Essays

Going for The Jugular: Actor/Writer/Director Camille Hollett-French

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Ever doubt your sanity after selling your condo and moving halfway across the country? Meet Camille Hollett-French, writer, director, and actor of Her Story (In Three Parts): No. 3 In the Absence of Angels. Despite doubts and financial obstacles, her efforts were awarded when was selected to screen at the 2019 Slamdance Film Festival, the Park City film festival focused on emerging artists and low-budget independent films. In this piece, Courtney Gardner writes from a conversation with Hollett-French about the use of film to discuss sexuality and shame, and about what it means to go for the jugular.

The Wild Immersion: What is The Role of VR in Saving Wildlife?

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Ready for an unforgettable ride? Fasten your VR headset as Courtney Gardner shares her first experience with VR in The Wild Immersion at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The film’s director, Adrien Moisson, takes the journey too, sharing with Courtney his views about the potential for  VR technology to create new forms of compassion and empathy—in this case around the needs of large animals around the world.

Meet the Director: Alice Waddington

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Courtney Gardner, who attended this year’s Sundance Film Festival (January 23—February 3) shares insights abut Paradise Hills, the feature debut of 28-year-old, Spanish director Alice Waddington. Bringing her love of science fiction and fantasy to the screen, Alice tells a story of women traditionally underrepresented in film.  Alice spoke with Courtney about the identities she holds close, the barriers she sees and has faced in the film industry, and of the symbolism in Paradise Hills

A Tribute to Jonas Mekas (1922-2019)

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Immigrant artisan, insatiable curator, preservationist, fearless exhibitor who got the world to understand that raw and unruly “underground” cinema could be classic independent moviemaking —Jonas Mekas did it all, passing away January 23 at age 96. Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw salutes the life and work of the pioneer who built Anthology Film Archives in lower Manhattan, proudly calling himself a filmer and not a filmmaker.

Revisiting Summer: Reflections from Coolidge Corner Theater’s New Film Series

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Mike Sullivan introduces readers to the Coolidge Corner Theater’s new “Summer Seminar” series by revisiting memorable screenings from the 2018 season. As part of the educational series, seminar attendees enjoy a pre-screening presentation and participate in post-film analysis, led by experts in various aspects of film: technique, theory, style, trivia, etc. In this article, Mike describes the fascinating lectures and evocative screenings of Jaws (a Coolidge Corner Theater summer tradition!) and The Silence of the Lambs.

American Film Market Oct. 31- Nov. 7 2018

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The 2018 American Film Market just wrapped up in Santa Monica, California. This year saw  comparably stronger sales for small, independent films. Courtney Sheehan was at the AFM, and writes about the importance of relationships and risk-taking,  key themes that emerged in the conference sessions on production and distribution.

“There Were No Laws Against It Then”

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As the world opened up to women’s liberation, civil rights, and new social movements, Hollywood of the 1960s doubled down on the exploitative practices that had made the industry so harmful to women. In this sixth series installment, Kerry McElroy argues that the sexual revolution stirring the larger culture, epitomized in the rise of Hugh Hefner, fanned the flames of an already misogynist, violent industry culture.  As seen through the lives of Tippi Hedren and Marilyn Monroe, this article shows that the commodification of women only increased, even as the old studio system was dying. Few stars experienced the exception; read on about a compelling example: Elizabeth Taylor.

“The Studio Doesn’t Own Me’’

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The 1950s was era of bigger stars, bigger budgets, and bigger bombshells. At same time, the studio system was weakening in the wake of television and a fearless and libelous emerging tabloid press. In this fifth series installment, Kerry McElroy examines the supreme pop cultural star of the twentieth century, Marilyn Monroe.  Examined, in her own words and in new ways, McElroy’s Monroe is a kind of economic sociologist, a surprising forerunner of the #MeToo movement, and a forgotten proponent of social justice. Finally, McElroy considers another marquee court case, one in which star actresses fought back against the tabloids with bravery.

 

The Global Screen: Chae Park

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In this fourth installment of The Global Screen, Chae Park discusses diasporic and nationalistic contestations emerging in Puerto Rico’s guerrilla cinema. In a way, films belonging to this movement articulate a somewhat transgressive view of Puerto Rico’s national identity. Although the century-old colonial rule continues to draw criticism, no longer is the island territory’s rural past romanticized. Instead, new cinematic discourses concerned with exploring Puerto Ricans’ national identity through the lens of current en masse migration to North American metropolis seem to be taking shape.