“Since its start nearly three decades ago, Studio Ghibli has been dominated by the creativity of co-founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata,” begins Mark Schilling in the Japan Times. “But since the turn of the millennium, five of its 10 feature films have been made by other, younger directors…. One of those directors, Hiromasa Yonebayashi, had a hit in 2010 with Karigurashi no Arrietty (Arrietty) and now, with his new animation Omoide no Marnie (When Marnie Was There), he has made the first Ghibli film without Miyazaki or Takahata’s names anywhere on the credits.” Yonebayashi “has not tried to make a Miyazaki film by proxy, and Marnie is all the better for it.”
Schilling gives Marnie 3.5 out of 4 stars.
Update, 7/14: “Marnie is a melancholic tale that won’t captivate children in the way Totoro and Kiki have done,” writes Christopher O’Keeffe at Twitch, “but should be appreciated by older fans with an appreciation for a touching story that is beautifully told. The central mystery unravels at a timely pace that will have you guessing at the true nature of the central relationship right up until its tearful conclusion.”
As the New Yorker‘s Richard Brody sees it, auteurism is under attack, and he’s come to its defense, revisiting the original politique des auteurs of the young critics at Cahiers du Cinéma, the Hitchcocko-Hawksians, and noting that the “polemical side of their ‘policy’ is that, at a time when movies they loved were considered either meretricious junk or capitalist propaganda, they made the effort, like moral scientists, to see style in isolation and creation in its pure state. That polemical side of auteurism is what fell away as the idea spread widely…. Social trends and ideological casts are easy to talk about, as are the diverse traits of habit or style that render a formerly overlooked filmmaker distinguishable. But what makes a movie—and a filmmaker—great is something that veers toward the ineffable.”
“Chinese culture is full of sex,” writes Grady Hendrix, and “Hong Kong has been making sex films for almost 50 years.” A brief history at Film Comment.
Desistfilm has added another piece by Adrian Martin from 2005, this one on Naomi Kawase’s Like Air (1993), “also known subsequently as Embracing,” and how much it moved him in 1994.
Trailer for the new restoration of Leos Carax’s Boy Meets Girl (1984)
Chuck Bowen for the House Next Door: “Control, whether artistic or personal, is, fittingly, the theme of Amy Nicholson’s Tom Cruise: Anatomy of an Actor, and the star’s tricky simultaneous courting of fame and artistic credibility is the book’s logical through line.”
New York. “I’ve been drawn to Latinbeat since now-retired FSLC Program Director Richard Peña established it in 1997,” writes Howard Feinstein for Filmmaker. “It has consistently displayed not only fine titles but also a less apparent connective tissue that has been expertly if unconsciously simulated, one affording us more than single plotlines, and which provokes a pleasurably heady and arty stretch.” And he writes up several highlights.
IN THE WORKS
Parker Posey has joined Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone in the movie Woody Allen will be shooting in Rhode Island. And as Edward Davis notes at the Playlist, for now, that’s about all we know about Woody’s as-yet-untitled 2015 project. Meantime, he’s got plenty of new pix from Magic in the Moonlight.
“Elle Fanning is attached to star in How to Talk to Girls at Parties, an adaptation of a Neil Gaiman short story that will be directed by John Cameron Mitchell.” Borys Kit has details in the Hollywood Reporter.
Shane Black will direct Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys, reports Variety‘s Dave McNary. “The script, co-written by Black with Anthony Bagarozzi, is set in Los Angeles during the 1970s and centered on a pair of detectives investigating the seeming suicide of a female porn star whose career was on the decline—leading to the uncovering of a criminal conspiracy.”
Robert Guédiguian is currently shooting Don’t Tell Me the Boy Was Mad, reports Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa. The “story sees Aram, a young man of Armenian descent from Marseilles, blow up the Turkish Ambassador’s car in Paris. A passing young cyclist is seriously hurt in the incident, and he seeks to understand what’s going on when Aram’s mother bursts into his hospital room to ask his forgiveness. For his part, Aram splits from his friends in Beirut until the day he decides to meet up with his victim to turn him into his spokesperson…”
“Tributes have poured in for celebrated Indian actress Zohra Sehgal who has died in the capital, Delhi, aged 102,” reports the BBC. “In a career spanning more than seven decades, Sehgal entertained millions of people through her performances in films and on stage.”
Recently updated entries: Il Cinema Ritrovato, Karlovy Vary and, especially now that Japan Cuts is off and running, the New York Asian Film Festival; plus, A Hard Day’s Night, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Life Itself and Venus in Fur.