DAILY | Moments of 2012, Scientology + Hollywood, and More

Gebo and the Shadow

Everyone will be talking about the Oscar nominations today, but because you’re reading this, I suspect you’ll prefer to celebrate this past year in cinema with “Moments of 2012,” the two-part collection at Moving Image Source (1, 2): “Continuing our annual tradition, we invited some of our regular contributors and colleagues, as well as a few writers and artists, to select their moving image moment or event of 2012—anything from an entire movie or television series to an individual scene or shot, from a retrospective or exhibition to a news story or viral video.” It really is quite the roster of contributors, and I’m honored to be among them again this year.

And then there’s Senses of Cinema‘s big 2012 World Poll, collecting lists of various sizes and shapes from all over; it’s now up in three parts. Somehow, I missed the Chicago Reader‘s lists last month. J.R. Jones’s #1: Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation. Ben Sachs’s: Johnnie To‘s Life Without Principle. And Drew Hunt’s: Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master. Meantime, David Davidson‘s collected lists from Toronto cinephiles.

Awards. At last night’s Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking, Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi’s 5 Broken Cameras was named Outstanding Feature and Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s Detropia won Outstanding Direction and Outstanding Original Score. Movie City News has the full list of winners.

The American Society of Cinematographers Awards has announced its nominations: Seamus McGarvey (Anna Karenina), Danny Cohen (Les Misérables), Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi), Janusz Kaminski (Lincoln), and Roger Deakins (Skyfall).

Going Clear

Reading. “Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Lawrence Wright, who profiled ex-Scientologist Paul Haggis for the New Yorker in 2011, delves fullon into the history and inner workings of the Church of Scientology in his book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief.” And the Hollywood Reporter presents two substantial excerpts, the first dealing with Tom Cruise, the other with John Travolta.

Photogénie returns with Sam Roggen‘s conversation with Girish Shambu about the current state of cinephilia and Tom Paulus‘s report on a master class with Olivier Assayas, who discussed, among other things, “his methods of working with actors, his relationship to the New French ‘Sensation Cinema’ or ‘New Radicalism’ of Noë, Dumont and Breillat (for the record: he admires Breillat, is skeptical about Noë, but feels closest to Claire Denis), and his love of long lens cinematography.”

Arch Daily runs a piece from Charlotte Neilson, “From Psychopath Lairs to Superhero Mansions: How Cinema and Modernist Architecture Called a Truce.”

From Sarah Myles in Film International: “The Philosophy of the Double Bill (Or, How To Stop Worrying and Love Technology).”

“What happened to Direct Cinema?” asks Anthony Kaufman at Sundance NOW.

“The Great Debate: The Godfather vs. The Godfather: Part II” pits Jordan Hoffman against Vadim Rizov.

In other news. “A daughter of the late Klaus Kinski, the German actor with the haunted face who starred in epic films like Fitzcarraldo, has accused him of raping her as a child, over a period of 14 years,” reports Reuters. “‘I kept quiet for years because he forbade me from talking about it,’ Pola Kinski, who is 60, told Stern magazine in an interview published on Thursday.”

Slamdance has tapped 11 notable members of the indie community as its competition jurors for its 19th annual festival, which takes place Jan. 18-24,” reports Variety‘s Dave McNary.

The International Film Festival Rotterdam‘s announced that ten films from its various lineups will be competing for the Big Screen Award.

Margaret Lyons‘s got the Razzie nominations at Vulture: “Perennial nominees Adam Sandler and the Twilight franchise predictably picked up nods in several categories, as did Battleship, Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure, and Tyler Perry.”

Sokurov: Early Masterworks

DVD/Blu-ray. “We often take film preservation for granted, particularly for works of a recent vintage,” writes Jordan Cronk in Slant. “But it’s something to keep in mind while exploring the Sokurov: Early Masterworks collection…. This handsome, expertly curated collection rescues from certain fate three of Russian master Aleksandr Sokurov‘s greatest films. Along with an impressive array of documentaries, shorts, and an invaluable audio commentary, this is essential viewing for anyone interested in the continued vitality and preservation of film.”

Vienna. Two series open at the Austrian Film Museum today, Valerio Zurlini (through January 30) and Antonio Pietrangeli (through February 3).

In the works. “According to multiple sources, [Christopher] Nolan has set his sights on a sci-fi project titled Interstellar, which he is in talks to direct and produce.” Borys Kit and Kim Masters in the Hollywood Reporter: “The story involves time travel and alternate dimensions, and sees a group of explorers travel through a wormhole. The script [written by brother Jonathan Nolan] is based on scientific theories developed by Kip Thorne, a theoretical physicist, gravitational physicist and astrophysicist at Caltech.” Steven Spielberg, who’d been attached to the project in 2007, has postponed another project, Robopocalypse, reports Masters.

Viewing (2’15”). Trailer for Danny Boyle’s Trance with James McAvoy and Vincent Cassell.

Obit. “T.S. Cook, who co-penned nuclear nightmare thriller The China Syndrome, sharing an Oscar nomination for original screenplay and winning a WGA Award in 1980, died from cancer in Los Angeles on Saturday,” reports Variety. “He was 65.”

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