Toni D’Angela introduces the new issue of the multi-lingual journal La Furia Umana: “Regarding technique and revolution, King Vidor—whose [last] shot of The Crowd anticipates the ending of The Wolf of Wall Street…—wrote: ‘technicalities be damned! Film is an art form and must not be inhibited by anyone else’s interpretation of how you might behave or how an event happened’; ‘people are weary of being told, they want to see. Attempts to limit the language of cinema have never worked. Those who try will be destroyed by its power. I am not speaking of a future revolution. The revolution is here.'”
In a special section on “Cinema and Revolution,” you’ll find—in English—Paul Douglas Grant‘s interview with the late Yann Le Masson, cinematographer and “one of the most important engaged filmmakers of his time.” Giovanni Marchini Camia hosts a discussion: “As Filipinos, John Torres, Sherad Anthony Sanchez, and Keith Deligero are children of the innumerable revolutions that have shaped their country’s tumultuous history. As filmmakers, they are children of the digital revolution that liberated Philippine cinema from its prohibitive institutionalization.”
Fredrik Gustafsson considers the “interesting connections between Computer Chess’s artificial realism and the artificial intelligence of the computers.” Plus: Eirik Frisvold Hanssen on Tsai Ming-liang’s Stray Dogs, Mads B. Mikkelsen on Mati Diop’s Mille soleils and Enrico Camporesi‘s interview with Microscope Gallery co-founders and co-directors Elle Burchill and Andrea Monti.
“Derek Jarman’s final feature-length film Blue (1993) is a freestanding aesthetic construct, but it is nonetheless determined by its existence as a final, courageous act,” writes Shana Beth Mason.
Also in the new Brooklyn Rail, Xin Zhou: “Following its 2012 week-long series The Wooster Group on Film and Video 1975 – 2004 at Anthology Film Archives in 2012, the long-standing experimental theater and media ensemble, returns with Rumstick Road, a video reconstruction of their 1977 performance, the second installment of the trilogy Three Places in Rhode Island conceived by the company in 1977.” And Benjamin Schultz‑Figueroa talks with Kevin Jerome Everson about The Island of St. Matthews (2013) and Ten Five in the Grass (2012).
Then there’s Joseph Pomp: “Only Lovers Left Alive is Jarmusch’s foray into self-reflexive authorship in the tradition of Cervantes, fittingly preceded by The Limits of Control, a quixotic fantasia on the Iberian Peninsula. Given the ultimately candid political commentary at the heart of Limits, and the romance of Lovers, this could be the most personal stretch in Jarmusch’s career since the 1980s.” And with Permanent Vacation: The Films of Jim Jarmusch on through April 10, the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Erik Luers has solicited comments from umpteen critics on what they consider to be Jarmusch’s best films.
The trailer for Jimmy’s Hall, which may be Ken Loach’s final narrative feature
David Bordwell‘s series of studies of the great American film critics of the 1940s now turns to Parker Tyler: “Unlike Kracauer, Barbara Deming, and others, he didn’t tsk-tsk. Tyler the critic likes movies, even when they were wildly distorting the world. Where others saw a grim mirror, he saw a sumptuous mirage.”
“The greatest film critic ever is James Baldwin,” argues Noah Berlatsky in the Atlantic, and Baldwin’s “book-length essay, The Devil Finds Work, [is] one of the most powerful examples ever of how writing about art can, itself, be art.” Related: Lawrence Weschler and Baldwin scholar, Rich Blint, discuss Baldwin in the Brooklyn Rail.
John Gray in the New Republic on the moral philosophy of Captain America: “In terms of the longer history of theism, the Captain’s view is distinctly unorthodox. At least since St. Augustine—himself a convert from Manichaeism—the dominant theist position has been that good and evil are not separate forces; they run through every human heart. The Captain could only have appeared in America, which, more than any other modern society, has been shaped by an aberrant strain of Christianity in which the moral universe is understood in starkly binary terms.”
Sight & Sound has posted an extended version of Nick Bradshaw‘s 2013 interview with James Benning.
The Shanghai and Beijing editions of Time Out have “polled an auspicious 88 film experts from across the world to determine the the 100 best [Chinese Mainland] films of all time from 1930s silent classics, blockbuster wuxia epics and tiny independent documentaries.”
IN OTHER NEWS
Just the other day, we highlighted the rediscovery of dozens of American silent films at the EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam. Today, EYE and the BFI have announced that “a lost masterpiece of British silent cinema, George Pearson’s Love, Life and Laughter (1923),” has been found. It stars Betty Balfour, “Britain’s ‘Queen of Happiness’ who was the most successful British actress of the 1920s, known also as Britain’s answer to Mary Pickford.”
Film critic Owen Gleiberman is one of seven staffers laid off by Entertainment Weekly yesterday, reports Sam Adams at Criticwire. Gleiberman had been writing for EW since the magazine’s 1990 launch. “His former colleague Lisa Schwarzbaum, who joined the staff in 1991, took a buyout last February. That leaves Chris Nashawaty, who was moved to film critic last August.”
Martin Blaney has a fascinating report in Screen Daily on the ways Vladimir Putin and Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky are planning to use cinema to secure the country’s grip on Crimea. There are plans to relaunch two film festivals and “to reactivate the Yalta Film Studios on the peninsula as a center for national production. In Soviet times, these studios had hosted such productions as Andrey Tarkovsky’s Solaris, Amphibian Man, Prisoner of the Caucasus and Kidnapping, Caucasian Style.”
Variety‘s posted a “Cannes Wishlist: 15 Movies Our Critics Hope to See at This Year’s Festival.” Meantime, the festival‘s tumbling—and we’ve got posters for this year’s Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week.
“Dorothy Arzner (1897-1979), the first woman member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and still one of—if not the—most prolific of woman helmers in Hollywood –will be honored with a career retrospective at September’s 62nd San Sebastian Festival in Spain,” reports Variety‘s John Hopewell.
At Indiewire, Emerson Gordon has the lineup for the 18th annual City of Lights, City of Angels (COLCOA) Film Festival (April 21 through 28) and the award-winners from the just-wrapped Cleveland International Film Festival.
“As of March 25, ‘1989,’ a group of Twitter users operating under the banner of Enter the Lodge have taken it upon themselves to give Twin Peaks a third season.” Katie Rife reports at the AV Club.
New York. The L‘s recommendations this week: Samantha Vacca on Jonathan Glazer’s Birth (2004, tonight, BAMcinématek), Joseph Neighbor on Jarmusch’s Mystery Train (1989, tonight and Saturday, FSLC), Mark Asch on Jarmusch’s Permanent Vacation (1980, Sunday, FSLC) and Aaron Cutler on Truffaut’s The Woman Next Door (1981, tonight, Film Forum).
An alien in Under the Skin and an OS in Her, Scarlett Johansson becomes something that’s a bit of both in Luc Besson’s Lucy
UK. The Cinema of Childhood, a season of 17 films curated by Mark Cousins, is touring Scotland and the rest of the UK through July. The BFI’s Samuel Wigley talks with Cousins about the program and his own film, A Story of Children and Film, which “brings together a treasure trove of extracts of children on screen in films from around the globe, teasing out visual and thematic connections between both familiar (Kes, 1969; E.T., 1982) and virtually unknown gems of children’s cinema.” For Sight & Sound, Pasquale Iannone looks back on the history of childhood on film, and in the Guardian, Danny Leigh notes that “the Leeds Young Film Festival is devoting its annual 10 days to screening modern kids’ movies from around the world. Yet the festival’s director, Debbie Maturi, admits that her role is ‘getting harder.’ Even in its current rude health, she says, ‘British film doesn’t seem to have factored in children’s cinema.'”
IN THE WORKS
Denis Villeneuve will follow up on Prisoners with Story of Your Life, which “will potentially star [Amy] Adams as a linguist recruited by the military to make contact with imminently invading extra-terrestrials,” reports Guy Lodge at In Contention. Villeneuve’s got another project lining up as well, Sicario, which “will tentatively star [Emily] Blunt as an Arizona police officer on the trail of a drug lord; her chase takes her to Mexico in the company of two mercenaries.”
“Mare Nostrum will be the next documentary film by Gianfranco Rosi, who won the Golden Lion at the last Venice Film Festival with Sacro GRA,” reports Camillo de Marco at Cineuropa. The doc “will feature characters that are ‘counter-marginalized,’ in the words of the director—this time in a place that is ‘culturally distant from Italy.'”
Listening (30’28”). With “You Must Remember This: The Hard Hollywood Life of Kim Novak,” Karina Longworth has launched what she hopes will be “a bi-weekly and then, come summer, a weekly podcast. Actually, it’s more like a series of audio historical storytelling essays which I plan to distribute as a podcast. Call it This American Life meets Hollywood Babylon (if you must), although my focus will be a bit wider than Kenneth Anger’s.”
A Kickstarter campaign for your consideration: Jason Wishnow‘s sci-film film starring Ai Weiwei, secretly shot in China.
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