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Corneliu Porumboiu: 12:08 East of Bucharest

By Jay Kuehner

Before Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days took the coveted Palme d'Or at the 60th Cannes Film Festival, the declaration of a Romanian new wave seemed to rest on the singular success of Cristi Puiu's quotidien epic The Death of Mr. Lazarescu.

Modest by design but no less ambitious in its formal conception, Corneliu Porumboiu's 2006 Camera d'Or-winning 12:08 East of Bucharest stakes out the relative calm amid the Balkan tide. Where Puiu's long day's gurney into night is indebted to ER and Eric Rohmer, as envisioned by a painter, Porumboui's droll evocation of the Romanian revolution owes something to the narrative torpor of Jarmusch and the tableaux of Vermeer.

Jay Kuehner spoke with the filmmaker about his work and about the new wave of Romanian cinema.

12:08 East of Bucharest is now out on DVD.

Continue Reading Corneliu Porumboiu: 12:08 East of Bucharest

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Catching Up with Christoffer Boe

By Sean Axmaker

In Christopher Boe's Allegro [official site], a world acclaimed concert pianist (played by Ulrich Thomsen) is formally invited to reclaim his lost past. You see, it's preserved in an impenetrable and inexplicable bubble in the center of Copenhagen. Imagine a cross between Andrei Tarkovksy and The Matrix, with a whimsical flair and a mischievous narrator (Henning Moritzen) who may be a guardian angel, an ironic devil, or simply an existential master of ceremonies.

Boe's latest feature Allegro is now on DVD.

Continue Reading Catching Up with Christoffer Boe

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Julia Loktev: Day Night Day Night

By Jay Kuehner

The latest issue of Sight and Sound is devoted to the state of American independent cinema and the apparent dearth of genuine US indie talent. While a host of usual suspects is nominated to make or break the argument, there is no mention of Julia Loktev, the Russian-born but US-bred filmmaker whose work to date has included audio and video art installation pieces, as well as the prize-winning documentary Moment of Impact (1998), which deals with the quotidian aftermath of her father's debilitating car accident.

Loktev's first feature length film Day Night Day Night, is now out on DVD.

Continue Reading Julia Loktev: Day Night Day Night

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Verhoeven Returns

Interview By David D'Arcy

Paul Verhoeven should not be so misunderstood, since his films are efforts to tell simple truths, usually in the simplest cinematic language. The truths are painfully simple in the case of Black Book, which looks at survival and betrayal in the Dutch resistance to the Germans, as World War II was drawing to a close and the Dutch were preparing to govern themselves once again. The title comes from a black book in which the names of Dutch collaborators with the Nazis are listed. Let's just say that the top priorities as the war ends are not truth and reconciliation.

Black Book is now out on DVD.

Continue Reading Verhoeven Returns

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Francis Veber on "The Valet"

By Michelle Devereaux

Celebrated French auteur Francis Veber is nothing if not a gentleman-perhaps even to a fault. The writer and director of films like The Dinner Game, The Closet, and Le Jaguar (he also wrote the screenplay to La Cage Aux Folles) is so amenable, in fact, he'll even let you call him by the wrong name. In an interview the 69-year-old Veber gave to a radio station the same day he talked to GreenCine, a journalist kept calling him "Francois." But Veber didn't correct him once-and even referred to himself in a promo by using the incorrect name...

La doublure (The Valet) is now out on DVD.

Continue Reading Francis Veber on "The Valet"

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Andrea Arnold: The Path to The Red Road

Interviewed By Jonathan Marlow
[At the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival]

Her first short film was selected for International Critics Week at Cannes. She received an Academy Award for her third short. She was awarded the Jury Prize at Cannes for her first feature and later dominated the BAFTAs in Scotland (winning the Best Director, Film, Screenplay, Actress and Actor awards). Such a sequence of achievements is essentially unheard of, admittedly, but Andrea Arnold is not your average filmmaker.

Jonathan Marlow Spoke with Arnold about her films. Her first feature Red Road, is now out on DVD.

Continue Reading Andrea Arnold: The Path to The Red Road

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New and Coming Releases: September 4, 2007

A host of fine titles are out this week as we usher in September. Provocative features and hilarious TV shows are the highlights of a good week. Click on for more of this week's releases and some more coming soon!

Continue Reading New and Coming Releases: September 4, 2007

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Young Americans: Joe Swanberg LOLs

Interview By Andrew Grant

Joe Swanberg follows up his previous efforts, Kissing on the Mouth and LOL, with the clever and endearing Hannah Takes the Stairs; a film about a recent college graduate and aspiring playwright, struggling to find happiness in her life through various relationships. Swanberg's feature is a collaborative work that involved prominent indie filmmakers such as Mark Duplass, Ry Russo-Young, Todd Rohal, Andrew Bujalski and others. The film opened at SXSW and there Andrew Grant had a moment to speak with Swanberg about his films.

LOL is now out on DVD.

Continue Reading Young Americans: Joe Swanberg LOLs

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Scott Frank, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Matthew Goode Keep their Eyes Peeled

Interview By Jeffrey M. Anderson

As all screenwriters eventually must, the talented Scott Frank makes his directorial debut with the dramatic thriller The Lookout. Aside from his talent, Frank has enjoyed a very lucky career, seeing his screenplays for the most part produced by the right people at the right time, resulting in films like Kenneth Branagh's Dead Again (1991), Jodie Foster's Little Man Tate (1991), Barry Sonnenfeld's Get Shorty (1995), Steven Soderbergh's Out of Sight (1998) and Steven Spielberg's Minority Report (2002).

The Lookout is now out on DVD.

Continue Reading Scott Frank, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Matthew Goode Keep their Eyes Peeled

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Philip Haas: Understanding the Situation

Interview By Hannah Eaves

After finding success in the UK by documenting the lives and work of eccentric artists like Gilbert & George and currency vandal J.S.G. Boggs, director Philip Haas jumped the narrative fence with an adaptation of Paul Auster's Music of Chance, the first in what would become a long line of literary adaptations for the screen. With his next film, Angels and Insects, Haas broke through the arthouse market and received Cannes and Academy Award nominations. His latest film, The Situation, starring Connie Nielsen (Gladiator) as an American journalist caught in a Graham Greene-like situation, takes place in Iraq and marks his first collaboration with noted journalist Wendell Stevenson.

Hannah Eaves talks with Haas about working with artists vs. actors, directing scenes in Arabic and about how journalists and soldiers have reacted to The Situation - which is now out on DVD.

Continue Reading Philip Haas: Understanding the Situation

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