Quite a bit to catch up with since Sunday’s news update. Speaking of which, near the top of that one, I noted that Jonathan Rosenbaum had posted a piece from 1993 listing “the 12 greatest living narrative filmmakers” as he saw them at the time. Kevin B. Lee turned that list into a dynamic thread on Facebook, which the New Yorker‘s Richard Brody, in turn, has picked up on. His own list, in alphabetical order, of “the living directors who most changed, for the better, my way of perceiving”: Chantal Akerman, Wes Anderson, Andrew Bujalski, Pedro Costa, Jean-Luc Godard, Jia Zhangke, Abbas Kiarostami, Jerry Lewis, Terrence Malick, Elaine May, Jim McBride, Alain Resnais, and Joe Swanberg.
A few of those names will be popping up below; meantime, Jonathan Rosenbaum‘s latest entry is another from the 90’s, 1998, specifically, in which he looked back to “a pivotal year for me,” 1968.
Editor Diarmuid Hester introduces the new issue of One+One Filmmakers Journal, free to download: “James Riley’s ‘Capitalist Breakdown: Gumball 3000 and the road movie,’ opens this issue at breakneck velocity. Combining Marx’s theory of the commodity form and Situationist Guy Debord’s analysis of the automobile’s symbolic function within late capitalism, Riley identifies some salient features of Gumball Rally’s development from offbeat interest to phenomenon of the global elite over the course of a short decade. His article is swiftly overtaken by ‘Excess and Austerity: The Films of Kōji Wakamatsu,’ in which Ben Noys critically re-assesses the life and work of this obscure, willfully abrasive Japanese filmmaker.” Issue 11 also features pieces on “exuberantly subversive Hong Kong filmmaking,” Karel Zeman, “a neglected Czech film director, artist and animator,” Derek Jarman, and more.
In his latest roundup in the Notebook, Adam Cook highlights samples from the forthcoming issue of Lumière and a book by Pedro Costa, a green scrapbook he kept while he prepared to shoot Casa de Lava (1994) which’ll be released with a new interview and a text by Philippe Azoury.
The New Republic has posted Manny Farber‘s 1946 review of Howard Hawk’s The Big Sleep, “an unsentimental, surrealist excitement in which most of the men in Hollywood’s underworld are murdered and most of the women go for an honest but not unwilling private sleuth (Humphrey Bogart).”
Alex Sinclair ruminates on the mystery of Stanley Kubrick’s jacket.
In the Voice, Calum Marsh argues that Elaine May’s “authorial voice was distinctive, to say the least, and that its absence in American cinema throughout the last three decades has been regrettable.” And as for her 1971 debut: “A clear-eyed look at the picture reveals a remarkable truth behind the rumors: A New Leaf, not so much despite its editorial interventions as at least partly because of them, is nearly a masterpiece, a film of such wit and comic invention that it belongs among the great American comedies.”
Positif 50 Years: Selected Writings from the French Film Journal, a collection that appeared in early 2003, has been reviewed, as David Davidson notes, by Steve Erickson in Senses of Cinema and honorably mentioned by Henry K. Miller in n+1. Now, Davidson adds Mark Peranson‘s Cineaste review.
In a piece for NPR, John McDonough credits the screen era with prompting on-screen racial integration.
In other news. London-based film financing company Seven Seas Partnership Ltd. is suing Terrence Malick for $3.3 million, claiming that the director “never devoted the time necessary to create” three films on “the history of the universe and planet earth.” As Mark Olsen reports in the Los Angeles Times, the company claims that, instead of making the feature Voyage of Time plus two 45-minute Imax docs, Malick’s been churning out narrative features “and using some of the Seven Seas’ money to help pay for them.” Among those narratives are, of course, The Tree of Life and To the Wonder, and in the Notebook, Josh Timmermann considers the “Intimidating, Exhilarating Religiosity” of the pair.
“Steven Soderbergh has given $10,000 to Spike Lee’s Kickstarter campaign,” reports Henry Barnes in the Guardian. Lee’s Kickstarter, launched on July 23, aims to “fund a ‘funny, sexy and bloody’ film that is about ‘human beings that are addicted to blood,’ but—according to Lee—’is not Blacula.'”
“After nearly 35 years of silence, the 13-year-old girl Roman Polanski raped in 1977 is finally telling her full story in The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski.” As Andy Lewis notes in the Hollywood Reporter, the photo of Geimer on the cover was taken on February 20, 1977—by Polanski himself.
New York. For the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Tiffany Vazquez announces the lineup for Cinema of Resistance, “a special series dedicated to films that are political in both subject and execution. Highlights of this series include the North American premiere theatrical run of a new restoration of the revolutionary omnibus film Far From Vietnam (Joris Ivens, William Klein, Claude Lelouch, Agnès Varda, Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, 1967), as well as a more recent movie it inspired, Far From Afghanistan (John Gianvito, Jon Jost, Soon-Mi Yoo, Minda Martin, Travis Wilkerson, 2012), which will be followed by a Q&A with co-director and series co-programmer John Gianvito.” August 23 through 29.
San Francisco. With its 33rd edition opening tonight and running through August 12, the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival remains “a solid if eclectic festival, with a typically strong showing of documentaries well worth seeking out,” notes Cheryl Eddy in her overview for the Bay Guardian.
In the works. “Paul Greengrass is to pick up the reins of the much-delayed Aaron Sorkin-scripted film The Trial of the Chicago 7,” reports the Guardian‘s Andrew Pulver. “The project, which was originally to be directed by Steven Spielberg, follows events in the aftermath of the 1968 Democratic national convention in Chicago, which was beset by violent protests and battles with police.”
Natalie Portman will direct her first feature, based on Amos Oz’s autobiographical novel A Tale of Love and Darkness (2002), in Jerusalem, reports Daniel Estrin for the AP.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s video for Fiona Apple’s “Hot Knife”—Vulture‘s got four more he’s made for her, too
“Mortdecai is coming together quickly with eyes on an all-star cast as Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor are in talks to co-star with [Johnny] Depp,” reports Variety‘s Justin Kroll. “Lionsgate is distributing and David Koepp is directing the crime drama.”
“Danny McBride is joining Cameron Crowe’s latest film, an as-yet-untitled movie that doesn’t sound like the typical romantic comedy that is the director’s usual stock-in-trade,” reports Mike Vago at the AV Club. “It’s unclear what role McBride will play alongside Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, and Rachel McAdams—who, as previously reported, are rumored to play a defense contractor, the Air Force pilot who helps him stop a weapons satellite, and his ex-girlfriend, respectively.”
“In a move that is sure to further antagonize the martial arts fanboys, Film Biz Asia has reported that The Weinstein Company is teaming up with Celestial Pictures to remake Shaw Brothers classics Come Drink With Me and The Avenging Eagle.” James Marsh has more at Twitch.
Sacha Baron Cohen has dropped out of the as-yet-untitled Freddie Mercury biopic, reports Variety‘s Rachel Abrams.
“Chuck Palahniuk fans everywhere can celebrate a fantasy come true with news that he is to pen a sequel to Fight Club in the form of a graphic novel series that ‘updates the story 10 years after the seeming end of Tyler Durden,'” reports Liz Bury for the Guardian.
“MGM is setting Ryan Coogler to direct Creed, and the studio is in early talks with Coogler’s Fruitvale Station star Michael B. Jordan to play the grandson of Apollo Creed in a continuation of the Rocky saga,” reports Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr. “Sylvester Stallone will reprise Rocky Balboa as a retired fighter-turned-trainer.”
List. “Best films of the year (so far): 17 superlatives to honor 2013’s finest” at the AV Club.
David Denby and A.O. Scott at Tribeca earlier this year
Listening #2 (28’31”). “Solaris remains my favorite film to this day.” Will Self elaborates on the Voice of Russia.
Updated entries. Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, and remembering Dennis Farina. And the question of the day: Which lineup intrigues you most so far: Locarno, Toronto, or Venice?