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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

8 items from 2014


Tribeca Review: 'Five Star' Is A Refreshing Take On A Setting & Characters Too Often Sensationalized

23 April 2014 4:47 PM, PDT | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

In 2012, writer-director Keith Miller made his feature debut with Welcome to Pine Hill, an unhurried drama about a reformed drug dealer in New York City. The movie was imperfect but effective in many ways, mostly thanks to Miller's skill in getting moving performances from non-actors playing versions of themselves.  This year, with Five Star, Miller once again demonstrates his ability to extract nuance from novices, telling another a story about drug dealers struggling with identity.  Miller's tale is a kind of coming-of-age story, set in the projects of Brooklyn and following two men linked by tragedy. Primo (real life gang leader James 'Primo' Grant), is a five-star general of »

- Zeba Blay

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Tribeca Film Review: ‘Five Star’

18 April 2014 6:10 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Straight out of Brooklyn comes Keith Miller’s “Five Star,” a low-key but powerfully affecting urban drama that tells a familiar story — of drugs, power and respect on the inner-city streets — with such unusual authenticity and dramatic force that it’s as if we’re seeing it for the first time. Much of that impact is due to the presence of James “Primo” Grant, a real-life gang member who makes his acting debut as a dramatized version of himself, a kind of gangsta Othello who rules his kingdom with a fair but unwavering hand. Building on the promise already evident in his 2012 debut feature, “Welcome to Pine Hill,” Miller’s strongly assured sophomore effort is probably too bleak and rough-edged to make much of an impact in the commercial arena, but should be championed by discerning critics and adventurous fests following its Tribeca world premiere.

In many ways a companion piece to “Pine Hill, »

- Scott Foundas

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Tribeca Review: You've Never Seen a Gang Movie Like the Startlingly Realistic 'Five Star'

18 April 2014 10:39 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Writer-director Keith Miller's feature-length debut "Welcome to Pine Hill" showed an ambitious willingness to merge documentary and fictional storytelling methods, but with "Five Star," the filmmaker truly manages to fuse them into a compelling whole. Once again relying on non-actors to imbue his narrative with naturalistic intensity, "Five Star" is set amid the perils of gang life in the Brooklyn housing projects and features performances by actual former gang members riffing on their own lives. As a sociological experiment, "Five Star" offers plenty of talking points, but its real triumph is that the cast delivers, yielding a story in which the heightened suspense emerges organically from a gritty foundation of realism. "Five Star" makes its unorthodox production style clear in its prolonged opening sequence, during which bearded, muscular Primo (James "Primo" Grant) sits behind the wheel of his car and recalls the trauma of being behind bars while his son was born. »

- Eric Kohn

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Meet the 2014 Tribeca Filmmakers #17: Keith Miller Engages the Space Outside the Frame with 'Five Star'

11 April 2014 10:50 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Keith Miller has been crafting shorts, documentaries, and features since 2005 (including last year's "Welcome to Pine Hill" with Jaiden Kaine). Exploring gang life, urbanity, and manhood, Miller brings "Five Star" to Tribeca, the story of a gang leader's relationship to a young man caught at a crossroad.  Tell us about yourself: I began my creative work as a painter, which I still feel integral to my thinking. Over the course of that practice, my work got more narrative and I began to edit video and start to think about film. As I developed my film-making practice, over the past 7 or 8 years, I saw the potential to push the narrative work to a more active engagement with social and personal issues. This goal is one of the central things that lead me to Five Star. I have always been interested in the 19th century ideas around Realism and the challenge of »

- Indiewire

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Tribeca Film Fest Welcomes World Preems From Keith Miller, Lou Howe, Rapp, Lipes, Renzi, Tristan Patterson, Curry & Yu

4 March 2014 11:35 AM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

By the looks of it, the Tribeca Film Festival might finally be growing out of their awkward teenage phase and moving into a new era where the nab more than just Sundance and SXSW festival rejects. Artistic Director Frederic Boyer has managed to nab some noteworthy American indie projects such as Lou Howe’s Gabriel (see pic above), Keith Miller’s Five Star, Adam Rapp’s Loitering with Intent, and Tristan Patterson’s Electric Slide.

On the docu front, we’ve got the latest from the likes of notable documentarians Marshall Curry and Jessica Yu. Think Ewan McGregor’s Long Way Round meets child solider movie for Curry’s awesomely titled Point and Shoot — where the Libyan rebel army take hold of Curry’s subject. Yu moves from water shortage in Last Call at the Oasis (read our review) to the biggest pandemic of all; Misconception looks at the consequences »

- Eric Lavallee

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2014 Tribeca Film Fest Announces World Narrative, Documentary & Viewpoints Selections

4 March 2014 11:03 AM, PST | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

Not much here in terms of African diaspora films (since that's our focus here), based on a first glance. But I'll be scrubbing the list, looking at it much closer for any titles that didn't immediately jump out at me. Of note however, is Keith Miller's exploration of masculinity and gang culture in Five Star, a mix of fiction and documentary filmmaking, making its World Premiere at the festival. Miller's last work, the meditative Welcome to Pine Hill, was an S&A highlight in 2012. And in the pure documentary films section is Virunga, directed and written by Orlando von Einsiedel. Also making its World Premiere, the film centers on Virunga, in »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Tribeca 2014: Festival lineup includes 55 world premieres

4 March 2014 9:00 AM, PST | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

The 13th Tribeca Film Festival has announced half its slate for next month’s New York celebration, which runs April 16-27. Culled from more than 6,000 submissions, Tribeca 2014 includes 55 world premieres, 37 first-time filmmakers, and 22 female directors. “Variously inspired by individual interests and experience and driven by an intense sensibility of style, the array of new filmmaking voices in this year’s competition is especially impressive and I think memorable,” said Frederic Boyer, Tribeca’s artistic director. “The range of American subcultures and international genres represented here are both eclectic and wide reaching.”

On April 17, Gabriel will open the World Narrative competition, »

- Jeff Labrecque

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After Trayvon: Short Doc on Trayvon, Stop and Frisk, and Racial Profiling

26 February 2014 4:55 AM, PST | Filmmaker Magazine - Blog | See recent Filmmaker Magazine news »

Two years after the death of Trayvon Martin, filmmaker Alex Mallis releases online After Trayvon, a short doc shot last summer after the day’s wrap of his latest feature. Mallis, who associate produced and was a cinematographer on Keith Miller’s film, Welcome to Pine Hill, introduces it here: Last summer, a day after George Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, our cast and crew wrapped a day of filming in Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn for the upcoming feature, Five Star. Informal conversations throughout the day, between takes, and a fully equipped film crew, […] »

- Scott Macaulay

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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

8 items from 2014


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