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Film Festival News and Reviews: Sundance, Cannes and more

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    Review | The Eponymous Man: Ben Steinbauer's "Winnebago Man"

    "Winnebago Man" brilliantly encapsulates the transformative power of the online video boom. Director Ben Steinbauer focuses on "one of the greatest swearers of all time," the furious subject of a series of outtakes for a Winnebago promotional video, as both an example of viral media ramifications an...

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    SXSW '09: Director Interviews

    Editor’s Note: The following is a list of links to interviews, conducted via email, with directors whose films are screening at the 2009 SXSW Film Festival.

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    Dispatch from SFIAAFF: No Child Left Behind and Alternative Distribution Policies

    By way of serendipity and effort, the programming at the 27th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (March 12-22), remains resilient to the star-studded vehicles that herald every other festival's existence in town, promoting instead an exquisite array of films that confront our uncertain (economic) future with equal amounts of tenderness and indifference. The festival, one of the larger productions among the Bay Area's own film circuit, has grown noticeably throughout the years, catering to its core Asian American community, while expanding its reach to a broader demographic. This last weekend's slew of sold-out shows ha...

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    "The Cove," "Tyson" To Close AFI Dallas

    AFI DALLAS International Film Festival has announced that James Toback’s "Tyson" and Louie Psihoyos’s "The Cove" will share the Closing Night Gala Presentation. Both films will screen on Thursday, April 2, 2009 at AMC NorthPark 15 in Dallas with the directors attending and taking part in Q&As afterw...

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    "Foreign Land" and "Shakespeare Among Top Miami Fest Winners

    Italian director Daniele Vicari's "The Past is a Foreign Land" won the world competition at the Miami International Film Festival, which concluded last weekend, taking home a $25,000 prize. Lance Daly's "Kisses," meanwhile took the audience nod in the section. MIFF's signature Ibero-American competition, which spotlights work from Spain, Portugal and Latin America gave its $25,000 grand jury prize to Mariano Llinas's "Historias Extraordinarias" (Argentina), while "Nora's Will" by Mariana Chenillo took the audience nod in the category. In the festival's documentary competition category, dubbed "Dox Competition," "Shakespeare and Victor Hugo's ...

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    SXSW Snapshot: Kristian Fraga's "Severe Clear"

    Kristian Fraga's "Severe Clear" breaks free of the "Iraq war movie" stigma by remaining essentially apolitical. The movie exclusively relies on cheap camcorder footage shot by U.S. soldier Mike Scotti during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, offering a fascinatingly intimate look at the fraternization and search for adventure shared by many members of the military. Because "Severe Clear" takes place five years in the past and doesn't compare the state of the war to its current chaos, the movie contains on a timeless feel. It takes the focus off this specific incursion and emphasizes character motives, universal morality issues, and the two-w...

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    SXSW Snapshot: Brett Gaylor's "RiP: A Remix Manifesto"

    Brett Gaylor's "RiP: A Remix Manifesto" studies the paradoxes of copyright law and its discontents, but mainly it's a celebration of remix culture in the twenty-first century. Using music sampling artist Girl Talk as his primary case study, Gaylor explores the ways a new generation of artists have uncovered original methods for creating something new from the fabric of something old -- and he slyly ties the trend to a consistent aspect of art history. Touching on infamous situations such as the recording industry's sloppy lawsuits against music downloaders, he surveys a wide variety of discussions taking place in both legal and aesthetic circ...

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    SXSW Round Up: Panel Reports, Movie Reviews and Video Interviews From Around The Web

    “This isn’t where we are going to be making money now,” “Super Size Me” director Morgan Spurlock told a large crowd on Monday at SXSW. “If you are looking to pay your rent, not so much, if you’re looking to pay your phone blll, you have a chance.” As indieWIRE's Eugene Hernandez reported, the the discussion later "shifted to panelists’ reluctance to talk about the hard traffic numbers, Spurlock offered a line that has already been picked up by media and bloggers: 'The reason numbers aren’t releaed is because the numbers are pathetic.” Spurlock continued, “It’s because the numbers are sadly low by what we would expect from film and television....

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    San Sebastian To Pay Tribute to Brooks

    San Sebastian To Pay Tribute to Brooks

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    SXSW Snapshot: Jody Hill's "Observe and Report"

    "Observe and Report," filmmaker Jody Hill's first feature since the cult hit "The First Foot Way," continues his remarkable knack for making audiences sympathize with a psychopath. Unlike any Seth Rogen vehicle that has come before it, this one actually gives him a bona fide character to play, rather than letting him go on autopilot as a goofy manchild. The strange, dark story of a mall cop intent on capturing an anonymous flasher allows Rogen to put on a fascinating persona, the best he has ever played. As the self-absorbed Ronnie Barnhardt, he dares you to dislike him, and comes pretty close to pulling it off. But as the plot moves forward ...

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