Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

NY NY | "No End in Sight" Stuns, Aldrich Films No Longer "Overlooked" and Pennebaker Gets "Revisited

By Indiewire | Indiewire August 2, 2007 at 6:20AM

Charles Ferguson's Iraq doc "No End in Sight" managed to stun audiences during January's Sundance Film Festival, and the same shock transfixed audiences last weekend for the premiere of the film in New York. BAM spotlighted director Robert Aldrich with six films that were critically lauded, but failed to lure audiences in the United States. The films, which were perhaps a comment on the conflicts of the day in Vietnam and Algeria, maintain their relevance today. And, D.A. Pennebaker was on hand at IFC Center in downtown Manhattan for the NYC theatrical debut of "'65 Revisited," a collection of outtakes from his earlier Bob Dylan doc, "Don't Look Back."
0

Charles Ferguson's Iraq doc "No End in Sight" managed to stun audiences during January's Sundance Film Festival, and the same shock transfixed audiences last weekend for the premiere of the film in New York. BAM spotlighted director Robert Aldrich with six films that were critically lauded, but failed to lure audiences in the United States. The films, which were perhaps a comment on the conflicts of the day in Vietnam and Algeria, maintain their relevance today. And, D.A. Pennebaker was on hand at IFC Center in downtown Manhattan for the NYC theatrical debut of "'65 Revisited," a collection of outtakes from his earlier Bob Dylan doc, "Don't Look Back."

"No End in Sight" Reveals the true quagmire in Iraq

The long line out of Film Forum for Friday night's premiere of Charles Ferguson's 2007 Sundance Special Jury Prize-winning documentary "No End in Sight" was far more excitable than might be expected for a documentary about the current Iraq war, but extremely glowing reviews and strong word-of-mouth had declared that this might well be the definitive film about the Iraq occupation. It is easy to see why, the film steers clear of any controversy surrounding the decision to go to war and instead focuses on giving a chronological framework to the occupation that followed, beginning in January, 2003 with the minimal consideration given to reconstructing a post-Saddam government, and following through a series of astronomically asinine missteps over the next year that result in the current state of civil war, which Ferguson argues was probably avoidable.

The film's strength is in its ease of explanation in showing how the reconstruction of Iraq was bungled so badly by the hierarchy of the U.S. Department of Defense, which consolidated power in the hands of a very few--Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Paul Bremer.

During the Q & A, the audience queried Ferguson for answers, although they were perhaps not prepared for how depressing the state of the Iraqi quagmire. Asked about the possibility of troop withdrawal, Ferguson said, "Most of the people with whom I spoke feel that if the United States were to withdraw fully, there would be an immediate and quite horrific bloodbath and increase likelihood of a regional war that would involve Iran on one side and Saudi Arabia and possibly other nations on the other."

Ferguson thanked attending author George Packer for providing the inspiration for the film with his book "Assassins at the Gate," before inviting him on stage. After taking a second to praise a blushing Ferguson, Packer backed up Ferguson's dour predictions, stating "There is no answer, there is no solution, it's bad either way and nobody should imagine that getting out will be the end of Iraq's problems, or ours, because it will be our problem for the rest of our lives." Damn.

"No End in Sight: The American Occupation of Iraq" is currently playing at Film Forum.

"Overlooked Aldrich" finds shades of grey from a bygone era

On Tuesday night, the Brooklyn Academy of Music concluded its six-film tribute to the lesser known films of director Robert Aldrich, "Overlooked Aldrich," with the director's 1972 anti-war anti-Western "Ulzana's Raid." Lauded by critics but generally ignored by audiences upon its release, Aldrich's tough little film follows a band of U.S. cavalry lead by Burt Lancaster and a young Bruce Davison trying to track down and capture a party of hostile Apaches led by the particularly ruthless Ulzana and helped by an Apache tracker who may or may not be trustworthy. As Ulzana draws them into a fight on his territory and his terms, the film eschews rote ideas of good and evil in the conflict (there are no noble savages here, and also no simple cowboys), instead showing the entire conflict as a bloody and regrettable quagmire whose benefit is questionable at best.

Village Voice writer Elliott Stein was on hand afterwards for one of his periodic Cinema-chats, with his typically cinephilic audience, explaining that while the film did not do well in the United States, it was embraced in Europe as symbolic of both the Vietnam conflict and the war in Algeria. "Essentially, the films shows what happens when a colonial power attempts to impose itself upon a people about whom they know nothing," said Stein. "It is a message that is depressingly timely today."

As to how to fit this in with Aldrich's extremely varied output (this is the same director that somehow made "The Dirty Dozen," "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane," and "Kiss me Deadly"), Stein put it simply, "Aldrich had a taste for the Grand Guignol. This is one of the few Westerns you can see with truly Grand Guignol death scenes."

D.A. Pennebaker Talks Music at IFC Center

On Wednesday night, the IFC center and Filmmaker Magazine hosted "An Evening With D.A. Pennebaker" to conclude its series, "Dialogues on Film," featuring New York theatrical premiere of "'65 Revisited," a collection outtakes from the director's legendary Bob Dylan documentary "Don't Look Back." This film is a bit sweeter than the original, and where Dylan may have appeared in the earlier film as arrogant and aloof, here he seems more uncomfortable with his outsized public persona, at one moment smiling awkwardly while awe-struck fans giggle to be in his presence, while at another scrutinizing a psychedelic tie in a dressing-room mirror to see if it goes with his image. Most of all, there is a good deal more concert footage here, featuring songs in their entirety, in beautifully intimate handheld close-up, a signature of Pennebaker's music documentaries from "Monterey Pop" to "Ziggy Stardust."

"I had never used a whole song, I didn't have a lot of music in 'Don't Look Back,'" said Pennebaker afterwards, "because I didn't want it to be a music film, I wanted it to be about Dylan. It wasn't until the next year that I did 'Monterey' that I found out what a music film was." To this end, the first film was a disarmingly close and not always flattering look at Dylan, particularly in his interactions with a clearly smitten Joan Baez (seen more sweetly in this follow-up). "I know that he always thought the film got into his private life in a funny way. He always used to say, 'it's a great film, I'm just sorry it's about me.'"

When asked by another filmmaker about the proposed New York City filming restrictions now before city council, Pennebaker said "I've already written my letter and you should too. The first couple of films I did, we were all trying to make the Italian post-war films here in New York... We couldn't have ever made them with these rules. Now, the person with the camera is treated like a terrorist."

"'65 Revisited" can be seen on the "Don't Look Back" deluxe edition 2-DVD set.


Specialty titles opening this week in theaters:

"Becoming Jane" (August 3), directed by Julian Jarrold. Distributor: Miramax Films. Official website

"If I Didn't Care" (August 3), directed by Benjamin Cummings and Orson Cummings. Distributor: Artistic License Films. Official website

"El Cantante" (August 3), directed by Leon Ichaso. Distributor: Picturehouse. Official website

"The Ten" (August 3), directed by David Wain. Distributor: THINKFilm. Official website






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More