Sunday, August 15, 2010

Malick and Molina at the Destruction Derby

I'm preparing a decently sized post for tomorrow night (at least two paragraphs, maybe even three!), but until I finish that, I thought I'd post this footage I came across on YouTube a while back. I thought the song and the slow motion footage of a destruction derby at dusk melded together perfectly -- it gave the scene an emotional subtext. Perhaps, had David Gordon Green made a no-budget micro indie that took place in the Midwest, this would serve as a cathartic final scene to his film. Or perhaps the filmmaker responsible for this footage could create a whole film in order to end it with this scene, assuming that obtaining the song rights wasn't the bigger obstacle. It is, at the least, very nice work.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Country Matters

Last night I contributed a few bucks toward Lucas McNelly's new project Up Country, which is being funded via Kickstarter. If he didn't reach the goal of $4,000 by midnight on June 16th, his project would not get funding, and at $500 to go, it looked like it might not happen, but in the last few hours the money came in. With this good news, and the new redesign, I think I've gotten some more enthusiasm toward getting this blog off the ground. I'll be keeping an eye on Up Country's progress, at any rate.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Possibly film-related links

I might start attending this monthly, this particular show featuring musical artists Portraits, Danny Paul Grody, Barn Owl and Daniel Higgs:

Also, it's hardly "Film as Folk Art," but this is my most anticipated film realease ever:

I wish underground independent films were as easily accessible and as abundant as underground music is. I'd post more.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Putty Hill website

A few days ago, Matt Porterfield linked to his new and elegantly designed website for Putty Hill. After taking a look at the beautiful artwork and photographs, along with the director's and producer's statements about the film, I've gone from being marginally interested (mostly because I know it may be a long time before I actually see the film) to somewhat enthusiastic. I'll keep my eye out. I have a way of missing films as they come through these parts, especially if it's a one-time screening.

Update: Here's some behind-the-scenes footage from another filmmaker, Isaac Diebboll, that was shot during the production:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kentucker Audley's Holy Land and Open Five

I'm a little behind on this, as always, but Kentucker Audley has posted a trailer for Holy Land on his youtube page:

And also some footage from Open Five (more footage on his page):

The above video has a single comment that reads: "great. more mumblecore....." And, to be honest, I'm pretty tired of this style of filmmaking myself, at least in theory -- I would always give an ind. filmmaker the benefit of the doubt before watching their film, whether or not it was associated with this label. Not all films featuring twenty-somethings and their relationship problems qualify as "mumblecore," even if they are shot cheaply on DV, nor do I think films that scream "mumblecore!" are necessarily bad films. At any rate, I thought Audley's Team Picture was a very good film, and although, yes, it was shot on mini-DV and featured inarticulate slacker twenty-somethings, there was something about it that set it apart from the whole scene. It felt less of-the-moment than some of its peers. Had it been shot on film, it might have felt a bit anachronistic, like Frownland. And it wouldn't have felt like a "mumblecore" film.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I never keep up with Sundance as it is happening each year. I find paying attention to most news as it rolls in to be dreadfully boring, and then there are the old cliches about Sundance being too commercial, no longer about true independent filmmaking, etc. But I just came across this New York Times article, about how this year's Sundance has a new director, John Cooper, who is apparently focusing more on independent, less commercial filmmaking. Should I be paying attention this year?

Whatever the case, I do know that Eric
Mendelsohn's 3 Backyards looks interesting, and the Duplass Brothers' new film, Cyrus, stars John C. Reilly!

Update: Karina
Longworth's review of Cyrus. This paragraph stood out:

"If it's somewhat surreal to sit down to a Duplass Brothers film and have it preceded by the Fox Searchlight logo and trumpet-and-drumbeat theme, the opening scene following that corporate stamp offers a sensation that could only be described as uncanny. A beautiful woman encounters a scruffy manboy, and they proceed to have an argument about his inability to meet her expectations. It all looks and feels familiarly low fi--almost like a sequel to The Puffy Chair, catching up on that film's couple long after they've broken up and have managed to stay friends twenty years later. Except for the fact that the woman is played by Catherine Keener, and the man is played by John C. Reilly, and even though neither is a massive star outside of Indiewood, within this context their faces feel so larger-than-life that the classic Duplass anticipatory zooms take on a whole new quality of invasive creepiness."

In other words, their style remains the same, but with more expensive cameras and bigger name actors. Sounds fine to me; I love John C. Reilly, and I like the idea of their bare aesthetic in the service of a "bigger" film. Which is not to say that it's the first film of its kind with such an aesthetic, of course. Karina's review isn't without its caveats, but I'm still excited.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

At long last, a new post

I'd love to start posting more consistently. There are reasons why I don't: I feel as though I am regurgitating news about certain films, and unless I have something to add, I don't feel there's a point. People reading most indie film news sites are going to know these things already. Of course, if they're really small films, they need all the blog mentions they can get, so perhaps I'm being a little too down on myself. Another reason is that news on a lot of films is scarce, particularly of what is going on in the underground. And, many of these films are hard to come by. I've been mentioning Matt Porterfield's films since I began this blog, but I have yet to see anything except the videos he's linked to on his website (although I've just discovered that Hamilton is now available on Netflix and Amazon; I'll be getting on that ASAP). And I've been busy with a job I'd rather not be doing. But the final and perhaps biggest reason is that my interests extend far beyond simply film, and for this reason I may start posting about things that may have nothing to do with this blog's main subject, just to give me some momentum.

I do have some interesting news: Mattew Porterfield's film Putty Hill, which was apparently made before Metal Gods, is premiering at the Berlinale International Film Festival. You can find a teaser trailer here. And here's a separate site for Metal Gods.

Also, Tom and Mary Russell are two underground independents who have made a couple of films in the past few years, and they're offering them for $15 each on Amazon until the 31st of this month. I've not seen either of their films, but I do read their blog occasionally, and I think I'll be buying their soon-to-be-unavailable DVDs to see what they're all about.