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Editor's Note

With the long-anticipated Writers Guild of America strike having kicked in Monday morning, it's turning out to be a strange week in the film business. Of course, many independent filmmakers are not members of the WGA so independents may think the strike doesn't affect them much. But the issues the WGA is fighting over specifically, profit in the digital realm are the key business issues facing all producers and creative artists today. So, between all the usual day-to-day producer activities reading scripts, meeting directors, budgeting and scheduling we're all also hitting "refresh" on blogs like Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily to read the latest and figure out whether the strike is just a short-term blip on the labor landscape or a watershed new media moment.

We're regularly checking in on the strike on the Filmmaker website as well as posting other pieces, like Nick Dawson's interviews with Julian Temple about his Joe Strummer pic and Steve Barron about Choking Man.


Scott Macaulay


What a difference seven years makes. In 2000 author Cormac McCarthy watched as his beloved novel All The Pretty Horses found itself engulfed in controversy between director Billy Bob Thornton and distributor Harvey Weinstein over the film's final edit. It was finally released to poor reviews and miniscule box office. Now, with the Coen brothers taking the helm on another McCarthy novel, No Country For Old Men, the response couldn't be more different. In a film that harkens back to the Coen's Blood Simple, this ultra-violent cat and mouse game between a slick cowboy (Josh Brolin) and a psychotic killer (Javier Bardem) is both suspense thriller and bloody American morality tale.


Husband and wife team Andrea Nix and Sean Fine's Sundance '07 doc entry, War/Dance, is powerful for what it doesn't show. It's not an exposé on the atrocious human-rights violations that continue to plague northern Uganda; rather it's about finding individual stories of hope amidst brutal chaos. Depicted as a strikingly beautiful country ripped apart by violence, the doc follows three young students from a refugee camp in Patongo and explores their hopes and dreams as they head to Uganda's national music and dance competition. Instead of inserting footage of the brutality that's taking place, the camera instead stays focused on the children as they attempt to realize their dreams through music competition.

By Mike Plante

Part loving art-doc recreation, part comedic musical, Interkosmos may be the best communist propaganda since 1955. Hailed as one of the top undistributed films of 2006, director Jim Finn uses news footage, historic images and his own unique point of view to create a film that could easily play on PBS... if it were real. read more


By Benjamin Crossley-Marra

The complete series of David Lynch's early 1990s phenomenon has hit the streets. Including the pilot episode, which has never been available for purchase. Under the remastered supervision of Lynch, the Gold Box also includes documentaries on everything from casting to the memorable score. read more

To read more posts on our favorite upcoming DVDs, click here.


This week on the blog, Scott Macaulay learns the mumblecore movement isn't liked by all; TV's The Office shows us why they're on strike; and Jason Guerrasio gives an update on the Ann Arbor Film Festival's [pictured left] fundraising mission since losing state funding due to their non-compliance to absurd state regulations.

To read more posts from our blog, click here.


The winner of last year's Gotham Award for "Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You," (chosen by the editors and writers of Filmmaker, along with MoMA's Dept. of Film) and the five nominees from this year, will be screened in New York City in the coming weeks. Last year's winner, Steve Barron's Choking Man, plays at Cinema Village beginning this weekend. Nominees for this year's award will be shown at MoMA from Friday, Nov. 16 to Monday, Nov. 19.


By Nick Dawson

For 30 years, Brit Julien Temple has combined his dual passions of film and music, and worked with greats in both fields along the way. He first came to prominence with The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle, the Sex Pistols' madcap cinematic offering, and from there went on to become an important figure in the fledgling pop video medium as well as pioneering the feature-length promo with the Human League's spy-themed Mantrap and Mick Jagger's Running Out of Luck. Having recently made two definitive music documentaries, The Fifth and the Fury and Glastonbury, Temple now continues the trend with Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten, his film about the iconic Clash frontman. read more


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