An avid podcast listener (like me) could hardly stumble across better news today than this fresh item from the Zellner Bros: "Mike Plante has great taste and a vast knowledge of film. His venture CINEMAD has been many wonderful things; a zine, a blog, a DVD almanac, a distributor and podcast. His latest podcast installment interviews the ZB's, hopefully we did it justice. A lot of important issues were covered from Sasquatches to Salo to Chuck Berry."
What's more, this is CINEMAD's sixth podcast and, as it happens, for nearly every one of them, there's a relevant upcoming event worth noting. David and Nathan Zellner's new feature, Kid-Thing, for example, will be making its premiere at Sundance in a few weeks. As for the other five:
- Nina Menkes. We've got a cinema devoted to her films even now; its virtual doors are open through July.
- Azazel Jacobs. His touching low-key comedy Terri screens on Friday and the following Wednesday at Unknown Pleasures #4 in Berlin.
- Bobcat Goldthwait. God Bless America was picked up in Toronto and will see a limited theatrical and VOD release later this year.
- James Fotopoulos. Thursday sees the world premiere of his new feature Chimera as well as a pair of shorter works, Untitled (Thanks. Get in…) and Thick Comb, at Anthology Film Archives in New York, followed by a screening of Alice in Wonderland (2010) on Friday and the opening of the exhibition Dreamful Slumbers: Drawings and Video at Microscope Gallery on Saturday.
- Ken Jacobs. Starting Saturday, Anthology screens a series co-organized by Occupy Cinema, featuring work by Jacobs, Peter Whitehead, Travis Wilkerson and others.
On to today's roundup of best-of-2011 lists, and why not begin with a few that aren't in English. Cargo's exquisite corpse "Was vom Jahr bleibt" reads like an epic journey; and Film-Zeit collects more year-end musings in German. Via Mathieu Ravier, Accréds has collected top tens from the major print and online French film publications and then created an aggregate list; according to their calculations, French critics love Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive best. Adrian Martin points us to a couple of outstanding lists from Filipe Furtado and Miguel Marías. And Septimovicio has begun posting lists from its contributors.
Dave Kehr has thrown his illustrious forum open to lists and discussions thereof. Just Another Film Buff proves once again that he's not just another film buff. Dave McDougall's list is "in rough order of preference." Refreshingly, Ed Howard is just as unconcerned with watching new films because they're new.
More lists of note come from Jason Bellamy, Joe Leydon, Charles Mudede and Peter Sobczynski. From the Ioncinema contributors: Nicholas Bell, Ryan Brown, Jordan M Smith and Blake Williams. At J-Film Pow-Wow, Marc Saint-Cyr lists his top five and Bob Turnbull selects five DVDs.
#1 on Jerry Saltz's list at artnet is Christian Marclay's The Clock. #2: "I yelped when I saw the panoramic shots in Werner Herzog's astounding Cave of Forgotten Dreams and gleaned that 30,000 years ago, painters in southern France could draw with atmospheric and linear perspective. Mammals have never been rendered better."
"The Tree of Life, which led the Online Film Critics Society nominations with seven, was the big winner at the 15th Annual Online Film Critics Society Awards."
The Best of Open Culture 2011.
Berlinale 2012. Meryl Streep will receive an Honorary Golden Bear and the festival will present an Homage series: Kramer vs Kramer (1979), Sophie's Choice (1982), Out of Africa (1985), The Bridges of Madison County (1995), A Prairie Home Companion (2006) and, of course, The Iron Lady. On a related note, those who read German may be interested in Dieter Oßwald's interview with festival director Dieter Kosslick for Der Standard. Kosslick's contract has been extended through 2016, but he's not ruling out the possibility that the Berlinale may some day follow the example of Cannes, Venice and Locarno and take on an artistic director to work alongside him.
New York. "Film Forum's ongoing Monday-night screening series, The Silent Roar: MGM 1924-29, continues this week with Erich Von Stroheim's famously ambitious and infamously butchered morality tale, Greed." An Alt Screen roundup.
And from Not Coming to a Theater Near You:
To American audiences, Fulci and Argento bear superficial association, what with their unbecoming violence, dubbed dialogue, and syncopated electronic scores. But whereas Argento is perhaps the greater tactician, favoring operatic and highly cinematic death scenes, Fulci is the more ambient and lurid. Argento's films, furthermore, are often set in his native Europe; Fulci's horror films depict fatalistic scenarios in unmistakably US settings as far-reaching as Louisiana (The Beyond) and New England (Zombie, City of the Living Dead).
The latter is depicted in House by the Cemetery, his 1981 film preceded by The Beyond and City of the Living Dead in what is popularly considered the "Gates of Hell" trilogy. It is this period of work that we aim to focus on in the coming week. This will not be an encapsulation of Fulci's total body of work, but rather a concentration on the period for which he is most known, at least to horror aficionados. But what renown these films have is greatly delayed — House by the Cemetery, for one, was not released in the UK in its original, uncut version for over two decades. As a corrective, we will focus on Fulci's "Gates of Hell" and its supplementary features in the coming week, in anticipation of our screening of the original, uncut version of House by the Cemetery at 92YTribeca on Friday, January 6th.