Reverse Shot, one of the best film criticism publications online or off for over a decade now, has not only relaunched with a new design, it’s now also the official publication of the Museum of the Moving Image. Co-founder Michael Koresky tells the story behind to move to Criticwire‘s Max O’Connell.
The relaunch calls for a new symposium, the feature for which RS is deservedly known best, and this time around, co-editors Koresky and Jeff Reichert and their contributors are tackling a giant:
Scorsese has offered no shortage of extraordinary standalone scenes and images, but often it’s the complex overall design of his films that is so unusually striking…. Of late, his work as a preservationist and as an all-purpose guru for the legacy of world cinema itself… make him something like American cinema’s more scholarly, less radical Jean-Luc Godard….
Scorsese stands apart from other American directors to whom we’ve devoted career symposiums at Reverse Shot. He’s not a cult director with a rabid following like Brian De Palma; he’s not a divisive Hollywood figure like Steven Spielberg; he doesn’t have that homegrown, idiosyncratic aura like such indie-bred filmmakers as Richard Linklater and Jim Jarmusch. He is a director whose talents and appeal most people seems to agree upon, from casual movie-watchers to die-hard cinephiles. But, for such an icon, Scorsese is fairly tricky to pin down. What threads, if any, connect his various, distinctive films? Is he more fascinating a director because of commonalities between his films or divergences?
Even with new articles being posted daily, the sheer size of Martin Scorsese’s oeuvre promises a long, rewarding run for this symposium. So far: Mark Asch on the NYU shorts, Justin Stewart on Who’s That Knocking at My Door? (1967) and Kristi Mitsuda on Boxcar Bertha (1972).
‘The Making of Who’s That Knocking at My Door?‘
But the symposium’s not even the only new feature. The series Escape from New York will take us to other cinephilic hot spots, beginning with Azadeh Jafari and Vahid Mortazavi‘s portrait of the community in Tehran. Touching the Screen explores the world of video gaming and, interestingly, Brendan Keogh‘s launched it with an ode to a card game, Netrunner.
The other day, we posted Michael Fox‘s interview with Maureen Gosling and Chris Simon, both of whom worked with Les Blank. They have a new film opening in San Francisco today before it moves on to New York and Los Angeles, This Ain’t No Mouse Music, a portrait of producer and all-round musical explorer Chris Strachwitz. As John Sayles puts it, the film “tells the story of how an immigrant kid from Germany came to turn so many of us on to so much great music we’d never have found otherwise—think Timothy Leary with no brain cells slaughtered. And it’s got a killer soundtrack.”
“With its superstars and backups, its endless rehearsals for the big show, the football movie has much in common with the backstage musical, though given the sport’s macho associations, it is more commonly compared to its other near-neighbor, the war film,” writes Nick Pinkerton in his latest “Bombast” column for Film Comment. “‘I want it to be like Seven Samurai,’ [Richard] Linklater is quoted as saying of his never-to-be-made Friday Night Lights.”
Revisiting Kurosawa’s samurai films, David Moats “can’t help but feel that Hollywood directors have gravitated toward only the most basic aspects of his work.” Also in the Quietus, Michael Wojtas calls Jarmusch’s feature-length debut, Permanent Vacation (1980), “the film where nearly every piece of Jarmusch’s aesthetic was developed, and possibly the best time capsule of punk-and-hepatitis Manhattan ever committed to celluloid.”
IN OTHER NEWS
“After years of reorganizing and cost cutting, San Sebastian looks ready to show it can keep playing with the big boys.” For the Hollywood Reporter, Pamela Rolfe previews the 62nd edition, opening today and running through September 27. “Spain’s only A-list festival boasts seventeen world premieres this year, including Bille August’s Silent Heart, Alberto Rodriguez’s film noir Marshlands, Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache’s Samba and the John Malkovich-starrer Casanova Variations.”
New York. “Sometimes the near-great delineates the great in the way shadow does light, as John M. Stahl’s surprisingly rare (and just plain surprising) film When Tomorrow Comes reminds us,” writes the New Yorker‘s Richard Brody. “Though not exactly a work of genius, the movie—which is playing tomorrow through Sunday at I.F.C. Center, as part of the series 1939: Hollywood’s Golden Year—is a marvel and, ultimately, a terror.”
San Francisco. Michael Hawley previews Silent Autumn, an all-day celebration that the San Francisco Silent Film Festival is presenting tomorrow. “The day’s five programs include a trio of Laurel and Hardy shorts, a recreation of a ‘Night at the Cinema in 1914,’ Rudolph Valentino‘s swan song The Son of the Sheik, Buster Keaton‘s The General and the original creep classic, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. While the familiarity of these titles lend the event a ‘greatest hits’ vibe, it’s worth noting that with the exception of one Laurel and Hardy short, everything at Silent Autumn will be screening at the 19-year-old festival for the very first time.”
Chicago. The Reader presents its guide to Reeling: The Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival, opening today and running through Thursday, and another to Facets Cinematheque’s Chicago Romanian Cultural Marathon, running from today through the weekend.
IN THE WORKS
According to Jordan Raup at the Film Stage, Harmony Korine’s next film may or may not be called The Trap and may or may not feature Robert Pattison. Here’s Korine, talking to Michael-Oliver Harding at Bullett: “I’m putting the cast together right now, it’s going to be my most ambitious film, and I’m really just going to go for it. It’s some next level shit. It’s a revenge movie, a sprawling, very intense… I don’t want to give away too much, but we’re probably going to start shooting in Miami after the New Year. I’m goin’ for it.”