Posts Tagged ‘independent film’

My Sundance Summary

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

The 2014 Sundance Film Festival blew away all my expectations of what it would be. Everything from the town of Park City to the films being played left me in total awe. My eyes were opened to a whole new perspective on what film culture can be. You can read about the Sundance film festival all you want, but until you are there and live it, you’ll have no idea.

The week and a half of preparation in class was definitely a help for me. Not coming from a film studies background, I was able to study independent film in a way that would help me to think more critically about what I was watching. Had I not had any time to realize this, I don’t know that my experience would have been as impactful. (more…)

The volunteers of Sundance

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Sundance did a pretty good job of showing their appreciation of volunteers at the festival, but I wanted to go a step further and see what they had to say. Hope you enjoy.

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52 Tuesdays review

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Sophie Hyde’s, 52 Tuesdays is innovative in both in content and in production. It is the story of a teenage girl’s mother undergoing the transformation from female to male, which is a pretty timely topic of debate today, but it’s not the typical story a Hollywood studio would pick up. It is also a topic that could potentially not sit well with an audience, but I think the film was well put together.

When Billie’s (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) mother tells her that she will be taking a year to go through the transformation to a male, it also means that she will have to live with her father for the year. The relationship of Billie and her mother is set up to be very deep and entwined, so Billie is put off at this idea, but supports her mother’s decision. They agree to meet every Tuesday for six hours so they are not completely cut off from each other. (more…)

Wetlands review

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

I left the theater with my mouth open and my mind racing to comprehend what I had just seen after watching David Wnendt’s film, Wetlands. This is by no means a movie for the family to sit down and watch on a Sunday night. In fact, it may be so unholy that it shouldn’t be played on Sunday at all. The film couldn’t go five minutes without the audience shuddering in a flurry of emotion. I don’t have a sensitive stomach at all and even I was fighting my body’s reflex to gag at times. But in all its un-holiness, its gruesome subject, its visceral imagery, it is actually a pretty fantastic film.


Whitey review

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

The height of James “Whitey” Bulger’s influential rein of the streets of south Boston was before my time, and I didn’t really have any idea of who he was, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to go see a documentary about one of the biggest mobsters in Boston’s history. I mean, how can you go wrong watching a film like that?

Joe Berlinger’s film Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger centers around Bulger’s trial concerning his 32 counts of racketeering, money laundering, extortion, and weapons charges, including his involvement with 19 murders. The trial took place two years after he was captured in 2011, after spending 16 years in hiding on the most wanted list. (more…)

Bodily Fluids and Avocado Sex: A Review of “Wetlands”

Sunday, January 19th, 2014
Carla Juri is Helen in Wetlands

Carla Juri is Helen in "Wetlands"

There is so much going on in Park City this week that it really is impossible to do it all. Amid the big-name features, poignant documentaries and parties filled with beautiful people (and the fat guy from “Lost”), one film seems to be on everyones tongue: “Wetlands,” or as people have been referring to it, the film about the girl who masturbates with vegetables.

Billed by Buzzfeed as “The Most WTF, NSFW (what the fuck, not safe for work) Movie At This Year’s Sundance Film Festival,” the German film is much more than that, but you still will be squirming throughout. Adapted from the bestselling novel of the same name, it is a female coming-of-age picture that makes other popular coming-of-age pictures look like children’s programming on PBS.

Helen (Carla Juri) is, in her own words, a “living pussy hygiene experiment,” whose life has been shaped by her neurotic, tormenting mother and careless but vaguely loving father. Brought up to be extra vigilant about cleanliness, especially in regards to femininity, Helen throws it all out the window when her parents get divorced following the birth of her younger brother.

The best of Shorts Program 2

Sunday, January 19th, 2014
Shorts 2 Program Q&A session

My first full day at Sundance was nothing but shorts. I had two shorts programs to see, and it’s not that I wasn’t excited to see them, but I did have my reservations. I’ve seen some really great shorts, but there are also plenty that leave me feeling pretty unsatisfied. It takes something special for a short to really grab you and rise above the limitations of the format (the main one obviously being time). However, some of the shorts I saw really blew me away, and I’m definitely looking forward to the remaining sets. (more…)

Jessica Winter’s Top 50 Independent Films

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
The cover of Jessica Winters The Rough Guide to American Independent Film

The cover of Jessica Winter's "The Rough Guide to American Independent Film"

Of the two books that we are required to read, Jessica Winter’s “The Rough Guide to American Independent Film” (2006) lists what Winter’s to believe to be the top 50 films of the genre. It was our assignment on Thursday and Friday to read through that list in order to understand the range of films that have made an impact on the independent film community and know how they made influenced the industry.

The list goes as follows:

  • Bad Lieutenant
  • Before Sunrise
  • Before Sunset
  • Being John Malkovich
  • The Blair Witch Project
  • Blood Simple
  • Boys Don’t Cry
  • Buffalo ’66
  • Citizen Ruth (more…)

what indie film is to me

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Here’s my video on what independent film means to me. Help me get more than 1 view on this bad boy. Hope you enjoy it.

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What Is Independent Film? Go Ask Ellen Page

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
Me and my friends back in highschool, still waiting on that check from Sony.

Me and my friends back in highschool, still waiting on that check from Sony.

The cover of Michael Newman’s text on independent film “Indie: An American Film Culture” bears a picture of perhaps the most recognizable character from “indie” films in recent years: Juno MacGuff, played by Ellen Page, from the film “Juno.”

I saw the film during one of its first five premieres at the Austin Film Festival in 2007 and, although I enjoyed it, immediately wondered why it was being shown. The 2007 smash hit has helped me decide what truly defines a movie as being “independent” because frankly, the term is thrown around just as loosely as the word “unique.” Is any movie actually free of outside financial and content related pressures and contrains? Probably just as often as anything in the world is actually one of a kind and literally unique. Not very often.