Filmmaker editor Scott Macaulay interviews :: kogonada, “the somewhat mysterious, Nashville-based film essayist whose works have scored hundreds of thousands of views on Vimeo and other platforms. Whether he’s assessing hand gestures in the work of Robert Bresson, one-point perspective in the films of Stanley Kubrick or pinpointing the salient characteristics of neorealism, :: kogonada brings a precision, delicacy and poetry to film studies. At the IFC Center tonight he’ll be screening his essay on narrative in the work of Steven Soderbergh as well as a hypnotic three-panel work based on the films of Yasujiro Ozu.”
James Lattimer in the Notebook on Eric Rohmer’s Love in the Afternoon (1972) and Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin (2013): “What is it about the women in the city? Two fleeting scenes, two different films, two different cities at two different times, yet somehow the women exert the same pull in both. The first city is Paris, it’s the summer of 1972, one final moral tale, a sun-dappled boulevard lined with chic boutiques. The second city is Glasgow, let’s say winter 2012, a drab concrete shopping zone replete with high street chains, hardly the most alien of places. In both cities, it is seemingly only the women who inhabit their streets, the camera cutting smoothly between them looking in shop windows, conversing, walking with purpose, even as the odd man still occasionally wanders into the frame.”
“In the film, the car windows are open,” Laing says. “A fluke warm day in late October, the movie suggests, though I can’t remember how. Maya Deren’s granddaughter, Rachel or Raquel, or Aimee, gave it to me, the film, in the old stale cafeteria at the land-grant university in Pennsylvania, where we had agreed to meet through a series of letters (letters that served as long negotiations) and then through many short phone calls. When I say gave I mean loaned, though it amounted to the same thing in the end. She wore her black hair in sharply cut bangs, I remember, that was the style during those long years before the Towers fell. I could see the face of her grandmother behind or inside her own face, and her gestures seemed to imitate Maya’s swift and elegant movement in Meshes of the Afternoon.”
Reverse Shot‘s Martin Scorsese symposium rolls on with co-editor Jeff Reichert‘s piece on Italianamerican, a 1974 documentary that “acts as a kind of personal pre-history, in which his parents ramble through tales of the old country, citizenship in their new country, their thoughts on the Irish, the Chinese, the neighborhood, the apartment, winemaking, the art of the perfect meatball. Recently the director insisted, ‘It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.'”
In a lengthy profile for the Smithsonian, Ron Rosenbaum suggests that, “despite all he’s achieved in four decades of stardom, Al Pacino (at 73) is still a little crazy after all these years. Charmingly crazy; comically crazy, able to laugh at his own obsessiveness; sometimes, crazy like a fox—at least to those who don’t share whatever mission he’s on.”
“Though the French were the pioneers of the European Western, it was the Germans and the Italians who would make the most forays into the genre.” A survey with clips galore from Oliver Farry in the New Statesman.
IN THE WORKS
Joseph Gordon-Levitt will likely play Edward Snowden in Oliver Stone’s The Snowden Files, reports Variety‘s Justin Kroll. “Though negotiations have not yet begun, both sides want the deal to happen.”
The Playlist‘s Kevin Jagernauth reports that Riley Keough will star in The Girlfriend Experience, the upcoming Starz series based on Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 film.
“George Sluizer, the feted Dutch film-maker who ran aground in Hollywood, has died at the age of 82,” reports the Guardian‘s Xan Brooks. “Sluizer won the top prize at the Berlin film festival for his 1961 debut, the documentary Low Lands. But he remains best remembered for the 1988 thriller The Vanishing, a stark, stealthy tale about a man’s three-year search for his missing girlfriend that was described by Stanley Kubrick as ‘the most horrifying film I’ve ever seen.’ In the wake of the film’s success, Sluizer agreed to direct the flop US remake starring Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock…. The filmmaker’s other credits include the satirical thriller Crimetime and an adaptation of the Bruce Chatwin novel Utz. He also served as production manager on Werner Herzog’s acclaimed Fitzcarraldo and directed a series of documentaries that charted the fortunes of two displaced Palestinian families.”
Die Zeit is reporting (in German) that novelist and screenwriter Wolfgang Held has died at the age of 84. He’ll likely most be remembered for Einer trage des anderen Last…, a 1988 film produced by DEFA, East Germany’s state-run studio. Set in the 1950s, the story centers on a young Marxist policeman and a Protestant vicar who unwillingly share a room in a sanatorium and eventually learn to respect each other’s convictions.
Viewing (7’36”). “There may never have been a Reverse Shot if not for A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Steven Spielberg’s one-of-a-kind science-fiction saga became a rallying point for a number of cinephiles when it was released in 2001, including us.” Beautiful work from Michael Koresky, Casey Moore and Jeff Reichert.
Listening (71’41”). Peter Labuza’s latest guest on The Cinephiliacs is Karina Longworth, who talks about her podcast, You Must Remember This, her books on Al Pacino and Meryl Streep and her latest, Hollywood Frame by Frame: The Unseen Silver Screen in Contact Sheets, 1951–1997, and about Barbara Loden’s Wanda (1970).