“The theories and films of the New Latin American Cinema [of the 60s and 70s] float free from their origins, not as museum pieces, but as interlocutors of the here and now,” writes Albert Elduque, introducing Cinema Comparative Cinema No. 9. “That is why in this issue we wanted to ask how effective these texts and films are today, how they can help us to think about our present, and how this present illuminates them and gives them a new energy.” First, three documents:
- “Revolution,” a 1979 text by Jorge Sanjinés.
- Glauber Rocha for Cahiers du cinéma in 1967: “Tricontinental—auteur cinema, political cinema, against cinema, all this is guerrilla cinema; in its origins, it is savage and imprecise, romantic and suicidal, but it will become epic/didactic.”
- Jean-Luc Godard‘s 1969 interview with Fernando Solanas, co-director of The Hour of the Furnaces (1968).
- Cristina Alvares Beskow with Bolivian filmmaker Jorge Sanjinés.
- Carolina Sourdis with Eryk Rocha, director of Cinema Novo (2016).
- And Albert Elduque with Cezar Migliorin, regarding Inventar com a Diferença (Invent with Difference), a project to teach cinema in Brazilian schools.
- Moira Fradinger, “Reading Latin American Third Cinema manifestos today.”
- Maria Alzuguir Gutierrez on cine imperfecto: “The purpose is also to overcome the division of labor: the search is for a cinema that can be created by everyone, leaving behind the author/viewer separation.”
- Raquel Schefer on “the return of the newsreel.”
- A 2004 piece by the late José Carlos Avellar: “Let’s imagine that Brazilian films, beyond the stories, told in each of them, all say together that we possess a fragmented vision of ourselves.:
And two book reviews, Bruno Hachero Hernández on Killer Images. Documentary Film, Memory and the Performance of Violence, a collection edited by Joram Ten Brink and Joshua Oppenheimer, and Alan Salvadó Romero on Javier Maqua: más que un cineasta (Javier Maqua: More Than a Filmmaker), “coordinated and compiled” by Alejandro Montiel, Javier Moral, and Fernando Canet.
“One might assume that Godard’s reluctance to publicize his activity as a producer—which includes the absence of any on-screen credit—stems, at least in part, from a desire not to have hundreds of scripts sent to him in Rolle,” writes Jonathan Rosenbaum, introducing five letters JLG sent to Rob Tregenza with regard to the American filmmaker’s Inside/Out (1997), “which includes two actors from For Ever Mozart in its cast, Frédéric Pierrot and Bérangère Allaux.”
At Streamline, R. Emmet Sweeney launches a series of entries on films by Jean Renoir. “First up is the hypnagogic melodrama Whirlpool of Fate (the original French title is La Fille de l’eau, The Girl in the Water, 1925), starring his Gloria Swanson-worshipping wife Andree Heuschling (using the screen name Catherine Hessling). Though he received a co-directing credit on 1924′s Catherine (aka Backbiters), Fate is the first film where he had complete control, and he used it to experiment with a range of tones and techniques, from poetic realism to flights of expressionist fancy.” The latest in Mark Harris‘s “Cinema ’67 Revisited” series is up at Film Comment:
Welcome to one of the funniest, saddest, most brittle and brutal American comedies ever made about the long, long road of wedded ambivalence, with Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn as your unassailably glamorous guides. Stanley Donen’s Two for the Road, an alternately sweet and wrenching set of scenes from a marriage was one of the first unsuitable-for-children movies ever to play at Radio City Music Hall (alongside “a salute to the Canadian Centennial and the opening of Expo 67”!). The film was not taken as the act of épater-la-bourgeoisie rebellion that many of 1967’s more famous movies were felt to embody, but the sting of Frederic Raphael’s Oscar-nominated screenplay is as acute as any movie of the era, and the sophistication of its structure remains remarkable.
At the Talkhouse Film, Tyler Hubby, director of the documentary Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present, looks back on working with his mentors: David Fincher, George Kuchar, Curtis Harrington, and, of course, Tony Conrad. “Where for The Outsiders , [Francis Ford] Coppola took a lush, emotive, romantic approach replete with allusions to Gone with the Wind (a favorite movie of one of its characters), with Rumble Fish  he went about finding himself in a different way,” writes Glenn Kenny for Criterion. “Perhaps surprisingly for a nonqueer filmmaker, Coppola in both of these films seems attuned to the specific longing inherent in queer cinematic iconography. It is the longing of the outsider, the longing that keeps its secrets while knowing no boundaries.”
Richard Brody on Leo Hurwitz’s Strange Victory (1948)
Joel Schumacher’s Falling Down (1993) “is, on the surface, about how much a single human can take before he loses it,” writes April Wolfe in the LA Weekly. “But underneath the clever quips and expensive explosions, this film is a prediction of what the 90s would birth: Toxic, indiscriminate white male rage and what would become the Fox News generation.” Christopher Sharrett goes long—and even argues the case for going long—in his latest piece for Film International: “At first I thought of titling this piece something close to ‘The Function of Criticism at the Present Time,’ [Matthew] Arnold’s famous essay. Although I agree totally with the essence of Arnold’s famous essay, especially his argument that criticism culturally enriches a frequently narrow society, I decided to nick [F.R.] Leavis’s ‘The Function of Criticism at Any Time.’ (Leavis would be mortified by my insertion of the word ‘film,’ which he saw merely as a symptom of an impoverished ‘popular culture.’) Arnold’s concerns, at the Victorian moment, while relevant to ours (especially his desire for enriching world culture), seem wildly out of place in a culture so impoverished, lacking in his sensibility (or any sensibility?).” “Something troubling is happening in the film world in Albania,” writes Mark Cousins in the new issue of Sight & Sound, a piece now published by Film Quarterly. “Some weeks ago, the country’s Institute for Communist Crimes proposed that films from the country’s communist-era (1946-1991) should be banned from television. They argued that screening movies made during these 45 years would encourage nostalgia for the old Enver Hoxha regime which was, of course, an oppressive dictatorship in many ways. Its labor camps and prisons were places of terror. Many were murdered because of their political dissent or non-conformism. But banning the estimated 200 films made by the Albanian Film Institute from 1945 and then the Kinostudio from 1952 would be a counter-productive way to deal with the wounds of the past.” “The unsettling power of [Olivier Assayas‘s] Personal Shopper lies in its suggestion that the life we share with objects is a life led among the dead,” writes Francey Russell for the Los Angeles Review of Books. “He’s both prankster and willful iconoclast, and his films have always thrived on the tension between chaos and control, where he has sought to defy and disrupt what he regards as conformist norms of filmmaking.” For the BFI, Amy Simmons presents a primer on Lars von Trier.
The Hollywood Reporter‘s Stephen Galloway has a new book out, Leading Lady: Sherry Lansing and the Making of a Hollywood Groundbreaker, a biography of the former Paramount CEO whose career includes appearing in Howard Hawks‘s Rio Lobo (1970) and heading up production at 20th Century Fox. She’s also married to William Friedkin. THR‘s posted two excerpts from Galloway’s book, the first on how the controversial ending to Adrian Lyne’s Fatal Attraction (1987) came about, the second detailing how James Cameron’s Titanic (1997) nearly fell apart. For Signature, Lisa Rosman has a lively conversation with Lansing. Sample question: “But did you have to transition into thinking of yourself as a feminist?” Philip Concannon talks with Katell Quillévéré about her “intelligent, graceful and emotionally rich” film, Heal the Living. For Flicker Alley, Sarah Bastin interviews Kate Saccone, Project Manager of the Women Film Pioneers Project at Columbia University and author of the booklet essay for Early Women Filmmakers: An International Anthology. “This is very dangerous. I’ve never interviewed Mommy.” Kate Hudson opens a conversation with Goldie Hawn. Also in the Interview, Jessica Chastain calls up Emma Watson. Stephen Garrett gets Martin Scorsese and Ben Wheatley talking about Free Fire. Also for Rolling Stone, David Fear talks with Justin Simien and two stars of his Netflix show, Dear White People, Logan Browning, and Brandon P. Bell.
Q&A with Robert Townsend and Keenen Ivory Wayans following a 30th-anniversary screening of Hollywood Shuffle
Piers Handling, director of the Toronto International Film Festival, lists his “100 Best Canadian Films”—in chronological order. For the BFI, Mark Kermode writes up “50 personal viewing recommendations, from great classics to overlooked gems.” And Esquire gathers lists of favorites written over the years by Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, Quentin Tarantino, Edgar Wright, Guillermo del Toro, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, and Steve McQueen.
IN OTHER NEWS
The jury is set for the 70th Cannes Film Festival (May 17 through 28): Pedro Almodóvar (president), Maren Ade, Jessica Chastain, Fan Bingbing, Agnès Jaoui, Park Chan-wook, Will Smith, Paolo Sorrentino, and composer Gabriel Yared. Speaking of Maren Ade, Toni Erdmann has six Lolas, the German Film Awards, including best director and screenwriter, “a best-actor honor for Peter Simonischek, best actress for Sandra Hüller and the prize for best editing, for Heike Parplies,” reports Scott Roxborough for the Hollywood Reporter.
Chvrches, “Down Side of Me,” directed by Kristen Stewart
“The 52nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (June 30 – July 8) will present a Crystal Globe for outstanding contribution to world cinema to British director Ken Loach,” reports Tom Grater for Screen. “The award will be shared with his long-time screenwriter Paul Laverty…. Karlovy Vary will also celebrate the work of composer James Newton Howard, whose credits include Pretty Woman, The Sixth Sense, Batman Begins, and all four parts of The Hunger Games franchise.” And from Screen‘s Jeremy Kay: “Cinematographer Frederick Elmes will receive the AFI’s 2017 Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal.” Deadline‘s Dominic Patten has the latest on Roman Polanski‘s “latest attempt to return to the U.S. and not face more jail time.” Christian Lorentzen will write a regular film column for the New Republic.
New York. “Harold and Lillian Michelson’s names may not sound familiar, but you’ve most likely seen their work in West Side Story, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Birds, among many other films,” writes Monica Castillo in the New York Times. “Harold, the storyboard artist husband, and Lillian, the film researcher wife, were a prolific team whose careers are being profiled in Daniel Raim’s documentary Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story.”
In 2015, Glenn Kenny wrote for Vanity Fair that the doc “blends professional lore and wonkiness with a terrifically moving human story.” It’s at the Quad Cinema now and rolls out across the nation throughout the summer. Meantime, the “Film Society of Lincoln Center and Istituto Luce Cinecittà have announced the complete lineup for the 17th edition of Open Roads: New Italian Cinema, June 1-7.” Los Angeles. With Hollywood and Holy Wood: Silent Cinema Connections Between Los Angeles and Japan on through tomorrow, the UCLA Film & Television archive’s Jennifer Rhee talks with series curator Daisuke Miyao. And tomorrow, the American Cinematheque will be screening Robert Wiene‘s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) and Hans Werckmeister’s Algol (1920) at the Egyptian. “The sets of both movies were designed by the same set designer, Walter Reimann, whose works can still be seen as an important influence in today’s cinema,” writes Désirée Hostettler. Boston. For Boston Reel, Sean Burns writes up six movies screening at the Independent Film Festival Boston running through Wednesday.
IN THE WORKS
“One of the biggest comedies of the 1990s, Roseanne, is making a comeback,” reports Deadline‘s Nellie Andreeva. “I hear an eight-episode limited series revival of the hit ABC blue-collar family comedy is in the works with the key cast members reprising their roles, including Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, and Sara Gilbert, with Laurie Metcalf and others in the process of joining them.”
Jia Zhangke’s historical epic IN THE QING DYNASTY, to be produced by Johnnie To, will have action by Ching Siu Tung. pic.twitter.com/LZsHboTw54
— Asian Film Strike (@AsianFilmStrike) April 27, 2017