“During the last weekend in June, while most of Europe took a break from focusing on Greece’s precarious economic future to follow the Euro 2012 finals, I traveled to the tiny Greek village of Lyssaraia, in the heart of the Peloponnese, to attend the third installment of Gregory Markopoulos’s monumental Eniaios.” For Artforum, Michael Wang reports on the world premiere of the sixth, seventh, and eighth “orders” of this epic, this “unity of fragments.”
New York. It’s Francis Ford Coppola weekend in the Museum of the Moving Image and Reverse Shot‘s See It Big! series. “Rightfully regarded as one of the finest films on the subject of war ever made,” writes Benjamin Mercer, “Apocalypse Now nonetheless also happens to be one of the most perennially elusive and disconcerting consensus classics of the American cinema.” Jeff Reichert: “During his career heyday, thinking small wasn’t part of Coppola’s vocabulary, and One from the Heart easily ranks on any list of filmmaking egotism gone amuck.” Still: “That this very traditional, almost conservative vision of romance, dressed up in clever eye-popping layers of artifice failed so dramatically in the early eighties perhaps says, in retrospect, more about the encroaching cynicism of the day than the film itself. A few decades on, it’s clear we should be talking about Coppola’s incredible five-film run.”
“Gene Kelly’s lifelong obsession was to make dancing seem masculine, athletic, sporty.” At Alt Screen, and on the occasion of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s series Gene Kelly: Changing the Look of Dance on Film, on through July 26, Dan Callahan analyses the ways in which Kelly went about doing just that. With clips.
DVD/Blu-ray. Dave Kehr in the New York Times on a “well-matched pair” out now from Olive Films: “Grounded in the two most characteristic genres of the 1950s, the western and the science-fiction film, [Fred Zinnemann’s High Noon (1952) and Don Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)] have both been read as political allegories of the McCarthy era, though their precise meanings remain intriguingly elusive.”
Books. John McElwee recommends a pair by William M. Drew, Mr. Griffith’s House With Closed Shutters, “the best summation so far of DWG‘s massive input to narrative pics and how he brought them out of primitive state,” and The Last Silent Picture Show: “So what were attitudes toward silent movies after they disappeared? Turns out not so good. Yesterday’s fish gone bad sums up how many felt—I don’t wonder at so many negatives getting junked.”
Obits. “Richard D. Zanuck, the once-spurned son of the legendary Hollywood producer Darryl F. Zanuck who carved out his own career as a frequently honored producer, running up more than $2 billion in grosses and, by producing Driving Miss Daisy in 1989, becoming the only son to duplicate a father’s best-picture Oscar, died on Friday,” reports Douglas Martin for the NYT. “Richard Zanuck’s successes rivaled those of his father, who co-founded 20th Century Fox, won three best picture Academy Awards and later fired his son in a studio shake-up. The younger Mr. Zanuck produced or helped produce movies like Steven Spielberg’s first feature film, The Sugarland Express, in 1974 and the director’s first blockbuster, Jaws, the next year.” Richard Zanuck was 77 and “the kind of producer who comes along once in a lifetime,” writes Steven Zeitchik for the Los Angeles Times—”and, given the corporate nature of contemporary Hollywood, may never come along again. To read through his credits is to watch a half-century of American entertainment fly by.”
“Hollywood is reeling from the death of one of the movie world’s most privileged scions,” reports Chris Lee at the Daily Beast. “On Friday afternoon, Sage Stallone, 36, the son of action-movie icon Sylvester Stallone, was found dead in his Los Angeles home… After making his screen debut as a 14-year-old in 1990 in Rocky V, playing Rocky Balboa Jr. in the fifth installment of his father’s blockbuster boxing franchise, Stallone made his early movie-biz stripes by taking bit parts in his father’s mega-budgeted films—such as the 1996 action-thriller Daylight. Later he appeared in Vincent Gallo’s gritty indie Promises Written in Water.” Sage Stallone also co-founded Grindhouse Releasing, “the only American distributor of forgotten exploitation fare such as Italian horror films as Cannibal Holocaust and Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond.”