Venice has added two documentaries on cinema to its lineup for the 71st edition (August 27 through September 6). Bill Teck’s One Day Since Yesterday: Peter Bogdanovich & The Lost American Film “reconstructs the grim story” of the distribution problems Bogdanovich ran into in 1981 with They All Laughed. And Amir Naderi’s doc is a tribute, Mise en scène with Arthur Penn (a conversation).
IN OTHER NEWS
“The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced the North American premiere of the interactive presentation of Tommy Pallotta and Femke Wolting’s The Last Hijack, a presentation of ITVS’s online series Futurestates, and a keynote address by Convergence Culture author Henry Jenkins as some of the initial projects slated for the 2014 NYFF Convergence.”
Scott Weinberg‘s launched MovieJones because he’s living a nightmare right now. Sony and Lionsgate have given their share of FEARnet, where Scott’s been writing furiously for the past six years, to Comcast, which has decided that, because it already has Chiller, it doesn’t need FEARnet. But they’ve done more than just shut it down and shown all the tech team, programmers and writers the door. They vanished it. “Now all my reviews are gone. Deleted. Erased. There are over 10,000 links to my FEARnet reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb alone, and now all of those links lead to… Chiller’s home page. Now that’s frustrating. If you want to read my review of Stoker, Paranormal Activity 2, or the films I saw at SXSW 2014 that aren’t even out yet… you get Chiller’s front page. I am now promoting the website that punched my face in.” So he’ll be re-posting his reviews at MovieJones.
An excerpt from James Quandt‘s Jacques Demy, A to Z from Criterion
“Star presence, that distillation of charisma and sometimes glamor, lies at the heart of the movies’ appeal.” So begins Charles Taylor‘s terrific review in the Voice of James Harvey’s Watching Them Be, an “eloquent, imperfect, and altogether marvelous new study of star presence as exemplified by certain stars…. In his previous superb books, Romantic Comedy in Hollywood and Movie Love in the Fifties, Harvey fused close reading (close watching, to be precise) with an implicit belief that pleasure is an essential part of any artwork. The scholarly approach to film criticism has never acknowledged that it doesn’t matter how expertly artists fulfill their intentions if there’s no pleasure to be had in that fulfillment. Harvey knows, on a gut level, that to talk about the movies and exclude pleasure is a heresy.”
Hideaki Fujiki’s Making Personas: Transnational Film Stardom in Modern Japan is a well-researched study of celebrity culture from the 1910s to the 1930s,” writes Carmen Siu for Film International. “For him, ‘[t]he star is not simply an actor, but a peculiar historical phenomenon that comes about because of an actor’s attractiveness, the circulation of his or her identity […] in media, and the support of the consumers of that media’ Moreover, Fujiki argues that film stardom is never simply the product of a production studio; a star’s image is also shaped by the needs or desires of fans, critics, corporations and even governmental institutions.”
“How did you arrive at the contemporary plot of an actress being recruited as a beard for a closeted gay male actor?” asks Koa Beck, interviewing Amy Sohn, author of the new novel, The Actress, for the Awl.
At Bright Lights, Giuliano Vivaldi takes an in-depth look at new forms of documentary in post-Soviet Russia—and a timely one, too, given that Vertov‘s Man with a Movie Camera (1929) has just been named the greatest doc of all time.
Trailer for Nadav Schirman’s The Green Prince
Revisiting Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), Keith Phipps suggests that it “doesn’t really lend itself to any reading that doesn’t contradict itself in some way or other.” And “time has been kind to a movie at least in part about time’s deleterious effects. America eventually saw Roeg’s full cut of the film, and it’s since been embraced as one of the director’s best, and a key element of Bowie’s iconic status, as much as any of his albums.”
Kristin Thompson posts a lively report from this year’s Comic-Con.
New York. Samantha Fuller’s A Fuller Life, a daughter’s tribute to a major filmmaker, premiered at Venice last year and, starting today, screens for a week at MoMA along with “a selection of Sam Fuller‘s work, presented in archival prints,” through August 16. In the New York Times, Nicolas Rapold calls A Fuller Life “a proud film but average.”
Austin. “Around this time last year, the Austin Film Society programmed a short series devoted to early, earthy Barbara Stanwyck films made before the Production Code,” writes the Chronicle‘s Kimberley Jones. “Now Stanwyck’s back, the focus of another short series, this time devoted to the prime of her career in the late Thirties and early Forties.” The Austin Film Society’s series begins tomorrow with Preston Sturges’s The Lady Eve (1941).
Marilyn Burns, “an actress best remembered as Sally, the most resilient of the terrified road trippers in Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974),” has died at the age of 65, reports Phil Dyess-Nugent at the AV Club. Also in 1974, “she worked as a stand-in for Blythe Danner on another, very different made-in-Texas production, Sidney Lumet’s Lovin’ Molly. After Chain Saw made her one of the original ‘scream queens,’ Burns played the Manson family cult member Linda Kasabian in the TV film Helter Skelter (1976) and the female lead in Hooper’s Eaten Alive (1977), where Neville Brand tried to feed her to his pet crocodile…. Earlier this year, she had her first starring role in almost three decades in the horror movie Sacrament.”
“Burns was born in Erie, Penn., raised in Texas and had small parts in films including Robert Altman’s Brewster McCloud while she was still in high school, and George Roy Hill’s The Great Waldo Pepper,” notes Variety.
“No one who has seen The Texas Chain Saw Massacre has ever forgotten its ending,” writes the Dissolve‘s Matt Singer, “where Burns, drenched in blood and screaming for her life, runs from Leatherface’s home out to the highway, where she flags down a passing truck and narrowly escapes a violent death. During the entire three-minute sequence, Burns never stops screaming. Even after she’s safe in the bed of the truck, her shrieks escalate into maniacal laughter. She’s alive, but completely destroyed, a nod to the film’s ads, which wondered ‘Who will survive and what will be left of them?'”
Listening (202’54”). The subject of the latest epic episode of The Projection Booth is Caligula (1979), starring Malcolm McDowell, John Gielgud, Peter O’Toole and Helen Mirren. “It was directed by Tinto Brass until he took his name off it. It was written by Gore Vidal until he took his name of it. And, it was proudly produced by Bob Guccione of Penthouse magazine who didn’t take his name off it.”