Category: Film

Farewell to all that

We are very excited to release the theatrical trailer of Farewell to Hollywood, coming to Cinema Village East in New York City, Spring 2015, and hopefully many places beyond that. Directed and shot by Henry Corra and Regina Nicholson, edited by Jeremy Medoff, music by Eben Bull. Enjoy!

“You’re Not the Only One”

As Joseph Gordon Levitt finishes the first verse of a song, a chorus of hundreds ring out, “You’re not the only one”. Each of these chorus members, whether they’re professionals, amateurs, or just a person singing on their bed, are collaborators on the new show, hitRECord on TV. Though narrated by JGL, each segment is a collaboration of music, video, art, and story by anyone daring enough to submit their work to Levitt’s production company, hitRECord. A counter aptly depicts how many contributors there are in each segment and further promotes the ambition of the project. The collaborative aspect may be different than your average Hollywood production but isn’t that what art is about? It certainly doesn’t detract from the beautiful story about the first time a woman saw the stars nor from the delightful cartoon about Music defeating its enemy, Silence. The contemplative segment on the macro organisms, the Pando Forest and the honey mushroom, brings up a very important question. Human beings are 99.9% genetically identical- so if we’re kind of like one single living organism than what kind are we- the life sucking mushroom kind or the harmonious forest kind?

How To Non-Interview a Film Subject

1. Be the cameraman and interviewer and the soundman all at once.  They feel sorry for you having to wrangle all that equipment and trying to talk at the same time.

2. Bumble a lot too.  This also invokes sympathy.  They want to help you and – in fact  – you really need it.

3. Never ask questions.  Babble about yourself incessantly so your subject can’t get a word in edgewise. They will wonder if you are ok – which you aren’t – and try to calm YOU down – then they will become slightly annoyed.

4. Now a collaboration has begun.

5. If your subject seems nervous drape your leg or foot nonchalantly over a table or chair.  It ‘s confusing (especially to Europeans) but disarming and cute.

6. If this doesn’t work take off your shoes and plop a bare foot right up near them and rub your face a lot– now they are sure to reveal themselves.

7. Once they finally do start talking go silent… don’t utter a word.  Let your silence be deafening.  The pregnant pauses are priceless and cinematic. They will sense this.

8. From awkwardness comes grace.

9. From grace comes revelation.

10. From revelation comes collaboration anew.

11. Never apologize for intruding. Be proud that you are creating a great work of art together.

-Henry Corra

Do What You Love.

How often do we hear that? Do what you love. Do you ever take it to heart? Listen to Hal Lasko tell his story of how he became a “Microsoft Paint” painter – virtually creating pictures from scratch. Hal began his virtual painting career as he was becoming blind, losing sight of details and instead seeing blobs of color. But in his paintings, you are able to see every tiny detail and individual pixel. And in his eyes, you can see Hal’s deep passion for this unique form of art. Watch this short visual narrative directed by Josh Bogdan and Ryan Lasko.

What can Anton Corbijn do in one second?

In honor of the release of the stunning Waits/Corbijn book, here’s a Corbijn-directed curiosity: Smallest Shortest Film, which lasts approximately 1/27th of the time it takes to introduce it on this Vimeo clip. Produced with agency Kesselskramer for the Dutch postal service TNT, it is luckily more accessible than his new book with longtime collaborator/subject Tom Waits, of which only 6,000 copies are being printed. If only it starred Waits instead of Carice van Houten.

Watch this now: Oma & Bella

There are so many things to say about this movie, but first, a confession – it completely did me in. You are warned. Two kicky old ladies (one of them is director Alexa Karolinski’s grandmother, or Oma), living together in Berlin, shopping, having parties, cooking, cooking, cooking – and dealing with their memories of the Holocaust, which they survived, unlike almost everyone else they knew before the age of 12. As Bella says, “Everybody became a bit modern. Not me. I stayed exactly the way I was.” These are the ghosts of war, truly marching on. Streaming now on Amazon.

HERE’S A CHARACTER FOR YOU

Eugene Kotlyarenko has a radical sense of the funny and an encyclopedic knowledge of film that serves him well as the writer and director of MOCA tv’s  first original web series, Feast of Burden. Born in Odessa, Ukraine, raised in NYC, this 26-year-old filmmaker is as endearingly absurd as his FOB personae, Jimmy Yukon.  Like his character Kotlyarenko loves Asian women and struggles with his plight of mid-20’s hair loss, though he seems less self-aware than Yukon and shows no trace of social anxiety.

NYC Changes at 7

Dakota, Jeremy Amar’s 7-year-old son, made this beautiful piece with our editor Jeremy Medoff. We couldn’t help but share his vision, and our amazement that his grasp of color codes is almost as good as ours. Inspired!

Netflix alert!

Floating around this week at Corra Films is ‘L’apollonide: Souvenirs de la Maison Close,’ directed by Bertrand Bonello, screening now on a Netflix Instant screen near you. This is what Bonello calls a “brain film,” and what we call “wisdom filmmaking” – an awkwardly intimate look at life in a Parisian brothel in 1900, focusing on the girls who make it all happen. Dirty, violent, glamorous, with an incredibly slow but rewarding payoff – it’s a completely contemporary story set in a different life. How have we never heard of Bonello before? Next up, I’m watching his 2001 Cannes winner Le Pornographe.

The Beasts Within

Like everyone else, we’re obsessed with Beasts of the Southern Wild, but if you’re reading this then you already know all about it, so. After some very minimal online digging, we now present director Benh Zeitlin’s 2008 short film Glory at Sea, lovingly uploaded to YouTube by the Wholphin dvd series. Filmed in New Orleans, it inspired the Court 13 film collective’s move to the Gulf, and you all know what happened from there. BOSW opens in New York on the 27th, be there.

The fine line between moving and boring

So, here’s the question: at what point does a melodramatic score and an epic voice over become overkill as opposed to deeply moving? Perhaps it’s when you’re talking about plywood. As a pro-DIY company, there’s something oddly satisfying about watching a short film on a type of wood that so gracefully caters to amateur carpenters (no pre-drilling? we can stand on it? awesome), but from a critical perspective, is this film moving, or boring? These extreme close-ups of pieces of plywood in a harsh spotlight, seem to fall somewhere in between poignant and a total snooze-fest. Watch this short film, ‘Love Letter to Plywood,’ by Tom Sachs and you make the call. Maybe I’ll scratch my idea for a short film on already chewed gum. Or maybe not.

I see Brooklyn in your future….

Starting June 14th, the Northside Festival can hook you up with a multimedia experience bursting with music, art and film. And as far as I can tell, it looks like the place to be for ambitious film-goers this month (does this sound like your horoscope?) They are showing over 65 films, including ‘Girl Model’, which all of us here are pumped about—looks fascinating. The lineup is literally packed with up and coming, must-see projects. Check it out here and see if it’s in the stars for you….

The Sheik and I

Another big congrats to our good friend and post-production supervisor, Colin Nusbaum, whose film “The Sheik and I” will be premiering at SXSW next month. Directed by Iranian-American-Brooklynite Caveh Zahedi, the documentary was commissioned by the Sharjah Art Foundation in the UAE but never shown. (Long story, and you can read more about it in the Times.) It’ll be playing as part of the SXSW International Competition, but if you’re not in Texas you can find out more about it on their Facebook page right here.

Oscar season, once again

Congratulations to our good friends Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky (Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory) and Marshall Curry (If A Tree Falls) on their Oscar nominations. If we weren’t in love with Undefeated we might even say “good luck!” But seriously, best wishes to everyone on making it through a long campaign season, and we hope you all win, somehow.

Girl Walk // All Day

I’m not gonna lie, I think this is the best thing I’ve seen all year – in 2012 so far at least. It’s exuberant, super fun to watch, and one of a very few indie films where the people making it actually look like they’re having a good time. Also, it has exactly the plot :: dancing ratio that I always want from cheesy dance movies but never get. It’s presented by Gothamist, so you can watch the whole epic thing here. Also: Director Jacob Krupnick and producer Youngna Park will be teaching a Skillshare class at Grind this Friday night – I think I’m going! You?

Form-alism, with Lynne Ramsey

“There’s a lot of assholes in the world, you know? So you need to walk quietly but carry a big stick,” director Lynne Ramsey tells Tribeca Films. I won’t say any more about this interview, because you should read it yourself, but I know I can’t wait to watch this movie and see how all of her complex, sometimes-conflicting ideas come together on the screen.

We Need to Talk about Kevin is at the Angelika now, with more theaters to follow. You can find them here.

Agnes Varda, On-screen

This week we’re watching Agnes Varda’s Daguerreotypes, recently available on Netflix Instant (it was released in France in 1975 but never in America). The “Grandmother of the New Wave,” Varda’s doc focuses on the small collection of neighbors and shop owners outside her door on Rue Daguerre in the early 1970’s. It’s a fascinating cultural study of people who probably seemed mundane at the time, but they’re so interesting now because this way of life and these people no longer exist. Here, see an interview with Varda from 1956, discussing her first films and her directorial process.

“Whiskey Stones”

Love this short doc about Teroforma’s whiskey rocks, made with soapstone and the help of a cement mixer in Perkinsville, Vermont. Directed by Galen Summer; you can see more of his short-form work here.