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American New Wave 25: Liza Johnson

There was once a time when folk in the film business stayed away from anything that was war-themed, but then some unique insight (The Messenger, The Hurt Locker) started to trickle in and I wouldn’t say that the business is more receptive to the idea, but there appears to be a lot of room for unconventional exposes focusing on the apres war syndromes. I think we’ll soon be adding Return to this list.

There was once a time when folk in the film business stayed away from anything that was war-themed, but then some unique insight (The Messenger, The Hurt Locker) started to trickle in and I wouldn’t say that the business is more receptive to the idea, but there appears to be a lot of room for unconventional exposes focusing on the apres war syndromes. I think we’ll soon be adding Return to this list. Sometimes places don’t change but the people do, Liza Johnson‘s short film filmography in the past decade as examined this and the flip-side as well and you could advance the notion that she’s interested in the rapport that people have with their built environment. With this in mind, I’d say I’m even more enthusiastic about the Cinereach funded, Sundance Lab work-shopped project when Johnson recently mentioned to IndieWIRE that she’ll be fitting her combat stressed lead character with films such as Haynes’ Safe and Cassavetes’ A Woman Under the Influence in mind, as it’s “about strong female protagonists who don’t quite fit in with their world”.

American New Wave 25: Liza Johnson IONCINEMA.com

Filmmaker Magazine recently got some insight the kind of career path that Johnson has chosen for herself. Simultaneously working as Associate Professor and as an artist and filmmaker, Johnson impressive road map looks like this: she has exhibited internationally in museums, galleries, and film festivals, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Walker Art Center, and the Centre Pompidou, as well as the New York (2006’s South of Ten), Berlin (2009’s In the Air) , and Rotterdam Film Festivals. When filming begins this fall, she might be looking to visit other destinations such as Venice’s Lido, downtown Toronto’s TIFF in 2011 or Park City in 2012.

 
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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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