A highlight of the new Winter 2012 issue of Cineaste is Michael Sicinski‘s review of Douglas Crimp‘s “Our Kind of Movie” – The Films of Andy Warhol and J.J. Murphy‘s The Black Hole of the Camera: The Films of Andy Warhol. He begins by reminding us that Warhol’s work represents “the most significant conceptual sea change in Western art since the Duchampian readymade,” and then briefly considers why most are more willing to engage with the paintings than with the films before sketching the current state of Warhol studies. As for the books at hand: “In short, Crimp finds the films to be modernist talismans of an alternative kinship; Murphy, records of a systematic Theatre of Cruelty.”
Also online from this issue are two full interviews (Max Weinstein with Alan Berliner and Catherine Sawers with Tomasz Thomson), a handful of DVD reviews, and three festival reports (Richard Porton from Locarno and Toronto and Dennis West from Montreal). Let’s go ahead and mention two more festival reports not in Cineaste: Yun-hua Chen on the Viennale for Film International and Eric Hynes on the Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal for Film Comment.
2012 was the year a chorus of critics declared film culture dead, but A.O. Scott is having none of it: “I hate to ruin a good funeral, but all of this is nonsense. The coffin is empty. The habit of issuing death notices for various cultural forms is a vivid example of sentiment and ideology masquerading as sober historical judgment. Film has been buried alive, sharing cemetery space with the novel, painting, serious theater, rock ’n’ roll and all the other still-vibrant artistic pursuits that are routinely mistaken for corpses or shambling, brain-dead zombies.”
Also in the new Hollywood issue of the New York Times Magazine, along with a slide show and a slew of mini-portraits: Scott on “Hollywood’s Year of Heroine Worship” and Andrew Goldman‘s chat with Charlotte Rampling.
More reading. Farran Nehme on Henri Decoin’s Razzia sur la Chnouf (1955): “The Siren has recently been accused more than once of overpraising movies; well, as Pauline Kael used to say, tough, ’cause this one’s a pip.”
In other news. “I’d now like to engage / Set some records straight.” Michael Cimino‘s now on Twitter.
With MoMA‘s full retrospective of the work of Pier Paolo Pasolini opening next week, Film Comment‘s running James Blue‘s lengthy 1965 interview and Open Culture‘s posted Pasolini’s 1967 interview with Ezra Pound (7’56”, in Italian with English subtitles). Also, at Artinfo, Graham Fuller reports on Fatti Corsari (Corsair Tales), a documentary focusing on “Pasolini double Alberto Testone, a 50-year-old dentist who’s obsessed with the Bolognan poet-filmmaker and dreams of becoming an actor, despite having no formal training. Shot over the course of two years, it evokes Pasolini by telling Testone’s parallel story, including his constant upheavals, and retracing ‘the places and conditions’ of Pasolini’s life…. Testone also played the controversial poet and filmmaker in Pasolini, la verità nascosta (Pasolini, the Hidden Truth). Written and directed by Federico Bruno, this movie spans the last year in Pasolini’s life, concluding that he was murdered by neo-fascist conspirators.”
Lists. Variety has announced its 10 Directors to Watch list. Peter Debruge: “The lineup includes Haifaa Al-Mansour (Wadjda), Wayne Blair (The Sapphires), John Krokidas (Kill Your Darlings), Tobias Lindholm (A Hijacking), David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints), Andres Muschietti (Mama), David Ondricek (In the Shadow) and Rebecca Thomas (Electrick Children), along with two directing duos. Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, who co-wrote The Hangover, make their helming debut with 21 and Over this spring, while Dutch Kon-Tiki directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg represent Norway in the Oscar foreign-language film race.”
Awards. “Michael Apted, Eric Shapiro, Susan Zwerman and Dency Nelson will be honored with awards for career achievement and service to the DGA at the 65th Directors Guild of America Awards on Saturday, February 2, 2013,” reports Todd Cunningham for TheWrap.
And Vulture‘s Zach Dionne has the 2013 Grammy nominees.
DVD/Blu-ray. René Clément’s Purple Noon (1960) “is a French macaroon full of arsenic, and all the more tempting in Criterion’s 1080p transfer,” writes Joseph Jon Lanthier in Slant. Criterion’s running Geoffrey O’Brien‘s essay and a generous excerpt from a 1981 interview with Clément.
Seattle. “Before exploring Mekong Hotel, a short but truly magical film by Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, I want to explain a key concept in the books of Portuguese neuroscientist Antonio Damasio.” And Charles Mudede is off and running in the Stranger. Mekong Hotel‘s week-long run at Northwest Film Forum begins tonight.
London. Tonight at BFI Southbank: “DJ and sub bass pioneer Kode 9, visual artists MFO (Marcel Weber, Lucy Benson) and performance artist Ms Haptic present an homage to Chris Marker‘s La Jetée.” Melissa Bradshaw talks to the collaborators.
Tokyo. MU – Pedro Costa & Rui Chafes opens today at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art.
In the works. “Most film nerds are probably aware that Terry Gilliam, the director of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, has been trying to make a film about Miguel de Cervantes’s classic character Don Quixote for years,” writes Ben Pearson at FirstShowing. “The excellent documentary Lost in La Mancha details Gilliam’s attempt to make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, a project that had Johnny Depp attached but ultimately fell through due to storms, injuries, and a whirlwind of other issues. Now Deadline reports that Depp will produce a separate project for Disney involving Quixote without Gilliam’s involvement. That won’t be a fun conversation the next time they meet.”
Obits. “Dave Brubeck, the pianist and composer who helped make jazz popular again in the 1950s and ’60s with recordings like Time Out, the first jazz album to sell a million copies, and ‘Take Five,’ the still instantly recognizable hit single that was that album’s centerpiece, died on Wednesday,” reports Ben Ratliff in the New York Times. “He would have turned 92 on Thursday.”
“Actress, singer and dancer Susan Luckey, who appeared in classic movie musicals The Music Man and Carousel, both starring Shirley Jones, died Wednesday,” reports Variety. “She was 74.”
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