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THINGS YOUR FILM SCHOOL INSTRUCTOR DIDN’T TEACH YOU : Talking with Ondi Timoner of “Mapplethorpe”

"Mapplethorpe" comes out in theaters today
Hari Nef, Matt Smith and Brian Stokes Mitchell
Directed by Ondi Timoner

Filmmaker Ondi Timoner felt the best way to tell the story of Robert Mapplethorpe was in a narrative-versus-documentary format. Mapplethorpe, the vaunted New York photograper who died of AIDS in 1989, was well-known for his photographs of controversial material, including of New York’s gay scene, and for his early marriage to rocker Patti Smith. “I don’t tend to make documentaries about people ... more >

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When we walked on the moon. Talking to “Apollo 11” director Todd Douglas Miller

"The footage was so sparklingly restored that, but for the telltale late-sixties clothes and cars, it could have been made last year"
Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins
Produced and directed by Todd Douglas Miller

A half-century ago this summer two men stepped foot on the moon, the first time in our species’s history that human footprints were made on an object beyond Earth. Commemorations of the fiftieth anniversary are planned throughout 2019, and kicking off that great milestone is the new film “Apollo 11,” which begins its one-week IMAX run Friday before moving into general release March ... more >

REWIND | SBIFF2019 : “A thousand miles behind,” “Peel,” “Zulu Summer,” and “Hugh Hefner’s After Dark: Speaking Out in America”

Some parting words about the recently-featured Santa Barbara Film Festival

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. | The 34th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) ended over a week ago but organizers of this fete of movies, celebrities and all things cinema have already announced the 2020 iteration will be bumped up a bit next year to Jan. 15-25, which may put it in direct competition with other festivals like Sundance. No matter, as the 2019 version closed out with ... more >

SBIFF 2019, some parting words on our favorite films

The 2018 Maltin Modern Master Award recipient was Gary Oldman
Next year's SBIFF will be held January 15-25 2020

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., “I think there’s only one way, forward, for women, and we are 51 percent of the world, so 51 percent of women should do movies,” Austrian director Eva Spreitzhofer (“What Have We Done to Deserve This” a.k.a. “Wo mit haben wir das verdient?”) said at a red carpet event at the last Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) (a still from the film is this article's ... more >

TALKING SBIFF 2019 : Viggo Mortensen, Josh Lucas, and newcomer Paula Reca

"Murderous Trance," "Tampoco Tan Grandes" and Mortensen wins "American Riviera Award"

(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) Santa Barbara, often referred to as the “American Riviera,” is hosting its 34th film festival this week, replete with the typical red-carpet events and world premieres of films from around the globe. Yes, Melissa McCarthy, Spike Lee, Claire Foy and other high-wattage stars have been seen here this week, but in addition to appearances by those A-listers, numerous filmmakers ... more >

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“Laws of the lizard”

New documentary from the Smithsonian Channel

Smithsonian Channel will air the documentary “Laws of the Lizard” tonight, which follows biologist/filmmakers seeking to explain more about the “backyard lizard” known as the anole.  The doc is co-directed by filmmaker Nate Dappen, a Washington, D.C.-area filmmaker who grew up not far from the Smithsonian institution itself. “As a child, I spent a lot of my free time in the woods, catching ... more >

“Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes”

The mad genius of Fox News
Roger Ailes, Glenn Beck and Babette Bombshell
Directed by Alexis Bloom

Roger Ailes died in May 2017, but his legacy lives on in Fox News, the cable network bankrolled by Rupert Murdoch that many have accused of being little more than a mouthpiece for conservative agitprop and an apologist for President Trump. Whether or not Fox News was “responsible” for Donald Trump is a peripheral concern of the new documentary “Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes,” ... more >