marquee SCENE SELECTION SCENE 1 What is a Independent Cinema? p.2 SCENE 2 How to Become an Independent Filmmaker p.4 SCENE 3 Scene vs. Story p.6 SCENE 4 Featured Film Festivals p.9 SCENE 5 America’s Best Movie Theaters p.12 SCENE 6 In the Director’s Chair with Andrew Haigh p.16 Actor Spotlight on Ryan Gosling p.18 SCENE 7 Top 15 Indie Films p.24 SCENE 8 Movie Reviews p.30 CREDITS
What is Independent Cinema?
An independent film, or indie film, is a professional film production resulting in a feature film that is produced mostly or completely outside of the major film studio system ,
also known as the “mainstream”
professional circut. In addition to being produced by independent production companies, independent films are also produced and/or distributed by subsidiaries of major film studios. Independent films are sometimes distinguishable by their content and style and the way in which the filmmakers’ personal artistic vision is realized. Usually, but not always, independent films are made with considerably lower film budgets
than major studio films. Generally, the marketing
of independent films is characterized by limited release designed to build word-of-mouth or to reach small specialty audiences, but can also have major marketing campaigns and a wide release. Independent films are often scr een ed at lo ca l, nati o na l, o r i nter nati o na l fi lm festiva ls b efo r e d istr i b uti o n
(theatrical and/or retail release). An
independent film production can rival a mainstream film production if it has the necessary funding and distribution.
How to Become an
Li v e i n t h e r i g h t lo cat i o n It is really important to be in or close to a thriving film community. Without this support, inspiration, and networking, you’ll find independent film making a lot more challenging. U n d ersta n d ca m er aw o r k Don’t be shy to know how to use one yourself. Even if you’re only wanting to produce and direct, there will be times when you need to get behind the camera too, especially when you’re starting out. Moreover, it always pays to understand camerawork thoroughly so that you know how to get the best out of it. G o to fi lm s c h o o l you don’t have to do this but it can provide you with a thorough grounding in understanding cinematography in all of its technical and artistic aspects and give you a headstart. It is also more likely to open up network contacts for you. P r epa r e a p o rt fo li o of any short films, script-writing etc., that you have already done at an amateur level. If you’ve been fortunate enough to have participated in more professional productions at school or in a club, etc., be sure to include those products as part of your portfolio. Lo o k fo r i n t er n s h i ps Also entry-level positions with film studios. Everyone else will be vying too, so know your stuff, and be very confident of your purpose. And hang about; even if you don’t get a job, use the time waiting to be hanging around offering
a hand for free. you’ll be learning invaluable information in the meantime and you’ll not only be getting more useful but someone will notice your helpfulness. B e r e a l i st i c . If you understand that about 400 movies are made every year in the United States, you will get a good idea that there isn’t much room for people not already employed in the industry. Don’t be daunted, just be realistic about your chances, and be very persistent, and definitely very adept at your craft. Be prepared for a stressful existence. Money will be tight until you crack the big time (if ever). you will need to network constantly, vie for work with many other aspiring filmmakers, get up very early and stay up late at times, and hassle people to view your work so that they can see your potential (and this is not easily done-people are busy and tired in this industry). And you will probably need to take on some films that aren’t necessarily to your liking (for example, commercials, company videos, etc.) but are still able to pay the bills and build your credibility. Swallow your pride and do what needs doing - all work requires that of us at times. Be inspired. Despite all of the hardships of making it in this industry, if it is truly what you want to do, then persevere. you will be working with equally passionate and inspired people who live for creativity, and the reward of a completed film is indescribable.
T i p s T o wa r d s S u c c e s s
Movies take a lot of time to make. What looks like only a few seconds to you as a member of the audience may have taken numerous hours to perfect. When you make movies, expect time to be one of the things that you’ll never have enough of and that will cause you to get up at extreme hours and stay out later than what feels comfortable. It’s part and parcel of a very varied and interesting career. Salary is not really quantifiable in this industry; it varies so incredibly from very little to enormous amounts. Aim at least for in between before throwing in the towel! Think outside the usual when looking for work: nGos (non-government organizations), the United nations, government aid programs, etc., are often in need of small documentary films that demonstrate the outcomes of aid projects, environmental restoration, or the results of famine, etc. While this can cross into journalism, excellent independent films are a way of highlighting the deeper issues and successes.
s c e n e T H R EE
; vs :
Script Story B y J o h n Yo st
I have come across many folks who have allowed the completion of a perfect script to derail their entire production. I have also sat through (I’m including my own films here) more films that I can remember in which the filmmakers hoped improv will create something magical. In microbudget the latter is a necessity, in large indie films, it’s risky, and in Hollywood, no one but a select few can pull it off. I recently started a conversation with an Austin filmmaker in the very thick of making her second feature film, What’s the Use, and this battle between script and story was on her mind. Nicole Elmer sees these magical moments as not only a micro-udget necessity but a way to create a film that boxes out of it’s weight class. I couldn’t agree more with her stance. In my own experiences I found my earlier films desperately in need of structure, and now they are being strangled by it. That perfect balance is in there somewhere and it may be the secret of making amazing stories for next to nothing. S c r i p t s as H i n d r a n c e s vs. St o r i e s as D o o r O p e n e rs I have sadly watched so many colleagues of mine spending thousands on spec trailers, or short films to attract investors for the feature they want to make. They blow their savings making their “calling cards,” or forever tweak scripts for which they keep trying to raise money. Years pass and their projects remain in limbo or credit card debt amasses. And all the while, they are not doing what they should be doing: making films. Artists only improve by continually working on their craft. If we filmmakers are always chasing dollars, are we granting ourselves the creative stretching we need, or only getting real-world lessons in economics? Flashback to our youths: lots of us were picking up our parents’ VHS recorders and making movies at home after school, or on weekends. For example, my sister and I made horrible but entertaining horror films when we weren’t suffering through hours at school. We were just teenagers. We were our own two-person crew and cast and had no money. Yet, we made movies. I know I was not the only kid out there doing this. So why has this energetic approach and creative abandon gotten lost as adults? This is a different topic for a different day, but it has a great deal to do with what I call the Mental Colonialism of Hollywood, brainwashing us to believe we must have epic scripts and gobs of cash to create movies worth watching.
completely. We are still stuck in the first phase of what makes a great film: a good story. And here is where things can get expensive…quickly. So, this leads me to scripts vs. stories. But first, I should define what I mean by scripts, and what I mean by stories. With “scripts,” I mean film scripts written by one or more screenwriters based on fictional characters, locations, and plot lines. With “stories” I mean the things happening around you, to you, or to the people you know. Traditional scripts are usually written without budgets in mind, guided by the imagination of the writer(s). However, this often requires a great deal of collective fabrication of locations, sets, costumes, etc. which drives up the budget, making it hard for most independently-minded filmmakers to actually launch their projects. For example, there is a scripted scene where a man proposes to his girlfriend in a restaurant. Sounds simple, right? Okay. The script calls for a restaurant, the costumes the actors wear, the engagement ring, perhaps a bouquet of roses, some background actors in the restaurant, food… and on and on. This “simple” scene suddenly requires resources that must be pulled together for this completely fabricated event. And the budget climbs. It is this phase that has hindered the micro-budget filmmaker. However, stories as they exist around us, with the people we know, in the places we live…or films integrating these elements, become more approachable financially because they are happening already without our manipulation. We don’t have to pay for life to roll out its strange course. We just have to find a way to sneak around it and play with it a bit, and once it’s comfortable with our presence, let us be a voyeur to its intriguing mysteries.
" b r a i n was h i n g u s t o b eli ev e w e m u st h av e ep i c s c r i p t s a n d g o b s o f cas h t o c r eat e m o v i es wo rt h wat c h i n g "
My own experience with this began as such. Having finished my first feature quite recently, after working on it for over three years, my producing partner and I sort of experienced the period of filmmaker limbo I described above. Fearing the future of the film we had just spent so much time and money on, we wondered where the money to create the next film would come. We thought about all the scripts we had writThis simply isn’t true anymore. I’d like to say cheaper ten that, while still low budget for most standards, technology has empowered most of us, but it hasn’t were beyond our financial means without relying on
investors, and we felt rather disempowered. Instead of resigning to “keep our chins up” to raise funds, applying for dwindling grant money and filmmaker support programs with 1% acceptance rates, we decided to not wait for money to come. We aren’t being innovators here at all, but we had to take a hard look at the resources around us. We decided to ignore the notion that one has to have an expensive camera to capture a story. We had a small HD camcorder and here in Austin, sound equipment is cheap to rent. We would use the people we knew, including actors and non-actor friends and colleagues. We would shoot in the locations we had available, or make them available through guerrilla methods. We would do it ourselves. We would become the teenage filmmakers once again. And we would not have a script. This last part is important. It was a creative choice as much as a budgeting choice. Because of the specificity involved, a script would have required the costly fabrication I mentioned earlier. Instead, the writer created a very basic outline that was broken down into scenes. Locations were replaceable and everything could be moved as needed, as long as the general symbol of the moment was still expressed. A script would have also forced us to shove dialogue in the actors’ mouths. Instead, we gave the actors their goals, they developed their characters WITH the writer, and we gave them responsibility for their dialogue, a creative choice normally made by a screenwriter. So with our outline in hand, we started production. By allowing real life to creep in, keeping scenes rather open, and giving actors a lot of collaborative power, some rather interesting things happened along the way that would not have occurred with a more structured script. The characters began to deepen in ways we had not expected. Elements of the actors’ real lives filtered in. For example, one character who had originally served as a henchman to the antagonist and nothing more, suddenly was also trying to be a bass player in a band, inspired by Dostoevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’, all while still doing his dirty work. To express the symbol of personal transition, we decided one of the lead characters should get a shave and a haircut. We found an old barbershop here in Austin that has been around for 40 years and they allowed us to film there. While shooting, the barber spoke of his own life as an exmarine and insurance salesman. His name was stitched in white thread on his work jacket shirt. He had a tattoo of a goldfish on his inner arm. How does one write characters like this? We’ve also had an obese bus driver show up in a scene. Cyclists have
beautifully zoomed past our frame while two actors walked down a bridge. A train moved through once unexpectedly, allowing us to drop everything and film an impromptu moment with an actress almost confronting the train in a suicidal manner. We found a huge foam genie in a dumpster and integrated an abandoned plastic Santa lawn ornament into another scene. Another actress gave us a rather interesting comedic spiel about Certs mints that had us in stitches. No one on set could have written what came out of her mouth, even if they had wanted to. The financial cost of all of this: zero. You cannot get this sort of magic by closing off your sets, altering your locations, and passing scripted dialogue to your actors. I’m not saying I don’t like scripts. I love them and will continue to work with this format. But if our goal as micro-budget filmmakers is to make films free of budget restrictions, we need to find alternative methods that embrace the places we live, allow us to believe they are interesting, and trust the people around us to bring us some really interesting material. We all know this familiar adage: life is stranger than fiction. Once we let life leak into our narratives, I think we will be shocked at the abundance we suddenly have with the stories that are available. I know I am looking forward to sniffing out the next film story.
Nicole Elmer studied acting and film production at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and the University of Texas at Austin. Nicole has produced, directed, and written several films and music videos, but before all this was a solo electronic musician, writing under the names of Neutral and Squab Teen. She shot her first feature film, ‘In the Shadow’, in Puerto Rico from 2008-2011 and is currently in post-production for her second feature film, ‘What’s the Use?’ I think Nicole brings up a great point for all of filmmaking, not just micro-budget. I recently had the pleasure of watching ‘Tree of Life’. Say what you will about this film, but it felt natural, it felt free of cinema convention, and it felt honest. Furthermore it felt unscripted. Perhaps it was scripted down to the letter, and if it was, then Malick is an absurd genius. None of us are Malicks…yet, but understanding how much foundation to have, and how much of the structural design should be left to chance, is the first step in making something wonderful.
s c e n e F OU R
CELEBrate Independence Su n da n ce The Sundance Film Festival is a film festival that takes place annually in Utah, in the United States. It is the largest independent cinema festival in the United States. Held in January in Park City, Salt Lake City, and Ogden, as well as at the Sundance Resort, the festival is a showcase for new work from American and international independent filmmakers. The festival comprises competitive sections for American and international dramatic and documentary films, both featurelength films and short films, and a group of out-of-competition sections, including NEXT, New Frontier, Spotlight, and Park City At Midnight. Sundance began in Salt Lake City in August 1978 as the Utah/US Film Festival in an effort to attract more filmmakers to Utah. It was founded by Sterling Van Wagenen (then head of Wildwood, Robert Redford’s company), John Earle and Cirina Hampton Catania (both serving on the Utah Film Commission at the time). The 1978 festival featured films such as ‘Deliverance’, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, ‘Midnight Cowboy’, ‘Mean Streets’, and ‘The Sweet Smell of Success’. With Chair-
person Robert Redford, and the help of Governor Scott Matheson of Utah, the goal of the festival was to showcase strictly American-made films, highlight what the potential of independent film could be and to increase visibility for filmmaking in Utah. At the time, the main focus of the event was to conduct a competition for independent American films, present a series of retrospective films and filmmaker panel discussions and to celebrate the Frank Capra Award; it highlighted the work of "regional" filmmakers who worked outside the Hollywood system. The jury of the 1978 festival was headed by Gary Allison, and included Verna Fields, Linwood G. Dunn, Katharine Ross, Charles E. Sellier Jr., Mark Rydell, and Anthea Sylbert.In 1979, Sterling Van Wagenen left to head up the first year "pilot" program of what was to become the Sundance Institute and Cirina Hampton Catania took over as Executive Director of the Festival. Over 60 films were screened at the Festival that year, the Frank Capra Award went to Jimmy Stewart and panels featured many well-known Hollywood filmmakers. The Festival made a profit for the first time.
In 1980, Catania left the Festival to pursue a production career in Hollywood. Several factors helped propel the growth of Utah/US Film Festival. First was the involvement of actor Robert Redford. Redford, a Utah resident, became the festival’s inaugural chairman and having his name associated with Sundance gave the festival great attention. In 1981, the festival moved to Park City, Utah and changed from September to January. The move from late summer to mid-winter was reportedly done on the advice of Hollywood director Sydney Pollack, who suggested that running a film festival in a ski resort during winter would draw more attention from Hollywood. In 1984–85, the now well-established Sundance Institute, headed by Sterling Van Wagenen, took over management of the US Film Festival and changed the name to Sundance. The branding and marketing transition from the U.S. Film Festival to the Sundance Film Festival was managed under the direction of Colleen Allen, Allen Advertising Inc. by appointment of Robert Redford.
Cannes Film Festival The Cannes Film Festival has its origins in the late 1930s when Jean Zay, the French Minister of National Education, on the proposal of Philippe Erlanger and with the support of the British and Americans, set up an international cinematographic festival in response to the interference of the fascist governments of Italy and Germany in the selection of films for the Venice Film Festival. Cannes was selected for the location over other candidates, such as Vichy, Biarritz and Algiers. In June 1939, Louis Lumière agreed to be the president of the first festival, set to be held from 1 to 30 September 1939 as "Le Festival International de Cannes". The German attack on Poland on 1 September 1939, followed by the declaration of war against Germany by France and the United Kingdom on 3 September, ended the first edition of the festival before it started. The festival was relaunched after the Second World War on 19 September 1946, in the old Casino of Cannes, financed by the City of Cannes and the French Foreign Affairs Ministry. Although the initial spirit of the French festival was to compete with its Italian counterpart, a secret agreement took place between both nations that they would celebrate their international festivals in alternating years. The first Cannes Festival was a considerable success, so when the agreement was made public it was heavily criticised and
considered as a "capitulation of France". The next year, in 1947, the festival was held as the "Festival du film de Cannes", with films from sixteen countries were presented. Moreover, the principle of equality was introduced, so that the jury was to be made up only of one representative per country. Also, this year the festival was held at the made-for-the-occasion Palais des Festivals, although the roof was unfinished and blew off during a storm. The festival was not held in 1948 and 1950 on account of budgetary problems. In 1951, owing to better relations between France and Italy, the Cannes Festival was moved to Spring, while the Mostra remained in Autumn. In 1962 the International Critics’ Week was born, created by the French Union of Film Critics as the first parallel section of the Cannes Film Festival. Its goal was to showcase first and second works by directors from all over the world, not succumbing to commercial tendencies. In 1965 an hommage was paid to Jean Cocteau after his death, and he was named Honorary President for life. The next year, Olivia de Havilland was named the first female president of the festival. The 1968 festival was halted on 19 May 1968. Some directors, such as Carlos Saura and Milos Forman, had withdrawn their films from the competition. On 18 May,
filmmaker Louis Malle along with a group of directors took over the large room of the Palais and interrupted the projections in solidarity with students and labour on strike throughout France, and in protest to the eviction of the then President of the Cinémathèque Française. The filmmakers achieved the reinstatement of the President, and they founded the Film Directors’ Society (SRF) that same year. In 1969 the SRF, led by Pierre-Henri Deleau created the Directors’ Fortnight, a new non-competitive section that programs a selection of films from around the world, distinguished by the independent judgment displayed in the choice of films. It wasn’t until 1995 that Gilles Jacob created the last section of the Official Selection: la Cinéfondation. Its aim was to support the creation of works of cinema in the world and to contribute to the entry of the new scenario writers in the circle of the celebrities. The Cinéfondation was completed in 2000 with La Résidence and in 2005 L’Atelier. The Festival’s current President, Gilles Jacob, was appointed in 2000, and in 2002 the Festival officially adopted the name Festival de Cannes.
Seattle INTERNATIONAL Film Festival The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), held annually in Seattle, Washington since 1976, is among the top film festivals in North America. Audiences have grown steadily; the 2006 festival had 160,000 attendees. In recent years, the SIFF has run for more than three weeks (24 days), in May/June, and features a diverse assortment of predominantly independent and foreign films and, in recent years, a strong contingent of documentaries. SIFF 2006 included 300+ films and was the first SIFF to include a venue in neighboring Bellevue, Washington, after an ill-fated early attempt. However, in 2008, the festival was back to being entirely in Seattle, and had a slight decrease in the number of feature films. The 2010 festival featured over 400 films, shown primarily in downtown Seattle and its nearby neighborhoods, but also in West Seattle, Everett, Kirkland, and Juanita Beach Park. The festival began in 1976 at a then-independent cinema, the Moore Egyptian Theater, now back under its earlier name as the Moore Theater and functioning as a concert venue. When founders Dan Ireland and Darryl Macdonald of the Moore Egyptian lost their lease, they founded the Egyptian theater in a former Masonic Temple on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. The Egyptian theater remains a prime festival venue to this day, although the festival
now typically uses about half a dozen cinemas (including, since 2007, its own SIFF Cinema at Seattle Center), with the exact roster varying from year to year.
other film festivals), and co-curates the 1 Reel Film Feastival at Bumbershoot and the Sci-Fi Shorts Film Festival at the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame.
In 2006, Longhouse Media launched the SuperFly Filmmaking Experience, in partnership with the Seattle International Film Festival, which brings youth together from diverse backgrounds to work collaboratively on film projects that promote awareness of indigenous issues and mutual understanding of each others cultures. Fifty youth from across the United States arrive in Seattle to then travel to The festival includes a sidebar that is a local Pacific Northwest reservation to unique among major film festivals: a create 4 films in 36 hours. four-film "Secret Festival". Those who attend the Secret Festival do not know November 28, 2006, SIFF and Seattle in advance what they will see, and they mayor Greg Nickels announced that SIFF must sign an oath that they will not reveal will soon have a home and a year-round screening facility in what has been the afterwards what they have seen. Nesholm Family Lecture Hall of McCaw In general, SIFF has a reputation as an Hall, the same building at Seattle Center "audience festival" rather than an "indus- that houses the Seattle Opera. The city try festival". The festival often partially contributed $150,000 to the $350,000 overlaps the Cannes Film Festival, which project. This auditorium is now a "flagcan reduce attendance by industry big- ship venue" for SIFF festivals and the site wigs; in 2007 there were two days of over- of most press screenings. lap, May 24 and 25. During the 1980s, SIFF audiences developed a reputation for appreciating films that did not fit standard industry niches, such as Richard Rush’s multi-layered The Stunt Man (1980). SIFF was instrumental in the entry of Dutch films into the United States market, including the first major American success for director Paul Verhoeven.
The SIFF group also curates the Global Lens film series, the Screenwriters Salon, and Futurewave (K-12 programming and youth outreach), coordinates SIFF-A-GoGo travel programs (organized tours to
Landmark Theatres is a recognized leader in the industry for providing to its customers consistently diverse and entertaining film products in a sophisticated adult-oriented atmosphere. Our theatres showcase a wide variety of films â€” ranging from Independent and Foreign film to 3-D movies and smart films from Hollywood. Landmark Theatres is the nation's largest theatre chain dedicated to exhibiting and marketing independent film.
CENTURY CENTRE CINEMA
On its opening weekend, Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema posted the highest weekend gross of the John Cusack film High Fidelity in the country. The following weekend, High Fidelity at the LCCC ranked as the second-highest grossing engagement amongst all films in the country. Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema is a state-of-the-art and architecturally unique facility, and the first all-stadium seating theatre showcasing independent and foreign language films in the Chicagoland area. Featuring convenient validated parking, unobstructed sightlines, Dolby Digital sound and gourmet as well as traditional concessions, Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema is one of the city’s most innovative and exciting new theatre locations. Nestled into the fourth, fifth and sixth levels of the newly renovated Century Shopping Centre, it is surrounded by award-winning restaurants and shopping opportunities on Chicago’s bustling near-north side.
The Inwood Theatre is the Dallas area’s premiere home for independent film and foreign language cinema. Located in the theatre’s lobby is one of Dallas’s most popular hang-outs—the Inwood Lounge. As part of the refurbishment project the much-loved Inwood Lounge, Dallas’s best martini bar, truly became a part of the theatre when patrons finally were allowed to take their drinks with them into the auditoriums. There is nothing quite like a movie while enjoying a martini. In May of 2008 Landmark Theatres introduced its newest Screening Lounge Auditorium at the Inwood Theatre. This unique auditorium—the first and only one of its kind in Texas—gives audiences an unparalleled movie-going experience. Working in partnership with the LoveSac® Furniture Company, Landmark completely reinvented the first-floor auditorium of the Inwood with a variety of unique seating options including couches, loveseats, chairs and ottomans, as well as the original LoveSac. A private bar also was added, allowing patrons to purchase cocktails and soft drinks without ever leaving the auditorium.
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Located in the heart of L.A.’s Westside on Santa Monica Boulevard just west of the 405 Freeway, the Nuart Theatre features an eclectic mix of programming, as detailed in the quarterly Nuart Filmcalendar. It is one of the country’s most renowned and prestigious epicenters for independent film, foreign language cinema, documentaries, animation festivals and restored classics. Having hosted many world premiere engagements as well as a number of highly anticipated film series over the past 30 years. The Nuart also features frequent in-person appearances and Q&A sessions from stars and filmmakers such as Vincent Gallo, Pam Grier, Gena Rowlands, Penelope Spheeris and Julia Sweeney. In addition to hosting unique movies every Friday night at midnight, the theatre is also L.A.’s home for The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which plays every Saturday at midnight.
Built in 1898, the Sunshine Cinema building was formerly the Houston Hippodrome motion picture theatre and a Yiddish vaudeville house but for over 50 years it had been shuttered serving as a hardware warehouse. Landmark has restored the theatre back to its artistic roots and now offers the art-house film lover five brand new state-of-the-art screens dedicated to first-run independent and foreign film as well as non-traditional studio programming. The Sunshine Cinema has exceptional presentation and amenities including stadium seating, Dolby Digital Surround EX sound and gourmet concessions. The theatre also offers attractions such as a Japanese rock garden and a viewing bridge that offers breathtaking city views from the third story spectacular glass annex. Each of the art-house theatre chain’s cinemas is of a different architectural design giving audiences the rare opportunity of experiencing exceptional independent films in an only-one-of-its-kind environment.
Harvard Exit Theater
E Street CINEMA
The Harvard Exit Theatre offers Seattle’s finest in independent film and foreign language cinema in a cozy atmosphere evocative of the 1920s. Annually, the Harvard Exit is host to the Seattle International Film Festival and the Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. The theatre is located on a quaint, tree-lined street at the north end of Broadway, at Harvard and Roy on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. The building in which The Harvard Exit currently resides was originally constructed as a clubhouse for The Woman’s Century Club in 1925. The club continues to hold meetings in the lobby, although the building was sold in 1968 for conversion to a movie theatre. In the 1980s, a second auditorium was added in an unused ballroom space on the third floor of the building. One of the very first "art" theatres in Seattle, the Harvard Exit set the standard for the exhibition of independent film and foreign language cinema. Its large and glorious lobby retains a 1920s atmosphere, adorned with a fireplace, a grand piano and chandelier.
The E Street Cinema is an eight-screen luxury movie theatre specializing in first-run independent and foreign language films, documentary features and classic revivals. In addition to high quality programming, the theatre is committed to state-of-the art film presentation. It features large screens with excellent, clear sightlines, stadium seating in the larger houses, Dolby Digital sound, amenities including upscale concessions and an espresso bar. Designed by Brooks Graham, interior designer with the Graham Little Studio, and designer of many Landmark theatres including the Bethesda Row Cinema in Bethesda, MD, the E Street Cinema is an aesthetically unique and appealing destination for downtown film buffs. The E Street Cinema is located in the Lincoln Square Building with its entrance on E Street between 10th and 11th Street.
I n t h e D i r e ct o r ' s C h a i r w i t h
" T h e fi l m s t h at I wat c h a n d li k e a r e pa rt o f t h at A m er i ca n i n d e p e n d e n t s c e n e a n y way "
With Lynne Ramsay’s ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’, Steve McQueen’s ‘Shame’ and Andrea Arnold’s ‘Wuthering Heights’, 2011 is shaping up as a terrific year for British cinema. However, comparatively unheralded, but a landmark in the making, another picture, in its modest and unassuming way, trumps them all. It has a great deal to say about a side of contemporary British life that’s not well illuminated in films, or at least not truthfully. Andrew Haigh’s ‘Weekend’ premiered at this year’s South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, where it quickly became a hot ticket. A low-budget drama about two young Britons, who meet at a bar and have what could easily be chalked up as a one-night stand, but end up becoming intensely close over the course of a couple of days, it won the Emerging Visions award and outstanding reviews. The film’s subsequent release in the United States has been a dream come true for its makers: it opened at a single New York venue in September, and has since expanded to 24 screens, grossing $338,000 (£211,000) and counting. For the Michael Bays of this world, this might be peanuts, but for an intimate two-hander from Britain, by an under-the-radar young director, starring two newcomers and featuring frank gay sex, in Nottingham, it’s something of a bonanza. This isn’t Haigh’s debut—he made a London-set semi-documentary called ‘Greek Pete’ two years ago. While delighted by how much of a chord Weekend is striking with American audiences— of all orientations—he can see how it was a felicitous place for the movie to find its footing. “The films that I watch and like are part of that American independent scene anyway, so I thought that it might fit in with that kind of cinema landscape,” he says. ‘Weekend’s’ imminent British release is being handled by Peccadillo Pictures, long-time specialists in queer film distribution whose
current slate—including the wonderful French coming-of-age film Tomboy, and Beauty, from South Africa—stands out as their strongest ever. Hopes are high at Peccadillo HQ that ‘Weekend ‘can break out of the gay niche and lure in a broader audience: we’re not talking ‘Brokeback Mountain’, but a miniature homegrown equivalent. The film’s fusing of romantic soul and upfront chatter give it the tenor of a same-sex ‘Before Sunrise’—there’s even talk of a sequel. What feels particularly important here is the new ground Haigh is managing to tread, not with any thunderous provocation or taboobreaking on his part, but just because of how true his achievement feels in a moribund climate for films of its type.
ing, but Haigh isn’t pandering to anyone: even though getting into bed is practically the first thing their characters do, the sex scenes are postponed until near the end. “I wanted the audience to be intimately connected to these two people, and to want them to have sex,” Haigh explains. The fact that one actor is straight and the other is not created fewer problems than you might expect – “It was just as hard for Chris, who’s gay, to play this gay person in a relationship, as it was for Tom, who’s straight.” “I didn’t want it to be, ‘Oh, the world is terrible, and everybody hates gays’, because that’s simply not true,” Haigh tells me. Tenderly optimistic but bittersweet, Weekend doesn’t underrate the difficulties of making a connection – any connection – and opening up emotionally to a person you’ve just met. Glen and Russell happen to be gay, like Haigh, who wants to be seen as a good film-maker first, a gay one second.
“It was just about trying to be realistic and honest,” he says. “There have been some good British gay films.” He singles out Hettie Macdonald’s ‘Beautiful Thing’ (1996) and Neil Hunter and Tom Hunsinger’s ‘Lawless Heart’ (2001)— but we agree that many of them are dire, and that the American exports aren’t much better: It wouldn’t help anyone to overhype his film, you have to look to Latin America or south-east but it’s a lovely beacon of hope, not just for the Asia for bolder, grittier examples. two men baring their hearts, but because of its palpable readiness for wider cultural embrace. This one is special, in part because it abandons the classic but now moth-eaten template of the “coming out” film, treading the fine line of being an open, adult romance but one still full of human awkwardness, and never alienatingly hedonistic. Haigh says he wanted to explore the burden of having to come out in small ways every day, and how being pigeonholed as gay keeps Glen and Russell, his characters, cagey with their straight friends, and a little isolated from the norms of day-to-day life.
It’s this beautifully captured sense of disconnectedness which I suspect will resonate most powerfully with the film’s core audience. The actors, Chris New and Tom Cullen, are extremely charismatic, not to mention good look-
W I T H C R I T I C A L A C C L A I M R I n G I n G I n H I S E A R S A n D A M U LT I T U D E o F P R o J E C T S o T H E ’ D R I V E ’ S TA R TA L K S M A R Q U E E T H R o U G H H I S C A R E E R S o FA R .
o n T H E G o,
MARQUEE: Nicolas [Winding Refn] told us about when you two first met. It’s an interesting story, what’s your take on that first meeting? GOSLING: Did he tell you that we creatively mated and conceived a movie baby in the backseat of my car? He didn’t put it quite as romantically… That’s basically what happened. We had this kinda awkward meal and after I gave him a ride home and we hit it off then. Before that meeting the initial concept was in your camp and you specifically requested Nicolas be attached to direct. What was it about him that made you want to work with him on ’Drive’? I just had a feeling. But I knew for sure once he started crying and singing REO Speedwagon in my car that he was my dude, because he sort of looked at me and said, ’This is what we should do: make a movie about a guy who drives around Los Angeles at night listening to pop music, because it’s the only way he can feel.’ And I had been… when I first read the script I was hoping that we could make it about just the experience of driving and not about chasing or being chased or even speed, necessarily, or stunts, but just about the kind of spell that a car puts you under and sort of use the spell that a car puts you under, and the spell that a movie can put you under, to take you into this driver’s dream. So, when Nicolas said that to me, I knew we were coming from the same place and having the same dream, without really having talked that much about it before that moment. Then we just tried to use that experience I the car as a sort of guiding star throughout the experience, to try to recreate… really the movie was born out of circumstance, and we just tried to keep allowing those circumstances to dictate the direction of the film. So we would shoot all day and then edit all night, at his house, and then when we were done and it was time to go home we’d just drive around listening to music and talk about movies and life, and that would effect the next day of shooting. So watching the film… the film kind of encapsulates the experience of making it. You mention the spell that a car can put you under, is that something you felt a connection with before making the film? Yeah I’ve always, sought of, been attracted to cars… not the aesthetic of them, there’s just something about them. When I was a kid I used to sneak into my parents’ car, a few times I actually took it out of park and reversed it out into the street. So, you know, I’ve just always liked to take road trips and be alone
in my car-which is one of the reasons why I love Los Angeles so much. I moved there when I was 16 and I think the majority of the years I’ve spent there have been, as with everyone else, in a car. People say that if you live in LA you have to have a car. There’s no other way… Yeah. And you start to experience your life, or a substantial portion of your day, though the filter of this car. So I think that the movie, I hope that the movie is a reflection of that. You built the car that’s in the movie, is that right? Oh yeah, I didn’t physically build the car but we refurbished it. It was in a pretty bad way when we got it and… I think it was like two grand and we got it from a car graveyard, a 1972 Chevy Malibu. And I went to work at Billy Stadeel’s Auto Shop, he’s sort of Hollywood car royalty, his father used to work on all Frank Sinatra’s cars and Billy still has Frank Sinatra’s Rolls Royce in his garage, and him and his partner Pedro mentored me through the process of restoring it.
" f i l m s h av e s u c h a powerful affect on me, t h e y a lway s h av e . . . " We read that you built a kitchen table in preparation for ’The Notebook’, which feels like quite a methody thing to do. Do you consider yourself a method actor to some degree? No. I mean, I don’t really know a lot about method acting, but I don’t just think that it means actually doing the things that your character does, there’s a lot more to the method than that. So I wouldn’t dare call myself that, I haven’t trained in the art of it and I really don’t know what I’m doing, to be honest. I think that I do a lot of these things in the hope of trying to figure out what I’m doing. Also, I just like to make stuff and these movies provide me an opportunity to learn how. Did you make stuff a lot as a kid? Yeah, I just… Yeah. Once you get onto the film you’re creating your character but everyone else is making the movie, so your opportunity to physically make things only really exists in the pre-production part of the film. Going back to yours and Nicolas’ relationship… You’re doing ’Logan’s Run’ together next year, how
important is it to find someone who you can collaborate with on a long-term basis? You seem to have developed something really strong with Derek Cianfrance, also. It’s everything. I mean, you’re only as good as your director and if you’re not on the same page, if you don’t have the same vision as the director then it’s hard to really make anything work, the movie won’t reach its full potential. I’ve been looking for filmmakers that can help me and that I can help make the most potent film, and I feel like I’ve found that in Derek Cianfrance and in Nicolas. I feel like we’ll make many movies together. You and Nicolas didn’t disagree on anything? Not really, not really. I think because… what’s happening is you’re both dreaming of the same place and you’re looking more for the similarities in your dream than the differences, because if you’re both dreaming of the same thing then it’s a pretty good indication that… it makes it more real, somehow, than if you’re dreaming about it alone. Your character is a lone anti-hero; did you have any points of reference in mind when you were dreaming of him? For me it was sort of a monster movie, kind of a werewolf film, where the driver sort of believes that he is a werewolf – he’s never officially turned into one but he’s afraid that one day he will, so he isolates himself away from people in the fear that he’ll turn into a monster. There’s the scene in the elevator where he smashes the guy’s head in, that’s where he becomes the werewolf. I mean, the film is really a fairy tale, that’s what we had in mind; the driver was a knight who would save this princess who was stranded in the tower, and Albert Brooks would be the wizard and Ron Perlman would be the dragon and Los Angeles. Do you see Los Angeles as a fairy tale city? I do think it’s a great setting for that because it’s built on fantasy. There are long periods in the film where your character is silent, very introversive; is that challenging as an actor when you’re used to delivering more lines? It was a relief. In what sense? Well a lot of times dialogue confuses the issue, and I think it can be more powerful and clearer without words. What excites you about acting?
It’s hard to explain, it’s sort of… the only way I can explain is in that way when a song comes on and it makes you want to dance, and there’s no reason for that; you can’t pinpoint why it make you tap your toe, but you can’t help yourself. Do you find it hard to balance your film career with your music and your personal life? Absolutely. I find it hard to find the time for everything I want to do, make all the things I want to make. Yeah, it’s very frustrating. Do you feel like you have to keep making movies because you hold a certain amount of clout as an actor now, and taking time out to pursue other interests would take away some of that autonomy? Well, I don’t… Not really, but it’s like… I don’t really think of it in that way but like, for instance, taking two years off and making that record informed the films that I made after it. So, I think it’s important to get distance in order to gain perspective on myself, on what I’m making and on where I’m going. Over the last few years you’ve leaned towards more intimate independent films as opposed to big budget mainstream Hollywood films, is there a reason for that? Well, those films… In my twenties independent cinema was the only place where I had any freedom and now I have more freedom at a bigger budget, so I’m more comfortable working at a bigger budget, but I guess I do prefer being able to make what you want and you can’t always do that on bigger budget stuff. I don’t like having to serve a committee, you know, the screen is yours to fill however you want to fill it and when you can’t do that I don’t see what the point is. What’s in it for me? It’s so easy to be pigeonholed as a certain type of actor, are you conscious of that in the roles you take? Well I don’t really know how I’m perceived so… You read so many different things and I’ve never really paid too much attention to that, I’ve never collated the carbon data, you know. Do you think I’m pigeonholed? Not exactly, it’s just that you have a very distinctive voice as an actor and yet your roles are quite varied. You seem to be someone who always makes good decisions, even when they don’t seem like good decisions to begin with. ’Drive’ isn’t a good example, but if you look back at the last five or six films you’ve made there are some interesting choices in there that have paid off. Like ’Lars and the Real Girl’…
I do think I have a good sense of where a filmmaker’s coming from when I meet them, and there are a ton of films I haven’t made because I didn’t click with the director’s vision, but like ’Lars and the Real Girl’ is a film that could’ve gone either way. It walked a very delicate line and I was skeptical about the direction that the director [Craig Gillespie] was going to take it in, but when I first met him he said that he wanted to put a nudity clause in the contract for Bianca and have a trailer for her and a team of people around her and treat her like any of the other actresses would be treated, I just knew, you know. You can tell a lot about what a director’s willing to put in off camera to creating an atmosphere on set so that this seed you’re trying to plant can actually have a chance. What do you love about movies? Well, I think, not to keep harping on the same note, I think… Well, for instance when I was in the fourth grade, maybe even… I forget what year, but it was sometime in junior school that I first saw ’First Blood’ and it kinda put me under a spell. I believed I was Rambo, and I filled my Fisher-Price Houdini Kit up with steak knives and took it into school and tried throwing them at some of the kids during recess. I didn’t hurt anybody, thank god, and I learned my lesson, you know, I’m sorry that I did it… But films have such a powerful affect on me, they always have done. I’ve tried to control that but I don’t think I’ve ever really managed to. But I don’t think I’m alone in recognising that. Who is ’Drive’ for? I think it’s for the movie theatre, I think we made it not for any specific type of person but more for the theatre itself. We made it for a big screen; we made it really fucking loud. It’s just not the same film if you see it at home, I’ve seen it on a small screen, I’ve seen it in a few different forms, and I really think this is the kind of movie that you have to go and see in the best theatre you can find. This is slightly random, but you know the rubber mask your character wears, was that based on anyone? That is random. It’s been bugging us… Well actually it’s kind of a cool story. A friend of mine, Noaz Deshe, had sent me… Separately, I’ve had a fantasy for years of robbing a bank, I’m too scared of jail to ever go through with it, but I like to imagine ways of doing it with a few special friends who like to do the same. Anyway, Noaz sent me this link to a mask called the Hanson mask, which a few
people were using effectively using to get away with robbery, because the mask’s so realistic, and… There would be security camera footage of the robber and witnesses would give descriptions and because it’s so realistic the police would end up looking for someone who looked like the mask. So when we were trying to find a way for the driver to go around and effectively get away with his revenge spree that he goes on, it seemed like it would be a good idea to use that mask. But also we wanted him to undergo a transformation and because he couldn’t actually become a werewolf we tried to think of a way to take him from boy to man, and the mask was perfect for that. Was it tough adopting that werewolf mentality? It felt appropriate, so it was actually kinda easy. But we wanted there to be a balance between the violence and the romance, so the first half of the film is all champagne and cotton candy and the second half is blood and guts. Nicolas and I both love John Hughes movies, and we both imagined ’Drive’ to be like a love letter to John Hughes, written in blood. Any other movies or filmmakers that inspired you to get into acting? Well, after that incident after I watched ’First Blood’ for a long time I wasn’t allowed to watch R rated movies, so for a long while I only watched Cecil B DeMille bible films and a lot of, sort of, black-andwhite comedies and National Geographic animal movies. They were the only films I was allowed to watch, but when I was 14 I got handed on the DL a copy of ’Blue Velvet’, which totally changed my outlook on film. And you’re prepping for a movie now? Yeah, I’m in my apartment in New York getting ready for a movie that shoots in three weeks. Actually, it’s about a bank robber. You really are obsessed with the idea aren’t you? Probably. I don’t know, I don’t know where it comes from, but I’ve had this idea for a long time of a way to rob a bank and get away with it. Obviously I’d never really do… But so I told the director of ’Blue Valentine’ about it one night and he said, ’You have to be kidding me, I just wrote a movie about that.’ And so he sent me the script and it turned out we’d both been dreaming the same thing. Thanks Ryan, speak soon. Yeah, see you down the road.
" independent cinema was the only place w here I had any freedom "
T h e B est
OF ALL TIME
One Flew over the Cuckoo ' s Nest 1975, Milos Forman McMurphy, a man with several assault convictions to his name, finds himself in jail once again. This time, the charge is statutory rape when it turns out that his girlfriend had lied about being eighteen, and was, in fact, fifteen (or, as McMurphy puts it, “fifteen going on thirty-five”). Rather than spend his time in jail, he convinces the guards that he’s crazy enough to need psychiatric care and is sent to a hospital. He fits in frighteningly well, and his different point of view actually begins to cause some of the patients to progress. Nurse Ratched becomes his personal cross to bear as his resistance to the hospital routine gets on her nerves.
The Usual Suspects 1995, Bryan Singer After a waterfront explosion, Verbal, an eye-witness and participant tells the story of events leading up to the conflagration. The story begins when five men are rounded up for a line-up, and grilled about a truck hijacking (the usual suspects). Least pleased is Keaton a crooked cop - exposed, indicted, but now desperately trying to go straight. The cops won’t leave him alone, however, and as they wait for their lawyers to post bail, he is talked into doing one more job with the other four. All goes tolerably well until the influence of the legendary, seemingly omnipotent "Keyser Soze" is felt. Although set in the modern day, it has much of the texture of the forties, plus suspense, intrigue (a fairly high body count), and lots of twists in the plot. 25
A m er i ca n B eau ty
American Beauty 1999, Sam Mendes Lester Burnham is in a mid-life crisis, caused by his stressed wife Carolyn and rebelling teenage daughter Jane. When Lester and Carolyn go watch Jane cheerleading, they meet Angela Hayes, and Lester, caught in sudden lust for Angela, decides to change his life. Angela’s and Jane’s friendship is not all it seems, too, because Angela only brags about how many times she’s done it with guys and stuff. That doesn’t help an already insecure Jane very much but she finds solace in the arms of the next-door-neighbors’ son, Ricky Fitts. Ricky, himself from a broken home as well, and Jane find they have a lot in common and eventually turn out to be soulmates.
Memento 2000, Christopher Nolan
M em en to
Point blank in the head a man shoots another. In flashbacks, each one earlier in time than what we’ve just seen, the two men’s pasts unfold. Leonard, as a result of a blow to the head during an assault on his wife, has no short-term memory. He’s looking for his wife’s killer, compensating for his disability by taking Polaroids, annotating them and tattooing important facts on his body. We meet the loquacious Teddy and the seductive Natalie (a barmaid who promises to help) and we glimpse Leonard’s wife through memories from before the assault. Leonard also talks about Sammy Jankis, a man he knew with a similar condition. Has Leonard found the killer? Who’s manipulating whom?
Pulp Fiction 1994, Quentin Tarantino Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield are two hitmen on the hunt for a briefcase whose contents were stolen from their boss, Marsellus Wallace. They run into a few unexpected detours along the road. Marsellus is out of town, and he’s gotten Vincent to take care of his wife, Mia. That is, take her out for a night on the town. Things go smoothly until one of them makes a huge error. Butch Coolidge is a boxer who’s been approached by Marsellus and been told to throw his latest fight. When Butch ends up killing the other boxer, he must escape Marsellus. Pumpkin and Honey Bunny (not their real names) are two lovebirds/thieves who have decided to rob the restaurant they’re currently eating at. But the restaurant doesn’t turn out to be as easy as the other places they’ve robbed.
P u lp Fi ct i o n
Se7en 1995, David Fincher This thriller portrays the exploits of a deranged serial-killer. His twisted agenda involves choosing seven victims who represent egregious examples of transgressions of each of the Seven Deadly Sins. He then views himself as akin to the Sword of God, handing out horrific punishment to these sinners. Two cops, an experienced veteran of the streets who is about to retire and the ambitious young homicide detective hired to replace him, team up to capture the perpetrator of these gruesome killings. Unfortunately, they too become ensnared in his diabolical plan. Se7en
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 2004, Michel Gondry Joel is stunned to discover that his girlfriend Clementine has had her memories of their tumultuous relationship erased. Out of desperation, he contracts the inventor of the process, Dr. Howard Mierzwaik, to have Clementine removed from his own memory. But as Joel’s memories progressively disappear, he begins to rediscover their earlier passion. From deep within the recesses of his brain, Joel attempts to escape the procedure. As Dr. Mierzwiak and his crew chase him through the maze of his memories, it’s clear that Joel just can’t get her out of his head.
Leon 1994, Luc Besson Mathilda, a twelve-year old New York girl, is living an undesirable life among her half-family. Her father stores drugs for two-faced cop Norman Stansfield. Only her little brother keeps Mathilda from breaking apart. One day, Stansfield and his team take cruel revenge on her father for stretching the drugs a little, thus killing the whole family. Only Mathilda survives by finding shelter in Léon’s apartment in the moment of highest need. Soon, she finds out about the strange neighbor’s unusual profession—killing —and desperately seeks his help in taking revenge for her little brother. Now, the conflict between a killer and a corrupt police officer arises to unmeasurable proportions. All for the sake of a little girl, who has nearly nothing to lose.
Requiem for a Dream 2000, Darren Aronofsky Requiem for a Dream exposes four paralleled individuals and their menacing addiction to heroin, cocaine, and diet pills (speed). Taking place in Brooklyn amidst the waning Coney Island, the drugs are very easily obtained and keep each main character in its cycle of dependence. The protagonist Harry Goldfarb is your typical heroin junky with an ambitious plan of “Getting off hard knocks,” with help from his cocaine crazed girlfriend Marion and his long time friend Tyrone. Meanwhile his widowed mother is obsessed with the glamor of television and eventually finds her way to a dietitian who pushes her into the cycle of drug induced enslavement. Leo n
R equ i em fo r a d r ea m
M OV I E R EV I EWS
Like Crazy ’Like Crazy’ is a film about the little moments. The ones we remember when we’re saying goodbye, or missing an embrace, or losing something we thought (and maybe wished) we had. It’s a film of collected moments; of love, happiness, heartbreak, success and failure. It’s a film about how it feels to be in love; how beautiful, intense, addictive and debilitating love can be, but how necessary it is for us to experience as we get older and start sorting out our lives. For his third feature, writer-director Drake Doremus delivers what will probably go down as one of the best of the fest; an extremely personal, passionate and exceptionally wellcrafted story starring Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones as two kids who fall hard for one another, but find their perfect relationship tested when forced apart for long periods at a time. ’Like Crazy’ continues the trend of solid, aggressively entertaining relationship movies born out of festivals like ’Blue Valentine’ and ’500 Days of Summer’, but in my opinion this is the best of the three, and a film you’ll need to see when it hits theaters later this year. It doesn’t take long for Jacob (Yelchin) and Anna (Jones) to hit it off, and it doesn’t take long for us to care about where it’s heading. Doremus crafts a story that pops as it moves, consistently shifting from one moment to the next as Jacob and Anna become each other’s everything until they both graduate college and she’s forced to move back home to London. When she decides
to risk violating her visa by spending the entire summer with Jacob, the repercussions of her violation slowly infiltrate their budding relationship, creating a roller coaster ride that spans the next few years. And then there’s the way he captures those moments we all share in our relationships; those small, intimate, soul-crushing moments that shape us and make us. Like when Anna and Jacob sit across from one another on the way to the airport to send Jacob back home. The way they watch each other, long for each other and at the same time begin to disconnect from one another all with their eyes and lips, followed by the way she stares at the empty chair across from her on the way home, emotionally spent and defeated. It’s brilliant and devastating, further punctuated by the tremendous performances, especially from newcomer Felicity Jones. It’s a powerful film, to say the least, and it will most likely destroy those who’ve had experience with a long distance relationship. But Doremus makes it so warm, comfortable and full of humorous moments (special kudos to Anna’s scene stealing parents, played by the always wonderful Alex Kingston and Oliver Murihead) that it’s hard not to feel good after watching a movie that makes you feel so bad. That’s a true sign of great storytelling, and more than enough reason to champion Drake Doremus and ’Like Crazy’ throughout the year.
Drive The film’s enigmatic protagonist, the nameless driver (Ryan Gosling) referred to only as “the Kid,” is first seen as the exceptionally resourceful driver of the getaway car for a nighttime robbery in downtown Los Angeles. Soon we also see him working as a stunt driver for the movies and as an all-purpose employee in an auto shop whose proprietor is a gimpy-legged mechanic and car customizer. Things get a crucial complication when “the Kid” begins to take an apparently protective interest in his neighbor Irene and her young son. Meanwhile, Shannon is trying to get a local gangster to put up the money for a racing car that the Gosling character will drive. All those characters and their assorted storylines collide via another theft and getaway, this time one that has multiple unforeseen consequences.
M ela n c h o li a
Melancholia How does the world end? When it is in the hands of the cinematic master of human misery, dark Danish auteur Lars von Trier, as it is in ’Melancholia,’ it ends in extraordinary, horrific, searing, aching and unthinkable ways. It is his most hopeful film yet. Its apocalyptic vision is encouraging in its hopelessness; its star, Kirsten Dunst, luminous in her anguish and devastation. Excessive in every way, and yet restrained. It’s just enough to tantalize, to suggest that something wicked this way comes. There is a gracefully aging estate sitting above an ocean. There is an expansive and precisely manicured lawn, a sundial, a wide swath of fairway, yes, as in golf, in between. Shots of Dunst show flashes of agony and ecstasy. A full moon — or is it? — is rising. A desperate woman is running with her child. Chaos. Calm.
Weekend Weekend follows Russell (newcomer Tom Cullen, Best Actor winner at Nashville), who, after randomly picking up artist Glen (Chris New) at a nightclub on a Friday night, unexpectedly spends most of the next 48 hours with him in bedrooms and bars, telling stories and having sex, while developing a connection that will resonate throughout their lives. This affecting and naturalistic romance is beautifully realized, earning comparisons to Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise in its exploration of how two people can come together only briefly, yet impact each other in a profound way.
W eek en d
M a rt h a M a rcy M ay M a r len e
Martha Marcy May Marlene Movies successfully built on mood are an astonishing high-wire act, requiring not just a remarkable consistency in every scene, but for the audience to immerse themselves in that mood as well. Sean Durkin’s ’Martha Marcy May Marlene’, his first film, accomplishes this so well that it’s easy to overlook its more underdeveloped areas, which emerge as the film sinks deeper into a story with no intention of resolving in a conventional way. But even in a film that isn’t quite as full as it needs to be, Durkin and especially his star Elizabeth Olsen make an indelible impression, plunging the audience into a world of their creation that’s as well-crafted as it is impossible to forget.
Take Shelter Drenched in Old Testament overtones, ’Take Shelter’ decidedly, and quite thankfully, never proselytizes, intones, or mentions-even in passing-words of scripture. Why discuss the obvious? As a result, the film avoids bombast. Though the title demands the viewer take immediate precaution, Nichols plays out the narrative in a slow burn, toying with the audience’s mounting discomfort. Mostly without relying on cheap shocks, ’Take Shelter’ enjoys its journey, knowing how to form and sustain disquieting terror. And when it finally ends in a bewildering cataclysm that is both highly satisfying and frustratingly open-ended, ’Take Shelter’ reveals itself to be engaging, problematic, and indebted to its star.
Ta k e S h elt er
credits marquee vol. 1 no. 1
e d i t o r- i n- c h e i f Designer Photography Contributors
A nnaB e l l e G o u l d Hanna h P e d e r s o n A l e ta C o r b o y Michelle Frappier Kinsey Gross T r ac y H u g h e s Ellen Peterson Nicole Yeo
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c o n ta c t M a r q u e e
ma G @ ma r q u e E M A G. c o m w w w . ma r q u e e M ag. c o m S e att l e , WA
i m p o r ta n t i n f o r m at i o n All r ight s res er ve d . No p ar t of th i s pu bl i cati on may b e re pro du c e d i n whole or p ar t inclu d ing on l i n e w i th ou t th e pr i or p e r m i ssi on a n d wr itt en c ons ent of t he pu bl i sh e r s. Th e v i e w s e x pre ss e d i n ma rq u e e are those of the respective contributors a n d f e atu re d a r ti s ts a n d a re not ne c essar ily share d by t he pu bl i sh e r s, e di tor s, te a m or di str i bu tor s of marq u e e. Marq ue e d o es n ot a c c e pt u n s ol i ci te d su bm i ssi on s a n d cannot b e held resp o n si bl e f or a ny u n s ol i ci te d mate r i a l .
p u b l i s h e d b y ma r q u e e u s l i m i t e d ma d e i n t h e u n i t e d s tat e s ÂŠ 2011 M a r q u e e u s l i m i t e d ART 466 2011
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