Friday, June 20, 2014

Adam Rifkin on Giuseppe Makes A Movie

With the maniacal film geek erudition of Quentin Tarantino and the madcap family values sensibility of John Waters, Giuseppe Andrews has made 30 independent features that you’ve most likely never heard of. And he probably couldn’t care less about that.

A veteran of both Hollywood and indie film, Adam Rifkin, on the other hand, is a name familiar to any fan of the 1999 cult comedy Detroit Rock City, which Rifkin directed, and which starred Andrews alongside Edward Furlong. Now Rifkin and Andrews have teamed up again as Rifkin follows the director in his quest to shoot in two days his latest flick, Garbanzo Gas, about a cow that gets an all-expense-paid trip to a motel (courtesy of the slaughterhouse).

Andrews may have been so enamored by the scene in Buñuel’s Viridiana, in which the beggars install themselves in the protagonist’s house that he wants to make an entire movie of “just that scene,” but Rifkin seems equally inspired by Andrews. The result is Giuseppe Makes A Movie, the Hollywood outsider/insider’s sweet tribute to his fellow filmmaker friend. And to the Dreamlander-type family of homeless men and trailer park neighbors that orbits Andrews’s mobile home/movie studio in Ventura, CA.

Filmmaker spoke with Rifkin prior to the doc’s New York premiere at Rooftop Films.

To read my interview visit Filmmaker magazine.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Combat Documentarian Rachel Beth Anderson on “First to Fall”

While there seems to be no shortage of cursory stories from the front lines of recent Middle Eastern conflicts, filmmakers Rachel Beth Anderson and Tim Grucza have decided to dig deeper. During the Libyan uprising the duo smartly embedded themselves not with emotionally inaccessible military units but with two Canadian students – friends who cast away their safe and secure western lives to take up arms in the fight to overthrow their homeland’s dictator. The resulting documentary “First to Fall” is an unflinching look not just into the struggle that would eventually oust Gaddafi, but a cinematic, exacting account of how war turns boys into men.

Global Comment spoke with the doc’s co-director (and Sundance award-winning cinematographer) Rachel Beth Anderson prior to the film’s premiere at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in NYC.

To read my interview visit Global Comment.