Rushes: Dunham | Welles | Rose

2.April.2012: Tiny Furniture writer-director Lena Dunham traces some of her influences with the weeklong BAMcinématek program “Hey, Girlfriend!.” It opens tonight with Nora Ephron’s This Is My Life and Dunham and Ephron in conversation. “Humble narcissist, chronic oversharer, and compulsive exhibitionist, Lena Dunham is today’s unparalleled quarter-life chronicler,” begins Melissa Anderson’s overview for The Village Voice. Besides detailing Ephron’s particular influence on Dunham, Anderson looks over some of Dunham’s other “smart, idiosyncratic” choices and discusses their reverberations in Dunham’s forthcoming HBO series, Girls: “The boy-crazy roomies in Girls played by Allison Williams and Dunham are so close that they spoon in bed and share the tub—behavior that hints at the richest subject, whether treated implicitly or explicitly, in ‘Hey, Girlfriend!’: the often permeable boundary that divides platonic relationships from non- among women.” After the first three episodes of the show premiered at South by Southwest The L Magazine’s Mark Asch had a different angle on these gender dynamics: “Aside from gratifyingly articulate characters and light social-mortification slapstick, much of the comedy here derives from the fact that its characters are, after all, the ones who hear the stupid things guys say in the sack.” Those wanting a lot more Dunham are directed towards Emily Nussbaum cover story for New York.

Tim Robey reports for The Telegraph on Turner Prize-nominated Fiona Banner’s live-streamed performance this past weekend of Orson Welles’s Heart of Darkness script. “The political subtext of Welles’s script can’t have been the only thing that made [RKO president George] Schaefer and his underlings quiver with uncertainty,” he writes. “The screenplay begins with an on-camera ‘screen test’ in which he asks the audience to assume the role of a caged canary…Welles visualises Marlow’s voyage as an implicating, first-person journey of discovery. ‘I’ve never seen a script that dedicates so much space to camera,’ says Banner. ‘You feel that if this film had been made, Hollywood might have been a different place.’”

Heart of Darkness was one of many phantoms of Welles’s filmography, and Jonathan Rosenbaum reprinted an article on another for his blog this weekend. Welles’s Don Quixote “remained an active project for almost the last three decades of Welles’ life. Starting around the early ’70s, Welles jokingly planned to call it ‘When Will You Finish Don Quixote?’ And the question we used to ask Welles we now have to ask ourselves—namely, how can we find closure? But maybe we should be asking ourselves instead, should we find closure? For I would argue that, more than any other Welles project, Don Quixote remained unfinished by choice.”

Jason Hedrick reports on experimental filmmaker Peter Rose’s presentation of work at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, beginning by noting that “the influences cited careened from Borges to Bruegel to Clint Eastwood” in Rose’s introductory remarks. Hedrick continues, “The works screened proved true to these multiple points of entry, but offer up an experience tied so tightly to the physical reaction caused by the perceptive challenges of the films that, taken on their own, they communicate something much less intellectual and more potent than the mere linking of his images to their specific points of reference.”

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