DAILY | Warhol, Bujalski, Offscreen

The Black Hole of the Camera: The Films of Andy Warhol

With The Black Hole of the Camera: The Films of Andy Warhol, author (Me and You and Memento and Fargo: How Independent Screenplays Work) and filmmaker J.J. Murphy “may just be the first writer to integrate movies such as Couch, Eat, Empire, Lonesome Cowboys and The Chelsea Girls into the totality of Warhol’s artistic pursuits, i.e., silk screening, painting, filmmaking, videomaking, tape recording and photography,” suggests Mike Everleth. “Murphy very successfully argues that there was a very deliberate evolution to Warhol’s filmmaking styles that can be discussed as a unified whole, as well as be integrated with the rest of his artistic career.”

Back in April, David Bordwell wrote: “This is the most comprehensive, in-depth study of Warhol’s filmmaking that has ever been published, and of course a must-have for anyone interested in experimental film or the American art scene. The ideas are fresh, especially the explorations of Warhol’s debt to psychodrama. At the same time, The Black Hole of the Camera clears away many misconceptions about Warhol (no, Sleep and Empire are not single-shot films) while also offering detailed information about and analysis of little-known stunners like Outer and Inner Space.”

The latest issue of Offscreen to go online features three articles on Steven Spielberg, beginning with editor Donato Totaro‘s list of “the films and ideas that came to mind” while re-watching A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001): “My sense is that much of this intertexuality is a result of the film percolating first in Kubrick’s mind and then Spielberg’s since the early 1970s, like a sponge soaking in cultural and artistic ideas that were circulating during those times.”

Daniel Garrett reviews Frederick Wasser’s “informative but imperfect book,” Steven Spielberg’s America, and reconsiders Schindler’s List (1993).

Also in this issue, Elena V. Rodina presents a statistical analysis of the sequence in Tarkovsky‘s Solaris (1972) in which “pilot Henri Berton (Vladislav Dvorzhetsky) shows a documentary film reporting his flight to the planet Solaris to the main character of the film, psychologist Kris Kelvin (Donatis Banionis). I have named this sequence ‘Berton’s Report.’ This sequence plays a pivotal role in the narrative structure of the film. It introduces us to both the planet Solaris, and one of the central concerns of the film, namely, that planet Solaris might be a gigantic cerebral system.” And Leon Saunders Calvert revisits Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) in “an attempt to demystify but not devalue one of the great accomplishments of the cinema.”

Funny Ha Ha

Los Angeles. Andrew Bujalski will be at Cinefamily tomorrow evening for a Q&A following a presentation of a new 35mm print of his debut feature, Funny Ha Ha. Would you believe that this will be a 10th anniversary screening? Stephen Saito asks him about it: “When we were making the movie, a decade ago, I don’t think it really occurred to me that it would be anything other than completely accessible to all potential viewers. I figured, I’m telling a straightforward story in a straightforward manner, so what’s not for everyone to get? But sitting in that screening a few months ago, I thought, Jesus Christ, this is so ridiculously personal, told almost in a private language, that it’s a miracle that it found any of the exposure that it did.” In February, Bujalski was in Berlin for a month to teach a master class at the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie, which is when he was interviewed for Stil in Berlin: “I never felt like I was doing anything radical. If anything, I think I tell pretty straightforward dramatic stories, just at lower frequencies.”

New York. J. Hoberman will be reading as part of an evening of DUMBO Lit. And the Korean American Film Festival New York, running through Sunday, opens tomorrow.

Obit. Marco Onorato, director of photography on all of Matteo Garrone’s films (Gomorrah, Reality), has died at the age of 59, reports Camillo de Marco at Cineuropa.

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