Tag Archives: Columbia University

In Memory of Milena Jelinek

We lost our beloved Columbia Film colleague Milena Jelinek to the coronavirus. Click below to read the lovely tribute to this wonderful woman in the New York Times.

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Classics of “New Queer Cinema”

In 1992, Fine Line had five films at Sundance, but by complete accident, two of those films put us in the middle of the conversation about what had just been dubbed “New Queer Cinema” by film historian and critic Ruby … Continue reading

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“Diva,” The Unexpected Hit

When people in the movie business talk about unexpected results, they are usually talking about sure-fire hits that ended up not working. Every once in a while the opposite is true. Such was the case with “Diva.” The first time … Continue reading

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sex lies and a volunteer driver

It was 1989. I had recently set up shop as a marketing and distribution consultant, having parted ways with Cinecom and was heading to Sundance. In those days, the festival paid for film execs to attend; in return I would … Continue reading

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John Sayles and the Indie Film Movement

Independent film began the day motion pictures were invented. In fact all films were independent until a Mr. Edison decided he was going to scoop up all the patents and try to control the fledgling business. And throughout the history … Continue reading

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A Punk-Rock Musical from Australia?

When I think about what kind of films would be made if the business were truly washed of its male bias, one filmmaker who always pops into my mind is Gillian Armstrong. Her films are all over the map in … Continue reading

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Screw the Title, See the Movie

Sarah Kernochan’s “All I Wanna Do” (as it is currently known) is a movie that I’m incredibly proud of, for all the reasons that attracted me to the project to begin with. It was a very personal story, from an … Continue reading

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“Ball in the House” – A Lost Film Worth Rediscovery

In my Business of Film class at Columbia, I’ve talked for many years about how unforeseeable events can affect the success or failure of a film in the marketplace. I’ve seen and worked on many films that would be examples … Continue reading

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“A Woman Under The Influence” and the Beginnings of a Career

John Cassavetes is commonly referred to as the Godfather of Independent Film. While independent filmmakers existed from the moment the medium was invented, Cassavetes pioneered the inside/outside model that became more common in later years—that model being, he made money … Continue reading

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Onward…

Today is my last day as Chair of the Film Program at Columbia University. It’s been a great four years and I’m very proud of our accomplishments over that time. The end of my chairmanship should not be much of … Continue reading

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