Even as the wires and the waves buzz with anticipation for Quentin Tarantino's next project, Django Unchained, which, as the Guardian's Ben Child surmises, "seems to be an homage to Sergio Leone set in the deep south (rather than the old west) which tackles the predictably difficult subject of 19th-century American slavery," and which will likely feature Christoph Waltz and Franco Nero and, who knows, maybe Will Smith as well, along comes first-time contributor JD Markel, headlining Issue 72 of Bright Lights Film Journal with a detailed map of influences on Tarantino's 2009 film, Inglourious Basterds.
As always with BL, there's a full season's worth of reading in this new issue, but if you've got a moment, editor Gary Morris will talk you through it, piece by piece. Or head straight to the TOC for an overview of all the articles, reviews, profiles, empirical studies and rampant speculations.
For Reverse Shot's 29th symposium, editors Michael Koresky and Jeff Reichert have asked contributors to "pick a film from the last decade they think exemplifies the contemporary American 'indie' (whether it hailed from a tiny distributor or a now defunct boutique branch of a major studio), for better or for worse. We paired that selection with a 'middlebrow' studio title or at least an American studio-financed or distributed film of our choice from an earlier decade that we deemed to be somehow thematically (or stylistically) linked. The writer's task: composing an essay comparing the two films in whatever way they felt was proper." So far you can read Andrew Tracy on David Gordon Green's All the Real Girls (2003) and Michael Chapman's All the Right Moves (1983), Michael Joshua Rowin on Todd Haynes's I'm Not There (2007) and John Cougar Mellencamp's Falling from Grace (1992) and Genevieve Yue on Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation (2003) and Bernardo Bertolucci's La Luna (1979).
IN OTHER NEWS
Rebecca Richman Cohen's War Don Don screens this evening at Anthology Film Archives and Penny Lane interviews her for the Brooklyn Rail: "War Don Don sidesteps the clichés of the 'legal thriller' all too often carried over from fiction to documentary. Perhaps because of the director's legal background, War Don Don offers one of the most complex views of a legal proceeding ever presented in a documentary film. By putting the trial itself on trial, Cohen creates a fascinating puzzle certain to provoke debate amongst audience members."
David Bowie, Artist, "a multi-platform retrospective re-framing Bowie's daring, multi-discipline career as that of an artist working primarily in performance," opens today at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. Through July 15.
Film Studies for Free presents "links to film and moving image related papers from the conference proceedings of the seventh annual Media in Transition conference, which will take place next week, May 13-15, 2011, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology."
"Dana Wynter, an actress best known for her role in the 1956 science-fiction classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers, has died. She was 79." Keith Thursby in the Los Angeles Times: "Wynter is quite attractively English, and very different from the 'average' sci-fi leading ladies of the 50s, many of whom were pinup girl-types none too convincingly playing scientists or biologists,' Tom Weaver, a science-fiction film expert, told The Times on Saturday in an email. 'She's chic and smart, and yet has a bit of a girl next door quality — provided you live next door to Windsor Castle.'"