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Rushes: Jia Zhangke (Actor and Director), “Joker” vs. “Taxi Driver,” Susan Sontag

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
  • We're saddened by the death of actor Robert Forster, whose prolific and eclectic career included an Oscar-nominated role in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown and Gus Van Sant's Psycho, which is currently showing on MUBI in the United Kingdom.
  • Hurray! At a recent screening of the 4k restoration of Crash at Montreal's Festival du Nouveau Cinema, David Cronenberg announced that he is currently set to write and direct his body horror novel, Consumed, as a mini-series.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING
  • The official U.S. trailer for Russian director Kantemir Balagov's Beanpole, which follows the strained friendship between two women in the aftermath of World War II. The film is having its exclusive online premiere on MUBI in the United Kingdom, from October 11 - November 9, 2019.
  • A trailer for So Close to My Land, Jia Zhangke's documentary about Chinese novelists. This marks the auteur's first documentary film since 2010's I Wish I Knew.  
  • Alongside his return to documentary filmmaking, Jia Zhangke is also starring in his first lead role, appearing as an artist facing a midlife crisis in Cheng Er's Pseudo Idealist.
RECOMMENDED READING
  • K. Austin Collins investigates the overlap between Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver and its cinematic successor, Todd Phillips's Joker: "Taxi Driver takes the risk that Joker was expected to take, but never really does."
  • Robert Greene (Kate Plays Christine, Bisbee '17) charts the evolution of documentary filmmaking as a craft in the 2010s, in which filmmakers have "turned away from journalistic orthodoxy toward emphasizing beauty and ambiguity."
  • In an enlightening conversation between Beanpole director Kantemir Balagov and Grisha Freidin, the pair discuss the role of women in war, Russian history, and the photography of Robert Capa.
  • From The Guardian, a brief but necessary consideration of the social and economic effects of film festivals on local economies from Venice to Istanbul, and the ongoing tensions between festivals and state governments.
Susan Sontag.
  • New York Times film critic A.O. Scott reflects on the immense influence Susan Sontag has had on his practice as a critic.
  • With the end of the decade near, Senses of Cinema begins to close out the era by asking their contributors "what defined cinema in the 2010s?"
  • Going against traditional readings and canonization, Alice Stoehr argues that Alfred Hitchcock's Rope is a  "reckoning with the ethics of his genre."
  • "There’s no figure in American cinephilia quite like Dan Sallitt." In the event of Salitt's new film Fourteen, Notebook contributor Evan Morgan interviews the filmmaker-critic at Seattle Screen Scene.
RECENTLY ON THE NOTEBOOK
  • Filmmaker and artist Florence Scott-Anderton provides a musical celebration of all that was exciting, daring and unique from the forever influential New Hollywood era.
  • Ela Bittencourt takes a look at Kantemir Balagov's second feature, a stirring tale of women and war.
  • In 1974, Claude Chabrol adapted crime writer Jean-Patrick Manchette's novel Nada. Finally, an English-language translation is out, writes Evan Morgan.
  • The Algerian director Hassen Ferhani talks about his new documentary concerning an old woman's stalwart presence running a roadside teahouse in the desert.
EXTRAS
  • From Tsai Ming-liang's official Facebook page, a poster painted by the director himself to accompany the 4k restoration of Good Bye, Dragon Inn.

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