Daily | Andersson, Wexler, Soderbergh

Roy Andersson

With a few days left to freely access the entire Summer 2015 issue, Film Quarterly has already begun rolling out its Fall issue, which, editor B. Ruby Rich tells us, “opens a new era. Film Quarterly, in partnership with the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms initiative, hereby launches a new effort focused on the future of filmmaking and its capacity to address issues of social justice, in the United States and globally, on screens of all sorts and sizes, both in terms of subject matter and structures of production and diffusion. JustFilms has already had a powerful impact on the world through its support of filmmakers and institutions, including both [Joshua] Oppenheimer and [Laura] Poitras. With this grant, Ford brings FQ into the conversation.”

Also in this issue, Megan Ratner talks with Roy Andersson about what he calls his “‘trivialize cinema,’ which aims to give a voice to the small human being…[who] symbolizes all of us.'”

“How can we find sites of potential resistance to the tyranny of happiness?” asks Russell Williams in the Los Angeles Review of Books:

Nikolaj Lübecker’s exploration of The Feel-Bad Film outlines a theoretical approach to such films that allows us to stress their value, highlight their implicit critique, and to move beyond dismissive descriptions of them as “depressing,” “shocking,” or just plain “weird,” in a way that engages spectators and encourages them to reorient themselves in terms of what they expect from cinema. The films he considers, consciously, knowingly, and, indeed, very deliberately, demand a physical or strong, often unpleasant, emotional response from their audiences. In Lübecker’s terms, these are films that “maximize the possibility of bodily displeasure,” and “assault” and produce “unease” in their viewers. The films under examination are more than just “boring” or unsettling art house movies: Lübecker is interested in a particular flavor of extreme contemporary cinema, such as that of European directors like Lars von Trier, Michael Haneke, Gaspar Noé, and (sporadically) Claire Denis. He also considers less notorious names such as Lucile Hadzihalilovoc and Stan Brakhage as well as, perhaps surprisingly, American names more typically associated with the mainstream, like Gus Van Sant and Brian De Palma.

“In Iraqi Kurdistan, filmmaking is a national duty,” writes Emma Piper-Burket in Reverse Shot. “For the past decade, Kurdish filmmakers and government officials have been steadily working to build a movie industry from scratch. Except it’s not quite an industry. There are no for-profit production companies, nor is there any infrastructure for local film distribution. The films produced in Iraqi Kurdistan are rarely seen by local audiences; instead, they are sent out as diplomatic envoys to international festivals. This all is part of a broader project to establish a presence and awareness of Kurdish identity abroad.”

Trailer for the new restoration of Jacques Rivette’s Out 1 (1971), heading to New York in November

“When Haskell Wexler came to write and direct Medium Cool in 1968, government institutions were still inclined to underestimate the TV’s social and cultural impact,” writes Robert Bright for the Quietus. “Journalists reporting from Vietnam had easy access to the military and pretty much free reign in combat zones—Dispatches, Michael Herr’s book about this period, talks of using military helicopters like taxis…. Medium Cool is both a product of and commentary on, this period when TV’s status remained uncertain.”


The 53rd New York Film Festival opens today and our index, tracking coverage of the coverage is up. In the past few days, the Film Society of Lincoln Center has made a few announcements, adding to an already tantalizing lineup. On Sunday, the NYFF will be spotlighting Field of Vision, the new initiative announced earlier this month by Laura Poitras, AJ Schnack, and Charlotte Cook, with a program of short documentary works.

Then there’s the lineup for the free NYFF Live talks, featuring the Field of Vision team, Miguel Gomes, Arnaud Desplechin, Michel Gondry, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Nathaniel Dorsky, and Jerome Hiler, among others. And An Evening With Kate Winslet is scheduled for Tuesday, October 6.

Variety‘s Leo Barraclough broke quite a story yesterday: “Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film Junun will have its exclusive worldwide premiere on subscription streaming platform MUBI on Oct. 9, following its Oct. 8 opening at the New York Film Festival.”

Scene by Scene – A Mash-Up Nr. 1 from Timo Langer in which Mark Cousins talks with Roman Polanski, David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, and many others

At Thompson on Hollywood, Ryan Lattanzio reports that “Cinelicious Pics has just acquired the double bill Jane B. by Agnès V. [1988] and Kung-Fu Master [1988], both starring Euro icon Jane Birkin, for US theatrical, VOD, and Home Video distribution. Supervised by [Agnès] Varda, the new restorations made their West Coast debut over the weekend, and looked gorgeous in digital 2K.”


New York. Sunday’s “afternoon with Diane Baker” at Film Forum will be followed on Monday with a screening of Marnie (1964), introduced by the actress. For the Film Stage, James Knight calls up Baker to talk about working with Alfred Hitchcock.

Brooklyn Magazine‘s posted this week’s round of recommended repertory screenings.

Los Angeles. On Sunday, the Filmforum presents Triple Consciousness, a program of films by—and curated by—Akosua Adoma Owusu, including work by Len Lye, Ken Jacobs, Kevin Jerome Everson, and Ayoka Chenzira.

On Monday at REDCAT: “Artist Margaret Honda’s first feature-length film, Color Correction is a commitment to celluloid cinema and a brilliantly conceived experience of projected light.”

Philadelphia. Drew Lazor has the schedule in the City Paper.


“Kate Winslet, Emma Stone, and Olivia Colman are in discussions to join The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos’s new feature The Favourite,” reports Ali Jaafar. The story “follows the political machinations behind the scenes during the reign of Queen Anne, the last monarch of the House of Stuarts.”

And “Rachel Weisz is in early talks to star in Roger Michell’s My Cousin Rachel, an adaptation of the classic Daphne Du Maurier novel.”

Also at Deadline, Nellie Andreeva: “Maggie Gyllenhaal is set to star opposite James Franco in David Simon’s HBO drama pilot The Deuce. Gyllenhaal also will produce the project, a narrative set in the Times Square demimonde of the 1970s and ’80s.”

The Playlist‘s Kevin Jagernauth has word on an intriguing project from Steven Soderbergh: “Mosaic will be a Clue-Esque, Choose Your Own Adventure-style narrative that will give viewers the options, via an app, to determine the fate of the storyline. To that end, Soderbergh will shoot multiple variations of scenes to give the audience options of where to take things next. So yes, welcome to the first high-profile, interactive film.”

Also, Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin, Green Room) is re-teaming with A24 on an adaptation of William Giraldi‘s novel Hold the Dark. The story “kicks off when a child is taken from his village by a pack of wolves, and an expert hunter is summoned to track and destroy them…. With the child’s grief-crazed father closing in behind him and a fierce, unforgiving landscape ahead, it becomes increasingly unclear who is really being hunted.”

And. Felix van Groeningen (The Broken Circle Breakdown) is taking over the adaptation of David Sheff’s memoir, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction, formerly a Cameron Crowe project.

Michael Pattison introduces a video dispatch from Locarno to the Notebook: “Neil [Young] and I exchange thoughts on new films by Andrzej Zulawski (Cosmos), Alex Van Warmerdam (Schneider vs. Bax), Josh Mond (James White), Travis Wilkerson (Machine Gun or Typewriter?), Lois Patiño (Night Without Distance and Strata of the Image), Chantal Akerman (No Home Movie), José Luis Guerín (The Lesson of the Muses), and some old ones by a man named Sam Peckinpah.”

In J.J. Abrams’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Max von Sydow “will portray a village elder on the desert planet of Jakku who plays a vital role in the quest to find the missing Luke Skywalker,” reports the Guardian‘s Ben Child. “His name? Lor San Tekka.”

At Deadline, Ross A. Lincoln reports that Alex Karpovsky “is in advanced negotiations” to join Jena Malone in the cast of Claire, a remake of Eric Rohmer’s Le Beau Mariage (1982), to be directed by Dori Oskowitz.

“Jake Gyllenhaal and Benedict Cumberbatch are in talks to play George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison in the Weinstein Company’s The Current War,” reports Justin Kroll. “Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is in talks to direct the film written by Michael Mitnick.”

Also in Variety, Whitney Friedlander: “Dustin Hoffman and Game of Thrones alum Richard Madden have been tapped to star in an eight-part drama series chronicling the rise of Italian Renaissance political dynasty, the Medici family.”


“New York filmmaker Nick Louvel, who directed, wrote, and starred in the 2005 mystery Domino One with Natalie Portman, has died.” According to Cheryl Cheng in the Hollywood Reporter, Louvel, who was only 34, was killed in a car accident. His new documentary, The Uncondemned, is scheduled to premiere at the Hamptons Film Festival on October 9.


Viewing (6’12”). Eric Hynes chats up Bill and Turner Ross for Reverse Shot.

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