"Simply and profoundly humanistic, Of Men and War is a massive film wrought from tiny gestures."
A work of astounding sensitivity and precision, Of Men and War argues for emotional honesty as a moral and psychic imperative. The second part of his “Genealogy of Wrath” trilogy (the first, War Wearied, followed three widows in the aftermath of the war in Bosnia), Laurent Bécue-Renard's film avoids the politics of modern warfare, maintaining a rigorous focus on past traumas and present struggles of its subjects, a group of PTSD-inflicted veterans residing at a health-care facility in California's Napa Valley.
Opens in theaters across the United States November 6th in honor of Veteran's Day. Visit the website to find a city near you.
The international co-financing and co-production market IDFA Forum is Europe's most important breeding ground for new documentary projects. The Forum will once again select around 50 Projects for its 2015 edition, which will take place during IDFA from November 23-25. Projects can be submitted by independent producers looking for co-financing, co-production and distribution.
Whatever stage of development or financing your creative documentary project is in, IDFA Forum is the place to go if you are looking for funders (be it broadcasters or funds), co-producers, distributors and/or sales agents. Submission for IDFA Forum is now open; you can find the entry form through MyIDFA. The deadline for submission is September 1.
For more information visit IDFA website or contact IDFA Forum Coordinator Yorinde Segal.
The “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” Interview
with Kam Williams
Me and RJ!
The youngest of three boys, Ronald Cyler II was born in Jacksonville, Florida on . March 21, 1995. He demonstrated a love of the arts and entertaining early on, teaching himself to play the keyboard and drums, and forming a dance duo with his older brother, Broderick, at the age of 12.
In the summer of 2012, RJ traveled to the West Coast to hone his skills at acting camp. Encouraged by the experience, he asked his parents if they would consider relocating to Los Angeles to support his pursuit of a showbiz career.
With his family solidly behind him, he began meeting with agents, and subsequently signed with Landis-Simon Productions and Talent Management, as well as JLA Talent Agency. Here, he talks about making his acting debut in the title role of Earl in the screen adaptation of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, which won both the Audience and Grand Jury Awards at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
Kam Williams: Hi RJ, thanks for the interview.
RJ Cyler: Ola, Kam! No problem.
KW: I really loved Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. But so have all the critics and audiences. Congratulations!
KW: What interested you in the film?
RJC: The honesty of the film, and how realistically it treats teenagers. A lot of movies present us as only interested in romance, which is kind of offensive, since we're a lot more complicated than that. We also have friends who are genuinely just friends. This script highlighted that aspect of the teenage mind, and I appreciated the fact that it was authentic and raw.
FilmReview by Kam Williams
Amy (Amy Everson) has been left so haunted by demons after years of unspecified sexual abuse that today she dreams of crushing a rapist to death with her thighs. She also fantasizes about gouging out his eyes and sticking a pin in a penis.
Good luck to anyone who gets involved with the traumatized survivor, since she's obviously still dealing with the fallout of whatever happened to her. Some of Amy's suitors are oblivious of the warning signs, such as the cad who cavalierly suggested that the date rape drug, Rohypnol, doesn't even exist.
Such callous behavior plays right into Amy's belief that most men are exploitative jerks who think they have the right to grope her just because she's female. She laments that they don't understand that there are other forms of violence besides punching or stabbing or shooting with a gun.
Rather than retreat into her shell, Amy copes by creating elaborate costumes which make a feminist statement about the patriarchal state of the culture. For instance, she'll strap on a fake penis and cover her face with a mask before taking a walk in the woods; or she might don a giant chicken mascot costume in order to follow a dude around.
Yet, despite her apparent disgust with the opposite sex, Amy hasn't given up on finding Mr. Right. She hangs out at a pool hall where she peppers possible partners with probing questions like: “Do you prefer docile chicks?”
Inspired by its star Amy Everson's real-life experiences, Felt is a surreal, semi-autobiographical adventure with a patently political agenda. Directed by Jason Banker (Toad Road), this unsettling experimental indie is simultaneously a psychological thriller which never affords the audience an opportunity to get comfortable in their seats.
A cattle prod of a picture which incessantly provokes and pushes the cinematic envelope while taking no prisoners in a very freaky battle-of-the-sexes.
Very Good (3 stars)
Running time: 80 minutes
Distributor: Amplify Releasing
To see a trailer for Felt, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rr59LitGL1k
Film Review by Kam Williams
Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) was understandably unhappy when she learned from her mother (Diane Lane) and father (Kyle MacLachlan) that the family was relocating from Minnesota to San Francisco. After all, she'd be leaving behind her home, her hockey team and all her BFFs.
So, it's no surprise that the uprooted 11 year-old might be very lonely after moving to the Bay Area. And, unfortunately, that solitary condition leads to an inordinate amount of introspection as she attempts to sort out her emotions, literally and figuratively.
For, her feelings aren't merely metaphysical experiences but five actual little figurines living inside her brain. This anthropomorphic quintet, composed of Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling), are constantly contending for control of rattled Riley's moods as she navigates her way around a new house, city and school.
That struggle is the subject of Inside Out, the best animated offering from the talented team at Pixar since the equally-affective balloon adventure Up (2009). Don't allow the the awkward-sounding premise revolving around a melancholy kid who's a bit of a head case turn you off, as the material is handled delicately enough to be appropriate for a child of any age.
A touching tale illustrating how a dramatic life change might, temporarily at least, exact a terrible toll on a frail human psyche.
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG for action and mature themes
Running time: 94 minutes
Distributor: Pixar Animation / Walt Disney Studios