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Benning + Notes

James Benning will be on hand this evening for the Los Angeles premiere of his RR (2007). "For the last 40 years Benning has been one of the great directors of American films," writes Phil Coldiron in the LA Weekly, "and RR is all the evidence anyone needs that as a chronicler of our country he deserves a place alongside Chaplin, Griffith, Ford and Wiseman. And the soundtrack, which includes everything from Dwight D Eisenhower to Woody Guthrie to 'Fuck tha Police' to Gregory Peck reading from the Book of Revelation, all on a lush bed of directly recorded ambient sound, is worth the price of admission."

The Filmforum has details and has, as well, already collected all the linkage you'll likely want or need, but let's go ahead and add the pages from the Berlinale 2008 catalogue and David Phelps's and Daniel Kasman's reviews from that same year.

Elsewhere. Jim Ridley in the Nashville Scene: "It's tough to say which aspect of Sirk's brilliant 1955 melodrama All That Heaven Allows, playing this weekend as part of The Belcourt's ongoing series of screen romances, looks more subversive today: its piercing portrait of oppressive conformity, or its empathetic study of a middle-aged woman's undimmed sexuality."

Lists. Cristi Puiu's Aurora tops Shelly Kraicer's list of the "Best Films of 2010." And the National Society of Film Critics likes The Social Network: Best Picture, Director (David Fincher), Actor (Jesse Eisenberg) and Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin).

In other news. From Dread Central's Uncle Creepy: "According to El Correo, Juan Piquer Simón, director of The Pod People, Mystery on Monster Island, Slugs, and of course the ever-so-infamous low-budget slasher classic Pieces, has passed on at the age of 74 after a long battle with lung cancer." Via Movie City News, pointing to the Wikipedia page.

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“all on a lush bed of directly recorded ambient sound, is worth the price of admission” is slightly misleading. Though Benning’s reputation is that of a purist, R&R’s audio was edited in post to remove unwanted sounds, as Benning informed the audience Sunday night. Those sounds include harsh train noises and other background noises.

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