SXSW has announced its Midnighters lineup, noting that highlights include “Vincenzo ‘Cube‘ Natali’s terrifying Haunter, the U.S. Premiere of Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem, and the deliciously self-explanatory Big Ass Spider. Meanwhile, the 106 films in the shorts lineup finds out what happens when a girl is allergic to the wind, a holdup turns into a joke-off… and what is there to say about Vladimir Putin?”
Daniel Kasman has posted an essential appreciation of Dominik Graf in the Notebook, sparked by “a simultaneously introductory and interventionist retrospective programmed by Christoph Huber and Olaf Möller” at Rotterdam this year:
An incredibly prolific filmmaker beginning in the late 1970s, Graf has interwoven his cinema into the fabric of the German television industry, producing a body of work ranging from television episodes, made-for-TV films, essay movies, documentaries, and a handful of films intended for the cinema….
Graf is a genre filmmaker and a consummate, busy worker—both rare positions in contemporary cinema, one more than the other and together a very special thing. His prolificness and the industry in which it is enabled and embedded understandably creates a strong sense of continuity between the director’s work that only someone working so often and with a vivid, continued interest in the tools of the craft and what is before the camera can create. I am reminded of Wellman and Walsh in the early 1930s, Allan Dwan in the 1950s, Kôji Wakamatsu in the 60s and 70s, contemporary Johnnie To, and Takashi Miike at any point in his career; filmmakers from whom you never know what to expect next, and the “next” just keeps on coming.
Transit carries on with its teen movies special, posting a collection of essays on individual films, including Girish Shambu’s on Amy Heckerling’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
New York. “‘Subversion in cinema starts when the theatre darkens and the screen lights up,’ Amos Vogel wrote in the introduction to his 1974 book Film as a Subversive Art,” begins Aaron Cutler in the L. “Vogel, the great film programmer who died last April at 91, was a sweet, calm, gentle, pleasant man who spent his life searching for films that could disturb people. The Austrian Jew exchanged Nazi Europe for New York, then transformed his dream of living on a Palestinian farm into the reality of Cinema 16, the largest film society in the world, cofounded with his wife and eternal companion Marcia in 1947; the same year that Cinema 16 shuttered (1963) was the year he and critic Richard Roud cofounded the New York Film Festival.”
From today through March 14, Anthology Film Archives will be screening over two dozen films Vogel discusses in the book that, in the New York Times, Dennis Lim calls a “mind-expanding compendium of cinematic radicalism—from silent-era comedy to antiwar agitprop, avant-garde experiments to hard-core provocations” and “an idiosyncratic bid to create an anticanonical canon.” Back in the L, Tomas Hachard recommends catching Bernardo Bertolucci‘s Before the Revolution (1964) on Friday.
In the works. Martin Scorsese and a camera crew have been filming a few celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the New York Review of Books, reports Jennifer Schuessler for the NYT. NYRB publisher Rea Hederman, though, is downplaying Scorsese’s presence: “The party last night and the event this evening are being documented for possible future use.”
“Sean Bean has landed a role in Jupiter Ascending, the next top-secret and likely a little goofy sci-fi project from Lana and Andy Wachowski,” reports Sean O’Neal at the AV Club.