A few years ago in Mexico City, Avi Davis discovered that he was living just a few blocks away from Nick Zedd, who, in the 70s and 80s, coined the term Cinema of Transgression and worked with the likes of Richard Kern and Lydia Lunch. Now he’s profiled Zedd for Vice: “Zedd has deliberately spent his career on the fringe, creating films that few people can tolerate. So his bitterness about not making money was hard to understand. Was his move to Mexico the ultimate rejection of New York’s yuppification, or was it just a concession to poverty and middle age? Did he truly scorn friends who’d profited in the internet age, or was he jealous of them? Was he well preserved or childish? Deep down, Zedd seemed to think that history had cheated him, and he wanted me to think so too.”
Filmmaker‘s running a generous excerpt from Jeff Lipsky‘s forthcoming memoir. Jumping from preparation for his sixth film, Mad Women (opening in July) to his days as a young distributor in the 70s through to the present, the cast here features New Yorker Films founder Dan Talbot, John Cassavetes, Lasse Hallström and a slew of cameos.
“I hope to entertain on as many levels as possible at once, even hundreds.” That’s Peter Greenaway, talking to Ray Pride in 1995, the year of The Pillow Book. The interview appeared a year later in Newcity, but is now online for the first time.
Writing for Criterion, Glenn Kenny examines the many ways in which Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now (1973) “is intimately intertwined with the genesis of [Robert Wyatt’s] classic album,” Rock Bottom (1974).
Jonathan Rosenbaum on paintings by Manny Farber: “The co-existence of formalism and realism in Farber’s taste—like the subtle superimpositions of American and European landscapes in paintings devoted to Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet (Thinking About ‘History Lessons’) and Wim Wenders (Roads and Tracks)—testify to the tacit refusal of Farber to allow a single frame of reference or point of entry to dominate his compositions. If indeed these are narrative paintings, as Farber himself claims, they tell stories whose heroes are implicitly mocked and/or obscured by compositional tactics and patterns which make them anything but masters of their surrounding spaces—dwarfed by outsize objects, cut off from the very ground on which they stand.”
Brogan Morris on Montgomery Clift for Movie Mezzanine: “He showed off the method before Brando. He was the rebel before Dean. He was the guy who made Burt Lancaster nervous acting opposite someone of such talent.”
At the Atlantic, James Fallows has been chronicling the rise and fall of “the stagey, quasi-British diction that is familiar from FDR speeches and mid-century newsreels but now has completely disappeared.”
At the Talkhouse Film, Josh Safdie and Alex Ross Perry discuss Entourage, both the show and the movie. Alex Ross Perry: “I do actually feel in my limited interactions with Hollywood that there’s more reality in it than anyone would care to admit. Except for people in Los Angeles, who happily admit, ‘Oh yeah, things are way worse than what you see on the show.'”
For the Quietus, Karl Smith talks with Alejandro Jodorowsky “about the social purpose of myth, the tyranny of capitalism and fossil fuel extraction, the art of Twitter and his life-long mission to heal himself and the world.”
A clip from Listen to Me Marlon
The new issue of Bright Wall/Dark Room is out and freely accessible to nonsubscribers are essays from Matt Brennan on Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty (2012) and Kate Horowitz on Woody Allen’s Sweet and Lowdown (1999).
IN OTHER NEWS
Rochester, New York. Eastman House is staging a retrospective of films by Dan Sallitt, who notes: “I got to choose three movies by other filmmakers to accompany my three screenings; one of these is the U.S. premiere of Paul Negoescu’s excellent A Month in Thailand,” which screens on Saturday. The series begins with The Unspeakable Act (2013) on Friday.
London. As the Marilyn Monroe season rolls on throughout June at BFI Southbank, Christina Newland notes that “each director Marilyn worked with—from Billy Wilder to George Cukor—helped to piece together a part of her persona.” She considers ten collaborations.
IN THE WORKS
At Cigarettes and Red Vines, the “Definitive Paul Thomas Anderson Resource,” Bryan Tap notes that PTA is considering shooting his next project, whatever that may be, using the 70mm anamorphic format, “a much wider frame than The Master‘s 70mm spherical.”
“The last we heard about Michael Haneke’s long-developing Flashmob, he was waiting for an unnamed actress’s schedule to clear up so could make his movie about a group of characters who connect through the internet and are brought together by the titular event at the end,” writes the Playlist‘s Kevin Jagernauth, who cites a report in Le Parisien on a change of plan. Haneke’s dropping Flashmob for a film “that will take place in France. Of course, what it’s about, when it might shoot, or other such details haven’t been disclosed.”
Jack Reynor, Sam Riley and Noah Taylor have joined Sharlto Copley, Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, Michael Smiley, Enzo Cilenti and Babou Ceesay in the cast of Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire,” reports Deadline‘s Ali Jafaar. “Filming commenced June 8. Martin Scorsese is exec producing the action thriller, set in Boston in the late 1970’s, follows a woman (Larson), who has brokered a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two Irishmen (Murphy and Smiley) and a gang (led by Hammer and Copley) who are selling them a stash of guns. But when shots are fired in the handover, a heart-stopping game of survival ensues.”
“Brad Pitt has been looking for a lover for his next WWII movie and he has finally found one in Oscar winner Marion Cotillard, who’s in negotiations to join him in the untitled period film that Robert Zemeckis is directing,” reports TheWrap‘s Jeff Sneider. “Pitt and Cotillard will play assassins who fall in love during a mission to kill a German official. They soon marry, but their romance is cut short when Pitt is told that his wife is a double agent working for the German government and he must kill her.” And the screenplay’s by Steven Knight (Locke).
Joachim Lafosse has begun shooting L’Economie du Couple with Bérénice Béjo and Cédric Kahn, reports Aurore Engelen at Cineuropa. “The film tells the story of the separation of Marie and Thierry, who break up after living together for ten years. She bought the apartment they live in with their children but he’s the one who completely renovated it. As Thierry can’t afford to find somewhere else to live, they are forced to remain living together. On the day of reckoning, each tries to hold on to what they think they contributed to their life together.”
“Marco J. Ramirez, the scribe who will be co-showrunning the second season of Netflix’s Daredevil, will write Akira, the Warner Bros. long-in-the-works adaptation of the Japanese manga classic.” Borys Kit has details in the Hollywood Reporter.
“Mary Ellen Trainor, an actress who appeared in all four Lethal Weapon films and in several movies directed by her then-husband, Oscar winner Robert Zemeckis, has died. She was 62.” Mike Barnes has more in the Hollywood Reporter.
“Vincent Bugliosi, who prosecuted Charles Manson and went on to co-write bestseller Helter Skelter about the trial, died Saturday at 80,” reports Variety‘s Pat Saperstein. “Bugliosi also wrote the book The Prosecution of the American President on which the 2013 film Parkland was based.”
In the Guardian, Peter Everington remembers Peter Sisam, a stills photographer who lived to be a 100.
Listening (34’33”). From Karina Longworth, You Must Remember This #45: Charles Manson’s Hollywood, Part 2: How Manson Found His Family.
Viewing (9’20”). Laura Poitras introduces The Art of Dissent at the New York Times: “Ai Weiwei and Jacob Appelbaum are artists, journalists, dissidents, polymaths—and targets. Their respective governments, China and the United States, monitor their every move…. In April, Ai and Appelbaum met in Beijing to collaborate on an art project commissioned by Rhizome and the New Museum in New York. As a filmmaker, and as a target of state surveillance myself, I am deeply interested in the way being watched and recorded affects how we act, and how watching the watchers, or counter-surveillance, can shift power. I was asked to film their project.”