Movie City Indie Archive for February, 2009

Trailering Lorna's Silence

From les freres Dardenne. It’s very good.

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Trailering You Wont Miss Me

My favorite movie from Sundance is going to SXSW.

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[PR] Sundance Institute confirms Gilmore resignation

For Immediate Release
February 17, 2008
Sundance Institute Confirms Gilmore Resignation
LOS ANGELES, CA – Sundance Institute today confirmed that effective February 28, 2009, Geoffrey Gilmore is resigning his position as Director, Sundance Film Festival. Gilmore joined Sundance Institute in 1990. As Director of the Sundance Film Festival he has worked as part of a team of programmers who select films for the annual event, the preeminent showcase for independent film. From its early days Gilmore nurtured the Festival’s world cinema program, recognized the importance of independent producers and expanded the Sundance Industry Office. He was also an early force for innovation, growing the Festival’s use of state-of-the-art presentation technology.
“I have both a personal fondness for Geoff that comes from working together for two decades, as well as a deep respect for his encyclopedic knowledge of and total commitment to independent film,” said Robert Redford, President, Sundance Institute and Founder, Sundance Film Festival. ”

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Oscar09: Laurent Cantet, The Class

entre_les_murs_cantet_18223.jpgThe original French title of Laurent Cantet’s richly observed, masterful The Class, Entre les murs,” or “Between The Walls,” is philosophically just right, but didn’t sound right in English. Still, what occurs each day in schools is seldom considered by outsiders beyond those walls, the oppressiveness felt by those within their confines, by adults who have escaped that confinement and moved on to thoughts caught between the walls of their own heads.

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Oscar09: Ari Folman, Waltz With Bashir

2681124188_065abbd441.jpgImages and moments from movies past sift through the mind all the time, and dozens from the past year would in spirited conversation tumble forth at daunting speed. Still, the one movie that wells up again and again as I go through the day is Ari Folman’s Oscar-nominated animated film about memories of young soldiers recollecting in middle age what the Israeli Army did in the 1982 Lebanon war. I’ve seen it three times and it’s a mystery in plain sight. I have my ideas about why children empathize better with cartoon characters than human ones and why melodrama can sometimes demonstrate emotional truths better than naturalism. But Waltz with Bashir‘s grace, ease and simple brilliance comes from the form he chose to work in, a sort of sui generis that breaks boundaries: it’s an animated documentary.
“If this film was shot by a DV camera and it was screened on a big screen, on a television, it doesn’t matter [because] the image in the end would be made out of pixels, out of dots and lines,” the bearded, elegantly dressed Folman tells me the morning after disgraced former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich’s arrest, but before his film’s Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. Considering the question of how on earth such a thing as an “animated documentary” could exist, he continues, “It’s not the real me in your TV set, y’know. This image is made by beautiful drawings [by] very talented people. The voice is the same. The voice over would be the same. So what is more real? The pixelized image with the dots or the drawing? I mean, who decides what is more ‘real’? I dunno. I don’t have an answer to that. I don’t think it makes a big difference. It’s a matter of taste.”

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Chris Monger's looking for Picassos

Filmmaker Chris Monger drops a line to Ted Hope’s Truly Free Film, which “turned into a rant which morphed into my history of why Indie Film did not start, but died with sex lies and videotape and that’s even before I’d started on why Indie Film should also forget the form of the 90-minute theatrical feature. The future is here, we are free to try anything. And that’s the conclusion I was working towards: There’s nothing to save. We can’t hang on to what was (and what was often totally imperfect) anymore than we can hang on to newspapers. Regular Film / Studio Film / Indie Film as we know them may limp along for a while, or may even exist like Opera for a long time, but stories / moving images are not going away. Now’s the time to have fun with them. In the late 60’s early 70’s a lot of Indie Filmmakers (and I’m talking about people who processed their own film, ran their own printers – really Indie!) believed that film was at the same point that painting was at the turn of the 20th Century: Rather than being ruined by photography, painting was liberated into all the isms of the new way of seeing and looking and re-presenting. So I say, where are the Picassos and Matisses, the people who will throw away the rule book?”

"Wishes": The oddest epic ad of the week for the largest Greek phone company

The tagline: “Cosmote. Our world is you.” [Director: Harry Patramanis.]

Almodóvar's La Concejala antropófaga

Almodóvar debuted a new short, La Concejala antropófaga (The Cannibalistic City Councilor) on Friday the 13th on Canal Plus Spain; it’s without subtitles. Credits: directed Mateo Blanco alias Almodóvar; Guion: Harry “Huracan” Caine alias Almodóvar, inspired by a personal anecdote from “Los abrazos rotos” by Pedro Almodóvar.

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Be, don't be M.I.A.

I’ve been an Oscar agnostic, but one thing I want to see at greater than sixty seconds length: new mother M.I.A (aka Maya Arulpragasam) perform at the Oscars. Ka-ching.

Ye-ye-yay: the faux Scopitones of Mareva Galanter

Bedazzled’s collected the faux Scopitone video stylings of the ukelele-wielding Mareva Galanter. Swoon. Her site is brassy-giddy, too. Song: Laisse tomber filles. [Réalisateur de la clip: Régis Roinsard.]

Trailering Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter

PiL sez "This is not a love song"

Making "The Sopranos Uncensored"

ChiTrib’s Steve Johnson interviews interviews Victor Solomon, director of “The Sopranos Uncensored”. The slightly facetious result is at the link. Bit: “I, as a devout Trinitarian, neither take part, or believe in cursing of any kind. I find it to be a filthy and disgusting act, and ultimately a way for people to punch their ticket for an eternity in hell. I created this piece as a collection of the filth that American television subjects us to, in an attempt to help shake people out of their casual response to such behavior.”

"15 Step," by Radiohead

Two brothers

Joaquin Phoenix and Mr. Letterman converse.

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Movie City Indie

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon