Interviews

A Loving Riff on Punk Life in Tokyo

By

The first time Pamela Valente, 37, set foot in Tokyo, she was instantly swept away. The Brazilian-born filmmaker, who’d been living in France for more than a decade, loved Paris, but longed to return to live in a city where the pace was more frenetic. So in 2003, she up and moved to Tokyo. For… Read more »

How to Get a Short on Logo

By

Grassroots filmmakers are always looking for mainstream distribution, and short films often have a particularly tough time gaining exposure. Which is why the success of the Logo Network’s short-film programming is welcome news. Two years ago, Logo, which is basically MTV’s gay cousin, launched The Click List: The Best in Short Film, a weekly show… Read more »

Exploring Her Formative Years

By

As a young girl, Hope Dickson Leach dreamed of becoming a painter. She attended boarding school in England from the ages of 9 to 17 and earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Edinburgh. But after interning for the likes of Mario Kassar and Todd Solondz, she convinced Columbia University’s film department… Read more »

No Ordinary Granny

By

It’s no ordinary day when a 90-year old grandmother sets out on a walk across the United States to make a point, and Doris “Granny D” Haddock is no ordinary woman. The protagonist of Run Granny Run spent 14 months in 2000 on her cross-country journey to bring attention to campaign finance reform. Along the… Read more »

Airing Your Dirty Laundry

By

Doug Block wasn’t sure he had a film yet. His mother had passed away and he was videotaping his father’s move from the family home for posterity. Block had every reason to believe his parents’ 54-year marriage was happy. Then, riding next to his father one afternoon, he asked, “Do you miss mom?” “No, I… Read more »

His Muse is the Rule of Law

By

James Cooper is one of those globetrotting guys who has more stamps in his passport than you do. A Cambridge-educated Canadian who now teaches law at California Western School of Law in San Diego, Cooper spends much of his time organizing media-related projects in Latin America, where he teaches people how to use everything from… Read more »

A Conversation with Les Blank

By

In his new film All In This Tea, director Les Blank operates at the far extremes of technology, using digital video to explore an old-world subject matter: artisan, handmade tea. Blank, who is best known for Burden of Dreams, Garlic is as Good as Good Mothers, and Chulas Fronteras, saw digital video as a way… Read more »

Q/A: Chris Hegedus, Nick Doob, and D.A. Pennebaker

By

In 1993, The Independent ran a story about The War Room, directed by Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker. The film followed Bill Clinton’s 1992 election campaign from inside campaign headquarters. This year, Hegedus, along with Nick Doob, the cinematographer on The War Room, released Al Franken: God Spoke, an intimate portrait of Al Franken’s growing… Read more »

Q&A – Larry Clark

By

Larry Clark’s films are shocking. There’s Kids, about drug-using, AIDS-carrying, sexually active Manhattan teenagers; Bully, the true story of a group of teens who murder their tormentor; and Ken Park, which was so sexually explicit, it was never released in the U.S. These films are shocking because they capture a reality most people don’t want… Read more »

Q&A – James Schamus

By

Writer, producer, and film executive James Schamus has had about as brilliant a career in independent film as they come, and it just keeps getting better. The films he has worked on read like a list of the only films that really matter in the modern trajectory of independent cinema: The Wedding Banquet (1993), The… Read more »