The sixth issue of desistfilm, the bilingual journal from Peru, features a dossier on the diary film with—in English—Adrian Martin in 1996 on Robert Gibson’s Video Fool for Love (also 1996)—and in 2003, he wrote about one he likes much more, Jim McBride‘s David Holzman’s Diary (1967)—José Sarmiento Hinojosa on Alain Cavalier (and on Leo Hurwitz’s Dialogue with a Woman Departed  and Saul Levine’s Nearsight [1977-78]) and Tara Judah on Eva von Schweinitz’s A Film is a Film is a Film (2013) and Russell Scheaffer’s Acetate Diary (2013).
Further articles: Claudia Siefen on Hirokazu Kore-eda, Victor Bruno on Jean-Marie Straub’s Le genou d’Artémide (2008) and Le streghe, femmes entre elles (2009), and on James Gray’s The Immigrant (2013).
Jason Sperb, author of Disney’s Most Notorious Film, presents “a primer to why Song of the South was and still is offensive, and why none of its defenses hold any water.” Further: “I’ve changed my mind from what I wrote in the book: Disney is right to continue to keep the film out of circulation.”
“Not only actors but also directors can be typecast, particularly strong stylists like Max Ophuls and Michelangelo Antonioni,” writes J. Hoberman in the New York Times. “Ophuls has been dismissed by some as a froufrou formalist, Antonioni as a poet of the privileged. Neither is noted for his social consciousness, but their complexity is evident in new Blu-ray releases of two relatively obscure films, Ophuls’s Caught (1949), made under the name Marcel Opuls, and Antonioni’s I Vinti (1953).”
“There are two John Landises.” Steve Johnson elaborates—at length—for Bright Lights.
“Cities with active repertory theaters offer options for constructing cross-town do-it-yourself double-features, and a chance this Sunday to follow Malcolm X at BAMcinématek’s Spike Lee retro with Dinesh D’Souza’s America: Imagine the World Without Her seemed too dialectically productive to pass up.” Vadim Rizov tells us how that turned out at Filmmaker.
In his latest column on science fiction at the Dissolve, Keith Phipps notes that “even the most scrupulous taxonomy has its outliers, some of which reside so deep in the outer limits that they don’t seem to belong to science fiction at all.” And he considers Resnais‘s Je t’aime, je t’aime (1968), Roland Topor’s Fantastic Planet (1973) and Sun Ra’s (and John Coney’s) Space Is the Place (1972).
David Davidson on Lillian Ross’s François Truffaut: from The New Yorker, 1960-1976: “Knowing that Truffaut died of cancer too young at the age of 52 shadows the book and makes casual observations of life, growing old and death even more melancholic.”
Speaking of 1975, the Dissolve‘s “Movie of the Week” is Spielberg’s Jaws.
Indiewire looks ahead to “40 Films That Could Debut In Venice, Toronto, Telluride or New York.”
IN OTHER NEWS
Cinema Guild has announced that it’s acquired four films by Thom Andersen for release this fall on DVD and VOD, including the landmark documentary Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003; a cleaned-up version played at a few festivals last year). The other titles: Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer (1975), Reconversão (2012) and Red Hollywood (1996), which’ll also be screening at New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center in August.
Robert Flaherty‘s 11-minute short Oidhche Sheanchais (A Night of Storytelling, 1935) is the first film made in the Irish language. And it was believed to have been lost until a nitrate print was rediscovered in 2012. Now the Harvard Film Archive, in collaboration with Houghton Library, the Celtic department and Harvard’s Office of the Provost, has preserved it and is now making subtitled and unsubtitled versions available for loan.
Microscope Gallery is expanding—and could use your help.
“Christopher Nolan, whose last three films have all taken around $1bn at the global box office, has cautioned against a decline in traditional cinema showings for most movies,” reports the Guardian‘s Catherine Shoard. “Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Nolan urges greater innovation amongst filmmakers and greater courage from studios to back theatrical runs for movies which aren’t blockbusters.”
New York. Calum Marsh in the Voice: “The tension between what we know about the universe and how we continue to regard ourselves within it—that is, the tension between knowing that everything is pointless and needing to pretend that it isn’t—is the foundation of Luis Buñuel‘s cinema. He is the poet laureate of the absurd: His art perceives in the daily rituals we cling to the desperation that animates us all.” Buñuel, BAMcinématek’s 32-film retrospective, “the first to appear in New York, incredibly, in nearly 15 years,” opens on Friday and runs through July 31.
MoMA’s series Lady in the Dark: Crime Films from Columbia Pictures, 1932–1957 also opens on Friday but runs through August 4. “The lady in question is Columbia herself, the torch-bearing female personification of these United States who appears on the studio logo,” notes Nick Pinkerton, who writes up an overview for Artforum.
Phaidon notes that the Empire State Building is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Andy Warhol‘s Empire “with a month-long exhibition in the lobby, and a special illumination on the evening of 25 July, when thousands of sparkling white lights will light up the building in recognition of the night, in 1964, when Warhol and his cinematographer Jonas Mekas first trained their lens on the skyscraper.”
Latinbeat 2014 opens on Friday at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and runs through July 20.
San Francisco. A Special Weekend With Don Murray… America’s Least-Remembered Movie Star “is part of a larger project set to culminate by year’s end with the premiere of Don Malcolm’s feature Unsung Hero, a documentary tribute to ‘The Extraordinary Times and Exemplary Life’ of the aforementioned,” writes Dennis Harvey in the Bay Guardian. “Both doc and retrospective feature an ad line, ‘He went from acclaim to obscurity in the blink of an eye,’ that—like many of their subject’s performances—goes a bit hyperbolically overboard with the best intentions.” Friday through Sunday at the Roxie.
IN THE WORKS
On July 21, Philippe Garrel will begin shooting L’Ombre des femmes with Stanislas Merhar, Clotilde Courau and Lena Paugam, reports Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa. Written by Jean-Claude Carrière, Caroline Deruas and Arlette Langmann, “the story revolves around Pierre and Manon, a couple of poverty-stricken documentary makers who are set to weather a storm of love and romance in modern-day Paris.”
“The ’80s are coming back, sorta, with the help of Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh and Dirty Dancing actress Jennifer Grey,” reports Chris Eggertsen for HitFix. “The iconic ’80s star is joining Paul Reiser, Craig Roberts, Richard Kind and Oliver Cooper in Red Oaks, a new Amazon pilot that will be programmed as part of the nascent streaming service’s third pilot season.”
“Robert Redford is attached to play CBS News icon Dan Rather and Cate Blanchett is attached to play his producer Mary Mapes in Truth, a film that will mark the directorial debut of James Vanderbilt, the A-list screenwriter behind the first two installments of The Amazing Spider-Man,” reports Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr.
“Last year, Reza Aslan’s book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth generated some controversy among the easily alarmed cable-news crowd, who questioned the motives of the Muslim author and religious scholar in writing a biography of Jesus as a historical figure,” writes Noel Murray at the Dissolve. “Now Zealot is one step closer to making it to the screen, as Lionsgate has hired Harry Potter producer David Heyman and Ang Lee’s longtime writer/producer James Schamus to shepherd the project. Zealot still lacks a director and a cast, but Heyman and Schamus are a formidable pair.”
“Though their first collaboration on the Moses tale Exodus: Gods and Kings doesn’t bow till December, 20th Century Fox, Chernin Entertainment and Ridley Scott are already looking to reteam on another Old Testament character, David.” Justin Kroll reports for Variety.
Dick Jones, who “will forever be remembered for the boy he voiced in Disney’s second animated feature, in 1940, Pinocchio,” has died, reports Jacob Shamsian for EW. Jones was 87.
Viewing (79’48”). At Dangerous Minds, Richard Metzger digs up Tom Schiller’s Nothing Lasts Forever, a 1984 sci-fi comedy “similar in some respects to Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, with its depiction of a bureaucracy run amok, but with a hefty dollop of Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 thrown in for good measure.” And it features “vivid cameo appearances from Bill Murray as a suspicious bus conductor, Eddie Fisher playing himself as a broke lounge act, Dan Aykroyd as [an] uptight manager, Mort Sahl, Lawrence Tierney, Imogene Coca and Larry ‘Bud’ Melman.”
Listening (18’01”). Leonard Lopate talks with James Harvey about his new book, Watching Them Be: Star Presence on the Screen from Garbo to Balthazar.