16 items from 2016
Members of the film community are coming out of the woodwork to band together and push back on the repression that is anticipated to come out of the incoming Trump administration. From documentarians reaffirming their commitment to exposing hidden truths to narrative filmmakers pledging to combat racism with their work, many are planning a strong response to the 2016 presidential election.
Read More: President Donald Trump: How the Indie Film World Will Respond
The Film Society of Lincoln Center assembled some of those voices Wednesday by convening an “urgent conversation” with Film Quarterly entitled “Film & Media in a Time of Repression.” Moderated by Film Quarterly editor and Uc Santa Cruz professor Ruby Rich, the event featured speakers including “House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon, blacklisted screenwriter Walter Bernstein and Portugese documentary filmmaker Susana de Sousa Dias. Here are some of the highlights from the discussion, which outlined some key points »
- Graham Winfrey
There are many paradoxes to being an indie filmmaker in 2016. Never has it been easier to make a quality movie, while at the same time it’s never been harder to maintain a stable career as a movie director. Equipment, viewing habit and the world are all rapidly changing, resulting in both opening and narrowing the opportunities for creative expression.
IndieWire checked in with the indie directors behind the “New Auteurs” and “American Independent” feature films at this year’s AFI Fest and asked: What is the most exciting and discouraging thing happening in filmmaking today?
Read More: 13 Lessons From Making a Film Festival Breakout: AFI Fest Directors Share Their Tips
Asaph Polonsky, “One Week and a Day”
Encouraging: That the miniseries “Olive Kitteridge” exists.
Discouraging: In Israel, where I made “One Week and a Day,” the Prime Minster, Bibi Netanyahu is now trying to shut down (before it even »
- Chris O'Falt and Casey Coit
For many people, filmmaking is a process of ongoing education. The filmmakers who succeed are often the ones willing to learn from their mistakes and taking advice. IndieWire recently checked in with the up-and-coming indie directors behind the exciting films playing in the “New Auteurs” and “American Independent” categories at this year’s AFI Fest to find out what they learned while making their festival breakout.
Read More: AFI Fest 2016 – What Cameras Were Used to Shoot This Year’s Films
Kris Avedisian, “Donald Cried”: There was a time while shooting that I got lost in the process. I started to see the movie take shape but it was in a very deformed state. There are times when you have to make decisions, changes and adjust because of what you’re seeing. But it could be hard to know sometimes if I was only reacting to seeing scenes out of order, »
- Chris O'Falt
Indiewire reached out to the filmmakers with films in the “New Auteurs” and “American Independent” sections of this year’s AFI Fest to find out what cameras they used and why they chose them.
Read More: AFI Fest 2016: 14 Movies We Can’t Wait to See at the Festival
“One Week and a Day”
Arri Alexa Xt
Dir. Asaph Polonsky: “It allowed scenes in long takes and the use of zoom lenses, sticks, dolly, Steadicam and handheld, were the tools that served the D.P., Moshe Mishali, and I the most as we tried to be subtle about reflecting the characters journeys visually.”
Arri Amira with Cooke lenses
Dir. Tim Sutton: “Good combination.”
Dir. Houda Benyamin: “We wanted to work on the idea of focus — getting to details from the big picture, getting to things from a distance, which in a way symbolizes »
- Casey Coit and Chris O'Falt
Jia Zhangke has long been revered as a leading figure of mainland China’s sixth generation of filmmakers, with films like “The World” and “Still Life” premiering — and, in the case of the latter, winning the top prize — at major international film festivals. Jia now has a new feather in his cap, and it’s one few (if any) other filmmakers can lay claim to: a noodle shop in his hometown of Fenyang.
Read More: Review: Jia Zhangke’s Ambitious ‘Mountains May Depart’
Named for “Mountains May Depart” (“Shan He Gu Ren”), which premiered at Cannes last year, the restaurant features posters for the film as well as some of the honors it received on the festival circuit. The menu is apparently less expansive: Dao Bo Mian, a kind of sliced noodle, is the primary dish served. It comes with dumplings and will set customers back $8.60, according to New China. »
- Michael Nordine
AFI Fest has announced the selections for its New Auteurs, American Independents, Midnights and Shorts sections. Already announced as part of the weeklong festival, which runs in Hollywood from November 10 – 17, are “Elle,” “20th Century Women” and the world premieres of both “The Comedian” and “Rules Don’t Apply.” Read the full announcement here, and see the New Auteurs, American Independents and Midnight selections below.
Read More: Warren Beatty’s ‘Rules Don’t Apply’ Will Open AFI Fest 2016
“Buster’s Mal Heart” (dir. Sarah Adina Smith)
“The Future Perfect” (dir. Nele Wohlatz)
“Godless” (dir. Ralitza Petrova)
“One Week and a Day” (dir. Asaph Polonsky)
Read More: Watch: Lola Kirke Takes Us Inside the Mind of an Epileptic »
- Michael Nordine
Mark Harrison Oct 11, 2016
We salute the film work of one of Britain's very best, and most versatile, film actors: Mr Eddie Marsan...
Eddie Marsan isn't just one of the best British actors working today – he's also one of the busiest, appearing in all kinds of supporting roles in major movies, while also appearing on TV a lot, on both sides of the Atlantic. He was fantastic as the latter lead in BBC One's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell last year and he's also a regular on Showtime's Ray Donovan as Ray's brother Terry, an ex-boxer suffering from Parkinson's disease.
On the big screen though, it's Marsan's versatility that really makes him so watchable. He's had attention grabbing turns in minor roles in blockbusters like Hancock, Mission: Impossible III and Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes films, but he's also at home amongst a big ensemble in more serious fare like Spielberg »
Kubo and the Two Strings, 2016.
Directed by Travis Knight.
Living with his mother in peace, Kubo’s life is changed when he is tasked with finding the sword unbreakable, armor and helmet to defeat his sinister aunts and destructive grandfather. To assist, a monkey and beetle are on hand to help him.
There is something deeply poetic at the heart of Kubo and the Two Strings. Expertly, the themes of family, creativity and grief fold neatly together, akin to the origami creations that our hero, Kubo, is an expert in. Kubo and the Two Strings holds the intimacy of a Ghibli movie combined with the mesmerising textured Laika Studio stop-motion technique. Made by the creators of Coraline and The Boxtrolls, this is another hit for a studio that is forging a new path in animation. »
- Simon Columb
Chinese movies are very rare to find on worldwide DVD marketing, most of the time one finds Asian movies from Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan. But those Chinese movies that do come out to the world make a strong impact to the audience, for instance "Still Life", "Beijing Bicycle" and "Shanghai Triad". The Resistance made an impact with a different style of movie, a story plot from a samurai movie, but setting takes place during World War II. Directed by the 32nd generation shaolin monk Peng Zhang Li, who became a movie director and actor tells a story of revenge, genocide, and protection of a young peasant girl who must choose between death or resistance. Story: In 1937, the Japanese imperial army launch an...
[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...] »
One of the most interesting collisions of the public perception of Iran’s Islamic state and its reality is how, out of an apparently repressive state hostile to the creative arts, Abbas Kiarostami became the essential free filmmaker. “Freedom” is always a relative term when it comes to cinema, which, like politics, unfortunately runs on money. But it’s easy to spot the genuinely free filmmakers when they come along. Despite their varying struggles to get their movies made, the work that results is directly personal and unbound by prevailing cultural trends and diktats. They range from Jean Vigo to Kidlat Tahimik, Pedro Costa to Shirley Clarke, Stan Brakhage to Jose Luis Guerin. Kiarostami was the free filmmaker par excellence, since he managed to find his ever-developing acute approach to modernism through whatever system in which he might find himself working.
Read More: Abbas Kiarostami, Palme d’Or-Winning Director Of »
- Robert Koehler
Since any New York 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.
Anthology Film Archive
A Jia Zhangke retrospective comes to an end. If you’ve not yet seen Mountains May Depart, »
- Nick Newman
Glenn here. Each Tuesday we bring you reviews and features on documentaries from theatres, festivals, and on demand. This week we’re looking at Walter Salles' doc about Chinese film giant Jia Zhangke.
In the opening scene of Jia Zhangke’s sublime Mountains May Depart, characters dance to the Pet Shop Boys’ euphoric rendition of “Go West”. The song may have been a demand for a gay utopia, but it is also an apt choice for a movie in which characters slowly shift from rural China to the blue skies and bright lights of Australia. Zhangke’s characters are often caught between two worlds, travelling down a road (literal of metaphorical) to an unknown future and it is these pervading themes that have made him the unofficial cinematic chronicler of modern day China. They are also what makes Jia Zhangke: A Guy from Fenyang such a fitting tribute to the man. »
- Glenn Dunks
In an opportunistic swerve from his indie film roots, Chinese film maker Jia Zhangke is going to start making commercial movies.
With a base in Shanghai, he has established Fabula Entertainment (the Chinese name translates as “warm currents”) and raised money for a slate of movies that he will produce.
China Minsheng Bank and online giant Tencent, have provided some $4.5 million (RMB30 million) in return for a 10% stake. That gives Fabula an implied value of $45 million (RMB300 million.)
Fabula will operate across two sectors: production of commercial movies and vocational training for the film industry. “We chose these two areas because, frankly, too many Chinese movies are s**t, and we’d like to show a way forward that is based on quality,” Jia told Variety. “And training has become increasingly important now that China’s film production has risen from about 100 titles per year only a few years ago, »
- Patrick Frater
"This shot carries a memory within it." Kino Lorber has debuted a trailer for the documentary called Jia Zhangke, A Guy From Fenyang, directed by Walter Salles, taking a look at the life of famed Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke. It looks like a fantastic documentary with some incredible footage of Jia Zhangke in China, and all over the world. Salles last directed the Jack Kerouac adaptation On the Road, but returns to docs to make this stunning feature on another very talented filmmaker/storyteller - Jia Zhangke, of films like A Touch of Sin, Mountains May Depart, Still Life, 24 City, The World and many others. This is a rather beautiful trailer with some poetic imagery, it really makes me want to see this documentary. Watch below. Here's the trailer for Walter Salles' doc Jia Zhangke, A Guy From Fenyang, in high def on Apple: And here's a Q&A »
- Alex Billington
The award ceremony for the oldest Japanese cinema competition took place on February13 at the Bunkyo Civic Center, and the list of winners is:
Best Actor: Kazunari Ninomiya (Nagasaki: Memories of My Son)
Best Supporting Actor: Masahiro Motoki (The Big Bee)
Best Supporting Actress: Haru Kuroki (When the Curtain Rises; Solomon’s Perjury)
Best Director (Japanese): Ryosuke Hashiguchi (Three Stories of Love)
Best Screenplay: Ryosuke Hashiguchi (Three Stories of Love)
Best New Actor: Atsushi Shinohara (Three Stories of Love)
Best Ten Japanese Feature Films
Three Stories of Love
Fires on the Plain
Journey to the Shore
This Country’s Sky
Nagasaki: Memories of My Son
Being Good »
- Panos Kotzathanasis
This is a reprint of our review from the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. China is becoming ever-more influential on world cinema. Tentpoles now frequently make as much money there as they do in the U.S., which has led to blockbusters being tooled and aimed specifically towards those audiences. It seems unlikely that this new cultural exchange will continue to be a one-way relationship, and it's only a matter of time before Chinese filmmakers becomes household names. It's unlikely to be Jia Zhangke, but he's already a very familiar figure among cinephiles. The 45-year-old is widely seen as the best Chinese filmmaker of his generation, having won the Golden Lion at Venice for "Still Life" in 2006, and he has continued to attract attention ever since, most notably with 2013's "A Touch Of Sin," which picked up the screenwriting prize at Cannes that year. He's back in competition at the festival this year with "Mountains May Depart, »
- Oliver Lyttelton
16 items from 2016
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