Posts tagged with sundance
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.
Director Andrew Bujalski Talks ‘Computer Chess’
Ten years ago, filmmaker Andrew Bujalski wrote and directed 2002’s Funny Ha Ha, arguably the cinematic origin of the genre known as “mumblecore.” He’s spread out into other things since then, and nowhere is his inclination for experimentation more apparent in his new feature film Computer Chess, chosen to screen at both Sundance and SXSW this year.
A stickler for the good ol’ days of moviemaking, Bujalski shot his previous films on 16mm film and made post-production magic with scissors and tape. He went digital for Computer Chess, appropriately enough; but equally apropos, the equipment used to produce a movie set “thirty-some years ago” was chronologically correct, as Bujalski and crew dug up ancient video cameras from the depths of eBay. And it’s just too perfect that the movie immediately spawned a host of animated GIFs, since the form was invented in the same era.On the face of it, Computer Chess concerns a mechanical chess tournament, but the under- and overcurrents are much more involved and delightfully perverse. Bujalski chats with us about the ubiquity of nerd culture, how to find the perfect actor, and the surprisingly sexual undercurrents that pervade his film.
Art + Rap + The Internet = Yung Jake
This story was produced in partnership with MTV Hive.
He was supposed to look directly at the interviewer, not at the video camera, please. But Yung Jake — internet incarnate, rapper, memester, artiste of the online world — found it frustratingly difficult to make eye contact with a human being. As he was talking, his gaze kept shifting back to the lens, then down to the iPhone nestled in his palm. He sighed. “I’m just more interested in interacting with the virtual world than I am with real people.”
Yung Jake won’t admit his age (“I’m
youngyung”), where he grew up, (“all over”), or how he should be artistically categorized (“I call myself whatever world wants to accept me”). Something like 10 years ago, this might have been a freakish way to publicly define oneself. But today, in a world in which screens are hot and people are, well, not, such a proclamation is legitimate, on trend, and, increasingly, more normal than not.
Strumming Along With Musician Andrew Bird
Once upon a time (the mid 90s) in a gloriously music-laden land (Chicago), a lanky, sharp-witted, sharp-featured tenderfoot (Andrew Bird) graduated from Northwestern’s acclaimed music conservatory and dove into the sea of indie rock. Inhabited by hard-edged musicians who took pride in their lack of skill and almost-affected amateurishness, it was about passion — forget technique. Live shows were supposed to be truly live, and in-concert mistakes were nothing less than standard. “Experience the sound in its raw, unadulterated form,” they’d say. And Bird — despite his “super-trained” background — fit right in, rolling with the sonic tides to the eventual mid-ocean calm of celebrated musician status.