West of Memphis (2012) - News Poster


The Bryan Singer Timeline: a History of Allegations and Defenses, from Troubled Films to Sexual Assault Claims

  • Indiewire
The Bryan Singer Timeline: a History of Allegations and Defenses, from Troubled Films to Sexual Assault Claims
Bryan Singer has had a ruinous week. On December 4, 20th Century Fox fired Singer from the Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” for abandoning the London set; on December 6, the studio announced Dexter Fletcher as his replacement. In a statement, Singer ascribed his absence on “Bohemian Rhapsody” to caring for an ailing parent, but Fox also declined to renew its long-term deal with Singer’s production company, while his longtime publicist cut ties a few months ago.

Read More:Fox Fired Bryan Singer, but It Won’t Be Able to Remove Him as the Director of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody

And then, on December 7, Singer hit the news cycle again: In a lawsuit filed by attorney Jeff Herman, Cesar Sanchez-Guzman accused Singer of sexually assaulting him in 2003, when Sanchez-Guzman was 17.

All of this represents a tremendous comedown for Singer, a blockbuster director whose films have made over $1 billion in domestic release alone.
See full article at Indiewire »

The Best Movie Trilogies Ever Made — IndieWire Critics Survey

The Best Movie Trilogies Ever Made — IndieWire Critics Survey
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film and TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)

This week’s question: In honor of “The Trip to Spain,” what is the best movie trilogy?

Richard Brody (@tnyfrontrow), The New Yorker

Far be it from me to choose between Antonioni’s non-trilogy “L’Avventura,” “La Notte,” and “L’Eclisse” and Kiarostami’s explicitly-denied “Koker” trilogy of “Where Is the Friend’s Home?,” “Life and Nothing More,” and “Through the Olive Trees” (and I’m tempted to make a trilogy of trilogies with Carl Theodor Dreyer’s “Day of Wrath,” “Ordet,” and “Gertrud”), but if I put Kiarostami’s films first, it’s because he puts their very creation into the action. Reflexivity isn’t a
See full article at Indiewire »

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power – Review

As the Summer slowly dissolves into Fall, film goers have been regularly bombarded, on an almost weekly basis, with follow-ups and franchise entries. But here’s something unique, a documentary sequel (hey, the “s-word” is even in the title). Well, fairly unique considering the acclaimed Paradise Lost: The Child Murders At Robin Hood Hills inspired several follow-ups, spin-offs (West Of Memphis) and a docudrama. But this new film is rare in its original’s influence on the culture, becoming a fertile source of satire while actually making a splash at the box office, and later garnering not one, but two Academy Awards (Best Song and Best Documentary Feature…a double play). So ten years has passed since the original and former vice-president Al Gore is still fighting the good fight in An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power.

Yes like the last film, Gore is the main focus, a true action
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Cross-Post: #WomenDirectorWeek: The Challenge of Watching Only Female-Directed Films for One Week

Jane Campion’s “The Piano”: Miramax

The following has been reposted from Film Inquiry with the author’s permission.

If you pay much attention to events in the film industry, you’ll already know about the incredible dearth of female directors. It’s far from a revelation that a tiny amount of Hollywood movies are directed by women. In 2016, just seven percent of the 250 top grossing films in the U.S. had a woman in the director’s chair, a number that’s down from 2015, when the figure was still only nine percent.

It’s a problem as old as cinema itself, and I’m not here to offer any magical solution. I just wanted to share with you my personal journey into female-directed films, and offer a simple way of raising your awareness of what continues to be a hot-button issue.

A Failed Resolution

In 2016, I made a New Year’s resolution. In January, March, May etc. I would watch only films directed by women, and in February, April, June etc. I would only watch films directed by men. The intention was that by the end of the year, there would be a rough parity in the amount of films I had watched by men and by women.

As is the case with so many New Year’s resolutions, it didn’t last very long. January went well. I discovered Ida Lupino and Nicole Holofcener, as well as great films I hadn’t seen yet from Susanne Bier and Ava DuVernay. I finally got round to watching the excellent “Winter’s Bone,” and discovered an all-time favorite in “Gas Food Lodging.”

By the time March rolled around however, I was in trouble. I missed the freedom of February, where almost every film was available to me. Compiling a Netflix list of films directed by women was an altogether depressing experience. I also missed being able to watch Hollywood classics; if it weren’t for Lupino and Dorothy Arzner, pre-1960s films would have been almost entirely off the table. And so mid-March, I gave up.

Despite my failure, by the end of the year I had managed a very respectable 82 female-directed films.

However, in the first few months of 2017, the figure had become pitiful. I was not even on track for making the #52filmsbywomen target. And so I decided to have another go at my 2016 resolution, but on a much smaller scale. One week, just watching films directed by women.

So, How Did It Go?

Here’s a list of the films I watched:

The Fits” — Anna Rose HolmerThe Trouble With Angels ”— Ida LupinoEthel” — Rory KennedyOctober Gale” — Ruba Nadda“Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging ”— Gurinder Chadha“Elvis & Nixon” — Liza JohnsonThe Love Witch” — Anna Biller“Elle L’Adore” — Jeanne Henry“Christopher Strong ”— Dorothy ArznerWest Of Memphis” — Amy BergPalio” — Cosima Spender

Out of the films I watched this week, some I loved, some I hated; the ratio was no different to any other week when I’m not restricting my viewing.

Many of the films I watched this week could easily have been directed by a man; “Elvis & Nixon” springs to mind, as does “Palio,” and “West Of Memphis.” Yet with some of these films, it’s hard to imagine anyone but a woman at the helm. “The Fits” tells a specifically female coming-of-age story. “The Love Witch” is also a story that relies on its female perspective. One of the important reasons we need more female directors is so that these uniquely female stories get told. After all, women make up 52 percent of moviegoers, which is hardly a niche audience.

The largest number of films I watched this week were documentaries, a genre that has proven particularly successful for female filmmakers. Toronto’s Hot Docs festival made news recently when it declared that 48 percent of films in their official 2017 selection would be directed by a woman. Whilst it’s a little depressing that Hot Docs nearing gender equality marks such a large divergence from the status quo, it’s good to see the progression is happening somewhere.

Though women are particularly prominent in the field of documentaries, my viewing this week encompassed most genres. The exceptions were sci-fi and action, which is representative of the situation in the film industry as a whole. As this piece in Vanity Fair points out, sci-fi and action films happen to be where Hollywood makes most its money, and so the lack of female directors helming those films is particularly damaging.

Why Is This Important Anyway?

You might be wondering what the point of all this is. If I wanted to watch more female-directed films, why not just do that, rather than completely cutting out films directed by men?

The main reason is to stoke up fire for an issue that’s important to me. It’s all very well to be annoyed at the general state of the Hollywood gender balance, but unless you do happen to be a female film director, it’s an abstract thing. It’s easy to forget about when it doesn’t affect you directly.

But when you set yourself the challenge to only watch female-directed films for any period of time, whether it be a week, a month, or even longer, you give yourself a horse in the race. You see how long you have to search on Netflix before finding a film you can watch, or how few options you have if you want to go to the cinema (out of the 37 films that were playing in my nearest city during this week, only four had female directors).

And there are so few films by women that when you aren’t actively seeking them out, it’s easy to miss them. Between mid-February and mid-March this year, I watched 46 films directed by men, and only one directed by a woman. I wasn’t intentionally avoiding female-directed films, it’s just that with a film-making ratio so skewed towards men it’s easy to miss female-directed films completely. And it shouldn’t be.

And Why Is It Important to Watch Female-Directed Films?

This is my favorite Roger Ebert quote, made when receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame:

“Movies are the most powerful empathy machine in all the arts. When I go to a great movie I can live somebody else’s life for a while. I can walk in somebody else’s shoes. I can see what it feels like to be a member of a different gender, a different race, a different economic class, to live in a different time, to have a different belief.This is a liberalizing influence on me. It gives me a broader mind. It helps me to join my family of men and women on this planet. It helps me to identify with them, so I’m not just stuck being myself, day after day.”

When men make up such an overwhelming percentage of directors, they tell overwhelmingly male stories (18 percent of 2016 films directed or written by men had a female protagonist, as opposed to 57 percent of films directed or written by a woman), and that means that audiences are robbed at the chance of empathizing with half the population. You’re drastically limiting the variety of stories we hear, and when has lack of variety ever been a good thing?

Moreover, having more female directors leads to more women in other departments behind the camera. A 2016 study showed that only nine percent of films directed by men had female writers. That figure leaps to 64 percent with films directed by women. Having a female director also raises the number of women editors, cinematographers, and composers. Hollywood runs on a trickle-down equality.

To Conclude

I’ve thrown a lot of stats at you in this piece, and I’m not surprised if they’ve left you unmoved. The internet is lousy with think pieces, and statistic-heavy articles about the lack of women film directors. The lack of female directors has been a problem for as long as there’s been cinema. It’s easy to feel numb to a problem that seems so deep-rooted.

If you try your own woman director week (or if you’re feeling particularly brave, longer), than you will find this horrendous gender disparity moving from a far-away, impersonal problem to one that affects you directly. You will notice the crushing lack of choice on Netflix or in cinemas, and find it infuriating. You’ll be energized, and it’s only when people get energized that situations change.

And it’s about time that things changed.

Will you take up the challenge? Film Inquiry will be hosting #WomenDirectorWeek April 17–23, in which we’ll only watch films by women.

Follow the #womendirectorweek hashtag on Twitter for recommendations on films to watch and where to find them.

Cross-Post: #WomenDirectorWeek: The Challenge of Watching Only Female-Directed Films for One Week 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 »

Ghost In The Shell And Boss Baby Take Another Crack At The Box Office Beast -- The Weekend Warrior

Welcome back to the Weekend Warrior, your weekly look at the new movies hitting theaters this weekend, as well as other cool events and things to check out.

Two Very Different Movies Look to Divide Up the Weekend Box Office Business

With Disney’s Beauty and the Beast continuing to dominate at the box office with $90 million this past weekend, and Saban’s Power Rangers (Lionsgate) also doing exceedingly well with $40 million in second place, you wouldn’t think anyone would try to release a movie that might get overshadowed by those two blockbusters.

That said, what’s interesting about this weekend is the fact there are two very different movies that are competing very heavily for second place with DreamWorks Animation’s latest animated family film, The Boss Baby (20th Century Fox), taking on the live action English remake of Ghost In The Shell (Paramount), starring Scarlett Johansson. In most cases,
See full article at LRM Online »

Q&A: Director Simon Rumley Discusses Johnny Frank Garrett’S Last Word

Following its world premiere last year at the SXSW Film Festival, Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word is now out on home media (including DVD and VOD platforms) from Momentum Pictures, and to commemorate the film's release, we caught up with director Simon Rumley in our latest Q&A feature to discuss adapting the tragic real-life story, the film's shooting schedule, what initially drew him to the project, and more.

Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us, Simon. What drew you to the real-life story of Johnny Frank Garrett?

Simon Rumley: My pleasure! I first watched the documentary called The Last Word by Jesse Quackenbush, which is an amazing viewing experience. Jesse’s an attorney, so it dealt much more with the legalese of the situation and thus the unfairness of the trial and the multiple inconsistencies that were put forward by the prosecution. I
See full article at DailyDead »

11 great documentaries on Netflix

Catherine Pearson Feb 22, 2017

Documentary fans are well served by these 11 great documentary series and features, currently available on Netflix UK...

In recent years, even months, Netflix has upped its game. No longer just a site to instantly stream an old title you might have once picked up in Blockbuster, it's become a hub of quality new and original film and television and this is by no means limited to its vast selection of fiction.

See related The world of the Peaky Blinders

With the scope of possibility in visual effects and the boundlessness of imagination there are very few places we cannot explore in fiction nowadays… that is unless we explore stories that are stranger than fiction. There is a tangible thirst for the real; the overwhelming response to recent Netflix documentary Making A Murderer in the news and social media, as just one example, exposes the desire for and
See full article at Den of Geek »

Taking Down Trump: Documentarians Profile Courageous ‘Local Voices’

Taking Down Trump: Documentarians Profile Courageous ‘Local Voices’
The idea behind the Local Voices ad campaign is to capture the concerns that everyday Americans have about presidential hopeful Donald Trump in unscripted, personal commentaries that later air as one-minute ads in the same swing state communities where they were filmed. The key is to find voices who belong to community leaders who aren’t normal Hillary Clinton supporters, may they be conservatives or generally apolitical figures.

Read More about Local Voices: How Filmmakers Are Making a Difference in Swing States

In swing states where the voters have been confronted with constant barrage of political ads, the other key ingredient is authenticity, so they are not dismissed as just another manufactured political message.

To accomplish this, founder Lee Hirsch (“Bully”) turned to fellow documentary filmmakers and recruited some of the top filmmakers working in nonfiction, including Amir Bar-Lev (“Happy Valley, “The Tillman Story”), Amy Berg (“West of Memphis”), Marshall Curry (“Street Fight,
See full article at Indiewire »

Trump Stoppers: How Filmmakers Are Making a Difference in Swing States

  • Indiewire
Trump Stoppers: How Filmmakers Are Making a Difference in Swing States
The idea behind the Local Voices neighbor-to-neighbor campaign is simple: use a documentary approach to capture the concerns every day Americans have about Donald Trump in unscripted, personal commentaries and then air them as one-minute ads in the same swing state communities where they were filmed.

Filmmaker Lee Hirsch (“Bully”), who started the Local Voices Democratic Super Pac in 2008, has spent the last three election cycles studying and experimenting with how best to engage and motivate voters.

Read More: The Presidential Debate ‘Late Night’ Helped Prove That Seth Meyers is the Host Network TV Needs

“I’ve seen the same thing over and over again,” Hirsch wrote IndieWire, “election season is intense, and perceived community norms lead to an almost palpable intimidation that suppresses an honest public dialogue about the presidential candidates, and has the deepest affect on those who might be leaning towards the democratic ticket.”

See More Local
See full article at Indiewire »

Doc Corner: 'Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four'

Glenn here. Each Tuesday bringing you reviews of documentaries from theatres, festivals and on demand.

The title of Deborah Esquenazi’s film Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four is not an accident. It has been done to deliberately reference both West of Memphis and The Central Park Five. Those two films were also true crime documentaries that focused on cases in which the wrong people – bundled together under one umbrella with a numerical media savvy nickname – were convicted of a heinous crime. The mistrials of justice in both of those cases were so monumental that multiple films, non-fiction and dramatic, exist about each.

It’s doubtful the same will become true of the San Antonio Four given the crimes for which the four women at the centre of its terribly heartbreaking story were charged and found guilty of were not as sensationally savage as those other stories.
See full article at FilmExperience »

Susan Solomon-Shapiro Moves To Circle Of Confusion

Susan Solomon-Shapiro, who has spent the last seven years at Principato-Young, has just left to join management and production firm Circle of Confusion where she will work with directors and writers. All clients will come with her. They include: Rebecca Thomas (Little Mermaid), Deiderik van Rooijen (Cadaver), Amy Berg (Deliver Us From Evil, West Of Memphis), Natalie Chaidez, (Twelve Monkeys, Hunters), Ashley Miller (Thor, Black Sails), Zack Stentz (The Flash, Booster Gold
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

Author and Artist Damien Echols and Others Launch ‘Salem’ Exhibition

Best selling author, artist and unjustly convicted death row survivor Damien Echols joins new art collective. If you’ve seen the nightmarish Paradise Lost HBO documentaries or the Peter Jackson theatrical doc West Of Memphis (or even the tepid Atom Egoyan feature Devil’S Knot), you know the name Damien Echols. Echols was one of the unfortunate…

The post Author and Artist Damien Echols and Others Launch ‘Salem’ Exhibition appeared first on Shock Till You Drop.
See full article at shocktillyoudrop »

3 True-Crime Documentaries to Watch When You're Done Binging Making a Murderer

3 True-Crime Documentaries to Watch When You're Done Binging Making a Murderer
Making a Murderer, Netflix's original true-crime series captivated the country this Christmas, with critics hailing it as the next Serial-esque obsession.

Online sleuths are already positing their own theories as to who killed young photographer Teresa Halbach in 2005. We'll leave the question of whether Steven Avery – a man who already served prison time once before for a gruesome crime he didn't commit – to the meticulous Redditors poring over the infamous case. Though Making a Murder has already been compared to HBO's Robert Durst miniseries The Jinx, here are three more true tales dealing with police corruption, wrongful convictions and crimes
See full article at People.com - TV Watch »

Janis: Little Girl Blue documentary review: the painful soul of the music

A compassionate, intimate unpacking of the legend of Janis Joplin that reveals the troubled influences on the force-of-nature singer she willed into being. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Janis Joplin! She was the Amy Winehouse of her day… except without all the vampiric media attention and the constant stalking by paparazzi. Joplin was at least able to die of her substance abuse in peace and privacy. We’re used to thinking that women have it so much better today, but before Joplin died in 1970 — at age 27, the same age at which Winehouse died in 2011 — the focus of the press coverage of her had been on her work: “Janis should dump her band, they’re not as good as she is and they’re dragging her down”; “Janis shouldn’t have dumped her band, these
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

Exclusive: Clip From 'Janis: Little Girl Blue' Highlights Janis Joplin's Immense Talent

A singer who, decades after her tragic passing, has been challenged by few singers in terms of sheer power, Janis Joplin did more a lot more than burn bright and fade away. Director Amy Berg ("West Of Memphis," "An Open Secret") paints a fascinating, layered portrait of the blues-rock icon in "Janis: Little Girl Blue," and today we have an exclusive clip from the documentary. Narrated by Cat Power and produced by Alex Gibney, 'Little Girl Blue' presents an intimate, insightful look at a complicated, driven, often beleaguered artist. Joplin’s own words tell much of the film’s story through a series of letters she wrote to her parents over the years, many of them made public in the documentary for the first time. The picture also features numerous interviews, as you'll see in the scene below, with a fellow musician recounting his first meeting with Joplin.
See full article at The Playlist »

'Janis: Little Girl Blue' Director Amy Berg on the Runaway Train of Janis Joplin's Career

'Janis: Little Girl Blue' Director Amy Berg on the Runaway Train of Janis Joplin's Career
Oscar-nominated for her Catholic sex abuse doc "Deliver Us From Evil" (2006) and acclaimed for "West of Memphis" (2012), her deep-dive into Arkansas' imprisonment of the teenage West Memphis Three, prolific filmmaker Amy Berg has had a busy year.  She debuted at Sundance 2015 her Mormon expose "Prophet's Prey" (September 18, Showtime) and at Doc NYC the controversial Hollywood sex abuse doc "An Open Secret," (June 5, Rocky Mountain Pictures), as well as debuting her first feature, psychological thriller "Every Secret Thing" (April 20, Starz), written by Nicole Holofcener and starring Diane Lane, which was buried in the scrum of indie features these days.  It's easier in many ways to get attention for docs like her latest, the official Janis Joplin documentary "Janis: Little Girl Blue" (FilmRise, November 27) which Berg produced with Alex Gibney. I sat down in Toronto with Berg to discuss her...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

'Janis: Little Girl Blue': Inside the New Joplin Doc

'Janis: Little Girl Blue': Inside the New Joplin Doc
This fall marks the 45th anniversary of Janis Joplin's death from an overdose in a Hollywood hotel room. Since then, she's been the subject of books, reissues, a boxed set, an off-Broadway show, and a still-in-development biopic, possibly starring Amy Adams. Everyone from Kim Gordon to Pink has given Joplin props for paving the way as a woman in a male-dominated rock climate, and the singer's raw delivery continues to resonate. "Even when I was 10 or 12 years old and first heard her sing," recalls Chan Marshall, a.k.a.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Watch: Trailer for Amy Berg's Janis Joplin Doc 'Janis: Little Girl Blue'

"As it gets closer and more probable, being a star is really losing its meaning, but whatever it means - I'm ready." The first official trailer has debuted for the new documentary from Amy Berg (Deliver Us from Evil, West of Memphis) titled Janis: Little Girl Blue. The film received raves out of Tiff and is about the story of rock & roll singer Janis Joplin. This trailer only shows glimpses of the archival footage they've dug up of Joplin singing and laughing and being eccentric and fun. One review says, "Berg is able to craft a much deeper look into the woman behind the myth and the result is unexpected, to say the least." Give this a look. Here's the official trailer for Amy Berg's doc Janis: Little Girl Blue, found via The Film Stage: Janis Joplin is one of the most revered and iconic rock & roll singers of all time,
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

‘Janis: Little Girl Blue’ Trailer Explores the Artist’s Triumphs and Tragedy

Director Amy Berg has taken on Hollywood sex abuse, the West Memphis drama, scandals involving Catholic Church as well as Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but for her next project, she will be rocking out. While the story of the late Janis Joplin is ultimately a tragic one, Janis: Little Girl Blue takes a deep look at her music that touched the world. Following screenings at Venice, Tiff, and more, it’ll now come to theaters next month and we have the first trailer.

We said in our review out of Venice, “Credit to the director, Joplin’s latter years are handled with a tremendous degree of delicacy. Neither drugs nor death are exploited for cheap emotional response. The tragedy is laid out evidently and clear. Up until this point you could have played Janis and Kapadia’s Amy side-by-side and found little narrative difference. Fame took
See full article at The Film Stage »
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