Jon Jost has posted a “Petition to the International Film Community on Behalf of Mark Rappaport‘s Stolen Film Materials.” Regular readers will know the back story, but briefly: Boston University professor Ray Carney offered to store some of Rappaport’s original film and video materials in 2005. When, in 2010, Rappaport requested that Carney return some of them, Carney obliged. Now that Rappaport needs the rest of the materials, Carney’s not only refused but also more or less disappeared. Jon Jost: “In preventing Rappaport’s access to his own work, he deprives him of his ability to reach a wider, new audience via streaming, and causes him considerable financial hardship as well.” As of this writing, over 350 supporters have signed the petition. You might consider adding your name as well.
Reading. The new issue of Interiors analyzes and diagrams the most famous scene in Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960): “The entire film focuses on spatial relations.”
David Davidson has posted a roundtable discussion on Brian De Palma that appeared in Cahiers du Cinéma in 1981. The participants: Jean Douchet, Pascal Bonitzer, and Serge Daney.
“Ready to declare cinema dead?” asks David Bordwell. “There is a cure for your malaise. We call it a film festival.” And he offers his thoughts on several films he caught in Vancouver.
Gregg Bordowitz in Afterall on the work of Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz: “The characters in Charming for the Revolution allude to numerous references in a long history of queers struggling for survival against a hostile world of repressive norms. The housewife is a gender queer feminist, and possibly Fassbinder. The dandy is Oscar Wilde and Jack Smith. Composite and jumbled, the characters appearing in Boudry/Lorenz productions represent modes of existence rather than particular persons (even when the characters bear the names of actual historical figures, as is the case in later films). The artists portray the actions of individuals and groups living—indeed thriving—in defiance of convention, law and economy.”
Feliz Lucia Molina introduces an interview for BOMB: “Filmmaker Leslie Thornton is a contemporary of visionary image-makers such as Chris Marker, Chantal Akerman, Michael Snow, and Harun Farocki. The poetic breadth and conceptual depth of Thornton’s work—which bridges the gap between video and cinema—express a commitment to the vulnerabilities and complexities of the human condition, the guiding thread in her work. I imagine a rope pinned to the trees at different points in a dark forest, something to hang onto while moving through the dark cinema sky.”
In other news. The AFI Fest, running November 1 through 8, has announced its World Cinema, Breakthrough, Midnight, and shorts lineups. And Peter Nellhaus previews the lineup and schedule for the 35th Starz Denver Film Festival, running November 1 through 11.
New York. Tonight at Light Industry, Julie Ault introduces James Benning’s 11 x 14 (1976).
Lists. Tom Hall counts down his “Top 12 Horror Films.”
In the works. Christoph Waltz will play Mikhail Gorbachev opposite Michael Douglas’s Ronald Reagan in Mike Newell’s Reykjavik, reports the Playlist‘s Kevin Jagernauth.
Obits. On hearing that his longtime friend, director and screenwriter Eduardo de Gregorio, died on Saturday, aged 70, Jonathan Rosenbaum posts a text he wrote in 2004 which accompanied a retrospective of de Gregorio’s work in Buenos Aires. His is “a singular body of work that owes as much to cinematic references as to literary ones… In the case of de Gregorio’s features and his participation as a writer in the elaboration of a few others, the literary tradition most in play is probably the Gothic—and especially one of the principal sites of that tradition, the Old Dark House, which crops up directly in [Bertolucci’s] The Spider’s Strategem , Rivette‘s Céline et Julie vont en bateau (1974), Sérail (Surreal Estate, 1976), Aspern (1984), Corps perdus (1989), and, more metaphorically, in my two favorites of de Gregorio’s own features, La mémoire courte (1979) and Tangos volés (2001).”
“One of the giants of 20th century animation, Czech animator and director Břetislav Pojar, died last Friday evening,” reports Amid Amidi at Cartoon Brew. “He was among the first group of artists to work at the state-run Studio Bratri v triku in Prague. There, he met Jiří Trnka, and in the mid-1940s, he left with Trnka to start a new animation studio. Pojar became Trnka’s key animator on numerous puppet shorts in the late-1940s and early-1950s.” Pojar’s own films “are not easily classifiable and represent one of the most diverse bodies of work by an animation director. He worked in stop motion and drawn animation, and his films tackled a wide range of eclectic themes, often revolving around political, humanistic, social and anti-war concerns.” Related viewing: Kevin B. Lee‘s “100 Masters of Animated Short Films.”
“John Clive, who appeared in films including A Clockwork Orange, The Pink Panther and The Italian Job, has died at the age of 79,” reports Ben Quinn in the Guardian.
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