25.April.2012: The 10th annual Independent Film Festival Boston gets underway tonight with a screening of Sleepwalk with Me with co-writer Ira Glass in attendance. Ty Burr and Wesley Morris begin their coverage for The Boston Globe, “A little over a decade ago, two Boston movie fanatics named Jason Redmond and Adam Roffman ran into each other at the Sundance Film Festival and wondered why there was nothing remotely like that back home. Thanks to them, there now is.”
Another day, another announcement from Cannes: this time it’s the full Directors’ Fortnight lineup. The section includes new work by Michel Gondry and Ben Wheatley, Raúl Ruiz’s final film, and Rodney Ascher’s acclaimed documentary investigation of the manifold interpretations of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The aptly named Room 237 has been acquired by IFC Midnight, according to a recent Deadline Hollywood report.
David Thomson cries foul at the Cinemark’s “restoration” of The Godfather Part II in the pages of The New Republic. Quoting from the chain’s press release, Thomson writes, “‘The digital images will be delivered by a Doremi server and a Barco DLP digital projector, which offers the brightest light standards in the industry…’ At which point, you may recall the daring of Gordon Willis and Coppola making this one of the most shadowy of color films.” From here, Thomson goes on to wonder if the first two parts of Francis Ford Coppola’s saga would stand a chance of unseating Citizen Kane from its pole position of Sight & Sound’s upcoming survey of all-time greatest films if critics were allowed to select the two parts as a single entity.
Amy Taubin steers Artforum readers to the current installment of MoMA’s 1980-Now show featuring films by Stan Brakhage and Jean-Luc Godard’s monumental Histoire(s) du Cinéma. The significance of their inclusion in the museum galleries isn’t lost on Taubin: “I count it as a major institutional breakthrough to have motion pictures from the Department of Film’s collection exhibited as if they were—and indeed they are—integral to the definition of contemporary art, rather than an addendum to be programmed in a world apart in the basement Titus theaters.” She notes that “Brakhage has never been shown to such advantage before,” but closes her report with JLG: “My taste privileges Godard—always has, always will…I suspect that most of the people on the benches came into the room to rest and were then mesmerized by [Histoire(s) du Cinéma’s] flow of images—the unimaginably beautiful and unspeakably horrific freed from their original narrative context and refigured within Godard’s gnomic voiceover commentary. Not merely meta, but the thing itself, a motion picture like no other.”
Speaking of the monumental, the Criterion Collection released its double DVD collection of Hollis Frampton’s oeuvre, A Hollis Frampton Odyssey, yesterday. Criterion has published Ed Halter’s essay and Frampton’s own script for a performative lecture delivered at Hunter College in 1968. A thoughtful consideration of the conundrum of Frampton on DVD comes courtesy of Giampaolo Bianconi writing for Idiom. After noting the set only includes the “most famous entries” of the Hapax Legomena series, excluding Travelling Matte, Bianconi writes that “The incomplete overview offered by Criterion may be more fitting for Frampton than a totally historicizing retrospective.”