The Noteworthy: Scorsese on "The Searchers", Film Criticism: The Next Generation, Orson Welles’ Sketch Book

A couple of crowd-funding projects to check out, new trailers from Baumbach, Coppola, Malick and Whedon, Orson Welles’ Sketch Book & more.

Edited by Adam Cook


  • The first of two crowd-funding projects to notify you of: Libbie D. Cohn (co-director of People's Park) is trying to Kickstart a feature film entitled Bad As Me described as "a wild romp through San Francisco tracing the misadventures of two lovers struggling with depression and PTSD."
  • Vimeo is now streaming Don Hertzfeldt's It's Such a Beautiful Day on demand for a limited time. From Vimeo: "Hertzfeldt has seamlessly combined his three short films about a man named Bill (Everything will be OK (2006), I Am So Proud of You (2008), and It's Such a Beautiful Day (2011)), into a darkly comedic, beautiful new feature film." Kurt Shulenberger praised the film on the Notebook last year, writing that it "affirms Hertzfeldt as a true virtuoso, constructing an emotional narrative of existential meditation from swaths of banal occurrences, nightmarish hallucinations and devastatingly funny memories." 


  • More Scorsese related goodness: the filmmaker takes on one of his favorite films, John Ford's The Searchers, in a piece for The Hollywood Reporter:

"Like all great works of art, it's uncomfortable. The core of the movie is deeply painful. Every time I watch it -- and I've seen it many, many times since its first run in 1956 -- it haunts and troubles me. The character of Ethan Edwards is one of the most unsettling in American cinema. In a sense, he's of a piece with Wayne's persona and his body of work with Ford and other directors like Howard Hawks and Henry Hathaway. It's the greatest performance of a great American actor."

  • Moving Image Source has republished an article from Vertigo by Aaron Cutler on "Emmanuelle Demoris's epic collection of intimate stories" that shape Mafrouza, a series of films made in an Egyptian slum:

"From 2002 to 2004 the French filmmaker Emmanuelle Demoris lived in a slum of Alexandria, Egypt called Mafrouza. She had originally come as part of a trip through the Middle East to film people sharing their thoughts about the afterlife, but became so intrigued by Mafrouza residents that she changed her project into telling their stories, which soon included her own. A visit became an extended stay, and material for one potential film evolved into five realized ones"

  • Occasioned by Adam Nayman's forthcoming book on Showgirls, David Davidson explores the critical relationship between Cahiers du cinéma and Paul Verhoeven, on his blog, Toronto Film Review.

  •  Richard Porton has put together a symposium for Cineaste entitled "Film Criticism: The Next Generation." Spread over their current Spring and forthcoming Summer issues and composed of four articles—one online, one in print, for both issues—the first edition is now viewable online and features contributions from Simon Abrams, myself, Leo Goldsmith, Calum Marsh, Boris Nelepo and Vadim Rizov, who each offer their opinions on the state of film criticism as well as reflections on their influences and approach to the form:

"This feature was spawned by a Cineaste editor’s suggestion to devote a Critical Symposium to the vexing subject of contemporary cinephilia. After pondering the idea for a while, we concluded that, instead of polling the usual, albeit distinguished, suspects on the still-evolving nature of contemporary cinephilia, it might be more enlightening, and perhaps even more entertaining, to survey young critics who take many of the developments we graybeards grouse about (e.g., blogging, streaming video, the dearth of print outlets for serious criticism) for granted."

  • The 19th Bradford International Film Festival has unveiled its impressive lineup for next month (it runs April 11th-21st), featuring a tribute to Stan Brakhage, "a chronological sampler of some outstanding films from India and her first one hundred years of cinema," a selection of new features, and more.

  • Above: looks like James Gray has made another commercial, this time for Citroën. Here's a behind-the-scenes teaser for the ad starring Ewan McGregor and Vinessa Shaw.
  • Werner Herzog has found the time to direct yet another opera and Deborah Swain has some insight into the production as well as Herzog's relationship to music at her blog Living in Rome:

"On Saturday afternoon Herzog was joined by journalist Valerio Cappelli, the theatre's artistic directors Catello De Martino and Alessio Vlad, and film critic Mario Sesti, in a hugely entertaining encounter in the splendid foyer of the opera house to discuss not only this new version of Verdi's opera, but also his wider relationship with music during his entire film career through a series of clips from his movies and personal anecdotes."

From the archives.

  • Cinephilia & Beyond has an amazing find: the complete collection of Orson Welles’ Sketch Book:

"a series of six short television commentaries by Orson Welles for the BBC in 1955. Written and directed by Welles, the 15-minute episodes present the filmmaker’s commentaries on a range of subjects. Welles frequently draws from his own experiences and often illustrates the episodes with his own sketches."

         Check out the first episode below and you can find the rest here.

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The NoteworthyNewsTrailersTerrence MalickMartin ScorseseJohn FordNoah BaumbachJames GrayJoss WhedonLibbie Dina CohnÉmilie LamoineEmmanuelle DemorisPaul VerhoevenSofia CoppolaStan BrakhageOrson WellesWerner HerzogDon HertzfeldtVideos
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