“If you can’t seek redress and demand reform without a brick in your hand, you risk losing this moment for all of us in Baltimore. Turn around. Go home. Please.” David Simon, who reported for the Baltimore Sun for twelve years before creating The Wire, posted an entry last night that’s generated, as of this writing, well over 400 comments. As Cynthia Littleton reports for Variety, “Simon appears to have spent a sleepless night engaging with many of the responses, with a steady stream of replies posted from Monday night through the wee hours and into Tuesday morning.”
For Cineuropa, Dorota Hartwich talks with Lech Majewski about his new film, the last in a “trilogy on the great works of great classic writers (preceded by The Mill and the Cross, based on Brughel’s painting The Procession to Calvary and The Garden of Earthly Delights, based on the work by Hieronymus Bosch).” First question: “Field of Dogs makes strong reference to Dante’s Divine Comedy, but also refers to recent historic events. What was there first?” Majewski: “The two sort of came together.”
Jonathan Rosenbaum recommends Mark Rappaport‘s “brilliant new” I, Dalio (or the Rules of the Game) in which “Rappaport takes us on a fictional tour through an actor’s career, albeit one supported by a great deal of research and careful film-watching, that proposes some enlightening ways of reinventing how we watch movies, teaching and hugely entertaining us at the same time.”
David Koepp was in Madison for just over two days last month, talking up a storm, evidently, David Bordwell’s taken notes: “David is a craftsman who thinks about what he does. I’d call him an intellectual screenwriter if I didn’t think that made him sound more cerebral and austere than he actually is. He’s a vivacious, articulate presence: a born teacher, endowed with wit and good humor. During his visit he threw out plenty of ideas. Some are valuable for aspiring screenwriters, and others are intriguing guides for those of us who study movies.”
Georges Franju insisted that the throb of Surrealism in the matter-of-fact existed in all his work,” writes Richard Skinner for 3:AM, “but it found a greater manifestation in his feature films (the white everyday workhorse in Le Sang des Bêtes reappears in Thomas l’Imposteur running with its mane on fire). In this way, Franju’s feature films carry on that strain in French cinema that begins with the poetic realism of Vigo’s Zéro de Conduite and L’Atalante and continues in the 30s and 40s with the moody industrial grisailles of Carné’s Le Jour se lève and Quai des Brumes. Nowhere is this combination of the probing of the realism of everyday life and startling Surrealist imagery more evident in Franju’s oeuvre than in Eyes Without a Face, a film which possesses a rare ability to extract emotion from horror and poetry from the banal.”
David Lynch appreciates his 2015 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award
For Newcity, Ray Pride takes a long walk around his hometown with Daniel Clowes and finds him “lucid on just about any topic, especially the layers of sedimentation just beneath his work. But he’s a witty conversationalist across a continuum of subjects, attesting to a fine curiosity when away from the hand-crushing work of comics and the expectations-dashing work of screenwriting. We set out to talk less theory and practice then have a brief walkabout of Clowes’s Chicago, maybe define what, even after a decade in Oakland, California, still makes him a Chicagoan, what part of Chicago rests in his bones.”
Via Movie City News, Esquire has Ennio Morricone looking back on his life, his marriage, his friendship with Sergio Leone… “Recently, there was an analysis of the 100 best music scores of the last century. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly  was second best. The first was by John Williams, an American. It was an American poll.”
From Sophie Monks Kaufman at Little White Lies: “‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema‘ by Laura Mulvey was first published by Screen in 1975 and has since achieved an iconic status that is very rare for academic essays. On Tuesday 21 April, BFI Southbank celebrated the 40th anniversary of this seminal essay by inviting Mulvey to participate in a panel discussion with various film professionals (Joanna Hogg, Isaac Julien, Tamar Garb, Mandy Merck and Emma Wilson) who gave accounts of the ways in which the essay had shaped and inspired them in their working life. Much of the discussion focussed on the ’70s and ’80s, which prompted us to ask has the essay been consigned to ‘historical curio’ status or is it still relevant today?”
Yesterday was Roy Andersson Day at DC’s. “He has been compared to Tati and Fellini, though it seems to me that he has as much in common with Gary Larson or Charles Addams,” writes Nick Pinkerton in his review of Andersson’s Golden Lion-winner, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, for Sight & Sound. And David Jenkins interviews Andersson for Little White Lies.
Playboy‘s running an excerpt from Josh Karp‘s Orson Welles’s Last Movie: The Making of The Other Side of the Wind. It’s 1937 and Welles meets Hemingway for the first time: “[T]he novelist exploded, allegedly picking up a chair and attacking Welles, who grabbed a chair of his own. The aftermath, as Orson described it, was a cartoonish sound booth brawl played out while bloody images of the Spanish Civil War flickered behind them. Eventually, however, both men concluded that the fight was insane, collapsed to the floor in laughter, and shared a bottle of whiskey.”
Relatedly, the Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw proposes his own theory as to what the whispering of “Rosebud” might mean in Citizen Kane. It hinges on a “moment that may or may not explain everything. It is in fact the moment that isn’t there, a shocking, ghostly absence that Welles allows you to grasp only after the movie is over.”
Paul Risker for Film International on John Schlesinger’s Darling (1965): “At around the mid-point of the Kitchen Sink drama’s lifespan, Schlesinger and actors Dirk Bogarde, Julie Christie, and Lawrence Harvey collaborated to create a film which asserts that British cinema of the sixties had an identity.”
Writing for the Notebook, Ryland Walker Knight looks back on this year’s Crossroads estival of film and video in San Francisco: “The Bens Rivers and Russell each had a short present—Things (16mm), Greetings from the Ancestors (Super 16), respectively—each pretty much in line with what their work has been (pushing documentation past representation), and each ‘better’ than what they made together in my opinion, with Rivers ahead here.”
IN OTHER NEWS
As noted in the entry on the passing of Manoel de Oliveira earlier this month, Oliveira requested that his 1982 film Memories and Confessions not be shown until after his death. Now comes word from R. Emmet Sweeney that screening will happen in Porto on May 4.
Stanley Nelson aims to get The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution out in theaters
“Doug Block’s essential doc filmmaker’s online resource, The D-Word, has been given a major face-lift with its crowd-funded 3.0 upgrade,” notes Jordan M. Smith for Stranger Than Fiction. “Not only is it easier to keep track of all the topics pertinent to you, the site looks a lot cleaner and is now much easier to browse from mobile devices. A full list of new changes to the site can be found here. In addition, Indiewire’s Paula Bernstein caught up with Block to discuss The D-Word’s long gestating upgrade.”
Austin. Tomorrow night, Experimental Response Cinema presents Michael Klier’s The Giant (1983) at the Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz. In January 2014, the late Harun Farocki introduced a screening and ERC has posted Fjoder Donderer’s translation: “Michael Klier’s film is composed of images taken from surveillance cameras. In 1983, video surveillance was still a novelty.” But “soon one will probably find it insulting to be given a camera as a gift. Being filmed is also something most people have become accustomed to. They do not disturb the film shoot by waving or by looking into the camera. They know that they are constantly, in a way, indirect persons of contemporary history, and have thus forfeited the right to their own image.”
Bloomington. Tomorrow through Sunday, the Media School at Indiana University, IU Libraries and Indiana University Cinema will be hosting Orson Welles: A Centennial Celebration and Symposium.
London. Reminding us that Martin Scorsese presents Masterpieces of Polish Cinema is on through May, the BFI’s Michael Brooke writes about “10 essential Polish film directors.”
Vienna. The Austrian Film Museum will screen films by Andrej Končalovskij and Aleksej Fedorčenko on Thursday and Friday.
IN THE WORKS
Mick Jackson will direct Hilary Swank and Tom Wilkinson in Denial, David Hare’s adaptatino of Deborah E. Lipstadt’s book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier. Andreas Wiseman reports for Screen.
Obvious Child writer/director Gillian Robespierre, writer/producer Elisabeth Holm and star Jenny Slate are re-teaming for pilot for FX, reports Katie Rife at the AV Club. “Described as an ‘honest comedy’—as one might expect from a creative team whose last project was about abortion—the pilot (and potential series) will center around Lou and Viv, two thirtysomething filmmakers living in New York City, and how their relationship as friends and creative partners evolves when they embark on a cross-country road trip together.”
Viola Davis will play Harriet Tubman in a biopic for HBO, reports Deadline‘s Nellie Andreeva.
“Andrew Lesnie, the Oscar-winning cinematographer who spent more than a decade collaborating with director Peter Jackson on the six Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, has died.” Mike Barnes in the Hollywood Reporter: “The Sydney native, who also worked with New Zealander Jackson on the remake of King Kong (2005) and The Lovely Bones (2009), was believed to have suffered a heart attack on Monday.” And he was only 59. At the Film Experience, Glenn Dunks notes that Lesnie “only ventured over to work in America once his work on Middle Earth gained him a level of industry respect that would bring him to I Am Legend and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”
“Don Mankiewicz, a member of a family of Hollywood royalty who earned an Oscar nomination for the screenplay to Susan Hayward starrer I Want to Live! and also worked in television, died Saturday,” reports Variety, noting that Mankiewicz wrote the pilot episodes of two highly successful series, Marcus Welby, M.D. and Ironside. “Don Mankiewicz was a son of Herman J. Mankiewicz, who won the screenplay Oscar for Citizen Kane together with with Orson Welles, and a nephew of Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who won Oscars for writing and directing best picture winner All About Eve (1950). Don’s brother, Frank Mankiewicz, who served as an aide to Democratic presidential candidates Robert F. Kennedy and George McGovern, died in October. Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz is Frank’s son.” Don Mankiewicz was 93.
Variety‘s Carmel Dagan reports that Jayne Meadows, “a longtime television actress who was the widow of TV legend Steve Allen and the elder sister of actress Audrey Meadows,” has passed away at the age of 95. “Meadows was thrice nominated for Emmys, the first time for a 1977 episode of the PBS show Meeting of Minds, the second time in 1987 for an episode of NBC’s St. Elsewhere on which she guested and the third time in 1996 for supporting actress in a comedy for CBS show High Society.”
Back to THR: “Monte Merrick, who wrote the screenplay for the 1990 World War II drama Memphis Belle, directed by Michael Caton-Jones and starring Matthew Modine and Eric Stoltz, has died. He was 65.”
Listening (15’48”). On the Leonard Lopate Show, William Wellman, Jr. discusses his new book about his father, Wild Bill Wellman: Hollywood Rebel. On a related note, in his latest entry on MoMA’s Acteurism: Joel McCrea (through May 29) for the Notebook, Zach Lewis writes about Wyler’s Dead End (1937).