Burt Reynolds in ‘Deliverance’

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of John Boorman’s Deliverance, Kim Morgan has a “short, sweet, ornery, funny, insightful and, for me, personally historic discussion” with Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, and Ronny Cox. Back in 2010, the Guardian compiled a list of the “25 best action and war films of all time,” and Deliverance made #5. John Patterson: “For all the furious excitement of its river-rafting sequences, and the harshness and humiliation of its explosive central rape scene, Deliverance is an elegiac movie, mourning the rural mountain culture soon to be inundated by a new hydro-electric dam. A people is displaced, churches are uprooted and coffins disinterred, so that Atlanta, home of our four suburbanites, can have power and light. Karma demands payment for that, and takes it, brutally.”

Peter O’Toole announced his retirement this morning, reports Lily Rothman for Time. From his statement: “My professional acting life, stage and screen, has brought me public support, emotional fulfillment and material comfort… However, it’s my belief that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one’s stay. So I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell.”

At the House Next Door, Ronald Bergan posts a few notes from Karlovy Vary: “One of the most heard voices at the festival this year was the mellifluous Northern Irish-accented one of cinemaniac Mark Cousins. He was omnipresent in introducing and giving Q&As at every showing of his 900-minute The Story of Film: An Odyssey, which is both educative (it makes even jaded know-it-all, seen-it-all film historians like myself learn myriad new facts and new angles) and vastly entertaining. Not only did Cousins set some sort of world record by introducing all 15 episodes, and giving about 10 interviews a day, but the man was there to present his new film What Is This Film Called Love (no question mark, though an exclamation mark would be suitable).” More from Veronika Ferdman.

DVD/Blu-ray. For the New Yorker, Michael Sragow talks with screenwriter (Chinatown) and director (Personal Best) Robert Towne about Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps (1935), out now from Criterion: “[M]ost ‘pure’ movie thrillers, especially when you think of Hitchcock, are either fantasies fulfilled or anxieties purged. The 39 Steps is one of the few, if not the only one, that does both at the same time. He puts you into this paranoid fantasy of being accused of murder and being shackled to a beautiful girl—of escaping from all kinds of harm, and at the same time trying to save your country, really. A Hitchcock film like Psycho is strictly an anxiety purge. The 39 Steps gives you that and the fantasy fulfilled. It’s kind of a neat trick, really.”


Kenneth Lonergan’s ‘Margaret’

At the Playlist, Jessica Kiang posts the first part of an extensive interview with Kenneth Lonergan, in which he discusses the “extended cut” of Margaret, the digital vs. film debate, 3D and more. Sam Adams for Slate: “Lonergan is right that two Margarets are better than one; the versions are complementary, enriching each other and suggesting that longing for a definitive version of such an elusive, protean work may be beside the point. Much as I prefer the more audacious, all-encompassing extended cut, certain moments work better when left open-ended.”

In the works. Spike Lee‘s working on a documentary about Michael Jackson’s Bad, reports Nekesa Mumbi Moody for the AP.

Listening. Empire‘s got Hans Zimmer’s complete soundtrack for The Dark Knight Rises, opening on July 26. On a related note, frieze has dusted off Dan Fox‘s 2010 piece on Christopher Nolan’s Inception.

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