In an essay for the Notebook on Jean-Marie Straub‘s Kommunisten, Ted Fendt argues that the communists of the title “are not political philosophers but characters… No theoretical, waxing poetic, no prescriptive politics, but tangible discussions of imprisonment, survival, sex, work and relationships.”
Also, with the help of Arthur Mas, Craig Keller translates the new five-minute film by Jean-Luc Godard posted here on Monday.
“In Wavelength’s process of destabilizing both image and reality, [Michael] Snow reveals that the film frame is not an absolute, nor is it eternal,” writes Jeff Reichert. “It is an arbitrary construction.”
Also in Reverse Shot, Adam Nayman talks with Lisandro Alonso about Jauja and more. Dustin Chang interviews Alonso for Twitch. On a related note, Film Comment‘s Nicolas Rapold has two questions for Viggo Mortensen.
Jonathan Rosenbaum‘s posted his 2008 primer on Marcel L’Herbier plus two shortish pieces that appear in the new issue of Sight & Sound, both on varying versions of films by, first, Jacques Rivette, and second, Orson Welles.
At the Film Stage, Peter Labuza urges us to watch Godard’s Every Man for Himself (1980) and Truffaut’s The Soft Skin (1964) with fresh eyes.
For Longreads, Scott Porch talks with Karina Longworth about her excellent podcast, You Must Remember This.
Photographer Wawrzyniec Kolbusz describes his series Sacred Defense as “a story of producing artificial war images and reconstructing historical events to create a group memory. It not only traces the existing modes of construction of fake war narrations. It also creates a new, war-related simulacra in digitally amended satellite images of nuclear installations.” Sacred Defense is also a “genre of Iranian filmmaking [that] began in 1980, not long after Saddam Hussein’s troops invaded Iran by land and sea,” as Laura C. Mallonee explains at Hyperallergic. These works, created by set designers at Cinema City, “a functioning studio production house outside Tehran,” would emphasize “Islamic religious ideals; soldiers were depicted as self-sacrificial martyrs committed to a cause, contrasting favorably with their greedy and bloody-thirsty Iraqi counterparts. To date, the strange genre has produced over 100 films—some of which have even won international awards.”
Walerian Borowczyk and Chris Marker‘s Les Astronautes (1959)
From the Playlist: “20 Films We Hope To See At The 2015 Cannes Film Festival.”
IN OTHER NEWS
“Italy’s Cineteca di Bologna, the prominent film archives known globally as a prime film preservation entity, have announced a multi-year project in tandem with New York-based Cohen Media Group to restore all of Buster Keaton’s silent films,” reports Nick Vivarelli for Variety.
Tribeca‘s announced that a 25th anniversary screening of Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas will be followed by a Q&A with the cast and crew hosted by Jon Stewart. Also, Christopher Nolan with Bennett Miller, George Lucas with Stephen Colbert, Cary Fukunaga with James Schamus and Brad Bird with Janeane Garofalo are some of the conversations lined up for Tribeca’s Talks program. April 15 through 26.
Hot Docs (April 23 through May 3 in Toronto) has announced its lineup.
Richard Gere will receive the Peter J. Owens Award for excellence in acting at the 58th San Francisco International Film Festival. Variety‘s Dave McNary reports.
New York. The L has your recommendations.
Chicago. For Time Out, Michael Smith gets a few words with Pedro Costa, whose Horse Money screens on Friday and Monday at the Gene Siskel Film Center.
London. The creations of fashion designer Alexander McQueen “were pieces of cinema in and of themselves, each runway show a film in their own right,” writes Kyle Turner at Movie Mezzanine. Savage Beauty is on view at the Victoria and Albert Museum through August 2. Related: Phuong Le takes “a look at five films on the darker side of fashion.”
Berlin. Labour in a Single Shot, a project by Antje Ehmann and Harun Farocki, is on view at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt through April 6.
IN THE WORKS
Trumbo, directed by Jay Roach and starring Bryan Cranston as blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo as well as Helen Mirren (as Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper), Elle Fanning, Diane Lane, John Goodman, Michael Stuhlbarg and Louis C.K., will open on November 6, reports Variety‘s Dave McNary.
Haskell Wexler on cinematography now
Amy, the documentary on Amy Winehouse by Asif Kapadia (Senna), will be out in the UK on July 3.
“Amy Pascal has come on to produce Little Women for Sony Pictures, which has hired Oscar-nominated screenwriter Sarah Polley to adapt Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel,” reports Jeff Sneider for TheWrap.
From the Telegraph via Movie City News: “Assheton Gorton, who has died aged 84, was a film production designer who combined a resourceful practicality with the eye of a painter.” And he worked with Richard Lester on The Knack… And How to Get It (1965), Michelangelo Antonioni on Blow-Up (1966), Mike Hodges on Get Carter (1971) and Karel Reisz on The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981).
Viewing. The Film Stage has posted two docs capturing Wes Anderson at work, both shot by the late Albert Maysles. The one on The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) runs around half an hour; the other, on The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), about 50 minutes.
Listening (88’00”). David and Nathan Zellner, Nick Broomfield and Eugène Green are Adam Schartoff‘s guests on Filmwax Radio.
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