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Indies Unchained!

LoreThe visually stunning Lore, directed by Cate Shortland, follows Lore and her siblings at the end of WWII as they trek across Germany after the Allies arrest their Nazi parents. Along the way Lore learns about the atrocities her parents were involved with. She is forced to reconsider her whole worldview as she learns more and a Jewish boy helps keep her family safe.

As I walked out of the film I asked a friend what they thought. “It was good, but I don’t really know why we need a film about Hitler’s youth…” I nodded in slight agreement. I was so overcome by the beautiful cinematography and evocative emotions the film elicits that I didn’t have the chance to think about the need for a story about these children. After giving it a lot of thought I realized this story is actually incredibly timely and important because something…

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Indies Unchained!

What is The Silver Linings Playbook? Is it great? Or just good?  Is it the film that proves Jennifer Lawrence is one of the best actresses of her generation? Reminds us Robert Deniro is possibly the best actor of any generation? Reveals Bradley Cooper is actually good (with a talented filmmaker I guess)?  Does it prove David O. Russell is one of the best filmmakers working today? That he’s gone soft? Or that he’s smooching with the Hollywood elite until we can make evocative, personal films again? Is it the feel good film of the year? A real crowd pleaser? Is it a cute romantic comedy? The 2012 version of Jerry Maguire? Is it a dark comedy? The funniest film of the year? Is it Oscar bait? Exploits mental illness for laughs and awards? 

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Indies Unchained!

You can’t judge a film before the credits roll. Andrea Arnold’s brilliant and emotionally devastating adaptation of Wuthering Heights is the most recent film to hit me over the head with this knowledge. As I noticed fellow viewers get up and leave I couldn’t help but think about all the people who walk out of films without giving them a chance to reveal their characters or themes. When the lights went black and I sat alone, utterly devastated, I couldn’t stop thinking about the people who walked out of Wuthering Heights after 15 or 30 minutes and missed the most powerful film of the year.

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Indies Unchained!

Jesus.” That word basically fell out of my mouth when Paul Thomas Anderson cut from black to reveal the first shot of his brilliant film, The Master. Since this is PTA you might have expected some intricate 3 minute tracking shot, but it was just the ocean, and it was beautiful. I have never seen that shade of blue in a film before. It was immediately clear shooting 65mm was a brilliant decision. More importantly, that shot, followed by the dizzying first 15 minutes of The Master revealed Paul Thomas Anderson was working on a different level than most American filmmakers.

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Indies Unchained!

Can Looper be disliked? As I walked out of the theater I don’t think I heard a single negative word uttered by anyone. And let me tell you, the theater was not full cinephiles. There were a lot of people throwing out words and phrases like badass, insane, fuckingawesome, mind-blowing. Everyone I’ve talked to at least liked the film, and most loved it. But why did everyone love it? Why does Looper work so well?

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Indies Unchained!

Did you know I’m dying to see The Master? Well, if I haven’t made it obvious by now, let me hammer it home.

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Indies Unchained!

Do you have a great idea for a feature film, but you’re only in the development stage? Then you should really look into Cinereach’s grant and awards program. Their website states:

Cinereach is a not-for-profit film production company and foundation that champions vital stories, artfully told. Created and led by young philanthropists, entrepreneurs and filmmakers, Cinereach empowers fiction and nonfiction filmmakers from all over the world through Grants & Awards, The Reach Film Fellowship, an internal Productions department, and through partnerships with the Sundance Institute and other organizations. Since 2006, Cinereach has disbursed close to $5 million in grant funds to more than 100 projects at the intersection of engaging storytelling, visual artistry and vital subject matter.

That sounds like my kind of production company. It’s one of the rare non-profit’s I’ve seen willing to help films in the early stages of it’s develop (it also funds films in…

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