Girish Shambu has posted an entry reminding us that the fifth issue of LOLA, the journal he edits with Adrian Martin, is complete, and posting notes on some of his recent reading and discoveries. Among them:
- A new issue of the Journal of the Moving Image, including Gertrude Koch on Walter Benjamin, Thomas Elsaesser on melodrama, Geoffrey Nowell-Smith on Italian Neo-realism, Meaghan Morris on Kung Fu and Manas Ray on Alexander Kluge.
- A symposium on Lars von Trier in the new issue of Theory & Event.
- And Sabzian, a site run by a group of Belgian cinephiles, in Dutch, English and French. Among the pieces you’ll find there is Glauber Rocha‘s “Godard’s Latest Scandal” from 1970.
David Davidson has posted scans of an article that appeared in the March 1959 issue of Cahiers du Cinéma—in French, of course, but with this introduction from Sam DiIorio‘s essay from a 2005 issue of SubStance:
Surely one of the most unjustly forgotten moments in the history of cinema is the day when Luc Moullet received a plastic leg in the mail from Samuel Fuller. The director of Fixed Bayonets! and Run of the Arrow was so taken with the article “Sam Fuller sur les brisées de Marlowe” that he sent its author an autographed fake limb in thanks. The gift paid tribute to Moullet’s argument, which held that Fuller was a filmmaker obsessed with the human body, and, in particular, with feet. Moullet saw this fascination as neither foot fetish nor Oedipal complex: instead, it exemplified how the plainspoken director’s films started from the physical world rather than from preconceived ideas. The feet were the most humble part of the body, the part directly linked to the ground, to movement, to action—in short, to what the critic considered the essence of cinema.
Peter Bogdanovich on the Indiegogo campaign to complete Orson Welles‘s The Other Side of the Wind: “Everyone who knew Orson thought he would’ve loved the idea, and would’ve been amused and delighted by the irony of the whole situation. After years of film industry neglect in his home country, having only been able to make a dozen films over a period of 45 years—now, 30 years after his death—the people are rallying to support him…. Not too long before he died, he said to me, ‘O how they’ll love me when I’m dead.'”
“Subjugation, revolt, and dissolution are the movements, the style is a punctilious mixture of Flaherty burlap and Soviet poster.” Fernando F. Croce‘s latest “Movie of the Day” is Luchino Visconti‘s La terra trema (1948).
IN OTHER NEWS
Meantime: “The Abounaddara collective has withdrawn from All the World’s Futures, the 2015 Venice Biennale’s central exhibition curated by Okwui Enwezor, claiming that their opening short film, All the Syria’s Futures, was ‘censored’ by not being screened on May 5.” Hrag Vartanian reports for Hyperallergic.
Trailer for Johnnie To‘s new musical, Office
Wednesday sees the beginning of a five-day run for the fourth For the Love of Film: The Film Preservation Blogathon, its “sights set on raising $10,000 to restore, score, and stream Cupid in Quarantine (1918), a one-reel Strand Comedy being repatriated to the United States from the EYE Filmmuseum in the Netherlands by the National Film Preservation Foundation. Once restored and set to music, this film will be available online for anyone and everyone to view and enjoy absolutely free of charge.”
New York. “The Third Reich was not only a totalitarian state but also a total multimedia regime,” writes J. Hoberman in the New York Times. “Seven decades after its fiery collapse, the embers remain—including some 1,200 feature films produced under Joseph Goebbels’s ministry of propaganda. Are they historical evidence, incitements to murder, fascist pornography, evergreen entertainments, toxic waste or passé kitsch? All of the above? Those questions are raised by Forbidden Films: The Hidden Legacy of Nazi Film, a documentary essay by the German filmmaker Felix Moeller, opening May 13 at Film Forum for a weeklong, free-admission run.” Writing for Slant, Oleg Ivanov notes that, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings, Forbidden Films “comes as a timely and even vital exploration of a topic that continues to haunt our public discourse.”
Chicago. The world’s longest-running underground film festival, the Chicago Underground Film Festival, opens on Wednesday and runs through Sunday. One of the highlights will be the “Bar Talks,” moderated by Ray Pride, who notes in Newcity that they’re “informal gatherings of local and guest filmmakers, with conversation the intention without the ping-pong of panel-like proclaiming.” Among the guests: Khavn de la Cruz, whose Ruined Heart: Another Lovestory Between a Criminal and a Whore opens CUFF 2015, Spencer Parsons, Jennifer Reeder, Jerzy Rose, Bill Siegel and Deborah Stratman.
London. With Southern Gothic: Love, Death and Religion in the American Deep South opening on Wednesday and running through May 31, Sight & Sound has now posted Nick Pinkerton‘s cover story: “The persistent image of the South, as perpetuated in innumerable works by native sons and daughters, as well as by the carpetbaggers who flocked from the North in search of easy profits at the close of the Civil War, is as the cradle of what Greil Marcus famously dubbed the ‘Old, Weird America.'” Of course, the South does have its “bon vivant side… This is not, however, the South that we are concerned with here.” Keep scrolling for notes on and video from the twelve films screening in the series.
IN THE WORKS
Turns out, Spike Lee‘s Chiraq is a “reimagining of the ancient Greek comedy Lysistrata,” reports Screen‘s Jeremy Kay. “The story will center on a woman’s quest to end gang warfare in Chicago.” And the cast will likely feature Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack, Kanye West and Jennifer Hudson.
Trailer for Kris Swanberg’s Unexpected
“Are there any directors hotter at the moment than Chad Stahelski and David Leitch?” asks the Playlist‘s Kevin Jagernauth. “The duo behind John Wick have Bloodshot set up over at Sony, are rumored for a DC Comics project, and officially have John Wick 2 in the works.” And now they’re setting up The Coldest City with Charlize Theron. It’ll be based on “the graphic novel by Antony Johnston which is set just before the fall of the Berlin Wall and follows a super spy who springs into action when an MI6 agent is killed.”
“Chris Burden, the protean Conceptual artist who rose from doing controversial performances in the 1970s to become one of the most widely admired sculptors of his generation, died early Sunday at his home in Topanga Canyon,” reports Christopher Knight for the Los Angeles Times. “He was 69.” In May 1975, Roger Ebert, having interviewed Burden a month before, reported on “a deceptively simple piece of conceptual art that would eventually involve the imaginations of thousands of Chicagoans who had never heard of Burden, would cause the museum to fear for Burden’s life, and would end at a time and in a way that Burden did not remotely anticipate.” This is a terrifically well told story. Start at the top, don’t skim and avoid spoilers.
“Elizabeth Wilson, an actress who distinguished herself onstage, on television and in films like The Graduate and 9 to 5 in supporting roles that were often meaty but rarely glamorous, died on Saturday in New Haven,” reports David Belcher for the New York Times. “By all accounts, she was always content to be a character actress, more recognizable by face than by name. That face—equally capable of projecting snobbery, sadness and a winning eccentricity—was seen often in a career that lasted almost 70 years.” Wilson was 94.