Animation’s Forgotten Pioneer, Lotte Reiniger

Animation’s Forgotten Pioneer, Lotte Reiniger By Claire Graman Here’s a bit of trivia for you: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937) wasn’t the first animated feature-length film. Animation’s forgotten pioneer, Lotte Reiniger, almost single-handedly made the most notable early animated film. In 1926, Reiniger created The Adventures of Prince Achmed. She based the film on 1,001 …

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NaNoWriMo: Your Creative Writing Journey

National Novel Writing Month: NaNoWriMo By Claire Graman When I was a teen, I would come home from school, eat an enormous snack, and embark on a journey to a fantasy world, retreating to my room where I would write stories on my laptop. Writing always made me feel inspired, empathetic, and powerful. Yet I …

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Halloween Special – Women and Horror Films

By Claire Graman We have a Halloween Special for today’s blog post: Women and Horror Films!   Love ‘em or hate ‘em, horror films have been hugely important to the history and art of cinema, from Nosferatu (1922) to Psycho (1960) to The Blair Witch Project (1999). But what you may not know is how many …

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A Profile of Niki Caro

Whale Rider to Mulan – A Profile of Niki Caro New Zealand-born Niki Caro caught the world’s attention in 2002 with her first major film, Whale Rider. The film tells the story of a Maori girl who defies her grandfather in her quest to become the next leader of her village, a role traditionally reserved …

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Chloe Zhao – A Profile

Chloe Zhao – A Profile By Claire Graman I have a dark secret I never discuss in polite company: I don’t like superhero films. However, I’m looking forward to Marvel’s upcoming film Eternals, and it’s all because of its amazing director: Chloe Zhao. Chloe Zhao (Zhao Ting), born in Beijing, China in 1982, attended high …

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Edith Head

Clothes Make the (Wo)man: Three Incredible Costume Designers and Their Mark on Film

By Claire Graman Whenever I teach a film class, I make sure to question students’ ideas of what a filmmaker is. We’re all familiar with auteur theory – the idea that the director controls what the film looks like. And there’s an element of truth to that. Directors oversee everything, and they have the final …

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Takuzo Sakane, Japanese woman filmmaker

Japanese Filmmaker Tazuko Sakane

  A Profile of Japanese Filmmaker Tazuko Sakane By Claire Graman I love Japanese film, from Akira Kurosawa’s samurai dramas to Satoshi Kon’s mind-bending anime. One of the earliest Japanese films, A Page of Madness (1926), a silent film with no intertitles, blew my mind when I saw it in college. Even cult classics like …

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Maya Deren

A Lesson from Maya Deren

By Claire Graman The quarantine has affected filmmaking. For aspiring filmmakers, as well as established ones, times are bleak. With stalled productions and delayed releases, cinema seems the most fragile it’s ever been. Particularly when you’re stuck at home, the idea of making a film is daunting. Yet constraints can often spark creativity. One of …

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