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Rushes. Barbara Hammer’s Exit, Cinema Manifestos, “Green Book” Reconsidered

This week’s essential news, articles, sounds, videos and more from the film world.
Get in touch to send in cinephile news and discoveries. For daily updates follow us @NotebookMUBI.
NEWS
Stanley Donen and Audrey Hepburn on the set of Funny Face (1957)
  • We're saddened by the loss of Stanley Donen, who leaves behind a prolific catalog as filmmaker and choreographer, defined by creative partnerships with actors like Gene Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. In an obituary for The Guardian, David Thomson writes that Donen, best known for the musical Singin' In The Rain, "excelled at collaboration, which musicals, more than any other film genre, are reliant on, and which enabled him to create masterpieces."
RECOMMENDED VIEWING
  • Among the many commercials scattered throughout last weekend's Academy Awards ceremony was a secretive teaser for Martin Scorsese's Netflix-produced The Irishman.
  • MUBI will be releasing David Robert Mitchell's Los Angeles-set neo-noir mystery, Under The Silver Lake, in UK cinemas (and on MUBI UK) on March 15th.
  • A new trailer for Sergei Loznitsa's Donbass underscores its absurdist humor, with which it satirizes the ongoing turmoil across the Donbass region of Ukraine. Read our review of the film here.
  • A saturated trailer of blood, sweat, and tears, for Alex Ross Perry's Her Smell, released by studio Gunpowder & Sky. 
  • Following its premiere at Berlin, a trailer for Agnès Varda's Varda by Agnès has arrived. Reflexive and reflective as always, Varda's latest is a revisitation of the auteur's past.
  • After 25 years in the making, Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is finally making its way to theaters as a mysterious "one night theatrical event" on April 10.
 
RECOMMENDED READING
Barbara Hammer and spouse Florrie Burke for The New Yorker
  • The singular Barbara Hammer (whose films were screened on MUBI last year in partnership with the London Shot Film Festival) speaks with The New Yorker for an "exit interview." Ever eloquent, Hammer discusses her activism for "death with dignity," her early encounters with feminism and lesbianism, and her ongoing documentation of the body.
  • The latest issue of Film Quarterly focuses on manifestos that call for a changing future of cinema. As Girish Shambu states, the "new cinephilia" engages in a search for diversity in perspectives. These texts certainly support his point, whether reclaiming Black film and media studies or utilizing the films of Stephen Dwoskin as guiding templates for changing the cinematic portrayal of disability.
  • Yalitza Aparicio, the star of Roma, is the first indigenous Mexican woman nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards. Aparicio recounts her very personal relationship to the film, and the conversation it has inspired: "I feel that this [movie] is an opportunity to see that we are diverse, that we do not all have the same skin color or the same appearance or anything."
  • Four decades later, Joan Micklin Silver’s newly restored 1977 film Between the Lines (which stars a young Jeff Goldblum as a fresh-faced rock critic) remains "prophetic about the anxieties that writers and publications share in the face of financial pressures."
  • In the aftermath of the Best Picture victory of Green Book, critic K. Austin Collins has thoughtfully pointed out that what the Best Picture award determines is simply "the least alienating film of the lot", and that the ceremony still offered much to celebrate. For those seeking further context for the titular book, the now-released documentary film The Green Book: Guide to Freedom explores its effects as a "community-building tool" among Black Americans in both North and South.
RECENTLY ON THE NOTEBOOK
  • A brief history of the Oscars against the backdrop of the 1940s Red Scare and its formation as a "pseudo-union."
  • Mathieu Amalric's metatextual Barbara, now showing on MUBI in the United States, receives its Close-Up: "Amalric clearly decides that the art is key to the person," writes Caspar Salmon.
  • Kelley Dong reviews Robert Rodriguez's Alita: Battle Angel, which asks: "What makes a woman a woman? What—or really, who—makes a person a person?"
EXTRAS AND RE-DISCOVERIES
  • A look into last year's "CG bear boom" (including Paddington and Christopher Robin) reveals that the connection lies in a handful of artists who worked on The Golden Compass in 2007.

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