

Related: Mystery of Hampstead Heath squatter whose home inspired Hollywood romcom

If the generational chasm exposed by last week’s election came as shock, you clearly haven’t been watching British movies. Young people have a raw enough deal already – austerity, student debt, unaffordable housing, Ed Sheeran – but British cinema has been rubbing their noses in it for a while, serving them grim tales of broken families and criminal career paths, from ’hood dramas like Kidulthood and Ill Manors to arthouse downers like Fish Tank and last month’s The Levelling, in which a Somerset teen puts her studies on hold to come and clear out the family stables – literally and metaphorically. That’s what you’ve got to look forward to, »

- Steve Rose

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Laff 2017 Women Directors: Meet Leena Pendharkar — “20 Weeks”

16 June 2017 9:31 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

“20 Weeks”

Leena Pendharkar is an award-winning writer and director working in film, television, and new media. Her first feature film, “Raspberry Magic,” about a young girl’s connection to nature, screened in 25 film festivals. She recently wrote and directed the short film “Dandekar Makes a Sandwich,” which won the Grand Jury Prize for short filmmaking at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles.

“20 Weeks” will premiere at the 2017 La Film Festival on June 19.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

LP: “20 Weeks” is an intimate drama about a couple who goes in for a routine scan during their pregnancy, and learns that the baby has a possible serious health condition. The film takes us through the ups, downs, highs, and lows as they navigate how they are going to handle the outcomes of this difficult situation. They are madly in love at the start of their relationship, but this situation causes them to face some very challenging realities.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

LP: I wanted to tell this story because this happened to me and my husband. At our 20-week scan, our daughter was diagnosed with a serious health complication. We didn’t tell anyone, even our families, that we were going through this, because it was just so hard to talk about and it felt like no one could really understand.

I think pregnancy and child birth are so complicated for women and men in this modern age, and I wanted to tell a story that could reach people and even start a conversation. This seems to be even more relevant under the current administration where women’s rights are being trampled on everyday.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

LP: I want them to watch the film and tell me what they think!

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

LP: Making a low-budget movie is challenging at every juncture. There is never enough resources or enough time to do everything you want to. We were very resourceful in finding what we needed, but it wasn’t easy. Filming around Los Angeles on a tiny budget is no joke, and no one really wants you there.

Someone called the cops on us in Echo Park even though we had a permit to be there. Managing all of these nutty things and still making the best movie you can is not very easy! But I worked with an amazing team and we were able to stay positive and focused.

W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.

LP: We did a bit of everything. We had some private equity investors, plus we did a small crowdfunding campaign, and we got a few grants, including the Panavision camera grant, which was amazing because we were able to get a beautiful camera package complete with Primo lenses that gave us the look we wanted.

W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at the Laff?

LP: It’s a dream come true! When I first moved to La over ten years ago, I would go out to the La Film Festival and watch as many films as I could, and go hear as many directors speak as I could. I found it all so inspiring and always thought it would be amazing to play in this festival.

I did two fellowship programs through the organization that sponsors the festival, Film Independent. I participated in their diversity program and their screenwriting lab, so it feels like I am coming full circle and feel really honored to be a part of it.

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

LP: The best advice I received was to just go out and find a way to make films. Don’t wait for the right budget, or the right person to green light you — just find a way to do it, even if it’s on a shoestring budget or no budget.

The worst advice I received was that stories with women as the protagonist in the lead don’t sell, so write material for a male lead. This always seemed strange to me, since women watch movies.

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

LP: Go out and make films! Find a way. Even if it’s making short pieces for no money, make a lot of those and get really good at your craft.

Find and collaborate with producers, actors, and other crew that you vibe with, and build a team that you love and just be prolific. In the end, making work is what will move your life and career forward.

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

LP: My favorite woman directed movie — and there are many — is “Fish Tank” by Andrea Arnold. There are so many reasons to love this movie. Her use of the subjective Pov in really bringing us into this girl’s world is incredible. The visual palette is raw and moody yet visceral and character-driven at the same time.

We see many stories of male angst that are complicated, but with female stories, they often revert to stories about sex and sexuality to fulfill the male gaze. But in “Fish Tank,” she shows an angry young woman who is sexually innocent and confused, still a child even though she doesn’t seem it. It’s a very complex and earnest portrayal of a teen girl, which I love.

W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.

LP: I’m optimistic, yes! The world of media is changing everyday with ground-breaking television and digital series.

More opportunities are happening for diverse voices. If the old guard of Hollywood doesn’t keep up, the film business as we know it will [be deemed] irrelevant. There is a demand and desire for more diverse voices, and I think the business has to keep up and fulfill that.

Laff 2017 Women Directors: Meet Leena Pendharkar — “20 Weeks” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Joseph Allen

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Newswire: Sofia Coppola names Daddy’s Home one of her favorite films of the century

9 June 2017 11:49 AM, PDT | avclub.com | See recent The AV Club news »

As a companion piece to its list ranking the 25 best films of the 21st century so far, The New York Times polled a selection of directors for their choices for the list. Given that participants included Brett Ratner and Denis Villeneuve, the range of movies cited was as wide as you might expect (any guesses who picked The Hangover and who picked Dogtooth?). But one of the more unexpected choices came from Sofia Coppola, who just won the Best Director award at Cannes—only the second woman to ever receive the honor—for her film The Beguiled.

Amid atmospheric choices like Under The Skin and Fish Tank, Coppola takes a moment to shout out the 2015 Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg dueling dads comedy Daddy’s Home, calling it “the only film my kids and I equally enjoy together!” (For the record, The A.V. Club gave Daddy’s Home ...

»

- Katie Rife

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Denis Villeneuve, Sofia Coppola and More Filmmakers Pick the Best Films of the 21st Century

9 June 2017 6:38 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Picking the best movies of any century is hard, but it’s especially challenging when dealing with a century of cinema as boundary-pushing as the 21st. IndieWire critics Eric Kohn and David Ehrlich made their own top 10 picks last summer, with Leos Carax’s “Holy Motors” and Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation” taking the top spots, and now some of the best filmmakers in the business have weighed in with their own choices in a new survey from The New York Times.

Read More: Sofia Coppola Has No Interest in Making a Blockbuster or a Sequel

The newspaper reached out to the likes of Coppola, Denis Villeneuve, Antoine Fuqua, Alex Gibney and more to pick their brains on what is the best cinema has been over the last 17 years, and their answers are as expected (of course “No Country for Old Men” and “There Will Be Blood” have a »

- Zack Sharf

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New to Streaming: ‘Logan,’ ‘Good Morning,’ ‘The Lego Batman Movie,’ ‘The Survivalist,’ and More

19 May 2017 5:15 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

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.

Before I Fall (Ry Russo-Young)

Harold Ramis certainly didn’t invent it, but his Groundhog Day made the narrative loop device a mainstream mainstay, lovingly aped in everything from Source Code to Edge of Tomorrow to 50 First Dates. In Before I Fall, the loop treatment is utilized rather intelligently by director Ry Russo-Young, from Maria Maggenti screenplay adapted from Lauren Oliver‘s novel. – Dan M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, »

- The Film Stage

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UK thriller from 'Harry Brown' writer scores world sales deal

4 May 2017 4:20 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: I, Daniel Blake star Dave Johns and Mona Lisa’s Cathy Tyson among cast; first-look revealed.

UK-based Moviehouse Entertainment has been appointed to handle world sales for Gary Young’s directorial feature debut Two Graves

Young produced and wrote Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer starrer Harry Brown and most recently co-wrote Adam Randall thriller Level Up.

Also written by Young, Two Graves is being produced by Keith Bell (Harry Brown), Shantelle Rochester-Henry (The Rise Of The Krays) and Lorianne Hall (SoulBoy) and stars I, Daniel Blake’s Dave Johns, Cathy Tyson (Mona Lisa), David Hayman (Taboo), Josh Herdman (Robin Hood), Katie Jarvis (Fish Tank), Danielle Harold (EastEnders) and Kedar Williams-Stirling (Roots).

The deal was negotiated by Lorianne Hall for the producers and Moviehouse Entertainment’s Mark Vennis.

Screen can also reveal the first-look at Katie Jarvis in the film.

Set in the Northeast of England, the plot is about a middle-aged, middle class doctor »

- andreas.wiseman@screendaily.com (Andreas Wiseman)

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Hot Docs 2017 Women Directors: Meet Selma Vilhunen — “Hobbyhorse Revolution”

2 May 2017 10:31 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Hobbyhorse Revolution”: Stefan Bremer/Tuffi Films

Selma Vilhunen is a director and screenwriter of both fiction and documentary films. She is also one of the co-founders of the production company Tuffi Films. Her fiction feature debut, “Little Wing,” premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016 and won the Golden Camera Taodue Award for best first or second feature at the Rome Film Fest. Her other credits include the Oscar-nominated short film “Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?” and the feature docs “Song” and “Pony Girls.”

Hobbyhorse Revolution” will premiere at the 2017 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival on May 3.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

Sv: “Hobbyhorse Revolution” is a funny and moving documentary film about the power of imagination and the strength of a community. The film follows Aisku, Elsa, and Alisa, three girls whose lives have been transformed by their new interest: hobbyhorses. Despite a lack of understanding by some, the girls bravely and spiritedly pursue their hobby.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Sv: When I first encountered the subculture in the fall of 2012 I was immediately blown away by the free-spirited attitude which these young people had. The fact that they still — at the age of 15 and up — know how to use their imagination and are not afraid to do so is a beautiful and inspiring thing.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

Sv: I hope that people can see the world from a slightly broader perspective than when they entered the theater. I hope that they will feel encouraged to ask and inquire before judging. And I certainly hope that they will find their own inner hobbyhorse and the ability to play.

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

Sv: When the protagonists were going through some rough times in their lives I sometimes had to keep a break in filming. I didn’t want to film a minor in their most intimate and difficult moments, but of course I was also stressed about how the film [would be affected]. I think that the protagonists and I together eventually found a way to tell their story in a way that does not exploit them but still remains true to their experience.

W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.

Sv: The film is a co-production between Tuffi Films in Finland and Bautafilm Ab in Sweden as a minority co-producer. The financiers are The Finnish Film Foundation, The National Broadcasting Company in Finland Yle, The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture Avek, Swedish Television, The Swedish Film Institute, FilmPool Nord, Film i Västerbotten, and The Nordic Film and TV Fund.

The financing started in Finland in a rather traditional way in the Finnish documentary film world: The Finnish Film Foundation granted us scriptwriting money at an early stage and was with us from the very beginning.

W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at Hot Docs?

Sv: This is the first time I have a film at Hot Docs, and I am definitely very honored and excited about the opportunity to show the film to Canadian audiences. Last September my feature film “Little Wing” screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and I saw how wonderful Toronto filmgoers are, so I’m expecting to have engaging and inspiring conversations.

I am especially thrilled about the fact that we are able to take the three protagonists — and their hobbyhorses — with us to Toronto.

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

Sv: The worst advice: Someone told me I’m wasn’t the type of a person who could be a film director — that I was somehow too shy or too sensitive. I am so glad that I never believed him.

The best advice: “A director does not always have to be able to explain why she wants something done in a certain way. It’s enough to simply want it — that’s the director’s job, to trust their instinct even when there are no words to explain it.”

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

Sv: Support other female filmmakers. Hire women. Demand respect. Surround yourself with people who know how to respect other people. Remember that your stories about girls and women are stories about people: your characters do not portray only their gender, but humanity.

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

Sv: I am a great fan of Andrea Arnold. Her film “Fish Tank” is one of my favorite films ever made. It is so full of life and energy and also a certain kind of mystery, which makes it stand the test of time. I admire Arnold’s uncompromising attitude in her filmmaking.

W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.

Sv: While I am frustrated and disappointed at the slowness of change, I am also someone who believes in the power of [setting a] positive example and taking things into one’s own hands. I think that the best way to change the industry is to create it anew, in a more diverse direction. In the U.S. people such as Lena Dunham, Reese Witherspoon, and Geena Davis are important examples of taking charge and making change.

Hot Docs 2017 Women Directors: Meet Selma Vilhunen — “Hobbyhorse Revolution” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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Tribeca 2017 Women Directors: Meet Laurie Simmons — “My Art”

21 April 2017 11:31 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

My Art

Laurie Simmons is an internationally recognized artist. Her work is included in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Whitney Museum, among others. In 2006 she wrote and directed a short film, “The Music of Regret,” starring Meryl Streep.

My Art” will premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival on April 22.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

Ls: “My Art” is a kind of coming-of-age story focusing on Ellie Shine, a single woman and artist with a more than decent life which includes a teaching job, friends, and a dog. Ellie longs to push the boundaries of her artwork — as opposed to her “career” — and sets out to challenge herself in new ways.

She leaves New York to house-sit the home and studio of a more successful artist friend. Uncomfortable at first with inhabiting the space of another artist, she ultimately figures out how to incorporate her friend’s barn, clothes, cars, objects, and even some of the locals to help her move her work to a new place. She meets some curiously engaging new friends who also seem to be questioning the direction of their lives, but Ellie’s path and somewhat bittersweet happy ending are uniquely hers and hers alone.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Ls: I’ve spent a lot of time observing both portrayals of artists and representations of women my age on-screen and feel that both often fall short of what I feel to be accurate and true to the life I’ve experienced. I’d thought long and hard about women’s stories — particularly women over 40.

Do the stories ever move beyond the subjects of love and a rumination on aging? Are women’s aspirations ever really addressed apart from finding romance and a story book ending? And, lastly, what about the ageless aspects of a female character — those traits which might make her appealing, cinematically, to people of all ages?

I’d imagined the character of Ellie for a long time and at a certain point I would say she started telling me her story. I also felt compelled to give an honest picture of how an artist might work in her studio — a story devoid of the kind of caricature and melodrama often assigned to the character of “the artist.”

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

Ls: I’d like people to feel like they’ve just visited a place that’s very private, very green, and that something happened, something changed — not necessarily something huge, but something that reshaped the course of someone’s ordinary life.

I’ve always loved all the incarnations of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” from Ingmar Bergman’s “Smiles of a Summer Night” and Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music” to Woody Allen’s “A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy.”

The summer farce with its implication of “the moon made me do crazy things” has always appealed to me along with the romance movies of the French New Wave like “Jules and Jim.” There’s a sense that these movies have both transported you and held you hostage in someone else’s life. I’d like people to feel that they’ve gotten to know Ellie, Frank, and John, and maybe to feel a little bit disappointed that they won’t get to find out what happens next.

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

Ls: Ha. The biggest challenge in making the film was making the film — every aspect of it, from the first outline to the first screening at the Venice Film Festival. I’m not sure I actually believed I would see it up on a screen. Making it was that much of a fantasy for me.

W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.

Ls: I would say somewhere in between crowdsourcing and private funding is my answer, but I’m still shocked by how many doors I had to knock on to try and find financing for “My Art.” I assumed it would be a far easier task than it turned out to be. I think when a director is in the throes of raising funds for a movie there is very little one won’t do or sell to make it happen — dogs and children included.

W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at Tribeca?

Ls: Tribeca is a film festival that literally sprung from the ashes of 9/11, a national tragedy that occurred at our doorstep in downtown New York. I remember the first year of the festival so clearly — the mood was grim. I made one of the first artist trophies that were originally given as prizes to filmmakers at the fest.

In some sense “My Art” is about New York and about making it in New York. New York is where I made my work and came of age. I adore the city and am the consummate New Yorker.

I understand filmmakers who make the claim that their film is a love letter to the city. I initially thought I would make that movie but in “My Art” New York is always hovering just outside the frame.

What I truly know from experience is how challenging it is to live in New York and more specifically how difficult it is to find your destiny here. Every New Yorker readily admits they have a very passionate but fraught love affair with the city.

Showing my film to a New York audience is really my dream.

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

Ls: The best advice I received came from Ed Lachman, who shot my first film, a short called “The Music of Regret.” He told me to be democratic and diplomatic on set — to listen to what everyone has to say and then do what you want.

The worst advice I’ve received? Oh my God, [I’ve been given a lot of bad advice.]

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

Ls: I’ll offer the same advice I’ve given my art students all these years: Find your subject. Tell your story. If it’s true to you, it will find it’s way into the world.

I’m new to the film world but I imagine there are many of the same challenges that exist in the art world. We have to get our numbers up — we need more women in the front line.

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

Ls: I love “The Hitchhiker,” which was directed by Ida Lupino and made her the first women to direct a film noir. It was a true thriller with an all-male cast. Lupino was really the first indie woman director.

She became a skilled low-budget filmmaker who pulled from her own wardrobe for costumes, reused sets from other movies, cast real people in roles, and used product placement with Coke and Cadillacs. She shot in public places to avoid location costs and did as much as possible in preproduction to avoid multiple retakes. I love the stories about how resourceful she was and how she loved to be considered a “mother” on set and a “bulldozer” when it came to getting money.

My close second would be Elaine May’s “A New Leaf,” followed by Andrea Arnold’s “Fish Tank.”

W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.

Ls: I can only base my ideas on what I know from my own [visual arts] community where there are similar discussions. Years ago people started raising the issue of percentages of women represented in both museums and commercial gallery spaces. There was a flurry of activity and a number of “all-women” exhibitions but when the dust settled there was no real viable change, so the conversation started again.

I feel things are moving in a more positive direction. Maybe both having a female presidential candidate, and one of the largest U.S. protests (by women!) in history is finally ripping the band aid off the surprisingly blatant sexism that exists in our country. I have confidence that this particular glacier is beginning to melt but we need to be vigilant and make ourselves heard and not be afraid to address so-called feminine topics and the accompanying biases.

https://medium.com/media/80e3e7267905659f5efba2c85ff27546/href

Tribeca 2017 Women Directors: Meet Laurie Simmons — “My Art” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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Zoey Deutch Is A Force Of Nature In Max Winkler’s Unpredictable Dark Comedy ‘Flower’ [Tribeca Review]

20 April 2017 7:57 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

A charming and blissful look at the joys and pains of a bravado-flecked reckless youth, director Max Winkler’s “Flower” is an earnest coming-of-age pic mixing cheeky sass with full-bodied teenage angst and beaming vitality. And it’s also an untamed dark comedy that veers off to unexpected places that reveal disturbing edges.

If there’s a movie that can pull off the cool insouciance of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Clueless” and Diablo Cody, and successfully mix it with the seemingly incongruous realist sensibilities of “Fish Tank” or the films of Andrea Arnold in general, “Flower” is it.

Continue reading Zoey Deutch Is A Force Of Nature In Max Winkler’s Unpredictable Dark Comedy ‘Flower’ [Tribeca Review] at The Playlist. »

- Rodrigo Perez

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Tribeca 2017 Women Directors: Meet Quinn Shephard — “Blame”

20 April 2017 7:06 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Blame

As an actress, Quinn Shepard is best known for Paul Feig’s “Unaccompanied Minors and “Hostages” on CBS. Her upcoming films include “Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl” and Desiree Akhavan’s “The Miseducation of Cameron Post.” Her directorial work includes the short film “Till Dark.” “Blame,” which she directed at just 20 years old, is her feature debut.

Blame” will premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival on April 22.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

Qs: “Blame” tells the story of two girls who find themselves deeply entangled in rivalry when their new substitute drama teacher casts one over the other as Abigail Williams in their high school production of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible.”

The film draws many parallels to the play, and it delves into the psyche of modern teens in a way that vacillates between the raw and dreamlike, mirroring the perspective of the young protagonists’ coming-of-age.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Qs: When I was a sophomore in high school, I was cast as Abigail Williams in a regional production of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible.” At 15, it was the most mature role I’d ever played, and the experience had a tremendous impact on me.

Beyond my fascination with the play, embodying Abigail had a strong influence on my day-to-day life. It changed the way I perceived both myself and the world around me. The role innately tied into my own coming-of-age; I felt powerful for the first time.

The script for “Blame” was born, not only from imagining what Abigail’s story would look like set in a modern day high school, but also from observing the way she changed my own perspective, and heightening that to a fictional level.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

Qs: “Blame” begins with a lot of familiar characters in a prototypical all-American high school; it plays into tropes and stereotypes in a way that pokes a bit of fun. But by the end, all of that is turned on its head. We see a lot of films about student-teacher relationships, about girl-to-girl rivalries, but this rarely portrayed from such a young and brutally honest perspective.

I hope the final act makes people question the judgements they made at the beginning of the film — and maybe even reactions they’ve had to films on similar subjects in the past. It’s important to me that every character is intimately understood and humanized by the time the credits roll.

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

Qs: Ha! Can I say everything? “Blame” was pretty much a two-woman show. My mom and I produced the film together — by ourselves. We did everything — and I mean everything. It was all-day, everyday, for years. I totally gave up on having a normal life. We literally poured every bit of energy and money we had into this film!

We were doing so many things for the first time, learning as we went. But what came out of it is something beautiful that we are both tremendously proud of.

If I was going to single out a challenge, music is the part I completely underestimated. I found every musician you hear in the film myself. My mom and I had to teach ourselves music law. I was there for the writing and production of 90 percent of the songs.

It was months and months of work, but luckily I gathered a team of generous and talented artists, including my amazing composer Peter Henry Phillips, who I found by chance at a Quebec City music festival! I was literally walking past the venue on the street and heard his music. I was so drawn in that I convinced my family to stay for the show. My mom encouraged me to approach him after his set and he ended up scoring the film.

W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at Tribeca?

Qs: It’s an incredible honor. I am an east coast girl through and through, and I truly love New York. I have been to Tribeca many times as an audience member, but never as a director. They have shown tremendous support for the film, which means a lot. And my entire cast and crew is NY-based, so it is shaping up to be one big reunion for us!

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

Qs: The best advice I’ve received was the repeated advice to just go for it, over and over, from my mom. Even when I was 15, it was, “You can direct a movie! You can get your favorite actor to star in it! We can make this happen!” I never doubted my ability to achieve my dreams because I was repeatedly told, “Why not?”

Years before “Blame” happened, we used to watch Chris Messina in movies and talk about him starring in the film as if it was already a reality. I don’t think I would have had the guts to track down his email and write to him if my mom didn’t constantly tell me my dreams were plausible, realistic goals. It gave me so much confidence from such an early age.

In my opinion, the worst advice I’ve received was during our early test screenings. I was advised to cut a few scenes from “Blame” that made test audiences uncomfortable. From my perspective, there is nothing about the topics I examine in my film that should be easy to swallow. The point is to shoot a scene that is beautifully composed, sexy, and familiar, but make it raw and realistic to the point where you start to question the beauty of it, and you’re forced to face what the scene is really about.

I want people to be uncomfortable. And if those scenes don’t make you uncomfortable — that’s part of the self-reflection. Why not?

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

Qs: To stick to their vision with full confidence and have faith in their gut instinct. All of the female directors I admire have unwavering, exceptionally strong visions for their films.

It’s easy in an industry like this to feel like women’s voices need to be softer, flexible, or more apologetic. Screw that. Women know what they want, and their stories and ideas are just as important as those of their male colleagues — maybe even more so!

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

Qs: It is so hard to pick a favorite. I’d have to say it’s a toss-up between Andrea Arnold’s “Fish Tank,” Marielle Heller’s “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” and Céline Sciamma’s “Girlhood.”

Fish Tank” and “Girlhood” are big tonal references for me as a filmmaker. The magical realism and distinctive color palette of “Girlhood” and the intimacy of certain scenes in “Fish Tank” — the scene where Michael Fassbender and Katie Jarvis are wading in the pond comes to mind — just take your breath away.

“Diary of a Teenage Girl” is perfect. It’s funny, tragic, relatable, heartbreaking, and celebratory. Most importantly, the film shows not a shred of judgement for its protagonist.

Runners up are Kimberly Peirce’s “Boys Don’t Cry,” Elizabeth Wood’s “White Girl,” Lynne Ramsay’s “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” and, of course, Sofia Coppola’s “The Virgin Suicides.”

W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have.

Qs: I am optimistic because women are amazing, and we’ll fight ten times harder for what we deserve. It’s a tough industry, and unfortunately gender bias is very real. But, the more I see festivals like Tribeca taking strides towards more diversified lineups of directors, the more I see possibility for change.

Hopefully, the major production companies will eventually stop seeing certain films as designated “women’s stories” and will recognize that the pool of working female directors out there in the world are equipped to tackle any topic with the same versatility as men!

Tribeca 2017 Women Directors: Meet Quinn Shephard — “Blame” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Kelsey Moore

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The Cinematic Universe of Andrea Arnold

18 April 2017 8:01 AM, PDT | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

A new video essay explores the acclaimed filmmaker’s exquisite usage of atmosphere.

When asked which female director he would most like to see direct a Star Wars film, Gareth Edwards said “I’d be first in line for Andrea Arnold.” Although it’s highely unlikely Arnold would ever trade in her gritty, uncompromising indie career for one directing tentpoles, the pairing makes sense: no one is quite as skilled and effective when it comes to building a unique, lived-in atmosphere as she is.

The English filmmaker broke onto the scene in 2003 with her Oscar-winning short Wasp, before following up with the widely acclaimed lo-fi indies Red Road and Fish Tank, the latter winning the Grand Prix at Cannes. In recent years, she has directed an adaptation of Wuthering Heights, as well as the new A24 cult classic American Honey.

This informative video essay courtesy of Fandor does a great job of giving you the skinny on »

- Fernando Andrés

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See How Andrea Arnold Visualizes Loneliness In This Video Essay

10 April 2017 1:47 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

There few filmmakers out there whose work is as visceral as Andrea Arnold‘s. Her body of work is diverse as well, ranging from the bleak housing estates of “Red Road” and “Fish Tank” to the brooding moors of “Wuthering Heights” and the sun-dazzled highways of “American Honey.”

In her Fandor video essay “Andrea Arnold’s Women in Landscapes,” Jessica McGoff looks at the ways Arnold presents the loneliness of her female protagonists in different yet similarly affecting ways.

Continue reading See How Andrea Arnold Visualizes Loneliness In This Video Essay at The Playlist. »

- Chris Barsanti

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All This Panic: the most relatable film about teenage girlhood ever?

26 March 2017 12:30 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Jenny Gage’s intimate documentary of seven Brooklyn teenagers has been praised for its honest account of growing up. We asked four British school friends to assess it

‘I don’t want to age. I think that’s the scariest thing in the entire world,” says Ginger Leigh Ryan, one of the girls featured in Jenny Gage’s documentary All This Panic. Set in the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Clinton Hill and directed by the former Us fashion photographer, with cinematography by her husband Tom Betterton, the film follows seven teenagers – best friends Lena and Ginger, their school friends Sage, Olivia and Ivy, Ginger’s younger sister Dusty, and Dusty’s best friend Delia – over a three-year period.

i-d magazine said the film “might be the most honest documentary about teenage girlhood ever”. That’s a bold claim, but there’s something to be said for the way Gage’s film »

- Simran Hans

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