Daily | Bright Lights 82, Jonze, Chaplin

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“Readers can be so pesky,” sighs editor Gary Morris, introducing the new issue of Bright Lights Film Journal. “If they’re not demanding an exegesis of Judd Apatow‘s geek-centered comedies, they screaming for an epic profile of the Brothers Warner or a study of films that feature ‘wanking widows,’ or, god help us, a ‘red-hot poker up the ass!’ Well, we love to satisfy even the most questionable interests of our readership, and in fact, in this issue we deliver articles on these four subjects and a lot more.”

For example, “we find Bron Taylor‘s authoritative analysis of the cultural, political, spiritual (‘dark green religion’) elements of James Cameron’s Avatar, including a tidy summary of critical reactions to the film and its progressive themes.” Plus, Paroma Chatterjee on “Sex and Books and The Big Sleep,” Andy Hartman on Todd Haynes‘s Poison “as a Critique of Homonormativity,” Marianne Kaletzy on Godard‘s Les Carabiniers and Bergman’s The Silence, essays on recent theatrical and home video releases, and yes, more.


The new issue of Interiors takes a close look at on the 7½ floor in Spike Jonze’s Being John Malkovich (1999).

The New Yorker‘s Richard Brody on the clip Criterion’s recently posted showing Chaplin at work on a few of a total of 342 takes on a single scene in City Lights (1931): “It’s tempting to ascribe Chaplin’s obsessional direction to the ‘perfectionist’ inclination cited by Hooman Mehran in his commentary, but I think that the episode reveals an even more powerful strain of Chaplin’s art, a sort of imperfectionism.” More on City Lights: Gary Giddins (Criterion) and Scott Tobias (Dissolve).

“The world… okay, the internet… okay, fashion blogs have been abuzz this week with the release of Suckers Apparel’s new Twin Peaks-inspired fashion collection.” Beth Hammarlund at L’étoile.

Ray Pride‘s gathered links to nearly 20 screenplays for 2013 films that’ve been posted online for our consideration.


Patton Oswalt will host the Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 1.


San Francisco. Cheryl Eddy in the Bay Guardian: “Holy Ghost People kicks off the San Francisco Film Society’s fifth annual Cinema By the Bay Festival, which showcases movies made ‘in or about the Bay Area,’ as well as works made by artists with Bay Area connections. This agreeably loose thematic structure allows the Tennessee-shot Holy Ghost People to share marquee space with SF-centric doc American Vagabond, by Finnish director Susanna Helke.” Friday through Sunday.

New York. FIDMarseille Carte Blanche: A Weekend with Programmer Jean-Pierre Rehm indeed happens this weekend at the Museum of the Moving Image.

Scott Stark

Scott Stark’s ‘The Realist’ (2013)

Los Angeles. Two evenings with Scott Stark, the first on Sunday at the Egyptian, and the second on Monday at REDCAT.


Robert De Niro: “I have another gangster film I’m gonna do with Scorsese and it’s a very interesting one… We’re preparing it. We have a script and Marty has another film he’s doing before so it won’t be for a while.” The Guardian‘s Andrew Pulver: “There is no word as to whether De Niro is referring to The Irishman, a long-mooted biopic of mafia hitman Frank Sheeran, adapted from Charles Brandt’s 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses. Al Pacino was supposedly in line for a role alongside De Niro, as well as Scorsese veterans Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel.”

The Hollywood Reporter‘s Borys Kit hears that Tom Cruise and director Doug Liman are hoping to convince Jack Nicholson to play El Presidente, “America’s worst former president, an alcoholic and womanizing sleazebag who was elevated from VP when the president died. When a threat is made on his life,” he and “a straight-arrow Secret Service agent”—Cruise, presumably—”must go on the run.”

“Lake Bell will star in the indie romantic comedy Man Up, opposite Simon Pegg,” reports Variety‘s Dave McNary. “Ben Palmer (The Inbetweeners) is directing.”

New U.S. trailer for Asghar Farhadi’s The Past

Joe Dante will direct Anton Yelchin, Ashley Greene, and Alexandra Daddario in Bury the Ex, a horror comedy about a woman who “rises from the grave and sets out to get her boyfriend back, even if that means turning him into one of the undead.” Jeff Sneider reports at TheWrap, where Brent Lang notes that Dustin Hoffman and Steve Buscemi have joined Adam Sandler and Dan Stevens in Tom McCarthy’s The Cobbler.

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