We begin in New York with the announcement from the Film Society of Lincoln Center that, in the week running up to the 51st New York Film Festival (September 27 through October 13), NYFF: Opening Act will showcase “past work from the filmmakers who will debut their latest films in the festival’s Main Slate,” including the Coen Brothers, Claire Denis, Arnaud Desplechin, Lav Diaz, James Gray, Paul Greengrass, Spike Jonze, and Hirokazu Kor-eda.”
Meantime, Far From Vietnam begins its week-long run today at the FSLC as part of the ongoing Cinema of Resistance series. It’s “a cataract of antiwar activism delivered by a dream team of New Wavers,” writes Michael Atkinson in the Times: “Chris Marker, Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, Claude Lelouch, Agnès Varda, the fashion photographer-turned-filmmaker William Klein and the old-guard Dutch documentarian Joris Ivens…. When Far From Vietnam was originally shown in the United States, in the political 1967 edition of the New York Film Festival, the reaction was tumultuous: applause clashed with explosive boos, and, the Guardian reported, anti-Communist catcalls of ‘Moscow gold!’ could be heard in the audience, suggesting the Soviet Union had financed the film. The critic Jonathan Rosenbaum was in attendance and said via e-mail that he remembered many patrons dismissing the film as ‘”simply” Commie propaganda.’ In Paris the right-wing extremist group Occident reacted to the film by vandalizing theaters and slashing seats.”
Austin. As The School of Rock turns ten, Chase Hoffberger talks with Richard Linklater, Mike White (who wrote the screenplay), and Jack Black in the Chronicle. Tonight, Kimberley Jones will chat with White, and tomorrow, the Austin Film Society will screen School at the Paramount. Also in the Chronicle, by the way, Dan Solomon talks with Andrew Bujalski about Computer Chess.
London. As a prelude to this autumn’s four-month-long Gothic season, the BFI presents a Monster Weekend at the British Museum, beginning tomorrow with Jacques Tourneur’s Night of the Demon (1957) and following up with Terence Fisher‘s Dracula (1958) on Friday and The Mummy (1959) on Saturday. “What a tremendous aesthetic those early Hammer films had,” writes Antonia Quirke in the Financial Times. “The flabbergasting use of scarlet and pea-green. The thrifty reworking of the sets at the homely Bray Studios from scene to scene and movie to movie. The Wagnerian soundtracks and theatre-of-the-absurd razzmatazz of the openings–Dracula premiered at the Gaumont in Haymarket with an enormous hoarding of the vampire dripping neon blood on to a female neck as plump and moon-pale as an Edwardian schoolgirl’s.” For the BFI, curator Vic Pratt explains why he loves Demon, while Samuel Wigley shows us a page from assistant director Basil Keys’s annotated shooting script. And Kevin Lyons argues that Fisher’s Dracula remains the best of all adaptations of Bram Stoker’s novel.
Vienna. Carnival of Souls: Horror Movies 1918-1966 opens on Friday at the Austrian Film Museum and runs through October 17.
News. “Joshua Oppenheimer’s award-winning The Act of Killing garnered wide acclaim and the year’s best nonfiction debut this summer,” writes Jen Yamato at Deadline. “But the filmmakers believe the docu, in which ex-death squad leaders of the 1965-1966 Indonesian genocide reenact their own atrocities for the camera, can’t have a traditional release in the country where said mass murderers are still celebrated as national heroes. So the film’s most significant release will come in September when Drafthouse Films and VICE open the pic in Indonesia—for free.”
“Lumière will be showcasing Traveling Light (Gina Telaroli, 2011, 58’) this fall (November-December) in conjunction with screenings of the film all around the world, to remember and celebrate that cinema is a communal art and that the digital technology that allows us to so easily share cinema on computer screens alone in our apartments also makes it easier for us to organize our own screenings in public spaces.”
Reading. “In the 1980s, some of the most ardent, persistent, and perspicacious champions of the American avant-garde—P. Adams Sitney, Fred Camper, Noel Carroll, J. Hoberman—made declarations to the effect that the movement was in a state of profound crisis.” That’s Paul Arthur in his 2004 book A Line of Sight: American Avant-Garde Film Since 1965, as quoted at Making Light of It at the top of an entry gathering several of those original declarations of death.
Pasolini Study Day, a program of talks, discussions and screenings, has come and gone, but as Catherine Grant points out, you can listen to the proceedings for free. Catherine also alerts us to a new issue of World Picture, “left,” featuring, among other pieces, Tania Modleski on Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights (1997), Agustín Zarzosa on Vincente Minnelli’s The Cobweb (1955), Alexander García Düttmann on Hollis Frampton’s (nostalgia) (1971), and Evan Calder Williams on Guy Debord, who “both did and did not make six films.”
David Davidson‘s posted Cahiers du Cinéma‘s 1982 interview with Brian De Palma.
In the works. “Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul, Sigourney Weaver, and John Turturro have been tapped to join the cast of [Ridley Scott’s] Moses pic Exodus, starring Christian Bale,” reports Variety‘s Justin Kroll. “Paul is still in negotiations while Weaver and Turturro’s deals are closed.”
Kroll also broke the news yesterday that the “long-gestating James Brown biopic” now has its James Brown: 42 star Chadwick Boseman. Tate Taylor (The Help) will direct.
“Downton Abbey star Allen Leech [he plays chauffeur Tom Branson] will appear alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley in Imitation Game, a film about the life and career of Enigma scientist Alan Turing,” reports Alice Vincent in the Telegraph.