DAILY | Venice 2012 Jury + the Weekend’s Most Promising Films

The International Jury for the 69th Venice Film Festival, chaired by Michael Mann, is now complete: Marina Abramovic, Laetitia Casta, Peter Ho-Sun Chan, Ari Folman, Matteo Garrone, Ursula Meier, Samantha Morton, and Pablo Trapero. The festival runs from August 29 through September 8.

New York. “Both a companion piece to and in many ways a reversal of Dogtooth, Alps finds [Yorgos] Lanthimos building on that film’s surreally terse style and notions of communication and identity without diluting its singularity or concentration,” writes Fernando F. Croce in Slant (3.5 out of 4 stars). More from Michelle Orange (Movieline, 8/10), Nick Pinkerton (Voice), A.O. Scott (New York Times), Keith Uhlich (Time Out New York, 4/5), and Alison Willmore (AV Club, B-). Interviews with Lanthimos: Jonathan Marlow, here in Keyframe, naturally; and Simon Abrams (Voice), Joshua Chaplinsky (Twitch), Michael Nordine (Filmmaker), Nigel M. Smith (indieWIRE), and Natasha Stagg (Bomblog). At the Cinema Village. And these, by the way, are the last ten films Lanthimos has seen.

“Corvo, the smallest and farthest west of the nine islands that comprise the Azores archipelago, is situated in the midst of the Atlantic Ocean, nearly a thousand miles west of Lisbon, 1200 miles southeast of Newfoundland, and 2100 miles from North America,” begins Tony Pipolo in his Artforum review of Gonçalo Tocha’s It’s the Earth Not the Moon, a documentary that, “while no rival of Robert Flaherty’s majestic Man of Aran (1934), nor a match of Werner Herzog’s eccentric ethnographic excursions, is a patiently observed, quietly filmed exploration of the island’s botanical and geographic life, as well as its social, cultural, and economic structures.” More from Daniel M. Gold (NYT, where Mike Hale interviews Tocha), Joseph Jon Lanthier (Slant, 2.5/4), and Genevieve Yue (Reverse Shot). At Anthology Film Archives.

“Like The Man Nobody Knew, about former C.I.A. director William E. Colby, Deconstructing Dad: The Music, Machine, and Mystery of Raymond Scott is a work of careful consideration, moral weighing, and deliberateness of craft, though it feels especially well-balanced, a proud show-and-tell response to growing fan interest in Raymond Scott and director Stan Warnow’s genuine, profit-less desire to understand a father he hardly knew.” Kalvin Henely gives it three out of four stars in Slant. More from Simon Abrams (Voice) and Stephen Holden (NYT). At the Quad Cinema.

Michael Atkinson in the Voice on Bart Layton’s The Imposter, a hit at Sundance: “This deft, atmospheric Errol Morris-style tour through the phenomenon that is ‘serial imposter’ Frédéric Bourdin homes in on one brief episode from the man’s berserk career: the period in 1997 when the 23-year-old Frenchman convinced a Texas family he was their disappeared teenage son.” More from Jeannette Catsoulis (NYT), Graham Corrigan (Film Comment), David Edelstein (New York), Noel Murray (AV Club, B+), and Joshua Rothkopf (Time Out New York, 4/5). At the Landmark Sunshine Cinema.

London. Patricio Guzmán: The Power of Memory, a season at BFI Southbank, is on through July 26, prompting an appreciation from Ryan Gilbey in the New Statesman, interviews by Rob White in Film Quarterly and David Jenkins in Little White Lies, and a 5-out-of-5-star review of Nostalgia for the Light from Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian: “For Guzmán, the science of astronomy is not simply an ingenious metaphor for political issues, or a way of anaesthetizing the pain by claiming that it is all tiny, relative to the reaches of space. Astronomy is a mental discipline, a way of thinking, feeling and clarifying, and a way of insisting on humanity in the face of barbarism. This is one of the films of the year.”

San Francisco. Brian Darr posts another big, big roundup of local goings on at Hell on Frisco Bay.

Los Angeles. Ride Lonesome: The Films of Budd Boetticher runs at the UCLA Film & Television Archive through August 12.

In the works. Gerardo Naranjo (Miss Bala) will direct A Man Must Die, “a political thriller in the vein of Olivier Assayas‘s Carlos,” reports the Playlist‘s Kevin Jagernauth.

For further mid-summer browsing, let me recommend the “Links for the Day” at the House Next Door, which today includes the new trailer for Sam Raimi’s Oz: The Great and Powerful.

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