Every few weeks at Fandor, we like to highlight a group of active independent filmmakers and their work — it’s part of our FIX initiative, which connects contemporary movie-makers with their audiences. The method to our FIX madness is a magical amalgam of timing, theme and newsworthy goings-on, so every edition of our FIX feature is unique. This week is certainly no exception, with a great range of viewpoints and voices to enjoy. Let’s get to know this week’s featured FIXers, and find out why they are in the spotlight!
Alverson’s oeuvre is deeply steeped in music and musicianship: In addition to award-winning films, he has released multiple albums and created music videos for artists like Bonny “Prince” Billy (Will Oldham, who also stars in Alverson’s project New Jerusalem, which you may have already noticed in the Fandor library) and Angel Olsen. To commemorate Alverson’s FIX inauguration, we also now have The Builder (scored by folk darlings Bon Iver) available for streaming. Both of these films consider the immigrant experience, tackling subjects like depression, religion and the American dream.
“My films are more influenced by what I see on the streets than by what I see on the screens,” says Borges, and this philosophy certainly comes through in her films Rendezvous and Your Place. Featuring strong women making bold decisions and refusing archetypal clichés, these works are romantic, refreshing and exhilarating. We’re thrilled to now have them both available for streaming, while Borges is hard at work on her first feature. Help us welcome her to FIX by spending time with her fearlessly free protagonists!
Film is big in Texas, and Byington stays true to the spirit of this state’s vibrant and iconoclastic filmmaking community with “mumblecore”-esque ruminations on life’s quotidian struggles and triumphs. Harmony and Me is one such effort, an earnestly deadpan take on quarter-life-crisis heartbreak and one of this week’s new releases. We’re also proud to have RSO [Registered Sex Offender], Byington’s 2008 feature starring TV favorite Nick Offerman (of Parks and Recreation) new to the library as well. Give these movies a whirl and find out why Christopher Kelly of the New York Times calls Byington “one of those best-kept secrets that fans prefer to keep to themselves, for fear that if everyone knows about him, he won’t seem nearly as cool.”
Built from documentation of the one-man show by Rick Vawter of the same name, Godmilow’s Roy Cohn/Jack Smith is an essential LGBT film that tackles the complexity of queer icons, the insidiousness of the closet, the specter of AIDS and so much more. Since our celebration of Pride month and LGBT film is in full swing, we thought it would be a spectacular time to feature this FIX filmmaker. For more on this film and its fascinating origins, don’t miss Godmilow’s in-depth interview on Keyframe.
Ellen Fisher Turk
For Turk, the camera is a tool to heal through expression, education and witness. Her film Split is a fascinating portrait of gender-bending burlesque sensation International Chrysis. Turk manages to capture the layers of identity and irony at work in Chrysis’ tragically short life with nuance and heart, and for fans of LGBT film, culture and history, it’s simply a must-see. In the decades since the documentary was made, Turk has been hard at work as a photographic therapist and special educator, and this emphasis on communication and understanding is certainly evident in her film work. Discover and celebrate the life of a counter-cultural icon through this empathetic filmmaker’s lens!
No matter what the reason for their inclusion in this week’s FIX feature, each of these filmmakers has a powerful point-of-view and a message to deliver, a world to create and a story to tell. Find a new story of theirs to love amongst the many great films available in our library, and stay tuned for our next feature in a few weeks! Happy watching.