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I’ve never been much of a fan of rock music, so the whole indie rock scene of the ‘90s passed me by. While I can’t say I’ve warmed to the music that era produced, I do find myself looking back at that time with a more appreciative gaze. It was a particularly fertile time for female rockers, with the likes of PJ Harvey, Courtney Love, and  Tanya Donnelly channelling a female perspective into a musical genre that had previously been dominated by men and refusing to sexualize themselves in the way today’s female stars seem compelled to.... READ ON

There’s a moment in Orson Welles’ The Other Side of the Wind in which a critic accuses John Huston’s veteran director Jake Hanaford of borrowing from other filmmakers. “It’s alright to borrow from one another, what we must never do is borrow from ourselves,” is his sage-like response. I’m not sure I agree with Hanaford, as filmmakers often mature by returning to themes and ideas they explored earlier in their career, developing them with newfound experience. After all, if a carpenter makes the same chair every day for a year, chances are the last chair he fashions will be be more finely crafted than the first.... READ ON

Now that more women are venturing into and being granted more opportunities in filmmaking than ever before, one of the joys for cinephiles is seeing fresh female takes on previously masculine dominated genres. Is there any more macho genre than the gangster drama? The milieu Swedish writer/director Isabella Eklöfhas has chosen it for her feature debut, Holiday. In gangster movies, women have generally either been relegated to background eye candy at worst or Lady Macbeth figures at best. Eklöf takes a gangster’s moll and places her front and centre in this uncompromising and provocative character study.... READ ON

In a self-referential nod to his controversial 2002 thriller Irreversible, Gaspar Noé opens his latest mindfuck, Climax, with the film’s final scene and closing credits. We then cut to an extended Haneke-esque sequence in which the individual members of a multi-cultural French dance troupe are seen discussing their enthusiasm for an upcoming Stateside dance competition on an old boxy TV screen (the movie is set in 1996, likely to avoid the plot hassles that cellphones notoriously cause horror filmmakers). Arranged beside the TV set is a pile of VHS tapes, the spines hinting at Noé’s influences (Argento, Buñuel, Fulci, Pasolini, Zulawski). They also act as a sly warning of the horrors to come - the primary coloured slaughter of dancers (Suspiria); floors splashed with bodily secretions (Salò); a miscarriage/interpretive dance performance (Possession); a blade dragged across human flesh (Un Chien Andalou).... READ ON

For every rock and roll band from New Jersey that becomes a household name, there’s a band full of people working day jobs and holding onto the dream of success.  One such band is Splooge out of Union County.  Their story is told in the documentary One Step Back: The Rock & Roll Odyssey of Splooge by Peter Ventrella.  The film was released in January as a video-on-demand rental through iTunes, Amazon Instant Video and Google Play as well as on DVD through the film’s website.  ... READ ON

2019 United States Super 8 Film + DV Festival takes place this weekend at Rutgers University!... READ ON

United States Super 8 Film + DV Festival Celebrates 31st Anniversary!... READ ON

Kathleen Dougherty Huxley’s documentary Vermont Fancy Premieres at the 2019 New Jersey Film Festival on Sunday, February 10.  ... READ ON

Emily Kassie’s important documentary A Girl Named C Premieres at the New Jersey Film Festival on Saturday, February 9, 2019!... READ ON

New Jersey Film Festival Premieres Two Documentaries by Princeton Filmmakers on Friday, February 8, 2019! ... READ ON

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