Articles Tagged Making Films

On the Margins of the Multiplex

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In 1973, a young, cinema-loving bohemian couple fled the high rents of Manhattan for the more affordable suburbs of Huntington, NY. Once there, Vic Skolnick and Charlotte Sky found that they had also fled, inadvertently, the vibrant independent cinema scene in New York City, which was then in its heyday, with more than a dozen… Read more »

Q&A – James Schamus

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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 »

One-Two Punch

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I thought that making Monster’s Ball was rough. I vowed upon wrapping that film that I would never make another. After the accolades and success of that film, I was offered tons of projects from studios for lots of money (which I really could have used.) But all of them were jokes: Who’s My Baby’s… Read more »

Moving Images

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Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me (2004) was an unqualified hit. The documentary, which followed Spurlock as he ate nothing but McDonalds for 30 days and interviewed a string of experts on the rapidly worsening American obesity epidemic, was nominated for an Oscar. It won at Sundance and at countless other festivals. It earned glowing reviews… Read more »

State of Fear

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The Last Shot The mobs were ferocious and loud. They were beating policemen, looting government buildings, and smashing the cameras of local media. I feared that they would turn on us. We were shooting the last scene of State of Fear, which documents the legacy of Peru’s war on terror, but to the rioters we… Read more »

Q&A: Linda Goldstein Knowlton and Linda Hawkins Costigan

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For most people in America, “Sesame Street” warrants no introduction. The long-running PBS program and landmark, nonprofit children’s educational organization, Sesame Workshop (renamed from Children’s Television Workshop in 2000), has been viewed in thousands of homes across the country since 1968 when it first began changing the way we look at television with its smart,… Read more »

Hell or High Water

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In 1998, I joined the production team of Julie Gustafson’s Desire, a documentary about teenage girls from three diverse New Orleans neighborhoods. Funded by both local and outside foundations, Desire was one of the first in New Orleans to create paid opportunities for local documentary makers. As a member of Julie’s crew, I met many… Read more »

Shaking the Tree

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Five years ago, when Deepa Mehta was about to start making her film Water in the holy city of Varanasi, India, 11 people stood outside the set and threatened to light themselves on fire. Weeks before, protesters had stormed the film’s set on the banks of the river Ganges and destroyed it, causing hundreds of… Read more »

Her Brand of Filmmaking

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Rachel Boynton produced, directed, co-edited, and recorded sound on her documentary feature Our Brand Is Crisis, a riveting political thriller that follows Jeremy Rosner, Stan Greenberg, Tad Devine, James Carville, and other US political consultants from the Greenberg Carville Shrum firm as they travel to South America to help Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (aka Goni)… Read more »

Witness to Change

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System Failure: Violence, Abuse and Neglect in the California Youth Authority has all the elements you’ve come to expect from an earnest, well-intentioned documentary. There are heartrending interviews with young people who have been incarcerated in California’s juvenile prisons, their parents, and the advocates who work with them. These interviews are well lit and seamlessly… Read more »