Features

Piecing It Together

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Shortly after Jean-Luc Godard released Breathless in1960, an exasperated journalist said to the young director: “Surely you think that a film should have a beginning, middle, and end.” “Yes,” Godard replied after a moment, “but not necessarily in that order.” Those words not only launched the French New Wave but have since inspired thousands of… Read more »

Woman, Thou Art Loosed

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Is America ready for gospel cinema? Independent producer Reuben Cannon thinks so. The former veteran casting director sees a vast, untapped audience similar to that which propelled Mel Gibson’s 2004 religious epic The Passion of the Christ to a multi-million dollar success. Except in Cannon’s version, the untapped audience is made up of several million… Read more »

Singing Pictures

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Movie musicals are not dead. They didn’t die in the 1930s. Television didn’t kill them. And expensive 1970s flops didn’t knock them out, either. They may have been hibernating or relegated to children’s animated films, but the musical keeps coming back, to haunt or to thrill, depending on your attitude. Some say Miramax’s Chicago (2002)… Read more »

Promoting your film

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Dear Doc Doctor: All I can afford in terms of marketing my documentary is my Internet connection and email account. What’s the best way to use them? There was a time when nobody had an Internet connection. Spam was just canned meat and attachment was mostly used to describe a bond of affection. Ah! Remember… Read more »

NEWS

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In July, acclaimed Indian-born filmmaker Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Mississippi Masala) unveiled her latest project: a film lab for aspiring filmmakers and screenwriters from East Africa and South Asia. Built on the Sundance Film Institute model, MAISHA—which means “zest for life” in Kiswahili—will hold its first session in August 2005 in Kampala, the capital city… Read more »

Spice Market

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I am white and alone in a darkened room at night with over four hundred Dominicans in New York City. It is a room full of laughter. A room full of stereotypes embraced and shattered. And a room every American should experience in one way or another. Oscar Herasme, president of the Dominican American Professional… Read more »

How can I do this full time?

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Dear Doc Doctor: I can’t wait for the time when I am able to be a full-time independent documentary filmmaker—it’s been really difficult juggling so many balls in the air. Is there any way to make the path quicker and smoother? It used to be that in this land of opp-ortunity, the American dream was… Read more »

POLICY

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Picture if you will, Karl Rove and Karen Hughes sitting around the offices of Bush-Cheney 2004, talking strategy and shooting the breeze. Suddenly the phone rings. “Karl,” a young aide says excitedly. “I’ve got bad news for you. The Democrats have a new weapon: independent documentary films!” It sounds like an early Woody Allen set… Read more »

What’s (still) experimental?

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For filmmakers, being experimental isn’t as easy as it used to be. Fifty years ago, tossing aside Hollywood’s conventions of narrative, acting, cinematography, and format exposed plenty of directions in which to push the envelope. Maya Deren challenged viewers by confusing them. Stan Brakhage manipulated his film by hand to create images never seen in… Read more »

Healthy Spending

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It seems you can’t turn around these days without hearing people moan about the high cost of health insurance. Whether it’s presidential candidates duking it out in television commercials, small business owners worried about paying for insurance, or average Americans buried by the cost of prescription drugs, paying for health care is on everybody’s mind…. Read more »