I've only just now caught wind of a one-time-only event that took place in the Port of Tallinn last Thursday, 60 Seconds of Solitude in Year Zero, via Alison Nastasi at Movies.com: "An international collective of directors… contributed their shorts to the single 35mm film anthology that was screened for an audience one time — as part of Estonia's 2011 European Capital of Culture celebration — and then burned to the ground (along with the screen itself). Why, exactly? The project's website describes it as 'flying in the face of the cynicism of marketing, production, business operators, and the moral majority … dedicated to preserving freedom of thought in cinema.'" The roster of participating directors and artists is pretty impressive:
Brian Yuzna (USA), Michael Glawogger (Austria), Aku Louhimies (Finland), Ken Jacobs (USA), Gustav Deutsch (Austria), Tom Tykwer (Germany), Mark Boswell (USA), Malcolm Le Grice (UK), Aki Kaurismäki (Finland), Bruce McClure (UK), Mika Taanila (Finland), Ilppo Pohjola (Finland), Kari Yli-Annala (Finland), Naomi Kawase (Japan), Shinji Aoyama (Japan), Ishii Sogo-Gakuryu (Japan), Albert Serra (Spain), Rafi Pitts (France/Iran), Jeon Kyu-hwan (South Korea), Norbert Shieh (USA), Fridrik Thor Fridrikkson (Iceland), Bradley Eros (USA), Jan Ijäs (Finland), Oliver Whitehead (Finland), Pen-ek Ratanaruang (Thai), Mark Cousins (UK), Gillian Wearing (UK), Amir Naderi (Iran/USA), Edmund Yeo (Malaysia/Japan), Tolga Karaçelik (Turkey), Phie Ambo (Denmark), Eric Khoo (Singapore), Kim Ji-woon (South Korea), Kyungwon Moon (South Korea), Andres Tenusaar (Estonia), Manuela Kaufmann (Italy), Maxì Dejoie (Italy), Feyyaz (Germany), Viktor Kaganovich (Ukraine), Marina Manushenko (Switzerland), Ronni Schendar (Germany/Israel), Mart Taniel (Estonia), Gereon Wetzel (Germany), Vimukthi Jayasundara (Sri Lanka), Woo Ming Jin (Malaysia), Park Chan-wook (South Korea) and others.
No idea whether or not this would be breaking the rules or simply violating the spirit of the project, but Nastasi has posted Adam Wingard's contribution.
In other news. "Powerplay at the Venice Film Festival has prompted the appointment of Alberto Barbera as the Lido's new artistic director, replacing Marco Müller, who has been ousted after successfully heading the fest for the past eight years," reports Nick Vivarelli for Variety. "Barbera, who is the current topper of Italy's National Film Museum in Turin, previously headed Venice between 1999 and 2001. He was guest director at Telluride in 2002 and, more recently, a member of the Cannes jury in 2010. Barbera now has a four-year mandate to head Venice."
In the works. "Wild Bunch's Vincent Maraval has confirmed that Abel Ferrara and screenwriter Christ Zois are working on a feature script partly inspired by this summer's sex scandal surrounding former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn," reports Nancy Tartaglione for Deadline London. "Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Adjani have been rumored circling characters based on the scandal-plagued former IMF chief and his wife Anne Sinclair and have met with the director, but Maraval says the project is still a long way from active development."
Lists. Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life tops Paste's list of the "50 Best Movies of 2011." Related viewing (4'56"). The New York Times' AO Scott on The Thin Red Line (1998).
Whenever possible, Wildgrounds has posted clips for its "Most Anticipated Asian Movies of 2012."
The title of Howard Feinstein's list for Filmmaker? "All That Eleven Allows."
Mark Kermode presents his "Worst Ten Films of 2011" (video, 6'26").
The Chicago Reader's about to wrap it up. JR Jones's #2: Paul Feig's Bridesmaids; Ben Sachs's #1: Cristi Puiu's Aurora.
Members of the Online Film Critics Society have announced their nominations.
Obits. "Helen Frankenthaler, the lyrically abstract painter whose technique of staining pigment into raw canvas helped shape an influential art movement in the mid-20th century, and who became one of the most admired artists of her generation, died on Tuesday at her home in Darien, Conn," reports Grace Glueck in the NYT. "She was 83…. Known as a second-generation Abstract Expressionist, Ms Frankenthaler was married during the movement's heyday to the painter Robert Motherwell, a leading first-generation member of the group. But she departed from the first generation's romantic search for the 'sublime' to pursue her own path. Refining a technique, developed by Jackson Pollock, of pouring pigment directly onto canvas laid on the floor, Ms Frankenthaler, heavily influencing the colorists Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland, developed a method of painting best known as Color Field — although Clement Greenberg, the critic most identified with it, called it Post-Painterly Abstraction." The painting above is A Green Thought in a Green Shade (1981).
"Jazz saxophonist Sam Rivers, one of the giants of avant-garde and free jazz, has died of pneumonia in Orlando, Florida," reports the AFP. "He was 88. Born in Oklahoma into a family of musicians, Rivers embraced bebop in the 1950s and toured with singer Billie Holiday before joining the Miles Davis group in 1964, appearing on the Miles in Tokyo live album that same year. He went on to make a number of groundbreaking albums of his own for Blue Note records, starting with Fuchsia Swing Song, and performed with the likes of bassist Dave Holland and drummer Tony Williams."
More on the event from Carmen Gray for AnOther.