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Showing posts from April, 2009

Is there a second generation Iranian-American/Iranian-European "New Wave" happening?

10 years ago (1999) I did not know of - did not hear about in the media - about a single art film director who is 2nd generation Iranian-American or Iranian-European. Now I know of 4 - three well known in the art/indie/foreign film world & one who just made a very promising first feature. Here are the names & some links:

Caveh Zahedi (I Am A Sex Addict)

Ramin Bahrani (Man Push Cart, Chop Shop, Goodbye Solo)

Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis)

&, just entering the feature filmmaking arena:

Amir Motlagh (Whale)

So is this a new & significant development? I'd like to hear from people who know a lot about creativity in the Iranian diaspora & about art/indie/foreign films in Comments.

- Sujewa


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The Limits of Control may have some elements in common with The Matrix, says O'Hehir & Jarmusch :: Release expansion plans

I plan on watching The Limits of Control on Sunday, so, I am wondering if I'll encounter a sublime, mind-altering Jarmusch film like Mystery Train or something far more difficult to get into & enjoy like Coffee & Cigarettes or Year of the Horse. This interview with Jarmusch by Salon's Andrew O'Hehir makes the movie sound very interesting. From the intro to the interview:

"But the suave hero, the sharp clothes, the noirish atmosphere and the spectacular settings are only one layer of the onion. Jarmusch's title is meant to be metaphysically suggestive, referring not just to the limits of political control (that's a clue, but not a spoiler) but also to the fact that the movie itself is a fiction, and to the possibility that the world is not what we perceive it to be. There are hints that De Bankolé is able to control the landscape around him, at least at times, almost like the author of a story or like Keanu Reeves in "The Matrix.""

And:

&q…

Interview with Amir Motlagh, director of new film Whale

whale_feature film trailer_director Amir Motlagh from Amir Motlagh on Vimeo.

Amir Motlagh is a Los Angeles area based independent filmmaker & actor. After winning accolades from film festivals and web audiences for several short fiction & documentary pieces, Motlagh recently completed Whale - his first feature length film, a beautifully shot & edited work of fiction about an aspiring writer who returns to his parent's house to figure out the next phase of his life. I spoke with him recently about Whale, certain trends & other happenings in the indie film world - including the existence of several well regarded independent filmmakers with Iranian roots:

Sujewa: What was the starting point for Whale? What experiences, other movies, career needs, other things led you to create Whale?

Amir: Maybe I started Whale abstractly in 2001. It was the first film I had ever envisioned making, but I didn't have the know-how, resources and understanding of the filmmaking process.…

New limits set, Feed back on

So, took a couple of days, figured out how I want to use this blog now (as little as possible, only for projects that I am directly involved in, more here). And, after speaking with a few people & getting some requests, the Feed is back on, so the blog posts will show up at various places once again, whenever they do happen.


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Brooklyn Fantastic project update

here


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Farzad Rostami – Delaware Small Business Chamber
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Farzad Rostami – Delaware History Trail
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Farzad Rostami – Delaware Historical Society
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New limits to blogging

From now on I'll only be blogging about my own projects or about, sometimes, certain projects of collaborators (people who work with me on my projects, or projects of others than I work on). I think these new limits will help me cut down significantly on blogging - making more time available for making & distributing my movies.

- Sujewa


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MovieMaker article about Blank City

Check out MovieMaker article about new doc Blank City - about DIY filmmaking activity in NYC in the late 70's & early 80's. From the article:

"Later I spoke to Tess Hughes-Freeland, assistant editor for Fingered, Richard Kern’s 1986 violent porn-as-antiporn film starring Lydia Lunch, who remarked that today’s explosion of instant DIY moviemaking—via digital outlets such as YouTube—mirrors the spirit of the Super8 moviemakers. She also praised Danhier for the comprehensiveness of her approach to chronicling that dynamic time."

Check out the article at MovieMaker.

And here's the website for Blank City.

- Sujewa


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2000 some blog entries later

Over the last few years - starting in '04 - I've done quite a bit with blogs: posted over 2,000 entries, made new friends, made a doc about blogging (screened it in NYC & made it a part of the recent Atlanta Film Festival) & learned a little about engineering & managing indie film publicity. Now I plan on applying a similar productive approach to making & distributing indie movies - less blogging, more film work in its place.

So, in that spirit, coming very soon (working on these items now, should be up on the web w/in the next 7 days):

- All of Indie Film Blogger Road Trip to Vimeo, Blip.TV, & YouTube in episodes.

- All of Date Number One on Vimeo in several parts.

- Both movies available in their entirety with the help of a new e-commerce solution for indie filmmakers that's in its beta phase - for those who want to contribute some $s towards the projects & or do not want to see the movies as separate episodes.

- The same "new/experimental so…

Feed off soon

I want to start using this blog a little differently, so, the feed going out from here will be cut off soon, meaning, if you read this blog primarily at indieWIRE's blogs page or at another place that uses the feed, you may want to bookmark the blog if you want to read stuff here in the future - once the Feed is off the posts will not be showing up at iW page, etc. Thanks.

- Sujewa


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Interview about Frownland at Cinemad

I haven't seen Frownland, but have met a few people who like it a lot, check out an interview with the film's director at Cinemad.


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Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 4 blog
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Farzad Rostami – Delaware Small Business Grants page
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Farzad Rostami – Delaware Small Business Chamber
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Dog Days of Summer site

Here's the site for a new movie called Dog Days of Summer - looks well made & spooky (judging by the trailer). Out on DVD now.


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Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco blog
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Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 2 blog
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Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 3 blog
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Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 4 blog
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Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 5 blog
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Farzad Rostami – Delaware Small Business Grants page
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Farzad Rostami – Delaware Small Business Chamber
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Farzad Rostami – Delaware History Trail
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Jonathan Rosenbaum can't wait to see The Limits of Control again

From a recent post on Limits by Rosenbaum:

"I can’t wait to see this movie again."

Read the rest of the post here.

- Sujewa


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Farzad Rostami – Delaware Small Business Grants page
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Farzad Rostami – Delaware Small Business Chamber
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Farzad Rostami – Delaware History Trail
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The Limits of Taking Your Own Photo

Sujewa Ekanayake, Jim Jarmusch, 4/23/09 NYC photo (c) 2009 SE

On the way to Atlanta

a scene from an upcoming sci-fi movie - a modern day location - the mcdonald's - is surrounded by a hologram/force-field emanating from the military installation inside the nearby mountain, creating the illusion of a late 1960's type (undeveloped/no buildings, wooden electricity poles, open highway, quality of sunlight, etc.) surrounding. one of the traverlers do not know this - trouble waits.*copyright 2009 sujewa ekanayake/wild diner films

Alain Cavalier interview link

An interview with French filmmaker Alain Cavalier, at Dizzidenz.com blog. From the interview:

"You studied at IDHEC. What led you to move away from “traditional” narration to a purer style today?

It’s the mental path you take when you’ve used a tool in a certain way, and suddenly you try something else. The narrative, the script, predictability, shooting the film, actors who take charge of their emotions, the crew, the production, the cost, our economic relationship with the world… freedom is strictly economic. All of that mixes together and eventually, with lighter and more refined equipment and tools, you manage to better define the scope of your work and avoid certain conventions you used to take pleasure in using. You don’t disown them, but they just don’t fuel you anymore. They don’t inspire you. And you sort of have the illusion of renewing yourself, that you’re following the successive metamorphoses of your life, and so are your films."

Read the rest of the interview at…

"Hanging out" with Jim Jarmusch tonight

And by "hanging out" I mean I am going to the An Evening with Jim Jarmusch event tonight. Should be fun. Here's info. on the event from the Museum of the Moving Image website (it's sold out, but, you know, some people might not show up & there maybe some space so if you live in NYC & love Jarmusch movies, might want to show up & see if there are any "no-shows"/available seating):

"SPECIAL EVENT
An Evening with Jim Jarmusch
Thursday, April 23, 8:00 p.m.
At the Cantor Film Center, NYU
36 East 8th Street (between University Place and Broadway)

Jim Jarmusch, whose brilliant and laconic style has made him one of America's most distinctive filmmakers since his debut with Stranger than Paradise in 1984, will participate in a conversation with clips moderated by Chief Curator David Schwartz. In addition to an exclusive look at scenes from his remarkable new film The Limits of Control, which was photographed by Christopher Doyle and has an ensemble …

"networking these days involves lots of cocaine"

A new interview with Amir Motlagh (his first feature Whale is now making its way across America in the form of screeners, soon to be at film festivals no doubt, see Whale trailer here) at BRAINTRUSTdv. Here's a taste of the interview:

" BRAINTRUSTdv
You’ve said that L.A. doesn’t have a community of independent filmmakers like you’ve seen in New York. How does your isolation affect your working methods and the films themselves?

Amir Motlagh
It’s hard to find the same isolation that was afforded before the web. Now everything is displayed in lightning speeds on the web, and everybody knows what everyone else is doing. The connectivity is good, but is also problematic because of the insular nature of independent film and the interwebs. That’s why we are developing schemas faster then ever, to categorize and reference things that are immediate. To develop, some distance needs to be in place between the community and the individual. That’s why I have been largely absent from the web …

An article longer than most movie cab rides

A long article at TMC's MovieMorlocks.com blog about cab drivers in movies, check it out.

Maryland Film Festival 2009 is ready to go

Here's a brief intro to the cinematic festivities that await you in Baltimore, MD next month:
"Maryland Film Festival has announced its 2009 line-up, including Opening Night hosted by Bobcat Goldthwait and its Closing Night title, Kathryn Bigelow's Hurt Locker. The festival will take place Thursday, May 7 through Sunday, May 10 in beautiful downtown Baltimore, screening more than 40 new features and more than 80 new short films -- representing documentaries and narratives; live-action, experimental, and animated; domestic and foreign; underground, indie, and Hollywood.

Opening Night (Thursday, May 7, 2009), as is a Maryland Film Festival tradition, we will spotlight a variety of short films, including new work by Eric Dyer (screening a work-in-progress), Jay Zimmerman, Michael Langan, Andy Cahill, Julia Kim Smith, Marc Kess, and Jim Jacob. Bobcat Goldthwait will host the event, and included in this program will be his own short Goldthwait Home Movies.

The Closing Night (Sund…

Tambay Obenson & several other bloggers have a new site covering cinema of the African diaspora

Shadow And Act is the name of the site. Here are the list of contributors:

"Tambay A Obenson of The Obenson Report

Invisible Woman of Invisible Cinema

Daryle of Black Box Office

KJ of Must Love Movies

Jo-Issa of Black Film Academy

Karen of Reel Artsy

Victor of V-Knowledge"

Check out Shadow And Act.

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LINKS

2013 Oscar Nominees

Breakthrough Weekend teaser trailer - on Vimeo - HD

Breakthrough Weekend teaser trailer on YouTube

Indiewire

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Photos from State of Film Criticism discussion - Sat 4/18/09 Atlanta Film Festival

Waiting for the event to begin
Sujewa Ekanayake, Michael Sragow, Molly Haskell, Noralil Ryan Fores
Sujewa Ekanayake (Indie Film Blogger Road Trip), Michael Sragow (Baltimore Sun), Molly Haskell (latest book: Frankly, My Dear: Gone with the Wind Revisited), moderator Noralil Ryan Fores (ShortEnd Magazine)

Part of the audience

Sujewa Ekanayake, Michael Sragow
Another view from the audience area

Sujewa Ekanayake, Michael Sragow, Molly Haskell, Noralil Ryan Fores

The State of Film Criticism discussion on Saturday went by fast - it was an hour long but it felt like we barely got started on the topic. Moderator Noralil Ryan Fores did an excellent job I thought - working in both her own questions & questions from the audience re: several matters: recent changes in the world of film criticism, the increasing number of film blogs and how that relates to the world of print film criticism, how each of the panelists got started in writing about film, stories & events related to film criticis…