The new 24th issue of The Seventh Art features video interviews with Matt Porterfield, Hannah Gross and Deragh Campbell, the director and stars of I Used to Be Darker, and media artist Jennifer Chan; plus a video essay on Ann Hui‘s Boat People (1982).
Lorenzo Esposito, a programmer for Locarno, has launched a new film journal, Film Parlato. Much of its content is in Italian, but you’ll also find in English: Yoel Meranda on Michael Mann’s Blackhat, Lulu Shamiyya on Ammar al Beik’s “grotesque, heartbreaking” La Dolce Siria and Esposito‘s talk with Amir Naderi about Mise en scène with Arthur Penn (a Conversation).
Matt Siegel argues that Caravaggio is “the clear inspiration behind the visual aesthetic of Better Call Saul. Pedantically, of course, all cinematic darkness is not equal—and nor does it share equal purpose. Film noir, for example, is known for its heavy use of shadows, but they exist for two very different reasons: to create a veil of mystery and to hide the flaws of early Hollywood film sets. Saul has need for none of that.”
Also writing for the Paris Review, Jeff Seroy revisits Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s Tales of Hoffmann (1951), “a swerving, hyperornamental, terminally self-aware, grandly ambitious, experimental bag of tricks, at once dazzling and daze-inducing.”
For Criterion, Michael Koresky writes about Yasujiro Ozu‘s Walk Cheerfully (1930), That Night’s Wife (1930) and Dragnet Girl (1933), all silent and all “heavily influenced by Hollywood gangster melodramas and [employing] an aesthetic that today we might call noirish. In them, Ozu employs bold camera movements and attention-grabbing set design (including walls covered in American movie posters and other homages to Western culture)—a kind of experimentation one sees less of in his later films, with their subtle, refined sensibility. But however un-Ozu-like these three may seem narratively and formally, they evince the warmth, humor, and sensitivity to human relationships that are hallmarks of all the director’s work.” More from Sean Axmaker at Cinephiled.
“Citizenfour is brilliant at conveying the level of paranoia (certainly justifiable in this instance) that accompanies [Edward] Snowden’s revelations,” writes Robert Bright in a piece for the Quietus on… Francis Ford Coppola‘s The Conversation, actually. The 1974 film “feels particularly prescient” for its “sense of a malign nexus between corporate and state interests, as if some nefarious sleight-of-hand had brought about a new stage in the evolution of the military-industrial complex.” The Conversation, by the way, is also the Guardian‘s Catherine Shoard‘s favorite Palme d’Or-winner.
“Films fall off the radar all the time,” writes Peter Balakian for Salon. “But at this centennial of the Armenian Genocide, it’s a moment to take another look at the film [Elia] Kazan called his own favorite, and which the Kazan scholar and film critic Foster Hirsch has called an ‘American masterpiece.'” That would be America America (1963), “one of the most daring human rights films in cinema history.”
Also for the BFI, Matthew Thrift offers an “A-Z of Carl Theodor Dreyer,” while, at Little White Lies, Paul Risker revisits “four of Dreyer’s most enduring works,” Master of the House (1925), Day of Wrath (1943), Ordet (1955) and Gertrud (1964). The occasion for both pieces is the BFI’s release of The Carl Theodor Dreyer Collection on Blu-ray.
TIFF‘s polled Canadian filmmakers, industry, critics, academics and programmers and come up with a fourth list of the top ten Canadian films of all time:
- Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, Zacharias Kunuk (2001).
- Mon oncle Antoine, Claude Jutra (1971).
- The Sweet Hereafter, Atom Egoyan (1997).
- Jésus de Montréal, Denys Arcand (1989).
- Léolo, Jean-Claude Lauzon (1992).
- Goin’ Down the Road, Don Shebib (1970).
- Dead Ringers, David Cronenberg (1988).
- C.R.A.Z.Y., Jean-Marc Vallée (2005).
- My Winnipeg, Guy Maddin (2007).
- Stories We Tell, Sarah Polley (2012)/Les Ordres, Michel Brault (1974).
If Dan Sallitt were making this list, “it would look like this”:
- The Tracey Fragments, Bruce McDonald (2007).
- La Face cachée de la lune, Robert Lepage (2003).
- Naked Lunch, David Cronenberg (1991).
- Blood Relatives, Claude Chabrol (1977).
- La Donation, Bernard Émond (2009).
- C.R.A.Z.Y., Jean-Marc Vallée (2005).
- Les Bons Débarras, Francis Mankiewicz (1980).
- Paper Route, Robert Frank (2002).
- Tower, Kasik Radwanski (2012).
- Next of Kin, Atom Egoyan (1984).
And Dan throws in an honorable mention, Last Night, Don McKellar (1998).
New York. Tomorrow evening, the Film Society of Lincoln Center will present its 2015 Chaplin Award to Robert Redford. They’ve been screening some of his hits and Beverly Walker, who writes about Redford in the current issue of Film Comment, gets a few words with him as well.
London. A Juliette Binoche season opens today at Ciné Lumière and runs through May 28. At Little White Lies, David Jenkins writes up five favorite performances, including the won she turned in in Camille Claudel, 1915 (2013): “Bruno Dumont asks us to make our own diagnosis as to Claudel’s purported insanity, and does so by surrounding his lead actress with people in possession of real physical and mental disabilities. It’s only down to the subtly and control of Binoche’s performance that this question remains pertinent throughout the film’s devastating runtime.”
Linz. Crossing Europe is on through Tuesday.
IN THE WORKS
The Film Stage‘s Jordan Raup has caught an announcement on the Facebook page of production company Les Films du Fleuve with the first few details on the film Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne will begin shooting this fall. In The Unknown Girl, Adèle Haenel “will play Jenny, a woman who refuses to answer a knock on her door from a young girl. When the girl is found dead a short time after, she searches for her identity after the police come up short.”
At Cineuropa, Camillo De Marco reports on a slew of Italian productions in the works. Marco Bellocchio‘s Turin-set Fai bei sogni (Make Beautiful Dreams) tells “the story of a secret sealed away in an envelope for forty years. It’s the tale of a child, then an adult, who must learn to face up to the biggest pain, the loss of his mother, and the most insidious of mosters, the fear of living.” Paolo Virzì’s (Human Capital) La pazza gioia “is a comedy-drama which takes the viewer on a walk outside a clinical structure that looks after women with problems in that ‘open-air madhouse that is Italy,’ as the Livorno-born director explained.” Plus new work by Marco Ponti, Massimiliano Bruno and more.
In Cannes, Wild Bunch “will launch sales on director Radu Mihaileanu’s first-English language film The History of Love.” Rhonda Richford for the Hollywood Reporter: “The adaptation of Nicole Krauss’s 2005 bestseller is an ambitious intertwined tale that follows John Hurt’s main character from the Holocaust to modern New York City. It co-stars Gemma Arterton and Sophie Nelisse.” Wild Bunch will also be shopping Stephanie di Giusto’s The Dancer in which “Elle Fanning stars as the legendary dancer Isadora Duncan and French singer Soko as her rival Loie Fuller in turn-of-the-20th-century Paris.” Plus: The Red Turtle, a Studio Ghibli co-production directed by Michael Dudok de Withighly and co-written with Pascale Ferran, and The Odyssey, Jerome Salle’s Jacques Cousteau biopic with Lambert Wilson and Pierre Niney.
“It Follows writer/director David Robert Mitchell is making his first foray into TV,” reports Deadline‘s Denise Petski. Mr. Postman “follows a mailman who investigates the dark mysteries within his all-American town after a horrific event occurs on his own street.”
“As a film and television actor, Robert Rietti, who has died aged 92, was best known for his voice,” writes Michael Freedland for the Guardian. “Although he made occasional on-screen appearances, as in John Schlesinger’s Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) and the ITV series The Avengers, his regular work came from dubbing the dialogue of actors whose command of English was limited or who could not make the final stages of recording a soundtrack…. He was often called upon to supply Italian voices, and also spoke fluent German, French and Russian.”
Viewing (6’02”). José Arroyo‘s posted a clip from Victor Fleming‘s Reckless (1935), noting that when Jean Harlow “sings ‘I want to live, love, learn a lot. I’ll light my candle and I’ll burn a lot/ I’m on my my own if I bruise, I can take it on the chin if I lose,’ you believe her.”