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Daily Briefing. Cannes Jury, Czech New Wave, More

Also: Revisiting Claire Denis's Beau Travail, Robert M Young's Alambrista! and more.
The DailyPalme d'Or

Presenting single-paragraph biographies of each member, the Cannes Film Festival's announced the Jury of the Competition for its 65th anniversary edition, running May 16 through 27: Nanni Moretti (President), Hiam Abbass, Andrea Arnold, Emmanuelle Devos, Diane Kruger, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Ewan McGregor, Alexander Payne and Raoul Peck.

"Ebertfest, the annual film festival founded by the venerable Chicago Sun-Times critic in 1989 and running April 25-29, 2012, has always had the core mission of spotlighting underappreciated films." A preview from Michael Fox at Keyframe.

With its tenth anniversary edition, the Independent Film Festival Boston "continues the tradition of mixing renowned filmmakers and unknown artists, celebrity speakers and thoughtful in-depth panels," notes Not Coming to a Theater Near You, introducing a special section where it'll be collecting reviews throughout the festival's run from today through May 2. The Globe's Ty Burr and Wesley Morris present a batch of capsule previews.

"The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), announced today that it will recognize Oscar-winning actress Sissy Spacek and director William Friedkin as 2012 Tribute honorees." Maggie Lange has more at Thompson on Hollywood.

In other news. A tweet from Eric Kohn: "Avengers press screening delayed because they 'accidentally deleted the movie.' Welcome to the digital age."

David Simon, creator of The Wire, is blogging.

Beau Travail

Reading. Writing for Sight & Sound, Hannah McGill argues that "the assumption that [Claire Denis's] Beau Travail's prominent enjoyment of the male physique constitutes an effort to replicate a gay male gaze risks negation of the existence of an active female gaze. Since there's nothing 'homo-' about a woman regarding the male body, it might be argued that the sexual perspective of Beau Travail is straightforwardly erotic — and that some of the discomfort it has stirred is down to its unusual standing as a film about men primarily authored by women."

Cynthia Lucia talks with Michael Glawogger about Whores' Glory for Cineaste (see, too, Daniel Kasman's interview). The latest reviews: David Fear (Time Out New York, 4/5), Mark Holcomb (Voice), Violet Lucca (L) — and Craig Hubert at the BOMBlog, where he also considers Megacities (1998) and Workingman's Death (2005).

DVD/Blu-ray. "Despite winning the inaugural Camera D'Or at Cannes in 1978, Robert M Young's Alambrista! was never officially released in the United States, which seems about right for a movie concerned with the invisible lives of undocumented laborers," writes Scott Tobias at the AV Club. "Young aligns himself with the immigrant point of view, revealing the exploitation and cruelty of a black market where workers are subject to constant bigotry and harassment, with zero recourse. Now, 35 years later, only the fashions have changed." Out from Criterion.

"Mysterious yet inviting, alternately impenetrable and folksy, the films of Pearls of the Deep constitute a record of a one-of-a-kind creative flowering that remains among film history's most remarkable chapters, a standout even amid all the post-Stalin renaissances in East-Central European countries." Criterion's Michael Koresky on the omnibus film included in the new box set, Pearls of the Czech New Wave.

Budd Wilkins in Slant on a new release from Kino: "Lost Keaton presents 16 two-reel talkies Buster Keaton made for Educational Pictures between 1934 and 1937. Though none reach the heights of antic artistry displayed in his silent-era output, there are at least two minor classics to be unearthed in this collection (my money's on One Run Elmer and Grand Slam Opera), and even the lesser films are enlivened now and again by a real rib-tickler."

Berlin. "The lecture, discussion and film series Talking Eyes wants to encourage the use of Irit Rogoff's 'curious' eyes (2002) by providing a platform to foreground marginalised discourses." Starts tomorrow.

Low Life

In the works. From the New Yorker's Richard Brody: "The Paris-based New Yorker Jordan Mintzer, whose superb and sumptuous book of interviews with the director James Gray and his artistic collaborators came out late last year, returns to the fray with a report (published today in Libération) from the set of Gray's new film, which is being shot mainly in the confines of Kaufman Astoria Studios, in Queens. The movie, which as of yet is untitled, is set in 1921, and concerns a Polish immigrant (Marion Cotillard) who arrives on the Lower East Side, where, according to Mintzer, she is caught between a cabaret owner/whoremonger (Joaquin Phoenix) and a magician (Jeremy Renner) who wants to rescue her. The story of the shoot is remarkable — beginning with the fact that it was realized on a low budget, despite the elaborate on-set period reconstructions and costumes." And the Playlist's posted images from the Libération piece.

Robert Rodriguez "has lined up two highly anticipated sequels in his immediate future: Machete Kills and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For," reports Todd Gilchrist for the Hollywood Reporter. And right after those, he'll be remaking Frank Frazetta's Fire and Ice (1983): "'The whole idea is to make it using the technology I used for Sin City because I want it to be as if you stepped into one of his paintings,' Rodriguez told the Playlist last year."

Pixar's announced that Lee Unkrich, who directed Toy Story 3 and co-directed Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc and Finding Nemo, will be making a film "set in the world of the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos," as Unkrich's tweeted himself. Ben Child has more in the Guardian.

Jack White will "write, produce, and perform the original score for Disney's The Lone Ranger," reports Evan Minsker at Pitchfork. "Johnny Depp is tapped to play Tonto — he'll look like this."

10 minutes of footage from Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has been projected at 48 frames per second at CinemaCon in Las Vegas and, in the Los Angeles Times, Amy Kaufman reports that initial reactions are mixed.

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Beau Travail in consideration for S&S greatest of all time? About time!
Mac
That Robert Rodriguez thinks himself the equal of Frank Frazetta, as an imagemaker, is precisely his entire problem. He’s such a dickhead.
Mac
Johnny Depp wants the externals to take care of his performances because he wants to mask, even to himself, the monotony of his performances. He puts nothing of himself in anything he does anymore, and that’s why his performances are so hollow and gimmicky. I’m sure that whatever he’s hiding is very interesting. Or maybe it’s not. Maybe there’s nothing of himself to give. I’m sure he would say that there’s ‘nothing left’ to give, but I doubt if that was ever the case. It’s hard to kill the teen hearthrob inside, because it’s the teen hearthrob that gets to live like Johnny Depp, and living like Johnny Depp is not something I think Johnny Depp wants to give up.
Highly anticipated sequels from Robert Rodriguez? Are you kidding?

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