Daily | Titles and Subtitles

Tilda Swinton in Orlando

Tilda Swinton in Sally Potter’s ‘Orlando’ (1992), one of the best films of the ’90s

Before she heads off the grid for a well-deserved holiday, Catherine Grant has left us with an entry gathering so much “fabulous open access reading, viewing and listening” we’re sure to be kept busy until she returns. For starters, there’s an interview with Adrian Martin (35’05”). Topics covered include his audiovisual essays with Cristina Álvarez López and his forthcoming book, Mise en Scène and Film Style: From Classical Hollywood to New Media Art.

There are links to the Kracauer Lectures in Film and Media Theory, new issues of Offscreen and Scope and a slew of links to individual essays, be they textual or audiovisual. But wait! Catherine’s followed up with a pointer to the new issue of [in]Transition featuring commentary on recent video essays and the state of the video essay overall. The contributors: Christian Keathley, Girish Shambu, Chiara Grizzaffi and Corey K. Creekmur.


From the new issue of Interview:

Harmony Korine: Are there things that you’ve dreamed that have ended up in your films?

Kenneth Anger: I wish. But my dreams are, like, big budget, and my movies are small budget.

“The goal of subtitles is clean: to cross linguistic and auditory barriers.” Laura Legge for 3:AM Magazine: “And to achieve this objective the subtitler must not only translate between languages, but she must convert between entirely separate media. Spoken language is transformed into written text, the difference between apples and sliced apples.” Of one subtitle in Godard‘s Alphaville (1965), for example, she notes that “the words are not a translation. They are a rolling, cadenced guide to the soundscape, images, and emotional drive of the film.”

Trailer for Jafar Panahi and Kambuzia Partovi‘s Closed Curtain (2013)

The Art of the Title follows up on its February feature “They Came From Within: B-Movie Title Design of the 1940s & 1950s” with a second part, “Belted, Booted and Buckled: B-Movie Title Design of the 1960s.” The history’s a brisk read accompanied by over a dozen sequences.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen new work at Midnight Eye, but suddenly, there are three new reviews: Jasper Sharp on Rintaro’s Metropolis (2001), “as good as Japanese animation gets,” and on Sorry (2002): “It’s easy to detect echoes of director Shin Togashi’s early collaborators, Shinji Somai and Hideyuki Hirayama, in this rather nice rite-of-passage comedy about the emotional growing pains of a 6th-grader growing up in Osaka.” And Mike Dillon on Swallowtail Butterfly (1996): “Arguably better-known for his sentimental works like Love Letter (1995) and Hanna and Alice (2004) or the brooding coming-of-age drama All About Lily Chou Chou (2001), [Shunji] Iwai here presents a deeply imperfect, but nevertheless ambitious and stylish work that warrants attention.”

Vulture‘s Anna Silman is among the many pulling the highlights from Tilda Swinton‘s Reddit AMA. And this seems to be just about everyone’s favorite: “Working with both Jim Jarmusch and Wes Anderson is like the summer camp of dreams.. with significant themic differences.. Wes Camp means all staying in a big house together and eating round one big table every night, none of that trailer stuff that big movies do, which tends to divide people out and make for lonely days (so I hear).. Jim Camp is rock n’ roll camp, nocturnal, super mellow, like the endless morning after a crash-out sleep-over when noone really wants to go home..”

On a related note, at the Talkhouse Film, Mark Rappaport calls Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer “a terrific and very grim movie… One astonishing grace note in the movie: Tilda Swinton–virtually unrecognizable, with prosthetic teeth, Coke-bottle glasses, a heavy Yorkshire accent, smeared lipstick, and a very bad hairdo as if she were the lesbian warden in a girls’ reform school–gives a howlingly funny performance as the god’s emissary that’s up there with the darkly comic performances of Robert Mitchum in The Night of the Hunter and Willem Dafoe in Wild at Heart.”

“The Making of an Underground Film,” from the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite in 1965, via Canyon Cinema

In the Notebook: Daniel Riccuito and David Cairns in praise of Nadia Sibirskaia, Barbara Steele and Aline MacMahon.

Michael Pattison‘s attended this year’s Bergman Week: “Bergman’s highbrow navel-gazing has no shortage of unqualified heirs. Very few of them offer a body of work that’s so hefty and versatile while also unapologetically persistent with stylistic repetition and recurrent themes.”

From Canyon Cinema: “As part of our ongoing spotlight on microcinemas across the country, we had an opportunity this month to speak with Ekrem Serdar, one of the cofounders of Experimental Response Cinema. Experimental Response has been carving out a space for avant-garde cinema in Austin, TX since its genesis in 2012.”

The New Yorker‘s Richard Brody argues that “complaining about pop driving art out of the market is doubly misplaced in movies, when so many of the classics (ancient and modern) are products of the mainstream industry—whether those of the high-studio era by Alfred Hitchcock and Howard Hawks, Douglas Sirk and Nicholas Ray, or those of today’s independently financed off-Hollywood of Wes Anderson and Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese and Sofia Coppola, David Fincher and Paul Thomas Anderson.”

Alexandra Heller-Nicholas for Bright Lights: “A Brutal Nobility: Painting Death in The House with Laughing Windows (Pupi Avati, 1976).”

Laura Crossley at Film International: “Multicultural Middle-earth: Constructing ‘Home’ and the Post-colonial Imaginary in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings.”

Ela Bittencourt posts a dispatch from the 54th Kraków Film Festival to frieze.


The Russian film journal Cineticle has asked some of the “critics and directors who were always close to us, who inspired us” to list the “Best Films of the ’90s.” Quite a roster: Nicole Brenez, Adam Cook, Denis Côté, Oggs Cruz, Toni D’Angela, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Jean-Charles Fitoussi, Christoph Hochhäusler, Daniel Kasman, Vasiliy Koretskiy, Raya Martin, Olaf Möller, Adam Nayman, Boris Nelepo, Matías Piñeiro, Eugenio Renzi, Alex Ross Perry, Michael Sicinski and Noel Vera.

Lost Kubrick-The unfinished films of Stanley Kubrick from frame-paradiso.

2014 has now officially reached its halfway point and, at In Review Online, Kenji Fujishima and his contributors list their “so far” top tens. So, too, do Time Out London‘s writers and, at their own sites, Dennis Cooper, Diego Lerer, Tom Shone and Michael Smith.

The Playlist has synopses and status updates on 50 films “we expect, hope or surmise we might see at the big trio of Venice, Telluride and Toronto.”

The Dissolve is writing up its list of the “50 Greatest Summer Blockbusters”—ever. So far, this countdown goes to eleven.

At the House Next Door, Calum Marsh has clips and a few words for each of the “Top 10 Greatest Car Movies.”


Kino Lorber has acquired all North American rights to Godard‘s Adieu au langage, reports Deadline: “It will open first at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and IFC Center in NYC late in [October], followed by a national theatrical rollout on 3D screens; a VOD and 3D Blu-ray release is planned for 2015.”

From Jen Yamato at Deadline: “Terminator, Rambo and Basic Instinct exec producer Mario Kassar is assembling an English-language adaptation of Audition, the infamous 1997 novel by Japanese author Ryu Murakami about a lonely widower who gets more than he bargains for when he puts out a fake casting call to find a new girlfriend. Audition was, of course, adapted in 1999 into a cringe-inducing cult film in its own right by Japanese helmer Takashi Miike. The new Kassar-produced version is based on the original Murakami novel and will transplant the story to an American setting.”


“Allen Grossman, an award-winning poet whose work bridged the Romantic and Modernist traditions, claiming nobility and power for poetry as a tool for both engaging the world and burrowing into the self, died on Friday,” reports Bruce Weber in the New York Times. “He was 82.”


Listening (103’32”). In the latest episode of The Cinephiliacs, Peter Labuza talks with Adam Nayman about his book on Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls (1995), It Doesn’t Suck, about his work for Cinema Scope and Reverse Shot, about Canadian cinema and more.

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