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New York University Tisch Asia
Editor's Note

The big news this past week was the announcement of all the critic’s awards. As you’ve read, the Coen BrothersNo Country for Old Men cleaned up, winning many Best Film of the Year votes. Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly also picked up several awards, Gone Baby Gone’s Amy Ryan nearly accomplished a clean sweep for Best Supporting Actress and, thankfully, the great Julie Christie was recognized by many critics for her incredible performance in Away from Her. And, when it comes to the Golden Globe nominations, Joe Wright’s Atonement led the pack with seven nominations with Charlie Wilson’s War, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men and Sweeney Todd not far behind. Absent from the awards, however, was what was for me one of the best and most significant films of the year: David Fincher’s Zodiac. Fincher’s purposeful, patient study of both obsession and the peculiar nature of “information” as it exists within our digital age, was both a crime thriller and a critical essay. It’s on DVD now, and before you get all wrapped up in more awards-season hoopla, check it out if you haven’t already.


Scott Macaulay


In the ten years since he directed his last film, 1997's The Rainmaker, Francis Ford Coppola has been meddling around in different film projects, most notably his epic sci-fi project Megalopolis, but never got anything off the ground until he discovered Youth Without Youth. Copolla states of this period, "At 66, I was frustrated. I hadn't made a film in eight years. My businesses were thriving, but my creative life was unfulfilled." With Youth Without Youth, Coppola embarks on a second chance to make the personal but innovative films he sought to create when he was a young film school graduate. Using daring camerawork, Coppola seeks to express time and dreams through film, telling the story of an aging Romanian professor (Tim Roth) whose youth magically becomes restored, giving him a second chance at not only completing his lifelong investigation into the origins of language, but a second chance with the love of his life as well. Youth Without Youth costars Alexandra Maria Lara, Alexandra Pirici, and Bruno Ganz.


This film has received a lot of press attention already; from being based on a best selling novel, to controversy involving the young actors in the film having to leave their country. Yet most coverage has left out that deep down the movie is simply a story of culture, class, and friendship. Marc Forster (Stranger than Fiction) directs the three decade spanning tale about the life of Amir (Zekeria Ebrahimi and Khalid Abdalla), from his time in Afghanistan before the Russian invasion, to his adult life in America. The film also boasts an impressive and very eclectic score by music veteran Alberto Iglesias, and some great looking cinematography by Roberto Schaefer.

By Mike Plante

Drama/Mex is the bittersweet night-in-the-life tale of three intense, interlaced human relationships. Acapulco serves as the backdrop for the stories of a suicidal man, a 15-year-old runaway, and a young couple facing hardship after a tragic breakup. In his second feature (Malachance is a cool film that deserves a DVD release), writer/director Gerardo Naranjo again shows his skill for capturing life artfully, balancing the best of both melancholy and sobering moments. read more


By Mike Plante

A unique film when it was made, Breathless has been ripped-off for decades. (as Criterion puts it: “There was before Breathless, and there was after Breathless.”) Still enjoyable for its landmark style; jump cuts within long takes, handheld camerawork, switching between documentary-style drama and Hollywood genre; it's crazy but the film is still fresh almost 50 years later. Breathless is an independent classic in style, but more so in form. read more

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


This week on the blog, Jason Guerrasio keeps us updated on the Dubai International Film Festival and teaches us the meaning of the phrase “insha’ Allah,” Brandon Harris sits down with Daryl Hannah at the Bahamas International Film Festival to discuss her new documentaries, and Scott Macaulay reports on human rights videos on The Hub website.To read more posts from our blog, click here.


The 17th Annual Gotham Awards will be broadcast nationally on The Documentary Channel on Saturday, December 8th from 8:00pm-10:00pm EST, and locally on NYC TV at the same time. You can also watch clips from the ceremony now on NYC TV’s VOD Player. And a special documentary on the Gothams – produced by IFP – will be available via Netflix VOD in mid-December. Stay tuned for more info.


By Nick Dawson

Esther Robinson has an effusive passion for cinema that is infectious, and has led her to dedicate her career to helping artists and filmmakers. A chance mention of her uncle, Danny Williams, lead Robinson to discover that the Warhol Foundation held a number of shorts films he had made in the 1960s while he was Warhol's lover — and just before he disappeared, believed drowned. After seeing Williams' films, Robinson was compelled to make A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory, a personal documentary that examines Williams' life and dealings with the members of Warhol's Factory clique. read more

Festival Deadlines

Aspen Shortsfest
Submission Deadline: Dec. 15
Festival Dates: April 2, 2008 - April 6

Atlanta Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Dec 14 (early), Jan. 11, 2008 (late)
Festival Dates: April 10, 2008 - April 19

Boston Underground Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Dec. 14
Festival Dates: March 27, 2008 - March 30

Rome FilmFest
Submission Deadline: Dec. 15
Festival Dates: April 4, 2008 - April 12

Wisconsin Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Dec. 31
Festival Dates: April 3, 2008 - April 6

New York Underground Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Jan. 15
Festival Dates: April 2, 2008 - April 8

To see more fest deadlines, click here.

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