Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

David Lynch interview @ Wired.com

Monday, January 8th, 2007

A good interview with David Lynch at Wired.com. Topics covered include using digital video on Inland Empire and his ideas about meditation.

Wired: Digital video seems to have made the process of filmmaking easier for budding auteurs.
Lynch: Digital video is so beautiful. It’s lightweight, modern, and it’s only getting better. It’s put film into the La Brea Tar Pits.
Wired: So you are serious about working exclusively in DV from here on out?
Lynch: For sure.

[via DVGuru]

James Longley: SRF Interview

Monday, December 4th, 2006

‘You are going to be the proud owner of 25 million people,’ he told the president. ‘You will own all their hopes, aspirations, and problems. You’ll own it all.’ Privately, Powell and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage called this the Pottery Barn rule: You break it, you own it.

— from Plan of Attack by Bob Woodward

While the title of James Longley’s mesmerizing new documentary, Iraq in Fragments, literally conjures images of the now-infamous “Pottery Barn rule”, the connection runs much deeper than the title. Like Colin Powell’s admonition to the president, James Longley’s film actually considers the situation of the Iraqis. I say “actually” because, though it may seem like an obvious consideration, Iraq in Fragments is, to the best of my knowledge, the only American documentary about Iraq — and this year has seen several of those — that focuses solely on the citizens of that fractured nation

Divided into three discrete segments (hence the title’s double-meaning), Iraq in Fragments first follows a fatherless 11 year old working in a Baghdad garage. The second section chronicles the growth of the militant followers of Muqtada al-Sadr. The film closes with a portrait of a family of Kurdish farmers. It’s an illuminating approach, one that prevents it or us from making generalizations about how Iraq’s citizens, have, and haven’t, been transformed by the war. I imagine it will also help American audiences understand, at least a little, how American forces are viewed — as occupiers by some, as liberators by others. Certainly, the time Longley spent with his subjects (well over a year, and 300+ hours shot) helps provide a perspective that’s been absent from what we see on the nightly news.

While Iraq in Fragments would be noteworthy for its content, the film also happens to feature striking cinema verite cinematography and edgy editing, which gives the film a quality that is more poetry than prose. The style creates an impressionistic sketch of what it might feel like to be in Iraq, without (in my opinion) grossly aestheticizing the pain, rage, and hope he finds there.

The combination of style and substance has been met with critical praise. At Sundance, where it premiered, Longley took home honors for directing, editing, and cinematography — a first for a single film. Since then its laurels include Best Documentary awards at major film festivals (Full Frame, Thessaloniki, and Chicago, among others), as well as a Gotham Award.

That Longley did most of the work (e.g., cinematography, editing, music, etc) single-handedly will make the film’s achievement that much more impressive for some. Longley, though, suggests that working this way was precisely how he was able to achieve things.

We emailed back and forth last week, soon after Iraq in Fragments was short-listed for the Best Documentary Oscar.

(more…)

Dance Party USA

Friday, November 17th, 2006

I’ve heard good things about Aaron Katz’s microbudget feature Dance Party USA, which opens in New York today. If you’re in New York, go see it. If you’re not, order the DVD like I did.

Here’s an interview conducted by David Lowery.

And here’s one from indieWire.

Pinewood Dialogues Online

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

The Museum of the Moving Image in New York has posted MP3s of dialogues they’ve held over the last several years with major figures in (largely North American) film. Todd Haynes, Jim Jarmusch, David Lynch and David Cronenberg are just a few of those interviewed.

Check out the dialogues here.

[Via Green Cine]

Keith Fulton / Brothers of the Head

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

Keith Fulton — co-director, with Lou Pepe, of Brothers of the Headanswers indieWire’s questions today.

Favorite quote, both because of the Temple shout-out and the philosophy:

I made a bunch of experimental super-8 films in college and then attended an MFA program in film production at Temple University. Temple’s program encouraged its students to learn all aspects of film production and did not follow the industry model at all. There was no structure where you played at being “the director,” “the writer,” or “the producer,” an approach which I think is unhealthy. There’s enough time to experience the hierarchy of film business later on, and I think the most important education you can have if you want to direct films is to learn every aspect of the process.

Indeed.

On paper Brothers of the Head looks gimmicky (“conjoined twin rock and roll band mockumentary”), but it’s smarter than that — intense, demanding, and weird (as in “Ken Russell weird”). Definitely not your typical summer fare. Go see it.