Features

John Madden Acts His Age

Known for directing major movies, John Madden explains how "Marigold" breaks mainstream rules.


From John Madden's "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."

Though he makes major motion pictures with traditional distribution, John Madden pushes against age bias with today's US release of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, starring only actors over 60.

Director John Madden, who started out in producing British television, has made a name for himself across the pond helming films such as Shakespeare in Love, Proof and more recently, The Debt.

Wim Wenders’ 3D Learning Curve: Dancers Take Flight in "Pina"

Neil Kendricks goes behind the scenes of "Pina" with director Wim Wenders.


Images from Wim Wenders' "Pina" explode in 3D.

As one of the first to embrace what Neil Kendricks calls the "immersive technology" of 3D, and with no fellow directors to consult, Wim Wenders morphs landscape into stage with his friend Pina Bausch's choreography as the centerpiece in Pina.

Wim Wenders’ films seduce viewers, leaving them punch drunk with his intoxicating imagery. Such is the case with Wenders’ Oscar-nominated documentary Pina, which blossoms as a cinematic poem of dancers in motion paying tribute to the filmmaker’s friend, the late choreographer Pina Bausch.

Coolidge Corner Theatre Honors Viggo Mortenson

Given annually since 2004, the Coolidge Award is one of many ways that Brookline's Coolidge Corner Theatre leads other indie cinemas by example.


Viggo Mortenson accepts the 2012 Coolidge Award.

He may appear small here but larger than life Viggo Mortenson accepted the 2012 Coolidge Award with grace and humility, according to The Independent's Mike Sullivan, who attended the ceremony celebrating Mortenson's accomplishments.

At least 45 different groups of film critics and professionals give out annual awards and it’s become part of the territory for heated debate to follow. Is the process fair? Do the right people win? Are awards just one more way to draw attention to celebrity culture?

Fever Dreams, Middle-Eastern Video Diaries, the Quest for Inspiration, and Memories on Tap

Neil Kendricks on the feature films from Sundance 2012.


Still from "Beasts of the Southern Wild," Sundance 2012 Grand Jury Prize, Dramatic winner.

"The cumulative effect of both [5 Broken Cameras and ½ Revolution] makes you feel like you are there vicariously experiencing the events from the filmmakers’ subjective vantage points," writes Neil Kendricks about two standout features from Sundance 2012. He recaps fest highs and lows, including Grand Jury Prize winner, Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Utah, PARK CITY – For filmmakers, screenwriters, video artists and actors looking for inspiration or funding, or both, the 2012 Sundance Film Festival was the destination of choice. I started making the trek to Park City circa 2001, and I’ve been going, on and off, ever since, always on the lookout for undiscovered diamonds in the rough.

Alchemy Springs from the Striking Artistry of Sundance Shorts

From hand-drawn stick figures to real life pirates, Neil Kendricks describes the most captivating shorts from Sundance 2012.


Anna Musso is a filmmaker to watch, according to Kendricks. (Still from her short "L Train" above.)

Lucy Walker’s The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom picked up Sundance's jury prize for short non-fiction and an Academy Award nomination. Hers is one of many shorts on Neil Kendricks' must-watch list from Sundance 2012.

Utah, PARK CITY – When it comes to challenging and adventurous short films, the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s mojo was in top form as the nation’s most prominent tastemaker for the state of indie cinema, both in America and abroad.

Approaches to End of the World Docs

Courtney Sheehan compares and contrasts the filmmaking elements used by two anti-progress IDFA docs.


Economic historian Michael Hudson appears in both "Four Horsemen" and "Surviving Progress."

Voice-over or not? When to animate? And where to leave your viewers? Two IDFA docs, Four Horsemen and Surviving Progress tackle the consequences of progress by making different stylistic choices.

Two social justice docs at IDFA targeted and systematically attacked the same universal villain: progress. Four Horsemen and Surviving Progress are both "big picture" documentaries that tackle some of today's most globally pressing issues.

Postcard from Northern Ontario

John Charette reports from Sudbury, Ontario about the local films and filmmakers featured at the 23rd Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival.


From Benjamin Paquette's "A Year in the Death of Jack Richards."

For 23 years, the Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival has come at the heels of the Toronto International Film Festival. But Cinefest has no red carpet, and the only big name you’re likely to see is on the screen. John Charrette introduces us to one Ontario filmmaker whose name you should know, Benjamin Paquette. His fourth feature, (Non) Fiction premiered at Cinefest over the weekend.

Filmmaker Benjamin Paquette stood stoically by the theater lobby with his crew, his friends and collages. He quietly greeted movie goers as they filed in to the premiere of his fourth feature film, (Non) Fiction, at this year’s Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival in Sudbury, Ontario.

State of the Film Industry in Southeast Europe

Courtney Sheehan reports from the third annual Cinelink forum at the Sarajevo Film Festival.


Oleg Novkovic's "White White World" is a transnational production of Serbia, Sweden, and Germany.

Tax incentives. Public and private funding. Transnational co-productions. During a year abroad to study regional film festivals and exhibition, Courtney Sheehan takes in Southeast Europe through the lens of presenters at the third annual industry Cinelink forum during the Sarajevo Film Festival.

For the past three years, film professionals from all over Southeast Europe have gathered at the Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF) to discuss the state of the regional film industry during the Cinelink forum, the track of the festival established for that purpose.

Friend Your College Film Programmer, Pronto!

Courtney Sheehan gives a behind-the-scenes account of running a college film program in Iowa and suggests that filmmakers and distributors should seek out these venues now, before they disappear.


It's not Grinnell but you get the picture (photo by Jim Linwood).

Every minute you let your nearest college film program go by without becoming acquainted with its schedule, leadership, and selection process, is a day you miss of fresh, often free cinema (and popcorn), and a chance to get eyes on your latest masterwork. Courtney Sheehan gives a behind-the-scenes account of running a college film program in Iowa and suggests that filmmakers and distributors should seek out these venues now, before they disappear.

Imagine if someone gave you over $50,000 to use for programming the film schedule at a movie theater for nine months. The theater doesn’t charge admission so your curatorial choices aren’t constrained by the pressure to sell tickets. You get to decide how many films to show, when to show them, and whether to show them on 35mm or digitally. You are effectively your own boss.

Just Like Us: The Truth About Light

Writer Lisa Pegram considers her friend Ahmed Ahmed's new documentary, "Just Like Us," relative to her own journeys.


Ahmed Ahmed takes comedy to the Middle East and back in "Just Like Us."

What happens when a friend accomplishes something huge, like finishing his film, when you're still struggling to find your own artistic way? Ahmed Ahmed's new documentary about comedy in the Middle East inspired poet and memoirist Lisa Pegram in more ways than one.

Late one night in early June, I was devouring a novel by candlelight after forgetting, for the third time in a week, to buy bulbs. The room was dim and though it was hell on my eyes, the poet in me was charmed by the whole feel of it. I took a short break to make the book last and contemplate a shadow in a far corner, when the room brightened with the flash of a text message on my cell phone.

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