dwhudson's blog

Lav Diaz: "Digital is liberation theology."

Lav DiazThe last day of the Venice Film Festival sees the screening of surely one of the most unusual films in its lineup, Death in the Land of Encantos, by the Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz. Unusual, even if only in terms of length. The film runs around ten hours.

Tilman Baumgäel asks Lav Diaz, widely recognized as one of the most important filmmakers working in the Philippines today, what has led to such a radical aesthetic and talks with him, too, about the unique blend of documentary and fiction in his latest work.

Continue Reading Lav Diaz: "Digital is liberation theology."

Patricia Riggen: Love and Politics Under the Same Moon

Patricia RiggenLa Misma Luna (Under the Same Moon) [official site] was met with a rousing standing ovation when it premiered at Sundance earlier this year. Now this moving tale of a mother and son separated by the US-Mexico border is opening New York's Latinbeat series and screening at the Toronto International Film Festival before hitting theaters in March 2008.

James van Maanen grabbed a chance to talk with director Patricia Riggen.

Continue Reading Patricia Riggen: Love and Politics Under the Same Moon

Barbet Schroeder: "This was the most dangerous movie for me to make."

Barbet Schroeder "There is plenty of violence and intrigue, but it seems likely that had Mr. Schroeder pitched the project to a Hollywood studio, the story would have been dismissed as crazily implausible," wrote AO Scott in the New York Times from Cannes back in May. He'd just seen Barbet Schroeder's Terror's Advocate, a documentary about one of the most controversial - and mysterious - lawyers of all time, Jacques Verges.

The film has just screened in Telluride, where David D'Arcy spoke with Schroeder, and is now on its way to Toronto.

Continue Reading Barbet Schroeder: "This was the most dangerous movie for me to make."

"Corruption is akin to war crimes." Jason Kohn on Manda Bala.

Jason Kohn

Winner of the Documentary Grand Jury Prize at Sundance earlier this year (as well as the Cinematography Award), Manda Bala "has a lot more to do with fiction filmmaking than with journalism or with much that we expect from documentaries," notes David D'Arcy in his introduction to his long and fascinating talk with director Jason Kohn. This stylized approach may have put off a few critics, but not Kohn's mentor, Errol Morris, who has told him, "This is not a movie about Brazil. This is a movie about the United States in five years."

Continue Reading "Corruption is akin to war crimes." Jason Kohn on Manda Bala.

The Big Bad Swim is a Small Good Movie.

"That a film this good - smart, accessible, enjoyable - was passed over for theatrical release shows a stunning lack of judgment on the part of current distributors," James van Maanen wrote recently at Guru. "The Big Bad Swim has appeared (and won awards in the process) at national festivals from Tribecca to Maui, Seattle to Rhode Island and internationally from Munich to Karlovy Vary, Avignon and Zurich, and managed one-week releases in Allentown, Pennsylvania and Portland, Oregon, with individual screenings in Chicago and Fort Lauderdale, where it was lapped up by critics and audiences alike. For the rest of us, thank God for DVD."

 

James talks with director Ishai Setton and screenwriter Daniel Schechter.

Continue Reading The Big Bad Swim is a Small Good Movie.

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