Film Essent Archive for February, 2010

Your World in Two Minutes

The BBC has this pretty cool thing called My World going, where they are inviting filmmakers to submit two-minute short films about where they live. The shortlist will be selected by “well-known documentary filmmakers from around the world” and the top ten shown on BBC World News.
You can check out some of the films already submitted or enter your own film right over here. Some of the entries are surprisingly good; it made me think about what some of my talented filmmaker friends could come up with to show their world two minutes. If you make and submit a short to this competition, let me know so I can check it out.

Oxford Film Festival: It's a Wrap!

This was my third year at the Oxford Film Festival, and I have to say this fest just gets better and better every year. Other small regional fests take note: If you want to grow your small-town-fest-that-could into a small town fest that can and does have a reputation as one of the go-to fests for your region, take some notes from the folks who make this fest happen. As at any fest, there are countless volunteers who make it happen, but I have to give a shout out to the fest co-directors, Michelle Emanuel, Molly Fergusson and Micah Ginn, and Assistant Director Melanie Addington.
My fellow fest circuit junkies — not to mention all you indie filmmakers out there looking for a great fest to showcase your hard work — should add Oxford to your list of fests to check out; If you’re ever fortunate enough to be invited to attend as a filmmaker, juror or panelist, do not turn it down.

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“Most of these women were in their early twenties. Most of them refused to go any further with him, but a few went to dinner, or to some sort of casting situation, or to someplace private… if the stories were just about some crazed sex addict who approaches thousands of women on the street trying to get laid, I wouldn’t be posting this now. I don’t want to be attacking every Hollywood douchebag who hits on countless women. That type of behavior isn’t cool, but I think it’s important to separate douchebaggery from any kind of sexual coercion. But the women I talked to who DID go someplace private with Toback, told stories that were worse than the women only accosted on the street… So I did what I could do in my impotent state – for over twenty years now, I’ve been bringing up James Toback every chance I could in groups of people. I couldn’t stop him, but I could warn people about him… I’ve been hoping the Weinstein/O’Reilly stuff would bring this vampire into the light (him and a couple others, frankly). So I was happy today to wake up to this story in the L. A. Times.”
~ James Gunn

“BATTLE OF THE SEXES: Politics and queerness as spectacle/spectacle as politics and queerness. Pretty delightful, lovely, erotic. A-

“Not since EASY A and CABARET have I seen Emma Stone give a real sense of her range. Here, she has pathos and interiority and desire. I love the cinematography and the ways in which the images of the tennis icons are refracted and manipulated via various surfaces/mediators. Also, wild how a haircut is one of the most erotic scenes in cinema this year. Spine tinglingly tactile that feels refreshing. Proof that *cough* you don’t need to be ~graphic/explicit~ to be erotic *cough*. Also, it made me want to get into tennis. Watching it, at least.

“There are interesting touches and intimations as to the cinematic nature of sports, & unpacking the formal approach of broadcasting sports.Also, I was here for Sarah Silverman smoking. And also, hi Mickey Sumner!! It’s a really interesting film about the ways in which public spectacle is never apolitical, and how spectacle is prone to assignation.

“There’s this one other scene from BATTLE OF THE SEXES that I love, and it’s the one in the bar. You see Billie looking after Marilyn as she dances. Through a crowd. There’s a paradoxical closeness and distance between them. In the purple light, and the kitschy decor, everything is distorted. But Billie catches a glance and you can feel the nervous swell inside.”
~ Kyle Turner