- Well, the Academy Awards, of course! Here's the list of winners. Who made us smile most for his win of the golden statue? Ennio Morricone and his gracious speech for his ace score to The Hateful Eight. Biggest gaff beyond the central controversy? Setsuko Hara, Manoel de Oliveira, and Jacques Rivette not included in the "In Memoriam."
- And yet another filmmaker has left us this year. The New York Times reports that Syrian director Nabil Maleh has died at the age of 79.
- With Terrence Malick's dividing film Knight of Cups about to be released in cinemas in the US this week, images have come in (including one above) of the filmmaker's mysterious documentary we keep hearing about, Voyage of Time.
- In New York, the big news this week is the impending opening of the first new independent cinema in the city in ten years, the Metrograph. Its website contains a tantalizing schedule of films (an incredible amount shown on 35mm film), as well as a blog featuring articles by Tsai Ming-liang, Molly Haskell and Luc Sante.
- The illustrious kogonada has a new video essay on that favorite director of video essayists, Yasujiro Ozu.
- With the Coen brothers' Hail, Caesar! out in cinemas, Tony Zhou's Every Frame a Painting series of video essays explores how the Coens film conversations.
- Unknown to most English-speaking audiences, the Cinémathèque Française has been building a number of gorgeous and informative dedicated websites for their film programs. Recent highlights include Martin Scorsese's New York. An added bonus: a video featuring every cameo by Scorsese in his own films.
- Via Kottke, a video essay on film remakes, side-by-side, by Jaume R. Lloret. Films include Psycho, Funny Games, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
- "What It’s Really Like to Work in Hollywood* (*If you’re not a straight white man.)" The New York Times surveys Hollywood creatives about their experiences as the minorities in the industry.
- The Oscar noise is now waning, but we still strongly recommend N+1's wry and very smart review of nominated films, which includes this brilliant description of Benicio del Toro in Sicario:
"Benicio del Toro, maybe the last actor from the Robert Mitchum mold, plays an Agency-backed hit man with blasé menace. Del Toro, like Mitchum, is a strange, often indifferent actor who apparently spins a wheel of fortune to choose his roles. Once he settles on one, he’s either good or bad in it depending on something no one can figure out, maybe if work starts on a Tuesday. It doesn’t matter who directs him. In films by auteurs like Paul Thomas Anderson and Arnaud Desplechin he can range from okay to not good, and then in an overblown thriller like this he shows up with something to prove. In some scenes he stares at Emily Blunt like he’s reminding her she is not an American and doesn’t work for the FBI, she’s just a movie star playing a cop."
- What does feminist film criticism look like in our Internet era? Kiva Reardon explores the history and present moment of feminist film criticism over at Hazlitt:
"But my fear is that in a race for reach, feminist film criticism will lose its marginal stance. It will become, for the first time, folded into part of the industry’s machine instead of attempting to dismantle it."
- We love it when Interview magazine pairs two great people together for a chat. In their latest issue they've done just that: actress Julianne Moore talks to indie producer maverick Christine Vachon (Boy's Don't Cry, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and most recently, Carol), with whom she worked in Todd Haynes' Safe:
"Then we [Todd Haynes and Vachon] started a company together to make short films with someone else that we went to Brown with. If that sounds like, "Why on earth would you do that?" it was a different time. There was a lot of grant money available. That's really all gone now. It felt like it was a way to insert ourselves into what we felt was a really interesting, burgeoning independent-film movement, in a very specific way."
- A very rare and precious soundtrack—that of Chris Marker's beloved sci-fi short film La Jetée—is being released on LP by Superior Viaduct. Essential!
- In the latest episode of the WTF with Marc Maron podcast, the comic talks to legendary filmmaker William Friedkin (The Exorcist, Sorcerer, Cruising).
- Ridiculous web games satirizing mainstream cinema seem to be more and more common (thankfully!), with another great version found in Clickhole's roleplaying text adventure: "You’re George Lucas In 1975. Can You Create ‘Star Wars’?"
- It's Nice That is running a photo spread by Jennifer Loeber of the very prevalent but little discussed presence at the Festival de Cannes of well-dressed French teenagers desperate to get into the films at this barely-public film festival (a phenomenon we touched in passing in our 2011 report from the festival).