Swept Away (2002) - News Poster

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Lina Wertmüller on What Being the First Female Director Nominated for an Oscar Means to Her

Lina Wertmüller on What Being the First Female Director Nominated for an Oscar Means to Her
Plenty of ink has been spilled on the fact that, with her Oscar nomination for “Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig has joined an all-too-exclusive group: the sorority of just five women who have been deemed worthy of a directing nod from the Academy. Few people recall, though, that the barrier was first broken in 1977, and that for nearly two decades, the club of female nominees boasted a single member: Lina Wertmüller.

The Italian director burst onto the international scene in the ’70s with such films as “The Seduction of Mimi,” “Swept Away” and “Seven Beauties,” the Holocaust drama that earned her the groundbreaking Oscar nomination. Her cinematic creations were flamboyant, erotic, comic, tragic, provocative. Movie lovers lined up around the block to see the latest offering from an auteur who had worked with Fellini on “8½” and who was immediately recognizable in photos in her trademark white-framed glasses.

Wertmüller’s works tackled issues that resonate today: immigration, racism, materialism
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Doc NYC 2017 Women Directors: Meet Lisa Immordino Vreeland — “Love, Cecil”

“Love, Cecil”

Lisa Immordino Vreeland is an award-winning director whose credits include “Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel” and “Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict.”

“Love, Cecil” premiered at the 2017 Doc NYC film festival on November 12.

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

Liv: This is a film about Cecil Beaton, one of the great polymaths of the 20th Century. His sense of the visual dictated a style that set standards of creativity that continue to resonate and inspire today. Despite his feeling of being an outsider, he achieved everything he set out to do.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Liv: Beaton’s creative breadth is what drew me in instantly. The pace with which he created throughout his life was relentless and ultimately he would sacrifice everything at the altar of creativity.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Lina Wertmuller Kino Lorber Blu-ray Releases

  • CinemaRetro
“A Dash Of Unusual Brilliance Behind A Face With White Glasses”

By Raymond Benson

The somewhat snobbish critic John Simon has said that the only “great” female film directors are Leni Riefenstahl and Lina Wertmüller. I’m sure we can all take issue with such a sexist comment, but he is correct that both women were indeed “great,” even though the former is known for Nazi propaganda films of the 1930s. Wertmüller, on the other hand, made different kinds of scandalous pictures—but at least ones that were, and still are, entertaining. (They also sometimes had whimsically long titles, such as The End of the World in Our Usual Bed on a Night Full of Rain.)

In the early to mid-1970s, Wertmüller was the face of a daring new Italian cinema. When her movies were imported to America and the U.K, she was dubbed the “Female Fellini.” In fact,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Industry Double Standards: The Success of “Everything, Everything” and Failure of “King Arthur”

“Everything, Everything”: Warner Bros./MGM

Stella Meghie’s “Everything, Everything” is beating box office expectations. Guy Ritchie’s “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” is bombing. But let’s be real, Ritchie will still get his next movie made.

“Everything, Everything” and “King Arthur” are apples and oranges, to be fair. “Everything, Everything” is a teen romance based on a Ya novel and “King Arthur” is an action flick (somewhat) based on an ancient legend.

Box Office Mojo reports that “Everything, Everything” has currently grossed $12 million domestically. It cost $10 million to make and premiered Friday, May 19. The film recouped its budget and then some after one weekend. According to Forbes, the film is expected to eventually take in $30-$37 million domestically. “It’s a solid win,” the source writes.

King Arthur” has officially become the the first major flop of the summer. Made on a budget of $175 million, it earned $15 million its opening weekend — one of the worst big-budget openings ever. Press coverage is treating this development as a surprise (which is weird — have they seen the trailer?) despite Ritchie’s past history of hit-or-misses. The director’s “Sherlock Holmes” franchise has certainly enjoyed box office success, but his last film, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” was a major flop, as were “Swept Away” and “Revolver.” Ritchie was able to helm “Arthur” after “U.N.C.L.E’s” failure and is already attached to direct Disney’s live-action “Aladdin,” so it’s highly unlikely that Ritchie will be sent to movie jail. Hollywood is lenient on dudes who make movies for dudes.

This is an issue “Deep Impact” helmer Mimi Leder has previously opened up about. “t’s mostly males hiring,” she commented to the New York Times. “And they mostly hire males. That may sound controversial, but I can’t figure it out. Why aren’t there more talented women directing features? Why are women clawing to be directors when there are male directors who have made two or three $200 million failures and get to make another one? That doesn’t happen with women. Never.”

It’s great to see “Everything, Everything” doing so well at the box office, but let’s stop underestimating the commercial power of stories by and about women.

Industry Double Standards: The Success of “Everything, Everything” and Failure of “King Arthur” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Guy Ritchie Isn’t Going to Be Making Another ‘Snatch’ Any Time Soon

Guy Ritchie Isn’t Going to Be Making Another ‘Snatch’ Any Time Soon
Guy Ritchie doesn’t make movies the way he used to. His breakout feature, 2000’s wild crime comedy “Snatch,” was made for $10 million over the course of less than a year. As Ritchie has moved away from such indie-minded features and firmly into the blockbuster world, that part of moviemaking has been lost to him. He’s a blockbuster guy now, but that doesn’t mean he’s not still pushing for his own creative vision.

“When I made ‘Snatch,’ it was a year from beginning to end,” he said in a recent interview. “Three months to write it, two months to shoot it, three months to edit it, bosh! This is three years later, this movie.”

He was talking about “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” Ritchie’s bombastic big screen take on the early years of Arthurian legend, starring Charlie Hunnam as the man who would be king.
See full article at Indiewire »

Madonna Slams Blond Ambition Biopic

Madonna Slams Blond Ambition Biopic
Just a few months after topping The Black List as the most popular unproduced screenplay of 2016, we reported yesterday that the Madonna biopic entitled Blond Ambition was picked up by Universal, with Brett Ratner and Michael De Luca producing. Yesterday's report didn't offer any indication of whether or not the iconic Madonna supports this biopic or if she will have any creative involvement, but now it seems we have our answer. The pop star took to social media earlier today, making it clear that she has no involvement in the project. Here's what the singer/actress/filmmaker had to say below.

"Nobody knows what I know and what I have seen. Only I can tell my story. Anyone else who tries is a charlatan and a fool. . Looking for instant gratification without doing the work. This is a disease in our society."

Madonna didn't offer any further insight on her Twitter and Instagram pages,
See full article at MovieWeb »

Lina Wertmüller on Not Feeling Nostalgic, Capturing the Grotesque, and Her Retrospective

“It can’t always be about money,” says the infatuated Carletto (Nino Bergamini) to the object of his affection, a country-girl-turned-city-woman named Adelina (Sara Rapisarda) who rejects his marriage proposal because they haven’t yet reached the economic level she desires. In All Screwed Up, Adelina’s refusal to marry a man because of his position, and his violent reaction towards the rejection (he rapes her as she tries to save the new television set she bought for the apartment she shares with other girls) might very well represent the conflict that was at the center of all of Lina Wertmüller’s films, the clash between money and virtue, or more specifically can people be in possession of both?

In films like Swept Away, Seven Beauties and The Seduction of Mimi, Wertmüller displayed a worldview that changed the way people thought about female filmmakers, she made films so bold, unique
See full article at The Film Stage »

Film Review: ‘Behind the White Glasses’

Film Review: ‘Behind the White Glasses’
It would be hard to think of a European filmmaker who attained the degree of international heat that Lina Wertmüller enjoyed in the mid-1970s, and then — poof! — just like that, her moment was over. Early in “Behind the White Glasses,” a dutiful Italian documentary portrait of Wertmüller and her career, you get a taste of what that moment was like when John Simon, the much-feared film and theater critic who was Wertmüller’s most devoted champion, declares that she is one of the two greatest women filmmakers in history (the other, in his view, being Leni Riefenstahl). That’s the kind of sentiment that was floating around about Wertmüller at the time, but said now, as if it were a truth for the ages, it comes off as an extravagant overstatement.

Agnès Varda, Kathryn Bigelow, Jane Campion (to name just a few): All have made films much greater than Lina Wertmüller’s.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Quad Cinema Relaunches With New, Career-Spanning Lina Wertmüller Retrospective

As part of the relaunching of New York’s own Quad Cinema, the city will be seeing its most extensive and exciting retrospective of one of Italian cinema’s great unsung legends.

Known to most as the director of that one movie that Madonna would remake with then-hubby Guy Ritchie, the Swept Away director Lina Wertmuller is the subject of this important new retrospective entitled Female Trouble. Running from April 14-30, the retrospective spans the director’s illustrious career which saw her begin as an apprentice for legendary filmmaker Federico Fellini and ultimately become the first female filmmaker every nominated for the Best Director Oscar at the Academy Awards.

Included in this series are a vast number of films, split up between new restorations from Kino Lorber which are making their world premiere as part of this retrospective as well as a handful of rare 35mm prints imported, totalling 14 films
See full article at CriterionCast »

Movie Poster of the Week: Lina Wertmüller in One Sheets and Quattro Foglis

  • MUBI
Above: 1976 Us one sheet for Let’s Talk About Men (Lina Wertmüller, Italy, 1965).In the 1970s, when there were no shortage of things to be excited about in world cinema, Italian director Lina Wertmüller was a bona fide sensation. A small measure of her success can be seen in the poster above (for an early film of hers which was belatedly released in the U.S. after her two major smash hits) in which her name is the most prominent feature of the design. She was impersonated on Saturday Night Live (can even Pedro Almodóvar or Michael Haneke boast that?) and in 1975 she became the first woman to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Director. (There have been only two others in the 40 years since.)She was a polarizing figure back then, but today she is a neglected one. Young cinephiles have probably barely even heard of her, let
See full article at MUBI »

‘Behind the White Glasses’ Exclusive Clip and Poster: Documentary Chronicles the Career of Lina Wertmüller — Watch

‘Behind the White Glasses’ Exclusive Clip and Poster: Documentary Chronicles the Career of Lina Wertmüller — Watch
Behind the White Glasses” screened at the 2016 Venice Film Festival. Now, the documentary about the iconic Italian writer/director Lina Wertmüller will screen at New York City’s historic Quad Cinema to coincide with the theater’s reopening this month.

Helmed by Italian director Valerio Ruiz, the documentary explores the career of Wertmüller, who in 1977 became the first woman ever to receive a Best Director Academy Award nomination for her film “Seven Beauties.” The international success of her movies “The Seduction of Mimi,” “Love and Anarchy,” “Swept Away” and “Seven Beauties” in the 1970s made her an icon of Italian cinema.

Read More: ‘Leaning Into The Wind’ Is A Worthy Sequel To Documentary Smash ‘Rivers And Tides’ — Sf Film Festival Review

The title of the documentary refers to Wertmüller’s signature white eyeglasses. The film features interviews with filmmaker Martin Scorsese and actors Giancarlo Giannini, Sophia Loren, Harvey Keitel, Rutger Hauer and Nastassja Kinski,
See full article at Indiewire »

Italian Director Lina Wertmüller Reflects on Her Early Career

Italian Director Lina Wertmüller Reflects on Her Early Career
In the 1970s, Lina Wertmüller burst on the international scene with a string of groundbreaking movies combining satire, sociopolitical commentary, and outrageous sex. New York City’s venerable arthouse Quad Cinema is marking its reopening this month with a retrospective of the Italian director’s films, including “The Seduction of Mimi” (1972), “Love & Anarchy” (1973), “Swept Away” (1974), and “Seven Beauties” (1975), a tragicomedy starring Giancarlo Giannini that made Wertmüller the first woman nominated for a best director Oscar. Her first mention in Variety came in a Jan. 13, 1965, review of “Il giornalino di Gian Burrasca,” an eight-episode musical TV series about a mischievous street kid, which the reviewer described as “clever and intelligent.” Aside from directing, she wrote 35 songs for the miniseries with composer Nino Rota. Aside from writing and directing for film and TV, the 88-year-old Wertmüller has directed operas and composed numerous Italian pop songs.

Gian Burrasca” was a drastic departure from “I basilischi.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Quad Cinema Will Relaunch with Films from Yang, Rivette, Kubrick, Fassbinder, Wertmüller, Coppola & More

Next month will mark the return of New York City’s Quad Cinema, a theater reshaped and rebranded as a proper theater via the resources of Charles S. Cohen, head of the distribution outfit Cohen Media Group. While we got a few hints of the line-up during the initial announcement, they’ve now unveiled their first full repertory calendar, running from April 14th through May 4th, and it’s an embarassment of cinematic riches.

Including the previously revealed Lina Wertmüller retrospective, one inventive series that catches our eye is First Encounters, in which an artist will get to experience a film they’ve always wanted to see, but never have, and in which you’re invited to take part. The first match-ups in the series include Kenneth Lonergan‘s first viewing Edward Yang‘s Yi Yi, Noah Baumbach‘s first viewing of Withnail and I, John Turturro‘s first viewing of Pather Panchali,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Relaunched Quad Cinema to Host Lina Wertmüller Retrospective

Lina Wertmüller in “Behind White Glasses”

Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmüller made history as the first woman to receive an Academy Award for Best Director back in 1977 for “Seven Beauties.” The trailblazer’s prolific career will be celebrated with “Female Trouble,” an upcoming retrospective held at the relaunched Quad Cinema in New York. Screenings will include “Seven Beauties,” world premieres of new restorations from Kino Lorber, rare imported 35mm prints, and “Behind White Glasses,” Valerio Ruiz’s documentary about Wertmüller’s life and career.

“In the 1970s, Lina Wertmüller was a certifiable international phenomenon — a lively firebrand behind white glasses who became one of the decade’s marquee-name filmmakers,” a press release for the event details. “Her hot-button, epically-titled movies — erotic and polemical and provocative all at once — became must-see conversation pieces and smashed American box-office records for foreign-language films.”

Female Trouble” will include screenings of “Swept Away,” Wertmüller’s update of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” “A Night Full of Rain,” her English-language debut, and “Summer Night,” a Sardinia-set comedy that tackles bondage and voyeurism.

“This series finally offers the opportunity to dive into the history of this extraordinary director, an aesthetic pioneer and a crucial trailblazer in a male-dominated industry,” the event’s press release emphasizes.

Female Trouble” runs from April 14-April 30. Check out the titles screening below, courtesy of Quad Cinema. More information will be available on the theater’s website.

Swept Away (Travolti da un insolito destino nell’azzurro mare d’agosto)

Lina Wertmüller, 1974, Italy, 116m, Dcp

Special weeklong revival engagement begins April 21

For her kinky update of The Taming of the Shrew, Wertmüller reteams gorgeous green-eyed muses Mariangela Melato and Giancarlo Giannini as a vacationing society dame and her Communist servant locked in the ultimate battle of the sexes (and classes) once stranded together on a deserted island. Never mind the unfortunate Madonna remake — this bracing, sexy, riotous political fable, one of the most argued-about films of the 1970s, has to be seen to be believed. In Italian with English subtitles.

World premiere of new 2K digital restoration. A Kino Lorber release.

Seven Beauties (Pasqualino Settebellezze)

Lina Wertmüller, 1975, Italy, 115m, Dcp

Special weeklong revival engagement begins April 21

Under fascism, there are no limits to sacrificing one’s honor — and in Wertmüller’s outrageous picaresque, comedy and tragedy are indistinguishable. When city hustler Giancarlo Giannini accidentally murders the lover of one of his seven sisters, a series of mishaps land him in a concentration camp, where he must seduce the homely Nazi commandant to stay alive. Controversial in its day, the film led Wertmüller to become the first woman nominated for a Best Director Oscar. In Italian with English subtitles.

World premiere of new 2K digital restoration. A Kino Lorber release.

“A handbook for survival, a farce, a drama of almost shattering impact. It’s a disorderly epic, seductively beautiful to look at, as often harrowing as it is boisterously funny.” — Vincent Canby, The New York Times

Behind the White Glasses

Valerio Ruiz, Italy, 112m, Dcp

Special weeklong engagement opens April 21

This definitive documentary traces the incredible life of Lina Wertmüller, from her start as a tenacious Fellini assistant to her meteoric rise as a global superstar. The vivacious and fabulous 88-year-old filmmaker recounts the saga of her marriage to designer-collaborator Enrico Job, shows off her trademark eyewear collection, and even sings. Giancarlo Giannini, Sophia Loren, Rutger Hauer, and Martin Scorsese give revealing interviews for this loving portrait, which offers a corrective to decades of critical neglect. Official selection: Venice Film Festival. A Kino Lorber release. In English and Italian with English subtitles.

Director Valerio Ruiz in person at select shows opening weekend. A Kino Lorber release.

“Must-viewing for film buffs.” — The Hollywood Reporter

All Screwed Up (Tutto a posto e niente in ordine)

Lina Wertmüller, 1974, Italy, 105m, Dcp

In Milan, a bawdy group of Sicilian migrants meet-cute and move into a commune together, while they struggle to keep their livelihood — and hold their libidos in check. Wertmüller’s polyphonic farce, with its large ensemble and earworm theme music, helped to further establish her ongoing fascination with the struggles and shenanigans of Italy’s working class. In Italian with English subtitles.

A Kino Lorber release.

“Breathtaking…exuberantly funny. Watching All Screwed Up is to be witness to a giant talent.” — Vincent Canby, The New York Times

Blood Feud (Fatto di sangue fra due uomini per causa di una vedova. Si sospettano moventi politici)

Lina Wertmüller, 1987, Italy, 124m, 35mm

The always-ravishing Sophia Loren stars as a Sicilian widow who loses her husband to the Mafia. Setting out to avenge his death, she becomes entangled in a lurid love triangle along the way, her smitten suitors played by Giancarlo Giannini and Marcello Mastroianni. Lust, revenge, and violence reign supreme in this steamy WWII-set thriller. In Italian with English subtitles.

8 ½

Federico Fellini, 1963, Italy, 138m, 35mm

After her old school friend Flora Carabella married Marcello

Mastroianni, Wertmüller met Fellini and won an apprenticeship on

his seminal portrait of creative crisis. She helped the maestro cast extras

(including her own mother) but Wertmüller didn’t remain an assistant for

long: the same year Fellini helped her secure financing and

cinematographer Gianni Di Venanzo to shoot The Lizards.

In Italian with English subtitles.

Ferdinando e Carolina

Lina Wertmüller, 1999, Italy, 102m, Dcp

One of Wertmüller’s handsomest productions, detailing the life (and death) of King Ferdinand of Naples, here dramatized as another of her sex-crazed heroes. He reminisces of his days as a young philanderer, lamenting his impending marriage to 16-year-old Carolina of Austria — until they discover their shared taste for libertine pleasures. In Italian with English subtitles.

World premiere of new 2K digital restoration. A Kino Lorber release.

Let’s Talk About Men (Questa volta parliamo di uomini)

Lina Wertmüller, 1965, Italy, 91m, 35mm

Wertmüller’s controversial sexual politics are already in full effect in this early episodic farce. A sassy response to Ettore Scola’s Let’s Talk About Women, the film is told as four independent stories — each more outlandish than the next. Brace yourselves for some unconventional solutions to marital discord, including kleptomania and knife-throwing. In Italian with English subtitles.

The Lizards (I basilischi)

Lina Wertmüller, 1963, Italy, 85m, 35mm

Using experience gained as an assistant director on 8 ½ (and using some of Fellini’s crew), Wertmüller made a debut that feels like a direct response to her mentor’s I Vitelloni: a compassionate snapshot of small town coming-of-age, Italian style. But Wertmüller’s treatment, shot for only $60,000, features a style and energy all her own, plus a Morricone score. In Italian with English subtitles.

Love & Anarchy (Film d’amore e d’anarchia, ovvero ‘stamattina alle 10 in via dei Fiori nella nota casa di tolleranza…)

Lina Wertmüller, 1973, Italy, 129m, Dcp

Silk robes and bare breasts abound in this tragicomedy of epic proportions set in a brothel pre-wwii. Freckle-faced ingénue Giancarlo Giannini comes to Rome on a mission to kill Mussolini with the help of politically active prostitute Mariangela Melato. But love gets in the way of anarchy when he falls for one of her fellow ladies of the night. In Italian with English subtitles. In Italian with English subtitles.

A Kino Lorber release.

“Executed with the high-pitched passion of a gothic romance with a fluid, whirling, dazzling energy.” — Newsweek

A Night Full of Rain (La fine del mondo nel nostro solito letto in una notte piena di pioggia)

Lina Wertmüller, 1978, Italy/Canada, 104m, 35mm

Cocksure Communist journalist Giancarlo Giannini elopes with feminist photographer Candice Bergen in Wertmüller’s English-language debut. With no shortage of furtive lovemaking amid endless close-ups of its ever alluring leads, Giuseppe Rotunno’s camera works overtime to provide some of the most lavish imagery of the director’s career.

The Seduction of Mimi (Mimì metallurgico ferito nell’onore)

Lina Wertmüller, 1972, Italy, 112m, Dcp

A wistful romance turned raunchy comedy, this searing take on sexual and political double standards finds laborer Giancarlo Giannini ricocheting between mafiosos and comrades — as well as between his apparently frigid wife and beguiling mistress (Mariangela Melato). In Wertmüller’s world, the bedroom is the only appropriate battleground for revenge — for men and women alike. In Italian with English subtitles.

A Kino Lorber release.

“Rollicking fun.” — Judith Crist, New York

Sotto…Sotto (Sotto… sotto… strapazzato da anomala passione)

Lina Wertmüller, 1984, Italy, 105m, 35mm

A stroll through a sculpture garden inspires a bored housewife to pursue a love affair with her girlfriend, in the spirit of the romantic thrill of her beloved movie melodramas; but her homophobic carpenter husband flies into an increasingly desperate rage as he tries to uncover his wife’s lover. In Italian with English subtitles.

Summer Night (Notte d’estate con profilo greco, occhi a mandorla e odore di basilico)

Lina Wertmüller, 1986, Italy, 94m, Dcp

Even by Wertmüller’s standards this outrageous ’80s companion to Swept Away offers up a particularly impressive menu of sexual perversions, from voyeurism to bondage, plus a severed finger. A Valentino-clad Mariangela Melato plays an especially entitled aristocrat who holds an infamous kidnapper (Michele Placido) hostage for ransom — and animalistic fun — in her gothic palace in remote Sardinia. In Italian with English subtitles.

World premiere of new 2K digital restoration. A Kino Lorber release.

Relaunched Quad Cinema to Host Lina Wertmüller Retrospective was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Sundance 2017 Women Directors: Meet Susan Froemke— “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman”

“Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman”

Susan Froemke is a four-time Emmy winner and non-fiction filmmaker with over thirty films to her credit, including Academy Award-nominated HBO documentary film “Lalee’s Kin,” “Grey Gardens,” and “Wagner’s Dream,” which had a U.S. theatrical run before airing on PBS. Froemke recently co-directed “Escape Fire: The Fight To Rescue American Healthcare.” She was formerly principal filmmaker at legendary Maysles Films more than two decades.

“Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman” will premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on January 20. The film is also directed by John Hoffman. Beth Aala co-directed.

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

Sf: This documentary tells the story of four men who become unlikely conservationists when they see the natural resources that have sustained their families for five generations become threatened and depleted.

Filmed on the majestic Rocky Mountain Front, the vast Great Plains of Kansas, and in the shining Gulf of Mexico waters, these men, who work the iconic landscapes, formed alliances with friend and foe to save their homeland. It’s a film that captures the enduring frontier spirit of America. It’s a film of hope.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Sf: I read a draft of Miriam Horn’s book, “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman” and fell in love with her characters. These families, who are descendants of homesteaders, frontiersmen, and fishermen, have fascinating stories that told a history of the United States that I found intriguing.

What I love about making documentaries is that you get invited into people’s lives that are completely different from yours and I thought that by filming these people on these extraordinary landscapes, I might be able to reconnect with some of the great American values.

I wanted to ranch, farm, and fish. I also care deeply about conserving land. These men and their colleagues show how it’s possible for humans and nature to co-exist in beneficial ways. This inspired me and I wanted to bring that inspiration to a wider audience.

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

Sf: I’m hoping that people will have their faith renewed in the democratic process that built this nation. To see that change is possible, but it only comes when people come together and work for change.

The film shows men with true grit who found consensus within their communities to affect change but it took time — 30 years in some cases — and not giving up is the key.

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

Sf: Documentary filming on the Gulf of Mexico and on the Rocky Mountain Front was a challenge. These are unforgiving locations. In the Gulf, I shot with Thorsten Thielow who convinced me to let him bring the Movi, which would keep the water’s horizon level so the footage would be smooth and beautiful.

We filmed in a rough sea on a fishing trip — luckily no one got seasick — but it was hard to even keep standing at times. Despite this challenge, the footage looked terrific.

Beth Aala, our co-director, shot with Thielow with the Movi for the packing trip in Montana. They could only bring a very limited amount of gear on mules, as there were no vehicles allowed. It’s the very reason why that area is so stunning — time really stood still on those trails, looking exactly the same for generations.

It was a little bit of choreography to maneuver between the animals on a very narrow trail, alongside those steep canyons. Thielow had to ride backwards on horseback part of the way to get some of the shots you see in the film, which gave the Crary family a big laugh.

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

Sf: This is a film that we were developing together at The Public Good Projects, a non-profit focused on using media to enlighten audiences about some of our nation’s most complex problems, which John Hoffman was running before he came to Discovery.

We had commenced shooting in all three locations and had put together a sizzle reel. When John started speaking with Rich Ross about joining his team at Discovery, the fact that we had this film in early production was part of those conversations.

When Rich saw the sizzle, he decided that it was a perfect opportunity for Discovery to demonstrate its commitment to telling solution-oriented environmental stories.

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

Sf: For a documentary, I think having your film premiere at Sundance changes everything in the life of the film. The important national press is in attendance, programmers for the other film festivals see it with an enthusiastic audience, and most wonderfully, many of your documentary peers get a chance to screen it and spread the good word!

There is no way to underestimate the reach Sundance provides for a film. It’s the best birth a documentary can have.

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

Sf: The best advice I received when I was just starting out in film was to learn to edit first. If I could learn documentary editing, I’d also be learning how to direct because I would know what I needed to bring back into the edit room. I followed that advice and it’s been invaluable.

I feel lucky that I’ve never received any bad advice.

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

Sf: First, you need total support while filming so only work with crew members that show respect and are willing to collaborate equally.

Second, follow your intuition. Never doubt it!

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

Sf: Some of my favorite women-directed films are

Lina Wertmüller’s “Swept Away,” Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation,” and Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker,” because they are beautifully crafted works of art. But I’m going to write about “Gimme Shelter” and Charlotte Zwerin, who directed the film with David and Albert Maysles.

Zwerin’s name is almost never included when “Gimme Shelter” is written about, but she created the brilliant structure for the film and is responsible for the doc’s “film within the film” concept that’s realized by filming the Rolling Stones in the editing room long after the Altamont concert.

The Maysles Brothers always credited Zwerin as a director, but in the early 70's, it was never honored by the industry. So I want to give a shot out to one of the earliest documentary female directors and honor her work.

W&H: Have you seen opportunities for women filmmakers increase over the last year due to the increased attention paid to the issue? If someone asked you what you thought needed to be done to get women more opportunities to direct, what would be your answer?

Sf: We are fortunate in the documentary world: Women have always been at the forefront of nonfiction film making. It is a wonderful community and continues to thrive through changes in technology and societal issues.

Sundance 2017 Women Directors: Meet Susan Froemke— “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Jennifer Lawrence on ‘Graduating’ From ‘X-Men’ to ‘Passengers’: This Is a ‘Huge Step for Me’

Jennifer Lawrence on ‘Graduating’ From ‘X-Men’ to ‘Passengers’: This Is a ‘Huge Step for Me’
Wednesday’s world premiere of Sony’s sci-fi thriller “Passengers” represented a rite of passage for star Jennifer Lawrence, widely known for playing Katniss Everdeen of the “Hunger Games” films and Mystique in the “X-Men” series.

“This is kind of a huge step for me, sort of like graduating from ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘X-Men,'” she admitted. “It’s scary to make that first step but I have faith in this material. I’m not nervous and that’s a very strong indicator.”

The premiere, held at the Regency Village Theatre, drew several astronauts to the red carpet including Mike Massimino, who spent a month at the Hubble Space Telescope. “I like movies where the astronauts seem like cool people,” he noted.

Lawrence portrays a writer on a spaceship on a 120-year journey with 5,000 others in hibernation. She and Chris Pratt, who plays an engineer, are awakened early. “My
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Relevant as f**k: Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour special on Showtime is not to be missed

Bitch I’m Madonna (Bitch I’m Madonna) (Bitch I’m Madonna)… Time to get your party on tonight as Showtime airs the premiere of the Rebel Heart Tour documentary with, you guessed it, Madonna. Everybody loves to run down Madge. The British never accepted Madonna when she was Guy Ritchie’s wife and he followed up Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch with the film Swept Away, which commenced the slow decline of his white-hot career. Hollywood derided her attempts to make films after she turned in a blistering hot debut in Desperately Seeking Susan, playing an enigmatic version of the...read more
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

Swiss Army Man – Review

For many, Summer is a time to “get away from it all”. That’s been a theme for lots of movie characters over the years. Robert Redford in All Is Lost and James Franco in 127 Hours escaped the rat race to explore the world solo, but both getaways lead to disaster (we just saw that last weekend with Blake Lively in The Shallows). Of course, solitude is often not a choice, but the result of fate. It perhaps started with Robinson Crusoe (made into several films), the idea of one or two people (or the seven TV folks on a “three-hour tour”) stranded on a desolate island. Swept Away was an Italian flick and an American remake, but the recent epic adventure that most movie fans would recall might be 2000’s Cast Away, This new film explores similar themes, but while Tom Hanks had a volleyball named Wilson as company,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Elba and Winslet in "Mountain" Love

We just don't get enough romantic plane crash epics anymore. Or even actual romantic fireworks.

But here's a future screen coupling too hot to ignore: Kate Winslet will be joing Idris Elba in the disaster romance novel adaptation The Mountain Between Us. With their collective charisma, that's a tough pair to imagine not stirring some real screen passion. Is it too late to just retitle it They Have Lots of Sex Scenes on A Beach?

Mountain stars the two a strangers whose plane goes down in the mountains and they must battle broken bones and frigid cold as chances for rescue grow slim. So not as sexy as one would hope. The drama sounds less like a Swept Away trifle than it does The Revenant with kisses replacing the stabs. Hany Abu-Assad (twice Oscar nominated in Foreign Language for directing Omar and Paradise Now) is helming a script from Chris Weitz
See full article at FilmExperience »

The Magnificent Remake: How and Why Remade Movies Succeed and Fail

Tony Black on remakes, and how and why they success and fail…

Harking back to the days of big stars headlining even bigger films, The Magnificent Seven trailer exploded online this week showcasing the always A-list Denzel Washington alongside, among others, Hollywood’s newest megastar Chris Pratt, in a remake of the legendary 1960’s Yul Brynner headlining Western. It’s just one of a flood of remakes we’ve seen over the last decade, a tide that shows no sign of slowing down with dozens more either about to land, or in production and pre-production. Edward Gardiner here on Flickering Myth recently argued how it’s fine to enjoy remakes of the classic movies we enjoyed as children or younger adults, and while many never recapture the glory of the original they do at least bring great pictures back into the public consciousness. Antoine Fuqua’s take on the Seven
See full article at Flickeringmyth »
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