“Notwithstanding the ideological chasm that separated them, Pasolini‘s and Warhol‘s eccentric orbits overlapped in a number of instances,” writes Ara H. Merjian in an essay for the new issue of frieze that begins with a roundup of superficial similarities, followed by another of superficial dissonances. In this, his third paragraph, he prepares for further exploration at a more subterranean level: “Apropos of eccentricity, critics accused both men’s work of unreconstructed narcissism–a thinly veiled euphemism for homosexuality and its bearing upon their art. Each, however, held at bay his identity (or identification) as a gay man, even as he helped to shape queer culture before Stonewall. Both enjoyed the company of mascots and muses, drawing upon them for artistic collaboration and personal frisson alike. The slow succession of apostles’ faces in Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964) recalls nothing if not Warhol’s contemporaneous screen tests, a mix of eroticism and transcendence in their own right. Both Warhol and Pasolini availed themselves of delinquency (not to say criminality) as the stuff of aesthetic experiment. Their premature departures arrived like the inexorable fatalities their bodies of work–death-obsessed in equal measure–had imagined them to be…. Yet more than morbidity or sexuality links the work of these figures, in spite–or perhaps because–of their almost caricatural incongruity.”
More reading. “Part of the strength of André Delvaux (1926-2002) as a filmmaker is that, like the otherwise very different Samuel Fuller and Jacques Tati, he was already pushing 40 when he directed his first feature—having by then studied music, German philology, and the law, and also taught Germanic languages and literature before he became a pioneer in teaching film at Belgian state schools, where Chantal Akerman and Hitler in Hollywood’s Frédéric Sojcher (who has written a short book on Delvaux) were among his pupils, meanwhile playing piano to accompany silent films at the Brussels Cinémathèque.” Worried that his piece on Delvaux might not make it into the pages of Film Comment, Jonathan Rosenbaum has gone ahead and posted it himself.
Speaking of Tati, Andy Rector has posted a collection of delightful quotes from an interview that appeared in “the short, forgotten, and lovely book Jacques Tati (The Entertainers) by Penelope Gilliat.”
“The Siren didn’t intend to crowdsource [Samuel] Hoffenstein, but she is glad she did.” A delightful coda to an accidental project.
Books. In American Dream Machine, Matthew Specktor “has set out with Beau to create a protagonist in the spirit of Saul Bellow’s Augie March or F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jay Gatsby,” writes Tim Lewis in the Guardian. “We follow the peaks and valleys of his life from the 1960s up to almost the present day. His story is partly a family drama… but it also encompasses a broader narrative of how Hollywood and the movie business have changed in the past half century.”
New York. David Gatten will be at the Film Society of Lincoln Center tonight to screen his first digital feature, The Extravagant Shadows (2012). Aaron Cutler talks with Gatten about his work for Idiom.
Branden W. Joseph will be lecturing on Claes Oldenburg’s films tomorrow at Light Industry.
Los Angeles. For the Weekly, Doug Cummings talks with CalArts instructor Charlotte Pryce about her incorporation of live magic lantern performances in her work. Cabinets of Wonder: Films and a Performance by Charlotte Pryce happens tonight at REDCAT.
In the works. Alfama Films will be taking quite the lineup to market in Cannes, reports Fabien Lemercier. Mathieu Amalric‘s fifth feature as a director will be an adaptation of Georges Simenon’s novel The Blue Room. In Monte Hellman‘s Love or Die, a “man and woman destined for each other, but who never met whilst they were alive, are sent back to earth to fulfil this love.” And then there’s Luca Guadagnino’s adaptation of Don DeLillo’s The Body Artist with Isabelle Huppert, Denis Lavant and David Cronenberg, Michael Sturminger’s The Giacomo Variations with John Malkovich as Casanova, and Fanny Ardant’s Cadences obstinées with Asia Argento and Gérard Depardieu.
Also: Elle Driver will be shopping Rebecca Zlotowki’s Grand Central, set to premiere in Un Certain Regard and will launch pre-sales of Benoît Jacquot‘s 3 Hearts with Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Léa Seydoux.
And also at Cineuropa, Naman Ramachandran reports that “Ken Loach will begin shooting Jimmy’s Hall in Ireland towards the end of summer.” Jimmy is James Gralton, an Irish communist leader who’d be the only person ever to be deported from the country.
The Observer‘s Jason Solomons hears that Mike Leigh’s film about J.M.W. Turner, with Timothy Spall playing the artist, will begin shooting next month.
Justin Kurzel (Snowtown) will direct Michael Fassbender in Macbeth, reports Andreas Wiseman for Screen Daily.