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EAGLE VS SHARK
Taika Cohen's subtle film about a two socially awkward people who, despite their eccentricities, develop a special bond acquired a nice little following when it showed at Sundance recently. While it follows the Napolean Dynamite model of presenting sweet, goofball underdogs, Eagle vs Shark goes down it's own path by not becoming cliched and by exploring darker themes, such as obsession and revenge. The leading actors, New Zealand natives Jemaine Clement and Loren Horsley, are basically unknowns outside of their country and as a result come across as extremely honest and realistic. More importantly, it's easy to feel sympathy for the characters without pitying them and that is ultimately what holds Eagle vs Shark together so well.

FIDO
Canadian horror satire is a story about a boy and his best friend, who happens to be a zombie named Fido. Directed by Andrew Currie, Fido takes place in a peaceful neighborhood during an alternate-version of the 1950s where when people die they can choose to be buried or to become zombies. Without a single spoken line (not including grunts and moans), veteran actor Billy Connelly breathes life (pun intended) into the character of Fido by giving a great, Charlie Chapin-like performance. A bizarre marriage between the sensibilities of zombie godfather George Romero and Walt Disney, Fido proves to be an inventive rather than sterotypical entry in the long list of zombie spin-offs. And don't be fooled by the PG-13 rating, it's not a real zombie movie without at least some blood, guts, and brains.

PUTTING THE 'SHAKE INTO CHICAGO
In case you haven't seen it yet, there's an interview with Todd Rohal over in the Director Interviews section of the site. Rohal's excellent and wonderfully original debut feature, The Guatemalan Handshake begins an exclusive one-week run today at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, which you should definitely check out. It's also a great excuse for me to link to two of Rohal's short films which you can watch online. Single Spaced (1997), his very first short (which was nominated for a Student Academy Award) is over at ifilm and Knuckleface Jones (1999), Rohal's graduation film can be enjoyed on Atom Films. I'm also embedding one of the excellent trailers for The Guatemalan Handshake Click here

 
     
 

BABY STEPS
At the Filmmaker office we've been researching the emerging online indie film market for an upcoming story about how independents are selling their work through digital download services. But perhaps I should just keep a running link to Scott Kirsner's Cinematech blog as he's made this field his beat for the last several months. This week he posted "For Indie Filmmakers: How to Sell DVDs Online", a recounting of a conversation he had with Jamie Chvotkin, founder of FilmBaby.com, a site that assists filmmakers in the marketing and promotion of their DVDs...

 
     

BAM TO UNVEIL NEW GODARD PRINT
Bamcinématek has a great line up for this summer including some rare films by Chris Marker and a brand new print of Jean-Luc Godard's Pierrot le fou. On June 11th BAM will screen The Loneliness of the Long Distance Singer, a cinematic essay on French icon Yves Montand. Along with this BAM will screen two largely unseen shorts: The Embassy and The Sixth Side of the Pentagon. With the upcoming Criterion release of La Jetée/Sans Soeil this screening is a perfect complement. Speaking of Criterion, Janus films has acquired a new, restored print of Godard's crime/comedy Pierrot le Fou which BAM will host from June 15th -26th. A Criterion DVD with all the goodies is promised later this year. More details at ioncinema.com...

Read the complete stories at Filmmakermagazine's Blog...

   

STORARO TALKS SHOP - by Jamie Stuart
It is entirely without hyperbole to introduce Vittorio Storaro as one of the most singular and influential cinematographers in the progression of modern motion pictures. His color palette on films such as The Conformist and Apocalypse Now is without peer, and long-lasting collaborations with directors Bernardo Bertolucci, Francis Ford Coppola and Warren Beatty have been recognized with three Oscars for Best Cinematography (Apocalypse Now (1979), Reds (1981) and The Last Emperor (1987)).

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