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Aaron Hunt

Aaron Hunt

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SXSW Free Fire Cast/Crew Red Carpet Interviews

A24's Free Fire brought its U.S Premiere to South By Southwest. Anarchic Writer/Director Ben Wheatley (High-Rise, Kill List, A Field In England) and cast, Armie Hammer (The Social Network, Lone Ranger) & (the insane) Sharlto Copley (District 9, Chappie), were in attendance. And the film's promotional presence was appropriately subversive. Press had the opportunity to barbecue with Armie and paintball with Sharlto at the explosive 'Stunt Ranch' which featured plenty other daredevil diversions. 

The Q&A's on either end were no less distinct. Ben will shoot a dumb question down with his deadpan shorthand, Sharlto with his charming abrasiveness, and Armie with his cool formality. The laughter provoked through the film persisted into the Q&A. 

But before things got too rowdy, I was able to talk with Ben a second time (the first a discussion on High-Rise) and with Armie Hammer for the first, about their creative approach to my favorite film of the fest. 

Writer/Director/Star || Ana Asensio || on || Most Beautiful Island || SXSW'17 Best Narrative Feature

Ana Asensio writes, directs, and stars in this formally astute exercise in anxiety and release. It settles on one woman's hustle, Luciana, from Spain, but acknowledges the plight of other NYC women who have migrated from their home countries for all their own reasons. Luciana, financially broke, and shattered by a past guilt that may have drawn her here, wanders Manhattan utterly vulnerable and desperate to make it. 

The wrong kinds of people, or perhaps just equally desperate people, take notice and use her to their advantage. Ana draws much of Luciana's struggle in  Most Beautiful Island (SXSW’17 Narrative Feature Competition Winner) from her own experience, which is at least identical emotionally. 

And for a directorial debut, what a mastery of form. Every aesthetic decision has been premeditated, and every seemingly arbitrary action and pattern holds their own arc and emotional reflection. 

In our discussion, I acknowledge some of these patterns. Ana elaborates.

Toby Oliver ACS || Get Out || Interview

Get Out, a genre sleeper hit rightfully boasted as having spawned ‘From the mind of Jordan Peele’, has seized online review aggregators & the box office as its own. Making back ($33.4m), already, nearly 6 times its budget ($4.5m) in its debuting weekend, Get Out looks to grow in the comings weeks and has, as of March 3rd amassed a $57.8 million gross revenue. Careers have been secured.

Sean Porter D.P || 20th Century Women || Interview

Sean Porter photographed two of my favorite films of 2016. Released first was Green Room, a brutal siege horror exercise, which we talked about earlier in the year, and the other is 20th Century Women, which, during comparison, he describes as “a coming of age, sun-drenched, family dramedy”. They could not be more different. Although, in terms of his approach to exposure, are relatively same. Sean deflates the conceptual stigma surrounding a fluid, less controlled set (and their practical limitations) and brings to light their ability to let intuition breathe. 

M. David Mullen ASC || The Love Witch || Interview

The Love Witch has promptly become requisite sustenance for cinephiles. As the obligatory end of the year lists come churning out, you’d be damned if you didn’t catch The Love Witch on most of them. It’s made the Best of 2016 lists of  the New Yorker, Timeout, L.A Weekly, Sheila O’Malley (of rogerebert.com), Rottentomatoes 100 Best Horror Films of All Time, The Rolling Stones Best Horror Films of 2016,  The Thrillist’s sexiest movies of 2016, Filmschoolrejects Best movie Fashion/Best Movies of 2016, and Business Insider’s 24 Best Movies you probably haven’t seen this year, etc…. etc...

The Love Witch looks like film’s just aren’t able to anymore. It’s a glammed up homage to its Vistavision/Technicolor idols -- its flawless aesthetic is pivotal and helps ascend the label of a love letter. I talked with, and learned much, from its veteran cinematographer M. David Mullen ASC on The Love Witch’s production. 

Head Of Animation Hyrum Osmond And Story Artist David Derrick Jr on Disney's latest: Moana

Moana is the story of a young Polynesian heir ineffably drawn to the one thing that her community opposes: venturing out into the ocean, like the little mermaid was so drawn to land, like a monster to Boo, and like an ambitious rat was to the culinary arts. 

Moana Head of Animation Hyrum Osmand (Zootopia, Frozen, Wreck It Ralph, Tangled) and Story Artist David Derrick Jr. (How To Train Your Dragon, Flushed Away, Bee Movie) talked with the press in a roundtable before speaking to the visual arts students at the University of Denver. Tucked away in a corner of the university, David tapped into what made Moana so personal to him, allowing him to segue easily into the film’s themes of Polynesian ancestry and culture while Hyrum explored the unique challenges this particular film offered Disney’s elite animators. 

Green Room DP, Sean Porter, Discusses Adapting for the Narrative

Sean Porter, of the indie darlings Kumiko The Treasure Hunter, Eden, It Felt Like Loveand I go in depth on the technical and conceptual aspects of his latest hit Green Room’s cinematography. We discuss small details like T-Stops and Focal lengths, and broader intentions like visual arcs brought on literally, not just metaphorically, by the script.

Porter began his career in the midst of the digital revolution which allowed him to shoot on 35mm and 16 while toying with digital from the advent.

The Alchemist Cookbook D.P Adam J. Minnick on lensing the Hermit in the Woods

If you've had the privilege to see a film lensed by D.P Adam J. Minnick, you'd have recognized an eye disciplined by the story it's telling rather than by personal inclinations or some sybaritic style that steals from the story. Buzzard, was shot super raw and cold on a 5D, The Alchemist Cookbook was shot formally composed with a warm palllete on an Alexa, and Actor Martinez (US Premiering this April at Tribeca) was shot with Altman inspired slow zooms on a Red Epic Dragon. The aesthetic decisions and stories speak for his adaptability and understanding of the form. And, his latest release, The Alchemist Cookbook, which hit SXSW hard when it world premiered, has audiences, critics, and filmmakers predominately sitting on the 'loved it' side of its divisive disposition. 

We were fortunate to talk with the cinematographer on how the hell the team pulled it off.

John Michael Mcdonagh declares 'War On Everyone'

The Guard and Calvary were two of my favorite films to release in their respective years. Both reel with a jet black sense of humor and western style morality play with an emotionally ambiguous showdown in cessation. They also happen to be gorgeous, shot by Larry Smith (Gaffer/Chief electrician on Barry Lyndon/The Shining turned Only God Forgives/Bronson D.P) and composed in sickening symmetry. In short, I was ecstastic to meet the man behind it all, and his down to earth, silly, demeanor, ended up putting me at ease. John Michael McDonagh, talks about his third and bleakest feature film: War On Everyone. 

Writer/Director Joel Potrykus on his Genre Defying SXSW Splash: The Alchemist Cookbook

I was graced with the opportunity to talk shop on The Alchemist Cookbook, a SXSW gem that saturated all three of its screenings with starved festival foodies, with writer/director Joel Potrykus. Buzzfeed has genred it horror, but I'd be damned before I stuck the film a label. Joel and I talk a little about what happened behind the scenes on this divisive, unignorable beast, of a film. Take a look.

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