If you weren’t among the Maryland Film Festival-goers who caught the premiere of Matthew Porterfield’s “Sollers Point” last week, you’re in luck. The film kicks off a three-week run at The Parkway tonight, and both Porterfield and the movie’s lead actor, McCaul Lombardi, will be on hand to discuss their work.
Tag: matthew porterfield
Porterfield’s ‘Sollers Point,’ ‘The Land Before Time’ among first announced picks for Maryland Film Festival
Hometown filmmaker Matthew Porterfield’s “Sollers Point” and the 1988 animated dinosaur adventure “The Land Before Time” are among the first four announced films that will screen at the Maryland Film Festival early next month.
Also in the lineup: “I, Olga Hepnarová,” a Czech film hand-picked by local filmmaker John Waters about a woman who mowed down 20 people with a truck in Prague in 1973; and “A Page of Madness,” the 1926 silent Japanese film about a man trying to free his wife from an asylum, which will be live-scored by the Alloy Orchestra.
This year, the Maryland Film Festival is the biggest it’s ever been: more nights, more movies, more advance tickets sold. From May 8 – 12, Baltimore will play host to around 50 of the most exciting domestic and international feature films and around 80 shorts, shown in screening packages according to genre.
The festival’s programming director, Eric Hatch, used his Facebook page to publish an FAQ for the event, giving tips on ticketing policy and alerting cinephiles to the Maryland-centric films playing this year — which include the Baltimore-based documentaries 12 O’Clock Boys and If We Shout Loud Enough.
Baltimore filmmaker Matt Porterfield’s third film, I Used to Be Darker (which we’ve written about here and here ) won a rave review from New Yorker film blogger Richard Brody, who picked it as one of the “Three Excellent Sundance Films” he reviewed this week. Brody praised the film for its “clear sense of place” (Baltimore!) and its use of music. I Used to Be Darker and two other films are “major cinematic events.” As far as blurbs go, that’s not bad at all.
By now, you’ve probably seen him on TV, heard him give a speech, read his book, or read about his book. Wes Moore, the Baltimore native/Rhodes Scholar/bestselling author, has been all over the place since the 34-year old published The Other Wes Moore to national acclaim — and, incidentally, a high-profile job with Oprah.
Congrats to Matt Porterfield, whose soon-to-be-released film, I Used to Be Darker, was just accepted to the Sundance Film Festival. Considering that Porterfield’s work was selected for the Whitney Biennial, snagged him the Sondheim Prize, and won him accolades from film reviewers in the New Yorker, we’re confident in proclaiming that the filmmaker has officially arrived.
It’s sad but true: when some people start making a name for themselves around Baltimore, they immediately decamp to New York. Not Matthew Porterfield, however; the Baltimore native and award winning filmmaker, who won the 2011 Sondheim Prize and was the first Baltimore artist to be selected for the prestigious Whitney Biennial, is still in town, teaching at Johns Hopkins and finishing up his newest film. Not only that, he’s also ensuring that plenty Baltimoreans — including some of his current and fellow students — will show up in the credits.
Too often, film courses give equal attention to theory and “theoretical practice.” Students are likely to leave knowing a lot about how to compose a shot, or keep to one side of the director’s line, but comparatively little about how loud and short a video needs to be to share a bill with rock bands, or how many Ikea china balls it takes to properly light a DIY green screen.
But this spring, video artist Jimmy Joe Roche is pioneering a class at Johns Hopkins that takes a realistic look at the practice of filmmaking. Baltimore Filmmakers will introduce students to fourteen “working video artists and filmmakers from Baltimore,” artists will be able to speak directly about the real obstacles to creating and screening work with budget and time constraints.
Guest filmmakers will include Sondheim finalist Stephanie Barber, local celebrity Matt Porterfield, Erin Gleeson and Ben O’Brien (makers of the internet puppet telelvision show Showbeast), and others.
Roche hopes the course will give students a “deeper connection to the community in which they live” and even get them thinking about “regionality” in video and film, a novel concept in an age when so much of the video art we interact with comes to us from the regionless internet.
The class will be held at Hopkins’ Homewood campus and is also open to MICA students.
A panhandler asks you for some change outside the 7-Eleven, and you don’t give. If he offered you a walk-on role in a film he’s making, or if he promised to tattoo your initials on his arm, would you be more likely to donate to the cause? Or what if he’s trying to raise $6 for a sandwich, and you pledge $1, with the caveat that if he doesn’t meet his goal in an hour you get your money back?
It might be not be a viable strategy for the homeless and hungry, but on Kickstarter, a website for artists seeking to fund their projects, the incentive and money-back guarantee model has been working. Higher pledge amounts bring more exciting incentives, and potential donors know that if the entire amount is not raised (which would imply that the project cannot be completed) they are not charged.
Baltimore’s own Matt Porterfield is using the fundraising website to partially finance his upcoming film (set entirely in Maryland) I Used to Be Darker. The Sondheim Prize winner is asking for $40k, 40 percent of the film’s total budget. Over $27,000 has already been pledged, but if he doesn’t make the difference by Saturday, then it’s all a bust.
For I Used to Be Darker, incentives range from a thank you credit in the film ($5 pledge) to a thank you credit tattooed on the writer-director’s arm ($10,000 pledge). Learn more about the film at the Kickstarter page.
I seriously believe that Amazon can chalk up at least 25 percent of its profits to the ease of the online impulse buy — you know, the way clicking on a button is so easy it doesn’t feel like you’re actually spending money.
Instead of feeling guilty about online spending sprees, why not balance them out with a little bit of impulsive online philanthropy via Kickstarter? It feels better, and it’s sometimes tax deductible!
If you’re not familiar with the site, it’s basically a funding platform that helps musicians, artists, filmmakers, and other creative types collect small (or large) donations. The creators set a funding goal — say, one or three or five thousand dollars — and try their hardest to raise that amount of money in a set amount of time. If they do, all is well; if they can’t get enough pledges, however, the money goes back to the donors — so you don’t need to worry about donating money for a project that never goes anywhere.
Plenty of Baltimore artists have used the site to make things happen in recent months. The Copycat Theatre’s Rooms Play, one of the highlights of this year’s Transmodern Festival, raised $5,343 from 103 different backers. Some local projects that haven’t reached their goals yet include:
- Matt Porterfield’s new film, I Used to Be Darker, needs $40,000 by August 13. They’re 40 percent of the way there. If you donate at least $5, you get thanked in the film’s closing credits!
- The Pleasure Collective plans to support young writers by printing a monthly lit mag and quarterly books