- Studio Ghibli has announced that both Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata's new films will be released in Japan next summer.
- Raya Martin and Mark Peranson are currently filming a project in Mexico titled La ultima pelicula starring Alex Ross Perry:
"The fiction-documentary hybrid takes place in the context of the pending Mayan Apocalypse, when a filmmaker and his guide traverse the Mexican countryside with the goal of making the last movie, a contemporary update of the acid Western. Alex Ross Perry, Gabino Rodriguez and Iazua Larios star in the project, which takes inspiration from the myths of the American West constructed by filmmakers Sam Peckinpah, Monte Hellman and Dennis Hopper."
- Film Comment has announced its top 50 films of the year (topped by Holy Motors), as well as the top 50 undistributed films of the year, a list which includes Traveling Light by Notebook contributor Gina Telaroli.
- Indiewire has announced the results of their critics poll (Holy Motors strikes again), with individual ballots from all the voters, though you'll have to do some clicking around on your own to look at those. To help you with some of the navigating, here are links to the participating contributors from the Notebook: Adrian Curry, Daniel Kasman, David Phelps, Michael Sicinski, Gina Telaroli, and mine (you have to scroll down to the bottom to find other ballot entries such as "Best Performance" and "Best Undistributed Film").
- Some disconcerting news from Jeonju: 8 employees have resigned from JIFF, including Ji-Hoon Jo, the programmer behind the Jeonju Digital Project. The festival appointed a new festival director, Ko Suk-man, a few months ago, and word is that he has a very different vision for the festival, which until now has earned an impressive reputation as a beacon for cinephilia.
- The Berlin International Film Festival continues to announce its lineup for February piece by piece. The latest announcement: Wong Kar-Wai's The Grandmaster will be the opening film.
- Above: via Vermillion and One Nights, a "photograph of Cafe Ginza at Buchanan Street in San Francisco on December 9 1941":
"It speaks volumes, many different stories ... the Japanese American Community of the prewar era, the strange calmness of the morning after Japanese attack on U.S. soil, the photographer who took this photograph (John Collier), and the demise that would fall upon the proprietor of the Cafe and the doctor next door in coming years. But for now, we would visit Bukkyo-Kai Hall (Buddhist Temple Hall) and Kinmon Hall (Kinmon is the literal translation of “Golden Gate”) on the nights of 6 and 7 of December, to entertain ourselves with three movies."
- Above, via a tip from Christoph Hochhäusler, Mathilde Lesueur's amazing chart for the relationships in Eric Rohmer's Pauline at the Beach (click for a larger version). Visit her website for the animation, which brings to mind Henry James' geometrical plotting of characters through story (or vice versa).
- Via Indiewire, Jessica Kiang interviews James Gray about his new film (apparently reverted back to the title "Lowlife") and the state of American movies:
"[Class is] not discussed in American life very much -- there’s a notion that social or economic class divides don’t exist when of course they do. But that wasn't always true in film -- think of John Ford, it’s always all over his films. The idea of Vertigo is partly genius because of social class -- the idea is he has to make Kim Novak up to the fancier version of Kim Novak in order to rekindle his obsession. So class becomes part of that story. Today, I mean, what social class can you find if someone’s a fucking Spider-Man? What the fuck does that mean?"
- Above: "1930s Shanghai film star Wang Ren Mei." We're very excited to see editor of The Chiseler and Notebook contributor Daniel Riccuito beginning a collaboration with If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger, There'd Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats. He's already got a series 11 images deep into that mysterious subject of the "Bezark", so it's safe to say this'll be a beautiful partnership.
- Above: the trailer for Kazik Radwanski's Tower, which is getting a release in Canada, but is still seeking American distribution.
- Above: a Guillaume sighting discovered while taking a second look at Johnnie To's Romancing in Thin Air.
From the archives.
- Via Howling Wretches, Jean Renoir on André Bazin from a 1959 issue of Cahiers du cinéma (translation by Ted Fendt):
"Certain directors of films, whose work André Bazin analyzed so scrupulously, will only remain in man’s memory because their names will be read in his books. Their worth is not in question. To tell the truth, it matters little to me. I’m grateful to them for having inspired a clear poet, an artist who, by dint of objective humility, made his work the moving expression of his generous personality."