The War You Don’t See by John Pilger.


 The War You Don’t See

“During World War One, 10% of all casualties were civilians. During World War Two, the number of civilian deaths rose to 50%. During the Vietnam War, 70% of all casualties were civilians. In the war in Iraq, civilians account for up to 90% of all deaths.”

— The War You Don’t See by John Pilger.

The War You Don’t See from John Pilger on Vimeo.

Monte Hellman


Monte Hellman


For those not familiar with his work, Monte Hellman may be one of best kept secrets of American independent cinema. Despite having made several remarkable films, he is rarely cited along with the better known authors of his generation.  This has thankfully been changing, most recently with him being awarded a special career prize at the Venice Film Festival in 2010.  Along with rereleases of his films by Criterion, which are helping reintroduce his films to a new generation.

With an almost free flowing lyrical style, unconventional narrative structure and minimalist aesthetic, his films offer an alternative perspective and challenge the Hollywood notion that story needs to be linear and formulaic to be satisfying.  Made with relatively modest means, they are also great examples of what cinema can be, even without a lot of money and maybe the artistic freedom it afords.

I had the chance to interview Mr. Hellman after the launch of his latest film, “Road to Nowhere”, a stylish neo-noir. While not my personal favorite of his films, it still shows a filmmaker ready to take chances and break new ground. 


Rebel filmmaker Monte Hellman, discusses his new film “Road to Nowhere”.

Los Angeles, 2011





THENEWCINEMA: You have stated in other interviews that “Road to Nowhere” is your first real Monte Hellman film.  Can you elaborate?

MONTE HELLMAN: It’s the first time I’ve been able to realize a project of my own, started by me, and created without any external attempts to influence.


TNC: How was working with the Canon 5D different compared to shooting on film? What were the biggest pros and cons, not just technically but creatively?

MH: Well… the biggest difference is, you can put the camera in places you can never put a normal film camera… I mean literally we would be in a booth in a bar and the camera would be taped to the wall in a place where you could never put a regular camera so it made it possible to use real locations in a way not possible with traditional means. I mean that’s one of the big advantages, the fact… that you can put the camera in places you normally couldn’t, and the other big advantage is you can shoot in the street and people don’t know that you’re making a movie.


TNC: Did it mean you were able to shoot without permits?

MH: Whenever we were actually shooting in L.A. or shooting in North Carolina, we had to have permits. You know, It was only with a few scenes that you go out with three people… but on a day to day basis you need to get the same permits you need to have the same number of people… it’s not very different.


Under the Skin (2013)


“Under the Skin”


Sadly so few films like this get made!!!



If you are interested in knowing more about how the film was made, check out the interview by David Cox for the Film4 Channel 





“You don’t start with the fewest parts… you are trying to distill to the fewest parts.  Simplicity is something you end with, you don’t start with it, you get to it if you are lucky.”


“The method and the narrative is the same thing.” 


Jonathan Glazer





Film4 Channel 

Goodbye to Language 3D (2014)

Posted:  December 3rd, 2014 - JEAN LUC GODARD, SPOTLIGHT

Jean Luc Godard does 3D sounds scary, but it is actually rather impressive. Although it has been years now, that he has all but given up trying to tell a stories with his films, often going to great lengths to simply give the finger to his audience. Even at his worst, he is still remarkable filmmaker and “Goodbye to Language” while not a remarkable story, is impressive in its use of 3D.  Despite his best attempts to be un-cinematic with annoyingly self-conscious dutch tilts and supposed anti-aesthetic camera placements, he can’t but make fascinating and hypnotic images as usual.  I would pass on this film in 2D, but in 3D it was quite an experience and worth the headache.

Drive (2011)

Posted:  September 26th, 2011 - SPOTLIGHT

Valhalla Rising (2009)

Posted:  September 26th, 2011 - SPOTLIGHT