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Infinite Fest

  • MUBI
The first installment of Infinite Fest, a monthly column by festival programmer and film critic Eric Allen Hatch, author of the recent “Why I Am Hopeful” article for Filmmaker Magazine, tackling the state of cinema as expressed by North American film festivalsIllustration by Alice Meteignier.The first film festival I ever attended was the Toronto International Film Festival (Tiff) in 1998. I was there, improbably, as a bonus from my retail job as a manager at Video Americain, Baltimore’s late, great rental shop immortalized in John Waters’ Serial Mom. With me was the manager of another Video Americain location, Sean Williams (perhaps now better known as the cinematographer of films like Queen of Earth and Good Time). It was a whirlwind trip on a tight budget: a frighteningly compact puddle-jumper from Delaware to Buffalo; a rental-car jaunt across the border; two days, one night in Toronto.I was young, glum,
See full article at MUBI »

‘Hannah Takes the Stairs’ and the Coalescence of Mumblecore

Looking back on this still-young century makes clear that 2007 was a major time for cinematic happenings — and, on the basis of this retrospective, one we’re not quite through with ten years on. One’s mind might quickly flash to a few big titles that will be represented, but it is the plurality of both festival and theatrical premieres that truly surprises: late works from old masters, debuts from filmmakers who’ve since become some of our most-respected artists, and mid-career turning points that didn’t necessarily announce themselves as such at the time. Join us as an assembled team, many of whom were coming of age that year, takes on their favorites.

Declaring 2007 to be the year mumblecore came of age would be equally as fair as labeling it the year mumblecore collapsed. The signs of ascendance and coalescence—group coverage in high-profile publications, series programmed at art houses,
See full article at The Film Stage »

SXSW 2017 Award Winners: ‘Most Beautiful Island’ and ‘The Work’ Win Jury Competition Prizes

SXSW 2017 Award Winners: ‘Most Beautiful Island’ and ‘The Work’ Win Jury Competition Prizes
At a packed Paramount Theater this evening, the SXSW Film Festival, now at the halfway mark, handed out their big film awards. The fest’s two big competition jury prizes went to director Ana Asensio’s “Most Beautiful Island” (Best Narrative Feature) and directors Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous’s “The Work” (Best Narrative Feature).

Read More: Terrence Malick Makes a Rare Appearance at SXSW 2017 and Digs Deep On His Process

Asensio, a Spanish actress and filmmaker living in New York, shot her film in super 16mm. It tells the story of undocumented female immigrants struggling to start a life in New York. It is a feature film debut for Asensio, who also stars and wrote the screenplay. “Island” is being billed as a dramatic thriller and was produced by the New York horror master Larry Fessenden’s Glass Eye Pix.

The Doc Prize winner, “The Work,” is an intense
See full article at Indiewire »

The Best Movies of 2016, According to IndieWire Critic Eric Kohn

The Best Movies of 2016, According to IndieWire Critic Eric Kohn
Every December it bears repeating: Anyone who thinks this was a bad year for movies simply hasn’t seen enough. In an age of binge-viewing, a preponderance of must-see premium cable shows and, hell, even smartphone apps that command far more attention most feature-length achievements, the true range of quality cinema is often obscured by the noise of an ever-cluttered media landscape. To really assess the state of modern movies, one look beyond the obvious. Sure, it was a weak year for movies that stand out mainly due to star power and sizable marketing budgets, but those options represent only a small fraction of the marketplace.

The film festival circuit provides an ideal alternative to conventional channels for discovering movies worth talking about all year long — and, if they’re lucky enough to land distribution, they quality for year-end celebration on lists like this one. This year, every single finalist
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Uncle Kent 2’ Exclusive Posters: Check Out The Potential Sequels In the ‘Uncle Kent’ Franchise

  • Indiewire
‘Uncle Kent 2’ Exclusive Posters: Check Out The Potential Sequels In the ‘Uncle Kent’ Franchise
In 2011, Joe Swanberg directed the film “Uncle Kent,” about 40-year-old stoner cartoonist Kent (Kent Osborne) who spends a weekend trying to sleep with visiting house guest Kate (Jennifer Prediger), a woman whom he met on Chatroulette. Despite few people actually seeing the film, Swanberg, Osborne and director Todd Rohal have created a sequel “Uncle Kent 2,” a meta-comedy about Kent trying to create a follow-up to the 2011 film by traveling to a comic-book convention and confronting the end of the world. Out of SXSW, Indiewire’s own Eric Kohn described it as “the craziest movie sequel ever” and said that it “provides the ultimate rebuke to formulaic storytelling.” Check out some exclusive posters for fictional sequels in the “Uncle Kent” universe.

Read More: ‘Uncle Kent 2’ Exclusive Book Excerpt: Read a Chapter From The Novelization Based On The Acclaimed Film

Osborne is best known for his long-time work on many
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Uncle Kent 2’ Exclusive Book Excerpt: Read a Chapter From The Novelization Based On The Acclaimed Film

‘Uncle Kent 2’ Exclusive Book Excerpt: Read a Chapter From The Novelization Based On The Acclaimed Film
Last year, Todd Rohal’s “Uncle Kent 2” premiered at SXSW to positive reviews, with IndieWire’s own Eric Kohn calling it “the craziest movie sequel ever.” A follow-up to Joe Swanberg’s 2011 film “Uncle Kent,” a portrait of indie actor and animator Kent Osborne, “Uncle Kent 2” follows Osborne’s quest to come up with a sequel to “Uncle Kent” by traveling to a comic book convention and confronting the end of the world.

Read More: SXSW Review: ‘Uncle Kent 2’ is the Craziest Movie Sequel Ever

Now, Factory 25 has released a novelization of the book by L.P. Eaves. Check out an exclusive excerpt from the book below featuring Uncle Kent’s visit to a doctor to discuss earworms.

Todd Rohal has previously directed the “P is for Scary” segment in “ABCs of Death 2,” and the comedies “Nature Calls,” “The Catechism Cataclysm,” and “The Guatemalan Handshake.” Meanwhile,
See full article at Indiewire »

’Uncle Kent 2’ Trailer: Joe Swanberg Directs the First Twelve Minutes of This Sequel

’Uncle Kent 2’ Trailer: Joe Swanberg Directs the First Twelve Minutes of This Sequel
Is “Uncle Kent 2” the craziest movie sequel ever? That’s what our own Eric Kohn wrote of the film when it debuted at SXSW back in 2015, and going off even the most basic of synopses, it sure sounds like the Todd Rohal feature might rank right up there with the big guys.

Wait, a Todd Rohal feature? But didn’t Joe Swanberg direct “Uncle Kent”? What sort of madness is this? It’s “Uncle Kent” madness. Swanberg does direct the first 12 minutes of the film, before passing it over to “Catechism Cataclysm” director Rohal, who takes things very much in his own direction. See? Wild.

Read More: Kent Osborne Explains the Crazy Logic Behind ‘Uncle Kent 2’ and the ‘Adventure Time’ Connection

Per the film’s official synopsis: “In a desperate search to create a follow-up to Joe Swanberg’s 2011 film ‘Uncle Kent,’ Kent Osborne travels to a comic
See full article at Indiewire »

Epic Pictures Picks Up 'Half Life' and SXSW Favorite 'Uncle Kent 2'

  • Indiewire
Epic Pictures Picks Up 'Half Life' and SXSW Favorite 'Uncle Kent 2'
Read: SXSW Review: 'Uncle Kent 2' is the Craziest Movie Sequel Ever Epic Pictures Group has hit the ground running in their acquisitions ahead of the European Film Market, picking up rights for both "Uncle Kent 2" and "Half Life."  Directed by Dagen Merrill ("Beneath," "Broken Hill"), the latter stars Dominic Monaghan ("Lord of the Rings," "Lost") as a lone safety inspector as he is assigned to determine why a remote nuclear power plant has suddenly gone offline. Set in the near future, the science-fiction thriller is Merrill's fourth directorial effort and is currently in post-production.  The ambitious and creative "Uncle Kent 2" premiered at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival, receiving critical acclaim and plaudits for its refreshing take on sequels and its divergence from the mumblecore qualities that its predecessor had. Todd Rohal moves away from the naturalistic nature of the previous film and...
See full article at Indiewire »

Here's How to Make a Fiction Film About Real-Life Characters

  • Indiewire
Here's How to Make a Fiction Film About Real-Life Characters
We have grown accustomed to so-called hybrid documentaries which play with the notion of truth by, for instance, hiring actors to recreate childhood memories ("Stories We Tell") or having subjects re-enact horrific real-life deeds ("The Act of Killing"). But more narrative filmmakers are incorporating real people who play variations of themselves in fiction films. Read More: BendFilm Festival Announces 2015 Award Winners At a recent panel at The BendFilm Festival, the directors of three such films, Todd Rohal ("Uncle Kent 2"), Diego Ongaro ("Bob and the Trees") and Liz Cardenas Franke ("Treading Water"), discussed their development processes as well as the benefits and pitfalls of working in this creative form. The advantage of fiction over documentary is that, unlike in real life, you can make things happen. In the cases of the films discussed, real people ended up as subjects of fiction films in various ways, and having a real...
See full article at Indiewire »

Fandor & Factory 25 Team On Theatrical Day-And-Date Plan

Fandor & Factory 25 Team On Theatrical Day-And-Date Plan
Streaming service Fandor and indie distributor Factory 25 are teaming to jointly release seven films day-and-date, including this year’s SXSW Audience Award winner Uncle Kent 2 from filmmaker Todd Rohal and Charles Poekel’s Sundance pic Christmas, Again. As part of the deal, Fandor will release the films day-and-date on its Svod service with Factory 25 releasing theatrically and through transactional platforms. No dates were unveiled, but the new releases set for the…
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

Factory 25, Fandor to release seven

  • ScreenDaily
The independent distributor and streaming service announced at BAMcinemaFest they will partner on the slate.

The companies have partnered on numerous releases since 2012 and this marks their first deal for joint releases.

Fandor will release the films day-and-date via its subscription service with Factory 25 handling theatrically and transactional platforms.

The films are: Todd Rohal’s Uncle Kent 2 (pictured); Charles Poekel’s Christmas, Again; Nathan Silver’s Stinking Heaven; Pavan Moondi and Brian Robertson’s Diamond Tongues; Maximón Monihan’s Voice Of The Voiceless (La Voz De Los Sileciados); Lynn Shelton’s We Go Way Back; and Alexander Rockwell’s Hero.

“Fandor is one of the few like-minded companies that really care about cinema as much as I do,” said Factory 25 founder Matt Grady, who also celebrates the company’s sixth anniversary. “I’m really excited about working together to release this slate of films by some of the most influential voices in independent film right
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Kent Osborne Explains the Crazy Logic Behind 'Uncle Kent 2' and the 'Adventure Time' Connection

Kent Osborne Explains the Crazy Logic Behind 'Uncle Kent 2' and the 'Adventure Time' Connection
Read More: 'Uncle Kent 2' is the Craziest Movie Sequel Ever "Uncle Kent," Joe Swanberg's lighthearted 2011 portrait of Los Angeles-based animator Kent Osborne, wasn't exactly screaming for a sequel. But "Uncle Kent 2," which screens in New York at BAMCinemaFest on Saturday following its premiere at SXSW in May, isn't your average sequel. The bizarre project is directed by Todd Rohal, whose loopy "The Catechism Cataclysm" and "The Guatemalan Handshake" display a penchant for surreal, sometimes disorienting humor and baffling sight gags. "Uncle Kent 2," which Osborne wrote, follows suit, while also mocking the idea of sequels and playing with its lead character's creative block. The movie opens — in a segment directed by Swanberg — with Osborn himself pitching the premise for the sequel. The ensuing odyssey finds Osborn coping with a hilariously annoying song stuck in his head, an unsettling journey to Comic Con and possibly the end.
See full article at Indiewire »

Daily | BAMcinemaFest 2015

We're rounding up reviews, interviews, clips and trailers for films screening at this year's BAMcinemaFest: Alex Ross Perry's Queen of Earth, James Ponsoldt's The End of the Tour, Sean Baker's Tangerine, Stephen Winter's Jason and Shirley, Nathan Silver's Stinking Heaven, Sebastián Silva's Nasty Baby, Todd Rohal's Uncle Kent 2, Jennifer Phang's Advantageous, Kris Swanberg's Unexpected, Patrick Wang's The Grief of Others, Les Blank's A Poem Is a Naked Person, Jem Cohen's Counting, Larry Clark's Kids—and more. » - David Hudson
See full article at Fandor: Keyframe »

Daily | BAMcinemaFest 2015

We're rounding up reviews, interviews, clips and trailers for films screening at this year's BAMcinemaFest: Alex Ross Perry's Queen of Earth, James Ponsoldt's The End of the Tour, Sean Baker's Tangerine, Stephen Winter's Jason and Shirley, Nathan Silver's Stinking Heaven, Sebastián Silva's Nasty Baby, Todd Rohal's Uncle Kent 2, Jennifer Phang's Advantageous, Kris Swanberg's Unexpected, Patrick Wang's The Grief of Others, Les Blank's A Poem Is a Naked Person, Jem Cohen's Counting, Larry Clark's Kids—and more. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

SXSW: Indie Filmmakers Share Their Secrets For Working With Actors

SXSW: Indie Filmmakers Share Their Secrets For Working With Actors
Read More:  SXSW: How to Make Something From Nothing, the No-Budget Way Several Austin-based filmmakers shared their insights on working with actors for the "Independent Directors on Working with Actors" panel at last week's SXSW Film Festival. The panelists included Andrew Bujalski, whose latest film "Results," starring Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders, premiered at Sundance and also screened at SXSW; "Hellion" writer-director Kat Candler; Todd Rohal, whose film "Uncle Kent 2" premiered at SXSW this week and David Zellner, whose film "Kumiko: The Treasure Hunter," was released theatrically last week. The panel was moderated by Caroline O'Connor, Director of Communications for the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. The panelists discussed casting and working with both professional and non-professional actors, as well as how their own acting has influenced their directing and how to get the performances they want from their...
See full article at Indiewire »

SXSW: Audience Award Winners Include 'Krisha,' 'Hello, My Name is Doris' And 'Peace Officer'

SXSW is over, and while our team is off sending their clothes to the dry cleaners to figure out how to get out stains from five different barbecue sauces, organizers in Austin have one more thing left to announce. Following the Jury awards last week, they've unveiled the Audience Awards, and there are a couple of notable crossover winners. Trey Edward Shults' drama "Krisha," (our review) and Scott Christopherson and Brad Barber's documentary "Peace Officer" (our review) repeated their victories in the Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature slots. Meanwhile, audiences gave their approval to the Sally Field starring "Hello, My Name is Doris" and Todd Rohal's oddball sequel "Uncle Kent 2.""Turbo Kid" is also continuing to pick up buzz following its Sundance premiere with a win here. Check out the full list of winners below. Narrative Feature Competition Audience Award Winner: Krisha Director: Trey Edward...
See full article at The Playlist »

South By Southwest Audience Award winners announced

South By Southwest Audience Award winners announced
The winners of South By Southwest festival's Audience Awards have been revealed.

A total of 13 projects were announced as winners in categories such as Narrative Feature Competition, Documentary Feature Competition, Headliners and Narrative Spotlight.

The Hollywood Reporter states that Krisha by Trey Edward Shults won Narrative Feature Competition, while Scott Christopherson and Brad Barber's Peace Officer was awarded Documentary Feature Competition.

Hello, My Name is Doris (Michael Showalter) took home the Headliners title, as Josh Lawson's The Little Death won Narrative Spotlight.

Documentary Spotlight went to A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story directed by Sara Hirsh Bordo, and Uncle Kent 2 by Todd Rohal was awarded the Visions category.

Turbo Kid directed by Rkss Collective was awarded Midnighters, while Episodic went to director Niels Arden Oplev and Mr Robot.

The 24 Beats Per Second category went to Graham Townsley's Landfill Harmonic, as Kings of Nowhere took home the SXGlobal award.
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

'Krisha', 'Turbo Kid', 'Look of Silence' among SXSW Audience Award winners

  • ScreenDaily
'Krisha', 'Turbo Kid', 'Look of Silence' among SXSW Audience Award winners
This year’s festival saw over 150 features screened, including 102 world premieres and 14 North American premieres.

SXSW has unveiled the winners of this year’s Audience Awards.

Trey Edward ShultsKrisha and Scott Christopherson & Brad Barber’s Peace Officer repeated their Jury Award wins in Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature, respectively, while Rkss Collective’s Turbo Kid (Midnighters) and Joshua Oppenheimer The Look of Silence (Festival Favourites) took the Audience Award in their categories.

Other winners included Josh Lawson’s The Little Death in Narrative Spotlight, Michael Showalter’s Hello, My Name is Doris in Headliners and Todd Rohal’s Uncle Kent 2 in Visions.

All Audience Award results were certified by the accounting firm of Maxwell Locke & Ritter.

This year’s SXSW screened over 150 features, consisting of 102 world premieres, 14 North American premieres and 11 Us premieres. 106 shorts screened as part of ten curated shorts programmes.

Full list of Audience Award winners

Narrative Feature Competition - Krisha, Director: [link=nm
See full article at ScreenDaily »

SXSW: 'Krisha,' 'Hello, My Name is Doris' and 'Uncle Kent 2' Among Audience Awards Winners

SXSW: 'Krisha,' 'Hello, My Name is Doris' and 'Uncle Kent 2' Among Audience Awards Winners
To cap off the last day of the 2015 SXSW Film Festival, the event announced its Audience Awards winners today. Both Trey Edward Shults' family drama "Krisha" and Scott Christopherson and Brad Barber's hard-hitting documentary "Peace Officer" repeated their Tuesday juried wins, taking home the respective Audience Award prizes. Also among today's winners were the Sally Field-starrer "Hello, My Name is Doris," which won in the headliners category, and Todd Rohal's comedy "Uncle Kent 2," in the visions section. Read More: SXSW: Complete List of 2015 Film Awards Winners Here’s the complete list of Audience Awards winners: Narrative Feature Competition Audience Award Winner: Krisha Director: Trey Edward Shults Documentary Feature Competition Audience Award Winner: Peace Officer Directors: Scott Christopherson, Brad Barber Headliners Audience Award Winner: Hello, My Name is Doris Director: Michael Showalter Narrative...
See full article at Indiewire »

‘The ABCs of Death 2′ Blu-ray Review

  • Nerdly
Directed by Julian Barratt, Alexandre Bustillo, Larry Fessenden, Julian Gilbey, E.L. Katz, Aharon Keshales, Steven Kostanski, Julien Maury, Vincenzo Natali, Bill Plympton, Jen & Sylvia Soska and many more…

It’s a second go around the alphabet of fear with The ABCs of Death 2. 2012′s first installment – an anthology of 26 stories, each representing a letter of the alphabet – was the very definition of a mixed bag, with (sadly) the bad often outweighing the good. However, given that the good was Very good I still held out hope that this sequel would live up to the expectations and potential that the format has.

Thankfully this time round the good outweighs the bad, although surprisingly there are some disappointing segments from directors whose work I’ve enjoyed; and whose feature work has been hailed as some of the best in the genre – not that there’s any evidence of that here – including
See full article at Nerdly »
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