Daily | Ebert, Buster, Nolan

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert’s press pass

We’ve got lineups for the Official Selection, Critics’ Week and Directors’ Fortnight but we don’t have one yet for Cannes Classics., though, reports that Life Itself, the documentary about the late film critic that premiered at Sundance, will be in there. What’s more, director Steve James is promising new footage. Roger Ebert “loved Cannes and Cannes loved him. We were so inspired by his writing about the festival, that we’ve created a new section in the film devoted to his adventures there over the years.”


The Seattle International Film Festival has announced that its 40th edition, running from May 15 through June 8, will open with John Ridley‘s Jimi: All Is By My Side. Jimi Hendrix was born and raised, of course, in Seattle, and he’s played here by André Benjamin. Ridley, you’ll remember, wrote 12 Years a Slave.

New York’s Rooftop Films has announced the feature film lineup for its 18th annual Summer Series.


Kurt Walker‘s unearthed a piece Kent Jones wrote about Abel Ferrara, most likely in 1994: “Ferrara listens to what his locations and his actors are saying; he lets them breathe. All of New York seems to be hovering outside the frame.”

The movie of the week over at the Dissolve is Buster Keaton‘s Sherlock Jr. (1924), “a landmark film,” writes Noel Murray, “widely regarded as one of the greatest in the history of silent comedy, and rivaled only by The General in Keaton’s own filmography. It has that reputation not just because of the quality of the gag construction—which is stellar—but because it has a point of view. It’s a movie about movies.” Meantime, Murray and Matt Singer have put together a list: “Five of our favorite movies within movies.”

Oliver Lyttelton writes up the Playlist’s 40 most anticipated films of the summer. The HitFix team focuses on just 25, while Anna Smith picks 20 for the Telegraph.


“Todd McGowan may well be the finest film theorist currently working in the States,” suggests Brandon Konecny at Film International. “His work is consistently original, and he writes with a concision and lucidity that renders even the most daunting of thinkers accessible. His The Real Gaze: Film Theory After Lacan (2008) and Out of Time: Desire in Atemporal Cinema (2011) are indeed nothing short of masterpieces in contemporary film theory. Thankfully, he doesn’t betray this reputation in his book The Fictional Christopher Nolan.”

Stray Dog of Anime

The new cover

“Originally published in 2004 and now available as a revised and updated edition, Brian Ruh’s Stray Dog of Anime: The Films of Mamoru Oshii is an attempt to give the director the recognition amongst English-speaking viewers that he deserves,” writes Neil Emmett at Cartoon Brew. “Ruh wants to make it clear that Oshii is not merely the man behind the Ghost in the Shell films, but an accomplished auteur with a varied filmography.”

“The image of Wayne as someone who craved activity and shunned introspection is one of the strongest—and somehow most poignant—impressions to emerge from John Wayne: The Life and Legend, Scott Eyman’s exemplary biography,” writes Robert Horton for Film Comment. “The Duke’s restlessness drums through the book, and while the man does not come across as unhappy, he does seem chased by a need to keep working, to keep proving himself, and (surprisingly) to pay his bills.”


“A dream team of actor Leonardo DiCaprio and director Danny Boyle are in line to take over the high-profile biopic of pioneering tech entrepreneur Steve Jobs after The Social Network‘s David Fincher relinquished the reins.” Andrew Pulver reports for the Guardian.

A Cold War thriller with Tom Hanks or another collaboration with Tony Kushner (The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara)? Or Montezuma? Or even Robopocalypse? Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna wonder which of these projects, all of which Steven Spielberg is attached to in one way or another, will come first for the director.


The Blind Librarian at the best site devoted to Chris Marker notes that “a 3 DVD collection of Marker films, going back to Sunday in Peking, passing through the essential Letter to Siberia and Description of a Struggle, and finishing up with The Case of the Grinning Cat are being published by Soda Pictures in the UK.” The preliminary street date is June 2.

“It’s essential to keep in mind that Sorcerer is a Hollywood film (a joint-production between Paramount and Universal, at that), since what’s on screen could not be any seemingly less so,” writes Clayton Dillard for Slant, “especially given Friedkin’s bleaker-than-bleak philosophical and distended narrative devices. If The French Connection, as Pauline Kael said, ushered in a Hollywood era of ‘nightmarish realism,’ Sorcerer reverses that logic by commencing with a globe-trotting, multi-language prologue that introduces the film’s primary formal interest: sound design.”

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