As the new editor of The L's film section, I hope that ethos somewhat carries into our Fourth Annual Film Poll—that this won't just be a list of the usual suspects (although you will find The Master and Moonrise Kingdom here; hey, it was a strong year for established auteurs!) but will also include surprises, confounding choices, movies you never heard of, and movies you wish you hadn't heard of—movies that reflect the particular and often peculiar tastes of our writers.
You should watch more movies. Here's a bunch of awesome ones. Henry Stewart
The Austrian chronicler gives us an addictive, HD nightscape of Europe at work, from security guards to mental-health hotline operators to Webcam porn actors to protesters and their riot police. A portrait emerges of a cordial, ever-fascinating civilization catered to and controlled to within an inch of its life—think Richard Scarry meets Harun Farocki.
The story of the movie’s progress is pretty interesting. It had a pretty rough start, didn’t it?
It was a really rough start. It kind of landed with a thud to begin with. You know festivals, distributors and even some of my collaborators weren’t that thrilled about the movie, and so it was a lonely time for about six months. Then the story changed, and it keeps changing. It’s unpredictable, and you never know if it’s going to change again over the next couple of weeks. The progress it’s made has been slow and I don’t know if we’ve had enough time that it’s going to pay off even more now that we’re back in New York. We’re returning to some other cities, too—San Francisco is one I’m very excited about.
Can you give us a sense of what the space will look like? Will it feel like going to a movie theater or sitting in a video store?
The screening room will seat about 35 people, and it definitely won't feel like watching a movie in a video store. We'll have comfy chairs, a few booths, and table space for people's drinks and popcorn.
I thought reRun was done! What happened?
Quite simply, it's too perfect a space to stay vacant for long. The New York City theatrical market is incredibly competitive. Most large movie theaters will only work with the major distributors, and a lot of the smaller art houses charge huge four-walling fees to filmmakers who want to screen there. reRun doesn’t charge anything, and they’re open to screening self-distributed films that wouldn't otherwise get a chance to open theatrically in New York. That’s what’s made the theater invaluable to the Brooklyn arts community—its daring, egalitarian programming choices. And that's what drew IFP and Filmmaker magazine to the theater. We have a long-standing mission to support voices that might not otherwise be heard, and that's just what we plan to do at reRun.
This classical slasher, released 15 months after Friday the 13th, evokes that foundational film: a killer stalks a community, picking off its members in gruesome ways, terrorizing others. The only difference is we're not at summer camp: we're in a rural farming community, majority "Hittite," who "make the Amish look like swingers." They don't even use tractors—except for murder?
Do you think your background as an immigrant has informed your work?
Definitely. In the case of this film. It influenced it because I have a personal connection to Georgia. I’m not from Georgia, I’m from Russia, but there’s a common Soviet past that we have. For me, it was a very natural place to shoot because I could communicate with everyone over 20 by speaking Russian. The younger generation don’t speak Russian, but the older generation do.
ugh, i don't know you but i love this and i am proud of you.
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