DAILY | Fischinger, Pálfi, Linklater, and More

The BFI has announced that Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie will open this year’s London Film Festival, the 56th, running from October 10 through 21. The LFF will also host an exhibition, The Art of Frankenweenie, from October 17 through 21.

Opening in London today and running through Monday is the Film4 FrightFest, and Nigel Floyd‘s got an overview in Time Out.

World Film Festival

Poster for the bilingual festival

Montreal. The World Film Festival opens today and runs through September 3.

New York. Gregory Zinman for Moving Image Source: “Explosions, spinning globes, black-and-white animated squiggles, rapidly moving discs, pulsating moiré patterns, and a set of dancing vertical pointed lines that suggest a sort of kinetic picket fence: this intriguing barrage of imagery confronts viewers as they step into the second-floor film and video gallery at the Whitney Museum. Percussive music fills the space, alternately punctuating and pushing the onrush of imagery, a lush array of purples, greens, reds, and blues. Conceived in 1926 by animator Oskar Fischinger, the three-screen spectacle is one of the most hypnotic and mysterious films you’ll see this year. But it is not, in fact, a film—at least in the conventional sense of the word—and it never was. It was something far more radical, and its historical significance and medium-specific qualities raise a host of questions about the intersection of cinematic history and the museum.” Oskar Fischinger: Space Light Art—A Film Environment is on view through October 28.

Los Angeles. Susan King rounds up local goings on in the Times.

Reading. “The cinematography in David Twohy’s 2009 A Perfect Getaway is utterly lush until suddenly it isn’t.” That switch is a key to unlocking the film, argues Adam Nayman in Reverse Shot.

Marc Savlov visits the set of Machete Kills, has a good long talk with Robert Rodriguez, and reports back in the Austin Chronicle.

The Boston Phoenix‘s Peter Keough charts the summer’s blockbusters according to their politics, from red to blue and all the shades of purple in between.

Books. A Companion to Eastern European Cinemas, edited by Aniko Imre, is out, and Steven Shaviro finds it kind of pricey. So he’s making his own contribution, “Body Horror and Post-Socialist Cinema: György Pálfi’s Taxidermia,” freely available.

Reading My Life as a Mankiewicz has made Vince Keenan “realize exactly how much Tom Mankiewicz shaped my adolescence…. The book, assembled by longtime friend Robert Crane after Mankiewicz’s death from pancreatic cancer in 2010, is ragged and grows progressively sour as the business Mankiewicz was born into becomes more corporate. But it’s filled with stories you haven’t heard before and wisdom worth remembering.”

DVD/Blu-ray. “I’m not really one for speculative film criticism, or concocting alternative histories of cinema,” writes Glenn Kenny, “but I have to own up to a thought that hit me while checking out the new Blu-ray disc of The Seven Year Itch, the 1955 comedy directed by Billy Wilder and starring Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell. Which was that the film really would have been better off having been directed by Frank Tashlin than Billy Wilder.”


Tim Lucas’s definitive study; is a remake really necessary?

“The Texas Monthly article on the death of Marjorie Nugent at the hands of Bernie Tiede remains one of my favorite longreads (Midnight in the Garden of East Texas).” M. Leary at Filmwell: “The balance it strikes between affectionate regionalism, sexual oppression, bible belt charity, and cold-blooded murder is straight out of a Flannery O’Connor short. [Richard] Linklater’s take on the legend of Bernie Tiede lands right in the same groove. The way it interleaves this story with interviews of locals involved with Bernie, Ms. Nugent, and the court case is unforced. Jack Black as the ‘funeral director’ with the perfect timbre for funereal hymns lulls us into Linklater’s off-kilter gravitas.” Jordan Cronk in Slant on Millennium Entertainment’s release of Bernie: “One of the year’s most unassumingly ambitious American narratives arrives in the digital marketplace, giving audiences a chance to see Jack Black’s career best performance in an effortlessly entertaining film that fell through the cracks.”

In the works. “Celebrated commercials helmer Adam Berg is in talks to make his feature directing debut on Videodrome, the remake of the 1983 David Cronenberg-directed film that is set up at Universal Pictures,” reports Deadline‘s Mike Fleming. Criticwire‘s Matt Singer is one of many who finds this to be a terrible idea.

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