“How to watch an art movie, reel 1” is the title of David Bordwell‘s latest entry, “a primer in art-cinema comprehension strategies…. Critics are well-versed in the tradition, but they typically talk only about the film at hand and don’t examine how it connects with more general principles of storytelling. Noting these guidelines, then, helps us understand criticism as well as movies; we can gauge critics’ reactions more exactly when we realize they’re responding to particular conventions.”
More reading. “One of the best essay-blogs on film I have encountered,” tweets Adrian Martin, is Paul Ramaeker’s The Third Meaning.
Film International has posted the second part in Wheeler Winston Dixon‘s four-part series, “Dark Humor in Films of the 1960s.”
Catherine Grant “is delighted to announce that the Fall 2011 issue of the great Canadian online film journal Cinephile—a special issue on realism—is now available for free download, following its usual period of availability only in a print edition.”
Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne connects the dots between the set for the Republican National Convention and Ayn Rand, by way of Frank Lloyd Wright, whom production designer Jim Fenhagen claims as his inspiration. Rand’s The Fountainhead is, of course, a thinly veiled fan letter to Wright. Hawthorne: “Rand and director King Vidor wanted Wright to design the sets for the movie version of The Fountainhead, but the job ultimately went to Edward Carrere. Not that Wright was uninterested in how the movie would turn out. After the great designer George Nelson trashed the designs in Interiors in 1949, in an essay called ‘Mr. Roark Goes to Hollywood: A Comment on Warner Brothers’ Attempt to Interpret F. L. Wright to the Masses,’ Wright sent a telegram to the magazine. ‘Any move I would make against such grossly abusive caricature of my work by this film crew would only serve their purpose,’ the telegram read. ‘They belie the one decent thesis of The Fountainhead, the inalienable right of the individual to the integrity of his idea. It is best to laugh.'” And of course, Wright, notes Hawthorne, “was no standard-bearer for conservative values…. His political views were far from consistent, but he leaned left and was accused of distrusting capitalism and even, on occasion, of having Communist ties.”
Anticipating Toronto 2012 with notes and schedules: Darren Hughes, Girish Shambu, and Blake Williams.
In the works. Jamie Bell and Connie Nielsen have joined Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård and Shia LaBeouf in Lars von Trier’s “pornographic drama” Nymphomaniac. The Hollywood Reporter‘s Scott Roxborough: “Nicole Kidman and Willem Dafoe have also been linked to the project but the producers of Nymphomaniac could not confirm if they would have roles in the film.” The 11-week shoot begins in Germany tomorrow. Via the Playlist‘s Kevin Jagernauth, who’s got a synopsis.
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