New York. “Fresh from its world premiere October 9 and subsequent screening one week later at George Eastman House,” writes Shade Rupe at Twitch, “Orson Welles‘s lost film project Too Much Johnson (1938), has its New York City Premiere, and third public screening of the film, Mon. Nov. 25, 6:30 pm, at the Directors Guild Theatre on 57th Street in Manhattan, with live piano accompaniment by Philip Carli.” Hey, that’s tonight.
Chicago. Foreign Bodies: The Films of Claire Denis is on at the Gene Siskel Film Center through December 5 and, at the Reader, Ben Sachs admits that he finds “some of Claire Denis‘s movies to be more difficult on the second viewing than on the first… Whatever they’re ultimately getting at, they look and feel like few other films made before or since.” In conversation with Andrea Gronvall, the two take on “the challenge of articulating what makes them so unique.”
Toronto. “Dense and dark, David Cronenberg: Evolution, is on view at the new TIFF Lightbox in downtown Toronto through mid-January,” writes J. Hoberman for the New York Review of Books. “It’s striking that eXistenZ, a send-up of computer games that parodied The Matrix avant la lettre, and one of the great underappreciated movies of the late 1990s, yields the richest trove of relics—cutely deformed amphibious creatures, latex ‘game pods’ and ‘umby cords’ that allow players to plug into virtual worlds, boxes for imaginary games with titles like Viral Ecstasy and Hit By a Car, and numerous iterations of the so-called ‘gristle gun’ which, as an organic thing that eludes metal detection, allows a disgruntled fan to assassinate Jennifer Jason Leigh’s game designer character.”
London. “Vivien Leigh is one of Britain’s few genuine women ‘movie stars,'” writes Michael Newton in the Guardian. “[H]er myth is memorable and dark, her life a rise and fall story, centered on the consequences of what was then called her ‘manic depression’—around her vulnerability, her promiscuity, her ageing. Her films themselves similarly want to tell us stories about suffering and resilience, about surviving and about being punished for doing so.” The BFI’s Vivien Leigh season is on through December 29.
Londoners will also want to get their hands on a new print zine, Beyond the Green Door, featuring articles and a calendar for December and January.
Saint Petersburg. Gus van Sant will attend “the LGBT-themed Bok o Bok (Side by Side) film festival which only recently escaped shutdown after being targeted by Russia’s anti-gay campaigners,” reports the Guardian. Van Sant will be on hand a screening of Milk (2008) on November 30.
Japan. “Isao Takahata has long been overshadowed by longtime colleague and Studio Ghibli cofounder Hayao Miyazaki,” writes Mark Schilling in the Japan Times. “And yet Takahata is every bit the anime master that Miyazaki has been widely proclaimed to be, if one with a different style and concerns. His Ghilbi films tend to be more realistic than Miyazaki’s, beginning with 1988’s Hotaru no Haka (Grave of the Fireflies), an unsparing drama about children struggling to survive in the destruction and chaos that enveloped Japan toward the end of WWII. It is the most emotionally devastating Japanese film I have ever seen… Takahata’s latest and quite possibly last film, Kaguya-hime no Monogatari (The Tale of Princess Kaguya), might seem to be a departure, since it is based on the oldest-known Japanese folk tale, which dates to the 10th century.… There is a deep wisdom in this film, but a deep sadness too. If it is Takahata’s farewell, it’s one that will have a long echo, just like his 1,000-year-old source.”