3.April.2012: Yesterday the MUBI Notebook published Ted Fendt’s translation of French cineaste Luc Moullet’s “Rockefeller’s Melancholy,” an essay about the films of Michelangelo Antonioni. “Drifting is the fundamental subject of Antonioni’s films,” Moullet writes. “They are about beings who don’t know where they are going, who constantly contradict themselves, and are guided by their momentary impulses. We don’t understand what they feel or why they act as they do.” You can stream the Italian auteur’s early films Story of a Love Affair and Il grido, both of which Moullet classes in Antonioni’s “suicidal vein,” on Fandor now. New York’s Museum of the Moving Image opens a five-part program dedicated to Antonioni’s early documentaries this Friday, the day after a scholarly symposium called “The Gaze Elsewhere: Michelangelo Antonioni Centenary” takes place at Queens College, CUNY.
NewFilmmakers continues at Anthology Film Archives tonight with a program of films orbiting India, and Cinespect’s Ryan Wells talks with founder Barney Oldfield about the past and future of the series. Regarding the indie boom in the 1990s Oldfield notes, “There was a slight problem. The indie film business and the Internet industry were illusions. Films were funded by credit cards and not box office. It was not hard to get a credit card back then, offers flooded mailboxes daily. The Internet was operating on Wall Street money, which thought eye balls could easily be turned into cash. No one noticed that outside big cities no one really wanted to see the films we were making; they were still watching Hollywood fare…The strength, or weakness, of indie filmmakers is that they make their films and then try to figure out what to do with them later.”
A week after Stanley Kubrick’s debut feature Fear and Desire made a fresh splash at New Directors/New Films, Mike Springer reflects on the auteur’s earliest documentaries for Open Culture. Of the first of these, Day of the Fight, Springer writes, “Kubrick decided to make a film about middleweight boxer Walter Cartier, who he had done a photo story on for Look the previous year. He rented a spring-loaded 35mm Bell & Howell Eyemo camera and dived into the project. ‘I was cameraman, director, editor, assistant editor, sound effects man—you name it, I did it,” Kubrick told [Joseph] Gelmis. ‘It was invaluable experience, because being forced to do everything myself I gained a sound and comprehensive grasp of all the technical aspects of filmmaking.’”
The Hollywood Reporter announced a deal yesterday that empowers Miramax to license the Samuel Goldwyn Film Library’s extensive Hollywood holdings. “As part of the agreement, Miramax will license content across a wide range of TV and digital platforms, including free and premium linear services; subscription and ad-supported video-on-demand; and distribution of Goldwyn films such as Guys and Dolls, The Bishop’s Wife, Wuthering Heights, Pride of the Yankees and The Best Years of Our Lives (which won an Oscar for best picture in 1946), among other classics.”
Slate is one of many online sites to embed David Lynch’s new music video for his own song, the title track of his own album Crazy Clown Time. “In Lynch’s distinctly surrealistic style, the video evokes the worst kind of frat-party hedonism…and that point toward the end of any good party when it starts to turn sour,” Forrest Wickman writes. “As long as the status of any future Lynch movie is uncertain, it serves as a short but fully-realized dose to hold fans over.”