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Jim Hemphill’s Home Video Recommendations: Last Train from Gun Hill, There was a crooked man…, Stranger on the Run and In the Line of Fire

Actor Kirk Douglas was at the top of his game when he reunited with producer Hal Wallis, director John Sturges and most of the rest of his Gunfight at the OK Corral team for Last Train from Gun Hill, a dark and absorbing 1959 Western that stands tall as a worthy companion to Douglas’s other great achievements of the era like Lust for Life, Paths of...

“I Wanted to Have a World I Could Paint in Broad Strokes”: Director Alexandre Rockwell on Creating the Full-of-Life Family Drama, Sweet Thing

Three children are left on their own in Sweet Thing, an evocative coming-of-age drama written and directed by Alexandre Rockwell. Returning from his previous feature, Little Feet, are Rockwell’s children Lana (playing Billie) and Nico. Joining them is newcomer Jabari Watkins as the kids’ neighbor Malik; Will Patton as their alcoholic father Adam; and...

“Resisting the Power of the White Gaze”: CJ Hunt on his Tribeca-Premiering Confederate Monuments Doc, The Neutral Ground

CJ Hunt is a NYC-based comedian and filmmaker, and currently a field producer on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. But back in 2015 Hunt was still a resident of New Orleans, having spent nearly a decade teaching in its school (and after-school) system, assisting in its public defender’s office — and yes, pursuing his passion for comedy at night. So when...

“By Reconnecting Us to Our Humanity, I Believe Nostalgia Could Be the Very Thing That Saves Us”: Jenni Olson on Receiving the 35th Special Teddy Award

Filmmaker, curator, author and LGBT film historian Jenni Olson will be receiving the 35th special Teddy Award at the 71st Berlinale on Friday, June 18. An award dedicated to outstanding work in queer filmmaking that improves the social and political condition of the LGBT community, Olson will be joining past recipients such as Tilda Swinton and Cheryl...

Critic’s Notebook: Tribeca 2021 Docs about Larry Flynt, Anthony Bourdain, A Child’s Death and China’s Industrial March

Real-life film festivals are back! Or so I hear. After its 2020 plans for public exhibition were scuttled by the pandemic, the Tribeca Film Festival – sorry, I mean “Tribeca Festival,” that increasingly problematic word “film” now scrubbed from the moniker for ease of branding – was back in New York City movie houses this week for its 2021 edition....

Back to One, Episode 158: Ben Rosenfield

Ben Rosenfield has only been at it for 10 years, but he already has an interesting body of work behind him—Boardwalk Empire, 6 Years, Greetings From Tim Buckley (in which he played Buckley), the third season of Twin Peaks, and last year’s Mrs. America, to name just a few. Not to mention the New York stage productions where he performed opposite Carey...

“An Overt Anti-Patriarchal, Anti-Assimilationist Gesture Within the Framework of ‘Queer Refusal'”: Angelo Madsen Minax on His Tribeca-premiering North By Current

One of the most thrillingly radical aspects of Angelo Madsen Minax’s astonishing North By Current, which premiered at the Berlinale and now makes it North American debut at Tribeca, is the film’s centering of absence, of its maker’s firm belief in the idea that “a viewer is not entitled to every piece of information.” Minax began shooting North By Current...

“… the Convergence of Many Different Narratives Clashing All at Once”: Dan Chen on his Tribeca-Debuting High School and College Admissions Doc, Accepted

Filmmaker Dan Chen planned to make an inspiring doc about a group of high-achieving students attending a most unconventional school in rural Louisiana, one that had a 100 percent college acceptance rate and sent its BIPOC kids to the likes of Harvard, Yale and Stanford. Well, so much for best laid plans. Unfortunately, right in the midst of production,...

“I’m Drawn to Spaces Where the Paradoxes of Everyday Life are Made Apparent”: Jessica Kingdon on her Tribeca-Premiering Ascension

An all-female factory floor that manufactures made-to-order sex dolls (which seems every bit as titillating as crafting car parts). A workshop featuring a social media entrepreneur who rhapsodizes about the “fan economy.” (Why be a regular boss when you can be a “star boss”?) An instructor in a class on business etiquette quizzing the Stepford Wives-creepy...

“My Cutting Process is Very Old School”: Editor Myron Kerstein on In the Heights

The smash hit that launched creator and leading man Lin-Manuel Miranda into the Broadway stratosphere, In the Heights was less an overnight sensation than a constantly developing passion project. Early iterations of the musical, about a group of residents in Washington Heights who are more family than neighbors, originated at Wesleyan University and...

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