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Rushes: Remembering John Singleton, “To Die For” at 20, Defending Romantic Comedies

This week’s essential news, articles, sounds, videos and more from the film world.
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NEWS
Director John Singleton on the set of his Boyz in the Hood
  • John Singleton has died at the age of 51 after suffering a stroke. In an essential overview of the filmmaker's groundbreaking career, K. Austin Collins writes "[Singleton's] black characters were flawed, often failures; his films detailed the extent to which these failures were personal, and made clear when they were systemic. Singleton’s black people were human."
  • A newly discovered sequel to A Clockwork Orange details Anthony Burgess's exploration of "the moral panic that followed the release of Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation."
RECOMMENDED VIEWING
  • The first trailer for Apocalypse Now: Final Cut, a 4K restoration of Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 film that has been re-edited, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the film.
  • How did we miss this one? Ringu director Hideo Nakata has revised and rebooted his famous horror film of analog ghosts for the age of YouTube. Here's the first (sans English subtitles) trailer for Sadako.
  • Cinema Guild has released its trailer for The Wandering Soap Opera, an unfinished 1990 Raúl Ruiz project, posthumously completed in 2017 by Ruiz's wife and collaborator Valeria Sarmiento. We wrote about the film upon its premiere at the Locarno Festival.
 
RECOMMENDED READING
Gus Van Sant's To Die For.
  • Looking back at Gus Van Sant's To Die For on its 20th anniversary, Durga Chew-Bose reflects on the film's combination of seduction and corruption, themes of female narcissism, and the numerous women behind its production.
  • Marking the restoration of Djibril Diop Mambéty's Hyenas, Metrograph has re-published a 1999 interview with Mambéty in which he discusses the process of creating a "continental" and "universal" film.
  • Filmmaker Pamela Green's documentary, Be Natural: the Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché, arrives in American theaters this month. Green explains the mission of the archival project to Hyperallergic: "We need to support her story because we don’t want her to get lost again."
  • Wesley Morris makes a moving, compelling case for the romantic comedy, "the only genre committed to letting relatively ordinary people [...] figure out how to deal meaningfully with another human being."
RECENTLY ON THE NOTEBOOK
  • Amidst the Tribeca Film Festival, director Kim Bora joined us to discuss House of Hummingbird, her nuanced and moving debut about a fourteen-year-old girl growing up in the 1990s.
  • Sean Gilman continues his exploration of contemporary Chinese cinema with the North American arrival of big new films by Stephen Chow, Herman Yau, and Jiang Wen.
  • Artist Lalya Gaye writes on Djibril Diop Mambéty's prescient masterpiece Hyenas in the event of its new restoration.
  • In the latest entry of his column on the world of film festivals, film programmer Eric Allen Hatch asks how can we create alternative, sustainable film communities.
  • "Before sound came into film, no one had ever moved like James Cagney, and no one has since." Carlos Valladres celebrates the virtuoso physicality of James Cagney.
EXTRAS
  • American Actor Tyrese Gibson honors the "selfless legend" John Singleton, and the genesis of their collaboration on 2001's Baby Boy in this touching Instagram video.
 

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