Daily | Black Friday

Mati Diop's 'A Thousand Suns'

Mati Diop’s ‘A Thousand Suns,’ nominated for the Prix Louis-Delluc for Best First Film

Indiewire‘s Eric Kohn talks with filmmakers Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station) and Ava DuVernay (Selma) about the events they’re staging today in conjunction with the BLACKOUT Coalition‘s call for a nationwide boycott of Black Friday: “Specifically designed to protest the outcome in Ferguson, Missouri, where police officer Darren Wilson was exonerated of charges for fatally shooting 18-year-old Michael Brown last summer, the movement provides consumers with a set of shopping-craze alternatives. In New York, Coogler has organized a live reading of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, while DuVernay will host a series of African-American themed films (including her Sundance-winning Middle of Nowhere) in Los Angeles.”

Meantime, documentary filmmaker Amy Berg (Deliver Us from Evil, West of Memphis, An Open Secret), actor and activist Nate Parker (Beyond the Lights) and producer Matthew Cooke (How to Make Money Selling Drugs) have launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for American Race, “a film on the black male crisis.” The trailer:

Parker “will venture into black communities to speak to various stakeholders about the crisis facing these men. Through the examination of specific cases, Nate will create relevant and responsive discourse with the intention of mining strong and tangible solutions to combat this ever-growing crisis.”


Nominations for France’s prestigious Prix Louis-Delluc have been announced:

And the nominees for the Prix Louis-Delluc for Best First Film are:

  • Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis’s Party Girl.
  • Guillaume Brac’s Tonnerre.
  • Thomas Cailley’s Fighters.
  • Gilles Deroo and Marianne Pistone’s Sheep.
  • Mati Diop‘s A Thousand Suns.
  • Virgil Vernier’s Mercuriales.

Eureka! Entertainment has announced its lineup for Masters of Cinema and Eureka! Classics DVD/Blu-ray releases in the first quarter of 2015:

Eureka! will also be putting The Last of the Unjust and Alain Resnais‘s Life of Riley in theaters in the UK.


Godard is what is meant by a ‘film-maker.'” The New Republic has posted a 1966 piece by Pauline Kael in which she considers JLG’s impact on the then-young generation of American filmmakers.

Max Nelson in the Los Angeles Review of Books on James Harvey’s Watching Them Be: Star Presence on the Screen from Garbo to Balthazar: “[I]f there is a single assumption running through all the pieces in Harvey’s book, it is that the ‘reality’ of movie stars—in Garbo’s time and ours—has never been found in the static perfection of their faces or bodies, but rather in the ways they carry themselves, or fail to carry themselves, in time. To hold a bead on those fleshy, mortal, and often capricious movements, Harvey implies, is the task of criticism.”

The Nation‘s posted a tweaked excerpt from Scott Saul‘s forthcoming book, Becoming Richard Pryor, this one focusing on his work with Lily Tomlin. “‘We are soul mates,’ Richard reflected in 1977.”

Alexander Cavaluzzo reviews Adam Nayman’s relatively new book It Doesn’t Suck for Hyperallergic. Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls (1995) “is not some brilliant, you-don’t-get-it-because-it’s-so-smart gem of a satire,” he writes, “nor is it a failed epic film that crashed and burned because of its lead star, a lackadaisical director and/or an ungodly expensive (and horrible) screenplay. It’s a bad fucking film. One of the worst. But it says something about American culture in a way some critically-acclaimed films do not.”

David O. Russell’s American Hustle (2013) “is, foremost, a film about appearances, about what is real and the constant dialogue between the diegetic and the extra-diegetic, which is especially compelling at the level of sound,” writes Vlad Dima in Bright Lights.

In the New Statesman, Ryan Gilbey sketches a brief history of the mockumentary, “arguably the only new genre to emerge in the last 50 years.”

Another (very) brief history. Sarah Laskow for the Atlantic on the Nagra III, “the first sturdy, portable recorder which could produce sound as good as studio sound.” Introduced in 1961, it “was used on almost every film that was made” until the 1990s.

Julian Barnes, William Boyd, Margaret Drabble, Eimear McBride, Andrew Motion, Graham Robb, Ali Smith and Tom Stoppard each write about their favorite books of 2014 for the TLS.


“Arte France Cinéma’s (managed by Olivier Père) fifth selection committee of 2014 has opted to get involved in co-producing and pre-purchasing four projects,” reports Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa:

  • Bruno Dumont‘s Ma loute “will immerse audiences in the early 20th century, telling a tragi-comic tale set at a seaside resort in Pas de Calais, where two families that have absolutely nothing in common are at the centre of a raft of mysterious disappearances.”
  • Stéphane Brizé‘s A Simple Man, starring Vincent Lindon, “tells the story of a 51-year-old man who, after being unemployed for 18 months, starts a new job as a security guard in a supermarket. He soon finds himself faced with a moral dilemma when he is asked to keep tabs on his colleagues (who will be non-professional actors playing themselves).”
  • Then there’s Whit Stillman‘s Love & Friendship, “an adaptation of an unfinished novel by Jane Austen.”
  • And Mehmet Can Mertoglu’s “black comedy” L’album photo.

“Satomi Ishihara, Yoko Maki and Takao Osawa will star in the new Takashi Miike film Kaze ni Tatsu Lion (The Lion Who Stands in the Wind), a drama about a Japanese doctor, Koichiro Shimada, working in Kenya,” reports Mark Schilling for Variety.


“The writer P.D. James, who charted the transformations of British life through bestselling crime fiction starring the detective Adam Dalgliesh, has died aged 94,” reports Richard Lea for the Guardian. “Writing outside the crime genre, her 1992 novel The Children of Men—set in a dystopian future—was adapted to critical acclaim for the cinema in 2006. She also scored a late hit in 2011 with Death Comes to Pemberley, a murder-mystery sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.”


Catherine Grant‘s posted a massive Thanksgiving holiday roundup at Film Studies for Free. Reading, viewing and listening galore.

Listening (84’07”). Robert Longstreet is Adam Schartoff‘s guest on Filmwax Radio.

Viewing (1’24”). Martin Scorsese tells Rolling Stone about filming The Band’s 1976 farewell concert. The Last Waltz was released in 1978.

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