To be perfectly frank, we are the top story of the day. Or to be at least a shade more modest about it, Fandor, Shout! Factory and Werner Herzog. Yesterday, we announced that we’d be making sixteen films from Shout! Factory’s Herzog collection available to view right in the comfort of wherever it is you watch movies coming down the stream. We begin this coming Thursday with Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972), and we’ll be rolling out one a week all the way through July.
Meantime, ICYMI, do watch Kevin B. Lee‘s video tribute to Roger Ebert, who passed away one year ago this week. The essay pairs portions of Ebert’s review of Aguirre with images from Herzog’s powerful film.
IN OTHER NEWS
Just yesterday, we directed your attention to Time Out‘s list of the best 100 films from the Chinese Mainland. Of all time, of course. Now, via Richard Brody, we have another top 100 to discuss. Les Inrocks has polled 18 critics to compile and write up Le top 100 des plus beaux films français. Coming in at #1: Jean Eustache’s La Maman et la Putain (The Mother and the Whore, 1973). Then come Godard, Renoir, Ophuls, Rohmer and so on. You can also scour the individual ballots.
Who’ll make it into the Cannes 2014 lineup? At Cineuropa, Fabien Lemercier reports that “the world of Parisian film fans is buzzing with rumors blending half-truths and propaganda… [W]hat’s certain is that general delegate Thierry Frémaux is currently hard at work on what is a particularly attractive shortlist on paper, especially in terms of the European titles on offer, and despite the Asian delegation allegedly being fairly small this year.” Meantime, the festival’s announced that Lambert Wilson will be this year’s Master of Ceremonies.
“While Hollywood has experienced notable fights throughout the years over final cut, the lawsuits over [Kenneth Lonergan’s] Margaret  were extraordinary by any measure,” writes Eriq Gardner in the Hollywood Reporter. “Here was Longeran with his follow-up to the Academy Award-nominated film You Can Count on Me. The movie counted on its production team many celebrated filmmakers, including Scott Rudin, Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella. It boasted a top-notch cast of Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo, Matthew Broderick and Anna Paquin. And if that’s not enough, when the situation got rough, none other than cinematic maestro Martin Scorsese collaborated on his own edit in an attempt to broker peace. All that was not enough.” But now, as Gardner reports, Lonergan legal battle with financier Gary Gilbert is finally over.
Michael Haneke will receive “Denmark’s most important cultural award, the Sonning Prize,” reports Jorn Rossing Jensen at Cineuropa.
“His parents had been itinerant Yiddish actors, Salche and Favel Weisenfreund, who roamed the Austro-Hungarian empire, his mother disguised in fake beards and men’s clothes because a female performer would be a scandal. The last of three sons, he was born in a candlelit rooming house for actors in 1895, in the province of Galicia, straddling the border of Poland and Ukraine.” John Strausbaugh tells Paul Muni’s story at the Chiseler.
It’s Ulrike Ottinger Day at DC’s.
Bloomington. On Sunday, Abbas Kiarostami will be at Indiana University for screenings of Certified Copy (2010) and Like Someone in Love (2013), and on Monday, he’ll be interviewed on stage by Richard Peña.
Los Angeles. “Film Independent will hold a live reading of Quentin Tarantino’s shelved Western scirpt The Hateful Eight on April 24,” reports Variety‘s Dave McNary. “The event will be held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Bing Theater.”
London. Morgan Quaintance for Art Agenda: “While her legendary status and influence on artists of all generations means [Carolee] Schneemann (born in 1939) continues to be a central canonical figure, it is shocking that Water Light/Water Needle—a modest collection of photographs, drawings, and a single video work currently on view at Hales Gallery—is her first solo exhibition in London.”
IN THE WORKS
Will Ferrell is “attached to star in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty scribe Steve Conrad’s Match Maker, which is about tennis’ legendary battle of the sexes match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,” reports Variety‘s Justin Kroll. “Conrad is currently in pre-production on an untitled John Belushi biopic starring Emile Hirsch.”
Tom Hardy will star in and, with Ridley Scott, executive produce Taboo, a BBC period drama created by Steven Knight, who’s directed Hardy in Locke. As Michael Rosser reports for Screen Daily, there’ll be eight one-hour episodes: “Set in 1813, the story follows James Keziah Delaney (Hardy), a rogue adventurer who returns from Africa with 14 ill-gotten diamonds to seek vengeance after the death of his father. Refusing to sell the family business to the East India Company, he sets out to build his own trade and shipping empire and finds himself playing a dangerous game with two warring nations, Britain and America.”
With Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin opening this weekend, I’ve updated its entry. Films currently in theaters that seem to be faring quite well at Critics Round Up: Chris Eska’s The Retrieval, Anthony Chen’s Ilo Ilo and Gareth Evans’s The Raid 2.