But first, the news. Case you hadn’t heard, Cannes announced at the end of last week that Olivier Dahan’s Grace of Monaco will open its 67th edition on May 14. In 2007, Dahan’s La Vie en Rose featured a mighty Édith Piaf impression for which Marion Cotillard won an Oscar. Nicole Kidman (and Harvey Weinstein) may be hoping that lightning will strike twice as she takes on Grace Kelly.
The Directors Guild of America presented its awards over the weekend. Alfonso Cuarón won for Gravity, Jehane Noujaim for The Square. Other winners include Steven Soderbergh for Behind the Candelabra and Vince Gilligan for Breaking Bad. The complete list is here.
Last night in Rotterdam, “the three equal Canon Tiger Awards for Short Films 2014 were awarded to Sebastian Buerkner’s The Chimera of M. (United Kingdom), Salla Tykkä’s Giant (Finland/Romania) and La isla by Dominga Sotomayor and Katarzyna Klimkiewicz (Chile/Poland/Denmark).”
With fourteen nominations each, Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt and Mikkel Nørgaard’s The Keeper of Lost Causes “were frontrunners for the Robert awards—Denmark’s national film prize—but after last night’s gala in Copenhagen’s Tivoli Hotel & Congress Centre, Vinterberg left with seven statuettes and Nørgaard with none.” Jorn Rossing Jensen reports for Cineuropa.
Via Thomas Groh comes word that Barbara Flueckiger, a professor at the Institute of Cinema Studies at the University of Zurich, has posted six clips from the new restoration of Robert Wiene‘s Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (1920) to be screened at the Berlinale in a couple of weeks. She also links to two fascinating galleries, part of her Timeline of Historical Film Colors project, one showing examples of tinting and the other of metallic toning.
REFRAME, the open access academic digital platform published by the School of Media, Film and Music at the University of Sussex, has launched Mediático, “a collectively authored media blog, which showcases a diverse array of research, news, views and perspectives on Latin American, Latino/a and Iberian media cultures.”
David Bordwell‘s posted a delightful appreciation (without going overboard: “I write as an enthusiast but not a promoter”) of three critics who “made writing about American film exuberant and important”: James Agee, “a Romantic,” Manny Farber, “a post-Cezanne modernist,” and Parker Tyler, “an avant-garde dandy in the Wilde-Cocteau tradition.” This first entry is the beginning of a series.
“I’m thrilled that my favorite academic film critic, James Naremore, has finally brought out a collection of his critical and theoretical essays,” writes Jonathan Rosenbaum. In the closing section of An Invention without a Future: Essays on Cinema, Naremore writes about four major American film critics: James Agee, Manny Farber, Andrew Sarris—and Jonathan Rosenbaum. That particular essay wraps with an email interview, and Naremore’s granted JR permission to post it at his site.
J. Hoberman has turned in his first home video review for the New York Times. “Tarkovsky’s American reputation is largely posthumous,” he writes. “It took a back-room deal even to get Nostalghia  into the New York festival. (I know, having been in the room.) Today, he is regarded as a master, and some of the world’s most ambitious—or pretentious—filmmakers are disciples. These include his countryman Alexander Sokurov, the Hungarian miserablist Béla Tarr, the Hollywood maverick Terrence Malick and even the professional bad boy Lars von Trier…. Nostalghia is distinguished by its deliberate camera moves and precise audio design. Delicate, selectively desaturated tones give the impression of a film simultaneously monochromatic and in color. Blu-ray suits the hyper-clarity of Tarkovsky’s subtly tinted images.”
Two Dollar Radio will publish Nicholas Rombes‘s first novel, The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing, in October, and publisher Eric Obenauf, introducing an interview with Rombes, tells us that it’s “a slippery, mysterious study of a rare-film librarian, living now in isolation on the fringe of the Wisconsin wilds, and those movies, or moments from movies, or film-stills culled from movies, that have managed to linger with him through the years.”
“It’s a small world when you try to escape, a big world when you want to get home. This is a lesson learned by exiles and fugitives; and a lesson of film noir is that everyone, in some sense, is an exile and a fugitive.” With Noir City 12 on in San Francisco through Sunday, Imogen Sara Smith surveys a good number of international noirs.
Jim Dawson’s Los Angeles’s Bunker Hill: Pulp Fiction’s Mean Streets and Film Noir’s Ground Zero! is “the kind of book that makes you misty,” writes Richard Harland Smith at Movie Morlocks. “You may well get caught up in it and forget that these places are no longer there, that the bulldozers and wrecking balls moved in at some point in 1955.”
“Over a 45-year career stretching from the end of the silent era to the early ‘70s,” J. Carrol Naish “was in huge demand, working with directors from Fritz Lang to John Ford to Anthony Mann, and co-starring opposite the likes of Bogart, John Garfield, John Wayne and Ingrid Bergman.” Jim Knipfel surveys the career at the Chiseler.
Ted Hope’s posted an excerpt from a new book edited by Jessica Edwards, Tell Me Something: Advice from Documentary Filmmakers, in which Martin Scorsese does just that—tells us something, delivers advice.
Mick Brown tours Los Angeles with Kenneth Anger for an extensive Esquire profile.
“Even if Dark Days  proves to be the only film [Marc] Singer ever makes, it’s still an astonishing achievement, a triumph of doggedness, solidarity and artistic vision.” For the Guardian, Sukhdev Sandhu talks with Singer about how he pulled it off.
Friday was “Recent James Benning Day” at DC’s.
Dan Sallitt‘s posted a list of his favorite films “that played at least one week in Manhattan for the first time in 2013.” Twelve in all. #1: Pema Tseden’s Old Dog. And his #2: Joe Swanberg‘s All the Light in the Sky.
For the seventh year running, Brian Darr‘s launched “I Only Have Two Eyes,” a “survey of local movie lovers who make repertory and revival screenings a priority. As always, I’ve asked for up to ten choices of favorite screenings of (very to slightly) older films seen in Northern California cinemas in 2013.” First up: Michael Hawley.
Variety‘s Nick Vivarelli: “Italian director Carlo Mazzacurati, who blended noir, comedy, and observations about Italy’s social changes and moral decay in a dozen feature films, several of which won prizes and screened at prestigious fests, including Venice, Locarno, and Turin, died on Jan 22. He was 57.”
“Italian film composer Riziero ‘Riz’ Ortolani died in Rome [on Thursday] at the age of 87,” reports Richard Metzger at Dangerous Minds, noting that Ortolani “worked with directors like Vittorio De Sica, Dino Risi, Damiano Damiani, Lucio Fulci, Gualtiero Jacopetti and Pupi Avati… Ortolani’s music first gained worldwide exposure with his score for the infamous Mondo Cane. The film’s title theme ‘More’ won him a Grammy and an Oscar nomination. It’s been covered by Frank Sinatra and Count Basie, Judy Garland, Andy WIlliams, Herb Alpert and many others.”
William Yardley in the New York Times: “Michael Sporn, an animation artist whose award-winning work included film adaptations of beloved children’s books like Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile and Goodnight Moon as well as stories he conceived, died on Sunday in Manhattan. He was 67.”