Archive for the ‘Independent Film’ Category

The Death And Life Of Marsha P. Johnson

October 15, 2017

David France’s (How to Survive a Plague) sophomore documentary effort, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson creates an essential conversation. Unfortunately the film meanders in unknown directions. Too bad because the focus of trans people of color, disenfranchised and destitute warrants examination and solutions. How do marginalized people travel in the world? How do we help others out of poverty, homelessness, and a myriad of other issues which keep them stuck in a bad place? How do we empower people while honoring their individuality? France covers all of that. But the focus on the film vacillates between an amateur sleuth story of Johnson’s friend Patricia trying desperately to uncover the truth of her friend’s death, a modern story of a trans woman’s murder, and the chaotic world of Marsha’s friend, Sylvia Rivera. Not sure how a film that features a person’s name can become so convoluted during editing. Watching it proved frustrating knowing that a better focused film would have brought the viewer into a world which desperately needs our respect and support. 3 out of 5 for the film.

Find out more about transgender issues and how you can help:
National Center for Transgender Equality 
Sylvia Rivera Law Project

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John Sayles’ film series at the library

October 13, 2017

Beginning Saturday, October 14, 2017  I will be presenting a brand-new 3-part film series for the Fairfield Public Library. I’m very excited to share these wonderful films and John Sayles’ genius with library patrons.

Fall Film Series
American Independent Film Director: John Sayles
Saturdays, 1:30 pm
Rotary Room, Main Library

October 14, 2017: Matewan (1987)
October 28, 2017: Lone Star (1996)
November 11, 2017: Sunshine State (2002)

Join us this fall when we examine the work of independent film director John Sayles. Sayles entered American filmmaking in 1979 with his debut, Return of the Secaucus Seven. During the 70’s, these films were dubbed Art House Cinema. Today they’re known as Independent Cinema or “Indie.” Named independent, the genre and specifically the filmmaker, refuses financial assistance, input, or control from Hollywood. The films will be screened by Philip Bahr, reference librarian and film blogger. Bahr will introduce each film with a short presentation on independent filmmaking and a brief introduction to the movie. Afterwards, attendees are welcome to stay and discuss the film.
http://bit.ly/2fq3ZUA

First up: Matawan this Saturday, October 14th.

 

25 Films With the Best Cinematography of the 21st Century (Indiewire)

October 8, 2017

Get your big ass 4K television fired up because Indiewire‘s posted the 25 most beautiful films of the 21st Century. The past 17 years has produced a gorgeous body of work from cinematographers worldwide. From Indiewire,

Cinematography is tough to judge on its own merits, because it can be hard to extract it from the other powers of great visual storytelling. At the same time, every beautiful movie shows the signature of a talented director of photography as much as a filmmaker. In the process of considering the finest cinematographic achievements of this decade, this list includes on gorgeous films that — in some cases — achieve more on the level of cinematography than anything else. The past two decades have found the craft of cinematography making extraordinary advances on the level of digital technologies and other innovations, but at the end of the day, these particulars matter less than the sheer impression left by the images and movements captured by cinematographers operating at the peak of their abilities.

Included in the list are Reel Charlie favorites Moonlight, The Great Beauty, Carol, Hero, Mr. Turner, Children of Men, Far from Heaven (a second Todd Haynes and Ed Lachman collaboration!), and In the Mood for Love.

See the full list of films at Indiewire.

If We Took a Holiday (Short)

October 3, 2017

Oh my lord. I love Glenn Gaylord (Eating Out, I Do). Can’t believe I took this much time to see his short film, If We Took a Holiday. From YouTube,

If We Took a Holiday tells the story of a struggling L.A. actress (Nadya Ginsburg) who agrees to impersonate Madonna all day long as a birthday present for her recently dumped gay best friend (Dennis Hensley.) Shenanigans and life lessons ensue. The film is produced and written by Glenn Gaylord, Nadya Ginsburg and Dennis Hensley and directed by Glenn Gaylord.

This was so much fun! Nadya Ginsburg is a genius impersonator and Dennis Hensley was perfect as her gay best friend recovering from a break-up. Birthday celebrations abound. The nearly 18 minutes flew by. I laughed, I felt all gooey inside. Really outstanding. Yea! 5 out of 5.

Watch If We Took a Holiday on YouTube.

 

NewFest 2017

September 29, 2017

Metro NYC peeps: NewFest 2017
The 29th Annual New York LGBT Film Festival

Thursday October 19 – Tuesday October 24
SAVE THE DATES!

NewFest will be celebrating its 29th annual New York LGBT Film Festival from October 19th – 24th, 2017. The six-day festival will feature over 100 films, panels, and parties that reflect the LGBT experience.

Reel Charlie’s looking forward to:
100 Men
Hot to Trot
My Wonderful West Berlin
One Last Thing

Beatriz at Dinner

September 28, 2017

What a colossal disappointment Beatriz at Dinner turned out to be. From the trailer I was expecting a delicious drawing-room play based on heightened feelings post-election. I got some of that, but the final act of Beatriz veered into a complete cop-out. Without revealing any spoilers, let’s just say the final reaction of the title character seemed completely out of character and unnecessary. What a waste of talent. The cast couldn’t have been handed picked better: Salma Hayek, John Lithgow, Connie Britton, Jay Duplass (Transparent), Amy Landecker (Transparent), and Chloë Sevigny. Damn shame. 1 out of 5 because the ending made me so angry. Next.

Oscars: France Selects ‘120 Beats Per Minute’ for Foreign-Language Category (Hollywood Reporter)

September 27, 2017

From The Hollywood Reporter,

Robin Campillo’s drama won the Grand Prize at this year’s Cannes film festival.

France has selected Robin Campillo’s 120 Beats Per Minute as its submission in the best foreign-language film category of the Oscars.

The film won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

The selection committee was chaired by National Cinema Center (CNC) head Frederique Bredin and composed of executives including Cannes Film Festival head Thierry Fremaux, French Academy president Alain Terzian, UniFrance film body head Serge Toubiana and former head Jean-Paul Salome, as well as CNC financing commissioner Teresa Cremisi.

BAFTA- and Cesar-nominated director Anne Fontaine (Coco Before Chanel) and Cesar winner Deniz Gamze Erguven, director of the Oscar-nominated Mustang, rounded out the committee.

The commission selected from a shortlist including 120 Beats Per Minute, Mathieu Amalric’s Cannes Un Certain Regard special prize winner Barbara and Redoubtable from Oscar-winning director Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist).

Read the full article.

Tom of Finland trailer

September 23, 2017

Very excited to see the new release, Tom of Finland. The film is Finland’s official choice for submission in the Oscars’ “Best Foreign Language Film” category. From Kino Lorber,

Known to the world as Tom of Finland, the proudly erotic drawings of artist Touko Laaksonen shaped the fantasies of a generation of gay men, influencing art and fashion before crossing over into the wider cultural consciousness. But who was the man behind the leather? Dome Karukoski’s stirring biopic follows his life from the trenches of WWII and repressive Finnish society of the 1950s through his struggle to get his work published in California, where he and his art were finally embraced amid the sexual revolution of the 1970s. Tom’s story is one of love, courage and perseverance, mirroring the gay liberation movement for which his leather-clad studs served as a defiant emblem.

Tom of Finland opens 10/13 in New York and 10/20 in San Francisco and Los Angeles before expanding to select cities.

Watch the trailer on YouTube.

How to be a Slut in America – Part 1

September 19, 2017

Filmmaker Brian Jordan Alvarez is creating some of the most interesting episodic media from a gay man’s perspective. First there was The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo, a preposterous and effervescent look at 20-something life in L.A. Alvarez followed that up creating Stupid Idiots with writing partner Stephanie Koenig. Now he showcases a more serious side with Part 1 of How to be a Slut in America. This is less silly, more honest portrayal of a young man figuring out how he wants to live out his romantic and sexual life. Brian Jordan Alvarez continues to put himself out there and rewards us with outstanding content. 4 out of 5.

Watch How to be a Slut in America, Part 1 on YouTube. (NSFW)

Dying to Know

September 18, 2017

Ram Dass and Timothy Leary spent several decades in and around each other during careers in academia, experimenting with and legitimately researching psychedelic drugs and alternative ways of living, going their separate ways to find other avenues of enlightenment and growth and finally coming together again as Leary neared the end of his life. Dying to Know chronicles the friendship of these two men – Leary a straight man with a string of marriages and difficulty finding intimacy with women and Dass, a gay man who spent his life in search of teachers and enlightenment while teetering on the edge of the closet. For anyone who doesn’t know their story or for someone like me who read Be Here Now a long time ago and forgot I made index card notes from my reading, there is lots to learn from this straight-forward documentary. 3.5 out of 5 for the journey of Leary and Dass.


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