As noted last week, cinephiles aren’t lacking for reading this holiday season. And now we have a few more new issues to stack on the virtual night table. La Furia Umana #18 features a batch of best-of-2013 lists, special sections on Nicholas Ray‘s Rebel Without a Cause and Brian De Palma and Passion, Michael Glover Smith‘s interview with writer/director Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, a partial treatment for Damon Packard‘s current film project, and more. The fourth issue on paper is out now, too, by the way.
Catherine Grant alerts us to a whopper of an issue, the new Film-Philosophy. Wittgenstein, Ridley Scott, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, Kurosawa, The Wizard of Oz, Lacan and Double Indemnity, Gus Van Sant, Michael Haneke, Robert Bresson, Heidegger, Jim Jarmusch, Tarkovsky, Peter Weir, Deleuze, the ontological effects of digital technology, Robert McKee, Neil LaBute, Todd Haynes (twice), Werner Herzog, the Dardennes, Gutiérrez Alea, William Kentridge, Stan Brakhage, Dreyer, and eleven book reviews. Whew.
Among the links in Girish Shambu‘s latest roundup is one to the new issue of The Cine-Files, with pieces on His Girl Friday, The Lady Eve, Standard Operating Procedure, and the effect of video games on cinema interiority.
December 12 saw the 110th anniversary of the birth and the 50th anniversary of the death of Yasujiro Ozu. David Bordwell marked the day with a major essay. I wish I could remember who highlighted this passage, but thank you, whoever you are:
To make us wait and watch today, the director must “gear us down” through long takes and stasis, through deferring, stretching, or purging narrative. Ozu, miraculously, solicits this heightened perception in less strenuous ways, through a cascade of cuts, rapid dialogue, and an engrossing story. The contemplative aspect of his cinema was simply another dimension of a work that incorporated dynamic storytelling. When cinema was newer, it seems, much was possible. Hou and Kiarostami, like Béla Tarr and a few others, have found in a slow pace and minimal drama today’s best analogues to the sharp-edged awareness of the world that came so spontaneously to Ozu in a more industrial mode of production.
And David Bordwell‘s also posted a string of updates on several topics he and Kristin Thompson have addressed over the last year or so.
Jonathan Rosenbaum carries on posting essays, reviews, and observations from his remarkable career. A few recent highlights: Jia Zhangke and 24 City, Yasuzo Masumura, Chantal Akerman, Wim Wenders, and Samuel Fuller.
Otto Preminger is the focus of Adrian Martin‘s latest column for De Filmkrant.
As part of his research for the ongoing project Figures of Dissent: Cinema of Politics, Politics of Cinema, Stoffel Debuysere has translated Glauber Rocha‘s 1970 piece on working with Godard on Le vent d’est (Wind from the East) and Serge Daney‘s 1976 essay on Antonioni‘s Chung Kuo, Cina (1972).
In the Los Angeles Review of Books, Greg Gerke considers the work of Paul Thomas Anderson with great admiration and more than a little envy.
Dan Callahan: “One of the major theater actresses of her time, Judith Anderson felt constrained when acting before a camera. ‘In the theater, I’m free,’ she told an interviewer late in life. ‘With movies, I can only move within a certain radius.’ Yet that physical limitation is what makes her most noted film performance, the malevolent housekeeper Mrs. Danvers in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940), so deeply unsettling.” Also at the Chiseler: Imogen Smith on Steve Cochran and Dan Callahan again on Eve Arden.
In the White Review, Masha Tupitsyn revisits three “definitively 90s movies” about “identity, imitation, and grief”: Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Kiarostami‘s Close-Up, and Kieslowski’s Blue.
Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab in Cinética: Pablo Gonçalo on Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel’s Leviathan (more from James Slaymaker at Alternative Takes) and Filipe Furtado on Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez‘s Manakamana.
Album: Cinematheque Tangier, a project by Yto Barrada, is on view at the Walker Art Center through May 18
Book reviews at Film International: Jack Curtis Dubowsky on John Caps’s Henry Mancini: Reinventing Film Music and Liza Palmer on a newly revised edition of Tony Lee Moral’s Hitchcock and the Making of Marnie.
“Somewhere around 1963, just as sexual intercourse began, the classic Hollywood movie was dying.” In the Guardian, Michael Newton celebrates the 50th anniversary of Stanley Donan’s Charade.
Novelist Sol Yurick, probably best known for The Warriors (1965; adapted by Walter Hill in 1979), died almost a year ago now; Geoff Manaugh has just published his wide-ranging 2009 interview.
IN OTHER NEWS
Another round of troubles for Rome’s Cinecittà studios. Michael Day reports for the Independent.
Rose Kuo, who’s served as executive director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center for over three years, is moving on. Graham Bowley reports for the New York Times.
From Alison Willmore: “The Sixth Year is a web series (of sorts) commissioned by downtown New York art space Ludlow 38 and written by Jay Chung and Q Takeki Maeda that pools the talents of several up-and-comers from the independent film scene, including Rick Alverson (The Comedy), Alex Ross Perry (The Color Wheel), Kentucker Audley (Sun Don’t Shine) and Cory Mcabee (The American Astronaut).”
Two 30-minute comedies starring Peter Sellers were recently discovered in a London dumpster and will be screened next year; Dearth of a Salesman and Insomnia Is Good for You were both made in 1957
IN THE WORKS
Writing for the Paris Review, Calum Marsh considers the unique challenges facing Ben Wheatley as he takes on an adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise.
For those who read German, Michael Glawogger writes about the year-long documentary experiment he’s currently conducting in Der Standard.
Sofia Coppola will co-write an adaptation of Alysia Abbott’s memoir of her father, Fairyland, reports Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr.
“When Marnie Was There, directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, has been set as the first feature to emerge from Japan’s powerhouse animation studio Studio Ghibli in the new post-Hayao Miyazaki era,” reports Mark Schilling for Variety.
“This is a terrible, terrible idea.” In the New Republic, John Gallagher explains why he’d really rather not see Jason Segel star in a David Foster Wallace biopic.
“Three sequels to the movie Avatar are to be made in New Zealand, director James Cameron and the New Zealand government have announced.” The BBC reports.
Emma Thompson, Judy Greer, and Breaking Bad’s Dean Norris have joined Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, and Rosemarie Dewitt in Jason Reitman’s Men, Women, and Children, based on the 2011 novel by Chad Kultgen, reports Kevin McFarland at the AV Club.
“Frédéric Back, 89, who won two Oscars for his poignant animated short films, died Tuesday morning,” reports Jessica Gelt in the Los Angeles Times.
Phil Dyess-Nugent (AV Club), Steven Gaydos (Variety), Aljean Harmetz (Thompson on Hollywood), Noel Murray (Dissolve), Andre Soares (Alt Film Guide), Paul Vitello (NYT), and Steven Zeitchik (Los Angeles Times) have all posted remembrances of Tom Laughlin, who wrote, produced, directed, and starred in a series of films about Billy Jack, a biracial soldier who returns home from the war in Vietnam to kick ass for the underdog. He was also a pioneer of independent distribution—and ran for president a few times, too.
Fashion photographer Kate Barry, the daughter of Jane Birkin and the late composer John Barry, was found dead in Paris a few weeks ago, having fallen from the window of her fourth-floor apartment. She was 46. The BBC reports.
“The real-life projectionist who provided the inspiration for classic Oscar-winning Italian drama Cinema Paradiso has died at the age of 86.” In the Guardian, Francesca Marchese and Ben Child remember Mimmo Pintacuda.
Kurt Walker‘s posted a lengthy conversation about American cinema that took place around 1980 between Godard and Pauline Kael.
Kino Lorber’s trailer for Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia (1983)
Entries updated recently (some of them pretty substantially): 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, August: Osage County, Blue Is the Warmest Color, Her, Inside Llewyn Davis, Lone Survivor, Nashville, Nebraska, The Past, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and The Wolf of Wall Street.