DAILY | MADness, Herzog, Ford, Sono, and More


Alfred E. Newman does get around, doesn’t he?

In the few days since the last news roundup, the new March/April issue of Film Comment‘s appeared, featuring, besides a slew of reviews ad festival reports, the 2012 Readers’ Poll (plus comments), two profiles—Chuck Stephens on Jay C. Flippen and Holly Willis on David Gatten—and Grady Hendrix: “Rude, irreverent, and with 58 years of history now behind them, MAD magazine’s movie satires gave some of us our first encounters with the modern cinematic canon.” He also interviews MAD associate editor John Ficarra and parody artist Tom Richmond.

“Somebody should compile, in a surrealistic book, all the strange and wonderful tables that emerged, around the world, from the structuralist/semiotic years of film analysis in the 1960s and 70s,” suggests Adrian Martin in De Filmkrant. “Of course, they are frustrating to grasp, because a diagram is only the static endpoint of a long, dynamic, often pedagogical process. This is something that the new age of digital, audiovisual film studies could, in fact, give us: resurrected, living, mobile, time-based diagrams. Bring back those structural charts!”

Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera is currently staging a production of I due Foscari, directed by Werner Herzog. Earlier this month, “Herzog was joined by journalist Valerio Cappelli, the theatre’s artistic directors Catello De Martino and Alessio Vlad, and film critic Mario Sesti, in a hugely entertaining encounter in the splendid foyer of the opera house to discuss not only this new version of Verdi’s opera, but also his wider relationship with music during his entire film career through a series of clips from his movies and personal anecdotes.” Deborah Swain reports.

Glenn Kenny has a few questions for James White, “the British film restoration maestro” about “some of the issues concerning film restoration in the brave and still relatively new but increasingly pervasive world of digital.”

“I do not like at all Christianity as a religion, I just love the personage of Christ,” Sion Sono tells Yoana Pavlova at Festivalists. “It is like liking John Lennon but not the people who join the fan club of John Lennon. Nevertheless, I actually have a very good friend of mine who is a pastor, so maybe this year I will join the Protestant Church.”

“The rift between the Romanian new wave and its home audience could end up hurting the global profile of the industry,” writes Phil Hoad in the Guardian. “Unfortunately, the government’s priorities lie elsewhere: last year, it killed off funding for the body responsible for promoting Romanian films abroad.”

“As Glenn Frankel puts it in The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend, his fascinating new book about the picture and the history behind it, ‘The Searchers is perhaps the greatest Hollywood film that few people have seen.'” Martin Scorsese revisits John Ford‘s classic for the Hollywood Reporter (via Adam Cook in the Notebook), just as he did for the AFI a few years ago.

Jason Kottke: “Linus Edwards proposes building a museum comprised of exacting recreations of famous sets from movies.”

In other news. “When the Cannes Film Festival announced Monday that it would open on May 15 with Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, it raised more than a few eyebrows,” notes Steven Zeitchik in the Los Angeles Times. “The Cannes opening-night film is almost always a world premiere, as both the festival and Hollywood studios seek the most publicity bang for their buck. But Warner Bros.’ Gatsby comes out in North America on May 10.”

Steven Soderbergh will deliver this year’s State of Cinema Address at the San Francisco International Film Festival (April 25 through May 9).

The latest from Tribeca (April 17 through 28): “Featuring a record-breaking 30 world premieres, this year’s Shorts program offers history lessons, views of Manhattan and the return of Shawn Christensen (whose TFF 2012 film, Curfew, won the Oscar for Best Live Action Short this year).”

Mike Everleth has the award-winners from this year’s Chicago Underground Film Festival.

Hawks on the set of 'Rio Bravo' (1959) with Angie Dickinson

Hawks on the set of ‘Rio Bravo’ (1959) with Angie Dickinson

Lists. Michael J. Anderson posts “a list of every Howard Hawks directed film, categorized by achievement and ranked in approximate order of preference.”

Zach Campbell‘s posted his top ten of 1985.

DVD/Blu-ray. The Blob is a “well-paced, serious 1958 science fiction horror film, featuring one of the simplest yet most effective aliens in cinema,” writes Kim Newman for Criterion, arguing that “in many ways” it’s also “atypical for its era.”

Luis Buñuel made one last momentous return to Spain in 1970 with Tristana, a multi-national production starring a French ingénue and a veteran of Spanish theater and television that would prove to be one of his most scathing, personal works.” 3.5 out of 5 stars from Jordan Cronk at Slant.

Ray Pride posts a couple of longish conversations at Movie City News: Ang Lee (Life of Pi) and Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild).

San Francisco. Cheryl Eddy: “Rebellious Chinese bloggers, women crusading against domestic violence in Southern India, basketball sensation Jeremy Lin, and a high-energy Thai cheerleading team: if you seek inspiration, head straight to the documentary films of CAAMFest, formerly the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. The Center for Asian American Media rolls out its newly revamped festival March 14-24, with an array of films, music, and food-themed programs. Though the fest does typically boast a noteworthy selection of docs, the 2013 slate is particularly strong.” More in the Bay Guardian from Kimberly Chun; and Michael Hawley is particularly to see the return of the festival’s mini-retrospective. This year’s subject: Royston Tan.

New York. For Artforum, Melissa Anderson previews Foxy: The Complete Pam Grier, running at the Film Society of Lincoln Center from tomorrow through Sunday.

Philadelphia. In conjunction with tomorrow’s Chris Marker symposium Things That Quicken the Heart, the International House will be hosting Agnès Varda as she attends a screening of The Beaches of Agnès.

Cambridge. King Hu and the Art of Wuxia is on at the Harvard Film Archive from tomorrow through March 24.

Vancouver. Drifting States: The Films of Denis Côté begins at the Cinematheque tomorrow.

London. The lineup for Sundance London (April 25 through 28) is set.

Vienna. The Austrian Film Museum’s Robert Bresson series is on through April 4.

In the works. At the Playlist, Joe Cunningham as a couple of first images and the official synopsis for Claire Denis‘s The Bastards.

Viewing (8’38”). Leigh Singer‘s Breaking the 4th Wall Movie Supercut.

More browsing? See the cinetrix.

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