Winner of the Prize Un Certain Regard Award at this year’s Cannes Festival, Kornel Mundruczo’s newest film is a story of the indignities visited upon animals by their supposed “human superiors,” but it’s also an brutal, beautiful metaphor for the political and cultural tensions sweeping contemporary Europe. When young Lili is forced to give up her beloved dog Hagen, because it’s mixed-breed heritage is deemed ‘unfit’ by The State, she and the dog begin a dangerous journey back towards each other. At the same time, all the unwanted, unloved and so-called ‘unfit’ dogs rise up under a new leader, Hagen, the one-time housepet who has learned all too well from his ‘Masters’ in his journey through the streets and animal control centers how to bite the hands that beats him.
The most gratifying aspect of curating a film fest is being able to bring an under-the-radar gem you feel passionate about to an audience that might never otherwise see it. And as the director of programming for this year’s Santa Fe Independent Film Festival I was asked several times to name my favorite selection (which, of course, is like being asked to choose between kids). Nevertheless, I’d be lying if I pretended one film didn’t immediately leap to mind, a flick I’d fallen head over heels in love with when I caught it over the summer, courtesy of Rooftop Films. As I wrote in my program notes:
“The talk of the 2012 Berlinale and a hit at this year’s Rooftop Films Series NYC, West German director Marten Persiel’s This Ain’t California thrills on so many levels it ultimately defies description, much like its stunning skateboarding tricks caught on archival super 8 and set to 80s German synthpop. To call it a doc about a gang of skateboarders on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall doesn’t nearly do justice to this punk nostalgia trip and fragile time capsule, to this alternative history of the German Democratic Republic, and personal tribute to a lone teenage rebel with a universal cause.” – READ MORE
Rodney Ascher explores the mystery and conspiracies surrounding Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film The Shining.
In 1980 Stanley Kubrick released his masterpiece of modern horror, The Shining. Over 30 years later we are still struggling to understand its hidden meanings. Rodney Ascher’s film Room 237 is an exploration of the truths concealed in The Shining.
Adam Wingard’s new flick You’re Next looks awesome. I was a fan of Pop Skull and this new horror / thriller looks to be genre eye candy. Fresh off a bidding war at TIFF the film will get a nice rollout from Lionsgate but you’ll have to wait to the fall 2012. Until then you can look at these cool shots from the film.
Family reunions can be a real bitch. All fun and amicable on the surface, yet underneath the tensions are ready to boil over. Welcome to the Davison clan’s opulent country house, where a get-together gets ugly and bloody — fast.
When Crispian Davison (A.J. Bowen) brings his new girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson) along to celebrate the wedding anniversary of his parents (Rob Moran and Re-Animator’s Barbara Crampton), the worst thing either of them expects is some awkward conversation and an inadequate supply of whiskey. But an evening of sibling rivalry and icy barbs at the dinner table is shattered when an arrow smashes through the window. Enter a gang of killers in animal masks, armed with machetes, axes and a crossbow, who begin to hunt the family down with brutal precision.
Director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett, who shocked audiences at last year’s Festival with their lo-fi serial-killer thriller A Horrible Way to Die, return to the scene of the crime with this solid shriek show tailor-made for Midnight Madness.
The WorkBook Project joined forces with Filmmaker Magazine to produce a number of daily videos from Park City. SABI filmmakers Zak Forsman and Kevin K. Shah speak with Ted Hope, Jon Reiss, Mynette Louie (Children of Invention) and Linas Phillips (Bass Ackwards) to explore the solutions that are emerging for independent filmmakers – featuring some of the insights and actions that came from the 2010 Filmmaker Summit.