Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dominic Allan Discusses “Calvet”

The titular tattooed protagonist of Dominic Allan’s “Calvet” is Jean Marc Calvet, who went from being a hustling, drug-addicted street kid in the south of France to an NYC art world darling. But the path he took to get there is equal parts winding, fascinating and downright insane. After being discovered in a shooting competition by a guy who ran a security firm, Calvet joined the “world of bodyguards,” taking care of the likes of Mel Gibson, Forest Whitaker and Tim Robbins at Cannes. But he was soon enticed to leave his young family and “disappear” to America with a rich client – who, unfortunately, turned out to be a Miami mobster who never paid him. That’s when Calvet literally fled to South America – where the British documentary filmmaker Dominic Allan ultimately found him. Which itself is a story stranger than fiction. Luckily, I got the chance to speak with the director about this and more shortly before the U.K. theatrical release of his (nonfiction) suspense thriller. “Calvet” plays the Miami International Film Festival March 7th and 9th in conjunction with an exhibition of Jean Marc Calvet’s work.

To read my interview visit Filmmaker magazine.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The 18th Annual Sedona International Film Festival

Although in the winter most Stateside independent filmmakers set their sights on Sundance and SXSW, while international directors target Rotterdam and Berlin, the cold hard reality is that the majority of cinema’s craftspeople aren’t going to have their labors of love accepted into even one of these fests. (Forget about being wined and dined by the Weinsteins.) That’s the bad news. The good news is that as indie fests increasingly become less populist and more Miramax-ish, regional festivals around the globe are looking to step up to the plate.

To read my coverage visit Filmmaker magazine.

Friday, March 2, 2012

“Last Days Here”: An Interview with Co-Directors Don Argott and Demian Fenton

The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam is the Cannes of nonfiction filmmaking, so just nabbing an invitation anoints a doc amongst the best of the best. Don Argott and Demian Fenton’s “Last Days Here” not only screened the prestigious event this past November, but beat out a handful of other stellar flicks to win the IDFA PLAY Competition for Music Documentary.

None of which came as a surprise to this critic who’s been following the two since their riveting doc “The Art of the Steal” – about the dirty battle over the Barnes Foundation’s 25 billion dollars in art – rocked my world back in 2009. Now the Philadelphia homeboys have trained their lens on another Pennsylvania subject, Pentagram lead singer Bobby Liebling, a hard rock legend and hardcore addict who, as one of Liebling’s friends puts it, sold his soul a long time ago – and is now fighting like hell to get it back, one piece at a time. I spoke with the gung ho co-directors prior to the film’s NYC opening on March 2nd.

To read my interview visit Global Comment.