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“I Don’t Think Black People Should be Expected to Carry All the Weight of Grappling with America’s History of Racism and White Supremacy”: Rachel Boynton on Civil War (or, Who Do We Think We Are)

Civil War (or, Who Do We Think We Are), the latest doc from Rachel Boynton (Big Men, Our Brand Is Crisis) unfolds in a series of revelations. The project was sparked in the wake of the slaughter of Black parishioners at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC during President Obama’s last year in office,and continued right through...

“Someone Needs to Shed Light On This Issue”: Justin Chon on His Adoptee Deportation Melodrama, Blue Bayou

Justin Chon first came to the world’s attention playing Eric Yorkie, a supporting character in the Twilight movies. The global success of that young-vampires-in-love franchise helped Chon land lead roles in films such as 21 & Over, Revenge of the Green Dragons, and Seoul Searching, but all the while, the freshly minted movie star was honing his...

SFFILM and Kenneth Rainin Foundation Announce 20 Narrative Films Winning SFFILM Rainin Grants

SFFILM, in partnership with the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, announced today the 20 projects that will receive SFILM Rainin Grants totaling $490,000. The grants will support the makers’ screenwriting and development activities, with these grants remaining among the very few that fund narrative filmmakers in the development stage. Additionally, two projects...

Back to One, Episode 169: Dominic Burgess

When Dominic Burgess is not stealing scenes as a guest star, he’s getting raves as Jerry Summers in Dr. Death, Ember in The Magicians, and Victor Buono in the Ryan Murphy miniseries Feud. On this episode, he talks about why the vibe on a set is a big factor in his work, his struggles lately gauging what exactly “gay” means as a descriptor in heteronormative...

“How can you be sure that everybody who had a K-15 in their hands was someone truly evil?”: Gian Cassini on his TIFF-Premiering Doc Comala

A son’s search for a father he never knew is an emotional and complicated journey in even the best of circumstances. When that dad is a smalltime hitman murdered in Tijuana who left behind another family, including a son who likewise embraced criminality and his own father who supposedly fought for Castro (and also worked for the CIA), that investigation...

“We had no bulletproof vests, no armored jeep, just our smiles and good nature”: Mohammed Abugeth and Daniel Carsenty on their TIFF-Debuting Doc The Devil’s Drivers

Filmed over the course of nearly a decade The Devil’s Drivers is a modern-day “1970s car chase thriller” shot mainly from inside the weathered vehicles of human traffickers. But in Mohammed Abugeth and Daniel Carsenty’s edge-of-your-seat feature these daredevil smugglers prove a far cry from any Hollywood baddie. Zooming through the West Bank desert...

“If Bresson Had Digital Cinematography, What Might He Do?”: DP Alexander Dynan on the Portraits, Inserts and VR Nightmares of The Card Counter

With The Card Counter, Paul Schrader has written another “man in[to] a room”: William Tell (Oscar Isaac), an ex-torturer turned professional poker player, lives hotel to hotel, making each unit his own by wrapping their furniture in his own sterile, white sheets—“essentially bleached muslin,” the film’s DP Alexander Dynan says. A little light went a...

“In Switzerland, We All Benefit From the Bank”: Andreas Fontana on Azor

Andreas Fontana’s exquisite, quietly dazzling feature Azor answers a question we didn’t know we had: how to make a mystery—a thriller, even—set in the world of private banking. Partly: it’s about the arrival of a Swiss banker, Yvan De Wiel (Fabrizio Rongione), in early 1980s Buenos Aires, when Argentina is still in the grip of dictatorship. De Wiel...

“…The Parts That Were Left out of the Ken Burns Documentary”: Tom Surgal on the “Historical Corrective” That is His Free Jazz Documentary, Fire Music

Many years in the making, Fire Music tells the many-stranded story of free jazz, a chronically misunderstood and often maligned expansion of the improvisatory African-American art form that exploded as a movement in the 1960s through the innovations of path-breaking titans like John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler and Sun Ra. Although...

“What Would You Do?”: Writer/Director Michael Mohan on Screen Sex, Spying and the Making of His Erotic Thriller, The Voyeurs

The cinema of scopophilia is given a generational, technological and gender-reversing twist in Michael Mohan’s The Voyeurs, opening today on Amazon Prime. Pippa (Sydney Sweeney, of Euphoria and The White Lotus) and Thomas (Generation‘s Justice Smith) are a young couple who move into a gorgeous Montreal loft apartment sporting one ethically dubious perk:...

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