The Austin Film Society’s just completed the second part of its run of the series Jewels in the Wasteland: A Trip through ’80s Cinema with Richard Linklater, this one covering the years 1984 through 1986. Now hours of Linklater‘s introductions to and post-screening discussions of the films he selected are viewable online: Jim Jarmusch‘s Stranger Than Paradise (1984), Stuart Rosenberg’s The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984), David Lynch‘s Blue Velvet (1986), Robert Bresson‘s L’Argent (1983), Richard Pryor‘s Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling (1986), Alex Cox’s Sid & Nancy (1986), Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Tim Hunter’s River’s Edge (1986) and Eric Rohmer‘s The Green Ray (1986).
Video hasn’t yet been posted from Wednesday’s screening of Paul Schrader’s Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985), but here’s an added bonus. The Chronicle‘s Marjorie Baumgarten has pulled a 1991 interview Linklater conducted with Schrader from the weekly’s archives: “When ‘Are You Talking to Me?‘ was published in May 1991, Slacker still hadn’t had its national release. Linklater’s breakthrough film had been playing at Austin’s Dobie Theatre for the past year, but was not set to bow nationally until July 5, 1991. The timing lends a special resonance to some of Linklater’s questions about whether Schrader would still go out to L.A. if he was just starting in the business in 1991, or how international productions stacked up against Hollywood financing. (In 1994, Linklater’s Before Sunrise would be financed primarily by Austrian funds.) The filmmakers—one in his ascendency and the other in mid-career, both Ozu aficiondos—found plenty to talk about.”
“To allegorize capitalism’s systemic patterns using the patterns of goods themselves was always a goal of [Jodie] Mack’s filmmaking, but [the program] Let Your Light Shine presented that goal more lucidly than ever before,” writes Jennifer Stob for Incite! “This spring I had the pleasure of speaking with Mack about her ingenious and gutsy program. We also talked—and laughed—about film sound, the heterogeneous audiences her films bring together, and close-knit and far-flung experimental film communities. We finished with a tantalizing discussion of her plans for another, even more ambitious experimental film musical that focuses on systems of global culture and capital, and that stars alphabets in addition to fabric patterns.”
“Godard was not the first experimental filmmaker or artist to use the 3D format—with its immersive promise, enhanced spatial depth and objects catapulting out towards the viewer.” Esther Buss for frieze d/e: “In recent years, the spread of the technology, its increasingly easy and affordable production, and widespread distribution and screening, has given rise to a growing number of 3D works in the field of experimental and art film. Although still in its infancy, this ‘alternative’ history of 3D is now extensive enough to merit a first overview. With the title The Third Image – 3D Cinema as Experiment, the 61st International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen in May was dedicated to experimental productions ‘in the slipstream of mainstream cinema,’ as the press release put it.
Also back from Oberhausen is Yaron Daman, who, in the Notebook, considers the experimental cinema of Ito Takashi, “an art on the frontier between stop-motion and motion, between the stillness of the photograph and the action of the motion-picture.”
Dan Mirvish is working on Bernard and Huey from a screenplay by Jules Feiffer and could use your help
“There are actors who are so singular in their appearance, inventive in their mannerism and outsize in their eccentricities that they might be called creatures. Peter Lorre was one. Charles Laughton was another—and perhaps the greatest in his dedication to his art.” For the New York Times, J. Hoberman reviews Alfred Hitchcock‘s Jamaica Inn and William Dieterle‘s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, both made in 1939, both starring Laughton and both recently restored and released on Blu-ray.
“Girls with Guns movies didn’t just pass the Bechdel Test, they destroyed it.” In his latest “Kaiju Shakedown” column for Film Comment, Grady Hendrix celebrates “Hong Kong’s greatest forgotten film genre.”
With Listen Up Philip opening in the UK, Paul Risker talks with Alex Ross Perry for Little White Lies.
At the Quietus, Robert Bright looks back on Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, 25 years on.
Electric Sheep has opened up a tidy little special section on Vera Chytilova.
“In 1974 Werner Herzog walked from Munich to Paris, an act of faith to prevent the death of his friend Lotte Eisner.” Longreads has posted an excerpt from Of Walking in Ice: Munich–Paris, 23 November—14 December 1974.
Tom Shone for the New Statesman on Chris Taylor’s new book, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present and Future of a Multibillion-Dollar Franchise: “Taylor’s great achievement is to combine two seemingly contradictory narratives: that Star Wars was an idea whose time had come and that no one had seen it coming.”
Peter Nellhaus finds Antonio Lázaro-Reboll’s Spanish Horror Film to be “a very useful formal introduction.”
IN OTHER NEWS
Big announcement from the Film Society of Lincoln Center: “Robert Zemeckis’s The Walk will make its World Premiere as the Opening Night selection of the upcoming 53rd New York Film Festival (September 25 – October 11).”
NYFF Director Kent Jones: “The Walk is surprising in so many ways. First of all, it plays like a classic heist movie in the tradition of The Asphalt Jungle or Bob le flambeur—the planning, the rehearsing, the execution, the last-minute problems—but here it’s not money that’s stolen but access to the world’s tallest buildings. It’s also an astonishing recreation of Lower Manhattan in the ’70s. And then, it becomes something quite rare, rich, mysterious… and throughout it all, you’re on the edge of your seat.”
Also yesterday, the National Film Preservation Foundation announced grants “to save 57 films, including early color home movies of President Herbert Hoover and his family, and The Way of Peace (1947), an animated plea for pacifism written and directed by Frank Tashlin for the American Lutheran Church that was named to the National Film Registry in 2014. All together grants were awarded to 32 institutions across 21 states.”
At Thompson on Hollywood, Ryan Lattanzio gives us an overview of the lineup for the 2015 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival. “In addition to six world premieres and three U.S. premieres, Outfest will screen movies from an astonishing 28 first-time filmmakers as well as new work from returning alums, including Jeffrey Schwarz (Tab Hunter Confidential), Jamie Babbit (Fresno), [Sebastián] Silva (Nasty Baby), Malcolm Ingram (Out to Win), Jenni Olson (The Royal Road) and Parvez Sharma (A Sinner in Mecca).” And! “Outfest will fete the 20th Anniversary of Killer Films with a screening of Todd Haynes‘s gay cult classic Velvet Goldmine followed by a reception with producer Christine Vachon. Also of interest for film buffs, we’ll see the new and fourth installment of the Beaver Trilogy, narrated by Bill Hader.”
“The 69th Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) (June 17-28) has revealed the juries that will judge its five award categories,” reports Screen‘s Michael Rosser. Jurors include director Amy Berg, critic Kenneth Turan and AFI film festival director Jacqueline Lyanga.
“Intended to honor a filmmaker’s independent mind-set, originality and quality, the 63rd Jean Vigo Award has been bestowed upon The Fear by Damien Odoul,” reports Fabien Lemercier for Cineuropa. A “date has not yet been set for the French release of the title, but it will most likely have its world premiere at one of the upcoming major international festivals. As for the reasoning of the Jean Vigo jury, they rewarded it ‘for its way of filming the folly of war like a theatre of cruelty. A journey through hell in a movie where cinematic experimentation and political rage exist in perfect harmony. For the obstinate path of its author.'”
New York. “Although color, in forms such as tinting and toning, had existed from the early days of cinema, Technicolor made possible an intoxicating dream world,” writes the Wall Street Journal‘s Kristin M. Jones.
“The centennial of the company’s incorporation in 1915 is the occasion for Glorious Technicolor: From George Eastman House and Beyond, a series at the Museum of Modern Art initiated by George Eastman House in Rochester, N.Y.” Opening today and running through August 5, “MoMA’s retrospective focuses on American productions between 1922 and 1955” and “includes more than 60 feature films, along with short subjects, cartoons, industrial films and screen tests.”
With Juke: Passages from the Films of Spencer Williams screening on Saturday at MoMA, Nick Pinkerton has a good long talk with Thom Andersen for Film Comment. The conversation also touches on The Thoughts That Once We Had, “identified by the opening title as a ‘personal history of cinema, partially inspired by Gilles Deleuze, The Movement-Image and The Time-Image.'”
Los Angeles. On Sunday, Filmforum presents the world premiere of Erika Suderburg’s Wunderkammern: The Private Life of Objects.
Chicago. As always, see the Cine-List.
Philadelphia. Drew Lazor rounds up local screenings in the City Paper.
San Francisco. Sherilyn Connelly has a brief overview of 14th annual SF DocFest in SF Weekly.
London. “Most texts insist that Henry Koster’s The Robe (1953) was the first film produced in CinemaScope,” notes David Parkinson. “In fact, it was Jean Negulesco’s How to Marry a Millionaire, which was rushed into production alongside Robert D. Webb’s Beneath the 12-mile Reef to give 20th Century-Fox a head start in the widescreen race to lure Americans away from their new television sets.” How to Marry a Millionnaire is screening on Wednesdays throughout June as part of the BFI’s Marilyn Monroe season, sparking Parkinson’s list of “10 great films shot in CinemaScope.”
IN THE WORKS
“If there were ever a competition for the bleakest depiction of what is going on in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Sergei Loznitsa’s film My Joy (2010) would certainly be one of the strongest contenders for first place,” suggests Bert Rebhandl in frieze. “Loznitsa is currently working on a feature film about the massacre of Babyn Jar, in which more than 30,000 Jews from the Kiev region were killed in 1941. (The film was due to premiere in Cannes in May but wasn’t finished in time.) He also recently received German funding for the development of Austerlitz, a ‘meditation’, as he has described it, ‘on the site of a former concentration camp’ that also appears in the eponymous 2001 novel by W.G. Sebald. Although Loznitsa has stated that his work will not be an adaptation of the book, there are strong resonances between his filmmaking and Sebald’s prose. With both of them poised between documentary and fiction, they may well turn out to be a perfect match.”
Jennifer Kent will follow up on The Babadook with a film based on Alexis Coe’s Alice + Freda Forever, reports Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr. “The book tells the story of a budding romantic relationship between two young girls in 1892 Memphis, Tennessee that incited a sensational murder and shocked the nation.”
Thursdays through June 25 at the Marchesa in Austin
Dave Chappelle, Nick Cannon and Wesley Snipes have joined Jennifer Hudson, Samuel L. Jackson and John Cusack in Spike Lee’s Chiraq, reports the Playlist‘s Kevin Jagernauth. “As for the plot, it’s reportedly focusing on a woman who strives to end gang warfare in [Chicago], but no other details are available at the moment.”
“In what is a most unusual pairing, Leonardo DiCaprio is teaming up with Michael Bay to tell a true story centering on the Rwandan national biking team.” Borys Kit has more in the Hollywood Reporter.
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