Thursday, December 11, 2014

On Golden Frog: The 22nd Camerimage International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography

Located in the nearly unpronounceable Polish town of Bydgoszcz, Camerimage – the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography – is the must-attend event of the year for DPs, aspiring DPs, or any cinephile prizing visual craft over auteur theory. At this 22-year-old fest, folks like Caleb Deschanel (who received a Lifetime Achievement Award, a retrospective, and a massive hardcover book highlighting his career) and Vilmos Zsigmond are the stars, complete with their names in lights on the marquee of the massive Opera Nova, the festival’s headquarters and main venue on the scenic Brda River.

To read the rest of my coverage visit Filmmaker magazine.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Brandon Harris goes "On the Southern Circuit During the Season of Republican Resurgence"

Dynamite southern circuit coverage from my friend and fellow Filmmaker contributor – and Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival juror – Brandon Harris!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

“She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry”: An Interview with Director Mary Dore

If your idea of the early days of the women’s movement is limited to NOW and the ERA then Mary Dore’s eye-opening “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” has got another acronym or two for you. (Ever heard of WITCH – the Women’s International Conspiracy from Hell!? Didn’t think so.) An exhaustively researched portrait of feminism circa ’66-’71, Dore’s doc will both enlighten (delving deeply into the movement’s internal rifts related to race and sexual identity) and surprise (Hollaback!-style tactics ain’t nothing new).

I spoke with award-winning producer/director Dore prior to the film’s NYC opening on December 5th and its LA debut on December 12th. To read my interview visit Global Comment.

The U.K. Crackdown on Porn – And Why It Hurts Independent Producers

If Britain’s recently enacted legislation – specifically, the Brazil-sounding Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014 – wasn’t on your radar, you can be forgiven. As an American it wasn’t on mine either. Basically, this is an amendment to the U.K.’s 2003 Communications Act, which now requires that those producing online porn in the U.K. must come under the same BBFC (British Board of Film Censors) scrutiny as those producing DVDs for the sex shop market. Innocuous enough, right?

Think again. To read my take on the anti-fetish, misogynistic, anti-indie production ruling visit Filmmaker magazine.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Yes Men, Con Men and a Trans Man: What to See at DOC NYC

DOC NYC, “America’s largest documentary festival,” certainly lives up to its billing. With a whopping 153 films and events, there’s quite a bit to navigate, from critically acclaimed historic revivals to Toronto darlings to fresh premieres. For this fifth edition several sections have been broadened, and a few themes even added. There’s now “Centerstage” (performance focused films), “Jock Docs” (sports-centric flicks), “Fight the Power” (activist docs) and, perhaps most stimulating for nonfiction geeks, “Docs Redux.” That would be a sidebar of seven oldies but goodies, most with their legendary directors – Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker and Albert Maysles, all three receiving Lifetime Achievement Awards – in attendance. Though you can’t go wrong catching any of this section’s foolproof films, this might be an especially apropos time to revisit the Oscar-snubbed Hoop Dreams. Director Steve James will be presenting his unlikely cult hit, which marks its 20th anniversary this year and has been making celebratory doc fest rounds.

To read the rest of my coverage visit Filmmaker magazine.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

“Homme Less” in DOC NYC: An Interview with Director Thomas Wirthensohn and Subject Mark Reay

Making its North American debut in the Metropolis section at DOC NYC, Thomas Wirthensohn’s beautifully crafted “Homme Less” follows the quintessentially eccentric New Yorker Mark Reay. At 52, the still dashing and debonair, former international model now strives to make a living as a fashion photographer and bit actor (the “Men in Black” franchise is just one of his gigs). When not working out at the gym or editing photos at Starbucks, Reay attends Fashion Week and all the right downtown parties. Then he goes home. Not to the Chelsea loft he maintained for years, but to his friend’s rooftop (unbeknownst to the friend), where he sleeps under a tarp.

I spoke with Austrian director Wirthensohn and “homme less” subject Reay prior to the film’s DOC NYC premiere at the IFC Center on November 15th. To read my interview visit Global Comment.

Sunday, November 9, 2014