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Showing posts from 2019

Lara Gallagher's 'Clementine' screens at Frameline43

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By Moira Sullivan

Clementine by Portland based filmmaker Lara Gallagher debuted at the Tribeca film festival this year and made its way to the Frameline Film Festival at the palatial Castro theater on June 28. Gallagher received an MFA in directing at Columbia and is a talented story teller. Her first feature comes after a several creative shorts and music videos with a grant from Biennale College, a filmmaking production program at the Venice Film Festival. On top of that Gallagher received support from Sundance and  the Independent Filmmakers Program’s Emerging Storytellers distinction in 2015. Plus she also crowd funded some the expenses with her Portland team.

Clementine is a refreshing film with believable lesbian characters – albeit too young to be ageists!  Gallagher shows promise as a narrative filmmaker on the rise. Her film has a noir edge and one only wonders what will happen in her next feature. Karen (Otmara Marrero) – (Annie in Off the Rails), decides to travel to her ex-…

Knives and Skin at Frameline43

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By Moira Sullivan

For starters, Chicago filmmaker Jennifer Reeder is an accomplished filmmaker with several short films behind her shown at numerous film festivals around the world. Her latest film is her first feature and was selected for the Frameline Film Festival. Parts of it were actually shown at an American film festival in Poland where works in progress are given a completion support. She got the attention of a programmer from Tribeca who took it in and the Berlin Film festival selected it knowing she had served on a jury there before and shown her short films. Reeder is a dedicated hardworking artist filmmaker the mother of three young children and she has made an enchanting and provocative narrative feature called Knives and Skin.

In the opening scenes we see a mother holding a huge table knife upright walking towards her daughter's room. It’s a tease because we are so programmed for this kind of imagery in horror films, but actually the mother is picking the lock ador…

72:e Festival de Cannes Jury - Elle Fanning; Abdellatif Kechiche - "Mektoub"

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By Moira Sullivan

The jury members for the 72:e Festival de Cannes were unanimously taken in by Palme d’Or winner The Parasite by South Korean director BONG Jo ho. In the first of its kind press conference Jury President Quentin Tarantino explained why Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911 won the palme d’or. Since then the jury motivates why it gives out its award.

Atlantics by French filmmaker Matti Diop, according to Italian jury member Alice Rohrwacher, last year's best screenplay award winner for Happy as Lazzaro , won the heart of the jury, a film about men and young boys who die at sea and the women they leave behind at shore.

Although the awards this year were given to films that concern social justice, or injustice according to Jury President Alejandro Iñárritu “cinematic decisions” were involved with the process and he emphasized that “cinema has to speak for itself”.

The jury was diverse including the youngest jury member at Cannes in history, 21-year-old Elle Fanning. Iñ…

Official Competition Palmarès to Women at 72:e Festival de Cannes

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By Moira Sullivan
Official Competition Palmarès to Women - Grand Prix Atlantique Mati Diop France.
Award For Best Screenplay Céline Sciammi France, Award For Best Actress Emily Beecham Little Joe Jessica Hausner, Austria, Monster God-Short Film Special Distinction, Agustina San Martin , ArgentinaCéline Sciamma, one of the founders of the French 50/50 by 2020 for gender equality in French film and her new film Portrait De La Jeune Fille En Feu ("Portrait Of A Lady On Fire") won the best screenplay award at the Cannes film festival that ended May 25. Sciamma is one of two women who are part of the official selection this year of 22 films. Her film is a period piece from 1770 about young artist Marianne (Noémie Merlant ) who is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse without her knowledge, a woman just out of a convent woman betrothed to someone she's never met (Adèle Haenel). Sciamma's has created a beautiful homage to forgotten women artists.

The film …

72:e Festival de Cannes report

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By Moira Sullivan


Cannes is noteworthy in showcasing the latest work of time-honored auteur - which is not always their best. Directors climb up the rungs of the selection sections from short film awards to Palme d'Or  - like Jane Campion's Camera d’Or for Peel (1982) before her Palme d’or, or in the case of Nadine Labaki from Un certain regard Where do we go from here (2011) to Jury prize winner for Capernaum (2019). This film is the top box contender in the world for a film from the Middle East.

It is exciting to see that Céline Sciamma and her new film Portrait Of A Lady On Fire - Portrait De La Jeune Fille En Feu is one of the top contenders for the Palme d’Or as she climbs the steps in Cannes. This is the epitome of success at Cannes– to ascend the Red Steps. Sciamma is one of two women who are part of the official selection this year of 20+ films. Hulu has already bought the film for streaming – and in France the film must premiere first before it can be released, n…

72nd Cannes Film Festival features young Agnès Varda as official poster

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By Moira Sullivan

The 72nd Cannes Film Festival opened on May 14 by Edouard Baer, Master of Ceremonies. Excerpts from films made by Agnès Varda who died earlier in March were projected. Varda is featured on the poster for the festival with a young Agnès standing on a stool to shoot her first feature film La Pointe Courte (1955).

The feature film jury this year is composed of US director Kelly Reichardt, US actress Elle Fanning, Maimouna N’Diaye director from Burkina Fazo, Italian director Alice Rohrwacher, French directors Enki Bilal, Robin Campillo, Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos and Paweł Pawlikowski director from Poland - presided over by this year's jury President: Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu.

The first screening of the official competition followed the ceremony directed by Jim Jarmusch, The Dead Don’t Die starring Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Chloë Sevigny, Selena Gomez, Sara Driver and Luka Sabbat. This lukewarm film about the undead who ris…

The Wicker Man (1973)

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By Moira Sullivan

On the idyllic Scottish islet of Summerisle, the best fruits and vegetables, livestock and crops grow. Wickerman is a film about this island directed by Robin Hardy based on the 1967 novel Ritual by David Pinner.

Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) arrives by seaplane and in the distance, the local men reluctantly send over a dinghy so he can come ashore. The men are rustic, provincial and salty and that goes for pretty much for all the inhabitants of this islet. Sergeant Howie is looking for a missing child - Rowan Morrison. He first stop is at the shop run by Mrs. Morrison who lives with her young daughter. He helps her fill in the color for a drawing of a rabbit. "Everyone knows Rowan, silly", she says,  "and is mostly likely playing in the field". - "A rabbit, silly!". This is the first of many tricks that Sergeant Howie experiences. At the local inn he is served a meal from cans - not fresh produce that the island is known for. He fi…

Summerisle's 'Wicker Man' (1973) remains a quintessential horror classic

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By Moira Sullivan

On the idyllic Scottish islet of Summerisle, the best fruits and vegetables, livestock and crops grow. The Wicker Man is a film about this island directed by Robin Hardy based on the 1967 novel Ritual by David Pinner.

Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) arrives by seaplane and in the distance, the local men reluctantly send over a dinghy so he can come ashore. The gents are rustic, provincial and salty and that goes for pretty much for all the inhabitants of this islet. Sergeant Howie is looking for a missing child - Rowan Morrison. His first stop is at the shop run by Mrs. Morrison who lives with her young daughter.

Howie helps her fill in the color for a drawing of a rabbit. "Everyone knows Rowan, silly", she says and is mostly likely playing in the field. A rabbit. This is the first of many tricks that Sergeant Howie experiences. At the local inn he is served a meal from cans - not fresh produce that the island is known for. He finds this curious as well a…

Girls of the Sun

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By Moira Sullivan


Girls of the Sun directed and written by French filmmaker Eva Husson is in San Francisco and one of three films made by women selected for the official competition at Cannes last May. It is an ambitious effort that tells the story of female soldiers called the "Girls of the Sun" battalion, based on a true story from August 2014 set in the Sinjar Mountains of northern Iraq. This was Yazidi territory with 300,000 inhabitants. It becomes the prime target of ISIS attacks in genocidal warfare affecting  Yazidi’s who do not escape in time. The female battalion is committed to rescuing their young boys forced to attend Jihadist schools. The impetus to their bravery is born out of misery - 2000 women and children are driven to destinations in Raqqa in Iraq where they are sexually assaulted, tortured, sold as slaves or forced to marry.

Since a woman’s army is unusual for a film (Born in Flames (1984) by Lizzie Borden is a classic example of "speculative fiction…