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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

TIFF12 Trailering THE ACT OF KILLING, presented by Herzog & Morris (3’08’)

Killers are invited to act out their memories of murder in Indonesia: “In this chilling and provocative documentary, executive-produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog (who said he’d “not seen a film as powerful and frightening in at least a decade”), a collection of unrepentant, genocidal thugs are given the chance to re-enact some of their many crimes—in lurid Hollywood style. When the Indonesian government was overthrown in 1965, small-time gangster Anwar Congo and his friends went from selling movie tickets on the black-market to leading anti-communist death squads in the mass murder of over a million people. Anwar boasts of killing hundreds with his own hands, but he’s lived in his country as a hero ever since, never forced by history to accept that he had perpetrated crimes against humanity. When approached to make a film about their role in the genocide, Anwar and his friends eagerly comply—but their idea of being in a movie is not to provide reflective testimony but to dance their way through musical numbers, twist arms in film noir gangster scenes, and gallop across the prairies as yodeling cowboys. A surreal cinematic journey, THE ACT OF KILLING presents a gripping conflict between moral imagination and moral catastrophe.”

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch