Throughout the next month, we’ll be partnering with our favorite independent theater the Cinefamily to present a Hal Hartley retrospective! If you’re in Los Angeles, it’s going to be the place to be next weekend, because Mr. Hartley himself will be there in person!
You may know that we released Hartley’s project My America on Independence Day last year. He was one of our very first featured FIX filmmakers, and we’ve also curated a Spotlight showcasing the many films in our library from his fantastic body of work. In short, we’re big fans! We’re so excited to celebrate his career, and we’re also excited to get our Los Angeles Fandorians in on the fun. You can buy tickets to any one of the amazing screenings here, and also enter to WIN tickets to the Thursday (April 2) double feature of Henry Fool and Fay Grim, with a private reception on the beautiful Cinefamily patio beforehand!
We hope to see you out for this incredible celebration — there are screenings happening every weekend of April!
It’s no secret that we here at Fandor love connecting audiences to the media they love by leveraging the agility of digital distribution and the subscription-based model. This week, we really made good on that passion, releasing a crop of amazing, risk-taking films with unique structural twists (52 Tuesdays) unusual premises (Suitcase of Love and Shame) and epic scope (Gangs of Wasseypur)!
We also debuted our latest Criterion Picks, which is all about killing in cold blood. From hard-boiled hit men to super-scary serial killers, this collection is full of very deadly anti-heroes. Make sure to check it out before the films leave Fandor forever!
And ICYMI, we also released some films this week that may as yet be unfamiliar to our members, but are full of faces you’re sure to recognize, including The Attic, a 2007 psychological thriller starring none other than Elisabeth Moss (of Mad Men and Top of the Lake) and featuring Thomas Jay Ryan (of Henry Fool and many, many others) and The Mind Snatchers, a Clockwork Orange-esque thriller about military mind-control experiments. Their guinea pig? None other than a young Christopher Walken! According to Michael Adams of Movieline, “if you’re a Walken fan, you’ll want to see this…he hits the screen close to fully formed in a movie with strange hints of the roles to come.”
Be sure to check out our recently added films page for even more new cinema to fall in love with (including some delicious-looking cult offerings from the 1960s and a few smart, independent foreign films from China, Chile, Israel, etc.) and don’t worry: There’s always more to come! Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
Andrew O’Hehir over at Salon recently (and glowingly) reviewed this epic Indian crime drama, which is now playing in its full 314 minutes of glory onscreen at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and online at Fandor, where it is streaming exclusively for the next three weeks. He has a lot of great things to say about the scope and energy of the film, drawing comparisons to the offerings of Quentin Tarantino and Sergio Leone and praising the cross-over appeal and East-West blending of cultural sources, but what stood out to us is this amazingly insightful observation about the life of this kind of cinema:
Creating a moment for a would-be cult movie isn’t as straightforward as it used to be, especially a movie as gleefully devoted to violating norms and conventions as this one. The total audience for “Gangs of Wasseypur” is no doubt divided between genre enthusiasts who saw it months or years ago – it’s been floating around the Internet, and available on foreign DVD, since shortly after its Cannes premiere in 2012 – and ordinary civilians who’ve never heard of it. Whichever camp you fall into, the fact that something this unusual and distinctive is getting a glimpse in American theaters represents a breakthrough.
This, right here, is why we are so thrilled to do what we do: give brilliant but somewhat obscure films like Gangs of Wasseypur the home and audience they so deeply deserve! So add this Featured Release to your must-watch list and get ready for one heck of a ride.
The 53rd Ann Arbor Film Festival kicks off today through the weekend, and we wanted to take a moment to congratulate our eight FIX filmmakers who are screening work in this prestigious and diverse showcase of diverse avant-garde media!
- Daniel Stuyck: ENVY on 3/25 at 2:30pm (this gorgeous stroboscopic delight will also be available on Fandor starting tomorrow, as well!) in a screening of music videos programmed by fellow FIXer Lori Felker
- Shambhavi Kaul: NIGHT NOON on 3/25 at 7:15pm
- Jill Godmilow: WHAT FAROCKI TAUGHT: JILL GODMILOW on 3/27 at 3:00pm
- Richard Tuohy: BLUE LINE CHICAGO on 3/28 at 1:15pm
- Ben Russell: GREETINGS TO THE ANCESTORS on 3/28 at 5:15pm and ATLANTIS on 3/28 at 9:15pm (Ben also has a FIXshort project that is in the midst of its crowdfunding push!)
- Lewis Klahr: MARS GARDEN on 3/28 at 7:15pm
- William Farley: BECOME AN ARTIST on 3/28 at 9:30pm
- Jennifer Reeves: COLOR NEUTRAL on 3/28 at 9:30pm
Additionally, Fandor’s Co-founder and Director of Content Jonathan Marlow will once again lead the beloved “What the Hell Was That?” panel, which offers a deep dive into three especially challenging works from the festival, on 3/29 at 10:30am.
If you can’t be at the festival this week, you can still watch tons of amazing work by these talented filmmakers, and sample our Spotlight on the Avant-garde, featuring films from past years at Ann Arbor. Let’s get experimental!
Is it the weekend already? Time flies when you’re having fun, and here at Fandor, when films are your passion, it’s always fun. ICYMI, here’s a recap of our big stories and a little love for the great stuff that may have escaped your notice:
- One of our Fandor FIXshorts projects has already been funded, and the others are well on their way! A huge thank you to everyone who contributed and signal-boosted to help these filmmakers reach their goals. There’s still three weeks to go, so please, keep sharing!
- We continued our celebration of Women’s History Month with a Spotlight on films that feature relationships between women. But this isn’t your basic Bechdel-passing stuff, this is above and beyond: complex, rich and sometimes fraught chemistry, but always powerful and compelling cinema. Here’s a taste of what awaits in that collection:
- We also released a Criterion Picks all about the sixteenth century and the upheaval, the intrigue and the human toll of war and conflict that defined that era. Speaking of Criterion, did you know that we also release awesome “extras” with some of the films, like interviews and behind-the-scenes documentaries? You can find these juicy tidbits on our recently added films page. Indulge your inner movie nerd and impress your friends with your deep knowledge!
- A fabulous, fresh batch of films came into our library courtesy of the Global Film Initiative, illuminating stories from Bosnia, Mozambique, China, Iran and more. This is true global cinema: sowing empathy as a function of storytelling. By turns humorous and emotionally wrenching, each will take you on a unique and unforgettable journey.
There you have it: some great weekend watching and food for the queue! Have a great weekend, and we’ll have more amazing movies and news to share with you next week.
Hooray for the weekend! What a perfect time to catch up on all of the amazing stuff that happened here at Fandor this week. ICYMI — in case you missed it, we launched a new project on Thursday with a bang: FIXshorts!
This is big, people. We’re doubling down on our commitment to filmmakers, helping them realize projects from start to finish, all while making the leap into original content! Filmmaker Magazine has called this “a smart and necessary move”, and we have to agree. It also supports one of our favorite cinematic forms — short films — by giving them a home (often hard to find after the festival circuit).
So take a minute, if you haven’t yet, to meet the filmmakers, get to know their projects, contribute if they speak to you and please, please, please pass it on! This project has great potential for strengthening the film ecology, but the model relies on an engaged and active audience.
In other Fandor news, we released a new edition of Criterion Picks this week! This collection features eight shining examples of amazing directors writing for other amazing directors. It’s kind of a who’s who when it comes to film history and classic greatness. No big deal. Remember though, they’ll only be in our library for nine more days, so don’t sleep on this cinema!
If you’re looking for something to curl up with this weekend and just can’t decide from you queue, our Criterion Picks or the Featured Releases (or the embarrassment of riches has you plain overwhelmed), we can recommend a couple of movie gems that just hit the library this week! Why not give one of these flicks a whirl:
- A dance film starring none other than Mikhail Baryshnikov (among other luminaries of performance and choreography) that clocks in at a cool half hour perfect for mealtime or before-bed watching,
- This black comedy about a man and his midlife crisis that boasts a fantastic ensemble cast (including one Isabella Rosselini) and wit to spare,
- Or an arresting documentary on the power of images that recounts the life of renowned photojournalist John G. Morris and how he brought us the world.
And stay tuned for more exciting releases, superbly curated collections and cool news coming up next week!