From Catherine Grant comes word that Scope, the online journal of film and television studies out of the University of Nottingham, has returned with a new issue and a new site. Issue 26 features articles on Todd Solondz and Lars von Trier, Shane Meadows, Michael Mann, Griffith and more as well as a dossier on the potential use of film festivals as film courses. My own favorite section of Scope, the book reviews, now comes as a downloadable PDF running over 160 pages. And it’s all free.
“Knowing now what would happen in the years after Die Nibelungen’s release [in 1924], it is difficult to see the films as anything other than a desperate and tragically unheeded warning,” finds David Carter at Not Coming to a Theater Near You, where the Silent Lang feature rolls on.
For Film Comment, Genevieve Yue considers Lucy Raven’s China Town (2009) and Peter Bo Rappmund’s Vulgar Fractions (2011), two works “closely concerned with the types of movement that can be created through the sequencing of still images.”
IN OTHER NEWS
“Le Video, the Inner Sunset video rental store known for its eccentric organizational system, its wide selection of hard-to-find titles, and its smarty-pants staff, has announced that they expect to stop renting movies to customers by the end of April,” reports Eve Batey at SFist. “Le Video was established in 1980, making it one of the Bay Area’s longest-running video stores still in business.”
Everyone’s favorite new clip: from Richard Ayoade’s The Double
New York. For Film Comment, Max Nelson talks with Bertrand Tavernier about Quai d’Orsay (The French Minister), “a breathless catalogue of backroom political storms and stresses centered on a young, ambitious speechwriter working for an eccentric foreign minister. It’s also Tavernier’s first all-out comedy, and he approaches the genre with a fine eye for character and a careful sense of pace.” The French Minister closes Rendez-Vous with French Cinema 2014 on Sunday.
Los Angeles. For the Weekly, Ernest Hardy previews the Outfest Fusion LGBT People of Color Film Festival, opening today and running through the weekend. “The shorts programs are always the Fusion festival’s highlight. It’s where Dee Rees’s gorgeous Colonial Gods and the short version of her Pariah made a splash before the feature version of Pariah was released to critical acclaim. It’s where Julien Breece’s cult classic The Young & Evil, about a young African-American man trying to get infected with HIV, made a splash, and the short film version of Patrik Ian-Polk’s Noah’s Arc whetted appetites before going on to become a hit series on the Logo channel.”
Toronto. “The release of the RoboCop remake brought out many think pieces on the career of [Paul] Verhoeven, the impact of his films, the greatness of his originals versus the lousiness of their current incarnations,” writes Haley Mlotek at the Awl. “Now comes Adam Nayman, a film professor at the University of Toronto and film critic for The Globe and Mail, with a serious defense and critical reexamination of Showgirls perfectly titled It Doesn’t Suck. Adam will introduce the screening of Showgirls at TIFF this Friday; his book arrives on April 15th. Adam’s book is really wonderful, both for people who want to defend Showgirls, yes, but also as a book that believes film is a medium worth defending, not because it’s either too pure as an intellectual exercise or because it’s so viscerally pleasurable it transcends reason, but because a film can be both.”
London. Writing for the New Statesman, Mark Cousins tells us how he accidentally made A Story of Children and Film, “the first film to look at the cinema of childhood on a global scale. I have since curated Cinema of Childhood, a touring season of movies about children, funded by the BFI…. We are showing the great 1930s Japanese film Children in the Wind, Djibril Mambéty Diop of Senegal’s spiky picture The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun, and a Fifties American movie, Little Fugitive, which was so fresh and ahead of its time that it influenced François Truffaut’s 400 Blows, made six years later.”
Charles Lane’s Sidewalk Stories (1989) and Oscar Micheaux Legend in Black screen, a 1981 doc by Tim Reid, screen at BFI Southbank tomorrow. For Sight & Sound, Ashley Clark presents an overview of the rise of independent African-American film in five chapters.
“In 1992, at the age of nineteen, I met Derek Jarman while I was walking along Old Compton Street in Soho,” writes Canadian filmmaker Scott Treleaven in the Quietus. “Having recently dropped out of film school in Canada, penniless and recently ‘out’, I’d gone to London (my mother’s hometown) in hopes of reinventing my new queer self. I bumped into Derek, literally, and after a brief conversation he invited me to accompany him on his errands. Over the course of a scant couple of hours he would give me some advice on filmmaking and, more importantly, advice on living as a queer man, that I’d keep with me for the rest of my life.” Treleaven’s The Salivation Army (2002) screens alongside Derek Jarman’s Glitterbug (1994) tomorrow and Tuesday, also at BFI Southbank.
“The Oscar-nominated documentary-maker and political activist David Koff, who has died aged 74, was remarkable in that his work made waves on four continents,” writes Duncan Campbell for the Guardian. “Best known in Britain for his film Blacks Britannica (1978), which portrayed the UK as a profoundly racist society, he also caused controversy with his trilogy about colonialism and its after-effects in Africa, his documentary Occupied Palestine (1981)—which led to a bomb threat at its premiere—and his more recent exposés of the plight of migrant workers in the US.”
“Bob Thomas, the longtime Associated Press writer and dean of Hollywood reporters who covered a record 66 Oscar ceremonies, reported on the biggest stars, from Clark Gable to Tom Cruise, and filed AP’s bulletin that Robert F. Kennedy had been shot, died Friday,” reports John Rogers. Thomas was 92.
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