Greta Gerwig as "Lola" on the set of LOLA VERSUS. Photo By Myles Aronowitz

Greta Gerwig on the set of Lola Versus. Photo By Myles Aronowitz Greta Gerwig has emerged as a staple of the independent film scene over the past several years, appearing in the celebrated films of Joe Swanberg (Hannah Takes the Stairs), the Duplass Brothers (Baghead), and Ti West (House of the Devil). Gerwig enjoyed a (read…)

Daryl Wein on the set of Lola Versus. Photo By Myles Aronowitz

Director/co-writer Daryl Wein on the set of Lola Versus. Photo By Myles Aronowitz After making his short film Unlocked, and the award-winning documentary Sex Positive, Daryl Wein established himself as a tour de force filmmaker with Breaking Upwards, the relationship comedy/drama shot for $15,000 that Wein directed, produced, co-wrote, starred in, edited, and sang on (read…)

Zoe Lister-Jones on the set of LOLA VERSUS. Photo By Myles Aronowitz

Lola Versus co-star/co-writer Zoe Lister-Jones on the set alongside director/co-writer Daryl Wein. Photo By Myles Aronowitz Over the last few years actress/writer/producer/singer/songwriter/playwright Zoe Lister-Jones has emerged as a true renaissance woman of stage and screen. After she appeared in the award-winning drama Arranged, Jones and her boyfriend Daryl Wein made names for themselves in the (read…)

Rainey Qualley and Andie MacDowell in "Mighty Fine"

Rainey Qualley and Andie MacDowell in Mighty Fine After interviewing the Oscar-nominated actor Chazz Palminteri for his new film Mighty Fine, I had the pleasure of interviewing two of his co-stars, Andie MacDowell and Rainey Qualley. MacDowell has enjoyed a nearly thirty-year career in films as varied and iconic as Four Weddings and Funeral, Groundhog (read…)

Chazz Palminteri and Richard Kohnke in Debbie Goodstein’s "Mighty Fine"

Chazz Palminteri and Richard Kohnke in Debbie Goodstein’s Mighty Fine Writer, producer, director, and Oscar-nominated actor Chazz Palminteri has a body of film, stage, and television work that includes writing and starring in A Bronx Tale and acclaimed work in dozens of films including The Usual Suspects and A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints.  His (read…)

Director Tanya Wexler on the set of "Hysteria" (2012)

Tanya Wexler on the set of Hysteria After premiering at last fall’s Toronto Film Festival, Hysteria was picked up for distribution by Sony Pictures Classics, and received a great deal of buzz as the so-called “vibrator movie.” Hysteria chronicles the period of Victorian England when Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy) accidentally invents the vibrator and suggests (read…)

Director Maiwenn on the set of her film Polisse (Photo credit by David Verlant) Copyright Les Productions du Trésor. A Sundance Selects Release Since winning the Jury Prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, Polisse has won two Cesar awards (the French equivalent of the Oscars), screened at numerous festivals worldwide, played to great success (read…)

Sunset Stories

Going into this year’s Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Sunset Stories was one of the hotly-anticipated features, coming off a world premiere run at South by Southwest and being the feature directorial debut from writer/director/producer Ernesto Foronda (Better Luck Tomorrow). Sunset Stories is the story of May (Monique Gabriela Curnen), a nurse who must (read…)

Alcoholics Anonymous is a worldwide fellowship of over two million men and women, and its impact and influence have permeated innumerable aspects of American and global culture. What’s lesser known is the life and story of Bill W., aka Bill Wilson, who co-founded the organization in an attempt to reclaim his life from alcoholism. The (read…)

Two Shadows

Among the many wonderful and unique films showing at the on-going Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Two Shadows stands out as being the first dramatic film to explore the contemporary Cambodian-American experience, and particularly that of the refugees of the Khmer Rouge genocide in the late Seventies, as they continue to search for and (read…)

Seeking Asian Female

Having recently premiered at SXSW, Seeking Asian Female came into the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival this weekend with great fanfare, enjoyed two sold-out screenings, and inspired robust Q&As. Seeking Asian Female is the first feature from documentarian Debbie Lum, who wanted to explore the lives of American men with so-called “Yellow Fever” – (read…)

The Crumbles

While film festival auditoriums feel at times overrun with bleakness and tragedy, The Crumbles is the ultimate love letter to youthful, rock n’ roll exuberance and a case study of the glory and pitfalls inherent in the pursuit of dreams. The Echo Park indie rock tragicomedy premiered this weekend at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific (read…)

Restoring the Light

This past weekend found the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in full swing in Los Angeles, Koreatown, and Long Beach. This year’s festival goes through Sunday, May 20th, with an array of remarkable narrative and documentary films being shown. One of the festivals’ standout documentaries is Restoring the Light, the first feature from festival (read…)

Nadine Labaki in her film "Where Do We Go Now?"

Since premiering at the Cannes Film Festival last year, Where Do We Go Now? has become an international hit with audiences and critics alike. First a blockbuster in its native Lebanon, the film went on to show Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival, win the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the (read…)

honeymoon

Individually and collectively, Christina Bailey, Sara Bollwinkel, and Lauren Shera have a long history of writing and recording beautiful music, and bringing their genre-bending and melodic sounds to new audiences across the nation. In 2010, the three ladies (with a little help from band husbands Matt Bailey and Matt Bollwinkel) joined forces to create their (read…)

All-In-Splash

*Video: all in: the poker movie – openingClick above for clip of All In: The Poker Movie featuring the music of Peitor Angell Composer Peitor Angell is a multi-talented songwriter, musician, producer, arranger, conductor, and engineer. Last year Angell appeared in the documentary This Time, bringing a greater audience to his passion projects with Pat (read…)

Carol Polakoff

Over the course of her prolific 30-year career, writer/director/producer Carol Polakoff earned three daytime Emmy nominations and two awards from the Directors Guild of America. After spending fifteen years working in Paris, Polakoff moved back to the U.S. two years ago and began developing film and TV projects under her Carol Polakoff Productions International banner (read…)

All In: The Poker Movie

Documentarian Douglas Tirola has had an incredibly diverse career in the film industry, dating back to 1989 as production assistant on When Harry Met Sally. In the decades since, Tirola’s career in numerous aspects of directing, writing, and producing studio and independent films have led him to found 4th Row Films, where he is currently (read…)

Lawrence Kasdan on the "Darling Companions" Shoot - Photo by Wilson Webb, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Lawrence Kasdan on the “Darling Companions” Set Photo by Wilson Webb, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics Over the course of thirty-plus years, the career of Lawrence Kasdan has included co-writing some of the highest-grossing movies of all time (The Empire Strikes Back, The Return of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark), co-writing and directing (read…)

Documentarians Michael Tucker and Perta Epperlein became well-known within the documentary community upon the 2005 release of their first film, Iraq war documentary Gunner Palace. The film received mainstream press and attention for receiving a “PG-13” rating, despite over forty uses of the infamous f-word. Tucker and Epperlein documented the war from a series of (read…)

Fellag in Philippe Falardeau's "Monsieur Lazhar"

Fellag as Bachir Lazhar in Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar (image courtesy of Music Box Films) After receiving an Oscar-nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, playing festivals all over the world including Sundance and Toronto, and winning six Genie awards (Canada’s Oscar equivalent), Monsieur Lazhar is getting a stateside release from Music Box Films, opening April (read…)

Over the course of the last forty years, Tom Russell has evolved into arguably the greatest singer/songwriter currently writing and releasing albums. While many of his contemporaries (Russell is in his mid-sixties) are happy releasing compilations and performing nostalgia tours, Russell redefines Americana music and breaks through new barriers with each album and gig. Some (read…)

As I wrote in my piece about the best films of 2011, Steven Gaydos penned the year’s best screenplay in Road to Nowhere, director Monte Hellman’s (Two-Lane Blacktop) film-within-a-film-within-a-film story of intrigue, lust, obsession, and murder. Road to Nowhere combines the story of filmmaker Mitchell Haven’s (Tygh Runyan) creative crisis and film set torn asunder (read…)

Daniel Nettheim filming "The Hunter" - Photo by Matt Nettheim.

Daniel Nettheim filming The Hunter – Photo by Matt Nettheim In Daniel Nettheim’s character drama/thriller The Hunter, Willem Dafoe stars as a professional hunter hired by a shady biotech concern to track, kill and extract the DNA of a Tasmanian tiger, an animal believed to have gone extinct 80 years ago but unverified sightings of (read…)

Jon Shenk on location with President Mohamed Nasheed - Photo by Lincoln Else

Jon Shenk on location with President Mohamed Nasheed – Photo by Lincoln Else “Observational documentary filmmaking is kind of like hunting when you’re really hungry. You’re never satisfied.” – Documentarian Jon Shenk “It won’t be any good to have a democracy if we don’t have a country.” – Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed The Island President (read…)

Whit Stillman on the set of "Damsels in Distress"

Whit Stillman on the set of Damsels in Distress “One of the beautiful parts of doing Metropolitan…the one subject that certain film critics and film journalists do not consider themselves experts in, it’s debutante parties. They’re experts on absolutely everything else in creation, except for debutante parties. So they allowed us to make a film (read…)

Filmmaker David Brooks’ debut film, ATM, has been making the rounds on Video-On-Demand via the Independent Film Channel before its theatrical release Friday, April 6th.  ATM follows young professionals David (Brian Geraghty), Emily (Alice Eve), and Corey (Josh Peck) on a late-night run into an ATM vestibule in the middle of a desolate parking lot. (read…)

Benjamin Mee and Matt Damon

Benjamin Mee and Matt Damon Upon its release this past Christmas, We Bought a Zoo found and moved an audience, despite not doing blockbuster numbers at the Box Office (read my review of the film here). The latest film from Oscar-winning filmmaker Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous) hits shelves on Blu-ray and DVD on April 3rd. (read…)

Director Lee Hirsch and Alex Libby

Director Lee Hirsch and Alex Libby “Some of the poorest schools in this country have some of the best school climates. It’s not money. It’s commitment. It’s care. It’s ‘Do we value social and emotional learning as much as we do hard numbers testing?’” – Lee Hirsch A tragic increase in suicide rates among kids, (read…)

Listening to the early recordings of the heavy metal band Pentagram, songs including “Forever My Queen,” “Earth Flight,” and “Last Days Here,” it’s easy to see why their small but devoted fan base considers them to have been one of the best bands of the early seventies. Their raw recordings manage to feel angrier than (read…)





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