Win Some, Lose Some

While Cannes was on, we set nearly everything else aside, so we’ve got some catching up to do. During those couple of weeks, we saw the launch of an exciting new publication but also the gentle folding of an old favorite.

The Talkhouse Film, edited by Nick Dawson and overseen by Michael Azerrad, gets filmmakers talking about the work of other filmmakers. For example: Caveh Zahedi (The Sheik and I) on Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, Sean Baker (Starlet) on William Friedkin’s Sorcerer, David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) on James Gray’s The Immigrant, Terence Nance (An Oversimplification of Her Beauty) on Richard Ayoade’s The Double and on and on. “And there’s a twist: the artist who’s being written about is encouraged to respond to the piece. The idea is to promote dialogue between creators who may never have interacted otherwise.”

For well over a decade, Not Coming to a Theater Near You has been so much more than the best designed film publication on the Internet. Top-notch contributors have produced outstanding features over the years, but it’s “with much relief and some regret” that founding editor Rumsey Taylor has announced that, once all the “leftovers” are rolled out in the coming weeks, Not Coming will exist solely as “a static archive.” Really hate to see you go, Not Coming, but many thanks for all the fantastic work.


Catherine Grant alerts us to a new issue of Transformations on “The Other Western” and to the launch of Media Industries, featuring an essay by a professor of mine from back in the day, Thomas Schatz: “Film Studies, Cultural Studies, and Media Industries Studies.”

The first issue of Fireflies will explore the work of Pier Paolo Pasolini and Apichatpong Weerasethakul; you might consider supporting the launch

At photogénie, Tim Deschaumes remembers Miklós Jancsó and examines “the mechanisms and effects of his visual style and the aesthetic and emotional delights it so generously offers.” And Tom Paulus has posted the second part of his essay, “The Attractions of Cinema: Movie Love after the Sixties.”

Walker Art Center curators Fionn Meade and Sheryl Mousley and visiting film scholar Isla Leaver-Yap “discuss ‘the moving image’ and its relationship to frequent synonyms ‘film,’ ‘video’ and ‘cinema.'” And here’s Part 2.

David Bordwell looks back on the three-act structure in Hollywood.

Peter Bogdanovich has posted a second round of notes from his Orson Welles file.

Along with his own essays on Pedro Costa‘s Ne Change Rien (2009), the Coens’ No Country for Old Men (2007) and two films by José Luis Guerín, Jonathan Rosenbaum‘s also recently posted Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa‘s reflections on Abbas Kiarostami‘s Like Someone in Love (2012).

“Discovering a De Palma movie for the first time, soaking up its elaborate formal conceits, is to have one’s eyes opened by boundlessly inventive tricks with time, space, narrative and perspective,” writes Adrian Martin in De Filmkrant.

“Criticism is a matter not only of acknowledging the qualities of films and filmmakers but of fighting for them, and against works that are deadeners of imagination and falsifiers of feeling,” argues the New Yorker‘s Richard Brody.

David Davidson‘s posted his “Archaeology of French Film Criticism Leading up to 1951” as well as an entry on Jean-Luc Godard, the Dziga Vertov Group and Woody Allen.

Speaking of Godard, Roderick Heath revisits Une Femme est une Femme (1961) and Vivre sa Vie: Film en Douze Tableaux (1962).

David Lynch’s Dumbland

At the Dissolve, Noel Murray, Keith Phipps, Nathan Rabin and Scott Tobias discuss David Cronenberg’s Videodrome (1983).

For the New Inquiry, Rahel Aima considers Christian Marclay’s Bollywood Goes to Gstaad, a 17-minute video montage of clips that “span several decades to provide a kitschy, if haphazard… ­picture of Bollywood’s love affair with Switzerland.”

In his latest column for Criterion, Peter Cowie recalls his encounters with Lindsay Anderson.

“Since taking up film history, theory, and criticism in 1984, Wheeler Winston Dixon has authored and edited over 30 book-length works, on titles ranging from the criticism of Truffaut, the history of the horror film, celebrity culture, experimental cinema, and several other topics,” writes Matthew Sorrento at Film International. Dixon’s also been a filmmaker, and “in the late 1960s Dixon was part of the thriving experimental scene.” Sorrento considers a few recently screened works.

“I used to say that The Best Years of Our Lives was like a religion to me.” Braillen Hopper argues that it “can still be religion as needed, and even elegy.” Also at the Los Angeles Review of Books: Wai Chee Dimock on Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive.

Elia Kazan’s Gentleman’s Agreement (1947) “is about passing, requiring the presumably disinterested gentile intermediary of Philip Green to give its audience access to the brutality of anti-Semitism,” writes Saul Austerlitz for Tablet.

Wes Anderson, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray, and Willem Dafoe look back on the making of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

The Stranger‘s Paul Constant: “The aesthetic complaints against Anderson—that his movies are too darling, that they feel artificial, like closed systems—might as well be arguments against film itself.”

“All told, [Tom] Cruise on the couch—the key image of what the gossip blogs deemed his meltdown—is less than three seconds of airtime.” In a cover story for the LA Weekly, Amy Nicholson traces the history of a meme that’s gone a long way towards convincing most that “Cruise was crazy.”

“Whatever else it may be about, Louis Feuillade‘s Tih Minh [1918] is about annihilation,” writes Lukas Foerster.

The latest issue of Interiors examines James Gray’s use of space and distance in The Immigrant.

Curtis Harrington‘s “Night Tide (1961) is a descendent of Cat People (1942),” suggests Josef Braun, who’s also recently revisited Chris Marker‘s La Jetée (1962).

For This Long Century, Alex Ross Perry looks back on his days working at Kim’s Video.

It’s Ken Russell Day at DC’s.

Interviews. Stoffel Debuysere with John Akomfrah at diagonal thoughts, Filipe Furtado with Lav Diaz for Cinética, Alex Zafiris with Alejandro Jodorowsky for BOMB and, for Critical Quarterly, Colin MacCabe‘s 2010 interview with Chris Marker.

“Let’s Go to the Movies with Patton Oswalt”

Summer movie previews. Cheryl Eddy in the San Francisco Bay Guardian and, in the Voice, Aaron Hillis and Chris Klimek.


The 67th edition of the Locarno Film Festival (August 6 through 16) will pay tribute to Víctor Erice, awarding him the Pardo alla carriera and screening “three features and a series of medium-length and short films, whose poetry and profundity have left their mark on European cinema’s recent history.” Locarno artistic director Carlo Chatrian has posted an appreciation of Erice’s work. In Variety, Nick Vivarelli reports that Dario Argento will be another guest; and Martin Dale looks ahead to a Carte Blanche focus on Brazil.


New York. Joshua Yumibe will be delivering a talk tonight at Light Industry: “Chromatic Modernisms: Color Cinema of the Silent Era.”

Austin. The 2014 Paramount Summer Classic Film series is on through September 7 and the Chronicle‘s put together quite the package with Michael King on Cary Grant, Jessi Cape on Humphrey Bogart, Amy Gentry on Joan Crawford, Ashley Moreno on John Candy, Melanie Haupt on Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest, Steve Davis on Spencer Tracy, Alejandro Puyana on Anthony Perkins, Raoul Hernandez on Teresa Wright, Kimberley Jones on Orson Welles, Wayne Alan Brenner on Veronica Lake, Brandon Watson on Shelley Winters and Marjorie Baumgarten on Marlon Brando.

London. On view at the Horse Hospital through June 14: Walerian Borowczyk: Posters and Lithography.

On Friday, Chris Darke will talk about the the significance of the book format for Chris Marker at Claire de Rouen Books.

And a new restoration of An Autumn Afternoon (1962), Ozu’s last film, screens at BFI Southbank through June 12. Recent reviews: Tom Birchenough (Arts Desk), Peter Bradshaw (Guardian, 5/5) and Michael Wood (London Review of Books).

Tony Rayns on F.W. Murnau‘s Faust (1926)

Frankfurt. The 14th Nippon Connection is on from today through Sunday.


Flashmob—that’s the title of the next Michael Haneke film, which will start shooting this summer,” reports Film Comment editor Gavin Smith at the top of his latest news roundup. “It’s a multi-character drama partly set in the U.S., and deals with what Haneke describes as ‘the fragile relationship between media and reality,’ and focuses on a number of people who meet through the Internet, with their disparate stories brought together at the end by a flash mob.”

Apichatpong Weerasethakul will begin shooting Cemetery of Kings in September, reports Jordan Raup at the Film Stage, noting that, in a new Little White Lies interview, Apichatpong “gave a few more details about the ‘science-fiction movie’ that centers around ‘artificial light appearing around [a] group of people,’ saying that it will be his ‘smallest’ production yet and ‘really simple.'”


Jay Carr, film critic for the Boston Globe from 1983 to 2002, “wrote thousands of reviews, end-of-year lists, and features on actors, working at a pace that made run-of-the-mill prolific writers look like slackers.” Bryan Marquard: “For nearly 20 years he averaged roughly a byline a day, seven days a week. Four-review days were not unusual and editions that carried his byline two or three times were commonplace…. ‘Jay was the arbiter of cinematic taste in Boston for two critical decades, bringing countless moviegoers to countless memorable film experiences,’ said Ty Burr, who began reviewing movies for the Globe after Mr. Carr retired.” On May 17, Carr died at the age of 77. More from Ed Siegel at the Artery.

Frances Berrigan, who has died of cancer aged 70, was a pioneering documentary filmmaker and television producer,” writes Martin Durkin for the Guardian. “Her vivacious self-confidence, free spirit, outspokenness and feverish work rate made her perfect for the new independent TV production sector opening up in the UK in the 1980s, which she helped to develop.”

“Photographer Spotlight: Dennis Hopper” via the Los Angeles Review of Books

Swiss cinematographer Carlo Varini, who worked with Luc Besson and Alain Tanner, was killed in a fire on May 17, reports Muriel del Don for Cineuropa.

From the Hollywood Reporter: “Juergen Hellwig, a film executive and producer whose work included the 1977 Alain Resnais film Providence, died April 8 in Los Angeles after a long bout with cancer. He was 66.”

Actor Doug Hale, who appeared in dozens of movies, Michael Mann’s Ali among them, and in television series (The West Wing, Mad Men), died on April 25 at the age of 73. Carmel Dagan has more in Variety.

“Tony Palladino, an innovative graphic designer and illustrator who created one of the most recognizable typographic titles in publishing and film history, the off-kilter, violently slashed block-letter rendering of Psycho, died on May 14 in Manhattan,” reports Steven Heller for the New York Times. “He was 84.”


Listening (76’32”). In a special episode of The Cinephiliacs, Keith Uhlich, Glenn Heath Jr. and Jordan Cronk join Peter Labuza in a discussion of some of the most interesting films that screened at Cannes this year. At the Film Stage, too, Peter revisits some of his favorites.

More listening (30’40”). At the Film Experience, Nick Davis and Nathaniel Rogers talk with Guy Lodge about the best and worst of Cannes 2014. And for more Cannes rankings, see Diego Lerer, Blake Williams and an aggregation of several panels of critics. And why not have a look at the posters as well.

For the New Yorker, Amber Terranova introduces a gallery of photos by Reed Young, recreations of “scenes from iconic American movies, with Italian voice actors standing in for their stateside counterparts.” Cristina Boraschi, for example, who’s been dubbing Julia Roberts for 25 years, poses as Pretty Woman.

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