Posts tagged with film
'The Blue Umbrella': Inside a Pixar Love Story
The process began on one of those unusually rainy but otherwise ordinary California days. Pixar camera and staging artist Saschka Unseldwas walking through downtown San Francisco. Something caught his eye. He looked down, studying more closely an object stuck in the gutter in front of him.
Finding Fulfillment in ‘Bending Steel’
Of the thousands and thousands of micro-cultures extant today, the pursuit of bending things is a particularly niche obsession. This is the world of Bending Steel, which follows the personal journey of Chris Schoeck as he tries to find path forward to improving his body, mind, and spirit. He locates this path via the traditions of the vaudeville strongmen of Coney Island, who were known to bend nails, horseshoes, and steel bars with their hands, legs, necks, or even their hair and teeth. As Schoeck trains and challenges himself to bend, he finds a family of sorts among other would-be strongmen — the kind of kinship and validation that had eluded him for his entire life. The story culminates in a strongman show on Coney Island where Schoeck attempts to bend a steel bar that has always defeated him before, in front of his friends and a crowd of strangers who represent all his fears and doubts. We spoke to director Dave Carroll and producer/cinematographer Ryan Scafuro about how Bending Steel became a film and what its narrative means for Schoeck and for themselves.
Director Hannah Fidell Talks ‘A Teacher’
At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, half the dramatic competition finalists were brought to life by women. It’s about time, boys. One such feature was written and directed by precocious, feminist filmmaker Hannah Fidell. Her film, A Teacher, delves into the emotional hills and valleys a female teacher experiences while having an affair with her student, reversing all those American Beauty tropes we know so well. We sat down with Fidell — and the film’s star, Lindsay Burdge — to talk about turning the tides on the omnipotent male gaze.
Crashing the Black Box with ‘Charlie Victor Romeo’
It doesn’t get more real than this. Charlie Victor Romeo re-enacts — almost verbatim — transcripts from the “black box” recordings of six plane crashes that occurred from 1989 to 1996. Originally a stage play produced in 1999, CVR has since been performed worldwide in many different venues (it’s even been used for pilot training by the Pentagon). Gripping, harrowing, and poignant, the play has now made the leap to a film that preserves the spare and chilling authenticity of its creative predecessor. And in 3D no less (by way of New York’s 3-Legged Dog Media & Theater Group), which somehow makes the film seem both hyper-present and dreamlike. While at Sundance, we spoke to director Bob Berger and co-director/editor Karlyn Michelson about translating the play to the big screen, the artistic life of a the project, and respecting the borders of reality.
From Manila to Tumblr with Love: What Isn’t There
While at Sundance this year, we were strolling the streets of Park City with our pal Te’devan when we ran into Marie Jamora and Ramon De Veyra. Turns out they had their own film, What Isn’t There (Ang Nawawala), over at Slamdance. In a rather amazing coincidence, it turns out their movie — set in their hometown of Manila — actually features one character gifting another with a Tumblr in a crucial scene. So of course, we had to sit them down and hear all about it.
What Isn’t There focuses on Gibson, a mute teenager who lost his twin brother, the girl who tries to draw him out of his shell, and the family, romance, comedy, and music that surround them both. It’s sweet without feeling trivial, and serious without being ponderous. Marie and Ramon tell us how it all came about and how they put it together in this interview. And if you’re in the neighborhood, you can check out the movie March 24 at the Southeast Asian Film Festival in Singapore.
Harmony Korine: Soldier of Cinema
It stretches credulity to continue treating Harmony Korine like some crazed enfant terrible of filmmaking — dude’s past 40, married, a father, and by now has written and directed a substantial number of features, shorts, and unclassifiable oddities over two decades plus. And yet Spring Breakers, which from anyone else would be treated as a radioactive experiment in violent depravity, is instead discussed as Korine’s play for mainstream respectability. Guess it all depends where you’re coming from.
Much has been made of casting Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens in this flick, and you can find ample chatter about that elsewhere. But who does Korine want to work with next? “Harrison Ford,” he says without hesitation. “Or Clint Eastwood.” After we got done imagining that, we talked with Korine about why and how he made Spring Breakers, how and why he makes movies at all, and his love of “liquid narrative.”