Daily | LOLA 5, Bordwell, Dylan

Ernst Lubitsch's 'To Be or Not to Be' (1942)

Ernst Lubitsch’s ‘To Be or Not to Be’ (1942)

Editors Adrian Martin and Girish Shambu have begun rolling out the fifth issue of LOLA. With more on the way, there are three essays so far: Joe McElhaney on European filmmakers working in Hollywood in the 1940s and 1950s (Michael Curtiz, Anatole Litvak, Ernst Lubitsch, Billy Wilder, Curtis Bernhardt, William Dieterle, Fritz Lang, Otto Preminger, Robert Siodmak and Fred Zinnemann), Dorian Stuber and Marianne Tettlebaum on Jews, Germans and Poles in Ernst Lubitsch’s To Be or Not to Be (1942) and Lesley Stern: “A classical scholar once used the phrase, the ‘after-life of antiquity.’ Today, thinking about cinematic performance, that phrase revisits us, inflected somewhat differently, as ‘the after-life of gesture.'”

More from Adrian Martin. He and Cristina Álvarez López have their second audiovisual essay (7’20”) on Paratheatre up at the Notebook, part of the ongoing video essay project on Jacques Rivette‘s Out 1.

Also new in the Notebook: Mallory Andrews on Agnès Varda‘s Mur Murs (1981) and Blake Lucas on Samantha Fuller’s documentary about her father, A Fuller Life (2013).

“Some years back,” writes David Bordwell, “I wrote an essay, ‘Film Futures,’ in which I analyzed the what-if, or ‘forking-path’ narrative.” Click the title to access a PDF. “It explores several examples: Kieślowski’s Blind Chance, Tykwer’s Run Lola Run, Wai Ka-fai’s Too Many Ways to Be Number One, and Peter Howitt’s Sliding Doors. One Hollywood experiment in this vein was a film version of J. B. Priestley’s 1932 play, Dangerous Corner…. In the essay, my approach was to treat these films as a sort of genre. What conventions rule them? What motivates the forking-path format—a science-fiction device such as a time machine, or fortunetelling, or something else? How do they tap our what-if thinking? Dangerous Corner lets me test my proposal on a new instance and offer a trailer for a new online essay.”

Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten where I stumbled across this one, but it’s terrific: Greil Marcus and Don DeLillo in conversation in 2005, following an early screening of Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home: Bob Dylan.

“The Old Man of Belem is a Warning,” Manoel de Oliveira tells Martin Dale, who talks with the 105-year-old director for Variety about his newish short, O Velho do Restelo.

Trailer for Boundless, a documentary on Johnnie To via Wildgrounds

Christoph Huber’s posted Gregory J. Markopoulos‘s 1963 essay “Towards a New Narrative Film Form.”

In his latest “Bombast” column for Film Comment, Nick Pinkerton considers the work of the often overlooked screenwriter Carole Eastman. Among her credits: Monte Hellman‘s The Shooting (1966), Bob Rafelson’s Five Easy Pieces (1970), Jerry Schatzberg’s Puzzle of a Downfall Child (1970) and Mike Nichols‘s The Fortune (1975).

He also writes about Albert Serra’s Story of My Death (2013) for Reverse Shot: “As for the Casanova Meets Dracula setup, it’s something from the Jesús Franco reject pile, though Franco had more of an eye for peasant pulchritude, a better connection for castle rentals, and could do dreamy without drifting into the cataleptic. The movie begs comparisons, practically all of them disparaging—and Serra doesn’t help matters by likening himself in interviews to Pasolini.”

For Wired, Alex French and Howie Kahn have put together an oral history of Philip Kaufman’s The Right Stuff (1983). Via Movie City News.

For Filmmaker, Ariston Anderson gleans “Ten Lessons on Filmmaking from David Lynch.”

Indiewire‘s posted its “Sundance 2015 Wishlist: 31 Movies We Hope to See in Park City.”

“The foreign audience misses and loves our decadence as much as I do.” Writing for the Paris Review, Antonio Monda elaborates on what he considers to be the cause for the world’s falling out of love with Italian cinema.

Su Holmes via Catherine Grant: “Cold and Hungry: Discourses of anorexic femininity in Frozen (2013).”

It’s Robert Altman Day at DC’s.

“It is at once one of the most nonsensical and yet metaphorically dizzying of meta-sci-fi set-ups,” writes Michael Atkinson at Science and Film. “It is the premise of Stephen King’s ongoing network soap opera Under the Dome, and, before that, his 2009 novel, and between them Julian Pölsler’s utterly odd German import The Wall (2012), which is based on an acclaimed 1963 novel by Austrian Marlen Haushofer…. There are probably scores of others…. There’s one particularly modern angle explored by a little-known American indie most everyone’s forgotten about: Arch Oboler’s The Bubble (1966), which has just been released on Blu-ray from Kino.”

Terry Gilliam on Brazil (1985)

Gena Rowlands is having a moment.” For, Sheila O’Malley reports on a recent Q&A.

Michael Smith talks with J.P. Sniadecki about The Iron Ministry.

For the International Documentary Association, Frances Loden talks with Rithy Panh (The Missing Picture) about the Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center, which he co-founded in 2006 with filmmaker Ieu Pannakar in Phnom Penh.

Luke McKernan‘s been reading “a really interesting and thought-provoking book,” Gabriele Pedullà’s In Broad Daylight: Movies and Spectators After the Cinema. “His subject is how the understanding of moving images is determined by the conditions in which they are experienced, asking how films are changing in the new environment of plasma screens and smartphones.”

For the Guardian, Greg Whitmore lists the “20 best British science fiction films.”

Writing for the BFI, Josephine Botting explains why she loves David Cronenberg’s The Brood (1979).


“Lou Ye’s Blind Massage won six prizes at [Saturday’s] Golden Horse awards in Taipei, including Best Feature Film, Best New Performer and Best Adapted Screenplay,” reports James Marsh at Twitch. “Hong Kong’s Ann Hui was named Best Director for The Golden Era, while Chen Jian-bin won the Best Actor prize for A Fool and Chen Shiang Chyi won Best Actress for Exit.” All the winners and nominees are listed here.

Mike Figgis interviewed PTA in 1998; via The Seventh Art

Karsten Kastelan for the Hollywood Reporter: “Andrei Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan added to its growing trophy case, winning top honors, the Golden Frog for best film, at Poland’s Camerimage Festival for cinematographer Mikhail Krichman. Camerimage is the world’s leading festival honoring the art of cinematography.” And here‘s the complete list of winners.

Variety‘s Dave McNary: “Cinema Guild has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Asghar Farhadi’s About Elly—five years after it won the Iranian director the Silver Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival.”


It’s the Hollywood Reporter‘s annual actress roundtable: “Patricia Arquette, 46 (Boyhood), has known pal Laura Dern, 47 (Wild), for more than two decades; Dern has worked with Julianne Moore, 53 (Still Alice), and currently is promoting her supporting turn in Wild with star Reese Witherspoon, 38; Amy Adams, 40 (Big Eyes), and Hilary Swank, 40 (The Homesman), met each other at THR’s Actress Roundtable in 2010 and stayed in touch after Adams sent Swank a thank-you note; and relative newcomer Felicity Jones, 31 (The Theory of Everything), has been getting to know her self-professed idols while making the rounds this awards season.”

And Mark Olsen and Rebecca Keegan host another one for the Los Angeles Times: “Participating in the conversation were Jennifer Aniston from the small, personal drama Cake (opening in December); Emily Blunt from the musical Into the Woods (opening Christmas Day); Jessica Chastain from the recently released space epic Interstellar and the December drama A Most Violent Year; Gugu Mbatha-Raw from the historic drama Belle, which opened in May; and Shailene Woodley from June’s young adult love story The Fault in Our Stars.”


Eugene Hernandez and J. Hoberman talk with John Waters for the Film Society of Lincoln Center (55’58”).

Kim Morgan is Peter Labuza‘s latest guest on The Cinephiliacs (77’22”). Among the topics under discussion is Jack Garfein’s Something Wild (1961), “a radical independent film starring Carroll Baker and Ralph Meeker that tackles the subject of rape trauma through a mix of hard hitting realism and psychological surrealism.”

Monte Hellman‘s contribution to last year’s Venezia 70 Future Reloaded project via Toronto Film Review

On Filmwax Radio (82’18”), Adam Schartoff talks with Ana Lily Amirpour and Sheila Wand, director and star of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night; Jason Ritter, who’s appearing in Always Woodstock; and animator Maya Erdelyi (Pareidolia and Phosphena).

Illusion Travels By Streetcar #38: The Frank Capra/Barbara Stanwyck Collaborations (1930-1941) (124’43”).


Viewing (8’48”). Patti Smith and David Lynch, talking.

These are the “Best Album Covers of 2014,” according to fubiz.

Here‘s an entry on recent goings on and another on notable projects in the works. Meantime, even as I carry on gathering remembrances of Mike Nichols, I’m updating across the board. The entries with the most recent and substantial updates, though, are Force Majeure, Foxcatcher, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, Inherent Vice and Winter Sleep.

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