La Semaine de la Critique (Critics’ Week) has announced that its Closing Night film on May 23 will be the triptych 3X3D: “In Just in Time, Peter Greenaway takes an in-depth look at the superposition of images. With The Three Disasters, Jean-Luc Godard sketches what could well be a Histoire(s) du Cinéma in 3D, the premise of his next feature film. Edgar Pêra concludes the triptych with Cinesapiens, another, more playful history of cinema.”
Earlier this month, Cannes Film Festival President Gilles Jacob “convened two handfuls of journalists for a pleasingly intimate (read: elbow-to-elbow) promotional luncheon” to talk about his new book, Les pas perdus (Lost Steps), and Lisa Nesselson was there. At Thompson on Hollywood, she notes that it’s a “quick read” with “496 entries spread over 170 pages…. The volume ends with a two-page coda describing how a Woody Allen film remedied the author’s memory loss. Nestled in between succinct observations about vintage slang, scenes directed by Bresson, Bergman or Hitchcock, amusing ad campaigns, his crush on Diana Rigg in The Avengers, Marlon Brando’s taste in ice cream and John Waters’s ‘Odorama,’ one finds some pointed words concerning Lars von Trier,” who, by the way, turns 57 today.
In other news. Steven Soderbergh is writing a novella called Glue—on Twitter. Meantime, the State of Cinema address he delivered this past weekend at the San Francisco International Film Festival? The one he asked no one to record? Meredith Brody‘s posted a recording.
Philip Kaufman, Marco Bellocchio, Claire Denis, and Cristian Mungiu are to be guests of honor at the 28th edition of Midnight Sun Film Festival in June. With a population of 9000 population (not counting the 35,000 reindeer) and one cinema, the Lapinsuu, “the little village north of the Arctic Circle is not the most obvious place for a film festival, which was exactly the reason why the founders, including Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki, chose it.” Jorn Rossing Jensen in Cineuropa: “Kaurismäki is still on the programming committee, headed by festival director Peter von Bagh.”
Reading. “Women & Film, the first ever feminist film magazine, was published in California during the early 1970s,” writes Clarissa Jacob. “My project is an attempt to retrace the story of the magazine’s founding, development and demise against the tumultuous backdrop of late 1960s and early 70s America, specifically US film culture and the women’s movement. Rooted in the activism and counterculture of the West Coast during the 1970s, the magazine bridges the gap between the first impassioned critiques of mainstream American and European cinema informed by second wave feminism and the pioneers of the women’s film movement, with the later establishment of feminist film theory and criticism and the practitioners of women’s counter-cinema, such as Laura Mulvey, Peter Wollen, Yvonne Rainer and Sally Potter.” The Women & Film Project was launched in November and Catherine Grant deems it a must-read.
In Film International, Wheeler Winston Dixon looks back on the “brief but incandescent” career of Argentine director Fabián Bielinsky who died in 2006 at 47. Besides his own films, most notably Nine Queens (1998) and The Aura (2005), Bielinsky worked on countless other productions, “and his death has robbed us of one of the cinema’s most original and deeply penetrating talents. What he might have accomplished had he lived is, of course, a matter of utter conjecture, but there can be no doubt that, in his brief time on earth, Bielinsky was moving toward a meditational cinema that extended beyond the boundaries of the known, both in life and in art, and extended out far beyond the vicissitudes of daily life, towards larger questions of metaphysical existence and philosophical contemplation, a journey he had only just begun.”
In the works. “Fresh off spectacular reviews for his Sundance film The Spectacular Now, James Ponsoldt is attached to direct Rodham, an indie movie about Hillary Clinton’s early years, TheWrap has learned. Written by up-and-coming screenwriter Young Il Kim, Rodham placed fourth on the 2012 Black List. Set during the height of the Watergate scandal, the story follows rising star Hillary Rodham, the youngest lawyer chosen for the House Judiciary Committee to Impeach Nixon, who finds herself forced to choose between a destined path to the White House and her unresolved feelings for former boyfriend Bill Clinton, who is teaching law in Arkansas.”
While she was in London this past weekend promoting Touchy Feely, Lynn Shelton told Oliver Lyttelton that her followup to her next film, Laggies, might well be adaptation of Mishna Wolff‘s memoir I’m Down. Set in Seattle, Shelton’s hometown, I’m Down is, as Shelton puts it, “about her navigating as a white girl in this black culture, and just as she’s figured that out, she gets plucked out and put into a different setting, with these very erudite white people, trying to navigate these two worlds.”
Also at the Playlist: Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) is taking on “an adaptation of Astrid Lindgren’s beloved 1973 children’s fantasy novel The Brothers Lionheart,” reports Drew Taylor. “What’s more—the film looks to be the most expensive Scandinavian film in history, and a holiday 2014 release date has been set.”
“Roland Emmerich is to develop a miniseries based on the life of Lawrence of Arabia for FremantleMedia Intl.,” reports Leo Barraclough for Variety.
Viewing (4’49”). From the BFI: “Discussing their live accompaniment to a screening of Yasujiro Ozu’s 1930 gangster film Walk Cheerfully, performers Tomoko Komura and Clive Bell explain the lost art of Benshi.”