In the second part of the Los Angeles Review of Books feature, “Poets at the Movies,” Tom Sleigh turns his memories of growing up at an east Texas drive-in into a richly convoluted essay on racism and intolerance, incorporating John Wayne and James Baldwin, To Kill a Mockingbird and Django Unchained, and much more.
On a related note, for LA Observed, Kevin Roderick reports on Literary L.A., a doc-in-progress currently in the Kickstarter phase, initiated by LARB founding editor Tom Lutz and Kurt Olerud of KO Pictures.
“‘The whole world has changed for the worse,’ Pedro Almodóvar says, a sentiment that’s apparent in his latest comedy, I’m So Excited!.” Steve Erickson talks with him for the Voice, where Inkoo Kang writes up “5 of the Spanish Maestro’s Best Comedies.”
“He’s worked with rabble-rousing musicians like Fugazi and Patti Smith, and chronicled the anti-corporate struggles of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Now with Museum Hours, writer-director Jem Cohen has made a drama that surprises with its ruminative gentleness.” Keith Uhlich talks with him for Time Out New York.
Book. Jonathan Rosenbaum recommends Todd Tarbox’s Orson Welles and Roger Hill: A Friendship in Three Acts.
In other news. “Hayao Miyazaki shot the breeze with reporters about his first new animated feature in five years, Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Has Risen), at a news conference at Studio Ghibli Inc. in Tokyo on June 24,” reports Atsushi Ohara for the Asahi Shimbun. Miyazaki “revealed that he became overwhelmed with emotion when watching his completed work, saying: ‘I have been creating animations for 50 years. In this work, many elements from my life, such as books I have read, songs I have heard, and people I have met, came together.’ He added with a sheepish grin, ‘It was the first time (that I cried after watching my film). It’s embarrassing.'”
“Rick Santorum has a new job as CEO of a Dallas-based Christian movie company, EchoLight Studios,” reports Rachel Weiner for the Washington Post. “The studio’s first feature film, The Redemption of Henry Myers, is slated to be released this fall. It’s a Western about a bank robber choosing between revenge and Redemption.”
“After years of sucking off the government teat, the Europeans are mad for a more democratic, and perhaps hassle-free, way for raising money to make films.” At Cartoon Brew, Bill Plympton looks back on this year’s Annecy International Animated Film Festival.
Montreal. Guy Maddin will be shooting 12 films in 13 days, starting on July 4, when he brings his Seances project, which debuted last year in Paris, to the Phi Centre: “The basic premise of Seances is that most silent filmmakers lost at least one film to a twist of fate. Ever since, these films have hovered like ghosts in search of their final resting place. And now Guy Maddin has decided to recreate these lost films. Every day, he will call on the spirits to take hold of the actors, plunging them into a deep trance that will enable them to act out the lost film of the day.”
Viewing. On Monday, Ray Pride posted FilmmakerIQ‘s nifty primer, The Changing Shape of Cinema: The History of Aspect Ratio (18’15”), which led me to FilmmakerIQ‘s Vimeo channel. Lots of great stuff in there.