In the latest entry in Escape from New York, Reverse Shot‘s ongoing series on cinephilia around the world, Giovanni Marchini Camia takes us to Berlin: “The program offered by the 100 or so cinemas boasts a wealth and range that in Europe is only exceeded by Paris. In terms of character and eccentricity, on the other hand, Berlin’s cinema landscape is second to none.”
As if on cue, Taylor Hess talks to Verena von Stackelberg for Filmmaker. She’s building a new cinema, Wolf, which “aims to be a home and a learning ground for film in all its forms.” Now, that might not sound like much of a story, but as someone who lives here, I can tell you that the cinephilic community is very excited about this place.
On a related note, in February, we posted Ekkehard Wölk and Ehsan Khoshbakht‘s cinetopographic guide to Berlin here in Keyframe.
Catherine Grant points us to two excellent resources from the Danish Film Institute, Kosmorama, an open access magazine that’s been publishing four or five issues a year since 2011, and Carl Th. Dreyer: The Man and His Work, “a growing collection of essays on Dreyer’s life, work and style with an extensively annotated filmography, film clips, stills, posters, and a searchable database of the Dreyer Archive.”
“Politics and revolution in the arts are most successful when they are tied to the form and end there,” writes Rick Alverson (New Jerusalem, The Comedy, Entertainment). “There is no directive, but rather a paradigm shift in the way we see, not what we see or are told to see. Movies and their messages are too often built to be durable even after consumption, a kind of constructed franchise in the mind.” It’s a viewing of Kornél Mundruczó’s White God that’s prompted all this.
“The decline of film processing created a surplus of cheap, unwanted equipment that, in the right hands, could be repurposed for the smaller-scale operation of an artist-run lab,” writes Genevieve Yue for Film Comment. “Saved from the scrap heap, many discarded contact printers and lomo processing tanks have begun a second life as artists’ tools.”
At RogerEbert.com, Glenn Kenny has more than a few bones to pick with Erin Keane‘s piece for Salon on Mariel Hemingway’s revelation in her forthcoming memoir that, about two years after filming Manhattan (1979), when Hemingway was 18, Woody Allen proposed that she come along with him on a trip to Paris. Kenny: “I’d like to see, just once, a ‘What Is To Be Done?’ piece that has the intestinal fortitude to suggest at least one concrete answer to the question.”
Last year, “nineteen Christian films received theatrical releases, almost double the previous record in 2006. Of those, eleven films made over $1 million, and four made over $30 million.” At Movie Mezzanine, Corey Atad tracks the “Rise of the Christian Film,” parts 1 and 2.
For Hyperallergic, Sarah Walko talks with Ondi Timoner, “the only two-time recipient of Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize for documentaries, for her films Dig!, about the bands the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and We Live in Public, which focuses on internet visionary Josh Harris and how willingly we trade privacy, sometimes even sanity, in the virtual age. Both of these films are in the permanent collection of the Musem of Modern Art.” They also discuss Timoner’s Total Disruption shorts, focusing on Shepard Fairey, Amanda Palmer—and Russell Brand, who’s the subject of her latest feature, Brand: A Second Coming.
Today’s Cannes wish list comes from Indiewire: “20 Films We Hope to See at the 2015 Festival.”
For the New York Times, Alex Garland, who wrote 28 Days Later (2002) and Never Let Me Go (2010) and has made his directorial debut with Ex Machina, picks five favorite sci-fi… things, from Can’s 1973 album Future Days to Tarkovsky‘s Stalker (1979).
IN OTHER NEWS
“The Telluride Film Festival has selected novelist Rachel Kushner as its guest director to select a series of films to present at the 42nd festival running over Labor Day weekend on Sept. 4-7,” reports Variety‘s Dave McNary. About a year ago now, there were rumors that Jane Campion would direct an adaptation of Kushner’s 2013 novel The Flamethrowers, a finalist for the National Book Award. Dare we hope that that’s still on?
Back to McNary, who notes that Telluride “is also teaming with the San Francisco International Film Festival for Kushner to present Barbara Loden’s 1970 film Wanda on April 25 at the Castro Theatre.” And the complete schedule for the the 58th SFIFF, running from April 23 through May 7, is now online—browse by programs.
“Todd Haynes is expected to bring the first-ever peek at his hotly anticipated lesbian romance Carol to his alma mater, Brown University,” reports Ryan Lattanzio at Thompson on Hollywood. This’ll be happening at the Ivy Film Festival, running from April 6 through 12. Many are betting that Carol, an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, will see its premiere in Cannes.
New York. Acteurism: Joel McCrea opens today at MoMA and runs through May 29. Daniel M. Gold in the New York Times: “The lineup includes seldom-screened movies such as Howard Hawks’s Barbary Coast (1935) and William Wyler’s Dead End (1937). The first is The More the Merrier (1943), a wartime comedy directed by George Stevens and starring, along with McCrea, the ever-wondrous Jean Arthur and an avuncular Charles Coburn, who won a supporting-actor Oscar.”
Toronto. I for Iran: A History of Iranian Cinema by Its Creators is on at TIFF Cinematheque for a few more days and, writing for Film International, Amir Ganjavie assesses the program’s strengths and weaknesses.
London. Robert Siodmak: Prince of Shadows opens tonight with People on Sunday (1929) and runs through May. Writing for the BFI, David Parkinson argues that, while “Siodmak didn’t patent the noir formula,” he “showed how to blend German expressionism and French existentialism with American angst and, in the process, he directed more canonical landmarks than anyone else in the new genre’s heyday.”
Ghent. The Courtisane festival opens today and runs through Sunday with programs focusing on the work of Thom Andersen and Pedro Costa. On Friday, following a screening of Costa’s portrait of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie? (2001), the two filmmakers will address such questions as “What does it mean to think of cinema as an oppositional force?”
IN THE WORKS
“Clint Eastwood is seriously circling the job of directing Fox’s high profile Billy Ray-scripted untitled project about Richard Jewell, the heroic security guard who discovered a suspicious backpack in the Olympics compound during the 1996 games in Atlanta,” reports Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr. “Jewell, who’ll be played by two-time Oscar nominee Jonah Hill, was vilified as a possible terrorist, and his good work in helping clear bystanders from the area before the bomb exploded turned into a trip to the Twilight Zone. Leonardo DiCaprio is a possible to play the Southern lawyer who helped Jewell navigate that hell.”
“The German film and TV industries were mourning on Monday the death of director, writer and producer Helmut Dietl from lung cancer,” reports Martin Blaney for Screen. “Once described as ‘the German answer to Woody Allen,’ Dietl was known to international audiences largely for his send-up of the fake Hitler diaries saga in the 1992 film Schtonk!, which was subsequently nominated for a best foreign language film Academy Award.” Dietl was
Ellen Burstyn, Keith David, Christopher McDonald and Mark Margolis are in The Projection Booth, talking to the regulars and guest co-host Emily Intravia about Darren Aronofsky’s 2000 film Requiem for a Dream (206’35”).
Elvis Mitchell‘s guest on the latest episode of The Treatment is Paul Seydor, author of The Authentic Death and Contentious Afterlife of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid: The Untold Story of Peckinpah’s Last Western Film (29’39”).