Archive for the ‘Distribution & Screenings’ Category

Happy Birthday, Agnes!

Friday, May 30th, 2008

If it seems I’ve taken a bit of a blog-holiday, well, that’s because I’m on a bit of a working vacation. (I was in England last week; Switzerland this week and next.) But I have to post a happy birthday announcement to Agnes Varda, one of my all-time favorite filmmakers. David Hudson is gathering well-wishes at Greencine.

What a great way to make the announcement that one of my favorite films of Varda’s, Jacquot, is now available on (Region 2) DVD from her web store.

Ashley, who is in France (on her way to meet me here in Switzerland), stopped by Varda’s office just two days ago, where she briefly met Agnes herself and purchased “the second copy in the world” of the Jacquot DVD. As they say in France, super cool!

Quick Feet, Soft Hands @ the Maryland Film Festival

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Quick Feet, Soft Hands will be screening at the Maryland Film Festival this weekend. If you’re in the Baltimore area come on down to see it and the other amazing films in the MD FF lineup.

Quick Feet, Soft Hands Showtimes:

Shorts Program: Narrative 2
Friday, May 2 @ 1:30 pm
Sunday, May 4 @ 11:00 am
Charles Theater 4

Among the films I’m eager to see: David Lowery’s A Catalog of Anticipations, James M. Johnston’s Merrily, Merrily, Barry Jenkins’ Medicine for Melancholy, the Duplass Bros.’ Baghead, Azezel Jacobs’ Momma’s Man and many others.

And I’m not even counting the films that I’ve already managed to see (like Nights & Weekends and At the Death House Door).

DVD Round-Up: April 29, 2008

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a round-up. Below you’ll find micro-reviews of these recent releases if I’ve seen them, otherwise I’m giving you the blurbs or awards that have piqued my interest in each.

Manda Bala
Winner of Cinema Eye awards for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking, Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography, Outstanding Achievement in Editing. Winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Documentary Cinematography Prize.

Ganja & Hess
I saw a tattered print of this landmark of African-American cinema in Philadelphia in the mid-90s. As a vampire film, I’m not sure it’s the “lost masterpiece” it’s sometimes claimed to be. But it’s definitely a strange and mysterious film worthy of a second viewing, and possibly more. The film stars Duane Jones (the original Night of the Living Dead).

The Guatemalan Handshake
A goofy take on Americana and the eccentrics that inhabit it, Todd Rohal’s Slamdance hit gets “the Benten treatment” in this deluxe 2-disc set. The road-trip plot sputters in parts, but the constantly-inventive cinematography kept me involved, suggesting a post-post-modern update of David Byrne’s True Stories.

Lake of Fire
J. Hoberman (Village Voice): 17 years in the self-financed making, Lake of Fire may be as daringly aestheticized as any social documentary since Errol Morris’s The Thin Blue Line.

The Delirious Fictions of William Klein: Eclipse Box Set
From the Criterion/Eclipse website: An American expatriate in Paris Klein [has been] making challenging cinema for over forty years yet with the exception of his acclaimed 1969 documentary Muhammed Ali The Greatest his film work is barely known in the United States. In his three fiction features…Klein’s politically galvanizing and insanely entertaining social critiques seem even more ahead of their time than works of the more famous New Wavers that overshadowed them: colorful surreal antidotes to all.

Nashville Film Festival Wrap-up

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

I had hoped to post some reports from the Nashville Film Festival, but a few things prevented me from doing that. First, we were staying with family that didn’t have an easy-to-jump-on internet connection. And, more importantly, I was just too busy having a good time at the festival (and elsewhere).

Quick Feet, Soft Hands was well received at both screenings. Unlike comedy or horror, where you might have the laughs or shrieks of an audience to gauge audience reaction reaction, with a drama like mine you get no such cues. But the Q&A after the screening helped me see that at least some audiences believe our time and efforts were worth it. There were lots of thoughtful questions and comments — not a single “What camera did you use?” or “What was your budget?” Instead I was asked questions about the story, how it evolved, how I came to cast Jason and Greta. There were even some audience members who raised their hands to say some kind words — no question, mind you, just a compliment. And after returning to Virginia I found that Betsy Pickle (Knoxville News-Sentinel and Scripps Howard syndicated columnist) had some nice (dare I say blurbable?) things to say in her online column. Needless to say, all of this feels good.

I’m sure there will be other things to say along the way as this film screens in different places, and in different ways. For now, I’m glad the thing is done, glad it’s out there, and glad that it’s beginning to find its audience.

Other films: Ashley and I did some filming in Nashville for a documentary we’re working on, so I didn’t catch nearly as many films as I would have liked to have seen. Of what I did see, my favorites were In the City of Sylvia, Alexandra, Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind, Voda and City of Cranes, the last two of which are short films featuring superb cinematography.

Of the features, I am particularly glad I saw In the City of Sylvia, which I caught with Darren Hughes, who drove over from Knoxville to see it for the third time (he saw it twice at Toronto). Were it not for Darren’s tip I probably wouldn’t have caught it — I somehow skipped over it in my perusal of the NaFF catalog. But it’s an exquisite gem of a film. A tale of a young man’s attempt to track down a woman he met six years earlier, it’s as if Eric Rohmer set out to remake one of his Moral Tales sans dialogue. To say anything more would probably ruin it for future viewers. So we’ll leave it at that.

All in all, it was a good year at the Nashville Film Festival, premiere and otherwise. Thanks to Mandy McBroom (Shorts Programmer) and Brian Gordon (Artistic Director) for putting together such a solid festival.

Quick Feet, Soft Hands @ the Nashville Film Festival

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

My new film Quick Feet, Soft Hands will be premiering at the Nashville Film Festival this weekend. If you’re in the area come on down to see it and introduce yourself to me (if I don’t already know you).



Friday, April 18 @ 2:15 pm
Sunday, April 20 @ 9:00 pm