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Terrence Malick is not a recluse.

What Terrence Malick was doing for those 20 years. "The thing that really, really bothers me about the perception of Terrence Malick is the idea that he made Days of Heaven and then sat with his thumb up his butt for twenty years. That’s not what happened; he never stopped working. Terrence Malick is not a recluse. A recluse is Howard Hughes holed up in a hotel pissing into a milk bottle."
posted by goatdog on May 12, 2013 - 30 comments

 

Les Blank

Beloved indy ethnographic documentarian Les Blank died yesterday. This interview gives a good overview of his background, and this post includes clips. Watch a couple of his public domain films here. Or do yourself a favor and find the complete version of Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers. [more inside]
posted by latkes on Apr 8, 2013 - 19 comments

"I began to believe voices in my head -- that I was a freak, that I am broken, that there is something wrong with me, that I will never be lovable."

"I am here because when I was young, I wanted very badly to be a writer, I wanted to be a filmmaker, but I couldn’t find anyone like me in the world and it felt like my dreams were foreclosed simply because my gender was less typical than others."
On Saturday, Lana Wachowski (co-director of the "Matrix" franchise and "Cloud Atlas") received a "Visibility Award" from the Human Rights Campaign for her recent decision to publicly come out as transgender. In a powerful 25-minute acceptance speech, Lana spoke about the pain she went through growing up and how she developed self-acceptance. Video. Transcript. Q&A with the Hollywood Reporter.
posted by zarq on Oct 24, 2012 - 76 comments

Claude Lanzmann

Those Americans who are familiar with the name Claude Lanzmann most likely know him as the director of “Shoah,” his monumental 1985 documentary about the extermination of the European Jews in the Nazi gas chambers. As it turns out, though, the story of Lanzmann’s eventful life would have been well worth telling even if he had never come to direct “Shoah.” In addition to film director, Lanzmann’s roles have included those of journalist, editor, public intellectual, member of the French Resistance, long-term lover of Simone de Beauvoir and close friend of Jean-Paul Sartre, world traveler, political activist, ghostwriter for Jacques Cousteau — I could go on, but it’s a good deal more entertaining to hear Lanzmann himself go on, and thanks to the publication in English of his memoir, “The Patagonian Hare,” we now have the opportunity to do so. (previously)
posted by Trurl on Apr 16, 2012 - 6 comments

"Pure Cinema"

Человек с киноаппаратом ("Man with a Movie Camera") is a classic experimental documentary film that was released in 1929. Directed by pioneer Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov, this classic, silent documentary film has no story and no actors, and is actually three documentaries in one. Ostensibly it documents 24 hours of life in a single city in the Soviet Union. But it is also a documentary of the filming of that documentary and a depiction of an audience watching that documentary and their responses. "We see the cameraman and the editing of the film, but what we don't see is any of the film itself." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 13, 2012 - 26 comments

"The cinema is Nicholas Ray"

Today is the 100th birthday of Raymond Nicholas Kienzle, better known as Nicholas Ray. The seminal Hollywood-outcast-turned-French-New-Wave idol behind Rebel Without a Cause, Bigger Than Life, Bitter Victory and the hallucinatory Western Johnny Guitar made intensely emotional films about isolated people, often infused with profound desperation and a sense of the nightmarish. Francois Truffaut dubbed him "the poet of nightfall," while Jean-Luc Godard simply declared that "the cinema is Nicholas Ray." He studied architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright, mentored Jim Jarmusch and let Wim Wenders film him as he was dying of cancer. Bob Dylan even wrote a hit song about one of his movies. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Aug 7, 2011 - 18 comments

"...the way of nature, and the way of grace."

For Roger Ebert, it's a prayer that made him "more alert to the awe of existence." For Rober Koehler, it's a kitschy New Age con. For Richard Brody, it perfectly captures the essence of a generation by depicting a character thinking "back to the musings and fantasies of childhood, which are the product of a wondrous and fantastic view of science formed by popular-science books for children and by the commercial artists whose illustrations adorned them." For Stephanie Zacharek, it's "a gargantuan work of pretension." For Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, it's "a creation myth in the guise of a crypto-autobiography" that invents a universe of its own only to destroy it. For J. Hoberman, it's lifeless and dull, "essentially a religious work and, as such, may please the director's devotees, cultists, and apologists." It spent thirty years in development, three in editing and, yes, it contains dinosaurs. The Tree of Life, written and directed by famously reclusive Zoolander fan and "JD Salinger of American movies" Terrence Malick , won the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Tomorrow, it comes out in the United States. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on May 26, 2011 - 64 comments

House of Cards indeed

An amateur filmmaker is no longer pleading his innocence in the death of a man who was killed, cut up and dumped into a sewer. [more inside]
posted by ricochet biscuit on Apr 6, 2011 - 41 comments

Paper shadows

Please enjoy one of collage artist Lewis Klahr's haptic, romantic meditations on materiality and mortality, False Aging, and a look at his process.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Aug 23, 2010 - 2 comments

Cat food.

Welcome to District 9. Director Neill Blomkamp turns his sci-fi short "Alive in Joburg" into a full-length feature film - examining xenophobia in an allegory of Apartheid, set in a slum recalling District 6 of Cape Town in South Africa.
posted by crossoverman on Aug 23, 2009 - 135 comments

Rubyfruit in Pixelvision

“The most revolutionary thing is to just love yourself and love what you do. You can't do anything more than that”

A Milwaukee tomboy got a $100 Fisher-Price Pixelvision as a Christmas gift from her dad at age 15. She left high school at age 16, under homophobic pressures, and came out as a lesbian at age 17. Sadie Benning used her kiddiecorder to tell this story, creating a series of intimate short films full of personality, desperation and fantastic hope, and founded on the intimacy of immediacy.

A New Year (1989) - Living Inside (1989) - Me and Rubyfruit (1990)
If Every Girl Had A Diary (1990) - It Wasn't Love 1, 2 (1992)
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Dec 14, 2008 - 44 comments

It has heart

Who's Gonna Save My Soul directed by Chris Milk
posted by gwint on Nov 5, 2008 - 37 comments

The Room: Best/Worst/Best Vanity Project Ever

The Room: The Movie. Triple-threat (actor/writer/director) Tommy Wiseau made his cinematic debut in 2003 with the The Room (see trailer and various scenes), "a blend between a softcore porn flick and a Tennessee Williams stageplay." Wiseau ("who's not just one of the most unusual looking and sounding-with an unidentifiable Eastern European accent-leading men ever to grace the screen, but a narcissist nonpareil whose movie makes Vincent Gallo's "The Brown Bunny" seem the apotheosis of cinematic self-restraint...may be something of a first: A movie that prompts most of its viewers to ask for their money back-before even 30 minutes have passed." - Variety), allegedly raised $6 million outside Hollywood to cover production and marketing costs of the self-described "black comedy about love, passion, betrayal and lies" (see various rough dress rehersals). Audience members, including comedian David Cross, have been "marveling at the bizarre editing, bad bluescreen, uncomfortably explicit sex scenes and, of course, the enigma of Wiseau himself" as the film played monthly for years in Los Angeles. Available on DVD, diehard "roomies" swear by the theatrical experience, shout out their own commentary, hurl spoons at the screen and singalong to the soundtrack. Some call it "The Rocky Horror of the New Millenium" and stage "Room" parties. If you look at the marketing campaign or survived a screening you might see The Room as "a seminar on how NOT to make a movie." [Inspired by Boing Boing]
posted by boost ventilator on Jun 1, 2006 - 28 comments

Good Marketing Strategy?

A filmmaker and festival director goes on a morning news show to promote his local theater and a traveling flim festival. Totally routine interview until - d'oh! A good reason not to go on tv when you're either super nervous or hungover (Quicktime movie). (via)
posted by billysumday on Nov 9, 2005 - 34 comments

Pine Lake Films - short nature films

Pine Lake Films
Steven Dempsey (bio) makes gorgeous short nature films (more here) in the wilds around Seattle using a digital videocamera and techniques that give video a film-like appearance. The videos linked on the bio page are also worth viewing.
posted by planetkyoto on Oct 18, 2005 - 10 comments

Democracy

Update from Holland. After the filmmaker Theo van Gogh's murder by Mohammed Bouyeri, the Dutch creed of tolerance has come under siege.
posted by semmi on Dec 27, 2004 - 12 comments

In the Mood for Rapture.

In the Mood for Rapture. "Forget the completion anxiety that attended Wong Kar-wai's new film 2046 — four years in the gestating, with scenes still being shot a few weeks ago — what 2046 makes unavoidably clear, is that Wong Kar-wai is the most romantic filmmaker in the world. Love, the playwright Terry Johnson wrote, is something you fall in. Wong's films make art out of that vertiginous feeling. They soar as their characters plummet". It is a sequel of sorts to Wong's In the Mood for Love. It is the story of a writer: in his novel, a mysterious train left for 2046 every once in a while. Everyone who went there had the same intention: to recapture their lost memories. (more inside)
posted by matteo on May 24, 2004 - 21 comments

"Hitler must have committed suicide after he found a skinny Jewish kid from Brooklyn stomped on his top hat."

"Hitler must have committed suicide after he found a skinny Jewish kid from Brooklyn stomped on his top hat." The story of a Jewish G.I. that stole a tophat from Hitler's Munich apartment is the latest documentary vehicle by noted independent filmmaker, Jeff Krulik. Famous for "Heavy Metal Parking Lot", Krulik will be viewing "Hitler's Hat" at the MOMA in December. You can read current interviews with the artist here and here, or view his movies in quicktime and realplayer format here. Unfamiliar with his work? Start with these two shorts.
posted by machaus on Oct 29, 2002 - 5 comments

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