“Jean Marie Straub’s Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach is a hard film to sit through but if you can dig it, it’s like 90 minutes of Tantric exercises with the same cleansing results.” It was 1968—very, very 1968—when the young J. Hoberman wrote these words and many, many more, reporting on that year’s edition of the New York Film Festival “on behalf of a non-existent film magazine,” as he freely admits in his new introduction to the “10-page single-spaced screed run off on a mimeograph machine” now online at Film Comment. “I was a teenaged know-it-all, as well as a rabid soixante-huitard, a serious pothead, occasional speed freak, and fanatical cinephile…. What goes around, comes around: for most of the many years I spent at The Village Voice I imagined that my ideal reader was the teenaged Me. This passionate if puerile moviegoer is that guy.”
Transit‘s posted a new feature, “La peli que habito,” which might be loosely translated as “the film I’d live in,” and while most of the contributions are in Spanish, Adrian Martin‘s is also in English: “For me, the vicarious, unstable reality of cinema is concentrated in Jerzy Skolimowski’s Le départ (1967).” For Alexis Kossiakoff, it’s Tim Burton’s Big Fish (2003): “After all, who would not want to float into a world populated with kindly giants, sassy Siamese twins, lost poets, shape-shifting ringleaders and those who believe in true love?”
For Indiewire and the Sundance Institute, Eric Hynes reports on Everything You Wanted to Know About Digital Deliverables (But Were Afraid to Ask), a panel that took place during IFP Week featuring our own Jonathan Marlow.
IN OTHER NEWS
Producer Jeremy Thomas will head up the Official Competition jury at the BFI London Film Festival (October 8 through 19), and he’ll be joined by Ahmad Abdalla, Scott Foundas, Sally Hawkins, James McAvoy and Lorna Tee. Other jurors for other competitions include James Corden, Finola Dwyer, Sophie Fiennes, Dexter Fletcher, Ian Hart, Hermione Norris and Luc Roeg. (Cialis)
New York and Berkeley. J. Hoberman again, here in the New York Times: “Georgian cinema is exotic and, like the mountainous terrain celebrated by the Russian writers Lermontov and Tolstoy, can be forbidding as well as fiercely beautiful. It is also largely unknown.” Hoberman explains why it’s taken MoMA curator Jytte Jensen over 20 years to put together the two-part program Discovering Georgian Cinema, opening today at MoMA (and running through October 16) and on Friday at the Pacific Film Archive (through April 19), where, as Jensen explains, curator Susan Oxtoby has been instrumental in realizing this project.
Los Angeles. On Saturday, REDCAT presents Monumental Ambiguities: Pre-Columbian artifacts under the spell of the (in)visible.
Paris. The exhibition Marcel Duchamp. La peinture, même opens tomorrow at the Centre Pompidou and will be on view through January 5. There’s an accompanying screening program you can read about at Experimental Cinema.
Vienna. As noted yesterday, Peter von Bagh has passed away, but Finland – The Movie: With Peter von Bagh through the Finnish century will proceed at the Austrian Film Museum, running from Saturday through October 15. Working with Olaf Möller, von Bagh “created a very personal parcours through Finnish cinema, reflecting his passions and assembling key works from the years 1937 to 2006. An additional selection of films from his own oeuvre help convey the ‘Benjaminian spirit’ that animates this program.”
Trailer for J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year with Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain
IN THE WORKS
“Hulu has placed a direct-to-series order for 11/22/63, a nine-hour adaptation of Stephen King’s time-travel novel about the Kennedy assassination, from J.J. Abrams and Warner Bros. Television,” reports Todd Spangler for Variety, whose digital editor Andrew Wallenstein comments: “Hulu has ponied up for what has become table stakes to play in the subscription VOD category… The only question now is whether it isn’t too late given Netflix and Amazon are already off to the races.”
“Audrey Long, who starred opposite John Wayne in the 1944 Western Tall in the Saddle and in a pair of film noir favorites directed by Anthony Mann and Robert Wise three years later, has died.” Mike Barnes in the Hollywood Reporter: “With her husband (played by Steve Brodie), Long’s character fled from the cops and a crook (Raymond Burr) in Mann’s 1947 crime thriller Desperate.” Long was 92.
In Tablet, Liel Leibovitz remembers Avraham Hefner, whose influence “seems to grow with each year: A recent survey selected his 1972 masterpiece But Where Is Daniel Wax? as the second-most-influential Israeli film ever made, second only to the cult hit Metzitzim.” Hefner passed away last week at age 79.
Film Quarterly sadly notes the passing of Mary Lea Bandy, “who led MOMA into a new era, championed preservation, and helped so many filmmakers.” Bandy was director of MOMA’s film and media department, then head curator. As the Cannes Film Festival noted in 2003, she “bought many films for the museum, including those of Woody Allen, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Federico Fellini, Martin Scorsese and Andy Warhol.” She also “co-produced two films, helped to create the Women’s Film Preservation Fund and organised many retrospectives for MOMA as well as for the Cinémathèque Française or the Portugese National Film Theatre.”
The exhibition Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters opens at Catherine Edelman Gallery on November 7 and will be on view through January 15. Photographer Sandro Miller has essentially restaged 35 iconic photographs with John Malkovich, “his long time friend and collaborator,” as his subject. The photos are online and are definitely worth a gander.
Viewing (105’38”). “I’m assuming the phrase ‘staging’ came out of the theater world,” writes Steven Soderbergh, “but it’s equally at home (and useful) in the movie world, since the term (roughly defined) refers to how all the various elements of a given scene or piece are aligned, arranged, and coordinated…. So I want you to watch this movie and think only about staging, how the shots are built and laid out, what the rules of movement are, what the cutting patterns are.” The movie is Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), drained of color and the original soundtrack because “this is what I do when I try to learn about staging, and this filmmaker forgot more about staging by the time he made his first feature than I know to this day (for example, no matter how fast the cuts come, you always know exactly where you are—that’s high level visual math shit).”