The “many aspects of labour on film” is the theme of the new issue of cléo and who’d be better to introduce that editor Kiva Reardon? (And you have seen her piece here in Keyframe on Claire Denis‘s Trouble Every Day, right?)
Jutta Sarhimaa speaks to director Clio Barnard about social critiques of contemporary Britain in The Selfish Giant (2013) and submissions editor Mallory Andrews interviews legendary filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin about her work as a documentary activist for First Nations rights. Esther Berry looks at the global beauty trade through the lens of Indian hair sellers in Raffaele Brunetti and Marco Leopardi’s Hair India (2008); Sophie Mayer looks at the use of time in Sophie Hyde’s 52 Tuesdays, Barbara Kopple’s Harlan County, USA, and Sally Potter’s Rage; Adam Nayman examines the late Michael Glawogger’s take on sex work in Whores’ Glory (2011); and Jemma Desai breaks down the work of female friendship in Josephine Decker’s Butter on the Latch (2013). I talk about James Gray’s The Immigrant (2013) and the role of work in the American dream, and managing editor Julia Cooper digs into Arnold Schwarzenegger and motherhood in Ivan Reitman’s Junior (1994). Rounding off the issue is our first ever roundtable, where writers Zeba Blay and Fariha Róisín and actor Deragh Campbell discuss the politics and comedy of Gillian Robespierre’s Obvious Child (2014).
“Ah, Christmas in summer.” For the New York Times, J. Hoberman reviews Shout! Factory’s 13-disc box set Herzog: The Collection and CBS-Paramount’s ten-disc box set, Twin Peaks – The Entire Mystery. “However they may differ,” he writes, Werner Herzog and David Lynch “are two utterly distinctive filmmakers as well as singular personalities”—and they’re also “are maverick showmen, with a taste for stunts. Their respective oeuvres encompass masterpieces and fiascos, neither of which could have ever been made (or even conceived) by anyone else.”
For diagonal thoughts, Felix Gonzalez has translated the interview Pascal Bonitzer and Michel Delahaye conducted with Yoshishige Yoshida (Eros Plus Massacre, 1969) for the October 1970 issue of Cahiers du Cinéma.
Writing for Granta, Thirza Wakefield argues that “in one aspect the Revisionist Western did as the conventional Western did—which secluded women in a domestic setting or traded them as conciliatory favors—and seldom conceded the heroic lead to women.”
“Love Streams  is not just the pinnacle of Cassavetes’s lifework, but his fullest expression,” writes Peter Rinaldi for Bright Lights. “The last few scenes are the culmination of this expression—bold, mysteriously powerful moments that complete an oeuvre of uncompromising cinema.” Related: For Criterion, Sam Wasson talks with Bo Harwood about scoring Cassavetes’s films.
Back in Bright Lights, Lee Weston Sabo reviews Frank Pavich’s 2013 documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, and we have another related note: Jonathan Crow shows us Moebius’s storyboards for the film that never was at Open Culture.
“The acclaimed documentary Restrepo, which was made in 2010 by Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington, followed a platoon of US soldiers during their fifteen-month tour of duty in the Korengal Valley in northeastern Afghanistan,” writes Christopher de Bellaigue for the New York Review of Books:
Korengal is a new film that follows the same soldiers over the same period of time and draws from the same corpus of footage and interviews. But Korengal, while clearly related to Restrepo, cannot be considered its sequel; it might be misleading even to call it a war film. The film contains allusions to the death of PFC Restrepo, but the viewer is more aware of a second casualty, whose voice can occasionally be heard from behind the camera. By the time Sebastian Junger came to gather his material into Korengal, his confrere Tim Hetherington had been killed (while following another war, this one in Libya) and the US was preparing to pull out of Afghanistan. To some degree, the film is Hetherington’s memorial.
Notebook editor Daniel Kasman is back from the Melbourne International Film Festival and writes about the 1925 travelogue Epic of Everest, Pietro Germi’s Divorce, Italian Style (1961), Mario Monicelli‘s Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958), Saul Bass’s Phase IV (1974) and a good batch of films featuring Jean-Pierre Léaud.
“Land Ho! may be a shameless advertisement for Iceland’s tourism industry, but it’s actually a good movie,” Charles Mudede finds himself arguing at the Stranger. And in the Philadelphia City Paper, Sam Adams agrees: “A well-worn genre is brought to bottomlessly charming life by Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens, who send mismatched codgers Paul Eenhoorn and Earl Lynn Nelson on a road trip through Iceland. Eenhoorn, last seen in the quietly moving This Is Martin Bonner, plays peevish and uptight without passing on his annoyances to the viewer, but the movie’s real star is Nelson, a foul-mouthed plastic surgeon whose only acting roles have been in Stephens’s few films.”
At the Talkhouse Film, in the meantime, Aaron Katz finds that writing about Charlie McDowell’s The One I Love “without spoilers is impossible…. Anyway, the real developments are in the evolving relationship between Elisabeth Moss, who plays Sophie, and Mark Duplass, who plays Ethan. No matter how much you know in advance, their performances make for a movie that is hilarious, weird, unnervingly sincere and incredibly compelling.”
One of Ron Mann’s bumpers for the 2001 edition of SXSW
“Kelly Reichardt has gradually emerged as one of the very best American filmmakers,” argues J.J. Murphy. “Her trajectory has been a consistent upward slope since Old Joy (2006) brought her back into the limelight twelve years after her debut feature River of Grass (1994). None of her films has been a huge box office success, but each of her subsequent films—Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy (2008), Meek’s Cutoff (2010) and her latest Night Moves (2013)—have become major critical successes… In Night Moves, Reichardt uses the suspense thriller genre… to create a chilling character study of its idealistic but disturbed protagonist.” And the Guardian‘s Xan Brooks interviews Reichardt.
“The news that the 2015 edition of Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide will be its last got the staff of The Dissolve reflecting on the books, like the Maltin Guide, that they loved in their younger days.”
IN OTHER NEWS
The Berlinale‘s announced that it’ll be presenting an Honorary Golden Bear to Wim Wenders and screening ten of his films as part of the Homage during its 65th edition, running from February 5 through 15.
New York. Stephanie Zacharek in the Voice: “Jean-Paul Belmondo in a white dinner jacket. There. That should be enough to sell you on Philippe de Broca’s 1964 crime caper–spoof That Man From Rio, but if for some reason it’s not, let’s throw in Jean-Paul Belmondo on a motorcycle, Jean-Paul Belmondo elbowing his way onto a flight from Paris to Rio de Janeiro with no ticket or passport, and Jean-Paul Belmondo performing his own stunts—he scrambles across multiple stories’ worth of construction scaffolding with ‘what, me worry?’ aplomb. Still not sold? Two more words: Françoise Dorléac. And if that doesn’t do it, there’s no hope.”
“There are moments in That Man From Rio,” writes Salon‘s Andrew O’Hehir, “including an almost surrealistic chase scene shot against the nightmare-modernist construction site of Brasilia, Brazil’s newly invented capital city, where de Broca seems to channel the spirit of modernist anomie found in, say, the contemporaneous films of Michelangelo Antonioni. I think that’s pure accident, a case of inhaling the Zeitgeist without meaning to, but it’s also true that there’s so much bizarre social subtext in That Man From Rio that you can’t tell where intention ends and coincidence begins.” The week-long run at Film Forum begins tomorrow.
Los Angeles. In the Times, Susan King talks with UCLA Film & Television Archive director Jan-Christopher Horak about Exile Noir, a series of films by “German emigre writers, directors, producers, actors, composers and literati who had fled the Nazis…. Their arrival, said Horak, ‘changed not just the film industry and the kind of films that were being made, it changed the intellectual life. You have people who are not in the film industry but came here because of the weather and perceived opportunities like [composer] Arnold Schoenberg and [author] Thomas Mann. They changed the intellectual character of Southern California.'” Tomorrow through September 28. And from October 23 through March 1, the exhibition Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950 will be on view at the Skirball Center.
Nashville. La última película (2013) is “a very funny and quite odd new film playing [today] in Third Man Records’ Light and Sound Machine series,” writes Michael Sicinski. “It’s a feature-length experimental narrative, the result of a collaboration between Raya Martin, a major figure in contemporary Filipino cinema, and Mark Peranson, a programmer for the Locarno Film Festival and editor-in-chief of the Canadian film magazine Cinema Scope…. Loosely based on Dennis Hopper‘s infamous 1971 film The Last Movie, a film that effectively torched the director’s industry goodwill left over from Easy Rider, LUP is an attempt to make literal the idea that a medium such as film could actually die. Would its death take anyone else down with it?”
London. Charulata (The Lonely Wife, 1964), which [Satyajit] Ray himself regarded as his finest achievement,” begins its run at BFI Southbank today, and programmer Geoff Andrew writes up an appreciation.
“Over the past 15 years London’s FrightFest has grown from a bunch of mates screening films to a can’t-miss for horror fans.” For Time Out, Nigel Floyd picks five films to catch. FrightFest is on from today through Monday.
IN THE WORKS
From Justin Kroll: “Sources tell Variety that Warners has greenlit the political dramedy Our Brand is Crisis, which [Sandra] Bullock has committed to star in with David Gordon Green set to direct. The film is based on the 2005 documentary of the same name, which focuses on the use of American political campaign strategies in South America.”
And Matthew McConaughey and Nicolas Winding Refn are teaming up on “a series of commercials that showcase Lincoln’s vehicles,” reports Marc Graser.