April 22, 2007
Filmmaker. Spring 07."Mumblecore," "Slackavettes," "neo-slacker," "bedhead cinema." It's tough to find a name for an entity that's so nebulous, so diverse and so new it's hardly an entity at all - and yet, something's going on. In the Spring issue of Filmmaker, Alicia Van Couvering does a damn good job of sketching a moving target, and she does so by first asking the right questions: "When is it time to demarcate a filmmaking 'movement'? What if the filmmakers in this movement don't want to be grouped into any kind of movement at all? And what if the films in this movement revolve around the crisis of self-definition? Could it get any worse for one of its members than to have to talk about feeling self-conscious about being in a movement?" And there's a sidebar: Joe Swanberg talks about making LOL, and he's followed by "a selective list of some, but not all, of the films that might comprise the mumblecore movement." James Ponsoldt: "This notion is at the core of Killer of Sheep: what it means to be an adult, and how children learn and internalize grown-up behavior and responsibilities through lectures, through tears, but mostly by silently observing, peeking around corners, usually unbeknownst to their parents. The children of Killer of Sheep are witnesses, sponges - loved and shielded, but not ignorant." He then talks with Charles Burnett. Steve Gallagher on Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis: "A delirious documentary portrait of the artist, Mary Jordan's film immerses the viewer in Smith's work, captured here through film clips, audio recordings and stills, while forcefully arguing for the continuing relevance of his philosophies on art and politics." And he talks with Jordan. Scott Macaulay meets Marion Cotillard, whose outstanding performance as Edith Piaf is the single saving grace of La Vie en Rose. Justin Lowe has five online viewing tips, you might say, but there's more to it than that. He asks Little Miss Sunshine filmmakers Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, The Foot Fist Way director Jody Hill, writer-directors Cory McAbee (The American Astronaut) and Maria Maggenti (Puccini for Beginners) and Finishing the Game director Justin Lin about the films they made for mobile phones as part of the Sundance Film Festival Global Short Film Project - and links to those shorts. Meanwhile, at the blog: "If you can't do Cannes..." Nick Dawson notes that there are new films on the way to stateside theaters from Takeshi Kitano, Aki Kaurismäki, Shane Meadows and Lars von Trier.
Posted by dwhudson at April 22, 2007 9:07 AM