Daily | desistfilm, Godard, Fellini

Ken Jacobs

Ken Jacobs’s ‘Celestial Subway Lines’ (2003)

In the new issue of desistfilm, David Phelps interviews Ken Jacobs and José Sarmiento Hinojosa explains why Jacobs’s work in 3D, dating back to 1997, is like that of no other filmmaker. Also: “Today, it becomes fundamental to talk about the works of Clarisse Hahn.”

Issue 005 also features Lauren Bliss on Jacobs’s Space/Time and Worries (2007), Harun Farocki’s Workers Leaving the Factory (1995) and Stan Brakhage‘s Murder Psalm (1980). Sarah Nichols writes about the films of Joseph Cornell. Tristan Teshigahara: “The reconstructive collage films of Abigail Child do not inject themselves with political context, docufiction form, or profound cinematic meaning. However, they make us ponder the process of filmmaking itself.”

Plus: Julian Ross on Perspective in White, an exhibition of work by Norio Imai’s work on view at Galerie Richard in New York through March 29, Claudia Siefen on early work by René Clair and John A. Riley on the “invisible cinema” of C.S. Leigh.


For Masao Adachi, “it is above all in Ici et Ailleurs [1976] that [Godard] tried, through his own desperation, to narrate the problems of a whole era.” Stoffel Debuysere’s translated the 2002 essay at diagonal thoughts.

Todd Haynes on Fassbinder and Sirk

“Among the central occupations of Fellini’s work is what he wants from the women in his life,” writes Chris Knapp for the Paris Review, adding that “throughout his work, the search for an ideal of womanhood is represented in a series of large and buxom temptresses: Anita Ekberg, Sandra Milo, Eddra Gale in an especially memorable dance sequence as La Saraghina. But pulling his films off the shelf one by one, my wife and I agreed the problem was most nearly solved, onscreen and in life, by his wife and best collaborator, the tiny and brilliant Guilietta Masina.”

Film Comment has revived Grady Hendrix‘s sorely missed “Kaiju Shakedown” column. In the latest: Hong Kong is restless.

“Before there was Hollywood film production there was New York film production. Before that, there was West Orange, New Jersey, where Mr. Edison and Mr. Dickson devised a movie machine. And somewhat before that, before movies themselves, there was Rochester.” A trip back home has David Bordwell chatting with the proprietors of the Cinema Theater, where $5 will get you into a double feature—projected from 35mm prints.

The title of Eric Benson‘s profile for the New York Times Magazine says it all: “The Psychomagical Realism of Alejandro Jodorowsky.”

At Not Coming to a Theater Near You, Rumsey Taylor revisits Fritz Lang‘s Metropolis (1927), it’s “Frankensteinian hubris, religious martyrdom, and the transcendent and redemptive power of true love.”

INTERSECTION from Catherine Grant, introducing the latest roundup at Film Studies for Free, “Study of a Single Film: In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)”

Jan-Christopher Horak, director of the UCLA Film & Television Archive, looks back on this year’s retrospective at the Berlinale, The Aesthetics of Shadow. Lighting Styles 1915-1950, finding that “the organizers went with a heterogeneous mixture of mostly canonized works, betting on the popular, rather than the esoteric, with real discoveries few and far between.”


Jonathan Rosenbaum‘s posted his 2003 review of J. Hoberman’s The Dream Life: Movies, Media, and the Mythology of the Sixties: “The sardonic cast of the prose guarantees that nostalgia for the 1960s is kept perpetually at bay—to the consternation of aging hippies and the enlightenment of everyone else, including younger reformists who’ve grown understandably weary of their elders’ stale reveries.”

“[I]f you got a smooch from an old pal who happens to have written and directed Django Unchained, you’d be a fool not to put it in your book,” suggests Ted Scheinman in the Los Angeles Review of Books. Anne Thompson’s The $11 Billion Year “is a bouncy, sometimes slipshod diary of one year in the life of a jet-setting film critic, loosely structured—like a studio budget—around tentpole events: Sundance, SXSW, Comic-Con, and so forth.”

The Greatest Movies You’ll Never See is a “consistently entertaining ride [that] introduces itself as ‘an alternative history of cinema’ or ‘the skeleton of one,’ and what could be more alternative or skeletal than a history that, essentially, didn’t happen?” writes John DiLeo for the Washington Post. “Covering more than 50 unrealized projects, from Charlie Chaplin’s to Charlie Kaufman’s, the book’s entries are brisk and concise yet packed with information.”


“Diego Luna’s biopic Cesar Chavez, Shawn Christensen’s gripping drama Before I Disappear and the abortion doc Vessel were among SXSW’s big audience award winners on Saturday,” reports Maane Khatchatourian for Variety. Meantime, at Hammer to Nail, Jesse Klein writes up the highlights of his SXSW 2014 and Brian Hieggelke sends a dispatch into Newcity Film.


New York. “If the Hollywood auteurs were the ghosts in the studio machine, what would they look like exorcised?” Auteurs Gone Wild, a nine-film series, runs at Anthology Film Archives from Thursday through March 30, and the Notebook‘s posted programmer David Phelps‘s “director’s cut” of his program notes.

SOC 2014 – The Motion Picture Camera: Past, Present and Future from Jery October.

“The classic comedies series that [runs through March 30] at Museum of the Moving Image includes one film that makes trouble its subject,” notes the New Yorker‘s Richard Brody: “Ernst Lubitsch’s 1932 romance Trouble in Paradise, which I watched again recently, and which strikes me, belatedly, as another peculiar influence on The Grand Budapest Hotel…. It’s worth considering why artists find comic settings for intimate and political crises.”


“David Brenner, who delivered his observational style of stand-up comedy on television and on stage for over four decades, died at his home in Manhattan on Saturday,” reports Emma G. Fitzsimmons for the New York Times. “Mr. Brenner was perhaps best known for his regular appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. He was one of its most frequent guests, performing more than 150 times.” Brenner was 78.

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