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A still from The Keepers courtesy of Netflix

5 Surprising Stories You Missed This Week From MovieMaker

Here are five stories you may have missed this week from us at MovieMaker — from Ethan Coen and Tricia’s Cooke’s lesbian road trip Drive-Away Dolls, to a new Sundance doc on how AI is changing the way we die, to HBO’s look back at the Y2K panic.

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1. Eternal You Doc Foresees Digital Immortality — But Do We Have a Choice?

There’s a fascinating and frightening new documentary about how AI is changing the way we mourn our loved ones — and even how we die — called Eternal You. It premieres this Saturday night at Sundance, and it might juts alter the way you think about death forever.

Directed by Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck, Eternal You offers a word of caution for everyone who plans on staying dead after they die: It may soon no longer be up to you.

Doing a deep dive into the digital afterlife industry, this fascinating and frankly unsettling documentary interviews the founders of new AI companies that peddle virtual immortality, and the people who use their services to simulate conversations with dead loved ones.

“I think we are currently experiencing a really transformational moment. For the first time, AI is penetrating areas reserved only for humans,” Block tells MovieMaker. “With it, there are lots of areas provoking dangerous harm. We need to talk about that, and that’s what we would like to show with our film.”

Read the full story here.

2. Our New Cover Story on the Lesbian Road-Trip Movie Drive Away Dolls

In our brand new Winter cover story about the new Lesbian road trip movie Drive Away Dolls, Joshua Encinias interviews directors Ethan Coen and Tricia Cooke.

Here’s an excerpt from the cover story:

The backstory of Drive-Away Dolls begins in the winter of 1989, when a recent New York University film grad named Tricia Cooke traveled to New Orleans and worked on the Coen brothers film Miller’s Crossing. 

Joel and Ethan Coen were already being recognized as masterful filmmakers for their noir debut Blood Simple and the delirious comedy Raising Arizona. But that’s not why Cooke went to New Orleans.

“I didn’t really know their work. I don’t think I’d seen Blood Simple. In fact, I remember, I was at NYU and Joel and Ethan came and screened Raising Arizona at NYU and all my friends were going,” says Cooke. “I was like, “No, I’m gonna go see Koyaanisqatsi.” 

She worked on a few movies in New York after graduating from film school, and someone happened to put in a good word for her with Miller’s production manager. 

“I didn’t go seeking the Coen brothers,” she explains. “I just went seeking a job.” 

Read the full story here.

3. The Best Places to Live and Work as a MovieMaker, 2024

If you’re a person who makes movies and you’re curious about what cities you can have a career in besides New York City and Los Angeles, we’ve got your back.

We just came out with our annual list of rankings for the big (and small) cities in the U.S. and Canada that offer the best environment, resources, artistic community, and tax incentives for working filmmakers.

Find a livable, affordable community with enough film, TV or commercial jobs to pay the bills — and with the lowest possible cost of living, the shortest possible commute, and the least general stress. Not so you can take it easy, but so you can focus your energy on making your own projects. 

Read the full list here to find out which city came in at #1.

4. Remember Y2K? That Was Almost Really, Really Bad

If you feel like reliving what it was like right before the millennium turned in 1999, HBO’s documentary Time Bomb Y2K takes you back in time by completely immersing audiences in the world of a quarter-century years ago.

It features not a single current interview, piece of voiceover narration, or modern perspective of any kind.

That decision by directors Brian Becker and Marley McDonald allowed them to start working on the project during the pandemic without any startup money, crew, cameras, or film equipment. They relied entirely on archival footage.

Watching this documentary will remind you — or if you weren’t alive then, show you — what every day life was like back in 1999. Nostalgia, anyone?

Read the full story here.

5. True Crime Fans, Some Recommendations For You!

If you like true-crime and you haven’t fully explored everything that Netflix has to offer, here are 13 of our favorite docuseries.

From the bone-chilling Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey that deep dives into the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to the surprisingly sympathetic and humanizing I Just Killed My Dad.

Read the full list here.

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