And now, for this week's Group Hug:
- Over at Deep Structure, Christopher John Stack is writing about his film, An Exercise in Vigilance, which will screen at the Action on Film International Film Festival in Long Beach, CA, which apparently runs to coincide with a big martial arts fest -- so all you action film fans who live in that area might want to check it out. An Exercise in Vigilance screens at the fest at theater 4, 5:30PM on Sunday. And just to be really nice and throw other filmmakers some love, Stack even has a breakdown of the sched for you right there on his site. Congrats to Stack on his film getting into the fest.
- Movie City Indie's Ray Pride has a fasciYnating interview up with filmmaker Usama Alshaibi, who in 2004 returned to his native Iraq to shoot a documentary titled Nice Bombs, which won a best doc prize at the 2006 Chicago Underground Film Festival.
- DVD Panache, which runs a regular bit called "Friday Screen Test," wherein various film bloggers are asked all sorts of questions -- kind a True Confessions for film geeks -- put my fave Amsterdam-based film blogger, Peet Gelderblom, to the test. What's Peet like when his feet are put to the fire? Well, he once saw Famke Jenssen's sister in her underwear, so I guess that makes him just one degree removed from Famke herself. Check it out, and if you don't read Peet's blog, Lost in Negative Space, already, hunker down with some french fries with mayo to give you that "Amsterdam feeling" and check him out.
- You gotta love a film site that calls itself Burbanked: All the Smug of Hollywood, in a Much Less Desirable Location. Alan Lopuszynski, who runs the site, posits the question: Can one scene make a movie a classic?
- Another of my regular blog reads, Strange Culture, almost always has something intriguing to check out. This week, RC has a post up about torture as it relates to -- ahem -- "unorthodox" and secret torture used by government officials in interrogations. How does this relate to film? Rendition, an upcoming film due out in October, starring a pretty impressive cast including Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Jake Gyllenhall, Alan Arkin and Peter Saarsgard. Check it out.
- Peter Nellhaus has a blog called Coffee, Coffee and More Coffee, where he writes about all kinds of interesting film-related stuff. Most recently, Peter has a great little DVD review of the 1960 film called Seven Thieves, complete with some nice black-and-white stills, and another more recent flick, 2004's The Taste of Tea.
- It's been a while since we checked in with NYC blog Blank Screen. Most recently, the Blank Screen folks have been interviewing Thumbsucker director Mike Mills (who's currently dating another indie-film darling, Miranda July -- now that's material for an indie flick!). Side note: They also have tons of info on what's going on in the arts in NYC; if you live there and don't have them bookmarked, what are you waiting for? Bookmark, already!