Nathalie Atkinson looks at the feminist politics of Murder, She Wrote and its star, Angela Lansbury. Anne T. Donahue turns her magnifying glass on another famous TV sleuth, Veronica Mars, saluting the show for the straightforward (and therein radical) way it addresses rape culture. Kelli Korducki examines assholes and self-actualization in Transparent, and Zoe Daniels looks at Adventure Time as a freeing gender fantasy. Zeba Blay bravely goes into the world of reality TV to talk about depictions of black women in VH1’s Love & Hip Hop. And returning to the trope of the female detective, Kathleen Kampeas-Rittenhouse dissects the good, the bad, and the ugly in contemporary feminist crime dramas Happy Valley, The Fall, and Top of the Lake.
There’s also a new issue of Craig Baldwin and Robert Edmondson’s OtherZine. Issue 28: Autonomous Zones includes an interview with Denah Johnston, director of Canyon Cinema, an essay by Lynne Sachs and more.
“Despite having one of the most diverse bodies of work in the past decade of Iranian cinema, Abdolreza Kahani is also one of the most suppressed filmmakers in Iran. His films have mostly been confiscated or banned from public screenings and are not allowed to be shown in many international festivals since all of his work encroaches on the limits of the Islamic Republic.” Hadi Khanmohammadi Zunuzi introduces Amir Ganjavie‘s interview with Kahani.
Goodfellas will turn 25 in September and, writing for Filmmaker, Jim Hemphill argues that it “was a seminal work for Scorsese as well as for American movies in general, both summing up everything the director had done before and pointing the way toward the ambitious epics to follow…. Scorsese and his generation were enamored of Godard, Truffaut, and their contemporaries right from the beginning, but it took Goodfellas for the revolutions of the French New Wave to truly infiltrate large-scale studio filmmaking.”
Eli Roth, Steve McQueen, Joe Carnahan, Lone Scherfig, James Cameron, David Cronenberg, Ben Wheatley, Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, Quentin Tarantino, Mark Romanek, Michael Winterbottom, Peter Mullan, Paul Greengrass, Ridley Scott, Peter Jackson and Martin Scorsese on directing
David Davidson looks back on the relationship between Positif and Cahiers du Cinéma in the 1980s.
With his re-edit of Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Steven Soderbergh “reopens and reroutes the critical debate,” argues Jackson Arn. Also writing for Film Comment: Nick Pinkerton on Tim Heidecker, Gregg Turkington and Decker.
Eric Hynes at Reverse Shot: “In 1984, Anthony Yerkovich’s Miami Vice didn’t just smuggle film style and grammar onto television: it was a television show that would prove to greatly influence feature filmmaking.”
Looking back for SFAQ on the San Francisco Cinematheque’s Crossroads festival of film and video that wrapped last week, Max Goldberg writes about recent work by Paul Clipson, Sylvia Schedelbauer, Vanessa Renwick, Zachary Epcar, Jeanne Liotta, Deborah Stratman, Ben Rivers, Jonathan Schwartz and more.
In his latest column for Sight & Sound, Brad Stevens notes that “three of Vincente Minnelli’s finest achievements were based on highly distinguished (though now largely forgotten) novels: James Jones’s Some Came Running (1957, film 1958), William Humphrey’s Home from the Hill (1957, film 1960) and Irwin Shaw’s Two Weeks in Another Town (1960, film 1962). Far from slavishly reproducing these texts, Minnelli made sweeping changes…. It may well be that the credited screenwriters partly determined how these stories mutated in their journeys from page to screen,” but “the emphasis all three films place on troubled masculinity suggests that the most telling revisions can be safely attributed to Minnelli.”
Daniel Craig, Kerry Washington, J.J. Abrams, Olivia Colman, Andrew Garfield, Steve McQueen, Kevin Bacon, Michael Fassbender, Aaron Sorkin, Sam Mendes, Simon Pegg, Steve Coogan, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hanks and Colin Farrell on collaboration
“I Killed the Movies.” Tom Shone explains in Intelligent Life.
“Time is supposed to heal all wounds,” writes Atom Egoyan in the Walrus. “But to be an Armenian a hundred years after the first genocide of the modern world is to know that such healing is impossible while the descendants of the perpetrators continue to deny their role in my own forebears’ suffering. Though the survivors have all but completely disappeared, we—their grandchildren and great-grandchildren—are still fighting for global recognition of the horrors inflicted a century ago during the tragedy properly known as the Armenian genocide.”
“How do you make a film about a dictator?” Oliver Farry examines various attempts for the New Statesman.
Time‘s released its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, Americans mostly. Even if you’re only half-interested in the selection, the choice of writers makes up a good other half. Film folk might want to see these:
- Ethan Hawke on Richard Linklater.
- Kirsten Gillibrand on Julianna Margulies.
- Tom Ford on Julianne Moore.
- Michael Caine on Christopher Nolan.
- Jack Nicholson on Lorne Michaels.
- Oprah Winfrey on Lee Daniels.
- Tilda Swinton on Amy Schumer.
- Amy Poehler on Chris Pratt.
- Jill Abramson on Emma Watson.
- Mindy Kaling on Reese Witherspoon.
- Ma Jun on Chai Jing, whose “documentary on pollution, Under the Dome, is one of the most important pieces of environmental awareness building ever in China.”
- Jazz Jennings on Laverne Cox.
- Oliver Platt on Bradley Cooper.
- Carrie Underwood on Audra McDonald.
- Chris Rock on Kevin Hart.
Grady Hendrix‘s latest “Kaiju Shakedown” column for Film Comment is on Kuei Chih-hung: “A pissed-off perfectionist with proletarian sensibilities, he directed groundbreaking, realistic crime flicks and some of the filthiest horror movies ever to leave a slime trail across the silver screen.”
For Newcity Film, Troy Pieper reports on a talk George Lucas recently gave at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago in which he addressed his past, his current work and the museum he hopes to see built on the city’s lakefront.
In Time Out Chicago, Michael Smith finds that Robert Altman’s Once Upon a Savage Night is “an invaluable document of Chicago life in the mid-1960s.”
For BOMB, Julian Ross talks with Lukas Marxt about his video work.
Adilifu Nama’s Race on the QT: Blackness and the Films of Quentin Tarantino “provides ample, perceptive examinations,” writes Clayton Dillard at the House Next Door, “but almost exclusively along narrative and character lines, with little attention paid to form or aesthetics, rendering several of these readings useful, but only up to a point.”
Keira Knightley, Tom Hanks, Anne Hathaway, Ben Stiller, Judi Dench, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Saoirse Ronan, Andrew Garfield, Olivia Colman, Jason Flemyng, Olga Kurylenko, Tom Hiddleston, Jesse Eisenberg, Brie Larson, Zoe Saldana, Kristin Scott Thomas and Tom Cruise on acting
With The Other Side of the Wind, Orson Welles was “seeking to make a barely describable film-within-a-film about a great man who has lost his creative powers,” writes Janet Maslin in the New York Times. “Josh Karp’s lively but hyperbolic Orson Welles’s Last Movie describes how Welles got his foot into the door of the New Hollywood, and his capacious body into a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel, courtesy of BBS, the production company that had produced Easy Rider. He had agreed to adapt a novel, but he was really just using this perch for his own ends.” And at Welles.net, Ray Kelly interviews Karp.
“Of the several-hundred volumes on Hitchcock published over the past half-century,” writes Leo Robson in the New Statesman, “the majority divide into acts of critical exegesis indifferent to his public persona or even his private self and brisk, myth-laden biography in which Hitchcock emerges as a superb technician, the man who invented the inverse zoom, who got Detective Arbogast to fall backwards so brilliantly down Mrs. Bates’s staircase. Peter Ackroyd, a biographer of Dickens, Blake and London, belongs comfortably to the second camp” and “Michael Wood is dancing on the shoulders of giants.”
Michael Guillén‘s posted an excerpt from David Meuel’s The Noir Western: Darkness on the Range, 1943-1962.
Luke McKernan’s posted an excerpt from “Going to the Pictures,” a piece that appears in Alan Bennett‘s Untold Stories (2005): “And while it’s not yet true that the films of the thirties and forties would need decoding for a child of the present day, nevertheless that time may come; the period of settled morality and accepted beliefs which produced such films is as much over now as is the set of beliefs and assumptions that produced a painting as complicated and difficult, for us at any rate, as Bronzino’s Allegory of Venus and Cupid.”
IN OTHER NEWS
The Jury for this year’s Cannes Film Festival (May 13 through 24) is now complete: Joel and Ethan Coen (Presidents), Rossy de Palma, Sophie Marceau, Sienna Miller, Rokia Traoré, Guillermo del Toro, Xavier Dolan and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Initiated by the Institut Français, La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde invites ten director/producer duos with a first or second feature length under development to Cannes each year. This year’s lineup includes eight narratives and two documentaries.
“The Golden Era dominated the 34th Hong Kong Film Awards with five wins, including best film, best director, best cinematography and best art direction,” reports Karen Chu for THR: “It was the fifth time The Golden Era‘s helmer Ann Hui won the best director award, after A Simple Life (2012), The Way We Are (2008), Summer Snow (1995) and Boat People (1982).”
“Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov’s detention in Russia’s Lefortovo prison has been extended once again—this time until May 11,” reports Martin Blaney for Screen. “This latest extension will mean that Sentsov has been held in custody for a year since being arrested by the Russian FSB secret service in the Crimean peninsula in May 2014.”
“Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has bought worldwide rights for Kelly Reichardt’s untitled Montana-set drama, starring Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams and James LeGros,” reports Variety‘s Dave McNary.
IN THE WORKS
“Michael Winterbottom is in talks to direct the comedy Russ & Roger Go Beyond starring Will Ferrell,” reports Variety‘s Justin Kroll. The comedy’s “based on the true story about how softcore porn maestro Russ Meyer teamed with Roger Ebert on Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, the first X-rated film to be released by a studio.”
The Last Reel: An Ode to 35-Millimeter Film
Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk “will be shot in 3D, 4K resolution and uniquely at a high frame rate of 120 frames per second.” As Carolyn Giardina notes in the Hollywood Reporter, this is a whole new ball game, posing a new “challenge for digital cinema projector makers…. Today’s movies are generally screened at 24 fps. Only Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy went to a higher frame rate of 48 frames per second.”
“Emma Stone and Steve Carell are set to star in Battle of the Sexes, a Fox Searchlight project about the epic tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,” reports TheWrap‘s Jeff Sneider. “Little Miss Sunshine filmmakers Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris will direct from a script by Simon Beaufoy. Danny Boyle will produce.”
From Etan Vlessing in the Hollywood Reporter: “Writer-director Joey Klein has found leads for The Other Half, his debut feature: Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany and her real-life boyfriend, Tom Cullen. Maslany will play Emily, a bipolar woman who falls in love with Nickie (Cullen), a grief-stricken man with whom she struggles to forge a simple life.”
And Disney and Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan are teaming up on an adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk, THR‘s Borys Kit has details.
“Russian director Bakhtyar Khudojnazarov, a winner of the Venice film festival’s best director’s Silver Lion, died in Berlin at the age of 49.” Vladimir Kozlov for the Hollywood Reporter: “The director’s best-known film was 1999’s Luna Papa, featuring Russian star Chulpan Khamatova and German actor Moritz Bleibtreu. It won several international festival prizes and collected the Russian award Nika in the best film, best director and best actress categories.”
Gabe Klinger has passed along news of the passing of Claudio Cunha, “one of the greats of Brazil’s Boca do Lixo, at the age of 68.”