“The term ‘time-based art’ seems especially apt when discussing Tacita Dean’s work, writes Rhizome editor Joanne McNeil for the Paris Review; she’s been watching bits of Dean’s Craneway Event (2009) several times a week ever since Tacita Dean: Five Americans opened a few weeks ago at the New Museum in New York. “In interviews, she talks of her delight in the period between shooting footage and processing it, as it allows her to revisit a film in progress with a new perspective. Her subjects might be defined broadly as the history slipping through our fingers: fleeting moments, obsolescing technology, the wisdom of an old master ([Merce] Cunningham died a year after Craneway Event was made,) things just about to disappear.” For more on the exhibition, see Blake Gopnik (Daily Beast), Phaidon, and Rebecca Roberts (Artinfo).
More reading. Boing Boing‘s got a fun series going on, “Mind Blowing Movies,” which includes Gareth Branwyn‘s piece on Ridley Scott‘s Blade Runner (1982). Time‘s Richard Corliss offers another, celebrating the 30th anniversary of “one of the seminal artifacts and art works of science-fiction filmmaking. This film about the future found its salvation there. The movie has gone through more gestations than the monster in Scott’s Alien: a comic book, two video games, three sequels to the source novel and, of course, four increasingly refined versions of the film. Last year, Scott announced that he might make a sequel or prequel to Blade Runner.” By the way, you’ll want to see more poster designs by Sam Smith.
“Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye is as much about the way Elliott Gould heaves and slumps his body as it is about Philip Marlowe’s search for the truth about his friend’s disappearance and alleged suicide,” writes Michael Koresky at Sundance Now.
DVD/Blu-ray. In conjunction with its latest release, Criterion’s running David Cairns‘s essay on The 39 Steps (1935), “the first Hitchcock film to really crank up the MacGuffin as plot motor.” And, via Criterion Cast, F. Ron Miller describes the process of designing the packaging for the release.
Also at Criterion: Stephen Prince on Hiroshi Inagaki’s The Samurai Trilogy, which “gave Toshiro Mifune one of his most important starring roles, as Musashi Miyamoto, a masterless, wandering samurai whose skill with a sword is so great no one can match him.”
“Lina Wertmüller is a bundle of contradictions,” writes Budd Wilkins, reviewing a new collection from Kino: “an avowed anarchist who was born into the rarefied upper strata of the Italian aristocracy, a feminist filmmaker unafraid to delve into realms of sexual grotesquerie many self-professed feminists would unhesitatingly anathematize. She imbues her films with the popular (and populist) traditions of commedia all’italiana, a style of humor that traces back to medieval puppet theater—a tradition she trained in extensively. Heiress to the filmmaking legacy of directors like Mario Monicelli and especially Pietro Germi, Wertmüller fuses together high-minded political seriousness and a gleeful delight in transgressive lowbrow comedy.”
In the works. Charlie Kaufman’s Frank or Francis, a musical satire pitting a film blogger against a film director, has not fallen apart, as widely reported, but it has been postponed. Edward Davis reports at the Playlist.
In other news. At Twitch, James Marsh notes that the full lineup for the 16th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan, July 19 through 29) has rolled out, while Ryland Aldrich has the first round of titles slated for the 45th Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia (October 4 through 14).
At indieWIRE, Patrick Gamble echoes many when he notes that, “under the watchful eye of artistic director and renowned cinephile Chris Fujiwara,” the Edinburgh International Film Festival, on through July 1, “has already begun to show signs of a vast improvement since kicking off last week.”
Berlin. David Lynch: The Art of the Real: An Interdisciplinary International Conference takes place from Thursday through Saturday.
Obit. “Award-winning film auteur Mario O’Hara, known for works that tackled dark but realistic social themes, passed away on Tuesday morning from cancer,” reports Vlad Bunoan for ABS-CBNnews.com. “He was 68.” In 2005, Noel Vera noted in Senses of Cinema that “it’s easy to overlook him in any list of the Philippines’ finest filmmakers, a list which usually begins with Lino Brocka (the best-known Filipino filmmaker), or, for the more knowledgeable, Ishmael Bernal (possibly the second best-known, and arguably—sometimes I agree, sometimes I don’t—the better one)…. Something I’ve always argued about regarding O’Hara is that while his contributions to Philippine cinema may seem incidental they are anything but, and while filmmaking may seem to be a secondary occupation for him, an examination of his films will show that he’s every bit as demanding and precise and passionate as any great Filipino director, perhaps even more so than most.”