Making of Free Solo

Have you heard of Free Solo? There’s a chance you might have since there’s a lot of buzz about this documentary that follows rock climber Alex Honnold as he attempts to complete a free solo climb (which is without any ropes, harnesses or other safety equipment) up the 3,000-foot vertical rock formation known as El Capitan in Yosemite National Park in California. That’s a tall order, no pun intended, but almost as challenging was being able to capture this club without disrupting the climber himself.

In a new video, directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin explain how they and their expert camera crew scaled the mountain along with Alex Honnold to get the best shots possible. But the crew also employed remote cameras and other tech savvy skills in order to get the tfootage they need. However, beware of some spoilers for Free Solo since they do give away some of the struggles during the climb itself.

Find out everything you need to know about the making of Free Solo below. Read More »

18 Movies Directed By Women in 2018 You Should Watch

movies directed by women in 2018

At the beginning of 2018, Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig became only the fifth woman in history to be nominated for a Best Director award at the Oscars. “That’s one hand!” she enumerated to USA Today following her indoctrination into the sadly small mile-high club. It’s a club that unfortunately looks to remain small as most female directors remain out of the awards conversation and new reports emerge that female filmmakers saw their numbers shrink in 2018.

But before you write off 2018 as a bad year for women — or at least a step backwards after 2017’s industry-shattering breakthrough success with Gerwig, Patty Jenkins, and more — I implore you to take a closer look. Last year saw Anna Boden, along with Ryan Fleck, taking the helm for Marvel’s upcoming Captain Marvel, and the announcement of Cathy Yan directing Birds of Prey for DC and Warner Bros. And the slate of Sundance darlings were overwhelmingly female-fronted — from Sarah Colangelo‘s unnerving The Kindergarten Teacher, to Desiree Akhavan‘s ebullient The Miseducation of Cameron Post, to Jennifer Fox‘s harrowing abuse drama The Tale. Lynne Ramsay, Josephine Drecker, and Chloe Zhao achieved some of the highest critical acclaim of the year for their films You Were Never Really HereMadeline’s Madeline, and The Rider, respectively. Hell, there were two movies about Ruth Bader Ginsburg directed by women in 2018.

The numbers may not be speaking, but the quality remains unquestionable. Female directors are slowly making inroads in Hollywood, and while they may not be breaking the Top 100 — or may get unjustly snubbed by the Oscars yet again — don’t believe anyone when they say there are no female directors. Here 18 movies directed by women in 2018 that you should watch.

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Green Band Trailer

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising?

This week we call 911, realize a stranger is a just a friend you haven’t met yet, get a look at another country’s idea of a leader only in it for themselves, take a road trip, and then climb a mountain without a rope. Read More »

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we try not to fall off a mountain, try not to get killed on our way out of town, revisit a public access classic, get haunted over a decade by a child’s murder, and get weird when an object falls from the sky. 

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