Archive for February, 2011

Josh and Benny

February 26, 2011

Congratulations to Josh and Benny Safdie whose feature DADDY LONGLEGS took home the JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD given to the best feature made for under $500,000 at the Independent Spirit Awards today. Totally deserved!

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The “Heartbeats” poster…

February 25, 2011

…makes the movie look like a Morrissey biopic, no?  No such luck, but the plot doesn’t sound too far off:

Three To a Bed, But No Funny Stuff

Nicolas (Niels Schneider), an elusive dreamboat, is an extremely pretty, faintly androgynous visitor to Montreal, where he is simultaneously pursued by a young man and woman.

With his chiseled features, full lips and corona of dark gold curls, Nicolas becomes the instant object of desire of Marie (Monia Chokri), a chilly fashion-conscious young woman who reveres Audrey Hepburn, and of her earnest gay friend, Francis (Mr. Dolan), who meet him at the same party. The two spend much of the rest of film slyly pursuing Nicolas, while trying to gauge his sexual orientation, about which he is cagey.

via NY Times

Heartbeats opens at Northwest Film Forum on March 18.

Tonight’s film challenge screenings are FREE!

February 24, 2011

For all you cash-strapped film lovers who want to see what your friends have been up to, well you are in luck.  Tonight’s film challenge screenings will be free for everyone!

SOUND FIRST FILM CHALLENGE
Thursday, Feb 24 at 8PM
One of the key elements of any good movie is its sound design and mix. It is an element that often if not always comes as a response to images that the filmmaker shot and audio they recorded on location. This quarter for our film challenge we provide filmmakers with some pre-recorded and mixed sound asking them to create images to accompany. Are you up for the challenge?

And for those of you who didn’t get around to this quarter’s challenge, why not get a jump on the next one?

5-Minute Remake Challenge
Brevity is a form of wit they way, so this quarter we dare the intrepid filmmaker to recreate their favorite film in just five minutes. Like making a good stew or beer, take the finest ingredients from the original, reinterpret, remix, or reinvent them so that the final work tastes like a small serving with all the right flavors. All films submitted are accepted for screening and must be no longer than 5 minutes. Films must  be submitted on 35mm, 16mm, BETA SP, DVCAM, blu-ray or DVD.

All submitted films will screening May 19 at 8pm.

New Required Viewing: Stanley Kubrick

February 23, 2011

New Hollywood, Hitchcock, French cinema, Westerns, German Expressionism…and now KubrickWhat better way to kick of the summer movie season than to revisit and discuss these classics?

KUBRICK MASTERPIECES

Six Tuesdays, May 3–June 14 (no class May 17), 7–9pm
Instructor: Robert Cumbow
Tuition: $120/WigglyWorld members, $140/general
Max Attendance: 25

From Killer’s Kiss to Eyes Wide Shut, Stanley Kubrick made something provocatively and controversially new out of every film project he touched. We’ll start with Kubrick’s genre-defining caper film The Killing and his powerful anti-war film Paths of Glory, identifying certain continuing themes, techniques, and image patterns. Then we’ll look at how he develops those–and his increasingly satirical/cynical philosophical viewpoint–through Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Barry Lyndon, The Shining, and Full Metal Jacket. In class, we’ll try to identify the vision that unites these seemingly disparate films and illuminate (if not solve) the mystery that is Stanley Kubrick.

Register for Kubrick Masterpieces

Kanye and Gaspar

February 22, 2011

A side by side comparison of Gaspar Noe’s Enter The Void credit sequence and Kanye West’s All of The Lights music video.

A rip off or what?

Springtime in the cinemas

February 22, 2011

Spring begins this Friday at the Film Forum! Well, the spring calendar at least.

Check our website to see what’s to come in the cinemas and workshops, like our filmmaking class on Post Production Sound; the Seattle premiere of Aaron Katz’s much lauded Cold Weather; workshops with the experimental film masters Thom Andersen and Jeanne Liotta; our annual fundraising gala; and much more more.

See you in the cinemas!

Happy Film Day!

February 22, 2011

I’ll admit that I (and maybe you don’t much either) give scarcely a thought to film as it pertains to the world of politics. One comprises a vast collection of freethinking artists and technicians who aim to entertain the masses, the other a formal body of lawmakers governing those same masses. They cross paths at one crucial point, however: money.

On Wednesday, February 23, citizens can witness a rare union of these disparate spheres. Dubbed “Film Day” by Washington Filmworks, this Seattle-based organization invites moviemakers and cinephiles alike to join them from noon to 4 P.M. at our state capitol’s Cherberg Building in support of two pieces of legislation currently under discussion. If approved, House Bill 1554 and Senate Bill 5539 (what peppy names!) will reinvigorate the state’s Motion Picture Competitiveness Program, which grants funding to non-resident filmmakers who use Washington for their productions.

Denise Gibbs, owner of regional casting agency Foreground Background, knows firsthand the issues at stake on Film Day. “Our film community would be devastated with the loss of [the MPCP],” she says. “It is our number-one tool to bring and keep the big projects that come here [and] spend millions of dollars for crew, actors and support services. It pumps money back into our local economy and provides jobs even in a recession.”

Filmworks Executive Director Amy Lillard shares Gibbs’s viewpoint and offers us a straightforward, practical approach to the issue: “This bill is…not about Hollywood, or stars, or anything like that. It’s about keeping Washington workers employed.” She strongly encourages others to write their legislators.

If you can attend, register via email at info@washingtonfilmworks.org, or catch the committee meetings live on http://www.tvw.org. Download a Film Day packet from http://www.washingtonfilmworks.org.

Tarr and Torino

February 14, 2011

Last night I managed to get into the much anticipated and rumored final project for the master of Hungarian stoicism Bela Tarr, The Turin Horse, freely inspired by an episode that marked the end of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s career. On January 3,1889, on the piazza Alberto in Turin, a weeping Nietzsche flung his arms around an exhausted and ill-treated carriage horse, then lost consciousness. After this event, the philosopher never wrote again and descended into madness and silence.

Tarr delivers his usual brand of wind swept black and white rural isolationism, this time set in the late 1800’s and filming the few objects of the period as though they’re appearing on film for the first time. The images, which offer the typical dose of the mundane, follow six days in the life of a horse driver and what appears to be his daughter, both getting by on their daily sustenance of boiled potatoes and vodka. The two are confined to a tiny one room home, the stall for the horse and carriage, and the land just outside the door. This is Tarr’s chamber drama, delivered in sparse dialogue, with few visitors from the outside world. The only other presence is the gale force winds driving against the house for the full six days, which seem to swallow the landscape with each passing day.

Two visits are paid to the household, one from a drunkard seeking more vodka, who delivers a monologue on the evils of capitalism which he refers to as debasing the world through acquisition. No doubt a not so subtle injection of the housing crisis into this particularly bleak fare? The other surprise visit is paid by a band of traveling gypsies who offer a biblical text in exchange for the consumption of some water, an act that delivers one of the only plot twists, if you could label it such!

Glacially paced, as per usual, if this is indeed Tarr’s final work, he’s left us with a haunting allegory on the brutality of our time.

Two Seattle Filmmakers In SXSW Shorts

February 11, 2011

Congrats to former NWFF volunteer Austin Wilson and former co-director of Longhouse Media Annie Silverstein on their short films being accepted to the SXSW film festival. We’re proud to have worked with both of you!

Honk if you love Jeff Bridges!

February 11, 2011

Honk!

Though I have to question a Jeff Bridges series that does not have White Squall in it (I kid…sort of). Film Forum members, note the generous discount, as always!