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Daily Briefing. Walter Hill and Stuart Cooper in the 70s

While Hill’s The Warriors and The Driver screen in New York, Cooper’s other Silver Bear winner is out on Blu-ray.

Brooklyn Close-Up, a monthly series at BAMcinématek, opens tonight with The Warriors (1979) and James Hughes spoke with Walter Hill recently for the Voice. Hill: "[T]his vaguely futuristic, science-fiction movie — why was it so audience-friendly? I don't exactly have the answer. I wish I did." Hughes: "Disturbing to admirers of the film is the specter of a remake, which was at one time attached to director Tony Scott, who planned to move the action to contemporary LA. Its future remains unclear. 'I have no idea what the studio plans are,' Hill says. 'They don't call me. The producer tells me they've spent five times as much in developing a sequel as we did to make the movie. I made my version. Somebody else wants to take a shot at it, good luck.'"

On Saturday, Hill will be at MoMA for a screening of another of his landmark works: "His most underappreciated and airtight film, The Driver (1978) takes the top spot among West Coast car-chase standards like the original Gone in 60 Seconds and Bullitt (for which Hill served as second assistant director). 'I'm told there's also a similarity in the new movie Drive,' he says, succinctly." Alt Screen has a roundup.

George Harrison's first foray into film production, notes John Patterson in the Guardian, was not Monty Python's Life of Brian but Stuart Cooper's adaptation of David Halliwell's play Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs. "It was made in 1973, won the Silver Bear at Berlin in 1974, and then was lost to public view for nearly four decades as one of the many contested assets of what Cooper today calls 'the Beatles' divorce." John Hurt plays Malcolm, "an impotent, powerless nobody sustained by hopeless compensation-fantasies, a recently expelled art student who sees himself as at war with what he calls 'the Eunarchy' of social conformists and the sexually timid." He rails in "language that's part-Beckett, part 'free love' advocate Wilhelm Reich, with more than a hint of the Beatles' beloved Goons. In some moments there are clear pre-echoes of David Thewlis in Naked and the mad squabbling of Withnail & I. This is a 40-year-old movie that hasn't dated an hour." And Patterson talks with Cooper (who'd win another Silver Bear the following year for Overlord) about, among other things, partying in Berlin with Fassbinder. Cooper: "He loved Malcolm, and watching him — I think everyone has a pretty clear idea of how Fassbinder looked at that point; scruffy, sunglasses, leather, unkempt beard — watching him drinking with Johnny Hurt with his horrible scruffy beard, and still dressed like Malcolm, really — they could have been twins! Fassbinder could have played Malcolm!" Update: Paul Gallagher has more at Dangerous Minds.

J Hurtado reviews the Blu-ray at Twitch and the BFI has a trailer. Also out from the BFI's Flipside label, as Phelim O'Neill notes in the Guardian are Richard Lester's The Bed Sitting Room (1969), "a Spike Milligan-scripted post-apocalyptic comedy that sees Britain populated by a dozen or so oddballs after a nuclear incident. And there's Peter Watkins's stunning Privilege, which, for 1967, was ludicrously ahead of its time in predicting how packaged and cynical pop music was to become. These films were often made outside, or more accurately below, the major studios or even the established indies; director Lindsay Shonteff regularly remortgaged his house to finance such wonderfully sleazy titles as 1970's grim groupie tale Permissive."

Listening (70'54"). NPR is streaming David Lynch's new album, Crazy Clown Time.

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