As readers may or may not know, I took a break from writing these past few months as I was running my first ever film festival. The Drunken Film Fest (DFF) had its inaugural year in Bradford, England this past summer and it was pretty successful for a first year free film festival, if I do say so myself. However, my background when it comes to festivals is not in running them, but rather in trying to get accepted to them.
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down (via Skype) with director Deborah Kampmeier after a special preview screening of her newest film, SPLit. The film is premiering at the Sarasota Film Festival this year, so if you can go see it, get yourself down. Until you get the chance, check the trailer out here.
Some of you may have come across Helene "Leni" Riefenstahl, so I hope you'll forgive the introduction for those who haven't. Born in 1902 in Berlin, Germany, Riefenstahl defied gender norms and became one of the most successful documentary filmmakers of the 1930s. At a time when most industries, especially film, were dominated by men, Riefenstahl found herself not only directing films but developing new techniques which influenced cinema up to this very day.
Much attention has been drawn to Hollywood of late, and several condemnations of its practises issued. While the recent #OscarsSoWhite kerfuffle is certainly indicative of a problem, I think the real issue stretches beyond race only. As a colleague here has pointed out in a recent article, we aren’t all fooled.
After bugging my colleagues with discussion on Woody Allen films maybe one time too many, it was suggested that I write his Beginner's Guide. Surprisingly, the thought hadn't occurred to me, but I'm very excited to present my guide for you here now. I've gone a slightly different approach than usual because of the sheer amount of films the man has made in his still-continuing career, so it's broken up into segments rather than a few films you should watch to get you started.