Daily | Poitras, Manifestos, Tsai

Edward Snowden in 'Citizenfour'

Edward Snowden in ‘Citizenfour’

“Sneak previews of the film Laura Poitras is working on have made headlines the world over,” I wrote last summer when we were first introduced to Edward Snowden—and, at the same time, to the tip of an iceberg. We couldn’t yet fathom its depths or its reach, but in the months to come, we’d learn that the NSA, along with the intelligence agencies of several other countries, had expanded its surveillance capabilities far beyond what most would reasonably consider legal, never mind necessary.

Laura Poitras has now completed the film originally projected as the third in a trilogy about post-9/11 America. Citizenfour will see its world premiere as a Special Presentation of the New York Film Festival on October 10. The UK premiere happens the following weekend in London, and then Participant Media and HBO Documentary Films, RADiUS will send it out into theaters in the US on October 24. NYFF Director Kent Jones: “The film operates on multiple levels at the same time: a character study (of Edward Snowden)… a real-life suspense story… and a chilling exposé. When the lights came up, everyone in the room was alternately stunned, excited, and deeply troubled. A brave documentary, but also a powerful work from a master storyteller.”


The Edinburgh International Film Festival has announced that Chris Fujiwara is stepping down as artistic director—and that their search for his replacement has begun immediately.

Joshua Oppenheimer (The Act of Killing, The Look of Silence) and Alison Bechdel, who, wittingly or not, got a test named after her, are among this year’s MacArthur Fellows.

Martin Scorsese – Honored Speaker at Tisch Salute 2014 from Tisch School of the Arts.

Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, round… what, five, now, right? The Dissolve‘s Nathan Rabin: “On October 2, what Variety critic Peter Debruge called a ‘5-hour and 25 five minute atom bomb’ of a director’s cut when it premièred at the Venice Film Festival will roll out on VOD and in theaters in the United States, as well as in other territories.”


“Scott MacKenzie’s astonishingly broad and amazingly thorough assembly of some 180 manifestos, Film Manifestos and Global Cinema Cultures: A Critical Anthology, gives a vivid sense of the centrality of the manifesto to the breadth and scope of cinema as it exists today,” writes Bill Nichols for Film Quarterly, which is presenting an excerpt from the book that runs over 60 pages.

I.B. Tauris will publish a new collection, The Films of Claire Denis: Intimacy on the Border, later this month, and they’ve posted the forward by Wim Wenders. Denis was his assistant director on Paris, Texas (1984; “I can safely say that Claire single-handedly pulled this film through”) and Wings of Desire (1987; “My own guardian angel on this film was Claire”).

Terence Davies: a book by Michael Koresky from Reverse Shot.

“I imagine every young filmmaker has that one ‘aha!’ moment with another director’s work; that marvelous instance when whatever protozoan confluence of ideals and aesthetics has been swirling in one’s head finds itself all at once in precise, crystalline realization, right there on the screen, finishing your sentences and starting new ones.” David Lowery at the Talkhouse Film: “I had that moment with Tsai Ming-liang.” Related: Nicolas Rapold for the L on Stray Dogs (CRU), “a gorgeously designed film that’s equally a fascinating study of landscape, colors, and contours with a nearly sculptural texture.”

Crystal Chan in Sight & Sound: “‘I have said somewhere that it was not enough to hear music,’ Stravinsky once noted. ‘One must also see it.’ The synaesthesia of Norman McLaren’s animations might not have been what he had in mind but it’s this drive to marry sound and image that propelled the Oscar- and Palme d’Or-winning pioneer. He’s known for making films without a camera; he also created music with light. Half scientist, half artist, McLaren would have turned 100 this April.”

For Film Comment, David Gregory Lawson revisits Richard Linklater‘s It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books (1988) and The Newton Boys (1998).

In the third part of his series for the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Ephemeral Real, Drew Johnson writes about Mike Hodges’s Get Carter (1971) and Andrei Tarkovsky‘s Stalker (1979).

From the new issue of Interiors: “In terms of architecture and the use of space, the majority of [Denis Villeneuve’s] Enemy‘s narrative takes place within the space of one character’s subconscious.”


Vulture‘s Bilge Ebiri talks with David Lynch about what, at the AV Club, Mike D’Angelo calls his “magnificently nightmarish debut feature,” Eraserhead (1977). It’s out this week on DVD and Blu-ray from Criterion, where you’ll also find interviews with Lynch conducted by Chris Rodley between January 1993 and December 1996.

The Films of David Fincher from Daniel Silva.

Less than ten days before the world premiere of Gone Girl opens the New York Film Festival, and there are two new interviews with David Fincher: David Jenkins (Little White Lies) and Stephen Rebello (Playboy).

Amy Nicholson talks with Terry Gilliam for the Voice, where Stephanie Zacharek writes of The Zero Theorem (CRU): “The story goes off in a dozen directions, with very little in the way of satisfying, or even unsatisfying, resolution. And it riffs on the same old Gilliam-esque themes—we’re all just helpless drones in a mad, inhospitable world—without adding much that’s new.”


One of the highlights of 2012 was cinematographer Roger Deakins’s work on Skyfall. But now he’s left the 007 franchise and, as Kristopher Tapley reports at HitFix, Hoyte van Hoytema, who’s worked with Tomas Alfredson on Let the Right One In and with Spike Jonze on Her, will take his place alongside director Sam Mendes on the 24th Bond movie, slated for release next fall.

Timur Bekmambetov will direct Jack Huston and Morgan Freeman in a remake of Bun-Hur, reports Deadline‘s Mike Fleming, Jr.


Listening (32’25”). You Must Remember This #14: Bacall After Bogart.

More listening (186’53”). The Projection Booth #184: Richard Loncraine and Ian McKellen’s Richard III (1995).

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