David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson present a new e-book, Christopher Nolan: A Labyrinth of Linkages: “Kristin and I want to analyze some ways in which his narratives have been innovative. Innovation isn’t inherently a good thing, of course, but we think that Nolan has fruitfully explored some fresh options in cinematic storytelling. Contrary to common opinion, we don’t think that the Dark Knight trilogy is a significant part of this tendency. We concentrate on Following, Memento, Insomnia, The Prestige, and especially Inception. We see in these films a consistent inquiry into how multiple time frames and embedded plotlines can be orchestrated in fresh and engaging ways.”
“Before there was Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché, an upcoming documentary about the first female filmmaker and her suspicious erasure from early film history, there was the Women Film Pioneers Project (WFPP),” writes Nadia Ismail for Filmmaker. “The Columbia University Libraries recently launched this online anthology of essays on women in the early days of the film industry. The site houses overview essays to give context to the jobs women performed in early cinema—from editors to ‘cranks’ to colorists—and several essays on the different roles they played in national cinemas, from the absence of women in the Canadian industry to the necessity of African-American women filmmakers in the US. WFPP shares a similar spirit of defiance as the women it showcases: gutsy, resilient and, at times, fearlessly contrarian.”
David Cairns reports in the Notebook on a screening of Too Much Johnson (1938) at Pordenone: “I don’t see why those responsible for the preservation and presentation of this historically essential material, for which all film lovers must be grateful, need to present it as Welles‘s edit: as a set of out-takes of a lost film, it’s still fascinating and important, and maybe even reveals Welles’s methods more sharply than an edit might…. For one thing, Welles’s attempts to evoke both 1910s Keystone cops comedy and the more sophisticated ’20s humor of Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton, is adroit and respectful, certainly more than his pastiche of Un chien andalou and German expressionism in his earlier Hearts of Age.”
Via The Seventh Art, Jerry Lewis teaching a film class at USC in 1967
“The truly scary politics of horror movies” is an original comic Anne Elizabeth Moore and Gabrielle Gamboa have created for Salon: “We scored 74 horror films for racial and gender bias, and sexual violence.” Just one of the many stats here: “70% of all characters of color die in horror films, compared to only 27% of all white characters.”
Michael Atkinson in the Voice: “There is a secret heaven genre geeks know about, an antique theme park of candlelit castle corridors, webby crypt cellars, velvet-curtained dining halls, old-growth estate hills dripping with fake fog, leafy country roads traveled by horse-drawn carriages, and moldy graveyards of alarming architecture, to be found only in the European gothic horror B-movies of the ’60s and ’70s. Look to the Italians, the British, and the Spanish—this was the era in which low-budget cinema discovered the mossy ruins and remnants of Europe’s medieval centuries of profligacy, war, and holy fanaticism, and turned them into the bad-dreamiest of movie sets.” The Golden Age of Spanish Horror Cinema opens today at Anthology Film Archives in New York and runs through November 10.
At PopMatters, Bill Gibron argues the cases for the “13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time.” From Geoffrey Macnab in the Independent: “10 scary films to watch this Halloween.” For Movies.com, Rick Marshall writes up “10 Great, Geeky Horror Movies” (parts 1 and 2).
IN THE WORKS
Ioncinema‘s Eric Lavallee reports that David Robert Mitchell (The Myth Of The American Sleepover) “is currently shooting around Detroit on It Follows, a film that stars At Any Price’s Maika Monroe (follow her tweets @MaikaMonroe and Keir Gilchrist (It’s Kind of a Funny Story).” The new project’s being called ‘a terrifying coming-of-age nightmare about sex, love and the unseen horrors that follow us.'”
“Emmanuelle Riva, who received a best actress Oscar nomination earlier this year for her role as an ailing octogenarian in Michael Haneke‘s Amour, is set to return to the stage for the first time in more than a decade in a new production of Marguerite Duras’s play Savannah Bay,” reports David Ng in the Los Angeles Times. “The French-language production is scheduled to open in Paris in February at the Théâtre de l’Atelier and will come to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the following month as part of an international theater festival.”
New trailer for Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, opening on Christmas Day
“Johnny Depp is making a cameo in London Fields, the long-gestating noir crime thriller based on Martin Amis’ 1989 novel of the same name.” Borys Kit and Pamela McClintock in the Hollywood Reporter: “London Fields stars Depp’s reported girlfriend Amber Heard opposite Billy Bob Thornton and Jim Sturgess.”
Performance artist, curator, and writer Ian White has died, aged just 41, reports A-N. “As a curator he was Adjunct Film Curator for Whitechapel Gallery, London (2001-11) and Facilitator of the LUX Associate Artists Programme (2007-present). He also worked on many independent projects including Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, where he most recently curated a selection of works by the Turner Prize nominated artist Laure Prouvost (May, 2013), and The Artists Cinema at the Frieze Art Fair (2005/6). He wrote for numerous publications including Frieze, Afterall, Art Review, Art Monthly, and The Wire.”
“Nigel Davenport has died at the age of 85,” reports the BBC. “During a career spanning more than 40 years, he appeared in films such as A Man for All Seasons and Chariots of Fire, and the TV series Howards’ Way.” Davenport also played Giustiniani in Derek Jarman‘s Caravaggio (1986).