Daily | Godard, Pasolini, Resnais

The Permanent Crisis of Film Criticisim

The introduction is now freely available

What with all the year-end lists and awards and winter festival lineups to keep up with, it’s been weeks since a general roundup. There’s a lot to cover, so, as with Thursday’s big roundup on new issues of film journals, I’ll keep the link-to-text ratio pretty tight this time around.

First up, a beautiful piece by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky at the AV Club. The search for an obscure Godard film leads to thoughts on cinephilia. And for Filmmaker, Zachary Wigon talks with Ignatiy about Ellie Lumme, screening on Friday and January 15 at Berlin’s Unknown Pleasures festival.

David Bordwell: “Visual storytelling is seldom purely visual.”

Via Catherine Grant, the introduction to Mattias Frey’s new book, The Permanent Crisis of Film Criticism (PDF).

Verso’s posted a piece Rossana Rossanda wrote two days after Pier Paolo Pasolini was murdered in November 1975: “For if one thing is certain, it is that everyone suddenly recognizing themselves in Pasolini’s thinking now that he has died—and died in this way—is truly our unloved world’s last piece of mockery against him.”

In the Notebook:

Jonathan Rosenbaum indexes some of his most important writing about Resnais. Plus a new piece on Jack Clayton’s The Innocents (1961) and Robert Wise’s The Haunting (1963) and another on Orson Welles’s Confidential Report (1955).

J. Hoberman on Jacques Tati and Stanley Kubrick. Also in the New York Times, Manohla Dargis: “In Hollywood, It’s a Men’s, Men’s, Men’s World.”

Peter Bogdanovich’s Vincent Minnelli File, Parts 2 and 3.

Via Sérgio Dias Branco, the new issue of Cinema: Journal of Philosophy and the Moving Image: “Gilles Deleuze and Moving Images.”

Michael Koresky on Eclipse Series 41: Kinoshita and World War II. Also for Criterion, Glenn Kenny on the music of Third Ear Band in Roman Polanski’s Macbeth (1971) and Gaetana Marrone on Liliana Cavani’s The Night Porter (1974).

The Walker Art Center’s posted the first part of Isla Leaver-Yap‘s piece on the exchanges between Stan Brakhage and curator Sally Dixon. On a related note: Tim Cawkwell on Brakhage and J.M.W. Turner.

On Todd Haynes‘s Safe (1995): Jason Bailey (Flavorwire), Clayton Dillard (Slant), Dennis Lim (Criterion) and Scott Tobias (Dissolve). And Jack Giroux interviews Haynes for the Film Stage.

Alexandre Rockwell (Little Feet) on his friendship with John Cassavetes. Also at the Talkhouse Film, a searing piece on Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings by Terence Nance (An Oversimplification of Her Beauty).

A fantastic post by Dave Addey on typography in Scott’s Alien (1979).

David Simon on the remastering of The Wire.

Ben Sachs in the Reader on the Chicago Film Archives.

“Let’s make it impossible to pigeonhole great work.” Robert Greene, writing for Sight & Sound, would like to dial back the hype surrounding “the ‘new hybrid space’ in documentary.”

Lav Diaz‘s new film, Storm Children – Book One, “is a two-hour-and-23-minute documentary following the everyday lives of some Visayan kids in the aftermath of one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded in the history of meteorology, and it is rumored to be part one in an ongoing series of fourteen films,” writes Michael Guarneri for desistfilm.

Jean Rollin occupies a special place in film history–and in my heart.” Christoph Huber elaborates. Also, “3 Fordian Donkeys.”

At the AV Club, Kiva Reardon recommends Denis Côté‘s Vic + Flo Saw A Bear (2013). And for photogénie, Anke Brouwers on Côté’s Bestaire (2012).

Robert Rodriguez interviews Quentin Tarantino

Back at the AV Club, Mike D’Angelo writes about Les Blank, “a glorious anomaly.”

Patton Oswalt tells a great story about the time he tried to stage a live reading of Jerry Lewis’s infamous The Day the Clown Cried in Los Angeles.

Did you catch Paul Thomas Anderson Week at Grantland?

For Film Comment:

David D’Arcy for Indiewire: “Why Harun Farocki Was a Major Filmmaker.”

Vulture‘s Jerry Saltz argues that John Waters is a national treasure.

On Walerian Borowczyk‘s Immoral Tales (1974) and The Beast (1975): Carson Lund at the House Next Door and Salon‘s Andrew O’Hehir.

At the House Next Door: Budd Wilkins on Alain Robbe-Grillet‘s Trans-Europ-Express (1967) and Successive Slidings of Pleasure (1974).

In the New Statesman, Oliver Farry argues that Italian cinema is rebounding.

Nigel Andrews in the Financial Times on Hayao Miyazaki, “the great magician of modern cinema.”

Writing for n+1, Jedediah Purdy suggests that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 just may be “the political movie for our time.”

Pasolini Poetry and Politics Video Essay from Simon Rushton

Duncan Wu in Times Higher Education on Manakamana. For Little White Lies, Jason Ward talks with the film’s makers, Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez. And Vulture‘s Bilge Ebiri reports on the Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab (besides Manakamana: Sweetgrass, Leviathan and People’s Park).

Gary Meyer at Eat Drink Films on immersive cinema.

Eddie Selover on Veronica Lake, “the difficulties that made her so ‘impossible,’ and the legacy of performances those difficulties have obscured.”

Time‘s Richard Corliss on The Godfather Part II at 40.

At Movie Morlocks, David Kalat writes about “racially insensitive jokes in silent comedy…, so I’ve got some unpleasant screen grabs, illustrating some gags most of us probably wish hadn’t been filmed, and then to make matters worse I’m going to speak clumsily and awkwardly about these things while analyzing jokes. None of which is really all that great an idea.”

At the Chiseler: Daniel Kasman on Edward L. Cahn’s Radio Patrol (1932) and Imogen Smith on William Conrad’s Brainstorm (1965) and Marcel Carné‘s Hôtel du Nord (1938).

Writing for the Paris Review, Noah Isenberg considers Budd Schulberg’s centennial.

Jennifer Higgie in frieze on Pierre Huyghe’s latest film, Human Mask.

Isabel Ortiz for the Los Angeles Review of Books on Ana Lily Amirpour‘s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.

J.J. Murphy reviews Josephine Decker’s Butter on the Latch.

In 3:AM Magazine, Atreyee Majumder finds a way into David Harvey and Thomas Piketty via James Cameron’s Avatar (2009).

Jason Bailey at Flavorwire: “How the Death of Mid-Budget Cinema Left a Generation of Iconic Filmmakers MIA.”

Mike Leigh rummages through Criterion’s DVD stash.

Mark Schilling in the Japan Times: “Looking Japan’s film-industry myths in the eye.”

Steve Macfarlane for Sloan Science & Film: “For Drs. Ami Klin and Warren Jones of Emory University’s Center For Translational Social Neuroscience, eye-tracking means an opportunity to examine the way we process moving images; the duo has made a signature test of tracking participants’ eyes as they watch scenes from what Klin has described as his favorite film, Mike Nichols‘s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


For 3:AM Magazine, Tristan Burke reviews Jacques Rancière’s The Intervals of Cinema.

For the Washington Post, Dennis Drabelle reviews Dick Lehr’s The Birth of a Nation: How a Legendary Filmmaker and a Crusading Editor Reignited America’s Civil War.

Indiewire‘s running a excerpt from Shawn Levy‘s De Niro: A Life.

Matt Zoller Seitz‘s forthcoming book on Wes Anderson‘s The Grand Budapest Hotel now has a cover.


Sabine Mirlesse talks with Agnès Varda for BOMB.

Jeremy Sigler interviews Frederick Wiseman for Tablet.

Christopher Rosen talks with Steven Soderbergh for the Huffington Post.

R. Kurt Osenlund interviews Tony Kushner for Out.

As part of Vulture‘s “Future of Movies” series, Matt Patches talks with Douglas Trumbull.

Michael Smith with Kris Swanberg.

Dustin Guy Defa‘s Person to Person

For the Austin Chronicle, Kate X Messer talks with Margaret Brown about The Great Invisible.

THE 1920s

Kristen Thompson introduces her and David Bordwell’s list of the best films of 1924, noting that the “choices fell easily into place. As usual, some of these are obvious picks, already famous to most readers. Others are less obvious, and a few are unknown except to specialists. Some, though very important historically and artistically, are not currently available on DVD, which is a real shame.”

“People say that the savage no longer exists in us, that we are at the fag-end of civilization, that everything has been said already, and that it is too late to be ambitious,” wrote Virginia Woolf for the New Republic in 1926. “But these philosophers have presumably forgotten the movies. They have never seen the savages of the twentieth century watching the pictures. They have never sat themselves in front of the screen and thought how, for all the clothes on their backs and the carpets at their feet, no great distance separates them from those bright-eyed, naked men who knocked two bars of iron together and heard in that clangor a foretaste of the music of Mozart.”

From Picturegoing, Dorothy Richardson in 1927: “The cinema may become all that its well-wishers desire. So far, its short career of some twenty years is a tale of splendid achievement. Its creative power is incalculable, and its service to the theatre is nothing less than the preparation of vast, new audiences for the time when plays shall be accessible at possible rates in every square mile of the town. How many people, including the repentant writer, has it already restored to the playhouse?”


Sundance (January 22 through February 1) has announced the members of its six juries.

New trailer for Pedro Costa‘s Horse Money from Midas Filmes

The Berlinale (February 5 through 15) has announced the first three titles in the Berlinale Classics lineup, new restorations of E. A. Dupont’s Varieté (1925), Jürgen Böttcher’s Jahrgang 45 (Born in ’45, 1966) and Ula Stöckl’s 9 Leben hat die Katze (The Cat Has Nine Lives, 1968).

The lineup for Film Comment Selects (February 20 through March 5) is set. New Yorkers can look forward to a focus on Cannon Films, a retrospective of work by Nils Malmros, new films by Duane Hopkins and Shinya Tsukamoto, vintage films by Philippe Garrel and Mike Nichols and, of course, much more.

“In a bid to revive the ailing Rome film fest, organizers have decided to stop battling with Venice and drop the main competition section from next year’s event.”

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