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The Noteworthy: Delorme on Cahiers, Eastwood on “Stagecoach”, America as Afterimage in “True Detective”

Stéphane Delorme opens up about Cahiers du Cinéma, Clint Eastwood discusses the impact of Stagecoach with Paul Schrader, and more.

Edited by Adam Cook

  • Above: just in time for the 700th issue of Cahiers du Cinéma, Stéphane Delorme, the current editor in chief, chats with Nicholas Elliott for BOMB Magazine:

"DELORME: ...That’s why we write manifestos, because this cinema we would like to see does not exist. So we’re not just saying we want to see it, we’re saying we need it. I wonder what sadistic urge has driven so many filmmakers to bask in either an ample, dark vision of existence or, more often, pathetic little stories that wind up with pathetic little fights. There’s a real indulgence in defeat and cowardice and in dealing with exclusively negative feelings. I wrote about lyricism to ask filmmakers to show us they believe in something, that there’s some hope. If people love other people, if they love actors or places, why don’t they film what they love? Another possible life? We’d like to see it on screen. We are critics and we don’t make films yet, but we ask for those films. So we need to find the right words to criticize the films we see. But we’re also looking for the words to get out of the impasse. We’re trying to find solutions."

  • There are two new interviews in The Brooklyn Rail, one with Manakamana co-directors Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez, and one with Robert Greene, who discusses his latest film, Actress.
  • Above: click here to find a lengthy DGA-conducted discussion from 2011 with Paul Schrader and Clint Eastwood on "the Impact of John Ford's Stagecoach".
  • Richard Brody, writing as always in The Front Row, makes a case for Kenji Mizoguchi as the greatest Japanese filmmaker:

"He views political depredations as inseparable from intimate ones, public failings to be inextricable from private attitudes, and he invents a cinematic style to match. He unites the widest, most comprehensive view of civic life with the most intimate and piercing domestic agonies. It’s a style based on the long take—often with the camera in motion, roving on tracks, swooping on cranes, or swiftly pivoting. The shot keeps the dramatic action of individual characters within the maneuverings at court, backstage turmoil, or in the swarm of political gatherings. His camera will follow a woman fleeing in anguish from the oppressive architecture of a cruel order, out to the liberating promise of a lonely death in the outdoors—a sequence that poses an intimate family discussion against the deep-set power of wealthy authorities.

In effect, Mizoguchi is both Japan’s John Ford, with his emphasis on history and legend, and its Max Ophüls, with the grandly operatic resonances of his highly stylized images."

"True Detective engages the symbolism of the Deep South by leveraging the neglected infrastructure and environmental collapse of contemporary Louisiana for its aesthetic language, tonality and plot. From title design onward, the landscape and the ubiquitous oil refineries have dramatic significance on a par with the show’s protagonists as a nonverbal means by which contesting visions of American-ness are played out against each other."

  • For Artforum, J. Hoberman writes on the films of Sigmar Polke.
  • R. Emmet Sweeney writes about Hedy Lamarr in Edgar G. Ulmer's The Strange Woman in his Movie Morlocks column:

"Most of Ulmer’s effort seems to have gone into Lamarr’s performance, as the rest of the film is an effective but indistinguishable bit of invisible Hollywood craftsmanship. There is a concerted effort to identify Jenny with nature. In her childhood scenes she is shown playfully drowning Ephraim in a creek, her dainty foot pushing his head underwater. Later she urges Ephraim to attack his father during a whitewater rafting trip, while she secures John’s lust during a thunderstorm. These are thoughtfully laid out metaphors of her inhumanity, but they fail to convey the mad energy of her character. Instead they are distanced and coolly objective, a nature doc of a sociopath in the wild."

  • Above: via our Tumblr, an "all steel" home built for Josef von Sternberg in 1935.
  • This is just too bizarre a twist to believe: the Bernie (convicted of murder) portrayed in Richard Linklater's film of the same name may get a conditional release from prison...if he lives with the filmmaker.

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