Film

Fri
17
Oct
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New York Film Festival Premiere of "Listen Up Philip"

Sometimes, the key to genius can be found in the racks of a video store. That’s what we learned during our red carpet interviews at the New York Film Festival screening of Listen Up Philip! In the mid-2000s, filmmaker Alex Ross Perry worked at NYC’s Kim’s Videos along with cinematographer Sean Patrick Williams. A prophecy was born: they would make beautiful movies together along with a cohort of fellow Kim’s Video employees and their friends. And the prophecy was fulfilled.

Fri
17
Oct
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New York Film Festival Premiere of "Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance"

We’ll spare you the feather analogies just this once. Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s newest release, Birdman, or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, makes the claustrophic spaces of one small theater in New York City—and one actor’s mind—into a universal tale about celebrity, ego, ambition, and commercial success versus artistic legitimacy. The soaring—oops!—transcendent performance by Michael Keaton in the lead role of Riggan Thomson, a superstar superhero actor who wants to legitimize his career by putting on a Broadway play, is not to be missed. Neither is the thrilling cinematography composed of seemingly endless shots that build on Iñárritu’s script that takes—no, not flight—but meta-analysis to a new level in film much as Bertolt Brecht did for theater.

Wed
24
Sep
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Isabelle Huppert (Actress, Abuse of Weakness)

French cinema is evocative and deeply personal filmmaking. Few French directors’ work can be considered more personal than that of Catherine Breillat. She’s written several bestsellers, both fictional and autobiographical, and translated them to the screen. The controversial themes she explores have been widely praised and criticized—her first film was banned for more than 20 years.

Since 2001, Breillat has won 9 festival awards for her films. Quite an achievement, considering she suffered a stroke in 2004 and has been working her way back to full health ever since. Her most recent film, arguably the most personal of them all, is loosely based on how that struggle made her vulnerable to the famous conman, Christophe Rocancourt, who has been convicted for his crimes against Breillat. The film, Abuse of Weakness, was an official selection at the 51st New York Film Festival and enjoyed an exclusive theatrical run at the Lincoln Center in the summer of 2014.  

Fri
04
Jul
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Steve James Director of "LIfe Itself" at AFI Docs

What’s more patriotic than the movies? This July 4th, a film that celebrates our great American pastime and the man who helped popularize film appreciation for the average American is opening at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and at select theaters nationwide.

When Hoop Dreams, documentarian Steve James’s debut film, burst onto the scenes in 1994, it won something more than that year’s slate of critic awards. It won the praise of Roger Ebert, who called it “the greatest American documentary.”

Tue
24
Jun
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Stanley Nelson Director of Freedom Summer at AFI DOCS

50 years ago, more than 700 black and white college students from across the United States congregated in Mississippi to confront the terrorism facing the state’s black citizens for trying to exercise their right to vote. Before the effort had even begun, three volunteers were murdered, making the stakes clear and the students more determined than ever to shine a national light on Mississippi’s shameful segregation practices. Over the next ten weeks, they canvassed neighborhoods, started freedom schools, and lived within black communities. All the while, they witnessed the courage of the people who fought for their rights under threat of intimidation, beatings, and death. Before the end of that summer, the native Mississippians formed the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to challenge the official state slate of delegates to the Democratic National Convention. It was the Freedom Summer of 1964.

Sun
04
May
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Compared to What Barney Frank at the Tribeca Film Festival

Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank

It’s not often that politicians greenlight making documentaries on themselves while still in office, but Barney Frank isn’t your average politician. Indiezone.TV caught up with now retired Representative Frank and the filmmakers behind Compared to What: The Improbably Journey of Barney Frank on the red carpet of the documentary’s premiere at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.

In addition to his numerous achievements during his forty years in politics, Representative Frank is also the first openly gay member of the U.S. Congress. Husband-and-wife filmmakers Michael Chandler and Sheila Canavan take the audience through Representative Frank’s journey from coming out in 1987 to getting married legally in 2012 in this intimate portrayal of one of the wittiest and most caring politicians of the modern era.

Sat
03
May
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Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon at the Tribeca Film Festival

Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon at the Tribeca Film Festival

Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon is the story of its namesake, an entertainment power player whom most people outside the biz have never heard of. Comedian and actor Mike Myers first made his acquaintance, as the press release describes it, “over a barrel a few weeks before shooting Wayne’s World regarding an Alice Cooper song. They’ve been best friends ever since.” That’s the most exciting tagline we’ve seen in ages!

Sat
03
May
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Paul Haggis at the Tribeca Film Festival

Our host, John Wildman, was at the red carpet for the Tribeca premiere of Third Person, Paul Haggis’s newest film. Haggis, of course, won back-to-back Best Picture Academy Awards for Million Dollar Baby (2004) and Crash (2005). Third Person returns to Crash’s winning formula of multiple, seemingly unrelated storylines and locations that this time focus on love and relationships. As the film’s synopsis describes, it “is much more than a collection of love stories—it is a mystery, a puzzle in which truth is revealed in glimpses, and clues are caught by the corner of the eye—and nothing is truly what it seems.”

Paul Haggis doesn’t want universal praise for Third Person--he wants friends fighting each other over it!

Fri
14
Feb
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Beyond Words WGA Academy Awards Panel

An FBI agent, a Texan AIDS activist, and a hijacked ship captain walk into a room…or at least the people who made them into movie characters did on January 28, 2014, when the annual Beyond Words panel of the Writers’ Guild of America West (WGA) was held a few days before the annual award ceremony. That awards ceremony is the biggest chance for writers in the film and television industries to honor each other’s work from the preceding year. The Beyond Words panel has become a tradition in its own right among the festivities leading up to the awards show. Nominees for both Adapted and Original Screenplay convene to discuss their writing processes, inspirations for the scripts, and anything else that would benefit the screenwriting community to learn about their work.

Fri
14
Feb
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WGA Award Nominees and Winners for the Screen

WGA Award Nominees and Winners for the Screen

A self-aware operating system shared top honors with a lifeboat when the Writers Guild of America (WGA) awards for Original and Adapted Screenplay were declared at the WGA’s annual ceremonies on February 1, 2014. Wait…we suddenly have a new movie idea to pitch for you! Imagine a lifeboat equipped with an intelligent operating system…

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