Alice, Jan Švankmajer‘s 1989 stop-motion version of Lewis Carroll’s immortal tale “lacks the warmth, the glee of most other adaptations,” writes Matt Prigge for Metro. “But it heightens the weird and the menacing several times over.” More from Noel Murray at the Dissolve: “What makes Alice less like play and more like a dream—or a nightmare, more accurately—is how repulsive some of its imagery is. It’s hard to call the film ‘made for children’ when Alice opens a can full of cockroaches, or a mouse uses Alice’s hair for kindling to make a fire on her head, or when the White Rabbit uses a funnel to force-feed sawdust to a malnourished lizard. It’s more a film about children, or at least about how childhood can manifest as a series of fluid lines: between maturity and immaturity, and delight and disquiet.”
Also at the Dissolve is Scott Tobias‘s appreciation of a 1980 oddity from Robert Altman: “Popeye could be called a symphony of bum notes, and that isn’t meant as an insult.”
Speaking of appreciations, see Slate‘s Dana Stevens on a performance by Anne Revere. Araminty Brown “has to rank among my top few movie mothers: She’s an indelible and mysterious figure who, no matter how many times I watch National Velvet (and now that my daughter loves the movie too, I must be moving toward at least a dozen total lifetime viewings), always has new depths to reveal.”
Julie Delpy on Krzysztof Kieslowski via Cinephilia and Beyond
Mark Cousins, talking to Paul Risker for Film International: “If you think about the best filmmakers in Britain, whether it be Powell and Pressburger, Terence Davies, Nicholas Roeg or Derek Jarman, and I would put the new film Under the Skin (2013) in this category; they very much have a dream logic. They are works of the unfettered imagination, a high romance, a kind of bursting heart and explosion of feeling.”
Historias de la revolución (Stories of the Revolution, 1960) is Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s debut feature “and the first feature film released in Cuba after the revolution,” notes Dan Sallitt. “My expectations were quite low, but the film is astonishingly good, maybe great…. It’s possible to see the film if it falls off the back of a truck near you, but such versions have no English subtitles at this time.” And so, he presents a guide.
IN OTHER NEWS
The Cannes Film Festival will unveil its 2014 Competition and Un Certain Regard lineups on Thursday and Neil Young has made one last pre-announcement revision to his list of Palme d’Or odds. The clear frontrunner? Nuri Bilge Ceylon‘s Winter Sleep.
Patton Oswalt introduces a screening of David Lynch’s Eraserhead (1977) at the TCM Classic Film Festival
Wong Kar-wai‘s The Grandmaster has pretty much swept the 33rd Hong Kong Film Awards, winning twelve in all, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay and Best Action Choreography. James Marsh reports for Twitch.
Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida has won the Narrative Feature Competition at the Sarasota Film Festival. The Documentary winner is Amir Bar-Lev‘s Happy Valley and Josephine Decker‘s Thou Wast Mild and Lovely has won the Independent Visions Award, which includes a distribution offer from Factory 25. Indiewire reports.
“Mitra Farahani’s portrait of Iranian artist Bahamn Mohasses, Fifi Howls With Happiness topped the International Competition at the 16th Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival (BAFICI),” reports John Hopewell for Variety.
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire earned the prize for best film at Sunday night’s MTV Movie Awards,” reports the AP. “Hunger Games stars also took home some of the night’s biggest awards. Jennifer Lawrence won best female performance and Josh Hutcherson was voted best male performer.”
New York. “Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills are among the best-known fine-art photographs ever produced,” notes Phaidon. “Now, one artist who works both within the movie business and the gallery system has recreated a number of these famous stills, cross dressing to fill the roles Sherman created.” James Franco’s New Film Stills are on view at the Pace Gallery through May 3.
Via Thompson on Hollywood, the trailer for Words with Gods, a collection of shorts by Alex de la Iglesia, Hector Babenco, Amos Gitai, José Padilha, Warwick Thornton, Bahman Ghobadi, Mira Nair, Hideo Nakata, Emir Kusturica and Guillermo Arriaga
The French Institute Alliance Français series Trois Auteurs: Chabrol, Rohmer, Klapisch rolls out over three Tuesday nights: tomorrow, April 22 and 29.
Five Films by Margaret Tait screen tomorrow at Light Industry.
Los Angeles. Tonight at REDCAT: Shelly Silver: Intimate Visions and Public Spaces.
Listening (91’15”). For the latest episode of the Cinephiliacs podcast, Peter Labuza talks with Matt Lynch, who’s worked at Seattle’s Scarecrow Video for over ten years, about “the independent video store’s history and future” and “movie violence in its utter grotesqueness and pure visceral pleasure.”