It may seem odd to deem a Kickstarter campaign the top story of the day, but this is no ordinary Kickstarter campaign. Filmmaker Robert Beavers has put out a call “for financial support to complete the printing of a portion of the epic, 80-hour film entitled ENIAIOS by Gregory J. Markopoulos (1928-1992).”
Markopoulos, whose works “are among the cinema’s prime glories” (Fred Camper), was a key figure in the New American Cinema movement and spent the last years of his life re-editing his entire body of work into one magnum opus. The first cycles were presented in 2004 and 2008 “at the site outside his ancestral village of Lyssaraia in the Peloponnese specified by him as the only suitable location for the viewing of the work—what he called the Temenos, after the classical term for a sacred space delimited from the everyday,” as Michael Wang explained in Artforum in 2008. Now Beavers is preparing to premiere the sixth, seventh, and eighth cycles of ENIAIOS over three nights beginning in late June. So far, the amount raised is edging up nicely, but of course, every little bit will help him reach his goal of $20K.
In other news. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced an expansion of its Film-to-Film preservation initiative.
Reading. David Bordwell sets the work of Phil Solomon against the backdrop of the history of the American avant-garde and then turns to one work in particular: “Referencing Ives’ ‘Three Places in New England’ as well as Griffith, Keaton, Citizen Kane, Night of the Hunter, the Titanic, All Quiet on the Western Front, Pearl Harbor, the Rosenbergs, the JFK assassination, and the Civil Rights movement, American Falls offers nothing less than a panorama of twentieth-century American history.”
Chaplin’s first scene as the Tramp from Mabel’s Strange Predicament (1914)
Jon Boorstin‘s piece on Charlie Chaplin‘s greatest invention for the Los Angeles Review of Books ran a couple of weeks ago, but I missed it, and maybe you did, too: “The Tramp touched his followers in a way only movie stars could when movies were new. Splashed huge on the screen, he was bigger than they were but they knew him like a brother. Their modest emotions, projected on the silver Tramp, expanded into passions deeper, subtler, and seemingly more important. Chaplin rubbed together greed and generosity, lust and love, triumph and disappointment, igniting a hotter, brighter laughter than they’d known before. They loved the Tramp with a superhuman love.” But was the Tramp solely Chaplin’s creation? Boorstin argues that neither the Tramp nor Charlie would ever have become what they were if it weren’t for Mabel Normand.
Just up today at the LARB is Lyra Kilston‘s review of Jennifer Bass and Patrick Kirkam’s Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design: “What emerges through essays, Bass’s compelling firsthand narration, and a survey of hundreds of notable projects, is a rich portrait of a stunningly talented, original, and playful mind.”
For Little White Lies, David Jenkins interviews Ben Rivers, whose Two Years at Sea is currently in London theaters. Reviews: Peter Bradshaw (Guardian, 4/5), Dave Calhoun (Time Out, 3/5), Vadim Rizov (Little White Lies), Jonathan Romney (Independent, 5/5), ASH Smith (Arts Desk) and Neil Young (Tribune, 6/10). Related: Rivers talks us through his Spotify playlist for Phaidon. Jenkins also interviews Mia Hansen-Løve, whose Goodbye First Love is also in London theaters. Reviews: Omer Ali (Little White Lies), Peter Bradshaw (Guardian, 4/5), Dave Calhoun (Time Out, 4/5), Anthony Quinn (Independent, 2/5), Tim Robey (Telegraph, 4/5) and Leo Robson (Financial Times, 4/5).
Berlin. Too Drunk to Watch, a four-day festival of punk film, starts tomorrow.