Articles Tagged Film Festivals

Behind the Spin

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There is a mystique to filmmaking—the silvery light that reflects off the screen, the way the story shapes a character’s whole life in two hours and how that life can then resonate so deeply with an audience. The myth of filmmaking is what makes it such a powerful medium. But more and more, art and… Read more »

Good Lord, Not Another Artsy Film

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I am Marc Vogl, a 30-something East Coast kid who came out to San Francisco in the 90s following a Richard Dreyfuss-in-Close Encounters kind of urge. I didn’t know what was luring me west or what I’d find when I got here, but I was powerless to resist. And, like the lemmings in Close Encounters,… Read more »

LA Film with a View

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In New York, a rooftop is not merely a rooftop. Part refuge, part observation deck, the roof is where New Yorkers go to escape, embrace, and celebrate their city. It’s no surprise then, that filmmakers have long used rooftops to convey New York life: they’re ubiquitous, photogenic, and, most of all, emblematic. Think of all… Read more »

The Indie Godmother

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While covering the 2003 St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, where one of my films was showing, Joe Williams, film critic of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, wrote an article in which he referred to me as the “godmother of the St. Louis filmmaking community.” I was flattered but also a bit embarrassed. I have no idea how… Read more »

The Women of Sundance

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Flipping through the catalog of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the faces of American narrative filmmakers are unsurprisingly still predominantly male, reflecting the state of the industry at large. However, there are a few renegade female faces that thankfully interrupt the gender homogeneity. Whether their films have overtly feminist subject matter that directly relates to… Read more »

The State of Short Films

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Cinema was born as a short form. Most early films were mere seconds long. Throughout the history of celluloid, countless great filmmakers have worked in the short format, and in many cases it is the medium that gives film and video-makers their best shot at creative freedom. One of my personal all-time favorite short films… Read more »

Chlotrudis

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Several couples chat casually, surrounded mostly by empty red velvet seats inside Brookline, Massachusetts’s Coolidge Corner Theatre in early November. It’s 7:12 pm, exactly 12 minutes after the lights should have dimmed and about 11 after the projector should have whirred into action. The crowd starts to show signs of restlessness just as the screen… Read more »

Sound Unseen

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The line to see The Last Word at the Minneapolis Oak Street Cinema snakes down the block, splitting in two directions. It’s a pleasing sight, even after a week spent loitering around movie theatres. Of the numerous events I’ve attended, The Last Word (2003) screening has the highest draw. It’s a locally produced independent feature,… Read more »

Sex, Cats and Rock & Roll

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If anyone captured the spirit of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, it was the codger who hoisted a placard that read: “The Toronto Film Festival is Satan’s Idea of Entertainment.” This middle-aged gentleman was part of a 150-person demonstration protesting the premiere screening of Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat. This ominous documentary… Read more »

Mind the Gap

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Although “development hell” is the norm for most independent filmmakers, the experience of Jonathan Caouette stands apart. The thirty-two-year old Caouette spent almost twenty years making Tarnation, his first feature-length documentary, which went from being a $218.32 home video project edited on iMovie, to a $400,000 theatrical release that will open this fall. Tarnation first… Read more »