Daily | Costa, Jarman, Ceylan

Our Secret Life in the Movies

McGriff’s books include ‘Home Burial,’ a NYT Book Review Editors’ Choice selection, and Tyree’s written for Sight & Sound, The Believer, and Film Quarterly

Michael McGriff and J.M. Tyree discuss their new book, Our Secret Life in the Movies, which the Paris Review describes as “a novel in fragments, vacillating between fiction and autobiography, with more than thirty pairs of stories inspired by the films they watched together” when they set out to watch the entire Criterion Collection. “Part collage and part homage, Secret Life follows two boys as they come of age in Reagan-era America, where the video store is the locus of the imagination and the fear of a nuclear winter looms large in the collective conscious.”

Setting down his first impressions of Goodbye to Language for the New York Review of Books, Geoffrey O’Brien notes that Godard‘s “form of collage seems to contain almost everything, including a plentiful supply of gaps and concealments and disguises. He creates a surface as dense as a page of Pound’s ‘Section: Rock-Drill’ or Ashbery’s ‘The Tennis Court Oath.’ The abstraction and opacity are in the surface of an underlying formal equilibrium defined, here, through a phrase of the mathematician Bernhard Riemann: ‘A landscape where each point is transformed into music.’ … 3D is an exclamation point on top of an exclamation point. What Goodbye to Language restores is the primordial shock before 3D, before movies, before even cave paintings. Tree! Fire! Water! Eyes! The colors of spring and autumn! It restores, too, the shock of not quite seeing, not recognizing.”

“I used to say that my goal in a few years is to have the best possible balance between what is happening behind the camera and what is happening in front of the camera,” Pedro Costa tells Patrick Holzapfel at Twitch. “I mean that in every possible sense. I’m talking about work and power relations, how do you pay people? How do you get people there? How do you get out of that place with them? And these things have to be in balance with the way you capture the images and sounds.”

Richard Linklater moderates the SXSW 2014 Q&A with Wes Anderson

Steve Erickson‘s written something of a John Cassavetes primer for


The Berlinale‘s announced that Darren Aronofsky will be president of the International Jury. The 65th edition of the Berlin International Film Festival runs from February 5 through 15.


Time Out‘s “polled over 50 experts in the field,” including John McTiernan, Gareth Evans, Luc Besson, Alex Ross Perry and stuntwoman Zoë Bell as well as critics such as Grady Hendrix and Keith Uhlich to compile its list of the “100 best action movies.”

The staff at Little White Lies has written up their “Top 20 Films of 1994.”


New York. Queer Pagan Punk: The Films of Derek Jarman is on at BAM through November 11 and Thomas Beard calls Jarman‘s book, At Your Own Risk: A Saint’s Testament, “a record of sexual awakening that is concomitant and inextricable with a political one—a rich context for the erotic imagination and fighting spirit that would animate Jarman’s films and cement their place within the annals of queer cinema.”

Exposed: Songs for Unseen Warhol Films runs at BAM from Thursday through Saturday and the staff’s gathered program notes and related articles and video. Meantime, upstate at the University of Rochester, Douglas Crimp will present an evening of Andy Warhol’s Sexy Silent Films on Thursday.

MoMA’s series Filmmaker in Focus: Nuri Bilge Ceylan is on through tomorrow and Variety‘s Scott Foundas talks with the director about his admiration of Chekhov and Tarkovsky: “I’m quite a melancholic person, and this kind of melancholy is, I think, in the Russian atmosphere. I always felt this kind of melancholy, but when I was younger and I hadn’t yet read the Russian classics, I felt guilty for feeling this way. I felt I was different from the others, abnormal. But when I read Russian literature, I found some similar people, and I felt better. It was a kind of therapy for me.”

Criterion’s Three Reasons for Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (1960)

London. Jet Propelled Cinema: How Psychedelia Infected Hollywood Sci-Fi is a program of short work from the mid-20th century west coast art scene and it’s on tonight at BFI Southbank.


The first two stories in today’s “in the works” section are about projects falling apart rather than coming together. Deadline‘s Jen Yamato reports that “Benaroya Pictures has shut down the Robert De Niro, Robert Pattinson and Rachel Weisz heist thriller Idol’s Eye, just as filming was set to commence in Toronto.” This was to have been Olivier Assayas‘s second feature in English, following Clouds of Sils Maria.

“Christian Bale will not be Steve Jobs after all.” Jobs, based on Walter Isaacson’s biography, written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Danny Boyle, now needs a new lead. Borys Kit and Tatiana Siegel have more in the Hollywood Reporter.

Ridley Scott and Syfy are preparing to turn Arthur C. Clarke’s third sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey, 3001: The Final Odyssey (1997), into a miniseries. Keith Phipps has more at the Dissolve: “Set, as the title suggests, 1,000 years after the events of 2001, the novel follows the further adventures of Frank Poole, the astronaut HAL 9000 sent spinning off into space in the first installment. The script will come from Stuart Beattie, whose credits range from the Pirates of the Caribbean series to I, Frankenstein (the latter of which he also directed).”

“One morning I woke and realized I was both surrounded and dominated by women. Strangely, a sudden urge was planted in me to make a horror film about vicious beauty.” That’s Nicolas Winding Refn discussing The Neon Demon, co-written with Mary Laws and set in Los Angeles. Jordan Raup has details at the Film Stage: “Cliff Martinez will return to score, while frequent collaborator Matthew Newman will edit, and Philippe Le Sourd (The Grandmaster) has come aboard as cinematographer.”


Listening (29’43”). In the latest episode of DVD Is the New Vinyl, Aaron Hillis talks with Jason Schwartzman, Jeff Preiss and Zoe Kazan.

Matthew McConaughey turns 45 today

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