“I regard canon formation as an active process of selection rather than a passive one of reportage.” Jonathan Rosenbaum‘s posted the introduction to his 2004 book, Essential Cinema: On the Necessity of Film Canons—as well as his list of 1,000 Favorites (A Personal Canon), parts 1, 2 and 3.
The new Film Quarterly is out and, while the special dossier on the films of Richard Linklater is not freely available, editor B. Ruby Rich‘s introduction is—along with notes on recent passings, the film industry’s disengagement with the real world, Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer and Lynn Hershman Leeson.
“Raging Bull would be the introduction of Martin Scorsese at Cahiers after their political-theoretical period,” writes David Davidson, introducing a roundup on the journal’s writing on Scorsese in the 1980s. “Prior to this first Critique by Pascal Bonitzer (one of Daney’s critics), Scorsese might have been mentioned only in passing. Scorsese was part of this new generation of American directors, along with Coppola, De Palma, Spielberg, and Allen that Cahiers was discovering and catching up with.”
Chris Cagle: “Looking back from the vantage of ten years now, what’s striking about Workingman’s Death is not only how influential [Michael] Glawogger‘s approach is to poetic documentary but also how it doesn’t fully live up to my expectations of what an aestheticized poetic doc would look like.”
Eric Rohmer “always had a formalist eye underneath his ostensibly minimal filmmaking, and The Marquise of O  regularly juxtaposes his unornamented style with overt nods to Romantic painting,” writes Jake Cole for Movie Mezzanine.
The site that serves as a complement to Jason Mittell’s forthcoming book, Complex TV: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Storytelling is pretty amazing; via Catherine Grant.
“Abandoned yet nearly perfect, Jean Renoir’s A Day in the Country (1936) is a movie whose incomplete aspects only accentuate its freshness and spontaneity.” In his latest column on silver disc releases for the New York Times, J. Hoberman also reviews Billy Wilder’s “comedy of sexual opportunism,” Kiss Me, Stupid (1964).
Lately in Bright Lights:
- D.J.M. Saunders on Chaplin‘s A Woman of Paris (1923).
- Cioran McGrath on Adam Curtis’s Bitter Lake.
- Steve Johnson and Don Nash on David Fincher’s Gone Girl.
W.G. Sebald’s final novel, Austerlitz, “which came out the year of his death, is now the subject of a very Sebaldien film adaptation by Paris-based Czech director Stan Neumann, with Leos Carax regular Denis Lavant (Holy Motors) playing the titular hero,” writes Jordan Mintzer for the Hollywood Reporter. “Revisiting the book’s portrayal of memory, loss, creation and devastation through narrative techniques—photographs, archives and meta-fictions—that mimic the original text, Neumann crafts a worthy homage to a modern literary giant.”
At the Playlist: “The 25 Best Animated Films of the 21st Century So Far.”
IN OTHER NEWS
New York. “With six short works to her videography, Sylvia Schedelbauer is easily one of the most impressive moving-picture artists to emerge in the past decade,” argues Tony Pipolo. Show & Tell: Sylvia Schedelbauer is on tonight at Anthology Film Archives.
Also writing for Artforum, Nick Pinkerton: “In the life of Shirley Yamaguchi, who died in the fall of last year at age 94, the entire 20th-century history of the Pacific Rim is reflected.” The Most Beautiful: The War Films of Shirley Yamaguchi & Setsuko Hara opens today at the Japan Society and runs through April 4. In the NYT, Mike Hale suggests that the “interest of these films is mostly historical and cultural, and the later ones, especially, reflect the growing hardships the film industry faced as the war turned against Japan. But they also hold up as typical melodramas of the period, made by studio talent and less overtly propagandistic and warlike than corresponding American and European films.”
David Cairns in the Notebook on China Is Near (1967): “Appearing at New York’s Film Forum from the 20th – 26th of March, Marco Bellocchio‘s newly restored political-sexual satire plays something like Robert Altman at his most biting, but the flavor is distinctly Italian, the milieu that of local politics in a small city.”
Los Angeles. Ozu, Truffaut, Elio Petri… Michael Nordine in the Weekly on this week’s highlights.
London. For the New Statesman, Ryan Gilbey spotlights a few picks from this year’s BFI Flare, on through March 29: “Formerly known as the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, it underwent a makeover last year, reshaping itself to be more eye-catching, not less.”
IN THE WORKS
“Since 25 February, Emmanuel Bourdieu has been in Brussels shooting his fourth feature film: the Franco-Belgian co-production Louis-Ferdinand Céline, le monstrueux géant (lit. Louis-Ferdinand Céline, the Monstrous Giant),” reports Fabien Lemercier for Cineuropa. The multiple award-winning director’s cast includes Denis Lavant and Géraldine Pailhas. “An adaptation of The Crippled Giant by Milton Hindus (published in 1951), the story written by the director together with Marcia Romano immerses the audience in 1947 Denmark, where Céline is in exile with his wife following the allied victory and lives under the threat of a criminal conviction in France for having collaborated with the Nazis. He then meets a Jewish American author who wants to write a biography of someone…”
Some time back, Ben Rivers put out a call for researchers who might work with him on The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers, “a film about a film being made in Morocco. Then moving off from this will be fictional stories both spoken by the writer Mohammed Mrabet, as well as reenacted fictional stories, acted by non-professionals in Tangier and the Atlas Mountains, also written by Mrabet, plus a short story by Paul Bowles…. There will be a single-screen feature film and a multi-screen gallery installation, and also a book and an LP.”
“John Woo is to direct a remake of action thriller Manhunt, based on a novel by Japanese writer Juko Nishimura,” reports Liz Shackleton for Screen. “The novel, Kimi Yo Funnu No Kawa O Watare, was first adapted in 1976 as a Japanese film starring legendary actor Ken Takakura.”
Ana Lily Amirpour‘s followup to A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, The Bad Batch, “a love story set in a community of cannibals,” now has a cast, reports the Playlist‘s Rodrigo Perez: “Suki Waterhouse will play Arlen, Jason Momoa will play Miami Man, Diego Luna will play Jimmy, Keanu Reeves will play The Dream and Jim Carrey will play The Hermit.
From Merle Ginsberg in the Hollywood Reporter: “The lure of working with Lost in Translation collaborators Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray has proved too powerful to resist for the likes of George Clooney, Amy Poehler, Miley Cyrus and Maya Rudolph, who, like Murray, will play themselves—with some even singing carols—on a Coppola-directed 2015 Christmas project.”
“Armando Iannucci, the British comic and satirist behind Emmy-winning HBO show Veep and its U.K. predecessor The Thick of It, has revealed that his next project will see him move into previously unchartered cinematic territories.” THR‘s Alex Ritman: “‘It’s a sort of comedy about the death of Stalin,’ he told an audience at London’s British Film Institute.”
“Walter E. Grauman, who directed more than 50 episodes of Angela Lansbury’s Murder, She Wrote and helmed the pilots for The Fugitive and The Streets of San Francisco, has died. He was 93.” Mike Barnes has more in the Hollywood Reporter.
Viewing (10’38”). Thom Andersen and Malcolm Brodwick’s — ——– (Rock and Roll Movie) (1964-1965) is up at LUX.
Listening (115’24”). Illusion Travels By Streetcar #51: The Crime Dramas of Don Siegel (1964-1973).
More? The Film Doctor‘s posted a round of “attentional commons links.”