For her latest entry, cross-posted at [PANK] and Big Other, Elaine Castillo evidently wanted to make sure that the title would pretty much cover it: “A call to the arms of love: on the love of film as a politics of film, on critique-as-love and love-as-revolutionary-force, in memory of Alexis Tioseco, Nika Bohinc and my father; or, another letter I would love to read to you in person.”
The new 50th Anniversary Issue of Artforum features Amy Taubin on David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, which, by the way, she included in her Sight & Sound top ten ballot, making it perhaps the newest film to be voted for in either the critics’ or directors’ poll. There are also brief statements from, among others, Tacita Dean (warning against, though already mourning, the perhaps inevitable demise of “photochemical, analog film”), Harun Farocki (“Computer animation aspires toward the photographic-filmic models of representation, yet with each advance it becomes clear how far it still is from the ideal”), and Ryan Trecartin (“Production may really just be a creative way to thoughtfully consume”). And Geoffrey Winthrop-Young and Eva Horn measure the impact of the late media theorist Friedrich Kittler.
And there’s a new Cineaste out. Miriam Bale, who’s organized the La Di Da Film Festival—the inaugural edition happens in New York on September 15 and 16, and we’ll be hearing much more about it very soon—talks with producer (Medicine for Melancholy, Silver Bullets), actress (Tiny Furniture, Alexander the Last), and director Amy Seimetz, whose Sun Don’t Shine will screen at La Di Da.
Also in the Fall 2012 issue: Jared Rapfogel on the Oberhausen Manifesto, Aaron Cutler on Cinema’s Alchemist: The Films of Péter Forgács, a collection edited by Bill Nichols and Michael Renov, Leonard Quart on Shirley Clarke‘s The Connection (1962), Nile Southern‘s 1981 interview with Aram Avakian, and a preview of the issue’s symposium (which’ll be found in print only), “From 35mm to DCP.” Among the participants: David Bordwell, Bruce Goldstein, J. Hoberman, and Jonathan Rosenbaum.
In the run-up to the Toronto International Film Festival (September 6 through 16), Cinema Scope has been previewing Issue 52, and there, featured on the cover, is one of the most talked about films of the season, Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor‘s Leviathan. In a must-read piece for the New York Times, Dennis Lim talks with Castaing-Taylor about what he, his associates and students are up to at the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard. For one thing, they’ve “been responsible for some of the most daring and significant documentaries of recent years, works that—not incidentally—challenge the conventions of both ethnographic film and documentary in general.” The Lab’s dead serious about both ethnography and sensory experience; making Leviathan sent Paravel to the emergency room—twice.
At This Recording, Durga Chew-Bose looks back on Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne’s years in Hollywood (with a brief digression on Aaron Sorkin); and for Vanity Fair, Krista Smith talks with Diane Keaton about recording an audio version of Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem.
DVD/Blu-ray. Paul Fejos’s Lonesome (1928), out from Criterion, “came along at a time of great creative ferment in the film world,” writes Dave Kehr in the NYT, “when the Germans, led by F.W. Murnau, were developing the possibilities of long takes and elaborate camera movements…; the Soviets were extending the possibilities of cutting to new expressive heights in films like Sergei Eisenstein’s October; and the French, led by Abel Gance and Jean Epstein, were exploring the superimposition of images, among other techniques, to create a loosely defined school of cinematic Impressionism. Lonesome incorporates all of these techniques—Fejos was clearly a voracious and discerning filmgoer—at the same time it embraces the latest technology.” But it’s also “one of those rare films that combines technical mastery with a deep feeling for human behavior.” More from Sean Axmaker, Graham Petrie (for Criterion), and Bill Ryan.
Screenings. From September 11 through October 9, Filmmaker‘s 25 New Faces series will be happening in New York, Nashville, Portland, and Columbia, Missouri. Nick Dawson‘s got the schedule.
Berlin. “Arsenal is dedicating a full retrospective to Alain Resnais in September that comprises features and documentaries, as well as his short works, including many of his personal amateur films that are very little known.”
In the works. The Playlist‘s Kevin Jagernauth has the first official synopsis for Spike Jonze’s next feature. Her stars Joaquin Phoenix as a lonely writer who falls for an operating system. Also lined up for the cast are Amy Adams, Rooney Mara and Olivia Wilde.
At the AV Club, Sean O’Neal gives us an amusing item on The Redemption of Cain, “the tale of rival siblings Cain and Abel retold with a ‘vampiric twist.'” Will Smith will produce; whether or not he’ll also star (or perhaps even direct) remains unclear.
Obit. “Hal David, the Oscar- and Grammy-winning lyricist who in the 1960s and ’70s gave pop music vernacular the questions ‘What’s It All About?,’ ‘What’s New, Pussycat?,’ ‘Do You Know the Way to San Jose?’ and ‘What Do You Get When You Fall in Love?,’ died on Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 91.” Rob Hoerburger for the NYT: “Mr. David, whose lyrics could be anguished pleas, wistful yearnings, sexy mash notes or wry musings, and sometimes all four in the same song, was best known for the long strand of hits he and the composer Burt Bacharach wrote for Dionne Warwick.”