15.March.2012: Austin’s South by Southwest has announced its jury and audience awards. Among the big winners: Adam Leon’s Gimme the Loot took home the Narrative Feature Grand Jury prize, while Ginger Baker portrait Beware of Mr. Baker won the same category for Documentary. Annie Eastman’s Bay of All Saints was the audience’s pick for Best Documentary Feature, while Megan Griffith’s Eden was audience favorite for Narrative Feature. The L Magazine’s Mark Asch recommends Gimme the Loot, which he points out is also playing at New York’s New Directors/New Films next week: “Loosely inspired, it would seem, by a 20-year-old public-access TV clip in which two graffiti artists challenge their peers to tag the Shea Stadium home run apple, the film follows two tagging teens over the course of a couple of summer days, as they try to hustle up some cash.” Regarding Beware of Mr. Baker, The Washington Post’s Kris Coronado has several pages on the unusual circumstances under which first-time director Jay Bulger achieved access to the legendary Cream drummer. They involve Bulger posing as a Rolling Stone journalist, his living with the drummer in South African isolation, and some notable on-camera fisticuffs.
British director Terence Davies and actress Rachel Weisz will be at BAMcinématek tonight for the New York premiere of The Deep Blue Sea, Davis’ adaptation of the Terrence Rattigan play. Tomorrow Davies moves to the Harvard Film Archive for another screening of the new film, which earned several raves when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last September. Writing for The Los Angeles Weekly last week in advance of Davies’ appearance at the Aero Theatre, Doug Cummings applauded a new print of the director’s 1992 film, The Long Day Closes: “With its baroque blend of working-class ritual, graceful camera movements and expressive movie sound clips and music, the film is one of the cinema’s great memory fantasias.” For The Village Voice, Nick Pinkerton speaks to Davies about his nostalgia for the atmosphere and manners in the past: “‘The first thing that goes is subtlety; the first thing that goes is any kind of restraint or even wit sometimes. I don’t know how to deal with that in the modern world.’” “In adapting the [new] film,” Pinkerton writes, “Davies bashed Rattigan’s talky, exposition-heavy play to bits and fashioned the fragments into a mosaic of telling moments.”
That last description might well apply to one of Fandor’s four new featured films of the week: Daguerréotypes, Agnès Varda’s striking investigation of shouting distance. Significantly more outré is Italian horror legend Mario Bava’s The Whip and the Flesh streaming here in its uncut European widescreen version. Also on the front page this week are Nothing Sacred, a Technicolor screwball gem featuring one of Ben Hecht’s funniest scripts and Carole Lombard’s looniest performances, and There’s Nothing You Can Do, a curious performance piece by modern screwball titans Benny and Josh Safdie.