Francesca McCaffery

First Time Fest is BACK in NYC April 3-7

First Time Fest is BACK in NYC April 3-7

Julie Taymor

Tony Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated director Julie Taymor will be the FIRST TIME FEST’S 2014 John Huston Award For Achievement In Cinema recipient, announced FTF Co-Founders Johanna Bennett and Mandy Ward.  Ms. Taymor will also be represented in the Fest’s ‘First Exposure’ Retrospective Program where she will attend to present and discuss with the audience her first feature film, Titus.

Review of Great New Doc: “Finding Vivian Maier”

Review of Great New Doc: “Finding Vivian Maier”

by Francesca McCaffery

Finding Vivian Maier

 John Maloof and his brother were raised working at outdoor flea markets and swap meets with their father…From a very  early age, John Maloof could spot a deal. When working on a book about the history of Chicago, he attended an Auction at a small auctioneer’s store, sitting quietly in the back, and bidded a mere $780 for a box containing over 25,000 negatives shot by an unknown, female photographer. A savvy veteran of these auctions, and now a real estate agent and local historian, he was looking for photos and negatives of old-time Chicago, he was hoping to get a little lucky. He ended up purchasing, for even less money, tens of thousands of more negs and rolls of film, as well as most of her rmaining personal possessions from storage, from another buyer. All of these images had been taken by a woman named Vivian Maier.

 As his life and work on the Chicago book took over, Maloof ended up simply  stashing away the old boxes in a closet for a long while. Dusting them off one day, hunting again for some random,  still images of Chicago, he began to discover some of the most insightful, gorgeous and timely images of street photography he had ever seen. Entranced by the glorious, black and white stills, and in possession of a sophisticated artistic instinct and taste,  he then set about to find out, exactly, just who this Vivian Maeir woman  really was.

Lars von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac Vol 2”-No Gain from Her Pain

Lars von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac Vol 2”-No Gain from Her Pain

By Francesca McCaffery

Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac: Vol 2 review

Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac: Vol 2, picks right up where Nymphomaniac, Vol 1 left off: the Young Joe (Stacy Martin) is in the midst of her relationship with her once long lost true love, Jerôme (Shia LaBeouf). (Here is my review on Vol 1 here.)

The problem is, the sexually rapacious Joe had, in her own words, “Lost all feeling in my cunt.” Her genuine fillings for Jerome have left her unable to enjoy sexual intercourse with Jerôme. They keep trying unsuccessfully to get Joe off, until finally, an exhausted Jerôme declares that she’s like a wild animal, and well, he needs some “help with the feeding.”

TEENAGE: Matt Wolf’s Documentary Brings the History of Growing Up to Life

TEENAGE: Matt Wolf’s Documentary Brings the History of Growing Up to Life

teenage matt-wolf

 TEENAGE, the new documentary film written and directed by Matt Wolf (Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell) is based on the book Teenager, by Jon Savage, and uses both found footage and lush, fake Super 8 recreations to illustrate how adolescents came into being, as both a social and actualized concept, in the early-to-mid twentieth century.

The Naked Emotions are more Raw than the Rampant Sex Scenes in Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac-Vol 1

The Naked Emotions are more Raw than the Rampant Sex Scenes in Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac-Vol 1

By Francesca McCaffery

nymphomaniac shia

With his latest film NYMPHOMANIAC, bad boy and cinematic provocateur Lars von Trier has found a way to communicate through film that is rarely felt, even in literature: Whether you agree with what is being portrayed onscreen, or not, you still have the feeling of being spoken to in the most profound of ways- both cerebrally and viscerally- the sheer ride that only  the most dazzling, life-changing novel can offer.

NYMPHOMANIAC, VOL 1, is one of two films, (Vol 2 being released in the US in April ) both released in their uncut, European versions. The film stars Charlotte Gainsbourg as Joe, who meets lonely bachelor Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård) only after he finds her lying, curled up, bloody and beaten, in his courtyard as he goes out to get his daily cup of coffee and rugalach.

Talking Revolution, Politics in Egypt and Global Uprising with The Square’s Director-Jehane Noujaim

Talking Revolution, Politics in Egypt and Global Uprising with The Square’s Director-Jehane Noujaim

Jehane Noujaim director of THE SQUARE

 THE SQUARE, a riveting documentary nominated for an Oscar this year, actually takes the audience into the turbulent, vibrant center of the Egyptian Revolution. THE SQUARE, directed by Jehane Noujaim, is an astonishing document of Egypt’s uprising, and a remarkable exercise in the power of witness.

The film begins in 2011 with the very first protests in the streets of Cairo and in Tahrir Square, and focuses on three unlikely comrades in arms: Khalid Abdalla is an Egyptian movie star, famous both in the US and abroad (he starred in such films as The Kite Runner), who gave up his busy actor’s life in London to join in the Revolution, becoming its unofficial spokesperson in the process; Ahmed Hassan -a smiling, self-deprecating young man- filled with both committed enthusiasm and undisguised joy at being a part of something much larger than himself; and Magdy Ashour , who is both conflicted by and compelled by the Revolution: A man who is “with” the Muslim Brotherhood, only to flip sides in 2011 and siding with those in Tahrir Square. His journey, as he mustmake decisions based on both his faith and the financial care of his family, only highlight the extraordinary complexities which currently plague so muchofMiddle Eastern politics today.

The Enigmatic Director Godfrey Reggio and his producer Jon Kane Talk About Their Amazing New Film “Visitors”

The Enigmatic Director Godfrey Reggio and his producer Jon Kane Talk About Their Amazing New Film “Visitors”

by Francesca McCaffery

Godfrey ReggioGodfrey Reggio

It is so amazing to come across and be exposed to an artist who is not only a true original, but one who seems to be operating from a truly higher conscious. The director Godfrey Reggio certainly qualifies as one of those rare artists who seem to aim high, as in, the collective third eye, or, the global consciousness. Although he insists that art should have no purpose,  his powerful, devastating and poetically gorgeous Qatsi trilogy of films, which he is most well-known for, and which includes  KOYAANISQATSI, POWAQQATSI, and NAQOYQATSI, beg to differ. Scored by Phillip Glass and filling the screen with image after image of various stages of global community, searing beauty,  eco-devastation,  commerce and industry- assaulting us with the most vivid, the most poignant global imagery.

Director Matteo Garrone talks about the real-life story behind his amazing new film “Reality”

Director Matteo Garrone talks about the real-life story behind his amazing new film “Reality”

 

by Francesca McCaffery

Garnering the illustrious Grand Prix at Cannes this year, Reality is an Italian film that is much more American in nature than we would want to believe possible.  Following up his gritty, grimy crime drama Gomorrah,  director Matteo Garrone is a master at keeping it real while telling a profound story about humanity in its most vulnerable state.(It helps that Garrone has a natural talent for finding brilliant non-actors. His lead actor is actually a prisoner who had to get permission to come to set and film.) 

Shot in the city of Naples, Reality opens taking us right into a city that is grimy and filled with the sweat and dirt of every day people hustling and struggling. Crammed into tiny apartments together, with extended families living several to a room, you can smell the city of Naples from the beautiful opening.  His story centers around Luciano (an amazing Aniello Arena), a local fishmonger who is busy unloading robotic pasta-makers for extra cash with his wife, and trying to make a decent living for the entire family.  Apparently, the reality show Big Brother is somewhat of a major obsession in Italy in its own incarnation there, and at a friend’s wedding, the dorky hipster “Enzo” from the cast makes a paid appearance, wishing the bride and groom congrats. As a gag, Luciano dresses a woman and schticks around for a few moments with Enzo, garnering a cherished photo with Enzo for his daughter. When sweetly bull-dozed by cellphone by the same daughter, as well as his amused wife, to come to the mall for an “audition” for Big Brother, Luciano at first refuses, not really caring a bit. But then, to make everyone happy and shut them up, he decides to go. What follows is a long and winding trip into the psyche of someone who trades his life for a profound, inexplicable fantasy version, and it is completely mesmerizing to watch.

Do Not Miss the First Time Fest in NYC THIS WEEKEND!

Do Not Miss the First Time Fest in NYC THIS WEEKEND!

Darren Aronofsky – Pi

First Time Fest (FTF) – a celebration of first time filmmakers – is a new and unique film festival taking place in New York City from March 1 through 4, 2013. FTF is set to discover and present the next generation of great cinema artists.

Martin Scorsese will add his illustrious presence and belief in that art of cinema at The Players to present the first John Huston Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinema. The inaugural Award will be bestowed on an individual who has made a significant contribution to the art of cinema: Darren Aronofsky. First Time Fest is dedicated to discovering talented new filmmakers who will go on to fulfill the promise of their extraordinary debut films. John Huston was one of the most prolific and versatile directors in the history of cinema. And with his mesmerizing debut film, Pi – made independently on black-and-white 16mm film – Darren Aronofsky was instantly recognized as a uniquely gifted new talent. His subsequent films: Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler and Black Swan, have more than fulfilled that promise.

Last Week to Check Out DOC NYC Fest at the IFC Center and SVA Theaters!

We told you guys about it last week, but this year’s DOC NYC Fest is truly shaping up to be one of the premiere film festivals in the entire City. The programming is impeccable, on-point, and there is an almost giddy feeling in all of the recent screenings- whether it was watching the astounding doc about story-book creator and illustrator Tomi Ungerer (whose work turned towards pornography later in life)  in director Brad Bernstein’s nspiring Far […]

Last Week to Check Out Amazing DOC NYC Fest at the IFC Center and SVA Theaters!

We told you guys about it last week, but this year’s DOC NYC Fest is truly shaping up to be one of the premiere film festivals in the City. The programming is impeccable, on-point, and there is an almost giddy feeling in all of the recent screenings- whether it was watching the astounding doc about story-book creator and illustrator Tomi Ungerer (whose work turned towards pornography later in life)  in director Brad Bernstein’s nspiring Far Out […]

The Show Still Goes On: Doc NYC Starts Tonight at IFC Center in NYC

The Show Still Goes On: Doc NYC Starts Tonight at IFC Center in NYC

DOC NYC – Yes- The Show (Still) Goes On! November 8-15 at the IFC Center and SVA Theatre Festival to Partner with Echelon Donates for City Harvest Food Drive During Event to Benefit Hurricane’s Neediest Victims “One of the city’s grandest events.” – The Wall Street Journal “[Has] shot to the top tier of our most essential festivals list.” – New York Magazine Jared Leto brings his film-about-his-band Artifact to the Opening Night of the […]

“Ricky on Leacock,” “We Women Warriors,” and “Holy Man” are Shining Lights at IDA’s Docuweeks Fest in NYC and LA this Month

“Ricky on Leacock,” “We Women Warriors,” and “Holy Man” are Shining Lights at IDA’s Docuweeks Fest in NYC and LA this Month

by Francesca McCaffery

There are some really nice doc films at IDA’s continuing DocuWeeks Festival (in New York and Los Angeles) this week…Here were a few genuine stand-outs:

In Ricky on Leacock, director Jane Weiner shares with us nearly forty years of friendship and footage on the creator of cinéma vérité, the legendary filmmaker Richard Leacock. Ricky is one of those great artist depictions which allow the viewer to feel and create their own assumptions and thoughts about both the upbringing and family background of the subject, but this absence works wonderfully here: We witness what an elegant, generous spirit really was, and through wonderful interviews and clips from the likes of D.A. Pennebaker, Robert Drew, Ed Pincus, Jonas Mekas, Dušan Makavejev, and others, we see what an astounding influence Leacock had on certainly not only cinema and how it was conceived for the new generation, but television, TV journalism and live news.

Always searching to make the camera and sound equipment as unobtrusive and invisible as possible, one only wonders how much work the man could have created in the wholly digital age. “My life has been about cooking and making film, and it’s been wonderful,” Leacock joyfully intones at the end of the film. Who could ask for anything more, from an artist or the truly great and inspiring film about his still important legacy? A must-see doc this season- one that will really lift both your heart and soul.

The 2012 Docuweeks Festival starts in LA & Continues in NYC-Interview with brave “We Woman Warriors” Director Nicole Karsin

The 2012 Docuweeks Festival starts in LA & Continues in NYC-Interview with brave “We Woman Warriors” Director Nicole Karsin

Please don’t forget to check out the remaining two weeks of the  Docuweeks 2012, the incredible film festival of the International Documentary Association, playing at NYC’s IFC Center through August 30th. There are some great, new, Oscar-worthy documentary films playing there now, and VIMOOZ will be giving you capsule reviews throughout the festival. (Docuweeks started in Los Angeles today, August 10th, at the Laemmle Noho 7 Theater.

One wonderful documentary is We Women Warriors, which follows three native women caught in the crossfire of Colombia’s warfare who use nonviolent resistance to defend their peoples’ survival. Colombia has 102 aboriginal groups, one-third of which face extinction because of the conflict. Trapped in a protracted predicament financed by the drug trade, indigenous women are resourcefully leading and creating transformation imbued with hope. We Women Warriors bears witness to neglected human rights catastrophes and interweaves character-driven stories about female empowerment, unshakable courage, and faith in the endurance of indigenous culture.” 

Nicole Karsin, the director the doc of We Women Warriors, speaks with VIMOOZ:

Fall in Love with Conrad Jackson’s “Falling Overnight” and its star-Emilia Zoryan- This Week

Fall in Love with Conrad Jackson’s “Falling Overnight” and its star-Emilia Zoryan- This Week

Falling Overnight

Falling Overnight- opening today in NYC at Cinema Village West

Review written by Francesca McCaffery

Directed by Conrad Jackson, Falling Overnight is those rarest of indie gems- genuinely heart-felt and a pleasure to watch. Young photographer Chloe (Emilia Zoryan) and skinny, appealing Elliot (Parker Croft) meet uber- cute in a café in LA, the audience having learned only moments before that he is scheduling a rather profound surgery for the very next day, without the help or support of any noticeable friends, or family, around him. We are immediately drawn in…

Elliot is young, but one of those rare early 20-somethings- he appears to be completely financially independent, somewhat of an internet start-up wunderkind who wisely cashed out early. Not one to dwell, or feel sorry for himself,  Elliot spontaneously decides to go to Chloe’s art show, where she has casually invited him along. After an awkward start, with Chloe having to actively let him know, more than once, that she is in fact interested in hanging out with him, their big evening begins…

VICE’s Eddy Moretti and directors Alexey Fedorchenko and Jan Kwiecinski talk “The Fourth Dimension”

The Fourth Dimension is a compilation of three short films, produced in association with VICE and Groslch Film Works. Francesca sat down with VICE’s Eddy Moretti, Russian director Alexey Fedorchenko (Silent Souls) Moretti and newbie Polish filmmaker Jan Kwiecinski. Moretti gave the directors a creative “brief,” the first tenant being the film must focus upon the concept of, you guessed it, the “Fourth Dimension.” Harmony Korine, the first director to get onboard, was sadly and […]

Review of “The Fourth Dimension” at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival

Review of “The Fourth Dimension” at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival

by Francesca McCaffery A production of VICE and Grolsch Film Works, The Fourth Dimension is a compilation of three different short films (thirty minutes each) directed by Harmony Korine, Alexey Fedorchenko and newcomer Jan Kwiecinski, respectively. VICE’s Eddy Moretti, who really wanted to work with Korine, developed a ‘creative brief’ and began emailing him back and fourth with ideas. Grolsch Film Works held an international contest, and Fedorchenko and Kwiecinski were chosen. No director knew […]

Val Kilmer Talks about His Amazing New Role in the film “The Fourth Dimension”

Val Kilmer Talks about His Amazing New Role in the film “The Fourth Dimension”

by Francesca McCaffery

Francesca McCaffery sat down with the legendary actor Val Kilmer to talk about his new project premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival this year.

The Fourth Dimension is a triptych of short films, and is the brainchild of VICE and Groslch Film Works, as well as VICE’s Renaissance Madman Eddy Moretti, who gave the directors a creative “brief,” the first tenant being the film must focus upon the concept of, you guessed it,the “Fourth Dimension.”

Cinematic wunderkind Harmony Korine directed the first short of the three segments, “The Lotus Community Workshop,” which he wrote expressly for Val Kilmer, and it is features agenuine, hilarious and endearing performance by Kilmer.Here, Kilmer talks about his love for working with Harmony and his excitingnew one-man theatrical show about Mark Twain.

Mia Hansen-Love’s Gorgeous “Goodbye, First Love”

Mia Hansen-Love’s Gorgeous “Goodbye, First Love”

by Francesca McCaffery Goodbye, First Love, the beautiful, new film by Mia Hansen-Love (Father of My Children) tells the tale of two young lovers, Camille (Lola Creton) and Sullivan (Sebastian Urzendowsky), and their hard serious and young, first romance. Sullivan is a charismatic, sweet and sensual free spirit, darting in and out of Camille’s life, although he appears to completely adore her when they are together. Camille is very earnest and quite dramatic about her […]

Tribeca Film Festival 2012 Spotlight on Tribeca Film Festival’s “Caroline and Jackie”and the filmmaker Adam Christian Clark

Tribeca Film Festival 2012 Spotlight on Tribeca Film Festival’s “Caroline and Jackie”and the filmmaker Adam Christian Clark

Filmmaker Adam Christian Clark with Caroline and Jackie actresses Bitsie Tulloch (left) and Marguerite Moreau (right)

by Francesca McCaffery

One of the best narrative films I’ve seen screening at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival so far is the extraordinary debut feature written and directed by Adam Christian Clark- Carloline and Jackie.

The film centers around two sisters with an unexplained but hinted to have been very tough shared childhood. As Caroline (the wonderful Marguerite Moreau) flies in to see her younger sister Jackie (an amazing Bitsie Tulloch), we see her glancing at an “Anorexics Anonymous” brochure.Jackie has cooked a huge, thoughtful meal, (“Nana’s pot roast!”)and she and her new boyfriend Ryan (David Giuntoli- nicely understated) show Caroline their beautifully appointed, new craftsman home. Jackie is a designer, and it’s clear she has worked quite hard to achieve this still modest, but still, quite lovely lifestyle.

“Elles” Review

“Elles” Review

by Francesca McCaffery Juliette Binoche stars in Elles, a film that is strangely more sensual than sexual, considering one of its serious subject matters: Student prostitution in Paris. In Elles, (directed by Małgorzata Szumowska) Binoche plays an extraordinarily well-heeled journalist (one of her subjects even asks if her gorgeous shoes are “expensive”) for Elle Magazine. She is interviewing young female college students who become escorts to pay for their tuition and rent. Binoche’s character Anne […]

What Films to See in NYC This Weekend-Bully, The Island President, Turn Me On, Dammit, Generation P! It’s RAINING in NYC! Go to the Movies!

What Films to See in NYC This Weekend-Bully, The Island President, Turn Me On, Dammit, Generation P! It’s RAINING in NYC! Go to the Movies!

By Francesca McCaffery Two new wonderful documentaries are opening this weekend- Lee Hirsch’s Bully– which is a heart-breaking, take-no-prisoners hard look at the insidious problem of bullying in American middle and high school classrooms, and The Island President, which is an extraordinary portrait of recently ousted Maldivian President Nasheed, and his great fight to combat global warming (Which is literally sinking his splendid Maldive Islands.) Both are two of the most thought-provoking documentaries you will […]

“Last Days Here” A Strange Little Documentary About Doing or Dying For Rock-n-Roll

“Last Days Here” A Strange Little Documentary About Doing or Dying For Rock-n-Roll

by Francesca McCaffery The new documentary “Last Days Here” (opening today March 2nd at the IFC Center in NYC) directed by Don Argott and Demian Fenton, had so much crazy subtext going on, it could be a few tiny little films in itself: The film focuses on “underground heavy metal legend” Bobby Liebling, the singer- songwriter-guitarist for the ‘70s metal band Pentagram. According to some rabid fans, Pentagram was the best metal band from that […]