The new issue of Sight & Sound features a dossier on television as “Home Cinema” and the magazine’s posted extracts online as a “Film directors on TV” package: Amy Taubin on Jane Campion, Graham Fuller on John Ford, David Jenkins on Quentin Tarantino, Ian Christie on Lars von Trier, and Ben Walters on Orson Welles.
On a related note, Phillip Maciak in the Los Angeles Review of Books on Alan Sepinwall‘s The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers, and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever and Brett Martin’s Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad: “These books are gripping narratives of the creative process and often hilarious and unsettling encyclopedias of anecdotes about idiosyncratic creators like [David] Chase, David Simon, and David Milch. They are also, unabashedly, exercises in canon-building that, by definition, exclude as many series as they include and streamline a narrative of production and reception that, in a different telling, might have been more ragged and diverse.”
At Film.com, Brandon Schaefer revisits the battles Saul Bass fought with the studios to see his poster designs realized. Some of those battles he won; others, of course, he lost.
Time Out‘s Tom Huddleston considers the “highs and lows of David Bowie on screen.”
In 1979, Leos Carax championed Sylvester Stallone’s Paradise Alley in Cahiers du Cinéma; David Davidson‘s translated the piece and offered a bit of background as well.
Remember the clips from the documentary on Jerry Lewis and the making of The Day the Clown Cried (1972) that popped up several days ago? The New Yorker‘s Richard Brody argues that “if these clips suggest anything of the rest of the film, any tastelessness, sentimentality, or clumsiness of Lewis’s effort would be beside the point. He was working in the dark, in a self-inflicted state of moral shock, and attempting the impossible.”
List. Marina Abramović‘s top ten films.
The Busan International Film Festival (October 3 through 12) has named Rithy Panh “Asian Filmmaker of the Year.” Patrick Frater reports. Also in Variety, Leo Barraclough: “The Zurich Film Festival has announced its first Gala Premieres, which will include Gravity, Devil’s Knot, and Diana.”
In the works. Mohsen Makhmalbaf is planning to shoot his first English-language feature, The President, in Georgia in early 2014,” reports Wendy Mitchell for Screen Daily. This’ll be “Makhmalbaf’s first fiction feature since The Man Who Came with the Snow in 2009. The story is set in a fictional Caucasus country and is about a dictator whose regime is brought down by a coup d’etat. He and his young grandson have to travel across the country disguised as street musicians, and he gets to know the ordinary people he ruled in a new light. ‘After the Arab Spring, a number of dictators fell: Ben Ali, Mubarak, Gadhaffi,’ said writer/director Makhmalbaf, “but statistics show that there are over 40 dictators of this kind still in power.”
Once he wraps Noah, Darren Aronofsky will move on to an adaptation of Jason Matthews’s spy thriller Red Sparrow, reports the Guardian‘s Andrew Pulver.
“Steven Spielberg is reported to be interested in working with Chinese director Zhang Yimou on an international Chinese film.” Patrick Frater has more in Variety.
Philadelphia. Sergei Parajanov: Surrealist Poet of Soviet Cinema is on through tomorrow at International House. In the City Paper, Shaun Brady recommends these “stunning fusions of folk storytelling, surreal imagery, religious iconography and social criticism, like ancient tableaux come to life as barbed, epic hallucinations.”
Fall preview. The L‘s posted one of the year’s first.
Obits. “Controversial French lawyer Jacques Vergès, whose clients included Carlos the Jackal and Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie, has died aged 88,” reports the BBC. Vergès was the subject of Barbet Schroeder’s documentary Terror’s Advocate.
“Valentin de Vargas, a veteran character actor who terrified Janet Leigh in a darkened Mexican motel room in the Orson Welles film noir classic Touch of Evil, has died. He was 78.” In the Hollywood Reporter, Mike Barnes notes that “de Vargas was another flawed Latino juvenile (and classmate of Sidney Poitier) in his first film, Richard Brooks’s seminal Blackboard Jungle (1955)…. In Howard Hawks’s action-packed Hatari! (1962), de Vargas played a Mexican, Luis Francisco Garcia Lopez, a member of an international band of animal catchers led by John Wayne in Africa. He starred with Wayne again in another action flick, Hellfighters (1968), about oil-fire fighters. De Vargas also was a henchman in The Magnificent Seven (1960), a Marine in the Korean War drama The Nun and the Sergeant (1962) and a judge in William Friedkin’s To Live and Die in L.A. (1985).”
Updated entries. “Herzog Season“; Satyajit Ray and Wong Kar-wai; Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises, Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, and John Frankenheimer’s Seconds; and remembering Karen Black. Critics Round Up‘s entries on films opening this weekend: David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (see our own entry begun in January), Chad Hartigan’s This Is Martin Bonner (BAMcinemaFest roundup), Zachary Heinzerling’s Cutie and the Boxer (Sundance), and Lee Daniels’s The Butler.