Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Santa Cruz Film Festival

The “Keep Santa Cruz Weird” campaign in the northern California city that’s been host to the Santa Cruz Film Festival for nearly a dozen years now seems more than a cheap ploy to sell bumper stickers (though the one that read “You’re just jealous because the voices are talking to me” probably captures the essence of the place even better). It’s a serious – and controversial – plea to retain a way of life. For Santa Cruz is nothing if not, well, weird. So exotic, in fact, that SCFF should probably qualify as a foreign film festival showcasing American flicks – way too many in this cinephile’s opinion.

To read the rest visit Filmmaker magazine.

Monday, May 14, 2012

"Un Piede Di Roman Polanski" and Roman Polanski

Tonight at De Nieuwe Anita! Our CineKink 2009 winner “Un Piede Di Roman Polanski” will be screening with none other than Roman Polanski’s “Two Men and A Wardrobe,” followed by Radley Metzger’s feature-length “The Image.” Show starts at 8:30 – so if you’re in Amsterdam come on out for the triple bill!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mark Elijah Rosenberg Talks Rooftop Films

As a writer and filmmaker just beginning to branch out into indie festival programming I’ve been looking for an excuse to chat with Mark Elijah Rosenberg for quite some time. The man behind the granddaddy of open-air cinema (hard to believe Rooftop Films is now in its 16th year!) has seen his DIY endeavor expand from avant-garde shorts shown on a roof above his humble apartment to Academy Awards-destined features screened in diverse outdoor venues throughout NYCs boroughs (and beyond). But what’s most impressive to me is that he’s managed to accomplish all this while staying firmly grounded in his indie roots. I finally got the chance to speak with the energetic founder and artistic director a week before Rooftop’s big 2012 opening.
To read my interview visit Filmmaker magazine.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Director J-P Passi Diagnoses “The Punk Syndrome”

The word “punk,” like the word “independent,” has been so oversold and misused it’s practically meaningless. So when a film bills itself as “the saga of the last true punk rock band in the world” you have to sigh and wonder whether it’s just more marketing hype. Fortunately, there’s not one false note in “The Punk Syndrome,” co-directors Jukka Kärkkäinen & J-P Passi’s thrilling portrait of Pertti Kurikka’s Name Day, a socially minded and politically incorrect quartet of kick-ass musicians – who just so happen to be mentally disabled, and the real rebellious deal. Prior to the film’s Hot Docs premiere I spoke with Finnish director Passi about redefining “normalcy” and upending preconceived notions, and got the scoop on shooting in arts-supportive Scandinavia.
To read my interview visit Global Comment.