“As coincidence would have it, today marks the birthday of both Dalton Trumbo and Kirk Douglas, whose names are linked because of their participation in breaking the back of the infamous Hollywood blacklist during the production of Spartacus,” writes Susan Doll. “The ultimate survivor, Douglas has lived through the decline of the studio system, the upheaval of the Film School Generation, the politics that come with a career in Hollywood, and the effects of a stroke. Today, he turns 97. Trumbo survived ten months in prison as one of the Hollywood Ten as well as the indignity of blacklist—the worst of Hollywood politics. He died in 1976 at the age of 71.”
In 2003, Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa and Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote a book-length study of the work of Abbas Kiarostami; then, in 2009, they met to discuss Shirin (2008). Jonathan Rosenbaum‘s also posted his 1974 review of Robert Bresson’s Lancelot du Lac.
Pedro Costa‘s Ne Change Rien (2009) “offers a rare glimpse into the mundane side of making music, acknowledging it as not just a creative endeavor, but also a formal discipline,” writes A.A. Dowd at the AV Club. “Beyond all that, the film’s weirdly mesmerizing in its repetition, in part because the songs—moody guitar ballads, mostly—create such a trance-like atmosphere. As for [Jeanne] Balibar, she remains an alluring enigma throughout. Praise be the artist profile that can demystify its subject’s methods and still preserve her mystique.”
Farran Nehme “requests with all the sweetness at her disposal that you consider putting Lost and Found: American Treasures from the New Zealand Film Archive on your holiday-shopping list. Better yet, get a free copy by making a tax-deductible donation of $200 more to the NFPF.” And she writes about several of these films “that until four years ago were thought to be gone for good.”
At the Chiseler, Dan Callahan surveys the career of Hattie McDaniel, who “was sometimes asked to play dopey women, or women who were afraid of ghosts or some such shit, but her native sharpness got her through such movies and moments. You never have to be embarrassed for her but rather for the clods who wrote things like that for her to do.”
At 3 Quarks Daily: Debra Morris “On Watching Wages of Fear with My 11-Year-Old Daughter.”
IN OTHER NEWS
“Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar has attacked his homeland’s government as he accepted an honorary prize at the European Film Awards in Berlin,” reports the BBC. “The 64-year-old filmmaker called it ‘deaf and insensitive’ to the country’s problems and railed against its ‘awful cultural policy.’ Spanish state funding to the arts, including film, has been drastically reduced in recent years. Almodóvar called 2013 ‘the worst year’ for his industry.”
“Prize winners of the 2013 Marrakech International Film Festival have been unveiled by jury president Martin Scorsese and jurists Fatih Akin, Patricia Clarkson, Marion Cotillard, Amat Escalante, Golshifteh Farahani, Anurag Kashyap, Narjiss Nejjar, Park Chan-wook and Paolo Sorrentino,” reports Ryan Lattanzio at Thompson on Hollywood. “South Korean director Lee Su-jin took the top festival prize, The Golden Star, for his drama Han Gong-Ju.”
Minneapolis. Niles Schwartz for L’étoile: “However we evaluate his notorious perfectionism and control over his stories and images, Kubrick’s mysterious alchemy ensured each picture continued to feel fresh and reward—visually, aurally, thematically, emotionally—with subsequent viewings, and even people who rarely see a film more than once may admit to seeing Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, and Full Metal Jacket several times…. It’s too bad that the cultic Kubrick is limited to those five aforementioned titles…. This is at the expense of some other, more subtler-on-the-surface gems. The Trylon Microcinema is actively trying to remedy this with its December series, The Underrated Stanley Kubrick, which features a couple of titles that, perhaps, dwarf the more popular films. One of them, Barry Lyndon from 1975, has my vote for the best film ever made.”
Los Angeles. Nicolas Rey’s autrement, la Molussie (differently, Molussia) screens tonight at REDCAT.
Japan. The Ozu exhibition at the Kamakura Museum of Literature is on view through April 20.
“Friends are mourning former Andy Warhol Factory member Louis Waldon, who passed away on Friday morning in California at age 83,” reports Please Kill Me. “Waldon starred in several Warhol films—Lonesome Cowboys, Bike Boy, Nude Restaurant, and Blue Movie.” Adds Phaidon: “Unlike many of his fellow stars, Waldon had something of an acting career prior to meeting the pop artist, though his movies, with titles like The Love Merchant, were the kind of seedy pictures works that Warhol and co., were seeking both to mimic and exploit.”
“Character actress Kate Williamson, who appeared in such films as Disclosure, Dahmer, Dream Lover, and Racing With the Moon, has died at age 82 after a lengthy illness,” reports the AP.