Clark Collis writes: The new documentary 78/52 gives a closer look at the shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 terror classic Psycho with assistance from a lengthy list of interviewees, including Guillermo del Toro, Peter Bogdanovich, Elijah Wood, Bret Easton Ellis, Neil Marshall, Danny Elfman, Karyn Kusama, Apocalypse Now editor Walter Murch, Janet Leigh’s actress daughter Jamie Lee Curtis, and Anthony Perkins’ filmmaker son, Osgood Perkins. The film’s title refers to the number of setups (78) and the number of cuts (52) in the notorious sequence.
Written and directed by Alexandre O. Philippe (Doc of the Dead), 78/52 was showcased as a work-in-progress at Fantasia’s Frontieres International Film Market. Read the rest of this entry »
Charge: sequence in film was ‘work of fiction’ that damaged reputation of commentators.
Gun rights advocates don’t enjoy being falsely depicted as dimwits who can’t answer the most basic of questions about their No. 1 public policy issue.
Erik Wemple reports: That’s the takeaway from a defamation lawsuit filed today against Katie Couric and the producers of “Under the Gun,” a documentary about gun violence in the United States. Having debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January, the documentary itself came under the gun in May, when members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) claimed that it slighted them by mal-editing an interview in which they’d participated. In response to a question from Couric, the film’s narrator, the gun rights advocates were depicted as sitting in baffled silence for nearly 10 seconds.
In fact, they had supplied an extensive response to Couric’s question.
Many onlookers, including the Erik Wemple Blog, blasted the film for this portrayal. Couric, the global anchor of Yahoo News, initially stood by the product but ultimately apologized for the “misleading” edit. The film’s director, Stephanie Soechtig, wasn’t so contrite. “I think it’s sad to say that these eight seconds didn’t give the VCDL a platform to speak. Their views are expressed repeatedly throughout the film; we know how they feel about background checks. They said it earlier in the film,” said Soechtig in an interview after the furor.
Intransigence of that sort may bedevil Soechtig in a legal action filed by the VCDL and two gun rights defenders in the film — Daniel Hawes and Patricia Webb — against Couric, Soechtig, Atlas Films and Epix, the documentary’s distributor. Filed in a Virginia federal court by Elizabeth Locke of Clare Locke LLP, the complaint states, “The Defendants manipulated the footage in service of an agenda: they wanted to establish that there is no basis for opposing background checks, by fooling viewers into believing that even a panel of pro-Second Amendment advocates could not provide one.” It seeks compensatory damages of $12 million, and punitive damages of $350,000 per plaintiff.
The filmmakers gave this particular lawsuit a galloping start, with a dreadful sequence that comes less than a half-hour into the one-hour-and-45-minute documentary. Seated in a circle are members of the VCDL against a dark backdrop. Couric asks this question: “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?” In response, the VCDL members say precisely nothing. They stare into space, or at the floor. Brain-freeze appears to have enveloped them.
As the suit notes, this depiction is a “work of fiction.” The VCDL members actually filled Couric’s ear; Hawes, for example, said this:
The fact is we do have statutes, both at the federal and state level that prohibit classes of people from being in possession of firearms. If you’re under 18, in Virginia, you can’t walk around with a gun. If you’re an illegal immigrant, if you’re a convicted felon, if you’ve been adjudicated insane, these things are already illegal. So, what we’re really asking about is a question of prior restraint. How can we prevent future crime by identifying bad guys before they do anything bad? And, the simple answer is you can’t. And, particularly, under the legal system we have in the United States, there are a lot of Supreme Court opinions that say, “No, prior restraint is something that the government does not have the authority to do.” Until there is an overt act that allows us to say, “That’s a bad guy,” then you can’t punish him.
That argument, notes the complaint, is part of the six minutes that the gun rights advocates spent answering Couric’s question. Showing the VCDL as dumbfounded required some work on the part of the filmmakers. In coordinating the interview with the VCDL advocates, Couric and a cameraman from Atlas Films told them that they needed to sit in silence for 10 seconds so that the crew could calibrate the “recording equipment.” It was this passage that “Under the Gun” placed in the film instead of the actual answers supplied to the question about background checks. The suit alleges that this moment carried particular implications for each of the named plaintiffs in the case. Webb is a licensed firearms dealer (Gadsden Guns Inc.), and the edits indicate that “she lacks knowledge regarding background checks — a requirement for every gun sale she does,” argues the complaint. Hawes is an attorney who handles cases involving firearms, and the film suggests that “he lacks the legal expertise and oral advocacy skills required to perform his duties.” Read the rest of this entry »
Have you heard the saying, once something is on the internet, its there forever, well these videos never made it to the internet, heres our list of 10 videos you cant find on the internet.
The True Story Of The News Anchor Who Committed Suicide On Live TV In 1974
Trisha Bartle writes: When news anchor Christine Chubbuck started her broadcast on the morning of July 15, 1974, no one knew what she was about to do. Just a few minutes into her broadcast, Chubbuck was dead. She had shot herself in the head.
The authorities confiscated the tape, but because it was broadcast live, many people saw her take her own life. Read the rest of this entry »
This Rashida-Jones produced documentary looks at the amateur porn industry. Directed by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus, Hot Girls Wanted follows the several 18- and 19-year old pornographic actresses. The picture debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival where it was picked up by Netflix….(read more)
After 10 days of premieres and deals in Park City, the Sundance Film Festival jury handed out honors across a range of categories on Saturday evening.
“This movie was about processing loss and, but really to celebrate a beautiful life and a beautiful man, which is my amazing father. So this is to his memory and to celebrate him through humor, so thanks again for this opportunity.”
— Me and Earl Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
“This movie was about processing loss and, but really to celebrate a beautiful life and a beautiful man, which is my amazing father. So this is to his memory and to celebrate him through humor, so thanks again for this opportunity,” said Earl director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon upon accepting the grand jury prize.
Meanwhile, The Wolfpack, a look at a family of six siblings living in Manhattan, claimed the U.S. grand jury prize for a documentary. Robert Eggers, whose film The Witch was acquired by A24 films shortly after the festival opened, claimed the directing award for U.S. dramatic title.
Rick Famuyiwa‘s Dope, which was acquired by Open Road and given a June 12 theatrical release, claimed the special jury honor for excellence in editing while Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s The Stanford Prison Experiment took home the U.S. dramatic screenwriting award. Read the rest of this entry »
“It’s part of our mission to expand beyond our own borders.”
— John Cooper, director of the Sundance Film Festival
Dean Napolitano writes:
Movie lovers in Hong Kong won’t have to travel all the way
to Park City, Utah, to catch the best in American independent films. The Sundance Film Festival is coming to Hong Kong in an abridged edition that will screen eight films from this year’s film bash.
The festival kicks off on Friday with “Whiplash,” which grabbed the Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic competition, about a young drumming prodigy and his overbearing teacher. Other highlights include “The Skeleton Twins,” a comedy-drama about a suicidal man that’s won rave reviews, and Mark Ruffalo as a manic-depressive family man in “Infinitely Polar Bear.” Read the rest of this entry »
The provocative documentary, which hit select theaters on Friday, demonstrates in sad detail how American college students and their families are struggling to cope with tuition prices that have skyrocketed 1,120 percent in “absolute dollars” since 1978.
Rossi observed that salaries for bureaucrats ranging from incredibly cushy to downright obscene have been a huge factor in tuition increases.
“The increase in administrators and professional staff has far outpaced the growth of full-time faculty.”
— Director Andrew Rossi
Many college presidents now bring home seven-figure salaries, he noted. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] CHILL: Festival Snuffs Pro-Fracking Documentary; Will Present Films Critical of Industry InsteadPosted: January 27, 2014
Speaking of controversial documentaries… The Washington Times‘ Valerie Richardson reports: A Minnesota film festival is being accused of pushing a political agenda by yanking a pro-fracking documentary from its lineup while keeping two anti-fracking films on the program.
Organizers of the Frozen River Film Festival in Winona, Minn., decided last week to cut “FrackNation,” a widely discussed 2013 documentary about hydraulic fracturing, reportedly citing concerns about the film’s financial links to the oil and gas industry and the filmmakers’ inability to attend the screening.
The decision represents the first time the festival has pulled a film in its nine-year history. Instead, the festival plans to fill Sunday’s slot with a forum discussion, “Documentaries Today: My Fact Your Fiction?”
Filmmaker Phelim McAleer, who produced the “FrackNation” with Ann McIlhenney, said he wasn’t buying the festival organizers’ explanation.
“It’s a cover story,” said Mr. McAleer. “They’re under pressure from environmental elites not to show this film.”
He noted that while “FrackNation” was pulled, the festival is still showing “Gasland2,” a follow-up to the intensely anti-fracking 2011 documentary “Gasland,” and “Dear Governor Cuomo,” a documentary about anti-fracking protests in New York.
CHINA is the first country to label internet addiction a clinical disorder. But instead of shutting the laptop and going for a stroll, in China there are guarded boot camps intended to deprogram hooked teens.
We use the internet daily. We rely on it. But there are some who are so addicted to it they shun the tangible realm of reality for an online existence, exploring digital worlds and living a digital life to such an extent the lines of what’s real and what isn’t become a blur.
The compulsive need to excessively be online has been the cause of scores of deaths. Some have died of exhaustion after playing online games solidly for days, while in Korea, a couple spent so much time at an internet café their three-month-old baby died as they neglected to feed it. Read the rest of this entry »
“…I had one tell me they couldn’t stand the sight of the people in (‘Caucus’)”
By contrast, “2016: Obama’s America” co-directors Dinesh D’Souza and John Sullivan avoided the U.S. fest circuit altogether — and it doesn’t seem to have hurt the film in the slightest. “2016” earned more than $33 million, making it the second-highest-grossing political doc after “Fahrenheit 9/11.”
“…I actually get a lot more of what I describe as left-wing propaganda films.”
For most nonfiction pics, however, the fest circuit is a vital component of a film’s life cycle, which is why businessman-turned-documaker Dennis Michael Lynch submitted his “They Come to America” to nearly 30 U.S. festivals, to no avail. He contends the film was rejected on the basis of his conservative stance on immigration, as opposed to the film’s quality. Lynch went on to self-distribute and decided not to “waste a dime on festivals” for the sequel.
A bartender’s camera captures the seedy street life of retro New York
Katherine Wells writes: From 1972 to 1982, Sheldon Nadelman worked as a bartender at the “roughest bar in town”—Terminal Bar, directly across from the Port Authority. When he wasn’t pouring drinks, Nadelman was taking photographs of his patrons. He had good material: as one regular put it, “through these doors pass some of the most miserable people on Earth.” Over 10 years, Nadelman made more than 1,500 black and white portraits of bouncers and boxers, actors and cooks, businesspeople and hustlers.
Thirty years later, his son, animator Stefan Nadelman, created Terminal Bar, a funky documentary based on the photos. Featuring an interview with Sheldon, the film looks back at ’70s New York, now long gone.