- Our beloved production designer Ken Adam, the man behind Stanley Kubrick's War Room and the glacial period interiors of Barry Lyndon, as well as defining the look of the most gloriously grandiose era of James Bond films, has passed away.
- Austin's cultural mega-event South by Southwest has just announced the winners of its film festival competition, with Adam Pinney's The Arbalest taking home the Grand Jury prize for Narrative Feature and Keith Maitland's TOWER the Documentary Feature Grand Jury prize. We were at the festival but, alas, didn't catch either of those films. Our favorite coverage of SXSW has been David Hudson's writing on Richard Linklater's new feature, Everybody Wants Some!! at Keyframe.
- The brilliant new film magazine Fireflies, which devotes each issue to in-depth explorations of only two filmmakers, is offering pre-orders on issue #3, devoted to Claire Denis and Jia Zhangke. For a taste of their style, we recently re-published one of their articles on Béla Tarr.
- Speaking of ace film magazines, Cinema Scope's latest issue has a gorgeous cover featuring Lewis Klahr's animated feature Sixty Six. The magazine also released its Top 10 of 2015, currently to be found on its Twitter account (scroll past the SXSW taco journal). Spoiler alert: Apichatpong Weerasthakul tops of the count!
- Watch a trailer for one of our favorite discoveries on the festival circuit from last year, the Brazilian bull riding drama, Neon Bull.
- We can't embed it, but we suggest you check out Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn's ad for Hennessey cognac. “It was extremely brave of Hennessy to trust me with so much: For me this is a 90-second feature film." If you say so!
- Rumor has it Japanese auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda will have a new film in Cannes. The timing is perfect because his last film, Our Little Sister, is finally seeing its release (watch the trailer, above). We wrote about it from Cannes in 2015.
- Bob Dylan on John Ford? Yes, please! Craig Keller's blog hooks us up:
"He was a man’s man, and he thought that way. He never let his guard down. Put courage and bravery, redemption and a peculiar mix of agony and ecstasy on the screen in a brilliant dramatic manner."
- Dogtooth director Yorgos Lanthimos has made his best film yet, his English-language debut The Lobster, and is having a bit of a tricky time releasing it in the United States. In support, BOMB magazine has published a wonderful interview between that director and another director, Peter Strickland (The Duke of Burgundy):
"This was my first film made under different conditions and that was difficult for me. I made all my previous films in Greece with just a few friends trying to put some money together (our own money) and most of them didn't get paid or only got paid very little. We just had the absolutely necessary stuff—we were asking for favors, shooting in friends' houses, borrowing equipment, props, clothes—that kind of situation."
- We're a week late to this piece but hope you'll still enjoy it: A.V. Club's Ignatiy Vishnevetsky takes a look at horror master John Carpenter's relatively unknown television biopic...of Elvis...starring Kurt Russell!
"Besides being his longest film (150 minutes without commercials), Elvis represents Carpenter’s only attempt at straightforward drama, and is often characterized a work-for-hire project that the director took on because he, like so many of his generation, had grown up on Elvis. Even then, it often seems to be on the verge of turning into a horror film."
- Finally, while French New Wave director Jacques Rivette passed away earlier this year, love and writing is continuing to pour in, including from the Criterion Collection, which has shared Luc Sante's essay on Rivette's emblematically enigmatic first film, Paris Belongs to Us:
"The picture is remarkably sophisticated in its handling of space, from cramped apartments to cavernous rehearsal rooms to half-empty boulevards seen from the backs of taxis—but its use of cinematic visual rhetoric does seem to belong to a tradition that was already then falling away. Rivette was in fact to make only one other movie—La religieuse (1966)—that was fully scripted and storyboarded in advance. Afterward, he employed open-ended scripts, improvised sequences, characters developed in collaboration with the actors, and, at various times, methods of guerrilla filmmaking, such as the competing 16 mm and 35 mm crews in L’amour fou. "
- A whatsit from Martin Scorsese's (sorta?) Instagram account.