We’re decking out today’s entry with posters for two festivals happening in Spain over the next few days, the Gijon International Film Festival and ZINEBI, the International Festival of Documentary and Short Film of Bilbao.
“Much as Godard‘s special brand of cultural tourism quickly became a dominant influence at international film festivals half a century ago,” writes Jonathan Rosenbaum for Film Comment, “the literal tourism of the late Chris Marker became a major reference point in many of the edgiest offerings at the Viennale, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.” He tracks varying degrees of Marker’s influence in Jem Cohen’s “magisterial” Museum Hours, João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra di Mata’s “haunted and voluptuously photographed” The Last Time I Saw Macao, and the omnibus film Far From Afghanistan.
Looking back on the Viennale for Artforum, Dennis Lim also writes about Museum Hours as well as James Benning’s Easy Rider and The War. “Another eye-opener: a sidebar of films by the Portuguese filmmaker Manuel Mozos, drolly and fondly introduced at his screenings by his younger colleague and dogged champion Miguel Gomes. Something of a forgotten man and missing link in post-Salazar cinema, Mozos has had a stop-start, catch-as-catch-can career, one that is perhaps (as Gomes suggests) emblematic of a film culture that has survived and in many ways thrived despite neglect and isolation.”
In MUBI’s Notebook, Boris Nelepo writes about Manoel de Oliveira‘s Gebo and the Shadow, a film that’s “concerned with the meaning of art, cinema first and foremost; it treats filmmaking as an enchanting craft of shadows.”
Tom Shone reviews David Thomson’s The Big Screen for the Wall Street Journal: “Mixed feelings vein the book like Roquefort.”
For Playboy, Michael Fleming interviews Quentin Tarantino and James Franco chats with Gus Van Sant. Chris Heath interviews Ben Affleck for GQ.
In other news. “The weekend of December 7 through 9, a ‘Valtari film experiment‘ program collects at least 17 commissioned ‘official’ and fan-created short films created to coincide with the [new Sigur Rós] album Valtari. The program will screen on all seven continents (yes, including antarctica). Venues will include cinemas, cinema-like spaces, rock clubs, Native American casinos, hardware stores, hairdresser salons, and beyond.”
DVD/Blu-ray. Bill Krohn at Kino Slang on We Can’t Go Home Again: “It is an ars poetica; being a Nicholas Ray film, it is also a critique of the artist.”
Los Angeles. Thom Andersen presents Reconversão (Reconversion), his documentary on Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura tonight at REDCAT.
“Midnight (1939), in which penniless cab driver Don Ameche pursues American gold-digger Claudette Colbert across a Paramount–back lot Paris, is one of the most well-turned, crisply paced comedies of the antic 1930s.” For the LA Weekly, Nick Pinkerton previews That Signature Style: The Films of Mitchell Leisen, a 16-film retrospective running at the UCLA Film & Television Archive through December 16.
New York. Tony Bicât’s Skinflicker (1972) and Arthur Johns’s Solarflares Burn for You (1973) screen tonight at Light Industry.
London. William Klein: Films, 1958-99 is on at the Tate Modern through January 20.
Vienna. Jack Smith: Flaming Creature is on through November 29.
Viewing. In an outstanding video essay for Sight & Sound—those maps!—Kevin B. Lee “examines one signature tracking shot from each of [Paul Thomas] Anderson’s five previous features, showing how each epitomizes his cinematography at each point, from the flashiness of his earlier films to a more subtle approach that favors composition over movement.”
Zooming. Larry Gormley‘s poster, The History of Film: “More than 2000 of the most important feature-length films are mapped into 20 genres spanning 100 years.”
More browsing? See the Film Doctor and Criticwire‘s Steve Greene.
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