Daily | Fall Festivals and the Zeitgeist

Nathan Punwar's 'Loves of a Cyclops'

During NYFF Convergence, Nathan Punwar will present a guided tour through the world of his 25-minute film ‘Loves of a Cyclops’ (2013)

“Transmedia and the immersive experience is making its return to the New York Film Festival for the third year,” announces the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Brian Brooks. The three-pronged NYFF Convergence program—films, panels and interactive presentations—will take place on September 27 and 28, and you can see the full lineup here. Previously announced NYFF 2014 lineups? They’re here.

Before New York, though, there’ll be Venice, opening tomorrow (here are the lineups), Telluride this weekend and, beginning September 4, Toronto (and here are those lineups). Jessica Kiang (Playlist) and Fiona Macdonald (BBC) each pick out ten Venice titles to keep an eye on, while Michael Roddy and Isla Binnie, reporting for Reuters, offer a somewhat melancholic preview: “Although it is the world’s oldest film festival and perhaps its most glamorous, with stars chauffeured to the red carpet on Lido Island by motorboat water taxis instead of limousines, it struggles, a bit like the city, to keep its head above water. ‘For the longest time it lived off its reputation for being one of the oldest, one of the most prestigious, one of the most gorgeous places in Europe but in the last few years it’s lost a bit of its purpose because the independent and arthouse film industry has been hard hit,’ said Scott Roxborough, German bureau chief for The Hollywood Reporter.”


Cinema Guild has picked up US distribution rights to Lisandro Alonso‘s Jauja, produced by and starring Viggo Mortensen, reports Casey Cipriani for Indiewire. Jauja, winner of the FIPRESCI Prize in Cannes, will screen in Toronto and at the NYFF.

“If you watched [last night’s] Emmys and suddenly felt as though it were 1974 rather than 2014, you’re not alone,” writes Matt Brennan at Thompson on Hollywood. “Amid profound changes in how, where, and why we watch television—to the point that ‘television’ increasingly feels like a misnomer—the medium’s flagship organization seemed confused as to which ‘Golden Age’ to celebrate.” And of course, he’s got the full list of winners. Matt Zoller Seitz live-blogged the show for Vulture, where Margaret Lyons picks out the highs and lows of the evening.


“Movies are worth studying for themselves, not just as channels for Op-Ed memes.” David Bordwell, responding to the launch of “The Moviegoers,” a New York Times feature in which columnists Frank Bruni and Ross Douthat talk movies, expands on his argument that reading films as reflections of a presumed zeitgeist is limiting at best.

Notorious (1946) remains one of the most compelling and mysterious of Alfred Hitchcock’s films.” So begins an in-depth study by Adrian Martin at 16:9. “Notorious veritably demands that we explore our more free-floating, subtle responses to the behavior of characters and their relationships. The question of point of view—how far the literal POV or more general standpoint of characters is aligned with the Hitchcock’s own attitude—is complex, and constantly unsettled by the film itself…. What makes Notorious such a unique achievement is the way it actively creates and structures this openness on many levels simultaneously.”

“[Bob] Fosse’s quick-kick-kick-turn but metaphysically heavy graces appeared in all his movies,” writes Hilton Als for Criterion. “They were there in Paula Kelly’s and Chita Rivera’s dance-hall girls in his first film as a director, 1969’s Sweet Charity. They were there in the dancers and all-female band in 1972’s Cabaret. They were there as Valerie Perrine’s Honey in 1974’s Lenny. And they were there in Ann Reinking’s, Leland Palmer’s and Jessica Lange’s performances in his most ambitious movie, 1979’s All That Jazz.”

From the New Inquiry: “The now-notorious ‘No Angel‘ article in the NY Times” has Aaron Bady thinking about Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station (2013).

For Film Comment, David Gregory Lawson talks with Catherine Breillat about Abuse of Weakness (2013).

David Liu‘s reposted his conversation with Lixin Fan regarding Last Train Home (2009).


“Andrew Dominik, the writer-director of Chopper, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Killing Them Softly, has signed on to write the script for Shaolin Temple, a 3D remake of Jet Li’s 1982 martial-arts epic, to be directed by Fast & Furious director Justin Lin,” reports Noel Murray.

Also from the Dissolve: “On the heels of Paramount selling the Richard Linklater movie School of Rock to Nickelodeon, the studio is now reportedly making the necessary deals to turn Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island into an HBO series as well,” reports Matt Singer. “Scorsese would potentially direct the pilot from a script by Dennis Lehane, author of the original Shutter Island novel.” And Paramount’s considering three more of its properties as potential series: The Truman Show, Ghost (the “1990 Demi Moore/Patrick Swayze supernatural weepie”) and Narc, a “‘crime drama inspired by’ the 2002 Joe Carnahan movie about a cop investigating the death of an undercover narcotics officer.”


Listening (72’33”). In the latest episode of The Cinephiliacs, Peter Labuza talks with Stephanie Zacharek about writing for Salon when the Internet was young, what she learned from Pauline Kael and about John Boorman’s Having a Wild Weekend (1965).

For more linkage, see the latest round from John Wyver, who also, by the way, has a terrific entry on a recent “performed screening” of Frank Benson’s Richard III (1911).

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