Robert K. Elder has followed up on his 2011 book The Film That Changed My Life: 30 Directors on Their Epiphanies in the Dark with The Best Film You’ve Never Seen: 35 Directors Champion the Forgotten or Critically Savaged Movies They Love. This one’s got a tumblr, where you can read snippets from the interviews—Steve James on Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme’s Le joli mai (1963), for example, or Antonio Campos on Irving Lerner’s Murder by Contract (1958), or Atom Egoyan on Peter Hall’s adaptation of Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming (1973), or Frank Oz on Orson Welles‘s The Trial (1962), or Kimberly Peirce on Kenji Mizoguchi’s Ugetsu (1953), and so on.
Meantime, Flavorwire‘s Jason Bailey not only posted more snippets but trailers to go with them as well: John Waters on Joseph Losey‘s Boom! (1968) with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Edgar Wright on Gordon Parks’s The Super Cops (1974), Rian Johnson on John Huston‘s Under the Volcano (1984), Richard Kelly on Peter Weir’s Fearless (1993), Todd Solondz on Leonard Kastle’s The Honeymoon Killers (1969), Danny Boyle on Nicolas Roeg’s Eureka (1983), and Kevin Smith on Fred Zinnemann’s A Man for All Seasons (1966).
Longer excerpts are popping up all over as well. Movie City News is running quite the conversation with Richard Linklater about Vincente Minnelli’s Some Came Running (1958), which he calls “the best Rat Pack movie of all time.” Linklater also argues that “movies have two lives, obviously. Their short-lived economic life is just how you hook up with an audience at that moment. If you’re breathing the same air and it fits into the culture, then you’re lucky that the planets have aligned and people respond to your movie at that moment. Once it’s an artifact from the past and you go see it in a repertory theatre or watch a DVD, then it’s something else. You see it on its own merits for what it is.”
At RogerEbert.com, we can read Guillermo del Toro on Pupi Avati’s Arcane Sorcerer (1996), “an incredibly well-researched, pastoral, spiritual horror movie. The rhythm and style of it are hard to describe. It’s the Barry Lyndon of horror films.” And the Chicago Sun-Times has Henry Jaglom discussing Welles’s F for Fake (1973): “Ultimately, it is about the creative act and the confession that all creative acts are fraudulent. I think it’s one of the greatest films never seen.”
More books. For the Los Angeles Review of Books, John Wisniewski talks with Peter L. Winkler about his biography, Dennis Hopper: The Wild Ride of a Hollywood Rebel. The standout quote here actually comes from Francis Ford Coppola: “I hire Hopper for the two percent of brilliance, not the 98 percent of horseshit.” John Greco had long conversation with Winkler as well, back in 2011.
Rita Moreno: A Memoir is “enjoyable,” finds Anita Gates, “and not just because of the three chapters about Marlon Brando. The two had a long, emotionally draining (for her) affair that lasted through two of Brando’s marriages. It ended after her 1961 suicide attempt and her psychiatrist’s insistence that she never see him again. But she doesn’t seem to be quite over him, half a century later, describing him as a ‘sensual, generous, delightfully inventive’ lover and ‘more engaged in the world than anyone else I’d ever known.'” And then there was that “handsome stranger who brazenly flirted with her at a hotel opening, with his wife right there on his arm, turned out to be a young senator, John F. Kennedy. (‘I remember thinking Whooo, this guy don’t waste no time!‘)”
Also in the New York Times, Caryn James reviews Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted: And All the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic (more from Saul Austerlitz in the Boston Globe and Todd VanDerWerff at the AV Club) and Kevin Cook’s Flip: The Inside Story of TV’s First Black Superstar (more from Preston Lauterbach in the Wall Street Journal and Robert Lloyd in the Los Angeles Times).