Now it’s lists and awards season. As far as I’m concerned, Sight & Sound and Cahiers du Cinéma jumped the gun. The season doesn’t officially begin until John Waters fires the first shot in Artforum. Or rather, the first ten shots. His #1: David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars: “I love this film more than I love my own mustache.” The biggest surprise may be at #4: Larry Clark’s The Smell of Us, which hasn’t been terribly well received elsewhere. And I see cheers in my Twitter feed for his placing all three of Joanna Hogg‘s features on the list.
Cornetto trilogy-maker Edgar Wright tells Emily Zemler about his top ten in Esquire. In alphabetical order: Birdman, Boyhood, Edge of Tomorrow, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Interstellar, The Lego Movie, Nightcrawler, Snowpiercer, Under the Skin and Whiplash.
“The International Press Academy nominated 10 movies, ranging alphabetically from Birdman to Whiplash, for the best motion picture honor as it unveiled its nominees for its 19th annual Satellite Awards.” The Hollywood Reporter‘s Gregg Kilday: “The other best film nominees consist of Boyhood, Gone Girl, Love Is Strange, Mr. Turner, Selma, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything.”
“ASIFA-Hollywood, the Los Angeles branch of the International Animated Film Society, has announced the nominations for its 42nd annual Annie Awards,” reports Cartoon Brew‘s Amid Amidi. “Eight films were nominated in the Best Animated Feature category. Laika’s The Boxtrolls leads the pack with 13 nominations, followed by 10 nods for DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2, and seven apiece for Cartoon Saloon’s Song of the Sea and Disney’s Big Hero 6.” Amidi’s got the full list of nominees—and it’s a big one.
“The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced their nominees in the 26th annual award categories of documentary, TV series/specials and digital series,” reports Deadline‘s Anthony D’Alessandro. The documentary features are The Green Prince, Life Itself, Merchants of Doubt, Particle Fever and Virunga.
The Guardian‘s begun its film-a-day countdown, starting with Henry Barnes taking on #10: The Lego Movie.
The Premiere France top ten:
- The Wind Rises.
- Saint Laurent.
- Gone Girl.
- Samba (Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache).
- How to Train Your Dragon 2.
- 12 Years a Slave.
- American Hustle.
Scarlett Johansson “was everywhere in 2014, beyond even a trifecta of major movie releases and accompanying magazine covers. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Lucy and Under the Skin connect not just to each other but to other cinematic highlights of 2014.” And Jesse Hassenger is off at the AV Club.
Slate’s columnists, editors and bloggers pick their favorite books of the year.
The new Winter 2014 issue of the Paris Review features an interview with Michael Haneke: “We, in our protected little worlds, are much more numb because we are in luck not to experience danger on a daily basis. But that’s precisely why the film industry in the so-called first world is in such a rut. There is just so much recycling. We don’t have the capability to represent authentic experiences because there is so little we do experience.”
And Michael Bible talks with Barry Gifford, whose novel Wild at Heart: The Story of Sailor and Lula turns 25 this year. The former journalist practically gave his agent a heart attack when he told him he wanted to write a novel. But then “Twin Peaks producer Monty Montgomery—perhaps better known as the Cowboy from Mulholland Drive—gave Lynch an early copy of the novel. [David] Lynch optioned it, and a year later, they premiered the movie at Cannes.” Where it won the Palme d’Or.
“How do you feel about the way Spring Breakers was perceived?” Eric Kohn asks Harmony Korine in a new book entitled, appropriately enough, Harmony Korine: Interviews. The Dissolve‘s running an excerpt.
Marion Cotillard’s just won the New York Film Critics Circle‘s best actress award for her performances in James Gray’s The Immigrant and the Dardennes’ Two Days, One Night. For the Playlist, Rodrigo Perez talks with her about both films as well as Macbeth, in which she’ll appear alongside Michael Fassbender.
James Benning in 2007
“In FAROCKI, which premiered at the Viennale in Austria last month, James Benning stares fixedly at a single cloud-formation—mainly cumulus, with stratocumulus cameos—for just under 77 (soundless) minutes,” writes Neil Young in the Notebook. “77 minutes is long enough to demand significant investment in terms of time and concentration, to contemplate or even surrender to a Burkean ‘Sublime’; short enough to avoid feeling like an imposition or an indulgent tiptoe into the realms of the Emperor’s New Clothes. Benning’s piece joins a cloud-art lineage of Friedrich, Turner, Constable (who painted nothing else between 1821-2), Magritte and also Ansel Adams, one of the few American photographers with whose work Benning has admitted significant familiarity.”
Peter Labuza for the Film Stage: “It is important to note [Shirley] Clarke’s avant-garde roots when looking at her documentaries, notably two new Blu-Ray releases from Milestone Films: Portrait of Jason and Ornette: Made in America. On their surfaces, both resemble conventional forms of documentary filmmaking we know too well: Jason is essentially a tell-all confessional, shot over one night where a man can pour out his soul, while Ornette: Made in America celebrates of one of free jazz’s most influential artists by tracking his history and legacy. Neither, however, could be effectively summarized as that without looking at how they break down the form as well. Clarke might be considered a non-fiction artist, but the former member of the New York Underground bucks all conventional codes of her genre.”
“It’s a weird year for comedy. We lost Robin, we lost Joan, and we kind of lost Cosby.” That’s Chris Rock, talking to Frank Rich in New York. A bit more: “Here’s the thing. When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it’s all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they’re not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before. So, to say Obama is progress is saying that he’s the first black person that is qualified to be president. That’s not black progress. That’s white progress.”
David Cairns has opened The Late Show: The Late Movies Blogathon.
One more, in French. Arte programmer Olivier Père reports on a visit he paid to the set of Philippe Garrel’s L’Ombre des femmes in August. Garrel’s now editing.