“For all those who witnessed, whether directly or indirectly, his love for each image, each setting, each corner, each line of dialogue, each look, each pistol, each explosion of color and emotion, each chord of Johnny Guitar , there can be no doubt… that Nicholas Ray directed the film but João Bénard da Costa directed it in our memory and in our hearts.”
That’s Luís Mendonça introducing Bénard da Costa’s essay, now appearing in the original Portuguese and in eight other languages at À pala de Walsh. And the link comes via Jonathan Rosenbaum, who’s just posted a piece of his own that originally ran in the September-October 1984 issue of Film Comment: “Rear Window, The Leopard Man, Phantom Lady, The Window, The Bride Wore Black, Mississippi Mermaid. Considering that almost 30 features have been Cornell Woolrich adaptations, it seems a genuine anomaly that he should remain so shadow a figure.”
“What, then, constitutes the authorship of Life of Riley the movie? What makes it a Resnais film?” asks Boris Nelepo in the Notebook. “For years on end the director insisted he was making movies for the sole reason of seeing how they’re made. The birth of a film, a film’s foundation, the paradox of its existence—these leitmotifs course through the bloodstream of Aimer, boire et chanter. But, what is different this time around? First and foremost, the form.”
Outrage (1950) “looks intimately, painfully, and analytically at what we now know to call rape culture,” writes the New Yorker‘s Richard Brody. Director Ida Lupino “reveals a profound understanding of the widespread and unquestioned male aggression that women face in ordinary and ostensibly non-violent and consensual courtship…. Outrage deserves, indeed demands, to be seen, but I’ll avoid spoilers as much as possible in explaining why.”
Kenji Fujishima opens up a discussion with Carson Lund at In Review Online: “With its episodic structure and multiple locations, [Michael Glawogger‘s] Workingman’s Death  could certainly be considered global in scope. But unlike, say, Godfrey Reggio’s similarly ambitious and aesthetically minded Koyaanisqatsi (1983) and Ron Fricke’s Baraka (1992), Glawogger’s film doesn’t forgo the intimate in pursuing the epic. In fact, one of the things that most excites me about Workingman’s Death is how difficult it is to totally pin down a grander thesis for a film as historically minded and worldly as this.”
With the exhibition Le Musée imaginaire d’Henri Langlois on view at the Cinémathèque française through August 3, Joseph Nechvatal, writing for Hyperallergic, notes that it puts Langlois “in connection with European avant-garde cultural trophies,” work by Duchamp, Picabia, Léger, Picasso, Warhol, Chagall, Disney, Matisse and more.
“The history of cinema is full of remakes, but there is no tribute quite like Georges Franju’s Judex , a loving compression and reimagining of the 1916 serial by Louis Feuillade.” Geoffrey O’Brien for Criterion.
“The image of the scream queen is very much like any other ‘image of exploited female labor’ that Mal Ahern observes Hollywood continuously offering its audiences,” writes Kartik Nair in the New Inquiry. “Yet what the scream queen produces is both sound and image, or sound as image.”
Writing for the Atlantic, Noah Gittell considers what the western means now.
IN OTHER NEWS
The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced that it’ll be screening Thom Andersen and Noël Burch’s 1996 documentary Red Hollywood along with “a selection of films by blacklisted writers and directors chosen by Anderson for the series Red Hollywood and the Blacklist (August 15-21).”
With lineup announcements from Venice and Toronto expected relatively soon, the Guardian‘s Xan Brooks and Andrew Pulver look ahead to the fall festival season and note that “Toronto has decided that, as of this year, it won’t put up with being mucked about by Telluride’s premiere-snaffling, and has told filmmakers that if they want one of its prestigious opening-weekend slots, it’s them or us. The film world is now being asked to look into its collective heart and plunk down its loyalty oaths.” Brooks and Pulver make their predictions. For example, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice and Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups will likely go to Venice, they say, while Todd Haynes‘s Carol and Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young may well show up at Telluride, with Toronto taking David Fincher’s Gone Girl and J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year.
Hey, we’re on Sam Fragoso‘s list at The Week of “10 under-the-radar websites every film buff should know about.” And we’re in very, very good company, too.
IN THE WORKS
“In the wake of U.S. Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl’s release from Taliban captivity just over two weeks ago, two competing production teams are vying to bring the controversial story to the big screen,” writes Anna Silman at Vulture. “Zero Dark Thirty/Hurt Locker duo Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal are developing one of the projects.” And Todd Field (Little Children) will write, produce and direct the other.
Disney and DreamWorks have announced release dates for the next two films by Steven Spielberg, reports EW‘s Lindsey Bahr: “His still-untitled Cold War thriller, starring Tom Hanks, has been slated for an Oct. 15, 2015 release, while his adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG will hit theaters on July 1, 2016.”