The big, big, really, really big news of the day: The Venice Film Festival has posted the 70 shorts that 70 directors made for the Venezia 70 Future Reloaded project, celebrating, of course, the festival’s 70th anniversary. I’ve embedded a few here, but head to the Biennale di Venezia YouTube channel to see more by the likes of John Akomfrah, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Bernardo Bertolucci, Catherine Breillat, Atom Egoyan, Yorgos Lanthimos, Pablo Larraín, Brillante Mendoza, Nicolas Pereda, João Pedro Rodrigues, Paul Schrader, Ulrich Seidl, Todd Solondz, Sion Sono, Jean-Marie Straub, Athina Rachel Tsangari, and Wang Bing.
In other news. “Filmmakers Atom Egoyan, Alex Gibney, and Sarah Polley joined John Greyson’s sister, Cecilia Greyson, TIFF Lightbox head Noah Cowan and the writer Michael Ondaatje to represent the arts and filmmaking community’s plea to release filmmaker John Greyson and his friend Dr. Tarek Loubani from their holding cell in Egypt.” Bryce J. Renninger reports from Toronto for Indiewire.
Jonathan Demme’s Fear of Falling with Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory will see its world premiere at the Rome Film Festival, reports Variety‘s Nick Vivarelli: “The story of a famous architect increasingly caught up in his own fantasies, Fear of Falling is based on Gregory and Shawn’s contempo adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s play The Master Builder.”
Reading. Back in 2009, Jonathan Rosenbaum and James Naremore engaged in a lengthy conversation about the early work of Stanley Kubrick. That conversation never saw the light of day—until Rosenbaum published it at his site on Monday.
“The 1940s in Hollywood was an era of narrative innovation,” writes David Bordwell. “It gave us weird dream sequences and insane protagonists and subjective point of view and byzantine flashbacks and talking houses and complicated replays of action we thought we understood. While working on a book on this era, I’ve begun to wonder what the limits of innovation might be. What could make the boss tell the filmmaker that a particular narrative choice just went too far?” Also, Bordwell and Kristin Thompson report on last month’s Screenwriting Research Network International Conference.
Zach Campbell believes that Brad Stevens, in his latest column for Sight & Sound, paints himself into a “logical and rhetorical corner” when he, Stevens, argues that “good recent U.S. television doesn’t pass ‘the ultimate test, the test of time.'”
Just up at diagonal thoughts: Coco Fusco‘s 1988 interview with Black Audio Film Collective.
In Montages, Dag Sødtholt launches a sturdy defense of M. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water (2006), extensive enough to be broken into two lengthy parts. Also, Thor Joachim Haga interviews cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, who’s, of course, worked with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Brian De Palma, Woody Allen, and Robert Altman.
Take a look at Bright Wall/Dark Room Magazine.
In the works. “It has languished in Hollywood purgatory for well over a decade while directors of the calibre of David Cronenberg, Michael Winterbottom, and Shekhar Kapur have come and gone,” writes the Guardian‘s Ben Child. “But Martin Amis‘s most celebrated novel, London Fields, is finally due to begin shooting today in the British capital with a high-profile cast that includes Amber Heard, Billy Bob Thornton and Jim Sturgess. Guillermo del Toro protege Mathew Cullen will make his feature film debut on the project after cutting his teeth on commercials and music videos, as well as overseeing the prologue for the Mexican film-maker’s current blockbuster Pacific Rim.” Speaking of which, Joel Neville Anderson has a very nice appreciation of Del Toro’s bots vs. beasts movie in InVisible Culture.
“After years of struggling to make his Roger Corman biopic, The Man With Kaleidoscope Eyes, Joe Dante might finally be ready to go into production,” reports Vadim Rizov at the Dissolve. “His film centers on the production of Corman’s notorious 1967 LSD-centric drug flick The Trip. To prepare for production, Corman and his cast and crew retreated to Big Sur, where they traded shifts tripping and coming down. There’s obviously plenty of fodder for dramatization; co-screenwriter Tim Lucas (editor of the genre-centric publication Video Watchdog) describes it as ‘a future cult comedy waiting to happen.'”
Christoph Hochhäusler has just wrapped shooting on his next, as yet untitled project.
Obit. “Saul Landau, an American documentary filmmaker best known for his expose on atomic bomb testing and films on Cuba, has died from cancer, the Institute for Policy Studies, where Landau was a fellow, said on Tuesday,” Reuters reports. “He was 77.”