Archive for August, 2011

‘Circumstance’ Director Maryam Keshavarz’s Tale of Risk and Forbidden Love

“What else could this film go through?” joked Iranian-American director Maryam Keshavarz. If current forecasts are correct, Hurricane Irene is set to slam into the East Coast the same weekend her movie, “Circumstance,” is slated to open.

“We couldn’t shoot in Iran. Then I was editing in Chile, we had an 8.8 earthquake. And now, after 25 years, there’s like a hurricane hitting New York City,” she said with a laugh.

Keshavarz talked to me while navigating Los Angeles traffic — always a dicey proposition. But, then, she is not someone to shy away from risk: She shot her debut feature in a politically hostile part of the world; she managed to tick off the oppressive government of her ancestral homeland; and she faced down at least one natural disaster. In comparison, talking on the phone while driving down Wilshire Boulevard is a cinch. Continue reading ‘‘Circumstance’ Director Maryam Keshavarz’s Tale of Risk and Forbidden Love’

Indie Roundup: ‘The Last Circus’

The Last CircusCult director Alex de la Iglesia’s latest movie, “The Last Circus,” opens with dizzying montage that includes shots of Spanish dictator Franco and clips from the notorious 1970s exploitation flick “Cannibal Holocaust” before settling into the movie’s prologue. Set in 1937, during the height of the Spanish Civil War, a militia of rebels coerce a clown midperformance to fight for their cause. Armed with a machete and still in costume, the clown charges straight into a platoon of government troops and manages to single-handedly dispatch all of them. There are few images more unnerving than a close-up of a clown in the thrall of pure, unadulterated bloodlust. Continue reading ‘Indie Roundup: ‘The Last Circus’’

Director Robert Rodriguez Talks About Making ‘Spy Kids’ in Aromascope

“The ‘Spy Kids’ series has really just kind of been scrappily innovative,” director Robert Rodriguez told me recently. And indeed it’s true. “Spy Kids 2” was one of the first mainstream movies to be shot in high-definition video back in 2002. Now, of course, HD is an industry standard. Rodriguez’s 2003 follow-up, “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over,” was the first 3D flick made in 20 years, which for better or worse, presaged cinema’s current 3D boom.

So for the fourth movie in the franchise, “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World,” Rodriguez wanted to mix it up a bit.

“If we are going to come back with [a fourth movie], we can’t just come back and just do 3D again. We might as well go one louder, go to 11.” Continue reading ‘Director Robert Rodriguez Talks About Making ‘Spy Kids’ in Aromascope’

‘Bellflower’ Director Evan Glodell’s ‘Big Gamble’

“We did anything we could to make this movie the best it can be because this is our big gamble,” said Evan Glodell about “Bellflower,” a movie he wrote, directed and starred in.

The film was made with no big-name stars or money, shot on the fly over the course of years. It’s the sort of insane, heroic filmmaking that gives jaded film writers like me, beaten down by a summer of depressingly bland and timid blockbusters, some hope that cinema might not be dead after all. Whatever you think of “Bellflower” — since the movie premiered at Sundance earlier this year, the movie has been polarizing — it is unquestionably a brave and original cinematic debut by Glodell. In fact, it might just be one of the best films of the year. Continue reading ‘‘Bellflower’ Director Evan Glodell’s ‘Big Gamble’’


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