Daily | Nolan, Leigh, Loach, Argento

Mr. Turner

Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr. Turner’

Today’s first three videos come, via Nick Dawson at Filmmaker, from the Tate in London. In the series “Film meets Art,” Christopher Nolan talks about the influence of Francis Bacon on his own work (and most specifically on Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight); Mike Leigh shows us a couple of stills from his forthcoming Mr. Turner, noting how they’re modeled directly on portraits by J.M.W. Turner; and Ken Loach revels in William Hogarth’s portrait of six servants, drawing a line from these subjects to the characters in Jimmy’s Hall, the period drama set in 1930’s Ireland he’s in post-production on now. It may be his last narrative feature before he retires.

The fourth video, via Thomas Groh, is Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani‘s wordless video essay on another filmmaker who’s clearly seen a painting or two, Dario Argento.


For the Guardian, Laura Barnett talks with Isaac Julien: “The main challenge now is to bring one’s language from visual art to commercial cinema without compromising it. When certain voices—Derek Jarman, Steve McQueen—are able to do that, really exciting things happen.”

For the New Yorker‘s Richard Brody, Orson Welles‘s Too Much Johnson (1938) “is far more than a curiosity; it’s a major rediscovery, one that deeply traces the roots of Welles’s art, both stylistically and thematically—and its importance is revealed all the more by the magnificent scholarship that went into the restoration.”

Aaron Cutler has supplement his Keyframe piece on Treeless Mountain (2008) with an interview with So Yong Kim.


“Jerzy Skolimowski is preparing what he describes to Screen as a ‘catastrophic thriller’ to shoot in 2014,” reports Andreas Wiseman. Essential Killing (2010), with Vincent Gallo and Emmanuelle Seigner, is the last film Skolimowski directed, though he “has throughout his career interspersed acting with writing and directing features. His most recent credits are as an actor on Renzo Martinelli’s 2012 war-history The Day of the Siege: September Eleven 1683, in which he played The King of Poland, and the same year the writer-director also continued his penchant for supporting roles and cameos in Hollywood films with an appearance in Joss Whedon’s blockbuster The Avengers. Skolimowski’s career spans six decades. His first feature screenplay was for Roman Polanski’s 1962 Oscar-nominated drama Knife in the Water.”

As Ben Beaumont-Thomas reports for the Guardian, Quentin Tarantino has just about completed the screenplay for his next project. QT to Jay Leno last night: “I can’t talk that much about it, but I will say one thing. I haven’t told anyone about this publicly, but I will say the genre. It’s a western. It’s not a Django sequel, but it’s another Western. I had so much fun doing Django, and I love westerns so much, that after I taught myself how to make one, it’s like ‘OK, now let me make another one now that I know what I’m doing.'”

The Tehran Times reports that Mohsen Sharafinia has just completed Long Shot, a documentary in which over 70 students who’ve attended Abbas Kiarostami‘s workshops discuss the Iranian filmmaker’s methods and philosophy.

Steven Spielberg is “courting” Baz Luhrmann to direct a mini-series based on Stanley Kubrick’s unrealized Napolean project for HBO. Mike Fleming Jr. reports for Deadline.

Isabelle Huppert will star in Ludovic Bergery’s The Embrace, reports Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa. The story focuses on a woman who’s lost her husband and succumbs to “an insatiable sexual desire.”


Nashville. The Films of Jacques Demy series at the Belcourt rolls on through Sunday, and you’ll want to have a look at Sam Smith’s poster for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Meantime, Steve Erickson for the Scene: “Demy’s films always had a depressive, melancholy streak underneath their colorful exteriors. His startling 1982 musical Une Chambre en Ville (A Room in Town) takes it to new heights (or lows). All but ignored in the U.S. until it was championed by critics such as Dave Kehr and Jonathan Rosenbaum, it’s simultaneously one of his campiest and most tragic films.”


Movie On gathers probably all the video to be found related to the ten films shortlisted for the Academy’s Live Action Short Oscar.

Today on the Leonard Lopate Show: “Professor Scott Simmon talks about the National Film Preservation Foundation’s DVD set, Lost and Found: American Treasures from the New Zealand Film Archive.”

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