The new faces of indie cinema

Via About.com: Filmmaker magazine carries in its summer issue list of 25 names who are the new, relevant faces of indie cinema, the 10th list the publication compiles. "The people on Filmmaker's '25 New Faces' list are not only innovators we believe will be impacting tomorrow's film scene, but they're also artists engaged in a vital re-think of what it means to be independent today," said Filmmaker's editor in chief Scott Macaulay. "Crisscrossing from short-form work into features, from docs to fiction and from the web to theaters, they are creating careers as original as their films."
Of the 265 on the list over the past ten years, nearly 90% have been filmmakers, including such breakthroughs as Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow), Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden (Half Nelson), Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know) and Peter Sollett (Raising Victor Vargas). Notable actors include several high profilers in the early days of their careers such as Ryan Gosling (The Believer), Ellen Page (Hard Candy), Peter Sarsgaard (Another Day in Paradise) and Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry). 


Gus Van Sant on Film In Focus


Our friends at the excellent website Film In Focus seem to love Gus Van Vant,  like we do too here at Kamera. There's a couple of really good reads on FIF's website related to the American indie director. One is a report about his new film in the making, Milk, which stars Sean Penn as a pioneering gay acvist from San Francisco. The other is a re-publication of an interview Graham Fuller made with the director in 1995.


Tinto Brass to head Queer Lion jury

Tinto Brass, Italy's most famous purveyor of erotic cinema (he's the man who directed the infamous Caligola (1979)), will be heading the jury of the 2008 Queer Lion, the award for best film with a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender theme, which was inaugurated last year at the Venice film festival (27/8 - 6/9/08).
Members of the jury includes Variety critic and director of the European-films.net agency, Holland’s Boyd van Hoeij (who also occasionally contributes to Kamera) and Massimo Benvegnù, journalist and critic of the daily Il Riformista and the Amsterdam Weekly.


Biopics: punks on the big screen

There's no stopping the flux of biopics arriving at the big screen, and punk or 'punky' characters seem to be all the  rage. You wonder if the niche is getting a little bit saturated, in fact the whole documentary genre. Earlier this year saw the release of Julian Temple's film on The Clash's Joe Strummer (pictured), called The Future is Unwritten (it's out on DVD already). There's a also a documentary called Gonzo about Hunter Thompson, who was notorious for his love of guns (IMDB mentions a December UK release for the film). There's also the upcoming Heavy Load, whose publicity description is worth reproducing:
Heavy Load is Lewes’ answer to the Ramones, a punk outfit subject to the inflammatory mix of ego, fantasy, and desire that fuels any emerging band. They’re also, uniquely, made up of musicians with and without learning disabilities, which makes the band’s survival a precarious negotiation between two different worlds: on the one hand the institutional timetable of day centres, work placements and social workers; on the other the chaotic slacker life of rehearsal rooms, studios and gigs.
If that's your idea of fun, Heavy Load is due out in the UK on 03/10.


David Lynch launches transcendental meditation book in Brazil

Director David Lynch is touring Brazil from the 07 August to promote his book on transcental meditation. The book talks about the influence that medidation, which he's been practicing since the 1970s, has on Lynch's creative process. The tour includes lectures and book signings.
For those interested in finding out more abouy Lynch, check out Kamera Books' title on the great American surrealist.


John Waters on Boom!

A new film blog was born this week and considering that its choice of an opening theme was exploitation cinema, I already like it. It hails from San Francisco (it's annexed to art magazine Fecal Face) and is edited by Caitlin Denny. One of the posts includes a lecture given by everyone's favourite trash king, John Waters, at the European Graduate School. Waters raves about a failed art film called Boom! starred by no one less than Elizabeth Taylor and directed by Joseph Losey. Waters once had the opportunity to say how much he loved the film to Taylor. Apparently she didn't like the turkey too much...


New on Kamera: Un Chant d'amour

Rare viewing opportunity alert!: we have just unburied from Google Video's archives Jean Genet's Un Chant d'amour (France, 1950, 26'), a very lyrical (and simultaneously rough around the edges) take on homoeroticism that must have inspired the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Read more here.

Speaking of French cinema, our friends at Greencine have a great interview with French director Catherine Breillat, whose new film, Une Vieille Meitresse (The Last Mistress, 2007) was recently shown at the 2008 San Francisco film festival. Breillat is a member of that small club, the female film director, but she certainly makes up for this imbalance in the film industry with some ballsy pictures.


Barbarella Penthouse cover

It seems like film publicists have been appealing to 'lads' mag' audiences for longer than we thought...

Upcoming: Michel Houllebecq's The Possibility of an Island

The Possibility of an Island (La possibilité d'une île), the debut film of the controversial French writer Michel Houllebecq, is finally upon us and due to a September release. The Guardian's film blog says there is a possibility of a masterpiece lurking in this sci-fi crammed with the author's obsessions with genetics. The trailer is already available and, if you can judge a film by its trailer, I'm not sure I would agree with that statement. But still, the film begs to be seen because, as a writer, Houllebecq is indeed very, very interesting and bright.


New on Kamera: our short guide to film events

Check out Kamera's editor's picks of film events around the world. One of the events included is a show of films in New York which use drawing as their basis. Luckily, Len Lye's A Colour Box, one of the films featured, is available on YouTube and it's a real gem. Check it out and be delighted.

Jonas Mekas in London

The founder of the iconic Anthology Film Archives in New York and a walking emblem of cinephilia, Jonas Mekas, will be in London on 17 and 19 July introducing films at Café 1001 and Curzon Soho respectively. At the former, there will be a screening of a selection of Mekas's own short films and at the latter the evening will include a screening of his 1997 Birth of a Nation (pictured) feature.

For those who can't make it, here is an edited version of a short film called Happy Birthday to John that Mekas made in 1972 featuring John Lennon and Yoko Ono.


New on Kamera: Female Agents

A mixture of action film shenanigans and period drama may raise a few disapproving eyebrows, but Michelle Le Blanc and Colin Odell think the formula works in Female Agents. Read the full review here.

Guy Maddin at the BFI

We at Kamera love the idiosyncratic work of the most famous diretor from Winnipeg, Canada, Guy Maddin. In fact, we interviewed him back in 2004, when he released the Isabella Rosellini-starred The Saddest Music in the World. Those who live in London still have the opportunity to catch a season of his films at the BFI, including his latest offer, My Winnipeg (pictured), which runs until 17 July. Don't miss it. But for those too far away to make it to the South Bank, here's a sample of Maddin's fantastic imagination:

New on Kamera: Tank TV launches film competition

Here's a great opportunity to display talent. The super cool online platform of moving image, Tank TV, has launched a film competition on the theme of The Three Graces. Music is provided and applicants can submit up to ten works. Find out more here.


The blog is back...from hospital

It's been a long time since the last post, due to some time off in hospital recovering from an appendicitis surgery (also known as appendicectomy). As a dedicated cinephile, I kept thinking about films set in hospitals while waiting away on my bed and also read the whole extent of 10 Bad Dates with De Niro, the list compilation to end all best-of lists. But going back to screen hospitals, I came up with two titles that I like most: Denys Arcand's The Barbarian Invasions (2003) and Almodovar's Talk To Her (2002). Both films construct their quirky narratives around hospitals and illness to create compelling stories about life's big themes: love, death, friendship etc. Here's a sample of both films. Come to think of it, 'films set in hospital' may well make a good list for the aforementioned book. We've got two contenders already...

The Barbarian Invasions

Talk To Her