- A new Notebook publication has been released into the world! Our limited-edition, print-only Notebook Cannes Special is exclusively available at the Cannes Film Festival. It includes interviews with Souleymane Cissé and Alice Rohrwacher, an insider’s guide to the festival, a crossword, a comic, and much more. The publication is pictured above, but the bright red Pantone color must be seen on the page to be truly appreciated! (As an online preview: Yasmina Price's interview with Souleymane Cissé is available online.)
- In production news, writer Durga Chew-Bose will make her directorial debut with an adaptation of Françoise Sagan's Bonjour Tristesse, starring Chloë Sevigny and Claes Bang (The Square). Filming began last week in the south of France.
- Noémie Merlant (of Portrait of a Lady on Fire) is preparing her second film as a director: a comedy horror film about three roommates in Marseille during a heatwave. Cowritten with Céline Sciamma, The Balconettes explores, in Merlant’s words, “how women suffer and how we use our humor as a weapon.” It also begins filming this summer.
- Mike Leigh is also quietly filming a new project in London. Details are scant, but it is set in the post-pandemic, contemporary world, a departure from his recent period pieces like Peterloo (2018) and Mr. Turner (2014).
- After a workshop in the Peruvian jungle held in 2022, Playlab Films will host its next edition of CREATORS LAB in the Yucatán province of Mexico. Fifty filmmakers will join Apichatpong Weerasethakul to take part in the program. Entries are open until June 15.
- Poor Things, the latest from “Greek Weird Wave” stalwart Yorgos Lanthimos, now has a fresh trailer and synopsis. An adaptation of a 1992 novel by Alasdair Gray, the fantastical rom-com stars Emma Stone, who is brought back to life by Willem Dafoe, a strange scientist. It will be in theaters from September 8.
- Though Warren Sonbert was not a diary filmmaker,” writes Thomas Beard for 4Columns, “his movies drew from the world as it unfolded around him, frequently populated by people he knew, places he visited, and his earliest efforts have the feel of avant-garde home movies.” Sonbert’s work can be seen over a number of screenings that are running at the Museum of Modern Art in Nw York from now until May 19.
- “When studying the history of film, we start with its predecessors: the magic lantern, chronophotography, diorama, kinescope, zoetrope, and the panorama—all different ways to lose ourselves to images.” On Ultra Dogme, Lucía Salas introduces the emergent Super 8 and 16mm scene in Spain, as revealed by the recent “Colección Privada” programs on show at New York’s MoMI and Anthology Film Archives.
- For Sight & Sound, Sophia Satchell-Baeza profiles Nina Menkes, “a feminist director of bewitching and elliptical narrative art cinema.” Menkes’s films were recently the subject of a MUBI retrospective and are now currently showing at the BFI Southbank in London.
- “Nonfiction is a messy affair, and the most compelling films in its ambit are those that dive into confusion and keep on digging.” For the Film Comment Letter, Michael Sicinski watched films at Prismatic Ground’s 2023 edition, an upstart experimental documentary film festival that was originally virtual during the pandemic, but now, for its third iteration, is also “hosted by some of New York City’s best independent theaters.”
- “When I am choosing a new cinematographer, I watch the films they’ve made. And I have to like those films. If I don’t like something, I will discuss it openly with them: ‘I think you made a mistake here and there.’” In what is an interesting combination of conversational partners, Sean Price Williams talks to Jerzy Skolimowski and his wife, the writer and producer Ewa Piaskowska, for Metrograph.
- Alex N. Press reports for Jacobin on the third week of the WGA strike, noting that many of the issues at hand will soon be a focal point of the upcoming DGA and SAG-AFTRA negotiations. Both unions' contracts expire on June 30.
- Marseille: Among the first program announcements for FID Marseille 2023, running July 4 through 9, are a focus on Laure Prouvost, a tribute to Paul Vecchiali, and a Whit Stillman retrospective. Parallel to news of the latter, Fireflies Press have announced a new publication (above) about the director, co-published with the festival as the inaugural title in a new joint monograph series called “One Two Many.”
- Los Angeles: The sole remaining print of The Oath of the Sword (1914)—considered to be the earliest Asian American film production—was discovered at the George Eastman Museum in 2021 by scholar Denise Khor. On May 28, the restoration of this long-lost film will have its world premiere at the Academy Museum in Los Angeles.
- Manchester: Running at HOME until May 31 is a small series of films by DEFA, the institute in charge of film production in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) from 1946 to 1982. While reflective of wider trends in genre filmmaking of the time, the films in the selection display, according to strand curator Andy Willis, “a clear East German take on their codes and conventions.”
- New York: Running from June 2 through 7 at BAM is a focus on Juliet Berto. As well as a new restoration of her debut film as a director, Snow (1981), the selection includes films she acted in by Robert Kramer, Jacques Rivette, Jean-Luc Godard, Marin Karmitz, and others.
- For the season 3 finale of the MUBI Podcast, Rico Gagliano talks with three veteran music supervisors who have been behind some of the most culture-defining needle drops of the last 40 years.
- Ryuichi Sakamoto “truly was with music until the very end,” his management stated in a message accompanying his final playlist, available here. The mix includes music by Laurel Halo, David Sylvian, Claude Debussy, and more.
- Ahead of the release of Celine Song's debut feature Past Lives, you can stream the first two pieces from the film's original score, composed by Christopher Bear and Daniel Rossen of the band Grizzly Bear. The full score will be released on June 9, with contributions from Sharon Van Etten and Zach Dawes. The film releases in New York and Los Angeles on June 2, via A24.
RECENTLY ON NOTEBOOK
- In his newest Action Scene column, Jonah Jeng breaks down the kinetic prologue of Intent to Kill (1992), a snapshot of the ’90s direct-to-video empire PM Entertainment. According to Jeng, “The Intent to Kill opening is not so much a departure as a refinement of the PM [Entertainment] style—a style that, in both conception and execution, was always unabashedly geared toward the market.”
- To coincide with the season finale of the MUBI Podcast, host Rico Gagliano sat down with legendary music supervisor Randall Poster, who’s shaped the soundscapes of films by Wes Anderson, Martin Scorsese, Larry Clark, Richard Linklater, and many more.
- With her film The Five Devils now streaming on MUBI, writer-director Léa Mysius shares five inspirations that shaped the film—and a few bonus inspirations for her life and art, more generally.
- Bloomsbury is publishing a collection of scripts by Laura Mulvey and Peter Mollen. Each of the six scripts are accompanied by a supporting essay. Among the list of the writers included are Kodwo Eshun, B. Ruby Rich, and Sukhdev Sandhu.
- For GQ, Hagop Kourounian compiles some haute-couture director fits from Cannes of yesteryear. The Oshima Gang shirt remains undefeated, but as the festival progresses, we welcome any tweets to @NotebookMUBI or emails to firstname.lastname@example.org to highlight your favorites from 2023.