Sara Fishko – The Jazz Loft According to W. Eugene Smith (2016)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

About the Jazz Loft Project

In January 1955 W. Eugene Smith, a celebrated photographer at Life magazine whose quarrels with his editors were legendary, quit his longtime well-paying job at the magazine. He was thirty-six. He was ambitious, quixotic, in search of greater freedom and artistic license. He turned his attention to a freelance assignment in Pittsburgh, a three-week job that turned into a four-year obsession and in the end, remained unfinished. In a letter to Ansel Adams, Smith described it as a “debacle” and an “embarrassment.” Continue reading

Terence Young – Wait Until Dark (1967)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Wait Until Dark (1967) is a suspense-thriller film directed by Terence Young and produced by Mel Ferrer. It stars Audrey Hepburn as a young blind woman, Alan Arkin as a violent criminal searching for some drugs, and Richard Crenna as another criminal, supported by Jack Weston, Julie Herrod, and Efrem Zimbalist Jr.. The screenplay by Robert Carrington and Jane-Howard Carrington is based on the stage play of the same name by Frederick Knott.

Hepburn was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress (losing to Katharine Hepburn), and Zimbalist was nominated for a Golden Globe in the supporting category. The film is ranked #55 on AFI’s 2001 100 Years…100 Thrills list, and its climax is ranked tenth on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments. Continue reading

Fenton Bailey & Randy Barbato – Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures (2016)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures is the first definitive, feature length portrait of the controversial American artist Robert Mapplethorpe since his death from AIDS in 1989. The one thing more outrageous than Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs was his life. Intimate revelations from family, friends and lovers are topped only by Mapplethorpe’s candor, revealed in a series of rediscovered, never before heard interviews, made public here for the first time. This is the unique portrait of an artist who turned photography into contemporary fine art with a bold vision that ignited a culture war still raging to this day. Continue reading

Raoul Peck – I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, “Remember This House.” The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of this manuscript. Filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. Continue reading

Jon Nguyen & Rick Barnes & Olivia Neergaard-Holm – David Lynch: The Art Life (2016)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

David Lynch takes us on an intimate journey through the formative years of his life. From his idyllic upbringing in small town America to the dark streets of Philadelphia, we follow Lynch as he traces the events that have helped to shape one of cinema’s most enigmatic directors. David Lynch the Art Life infuses Lynch’s own art, music and early films, shining a light into the dark corners of his unique world, giving audiences a better understanding of the man and the artist. As Lynch states “I think every time you do something, like a painting or whatever, you go with ideas and sometimes the past can conjure those ideas and color them, even if they’re new ideas, the past colors them.” Continue reading

Douglas Sirk – All That Heaven Allows [+commentary] (1955)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
Douglas Sirk once said: “This is the dialectic—there is a very short distance between high art and trash, and trash that contains an element of craziness is by this very quality nearer to art.” When All That Heaven Allows was released by Universal Pictures in 1955, it was just another critically unnoticed Hollywood genre product, designed to appeal to the trashy “women’s weepie” audience. Now, in retrospect, it is considered to be closer to the art side of Sirk’s dialectic, and one of his key films. But this is part of a wider process of critical reevaluation in which his entire body of work has been rediscovered and reappraised by successive generations of filmmakers and historians. Continue reading