› Alex Winter on Making Docs
› Aust. Filmmaker Jennifer Kent
› Shadow Director Zhang Yimou
› Darya Zhuk on Making Films
› S2BY Director Boots Riley
› Leigh Whannell of Upgrade
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"You make the image." A must watch documentary about the filmmaking community and how wonderful it can be. Cinematographer is a short documentary made by Demi Waldron, a working DP who made this extraordinary film to highlight a few great women already working as cinematographers. In this short, six women share the challenges and the complexities of life as a modern cinematographer: Reed Morano (The Skeleton Twins, Meadowland, I Think We're Alone Now), Autumn Eakin (What's Revenge, The Light of the Moon), Kate Arizmendi (Cam), Maria Rusche (Milkwater), Allison Anderson (Your Name Isn't English), and Emoni Aikens (Hell Fire and Glory). Each one shares honest insights that will definitely inspire and encourage others. The reminds me to recommend another documentary, Cameraperson, if you haven't seen it yet. This short doc is terrific and I just want to show it to everyone I know in the industry. It's a touching, honest, and highly motivational film about some of the most important members of a film crew.
"He kept saying: 'I want to dress everybody in America.'" The Orchard has released an official trailer for a fascinating indie documentary titled Halston, from director Frédéric Tcheng (of Dior and I previously). This premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and is hitting theaters in late May. The film tells the story of the "prodigiously talented" fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick, known simply as just Halston, who reigned over fashion in the 1970s and became a household name. But everything changed in the Wall Street era. With his empire under threat, Halston took the biggest gamble of his life… "Reaching beyond the glitz and glamour, acclaimed filmmaker Frédéric Tcheng reveals Halston’s profound impact on fashion, culture, and business." This looks like another crazy story about the ups and downs of life, and how success isn't the best thing. I'm a big fan of these historical docs, and I'm looking forward to watching this.
"You do it yourself first. You learn what your body likes." Film Movement has unveiled a new US trailer for an indie drama from Vietnam titled The Third Wife, the feature directorial debut of promising filmmaker Ash Mayfair. This originally premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year, and also played at the San Sebastián, Busan, Chicago, Warsaw, Denver, Cairo, Palm Springs Film Festivals. Set in 19th century rural Vietnam, the story follows a fourteen-year-old girl named May who is ready to become the third wife of a wealthy landowner. Little does she know that her hidden desires for another wife will take her by surprise and force her to make a choice between living in safety and being free. Starring Nguyen Phuong Tra My as May, with a cast including Nu Yên-Khê Tran, Long Le Vu, Lam Thanh My, Nguyen Thanh Tam, and Nhu Quynh Nguyen. Looks a like a very sensual, elegant study on love in a different time (and place).
"13 films. 3 minutes. Watch the Summer 2019 Blockbuster AMONtage now!" We're just a few weeks away from officially kicking off the 2019 summer movie season, which is launching with Marvel's Avengers: Endgame opening in theaters worldwide. To celebrate the occasion, movie lover Amon Warmann has put together his annual preview video called the "Summer 2019 Blockbuster Montage", or "AMONtage". Featuring footage from 13 big summer blockbusters, this plays the perfect sizzle reel that will hopefully get you excited about what's going to be playing on the big screen over these next few months. As usual, this is an awesome preview with some very slick, impressive editing that makes this stand out over other mashups. After Avengers, I'm most looking forward to Godzilla, John Wick: Chapter 3, and honestly Hobbs & Shaw because the new trailer is totally bonkers. But the rest of these movies do look quite promising (as do many other movies he didn't include in this edit). Pull out all your summer clothes and enjoy the 2019 AMONtage!
"We were looking for other people that felt the same way we did." PBS Distribution has unveiled an official trailer for a new documentary about the greatest concert ever - Woodstock. Titled Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation, the feature-length doc film is premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival first, then will play in select theaters before airing on TV through PBS. In August of 1969, 500,000 people gathered at a farm in upstate New York. What happened there was far more than just a concert. Woodstock tells the story of a legendary event that defined a generation through the voices of those who were there. While there have been docs about Woodstock before (e.g. Michael Wadleigh's Woodstock in 1970, Barbara Kopple's My Generation) as well as feature films (like Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock), this new doc focuses on the people. "From concert goers to security guards to performers to local residents — Woodstock expands our understanding of the event as not only an unparalleled musical milestone, but a once-in-a-century cultural phenomena that served as a coda to the 60s and a harbinger of the decades to come." Good times.
"We just don't get to choose what families we're born into…" HBO has debuted the first official trailer for a powerful, emotional new documentary titled Foster, that aims to "upend some of the most enduring myths about foster care, going beyond the stereotypes." With one in eight American children suffering a confirmed case of neglect or abuse by age 18, there are currently more than 400,000 children in foster care in the US alone, a number that continues to grow. Drawing on unprecedented access, Oscar-winning director Mark Jonathan Harris' documentary film Foster explores the often-misunderstood world of foster care through compelling stories from the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), the largest county child welfare agency in the country. This looks like an incredibly moving, optimistic doc that will hopefully inspire audiences to challenge themselves, and encourage us all to open our hearts even more.
"We smiled at each other like all's just fine." Screen Media Films has unveiled an official trailer for a small-town crime thriller titled A Violent Separation, made by filmmaker brothers Kevin & Michael Goetz (of Scenic Route, Martyrs). Brenton Thwaites stars as a deputy who must make a difficult decision: arrest his older brother Ray for murder or help him cover it up. He chooses family. The two brothers then struggle with a terrible truth behind a tragedy that aims to tear three generations of a family apart. This originally went under the title The Violent Separation of Flesh and Blood before they shortened it to the simpler A Violent Separation. The film also stars Ben Robson, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Ted Levine, Francesca Eastwood, Michael Malarkey, and Claire Holt. Looks like almost every other small-town crime thriller.
"It's like I was possessed…" Bloody hell! This looks trippy. A festival teaser trailer has debuted for an indie vampire film titled Bliss, the latest from eccentric indie filmmaker Joe Begos (Almost Human, The Mind's Eye). This is premiering in the Midnight section at the Tribeca Film Festival this month. In need of creative inspiration, a professionally stagnant and hard-partying Los Angeles artist recklessly indulges in a series of drug binges. As the narcotics fly out of control, so does her newfound and inexplicable, yet unquenchable, craving for blood. Dora Madison stars in Bliss as Dezzy, with a small cast including Tru Collins, Rhys Wakefield, Jeremy Gardner, Graham Skipper, and George Wendt. This trailer lines right up with a synopsis stating it spirals into a "hallucinatory hellscape of drugs, sex, and murder in the sleazy underbelly of Los Angeles." Yeah, for real. This is a helluva teaser - definitely got my attention. Watch out for the blood.
"Is it true what Desi said - that you're an evil man?" A24 has debuted an official trailer for an indie feature titled Skin, the next feature-length film from Israeli director Guy Nattiv. The title of this, Skin, is also the title of the controversial short film that won Nattiv and co-writer Sharon Maymon an Oscar (for live-action short film) earlier this year. It's not the same story, but similar. This is Guy Nattiv's first English-language feature telling a "galvanizing story of transformation, inspired by actual events." Jamie Bell stars as Bryon, a destitute young man raised by racist skinheads and notorious among white supremacists. He decides to turn his back on hatred and violence to transform his life. With the help of the FBI, he undergoes 25 brutal tattoo removal surgeries in exchange for decoding the tattoos. The cast includes Danielle Macdonald, Vera Farmiga, Daniel Henshall, Louisa Krause, & Bill Camp. Well this looks, uh, quite interesting.
"Something's wrong with Chucky!" Orion Pictures has released a second trailer for the new horror reboot Child's Play, an updated take on the Chucky horror franchise about the evil doll who kills people. They're keeping the original name from the first series, Child's Play, but updating everything and re-introducing the Chucky doll as a high-tech toy called "Buddi", voiced by Mark Hamill. This is a little too creepy with how it connects to everything in your home. Aubrey Plaza stars, with a cast including Gabriel Bateman. Brian Tyree Henry, David Lewis, Ty Consiglio, Beatrice Kitsos, and Kristin York. The first trailer was damn good, now we finally get a good look at this horror reboot and it's looking scary as hell. Brutal! What an intense trailer. I'm not sure I like the look of the new "Buddi" doll, but I think the rest of it will be freaky.
"The music's already started… let's see if we can get in sync." Universal has debuted an epic second official trailer for Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, the badass new Fast & Furious "spin-off" movie focusing on the characters named in the title - Luke Hobbs (played by Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (played by Jason Statham). Made by the director of John Wick (co-director), Atomic Blonde, and Deadpool 2, the first trailer for this was already quite good, but this new preview is even better with tons of action and comedy galore. This movie looks crazy! In this sequel, lawman Hobbs and outcast Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity. The full cast also includes Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Eddie Marsan, Joe Anoa'i, and Helen Mirren. This looks totally bonkers!! That final showdown with the Maori looks nuts and hilariously awesome. Wow, just wow.
Every year, cinephiles wake up early for the announcement from France of the films playing at the Cannes Film Festival. For the 72nd Cannes Film Festival taking place this May, they've confirmed a considerably impressive, enticing selection of films made by the finest filmmakers hailing from all over the world. The 2019 line-up includes new films by Xavier Dolan (Matthias & Maxime), Ira Sachs (Frankie set in Portugal), Terrence Malick (A Hidden Life formerly titled Radegund), Bong Joon-ho (Parasite), Corneliu Porumboiu (The Whistlers), along with Pedro Almodóvar, Ken Loach, Arnaud Desplechin, and Marco Bellocchio. We already know that Jim Jarmusch's zombie film The Dead Don't Die is opening the fest, and Dexter Fletcher's Elton John biopic Rocketman is premiering here as well. There will likely be a few additions last minute - as these numbers are a bit low so far. And no Tarantino yet, it's just not ready, they say. See the full list below.