Design Observer has adapted an essay by Nicole Huber and Ralph Stern that appears in the new book Transnationalism and the German City. Huber and Stern consider the work of Wim Wenders, “the early German and German-American ‘road movies’… The momentous events underscoring these films are not only associated with emptiness and with landscapes in turmoil but also, particularly in Wings of Desire, with the rise of National Socialism, the tumultuous destruction of World War II, and the resulting emptiness of postwar inner-city ‘ruin landscapes’ (Trümmerlandschaften); an equally important unifying theme is the generational rupture between fathers and sons following such seismic historical events. In this framework, the American West (and the American Western) served a specific and telling purpose for the postwar German West: to envision both traumatic upheaval and utopian projection.”
Via Movie City News, I see that there’s a new issue of DGA Quarterly out, and it includes two interviews you’ll want to see: Terrence Rafferty‘s with David O. Russell and Robert Abele‘s with James Gray.
We can’t be sure of the exact day of Shakespeare‘s birth, but we’ve pretty much collectively decided that today’s the day, and what’s more, it marks his 450th. Wikipedia lists over 410 adaptations; back in 2011, Time Out ranked the top 25. And today, the Los Angeles Times‘ David Ng looks back on five “unconventional” adaptations.
Gareth Evans, director of The Raid and its sequel, on his top five action scenes
Indiewire‘s posted its summer movie preview: “The 40 Indies You Must See.”
IN OTHER NEWS
“Adding the inevitable winding footnote to the production of The End of the Tour—the upcoming film in which Jason Segel captures the late David Foster Wallace’s estimable legacy of wearing do-rags—the Wallace estate has officially come out against the film,” reports Sean O’Neal at the AV Club. “In a statement, lawyers for Wallace’s family say they ‘have no connection with, and neither endorse nor support’ the film based on David Lipsky’s book Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace.”
New York. This week’s recommendations from the L: Samantha Vacca on William Wyler‘s The Little Foxes (1941, BAMcinématek, tomorrow and Friday), Justin Stewart on Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976, Museum of the Moving Image, Saturday), Aaron Cutler on Raymond Depardon’s San Clemente (1982, Friday, Film Society of Lincoln Center), Jordan Cronk on Anthony Mann‘s Side Street (1949, MMI, Saturday) and Zach Clark on Mann’s Winchester ’73 (1950, MMI, Sunday).
“Perhaps James Franco should just stick to acting. He remains embarrassingly clueless when it comes to art.” The New York Times‘ Roberta Smith reviews James Franco: New Film Stills, on view at the Pace Gallery through May 3.
Los Angeles. The UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema begins tomorrow and carries on through May 14.
IN THE WORKS
Film Comment editor Gavin Smith has posted another round of tidbits on projects on a variety of front burners. The Yes Men are taking on climate change, Peter Greenaway is at work on Walking to Paris, “a road movie, if you will, detailing the adventures of the young Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi during a month-long trek across Europe in 1903,” Bryan Cranston’s set to play Dalton Trumbo, Benoît Jacquot will direct Léa Seydoux in yet another adaptation of Octave Mirbeau’s novel Diary of a Chambermaid, Tetsuya Nakashima’s just wrapped The World of Kanako, “which once again revisits the world of high school students,” and: “Robert Guédiguian is hard at work on Don’t Tell Me the Boy Was Mad, a drama set in 1981 about an Armenian youth who attempts to assassinate the Turkish ambassador to France but succeeds only in seriously wounding a passing cyclist, and then flees to Beirut at the height of the civil war to join the Armenian Liberation Army.”
“Jessica Chastain is nearing a deal to play Marilyn Monroe in Andrew Dominik’s passion project Blonde,” reports TheWrap‘s Jeff Sneider. It’ll be an adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’s 2000 novel, and In Contention‘s Kristopher Tapley finds that a “book like that, steeped in the division between myth and reality, wading into some dark corners, seems perfectly suited for the man who brought us the most complex take on the outlaw Jesse James to date with his 2007 masterpiece The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.”
Trailer for Michael Tully’s Ping Pong Summer