The Edinburgh International Film Festival has a new artistic director: Chris Fujiwara, whose appointment was announced yesterday by Scotland's Centre for Moving Image (Cineuropa has statements from both parties in officialese). As Stuart Kemp notes in the Hollywood Reporter, this "appointment comes after weeks of speculation as to who would take over from James Mullighan, following the 2011 edition of the EIFF, which industry insiders considered not up to scratch for the venerable British celebration of film." In July, by the way, David Cairns had a lengthy talk with Mullighan in order to hear out his side of the story. But this is a fresh, rather surprising and very promising reboot for Edinburgh. Chris Fujiwara is, of course, the author of books on Jerry Lewis, Otto Preminger and Jacques Tourneur, the editor of FIPRESCI's journal, Undercurrent, and has for years been an outstanding contributor to countless publications. In May, he took part in Project: New Cinephilia, co-presented by Edinburgh and MUBI.
After 42 years as a reviewer for New York, the Boston Phoenix, Rolling Stone, Salon and the New Yorker, Michael Sragow is ending his "stint of writing regularly about current movies." Criterion assures us, though, that he'll carry on contributing essays to the renowned packages that accompany their releases.
"John Calley, who was known for his unusually artistic approach in running three major Hollywood studios and overseeing some of the most successful movies of the last 50 years, died Tuesday at his home here," reports the NYT's Brooks Barnes from Los Angeles. "He was 81." Ambrose Heron has more.
Slate's gone on a movie binge. Fred Kaplan is stunned (in the good way) by Warner's Blu-ray release of Citizen Kane (1941), while Elbert Ventura recommends we not overlook the debut on DVD of The Magnificent Ambersons (1942). Meantime, Dan Kois watches every film Steven Soderbergh's ever made, then groups and ranks them and tops off the package with a guide to the "shorts, TV series, plays, and the improvised movie he shot but has no plans to release."