“From many spheres—musical, literary, pictorial—and from various places—British, German, Italian, American, Russian—the footprints of romanticism can be detected in Hitchcock’s films.” Miguel Marías on Vertigo for Sight & Sound. As noted, that poster’s designed by Tomer Hanuka—and it goes on sale today.
For Enrique Ramirez, writing for Design Observer, “maybe it’s not surprising that the film that best captures Houston—its elusive anonymity, its persistent newness—doesn’t even reach the city until two-thirds of the way through.” But when Wim Wenders’s Paris, Texas gets there, “Houston is utopia and uchronia, a city that defies place and time.”
For BOMB, Ryan Sheldon talks with Alex Ross Perry (Impolex and The Color Wheel) about “producing independent cinema on a small scale, the influence of literary story on his films, the sad, complex truth behind people you love to hate, and the importance of making fun movies.”
Books. Tobias Grey in the Hollywood Reporter on Every Night the Trees Disappear: “First published in 1976 as Heart of Glass, Alan Greenberg‘s book took its original name from [Werner] Herzog’s mesmerizing film about a community of 18th century Bavarians whose doom is sealed by the economic collapse of a glass-blowing factory. Greenberg, who was present during the shooting of Glass, has re-edited his earlier book, which often has been compared with Lillian Ross‘s Picture (about the making of John Huston’s The Red Badge of Courage), to reflect a more measured, less adulatory appreciation of Herzog.”
PopMatters is running an excerpt from John Sbardellati‘s J. Edgar Hoover Goes to the Movies: The FBI and the Origins of Hollywood’s Cold War.
And John McElwee recommends Frank Langella’s Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women as I Knew Them.
London. “Located roughly opposite St Martins School of Art, as it was then called, at the corner of Charing Cross Road and New Compton Street—don’t look for it, it’s not there any more—Better Books was in the mid 1960s a crucible of auto-destructive art, neo-Dadaist assemblage and sound poetry, the nursery of British underground film, and in daylight hours a bookshop.” Henry K. Miller for Sight & Sound: “Bob Cobbing, who had run film societies in North London, began to show films at the venue under the name Cinema 65,” which “concentrated on avant-garde film, particularly American avant-garde film—the likes of Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures (1963) and Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising (1964)—and began to hold open screenings, eventually metamorphosing into the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative…. Like [Jeff] Keen before him, [Stephen Dwoskin] won the critical support of St. Martins lecturer and Better Books regular Raymond Durgnat. Dwoskin, Keen, [Peter] Whitehead and [John] Latham were programmed with Burroughs, Anger, Stan Brakhage and Jonas Mekas at the LFMC’s first festival in the autumn of 1966.” The exhibition Better Books: Art, Anarchy and Apostasy is on view at Flat Time House through the weekend.
New York. “Joshua Sanchez’s directorial debut,” Four, “which kicks off this year’s edition of New York’s LGBTQ film series, is accomplished in many ways, but not entirely satisfying,” finds Steve Erickson in the L. Stephen Holden in the New York Times: “In moving to Lincoln Center, the venerable but struggling NewFest has finally come in from the rain.” In the Voice, Simon Abrams focuses on Four, Travis Mathews’s I Want Your Love, and Aurora Guerrero’s Mosquita y Mari. NewFest runs through Tuesday.
Toronto. At Ioncinema, Blake Williams has an overview of TIFF’s Summer in France, running through September 2: “From the country that brought us the first film ever made in 1895′s L’Arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat, to perhaps the best of 2012 so far in Leos Carax’s Holy Motors, it’s the national cinema that’s kept on giving, from beginning till end.”
In the works. “It’s been several weeks since any announcement of a wink-wink casting addition to Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills, perhaps leaving some to believe he’d finally run out of distractions and gotten down to the dry, boring mechanics of making his ultraviolent movie about Danny Trejo killing everybody.” Sean O’Neal at the AV Club: “Today Rodriguez revealed that Lady Gaga has joined the cast as La Chameleón, a character named for the way she seamlessly blends into the background and never, ever causes you to say, ‘Hey look, it’s Lady Gaga.'”