1. “Tribeca: Zero Motivation Wins Best Narrative Feature.” Marshall Curry’s Point and Shoot was awarded the prize for best documentary feature.
“Talya Lavie’s Zero Motivation, a dark comedy about the life of Israel’s female soldiers, took the jury prize for best narrative feature at the Tribeca Film Festival, while Marshall Curry’s Point and Shoot, the account of a young American caught up in the Libyan Revolution, was named best documentary feature. Zero Motivation also won the Nora Ephron Prize, chosen by a separate jury. The winners were announced Thursday at a ceremony at the Conrad New York that Pat Kiernan presided over. The festival itself runs through April 27, and screenings of the award-winning films will be held through the remainder of the festival.”
2. ”Don Jon’s Meaningless Meanings.” Eleni Deacon on Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s fetishizing of meaning.
“One of Don Jon’s (2013) early pornographic montages ends with a tame—yet significant—money shot. A lip-glossed blonde bends over in a thong and bra, then looks directly into the camera and asks, ’You want a meaningful relationship?’ The question is not so much about what kind of relationship the viewer wants as what kind of relationship they’re not going to get by watching porn. Because while Don Jon superficially engages with issues related to sexuality in the age of unlimited bandwidth, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut is a romantic comedy that badly wants to subvert the rom-com genre by delegitimizing mediated fantasy and desire. Whether its characters are jerking it to Pornhub or kneeling at the Ephron altar, Don Jon rejects all screen-based sexual ideals as illusions without value. But in attempting to separate cinematic delusion from real-life substance, the film crafts another problematic fantasy: it fetishizes the notion of meaning itself.”
3. “10 great British films directed by women.” It was decades before more than a handful of women had the opportunity to direct feature films in the UK. With Joanna Hogg’s third film, Exhibition, confirming her as among our best new filmmakers, we look back at some of the greatest British films by female directors.
“Jill Craigie made her name with a string of excellent documentaries. She made only one fiction feature, the coalmining drama Blue Scar, set in south-west Wales. Olwen (Gwyneth Vaughan) leaves her sweetheart to pursue a singing career in London, while Tom (Emrys Jones) sticks to his roots and eventually becomes manager of the village colliery. But will he try and win Olwen back? A socialist, Craigie laces her film with sharp political comment. The coalmining industry had been nationalised two years previously, yet she is careful to show the flaws in the new system, while her expert location shooting in Abergwynfi adds great authenticity, and a scene in which an accident occurs down the pit is particularly chilling. Craigie followed Blue Scar with her very best film, the documentary To Be a Woman (1951), arguing for equal pay.”
4. “Christopher Doyle: a legend in his own Y-fronts.” The straight-talking cinematographer rants about Martin Scorsese, raves about Juno Temple and christens himself the Keith Richards of the film world.
“[Sebastián] Silva’s not the first director to have locked horns with Doyle. On the set of M. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water, he was apparently a whirlwind of mischief, dropping his trousers and pants when studio heads showed up and being generally inappropriate. The film looks lush, though. ’I think the great quality of my so-called reputation is that 90% of the shit passes me by,’ he says. ’Occasionally I still get shit offered to me. I think that people who would have the temerity to work with me know they’re in for a ride, and I’m proud of that. I’m not even a cinematographer, hopefully I’m a collaborator.’”
5. “Solo Act.” The Making of Tom Hardy’s Man-Alone Drama, Locke.
“Perched on a leather chair, vaping from the only e-cigarette to ever qualify as ’badass,’ the 36-year-old Hardy explained the making of his new movie, Locke, the same way his character might: quietly, viciously, and with conviction. It’s that enigmatic and ’no bullshit’ personality—along with his classical training and newfound Hollywood stardom—that drew writer-director Steven Knight, who wrote the screenplay for David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises, to the actor. Seated alongside Hardy, Knight’s a soft-spoken dramatist. But there’s a punk-rock edge, too—he needed it when shooting an experimental one-man show performed entirely in a moving car. Knight has made a career of following his own interests, cutting his teeth in spoof comedy, creating the original British edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and parlaying that success into his feature writing debut, the black-market organ harvesting drama Dirty Pretty Things. No one raised an eyebrow when Knight envisioned a luxury SUV as a West End stage on wheels, tricked out with the latest in digital cameras. For the actor playing Ivan Locke, a mild-mannered foreman whose life falls apart over the course of a 90-minute drive, the film would be like a Saw trap. Knight wanted only Hardy. Hardy was more than willing.”
Video of the Day: A VFX reel for the Grand Budapest Hotel:
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