We’ve got a relatively New York-centric roundup today, with fresh announcements from the NYFF and a major Hawks retrospective opening tomorrow. First, though, the New York Times has rolled out its fall preview, which normally wouldn’t nab the top spot with so much else going on, but this year, the paper’s gone all out. Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott not only interview the Coen brothers, they also present a media-tastic feature, “20 Directors to Watch.” Interviews, profiles, and the gist of it all is this: “We are living in a time of cinematic bounty. In multiplexes and beyond, movie lovers have a greater, more dizzying variety of choices—and of screens, large and small—than at any time in history.”
The 20: Pablo Larraín, Yorgos Lanthimos, Joachim Trier, Sarah Polley, Matias Piñeiro, J.C. Chandor, Benh Zeitlin, Na Hong-jin, Andrew Haigh, Maren Ade, Malik Bendjelloul, Lixin Fan, Mia Hansen-Love, and, contributing original videos to the NYT, Dee Rees, Andrew Bujalski, Corneliu Porumboiu, Terence Nance, Alison Klayman, Sebastián Silva, and Barry Jenkins.
The news. The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced the complete lineup for the 17th edition of Views from the Avant-Garde, featuring “35+ programs in glorious Super-8, 16 mm and 35mm film and HD formats. Many familiar faces will return, and VIEWS will also feature 45 new artists and several mini-retrospectives of several of these artists including, Aura Satz, Lois Patiño, Sandro Aguilar, and Jean-Paul Kelly. Views will also offer special tributes to the late Stom Sogo and Anne Robertson whose work is a testimony to the power of a Cinema that is fearless, confidential and inextinguishable.”
What’s more, this year’s New York Film Festival “will serve as a launching pad for a sweeping retrospective of films by French New Wave master Jean-Luc Godard that will begin midway through NYFF51 and continue through the end of October. In addition, the festival will commemorate the 20th anniversary of Richard Linklater‘s seminal indie Dazed and Confused with an evening featuring soon-to-be-announced special guests.”
The Vancouver International Film Festival is rolling out the lineup for this year’s edition, running from September 26 through October 11. As usual, the Dragons & Tigers series looks especially inviting.
New York. With The Complete Howard Hawks opening tomorrow at the Museum of the Moving Image and running through November 10—it really is the complete Hawks—Moving Image Source is running an expansive overview of “some of the key themes and motifs” by Imogen Smith. Time Out New York is taking a similar approach, albeit more succinctly: David Fear on women in Hawks’s films, Joshua Rothkopf on talking fast in the comedies, and Keith Uhlich on the “hang-out” tales of Hawks’s later years.
Godard’s “determination to seemingly undermine every tone, and thus emotion, that he establishes in his films is rarely just an instance of contemptuous experimentation or gamesmanship, as the sadness of the inability to express emotion without ironic pop-cultural tethering is the grounding emotion,” writes Chuck Bowen in Slant. “This sadness abounds in Contempt , which presented Godard the opportunity to create a gorgeous CinemaScope movie paradise of sin and spiritual and physical dilapidation.” Contempt opens today at Film Forum, where it’ll be screening through September 19. For more new critical takes, see Critics Round Up.
Also opening today at Film Forum is Alexander Sokurov‘s Russian Ark (2002), a “smooth voyage” through Saint Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum that “comes to seem like a dream play, suspended painlessly in time,” as Aaron Cutler puts it in the Voice. More from Tynan Kogane (Cinespect) and Joshua Rothkopf (TONY, 5/5). Through Thursday.
London and Dublin. John Akomfrah’s The Stuart Hall Project, a tribute to the critic and New Left Review founder, is “a montage of existing documentary footage and Hall’s own words and thoughts on film,” writes the Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw. “It has an idealism and high seriousness that people might not immediately associate with the subject Hall pioneered: cultural studies.” Opening today in London and Dublin, the Project will be making its way around the Isles over the next two months. More from Ashley Clark (Sight & Sound), Dave Calhoun (Time Out, 4/5), and David Gritten (Telegraph, 3/5).
Reading. In the new Brooklyn Rail, Karen Rester interviews experimental filmmaker Lynne Sachs, Gregory Zinman remembers Jud Yalkut, and Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa reviews Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme’s Le Joli Mai (1963).
In the Nation, Joshua Clover looks back on two summer movies, Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down: “The game is rigged, and the final card the films turn over is never one of real political struggle—as if to reassure us that the most ambitious ideas of how the world could be different will be revealed as venal and self-interested, the maddest militant still somehow a rational actor from a Chicago School of Economics textbook.” What’s more, the happy endings are about nothing other than getting a job.
Via Catherine Grant and Girish Shambu comes word that we can freely read the introductory chapter of Richard Rushton‘s forthcoming book, The Politics of Hollywood Cinema: Popular Film and Contemporary Political Theory.
A paper, for free: Robert C. Power on “The Wire and Alternative Stories of Law and Inequality.”
Francis Ford Coppola’s Twixt and Brian De Palma’s Passion have sparked disparate verdicts from Dennis Cozzalio, While he notes that “regardless of their uneven quality as art, Coppola’s late films have hardly been complacent,” as for De Palma, “with Passion, the director seems to have succumbed to the sort of tone-deaf indifference The Black Dahlia, as awful and misguided as it was, could only hint at.”
“I never believed a day would come when there would be people in this country who did not know who Jack Benny was.” For Criterion, Stephen Winer has a great piece on why, for “Jack (true fans refer to him only by his first name), peerless in every other medium, film was a problem. At least it was until he met Ernst Lubitsch.”
In the Japan Times, Mark Schilling profiles Masahiro Kobayashi, whose Japan’s Tragedy (review: four out of five stars) is a black-and-white story of an attempted slow-motion suicide also addresses the plight of “millions who struggle to make ends meet with tiny pension and welfare payments or part-time and temporary work.”
‘In the works’: a remix
In the works. On the eve of The Fifth Estate‘s premiere in Toronto, we learned of future projects for both director and star. Variety‘s Diana Lodderhose reports that Bill Condon will direct Ian McKellen, who’ll play Sherlock Holmes in A Slight Trick of the Mind, based on the novel by Mitch Cullin. And Benedict Cumberbatch is in negotiations to take the lead in James Gray’s Lost City of Z—Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr. has details.
Rie Rasmussen will remake David Cronenberg’s Shivers (1975), reports Variety‘s Dave McNary. And Tommy Lee Jones is planning to write and direct a remake of Mark Rydell’s The Cowboys, the 1972 western featuring John Wayne. Variety‘s Justin Kroll reports.
“Olga Kurylenko and Vincent Cassel are set to square off in Stephen Campanelli’s action thriller Momentum,” reports John Hopewell for Variety. “Morgan Freeman and Shea Whigham co-star.”