Criterion releases Pedro Almodóvar’s Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990) on DVD and Blu-ray today and not only have they posted Almodóvar‘s own notes on what inspired him to make it, they’ve also a conversation about Almodóvar between Kent Jones and Wes Anderson. In his introduction, Jones notes that, beginning in the late 70s and on through the 80s, “Almodóvar would develop a fresh, unique approach to cinema that swooped and soared between dark and light comedy, camp and straight melodrama, often from moment to moment within scenes. As in Hitchcock, the tone is often playful but the material itself is always serious, and at the heart of the work—really, at the heart of every Almodóvar film—is the law of omnisexual desire.”
Jake Hinkson on Samuel Fuller:
Toiling at the economic margins of an industry in chaos, he dealt the classic noir era its death blows with the creation of two indispensable films: Shock Corridor (1963) and The Naked Kiss (1964). These low-budget epics showed film noir, in an increasingly manic style, emerging not out of the postwar trauma of the ’40s and ’50s but out of the rising turbulence of the 1960s. While Fuller’s films fearlessly reflected the American scourges of racism, Cold War politics, and sexual hypocrisy, these were not good liberal message movies. These were movies that portrayed an America that seemed to have lost its collective mind, an America beginning to come apart at the social seams, an America that looks more like America today than the America of the 1940s and 1950s. This is where classic noir died and neo-noir was born.
Also in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Noah Berlatsky on a new book from Linda Williams, On The Wire, which is “not just about rethinking The Wire, but also about using The Wire to rethink melodrama, and therefore as a way to rethink, or re-understand, the democratic values to which The Wire is committed.”
Jean-Luc Godard‘s Goodbye to Language “is about the displeasures of viewing and the impossibility of knowing through sight,” argues Miriam Ross (via Catherine Grant). And though “Godard is ahead of his time with his experiments in 3D, he is still a director that came of age in post-war Europe and this is no more obvious than in his depictions of the female body.”
Stoffel Debuysere has posted documentation of an event that took place in Gent in April, The Fire Next Time: Afterlives of the Militant Image.
For desistfilm, Tara Judah looks back on the experimental shorts that screened at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival.
“Don Pardo, the magisterial announcer of Saturday Night Live for nearly 40 years—the highlight of seven heard and hardly seen decades at NBC—has died. He was 96.” Mike Barnes has more in the Hollywood Reporter.
Viewing. At Slate, Chris Wade has clips from a recent onstage interview with Jonathan Demme and David Byrne. The subject: Stop Making Sense, thirty years on.