The read of the day has to be Patricio Guzmán‘s remarkable remembrance of Chris Marker, who “knocked at the door of my home in Santiago de Chile in May 1972. When I opened it I bumped into a very slim man who spoke Spanish with a Martian accent. ‘I am Chris Marker,’ he said.” And eventually: “‘I came to Chile with the intention of filming a cinematographic chronicle,’ Marker confessed. ‘Since you’ve already made it, I’d rather buy it from you and exhibit it in France.'” The film was El primer año (The First Year, 1972), “my first feature documentary, about the first 12 months of Salvador Allende’s government.” Marker created promotional materials, arranged to have high profile actors dub the Chilean workers, and sent it off to festivals. In short, Chris Marker was instrumental in launching the career of Patricio Guzmán. Read on. We, too, should be grateful for all that Marker did for The Battle of Chile (1975-79).
Also at Sight & Sound, Kevin B. Lee has launched a discussion of the magazine’s 2012 polls of critics and directors with Nicole Brenez, Dan Callahan, Bill Georgaris, David Jenkins, Jonathan Rosenbaum (who’s just posted his 2001 review of five books on John Cassavetes), and Dan Sallitt. There will be charts.
More reading. At Film Studies for Free, Catherine Grant alerts us to two new issues you’ll want to know about. The word “distance” hovers over the TOC of the seventh issue of World Picture, “that most original of online humanities journals.” Along with essays such as Eugenie Brinkema‘s on Yorgos Lanthimos‘s Dogtooth (2009) and Domietta Torlasco‘s on “Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini’s New Erotics of Vision,” you’ll find a film by and a conversation with Barbara Hammer (see, too, Catherine‘s entry on Hammer) and an image by and conversation with Phil Solomon.
In Salon, David Sirota argues that The Game (1997) is David Fincher’s “most significant work”: “[A]fter a decade and a half of boom-bust economics, terrorist attacks, wars, money-dominated politics, partisan polarization and general insanity, the film has become one of the most prescient parables of this historical moment. It’s a cultural spotlight that almost perfectly illuminates the taproot of America’s moral and spiritual crises.”
New York. This evening at 7:30 at Light Industry: Todd Haynes’s Assassins: A Film Concerning Rimbaud + Todd Phillips’s Hated: G.G. Allin and The Murder Junkies.
And tonight at 8, Tom McCormack will be speaking at the Spectacle on “Netsploitation: The Internet through Movies.”
“With this year’s New York Film Festival marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of Manhattan’s premiere assemblage of world-class cinema, the event’s selection committee has put together a program befitting a semicentennial.” Andrew Schenker opens Slant‘s special feature. Five reviews so far; NYFF 50 runs from September 28 through October 14.
Our first “in the works” item this time around isn’t an announcement of a new project, but rather, some disconcerting news about one we’ve been looking forward to. The Playlist‘s Kevin Jagernauth reports that “Kelly Reichardt‘s upcoming Night Moves is facing a lawsuit from Edward R. Pressman Film who are seeking damages and a halt to production and sales claiming the movie rips off [Edward Abbey’s 1975] novel The Monkey Wrench Gang which they are turning into a movie from Catfish directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman.”
Meantime, once Xavier Dolan wraps his adaptation of Michel Marc Bouchard’s play Tom à la Ferme, he’ll begin work on a series of six shorts, “a hexalogue,” called Ordinary People.
Variety reports that Park Chan-wook will be taking on the crime drama Corsica 72.
“Philip Seymour Hoffman, who just debuted a cornerstone role of his career as The Master, will soon slide out of the spotlight for a minute to direct Ezekiel Moss.” Zach Dionne has a bit more at Vulture.
HBO “has optioned Corinne May Botz’s Nutshell Studies, a Hitchcockian drama about a 1950s small-town housewife who becomes obsessed with solving brutal crimes,” according to Lacey Rose in the Hollywood Reporter. Guillermo del Toro “will serve as an executive producer as well as director on the project, with novelist Sara Gran on board to write and co-executive produce.”
Viewing (7’16”). Werner Herzog’s mini-doc on The Killers at Rolling Stone.