“For our 32nd Reverse Shot symposium, we return to our ongoing project of looking deeper into cinema by boiling it down to its constituent parts,” begin editors Michael Koresky and Jeff Reichert in their introduction to Take Four: Color Correct. Take One focused on the shot; Take Two on the cut; Take Three, a single sound. For Take Four, “we asked our loyal men and women to spotlight one specific use of color from a film of their choosing. We didn’t mean a director’s use of color through an entire film (such as the much discussed first stabs at the form by Antonioni with Red Desert or Bresson with Une femme douce) or, say, the overall beauty of The Red Shoes‘ Technicolor palette. As in our earlier symposiums, we wanted to focus on one particular instance as a way of talking about the whole.”
In the first entries, Genevieve Yue considers the ominous appearance of two black couches in Todd Haynes‘s Safe (1995) and Damon Smith revisits Hitchcock’s “acidulous, late-career maniac-on-the-loose thriller Frenzy (1972), where the color of the killer’s hair (and complexion) becomes a pigment Hitchcock uses to mold our subconscious feelings about this character’s essential otherness.”
Which makes for a nice segue to the latest pieces posted by Sight & Sound. With Vertigo topping the 2012 Critics Poll and The Genius of Hitchcock season on at the BFI, the Institute and its publication have ensured that Hitch won’t need to worry about his seat in the Pantheon for years, probably decades to come. BFI Southbank programmer Geoff Andrew notes how he’s jostled and rejostled his list of favorite Hitchcocks throughout his lifetime; and Nathalie Morris posts a letter from Hitchcock’s wife, Alma Reville, to producer Sidney Bernstein, in which she expresses her concern that the famous flaming colors of autumn in Vermont won’t last long enough to capture in The Trouble with Harry (1955).
More reading. In “New French Extremity: An Exigency for Reality,” just posted at Notes on metamodernism, Christina Bogdan‘s “interest lies in the work of a selection of authors—[Bertrand] Bonello, [Gaspar] Noé, [Leos] Carax, [Philippe] Grandrieux—who, as much as they can be defined by their association with the NFE (an association which has not been confirmed by any of them), have created bodies of work whose coherency speaks of a new vision of reality.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Mary Pickford Foundation “are partnering on a multi-year initiative to bring fresh attention to the Oscar-winning actress and her girlish charm,” reports TheWrap‘s Brent Lang.
DVDs/Blu-ray. Wes Anderson‘s top ten Criterions.
Spielberg’s Jaws (1975), restored and re-released, is “an unassumingly great movie, overflowing with the pungent behavior of Americans in jeopardy and at play,” argues Michael Sragow, blogging for the New Yorker.
In the works. Robert Pattinson will join Naomi Watts in Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert, reports the Playlist‘s Kevin Jagernauth: “The film will tell the true story of Gertrude Bell (Watts), the traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the 20th century. So who will Pattinson play? Only one of the most important figures in recent history, T.E. Lawrence aka Lawrence of Arabia, who worked with Bell to establish the Hashemite dynasties in Jordan and Iraq.”
Also: Compliance director Craig Zobel’s Z for Zachariah has a new star and producer in Tobey Maguire.
Meantime, Cartoon Brew‘s Amid Amidi wonders why Disney’s pulled the plug on Henry Selick’s latest stop motion animation project.
Obits. Yvon Hem, one of the most renowned directors of the ‘Golden Age of Cambodian Cinema,’ has died, aged 75, reports Tilman Baumgaertel: “I met him several times and learned to appreciate him as one of the most outspoken and accessible elder sources on Cambodian cinema. As such, he featured in Davy Chou’s documentary Golden Slumbers that will be released theatrically in France in autumn. He also gave me a sense of the type of Cambodian intellectual that the Khmer Rouge disposed of so successfully and that only now starts to slowly return: smart, cosmopolitan, but at the same time down-to-earth, idiosyncratic and stubborn, oh, so stubborn.”
Mike Barnes in the Hollywood Reporter: “Actress Lucy Gallardo, who appeared in dozens of Mexican films and telenovelas, died Saturday in her home in Los Angeles of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She was 82. Gallardo starred in writer-director Luis Buñuel’s thought-provoking drama The Exterminating Angel (1962) alongside her late husband, Enrique Rambal.”
“As much as the underground film and art worlds mourned the passing of iconic British avant-garde media artist Jeff Keen back on June 21, his passing was, of course, felt more deeply by his surviving family members,” writes Mike Everleth. “At Keen’s funeral, his daughter Stella Keen—aka Stella Starr—delivered an incredibly moving and inspirational eulogy for father… Bad Lit: The Journal of Underground Film is honored that Stella has granted us permission to publish it.”