The beauty of the execution of this film is that it maintains the mystery of the city and its characters through the clarity and authenticity of its perspective. At the end of the day, Sutton doesn’t seem to be pining for a seat at the domino table, which is refreshing. Photographically, and even energetically, the film says simply, “I’m not at the table playing dominoes. I’m watching the game.” And when one of the players says something coded in culture like, “Don’t hold my money,” I’m comfortable with the fact that Terence from Dallas knows what that means, because his grandparents live in Oak Cliff and might break a card table if you don’t give up the money left in your hand before the dishes get washed for the next round.
Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction was honorably mentioned last December as one of my favorite films of 2013 (I’d written a bit about it in March), and now, at Little White Lies, Steven T. Hanley talks with Stanton about working with David Lynch, Wim Wenders, Alex Cox, the list goes on.
“Night of the Crossroads (1932) was the first film adaptation of Georges Simenon’s phenomenally popular Inspector Maigret novels, and was lent a thick, hallucinatory atmosphere by director Jean Renoir,” writes R. Emmet Sweeney at Movie Morlocks. “Yet, sandwiched as it is between Renoir’s classics with Michel Simon, La Chienne (1931) and Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932), it has escaped much serious critical attention. It does not even get an entry in Andre Bazin’s collected writings on Renoir…. It’s a traditional whodunit, except all of the motivations are missing. Instead of attributing the crime to a single perpetrator, the whole town becomes culpable through their xenophobia and greed. As Renoir’s character Octave says in The Rules of the Game, ‘everyone has their reasons.’ To that Night of the Crossroads would add, ‘for murder.'”
First teaser for Takashi Miike‘s As the Gods Will
IN OTHER NEWS
I know it may seem awkward to link to an interview with our own CEO, but Fandor’s FIX and Fandor|Festival Alliance initiatives are news and, talking to Filmmaker‘s Sarah Salovaara, Ted Hope clearly, succinctly and, of course, enthusiastically explains the motivations and aspirations behind them.
New York. Through Saturday, “on the occasion of the publication of Film as Film: The Collected Writings of Gregory J. Markopoulos, Anthology Film Archives will present ten of the filmmaker’s rarely seen works,” writes Rebekah Rutkoff for Artforum. “It’s an extraordinary opportunity to witness the unfurling of this singular language and a chance to respond to the rhetorical query Markopoulos posed in his 1973 essay ‘The Intuition Space’: ‘Who can dare to imagine what a single frame might contain? What future process could activate a single frame?'”
Austin. Robert Faires in the Chronicle: “As the repository of [David O.] Selznick‘s archives, the Harry Ransom Center has what must be the greatest treasure trove of [Gone with the Wind] memorabilia anywhere: memos and letters about every phase of the production, storyboards and concept art, screen tests, script drafts, call sheets, on-set photos, even those beloved gowns worn by Vivien Leigh. So when the film reaches a milestone like its 75th anniversary, you can bet that the Ransom will haul its collection out of storage and share it with the world. And that’s just what it’s doing with The Making of Gone With the Wind, an exhibition that opens Sept. 9.” And its accompanied by an online exhibition as well.
London. Time Out lists the week’s highlights.
IN THE WORKS
“Not as flashy as John Woo, never as hyperkinetic as Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam is one of Hong Kong’s most underappreciated directors,” argues Grady Hendrix, introducing screenwriter Hiroshi Fukazawa’s interview with Lam, currently at work on “an epic of greed,” Wild City.
“A long-gestating biopic of singer Peggy Lee which fell into Hollywood purgatory following the death of writer Nora Ephron looks set for a high-profile revival after Far from Heaven‘s Todd Haynes signed on to direct,” reports the Guardian‘s Ben Child. “Producers have retained Reese Witherspoon in the lead role.”
The Playlist‘s Edward Davis reports that David Fincher and James Ellroy “are talking to HBO, and planning a noir-ish crime show set in LA” in the 50s.
Talking to Alex Suskind at the Daily Beast, Al Pacino’s confirmed that Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman is still on and that he’s still on board, as are Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Bobby Cannavale.
“Hungarian director Bence Fliegauf, who won the Berlinale Silver Bear with Just the Wind, has wrapped principal photography on Lily Lane,” reports Variety‘s Leo Barraclough. “Fliegauf shot the film on location in Hungary, on the banks of the Danube and in the hills of Buda.” Lily Lane “centers on a mother and son as they grapple with the questions of life and death on an inner journey filled with strange stories.”
“The last time that Norwegian painter Edvard Munch… was portrayed on the big screen was in 1974, when UK director Peter Watkins depicted ten years of his life,” writes Jorn Rossing Jensen for Cineuropa. Now Erik Poppe, “whose A Thousand Times Good Night just won the Amanda, Norway’s national film prize, for Best Feature,” will direct a film concentrating “on a period in the 1890s, when [Munch] met Tulla Larsen—the love and strong inspiration of his life—lived in Paris and Berlin, and made some of his best paintings.” The screenplay’s by Paul Mayersberg, “who scripted titles such as The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) and Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence (1983).”
Robin Williams – In Motion by Tony Zhou
“Just a few weeks ago, I was reading about the career of the late Z-grade director Amir Shervan (and watching some of his movies, like Killing American Style) on Fandor,” writes Matt Singer at the Dissolve. “Shervan’s magnum opus is Samurai Cop,” and now “a few brave souls have decided to make Samurai Cop 2.” They’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign, naturally, and have posted “what will go down in history as the single greatest Kickstarter update in the history of the universe.” Spoiler: Tommy Wiseau and Bai Ling have joined the cast.
Listening (33’30”). From Karina Longworth, You Must Remember This #13: Bogey, Before Bacall.