These eight black filmmakers have had a significant impact on cinematic history—from the silent era to the present day. In movies as diverse as “Shaft” to “She’s Gotta Have It,” directors like Oscar Micheaux, Melvin Van Peebles, Gordon Parks (and son Gordon Parks, Jr.), Spike Lee, John Singleton, Lee Daniels and Steve McQueen have told stories of everything from slavery and racial tension to kick-ass cops. The one thing they have in common? They all wound up as selections in “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.”
There’s already been plenty of buzz about the biggest movies to emerge from the Venice Film Festival thus far — if you haven’t heard of them yet, you will soon enough. There’s Terrence Malick’s typically abstruse TO THE WONDER; Spike Lee’s Michael Jackson tribute BAD 25; Paul Thomas Anderson’s Scientology-inspired THE MASTER; and our own Robert Redford’s THE COMPANY YOU KEEP.
“Indie” is one of the haziest terms in the film industry; in the 70’s and 80’s, you were either in or outside of the studio system. Now, the boundaries have blurred, with studios trying to get in on the independent action. Indie filmmaking is indeed a high-risk venture, as with anything that requires little money up front and the potential for a huge payoff. These are the directors, from Spike Lee to Terrence Malick, who have made it work.
Making movies costs lots and lots of money. Dependency is the name of the game in the studio system and the cliché of the executive producer coming to set and scaring everybody straight is surely based on actual events. ‘Indies’ used to be the alternative to that system, but that movement is now so big, such an institution in its own right, that ‘Independent’ may no longer be the most accurate nomenclature. ‘Indie’ is one of the haziest terms in the film industry; in the era of Steven Soderbergh’s watershed indie hit SEX, LIES, AND VIDEOTAPE, things were more cut and dry, you were either in or outside of the studio system.
Every week there are dozens of film news stories. Every week, we read them all and bring you the five most important ones in the single most important blog post you’ll ever read (today [at this moment]). This week: folks have some lovely bones to pick with Peter Jackson’s new filmmaking format, Martin Scorsese still loves his new filmmaking format and — hang on a sec, I have a call coming in.
Spike Lee’s best movies are always polarizing. DO THE RIGHT THING, MALCOLM X, BAMBOOZLED; Lee has built his reputation on provocative, controversial cinema. In that regard at least, Lee’s new film, RED HOOK SUMMER, finds the director in fine form. It divided the Park City crowd, and then Lee himself took the stage for a Q&A that got them really riled up.
It’s hard to believe it has been almost a year since PARIAH premiered at Sundance. The Brooklyn based, coming-out story impressed audiences in Park City and is now in theaters (well, theaters in certain cities). It’s the end of an extensive Sundance cycle for writer/director Dee Rees, who premiered a short version of the semi-autobiographical story at the festival back in 2007 and was chosen as a 2008 Sundance Screenwriting & Directing Lab Fellow.
Sundance Institute announced today the films selected to screen in the out-of-competition Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The Festival will be held January 19 through 29 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. The complete list of films is available at www.sundance.org/festival.