Rushes: SXSW | Rotterdam | Hitchcock | Featured


2.February.2012: South by Southwest announced its complete film lineup yesterday. The festival runs March 9 through 17. The list of domestic or world premieres includes Guy Maddin’s Keyhole (see Jonathan Marlow’s expansive interview with the Canadian director); a sneak peak at Lena Dunham’s (Tiny Furniture) HBO series, “Girls”; The Cabin the Woods, co-written by Joss Whedon; Caveh Zahedi’s latest reflexive documentary, The Sheik and I; music docs shining light on Bob Marley (Marley), Bad Brains (Bad Brains: Band in DC), rock photographer Bob Gruen (Rock ‘N’ Roll Exposed), and a latter-day Festival Express tour (Big Easy Express); and Ernst Lubitsch’s silent classic The Oyster Princess with an original live score by Austin band Bee vs. Moth.

The International Film Festival Rotterdam announced two awards given at the close of this year’s CineMart project proposals: Ducharon by Attenberg director Atina Rachel Tsangari won the ARTE France Cinéma Award and Nikola Ljuca’s debut Humidity won the Eurimages Co-Production Development Award. A Special Mention went to Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox. Returning to the finished films actually screening in Rotterdam, the Celluloid Liberation Front praises The Legend of Kaspar Hauser, an Italian version of the Hauser story starring Vincent Gallo: “It’s hard to find adequate words to convey the rare beauty of this film, for its visions are of a primeval kind; its expressive thrust passes through your guts before hitting your head. The epic pulse of techno music inflates the long shots with a visceral evocation, investing the spectator with the sheer force of vision.”

Since 2010 the National Film Preservation Board has been working in collaboration with the New Zealand Film Archive and several other organizations to preserve nitrate prints of rare silent films discovered in New Zealand, many of them previously thought to be lost. One of those rediscovered treasures was The White Shadow, “an atmospheric melodrama starring Betty Compson in a dual role as twin sisters—one angelic and the other ‘without a soul.’” So why all the fuss for this 1924 feature? Simple: “The White Shadow appears to be the earliest surviving feature credited to [Alfred] Hitchcock, the film’s writer, assistant director, art director, and editor.” No wonder then that popular film bloggers Marilyn Ferdinand, Roderick Heath, Farran Nehme have joined forces again for the third “For the Love of Film” film preservation blogathon. Slated for May 13 through 18, the fundraiser aims to collect $15,000 to get the film scored and streaming at the National Film Preservation site.

Streaming right now on Fandor are four fresh featured films: pioneering director Alex Cox’s (Repo Man, Highway Patrolman) adaptation of Thomas Middleton’s Jacobean revenge play titled, sensibly enough, Revengers Tragedy; Jim McBride’s (David Holzman’s Diary) obscure post-apocalyptic road drama, Glen and Randa; Simple Nature, a short documentary portrait of world-famous physicist Leonard Susskind; and Chinese auteur Ying Liang’s The Other Half, which rated as New Yorker critic Richard Brody’s tenth favorite film of the 2000s.

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