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Sundance: New Frontier Round-up

DICKGIRL

If you’re going to sell me that you have a six-player “epic ‘80s fantasy” experience featuring female warriors, man, I want some interactivity with that that goes beyond white-labeling last year’s cat cannon functionality reworked to shoot lasers out of my arms, and I want some story and character development that makes the female warriors feel actually incepted out of story and a hero’s journey, with enough substance wrapped around the experience to give me a connection to my character and the other avatars and to care why we are there.

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The Daily Buzz from Sundance (Day 10)

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We have a special episode today, in which we begin by meeting and discussing filmmaking opportunities for women with Iyabo Boyd and Senain Kheshgi. We then moved on to discuss the film Last Race with director Michael Dweck. We finish by speaking with part of the hilarious and talented team behind the episodic Halfway There, including director Rick Rosenthal, writer Nick Morton, and actors Matthew Lillard and Sara Shahi.

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The Daily Buzz from Sundance (Day 9)

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Ever had a project that you were super-passionate about but didn’t know how to fund? Elise McCave of Kickstarter discusses how to crowdfund for your passion projects. Heather Lenz talks about directing Kusama, and we talk about Game Changers with Louie Psihoyos, Joseph Pace and James Wilks. We end with the team behind Science Fair, Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster, Kashfia, Robbi, and Dr. McCalla.

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The Daily Buzz from Sundance (Day 8)

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We cover Roll with Me, Zion and Nancy as well as talk to AAPI directors about their films. We start with two diverse AAPI directors, Bing Liu and Cecilia Hsu, then discuss Roll with Me with Lisa Frances, Jorja Fox and Gabriel Cordell. We also speak with Floyd Russ, director of Zion, and one of that short film’s producers. Director Christina Choe joins us for her psychological drama Nancy.

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The Daily Buzz from Sundance (Day 7)

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Today we have Chloe Zhao, director of The Rider,  on planning a film with budget restrictions. Co-directors of Genesis 2.0, Christian Frei and Maxim Arbugaev, talk about filming in the heart of Siberia. And we welcome female shorts directors, Anna Margaret Hollyman, of Maude, and Emily Anne Hoffman, of Nevada.

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The Daily Buzz from Sundance (Day 6)

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The Daily Buzz from Sundance (Day 4)

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The Daily Buzz from Sundance (Day 3)

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The Daily Buzz from Sundance (Day 2)

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The Daily Buzz Podcast from Sundance

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Sundance Seen Part 1

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Sundance Reviews: The Wolfpack, Slow West

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Six Films To Watch At Sundance

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Sundance 2014 Last Call

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Sundance 2014 Review: The Better Angels

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MCN Festivals

“F— it. Give me a Stella and a vodka and I will double-fist for the rest of the night.”
Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award-Winner Lake Bell On Needing To Breathe Through Her Butt More

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What do you make of the criticism directed at the film that the biopic genre or format is intrinsically bourgeois? That’s the most crazy criticism. That’s an excuse for not engaging with the content of the movie. Film critics sometimes, you know, can be very lazy.

Come on, formal criticism is valuable too. But I’m amazed when this is the thing they put in front of the discourse. My situation is that I’m dealing with a highly explosive subject, a taboo subject that nobody wants to deal with.

Karl Marx? Yes, this is the first film ever in the Western world about Marx. And I managed to make an almost mainstream film out of it. You want me at the same time to play the artist and do a risky film about the way my camera moves and the way I edit? No, it’s complicated enough! The artistic challenge — and it took me ten years with Pascal to write this story — was the writing. That was the most difficult part. We were making a film about the evolution of an idea, which is impossible. To be able to have political discourse in a scene, and you can follow it, and it’s not simplified, and it’s historically true. This is the accomplishment. So when someone criticizes the formal aspects without seeing that first, for me, it’s laziness or ignorance. There’s an incapacity to deal with what’s on the table. I make political films about today, I’m not making a biopic to make a biopic. I don’t believe in being an artist just to be an artist. And by the way, this film cost $9 million. I dare anyone in the United States to make this film for $9 million.
Raoul Peck on The Young Karl Marx

“The Motion Picture Academy, at considerable expense and with great efficiency, runs all the nominated pictures at its own theater, showing each picture twice, once in the afternoon, once in the evening. A nominated picture is one in connection with which any kind of work is nominated for an award, not necessarily acting, directing, or writing; it may be a purely technical matter such as set-dressing or sound work. This running of pictures has the object of permitting the voters to look at films which they may happen to have missed or to have partly forgotten. It is an attempt to make them realize that pictures released early in the year, and since overlaid with several thicknesses of battered celluloid, are still in the running and that consideration of only those released a short time before the end of the year is not quite just.

“The effort is largely a waste. The people with votes don’t go to these showings. They send their relatives, friends, or servants. They have had enough of looking at pictures, and the voices of destiny are by no means inaudible in the Hollywood air. They have a brassy tone, but they are more than distinct.”All this is good democracy of a sort. We elect Congressmen and Presidents in much the same way, so why not actors, cameramen, writers, and all rest of the people who have to do with the making of pictures? If we permit noise, ballyhoo, and theater to influence us in the selection of the people who are to run the country, why should we object to the same methods in the selection of meritorious achievements in the film business? If we can huckster a President into the White House, why cannot we huckster the agonized Miss Joan Crawford or the hard and beautiful Miss Olivia de Havilland into possession of one of those golden statuettes which express the motion picture industry’s frantic desire to kiss itself on the back of its neck? The only answer I can think of is that the motion picture is an art. I say this with a very small voice. It is an inconsiderable statement and has a hard time not sounding a little ludicrous. Nevertheless it is a fact, not in the least diminished by the further facts that its ethos is so far pretty low and that its techniques are dominated by some pretty awful people.

“If you think most motion pictures are bad, which they are (including the foreign), find out from some initiate how they are made, and you will be astonished that any of them could be good. Making a fine motion picture is like painting “The Laughing Cavalier” in Macy’s basement, with a floorwalker to mix your colors for you. Of course most motion pictures are bad. Why wouldn’t they be?”
~ Raymond Chandler, “Oscar Night In Hollywood,” 1948