Category Archives: Filmmakers

2015 Memo to the Academy

(Re-posted from Limité

Dear Academy,

It’s that time of year again. You’ve watched dozens of movies, you’ve seen plenty of “For Your Consideration” ads, and you’ve heard everyone’s reasons why one film or another deserves to win. There’s a lot going through your mind; maybe you’re confused. No worries. Once again, Limité’s Film Team is ready to step up with its picks in some of the most hotly contested categories. Read below, then mark your ballots with confidence.

Your friends,

Dan Quitério, Joy Ganes, Morgan Goldin

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On My DVR: “Night Will Fall” (2014)

When I heard that a lost Hitchcock film was found, I knew I had to learn more, even if it were a doc, perhaps unlike anything he had previously made. As a huge Hitch fan, I’m looking forward to learning more about the film that researchers only recently uncovered.

Synopsis (courtesy of IMDb):
Researchers discover film footage from World War II that turns out to be a lost documentary shot by Alfred Hitchcock and Sidney Bernstein in 1945 about German concentration camps.

Director: André Singer
Screenwriter: Lynette Singer
Cast: Helena Bonham Carter (narrator), Alfred Hitchcock, Sidney Bernstein
Distributor: HBO Documentary Films
Runtime: 75 min.

New York Film Festival Review: Inherent Vice

(Re-posted from Limité

Joaquin Phoenix in INHERENT VICE

Series: Main Slate (World Premiere, Centerpiece Film)

Movies like this make me feel stupid. I should have known better. Paul Thomas Anderson has made a career on inaccessible, heady, and masturbatory films. No doubt, his work is nothing if not polarizing, but it’s always superbly crafted and will inevitably find its cheerleaders.Inherent Vice is no different. Mind you, it’s not that I don’t have a penchant for deeper, thought-provoking fare. I do. But Anderson has a tendency of dialing it up to eleven. (Before moving forward, I feel compelled to express that I usually make a point never to write reviews in the first person, but with this particular film, I find it difficult writing otherwise, simply because I admit to not understanding what this movie is about, so I’ll tell you how it made me feel.)

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Q&A: Ruben Amar & Lola Bessis, Writers/Directors of SWIM LITTLE FISH SWIM

(Re-posted from Limité

by Daniel Quitério

Life in New York City can be hard, especially for young artists on the verge of self-discovery. But with an abounding energy and “magical atmosphere,” as described by French-born filmmakers Ruben Amar and Lola Bessis, it’s, perhaps, the ideal setting for an individual to come of age. Amar’s and Bessis’s feature debut, Swim Little Fish Swim, captures the difficult reality often faced by idealistic artists—striking a balance between an uncompromised art and the economics necessary to survive in an increasingly expensive city.

In Swim Little Fish Swim, the multi-hyphenate filmmakers (Amar and Bessis both wrote, directed, and produced the film; Bessis also stars) tell the story of musician Leeward (Dustin Guy Defa) and his more practical wife, a nurse named Mary (Brooke Bloom). The couple struggles in raising a young child in an unforgiving city, let alone hosting young French artist Lilas (Bessis), who has problems of her own.

Although Amar and Bessis have collaborated on several short films in the past, Swim Little Fish Swim represents new territory for the duo. Coming off a successful festival fun (including a win for Best Film at Gen Art Film Festival and a nomination for the Grand Jury Award at SXSW), the feature opened in New York City’s Cinema Village on September 19, with a limited rollout to follow (including Los Angeles and Chicago on September 26 and Seattle on October 24). I recently had the opportunity to conduct an interview via e-mail with Amar and Bessis, who provided joint responses to questions regarding the film, their collaboration, and their impressions of New York City.

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Short Film: “Somebody” by Miranda July

In her quirky fashion, filmmaker/artist Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know, 2005) based her latest short film, “Somebody,” on an app that enables people to deliver personal messages in a very impersonal way. The film, which premiered at this year’s Venice Film Festival, is currently available on YouTube, but you can watch the 10-minute short below.

The film lacks a narrative, but it makes for an enjoyable watch. July was commissioned to make this film for fashion label miu miu’s Women’s Tales series, and yes, the app is real. Get more information here.



2014 Young Hollywood

(Re-posted from Limité

It’s often said that Hollywood is a young person’s game. Although many film and TV veterans are still making waves in the industry, we, at Limité, are taking a look at some of Hollywood’s brightest youth. Our annual “Young Hollywood” feature profiles actors aged 30 and under and filmmakers aged 40 and under. Here’s who we have our eyes on…

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2014 Faces to Watch

NOTE: I edited and partly wrote the following feature for Limité

(Re-posted from Limité

Committed to its mission to seek and promote tomorrow’s trending topics, we are thrilled to announce its sixth-annual “Faces to Watch” feature. Compiled by Limité’s film team, “Faces to Watch” presents a curated look at this year’s newest and brightest in film – both in front of and behind the camera – as seen through the lens of Limité.

Ryan Coogler

Ryan Coogler / filmmaker

by Minnie Li

Ryan Coogler rose to critical acclaim with his directorial debut, Fruitvale Station. Its Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award wins at last year’s Sundance Film Festival were the first of a trail of recognition from festivals the world over, including the Prix de l’avenir at Cannes, which recognizes Coogler as a talent to watch. He, along with his star Michael B. Jordan, was named by Time as one of the 30 people under 30 changing the world. In December, the 28-year-old filmmaker took home best breakthrough director at the IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards.

Fruitvale Station chronicles the last day of 22-year-old Oscar Grant’s life. A white transit officer shot Grant, who was African-American, in 2002 on the BART platform. A decade later, George Zimmerman shot the unarmed young black man, Trayvon Martin. The film and its timely release suggest that life in post-racial America has changed little. Coogler is an Oakland native and has worked as a counselor at a juvenile hall in San Francisco and as a counselor and security guard in a home for troubled Bay Area youths. Grant’s story hit home.

Coogler’s next project is Creed, a spin-off of the Rocky franchise. Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan have already signed on.

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Los Tres Amigos: The Men Behind GRAVITY, BABEL, and PAN’S LABYRINTH

NOTE: I edited and partly wrote the following feature for Limité

(Re-posted from Limité

(L to R) Alejandro González Iñárritu, Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón
Mexico’s “Three Amigos” are Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Guillermo del Toro. These highly accomplished filmmakers’ works have transcended Mexico’s borders and captured the imaginations of moviegoers the world over. Admired for their fearlessness and imagination, the three director-producers bound together in 2007 to form Cha Cha Cha Films, a production company that released Rudo y Cursi (dir. Carlos Cuarón, 2008), Mother and Child (dir. Rodrigo García, 2009), and Biutiful (dir. Iñárritu, 2009).

The three filmmakers have been nominated for a combined nine Academy Awards, and their most recent directorial achievements include Gravity (Cuarón, 2013), Biutiful (Iñárritu, 2010), and Pacific Rim (del Toro, 2013).

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Q&A: Lynn Shelton, Writer-Director of TOUCHY FEELY

(Re-posted from Limité

Award-winning filmmaker Lynn Shelton had her breakthrough with 2009′s Humpday, a comedic “romp” about a bromance taken to the next level. And aside from the occasional TV gig (directing the “Hands and Knees” episode of Mad Men), the director-writer-producer-editor-actress remains a fixture in today’s independent film scene. Her 2011 release Your Sister’s Sister, starring Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt, won multiple awards and nominations, including a Gotham Award for its cast and the Directors to Watch Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

The festival darling’s latest release is Touchy Feely, a 2013 Sundance selection that was released this past September and is available on DVD today. Starring an ensemble cast of both veterans and new actors alike, the story focuses on Abby (DeWitt), a masseuse who delves into a depression upon developing an aversion to bodily contact, and her brother Paul (Josh Pais), a rather dull dentist whose practice experiences an overnight surge of interest from new patients. Ellen Page, Scott McNairy, Allison Janney, Ron Livingston, and newcomer Tomo Nakayama round out the cast.

I had the opportunity to speak with the multi-hyphenate filmmaker about her latest film and her process.

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THR’s Awards Roundtable Back for Another Go ‘Round

Each year, both for Oscar and Emmy season, The Hollywood Reporter releases a series of candid and informative roundtable interviews with some of the film and TV industries’ hottest and most respected talent—all of whom are in awards contention for their most recent works. This season, the focus is on movies and the men and women who bring them to life. Visit to watch or read. So far, the following roundtables have been conducted (with more to come, including some of this year’s actress contenders):

Directors (image above)

L to R: Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips), David O. Russell (American Hustler), Ben Stiller (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Lee Daniels (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)

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