David Davidson has translated Eric Rohmer’s piece on Howard Hawks’s The Big Sky (1952).
From Adam Cook at the Notebook comes word that there’s a new issue of The Seventh Art up, featuring video interviews with Margarethe von Trotta, Barbara Hammer, Matt Johnson and Matthew Miller (The Dirties), and Paul Schrader.
Via Chris Marker: Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory, Pierre Lhomme talks about working with Marker on Le Joli mai (1963).
At Underwire, Jason Kehe and Katie M. Palmer introduce a fun package on trailers: “This year fans watched more than a billion on YouTube and searched for trailers three times more than in 2008. And these numbers continue to grow as studios focus film-advertising dollars online. As soon as the latest movie teaser goes live, the web freaks out. Entertainment sites like IGN and Vulture post shot-by-shot deconstructions—some outlets like Slate even have dedicated trailer critics. Fans pull scenes apart and piece them back together as YouTube parodies. And the trailer editors, along with their studio overlords, monitor comment boards for instant reactions.” What follows is a short history (with plenty of exemplary viewing, of course), a profile of trailer editor Mark Woollen, an anatomy of the campaign for James Mangold’s Wolverine (out on July 26), a breakdown of “the number of cuts in 154 trailers over the decades,” a list of the best ever (naturally!), and Angela Watercutter on “Why Fan-Made Movie Trailers Are Often Better Than the Real Thing.”
Mike Figgis in the Observer on the state of the British film industry: “Just because we come from a class-ridden, public school-controlled, fucked-up culture doesn’t mean our creative structures have to be the same. Filmmakers cannot flourish and grow unless you give them room to do so. And creativity cannot exist in a system of committees. And trust me, committees are what we’ve got…. [W]e are now producing regional art for an international market, and this depresses the shit out of me.”
Zach Snyder and screenwriter David Goyer’s Man of Steel “is a reminder that Kal-El, who debuted in 1938, is a product of the Popular Front era.” Jacobin managing editor Connor Kilpatrick lays out the argument.
“In old movies and TV shows, marriage, when it was not upheld as a romantic ideal, was usually portrayed either as a state of dull stability or endless drudgery,” writes the NYT‘s A.O. Scott. “That it turned out to be work was presented as a ‘realistic’ or mocking rebuke to the expectation of bliss. But in film and television, work and wedded bliss are now synonymous: the harder marriage is, the more romantic it seems.”
Books. “Hitler’s love for American movies was reciprocated by Hollywood,” writes David Mikics for Tablet. “A forthcoming book by the young historian Ben Urwand [The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact With Hitler], to be published by Harvard University Press in October, presents explosive new evidence about the shocking extent of the partnership between the Nazis and major Hollywood producers.”
Brett Martin‘s Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From “The Sopranos” and “The Wire” to “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” is “a vastly entertaining and insightful look at the creators of some of the most highly esteemed recent television series,” writes Ken Tucker for Bookforum. “Not merely a collection of profiles of, among others, David Chase (The Sopranos), Matthew Weiner (Mad Men), David Simon (The Wire), David Milch (Deadwood), and Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad), Difficult Men lays out a history of the TV industry from the late 1990s to the present, demonstrating how a confluence of pay- and basic-cable broadcasting philosophy, new profit paradigms, and the rise of the cult of the ‘showrunner’ (i.e., the producer given the most credit for the guiding aesthetic of a series) has reshaped the business, together with a boom in online fan commentary. Along the way, Martin also carefully explains just how all these forces combined to yield both high-quality TV and the enabling of some mighty big, needy, neurotic egos.”
At Thompson on Hollywood, Eric Myers reviews Curtis Harrington‘s memoir, Nice Guys Don’t Work In Hollywood: The Adventures of an Aesthete in the Movie Business: “Harrington was simply a man who faced reality; he had seen his hopes dashed enough times to accept the inevitable. That his memoir is not a downer, despite the unsatisfying arc of his career, is testament to the winning personality of a man who was always a prized Hollywood dinner-party guest: his talent as a raconteur is evident on every page.” Last week, Robert Ham spoke here in Keyframe with Lisa Janssen, “an archivist and film theorist who is working with Chicago-based imprint Drag City to bring the memoir and a DVD collection of Harrington’s early experimental works into the world.”
Paul Greengrass’s Captain Phillips looks like a shoe-in for Venice
And here’s another list. “50 Essential LGBT Films,” counted down and blurbed by Tyler Coates at Flavorwire.
New York. “At various times it’s been asserted that the essence of moving pictures is the chase, the car chase in particular being the vein with the richest history,” writes Nick Pinkerton for Artforum. “Anthology Film Archives’ Auto-Cinema program is distinctly not interested in that sort of car movie, but rather in movies where filmmakers variously use the car as a dramatic staging ground.” Through Tuesday.
In the works. Wolfgang Becker (Good Bye, Lenin!) has begun shooting Ich & Kaminsky with Daniel Brühl, Jesper Christensen, and Geraldine Chaplin, reports Birgit Heidsiek for Cineuropa, where Fabien Lemercier notes that Cédric Kahn will begin shooting Vie sauvage with Mathieu Kassovitz on July 15.
Russell Crowe’s directorial debut will be The Water Divinder, reports Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr. “It is set in 1919, and an Australian father travels to Turkey to find his two sons, who are missing after the battle of Gallipoli.”
“Juan Antonio Bayona, director of The Orphanage and The Impossible, has been tapped to direct the first two episodes of Penny Dreadful, the Sam Mendes-produced drama series coming to Showtime.” TheWrap‘s Tim Kenneally has more.
Jason Schwartzman has joined Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in the cast of Tim Burton’s Big Eyes, reports TheWrap‘s Jeff Sneider.
One of my own favorite Sam Taylor-Wood shorts
And the Fifty Shades of Grey adaptation has a director now: Sam Taylor-Johnson, the Young British Artist formerly known as Sam Taylor-Wood, whose only previous feature is Nowhere Boy (2009). Ray Pride‘s posted nine of her shorts, though, as an argument that she’s an “inspired choice.”
Here’s one that’s not in the works for now: “Despite a big-name director (Darren Aronfosky) and a killer (literally) plot involving magicians, con men, and Hitler, HBO has passed on Michael Chabon’s long-in-the-works Hobgoblin pilot,” reports Amanda Dobbins at Vulture.
Obit. “Dennis O’Rourke, the documentarian whose films The Good Woman of Bangkok and Cunnamulla won praise and enemies in equal measure, died on [June 15], aged 67, from a rare form of cancer,” reports Karl Quinn for Fairfax Media. “Some of his peers remembered him on Monday as a man whose personality was as passionate and divisive as the films he made.”