filmschool, Nathan Callahan, Mike Kaspar, independent film news and interviews, KUCI, film school
filmschool, Nathan Callahan, Mike Kaspar, independent film news and interviews, KUCI, film school

JUNE 16, 2009
An interview with DEAN & BRITTA soundtrack artists for 13 MOST BEAUTIFUL…SONGS FOR ANDY WARHOL’S SCREEN TESTS. Between 1964 and 1966, Andy Warhol shot nearly 500 Screen Tests, beautiful and revealing portraits of hundreds of different individuals, from the famous to the anonymous, all visitors to his studio, the Factory. Subjects were captured in stark relief by a strong keylight, and filmed by Warhol with his stationary 16mm Bolex camera on silent, black and white, 100-foot rolls of film. The resulting two-and-a-half-minute film reels were then screened in slow motion, resulting in a fascinating collection of four-minute masterpieces that startle and entrance, mesmerizing in the purest sense of the word. 13 Most Beautiful... Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests features 13 of Warhol's classic silent film portraits. Subjects include Nico, Lou Reed, Edie Sedgwick, Dennis Hopper, and more. Songwriters Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips, formerly of the band Luna and currently recording as Dean & Britta, incorporated original compositions as well as cover songs to create new soundtracks for the 13 films.  13 Most Beautiful...Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests will screen at the Los Angeles Film Festival this Saturday, June 20 with Dean and Britta performing their soundtrack live.


JUNE 9, 2009
An interview with DUNCAN JONES the director of MOON — a science fiction thriller about a solitary lunar employee who finds that he may not be able to go home to Earth so easily. The film is the feature film debut of commercial director Duncan Jones. Sam Rockwell stars as the lunar employee. Kevin Spacey voices his robot companion. The film premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival in January 2009. Bell is an employee contracted by the company Lunar to mine on the Moon the natural gas Helium 3, which could reverse Earth's energy crisis. Sam is stationed at the lunar base Sarang with only a robot named Gerty, but two weeks before completing his three-year assignment, he begins feeling out of place. An extraction goes wrong, and Sam suspects Lunar of trying to replace him as he realizes someone else is on the Moon. Jones co-wrote the script with Nathan Parker. The film was specifically written as a vehicle for actor Sam Rockwell and pays homage to the films of Jones' youth, such as Silent Running (1972), Alien (1979) and Outland (1981). Duncan Jones is also known as Zowie Bowie, the son of David Bowie and his ex-wife Angela Bowie.


JUNE 2, 2009
An Interview with SAMUEL ANDERSON the director of MUNYURANGABO. After stealing a machete from a market in Kigali, Munyurangabo and his friend, Sangwa, leave the city on a journey tied to their pasts. Munyurangabo wants justice for his parents who were killed in the genocide, and Sangwa wants to visit the home he deserted years ago. Though they plan to visit Sangwa's home for just a few hours, the boys stay for several days. From two separate tribes, their friendship is tested when Sangwa's wary parents disapprove of Munyurangabo, warning that "Hutus and Tutsis are supposed to be enemies." Munyurangabo, Anderson's first feature film, premiered in the Un Certain Regard program at the Cannes Film Festival.


MAY 19, 2009
An interview with ROBERT BARRY PTOLEMY the director of TRANSCENDENT MAN — a documentary that chronicles the life and ideas of Ray Kurzweil, an inventor and futurist that presents his bold vision of the Singularity, a point in the near future when technology will be changing so rapidly, that we will have to enhance ourselves with artificial intelligence to keep up. Ray predicts this will be the dawning of a new civilization in which we will no longer be dependent on our physical bodies, we will be trillions of times more intelligent and there will be no clear distinction between human and machine, real reality and virtual reality. Human aging and illness will be reversed; world hunger and poverty will be solved and we will ultimately cure death. Critics accuse Ray of being too optimistic and argue that the dangers of the Singularity far outweigh the benefits, pointing out the apocalyptic implications that once machines achieve consciousness, we may not be able to control them. Whether Rays controversial ideas incite excitement or fear, dogma or disbelief this ambitious documentary will forever change the way you look at life, death, and your own future.


MAY 5, 2009
An interview with Academy Award nominated filmmaker KIRBY DICK the director of OUTRAGE — a searing indictment of the hypocrisy of closeted politicians who actively campaign against the LGBT community they covertly belong to. OUTRAGE reveals the hidden lives of some of our nation’s most powerful policymakers, details the harm they've inflicted on millions of Americans, and examines the media's complicity in keeping their secrets. DICK’S highly-regarded film, DERRIDA, premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and won the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco Film Festival. In 1997, he directed the internationally acclaimed SICK: THE LIFE & DEATH OF BOB FLANAGAN, SUPERMASOCHIST, which won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Grand Prize at the Los Angeles Film Festival. The film earned an IFP/West Spirit Award Nomination and an International Documentary Association Nomination for Best Feature Documentary of 1998. Dick's other projects include TWIST OF FAITH (2004) and THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED (2006), an exposé of the interior workings of the MPAA ratings system.

APRIL 28, 2009
An interview with SHINAE YOON the Executive Director of Visual Communications which presents the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival running April 30 - May 7. Visual Communications (Southern California Asian American Studies Central Inc.) – known as "VC" – is a community-based non-profit media arts organization in Los Angeles, dedicated to creating, preserving and presenting Asian Pacific American history and culture through the media arts. Founded in 1970, the organization, through its numerous film, video and community multimedia productions and through its various screening activities, photographic exhibits and publications, has pioneered many vital developments in the national media arts arena. VC offers production and training in filmmaking, video and photography, for Asian Americans. In addition to maintaining a large archive of Asian Pacific photographs, VC annually presents the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.


APRIL 21, 2009
An interview with TZE CHUN the writer / director of CHILDREN OF INVENTION — a story of two young children living outside Boston who are left to fend for themselves when their mother gets embroiled in a pyramid scheme and disappears. Based on Tze Chun's own award-winning short film, WINDOWBREAKER, which screened at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, CHILDREN OF INVENTION is a drama about the influence of an adult world on children, the immigrant mentality, and shortcuts to the American dream. CHILDREN OF INVENTION made its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and won Special Jury Prizes at the 2009 San Francisco International Asian American and Sarasota Film Festivals.

An interview with SANDY SMOLAN the director of 12 STONES — a short documentary that captures the journey of a group of illiterate women in southern Nepal. In a country where running water and electricity are luxuries, most of the people in Nepal live below the poverty line. A group of women, with the help of Heifer International, an aid organization that promotes sustainable development, are helping hundreds of other women and their families rise from poverty to reclaim a future.
Smolan's critically acclaimed debut feature RACHEL RIVER was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at The Sundance Film Festival and took awards for Best Cinematography. 12 STONES will screen at the Newport Film Festival April 29 and 30.


APRIL 7, 2009
An interview with RAMIN BAHRANI the director of GOODBYE SOLO. On the lonely roads of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, two men forge an improbable friendship that will change both of their lives forever. Solo is a Senegalese cab driver working to provide a better life for his young family. William is a tough Southern good ol‘ boy with a lifetime of regrets. One man‘s American dream is just beginning, while the other‘s is quickly winding down. But despite their differences, both men soon realize they need each other more than either is willing to admit. Through this unlikely but unforgettable friendship, GOODBYE SOLO deftly explores the passing of a generation as well as the rapidly changing face of America. Winner of the Venice Film Festival’s prestigious FIPRESCI International Critics Prize, ‘Goodbye Solo’ is the latest film from internationally-acclaimed filmmaker Ramin Bahrani (‘Chop Shop,’ ‘Man Push Cart’). 'Solo' has been hailed as “A force of nature!” by Roger Ebert. And The New York Times’ A.O. Scott says it has “an uncanny ability to enlarge your perception of the world.”

MARCH 31, 2009
An Interview with JON HART and MATTHEW KAUFMAN co-directors of AMERICAN SWING a documentary on the rise and fall of 1970s New York City nightclub Plato's Retreat. In 1977, New York City was scorched by stifling heat waves, enervated by energy crunches and inflation and hurtling toward social unrest. But its citizens partied on. Nightlife flourished, disco and cocaine ruled at the exclusive Studio 54 and punks smashed guitars at CBGB. Meanwhile, a raging orgy was underway at Plato's Retreat. Chronicling the rise and fall of this notorious sex club and its quixotic owner Larry Levenson, American Swing captures the glorious last gasp of the (mostly hetero) sexual revolution that had been birthed in the sixties. AMERICAN SWING opens Friday April 3 in Los Angeles at Laemmle's Sunset 5.








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