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Thanks For Waiting… We’re Back!

Dear Movie Lovers in General and Hammer to Nail Readers in Particular,

Please, please, pretty-please-with-crushed-up-Heath-bar-on-top, pleeeeeeeze forgive us for abandoning you over the course of these past two weeks. Now that I’ve heard the story behind our site’s meltdown—and when I say ‘meltdown’ I mean that literally—I am just happy that the freakish circumstances didn’t derail us completely.

There’s no need to get into things further, except to say that, sadly, none of the conspiracy theories I heard were true: warring factions within the HTN camp, a rogue panel-lover sabotaging the site after reading my TAKE-BACK Manifesto over on my indieWIRE blog, a bold boycotting of all things Tribeca Film Festival, etc. This was something that could have been avoided, but the way in which it wasn’t avoided had nothing to do with conscious ineptitude. It was (hopefully) a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

Without bothering to recount the events that have led us to this day, let me simply say that I’m happy today has come. Fear not, everyone. At Hammer to Nail, we are more committed than ever to pointing you in the direction of the most ambitious, worthwhile, and excellent cinema for the taking. To prove it, we are about to dive headfirst into a new design for the site, taking an approach that will make it even more enticing to you cinephiles while also recognizing those of you who have a more casual interest in movies and who are simply overwhelmed by all the options out there and want to know what to watch, whether it be in a movie theater, on television, on your computer, or on DVD.

And with that, let’s get to it. What better way to reestablish things than with filmmaker Alejandro Adams’s first report from the 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival. Adams gives his own pointed take on what he has referred to as “panelgate,” and he also recounts with sharp insight what it is to hear a philosofilmmaker like Walter Murch speak. Also, I played catch-up in posting weekly DVD reports from both April 20th and the 27th. April 20th was a particularly great week. If you haven’t seen any/all of those films, now you don’t have any excuse. Claire Denis’s 35 Shots of Rum is even streaming on Netflix Instant. Thank you, technology. Thank you, world.

Thanks for reading and please be sure to spread the word. We’re just getting started!

— Michael Tully

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Michael Tully is an award-winning writer/director whose films have garnered widespread critical acclaim, his projects having premiered at some of the most renowned film festivals across the globe. He is also the former (and founding) editor of this site. In 2006, Michael's first feature, COCAINE ANGEL, chronicling a tragic week in the life of a young drug addict, world premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. The film immediately solidified the director as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s "25 New Faces of Independent Film,” a reputation that was reinforced a year later when his follow-up feature, SILVER JEW, a documentary capturing the late David Berman's rare musical performances in Tel Aviv, world-premiered at SXSW and landed distribution with cult indie-music label Drag City. In 2011, Michael wrote, directed, and starred in his third feature, SEPTIEN, which debuted at the 27th annual Sundance Film Festival before being acquired by IFC Films' Sundance Selects banner. A few years later, in 2014, Michael returned to Sundance with the world premiere of his fourth feature, PING PONG SUMMER, an ‘80s set coming-of-age tale that was quickly picked up for theatrical distribution by Gravitas Ventures. In 2018, Michael wrote and directed the dread-inducing genre film DON'T LEAVE HOME, which has been described as "Get Out with Catholic guilt in the Irish countryside" (IndieWire). The film premiered at SXSW and was subsequently acquired by Cranked Up Films and Shudder.

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