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Daily Briefing. Frances Farmer, Sylvie Testud, Fassbinder and Fassbender

Also: David Phelps's Secret History of America. Remembering Warhol. A pirate's justification. And more.
The DailyFrances Farmer

Frances Farmer
Relax. That's just a hairdresser behind her.

Before today's roundup gets rolling, I want to mention that David Phelps is conducting an experiment you should know about, The Secret History of America.

The liveliest read of the day comes from Matt Evans in the Morning News, a furious pitch for Frances Farmer — the actual woman and actress, not the lobotomized zombie portrayed by Jessica Lange in Frances (1982). Have fun.

"Why I Pirate Movies: A Self-Justification." Mike D'Angelo can't be surprised that he's kicked up a virtual storm. It began in the comments following that entry and has since blown over to Twitter.

Andy Warhol died 25 years ago today. Alex Needham examines the legacy in the Guardian and, in the Voice, Camille Dodero asks, "what does Andy Warhol's New York City look like today?"

Today's review of Geoff Dyer's Zona comes from R Emmet Sweeney at Movie Morlocks.

First reviews (in English). "Sylvie Testud (Lourdes, La Vie en rose) makes her debut behind the camera with The Life of Another (La Vie d'une autre), a well-acted but narratively choppy romantic dramedy adapted from Frederique Deghelt's 2007 novel," writes Jordan Mintzer in the Hollywood Reporter. "Featuring an irresistible lead turn from Juliette Binoche as a hard-hitting career woman who awakes to find herself in the mind of a 25-year-old party girl, the film mostly convinces until it flies off the rails during a truncated third act and faux finale." More from Lisa Nesselson in Screen.

World on a Wire

DVD/Blu-ray. Criterion released World on a Wire (1973), Fassbinder's only work of science fiction, yesterday and followed up by posting Ed Halter's accompanying essay, wherein he notes that the two-part miniseries for West German television "was adapted from the 1964 novel Simulacron-3, by American author Daniel F Galouye, about a corpora­tion that manufactures a supercomputer used to generate thousands of 'identity units,' or humanlike constructs built from digital information, which are ren­dered with such complexity that they believe themselves and their artificial world to be real…. Low-budget by sci-fi standards and bereft of special effects, the film can be placed in a slender tradition of science fiction made within European art cinema that includes Chris Marker's La Jetée (1963), Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville (1965), and Alain Resnais's Je t'aime, je t'aime (1968). In each of these cases, the desire to present a vision of a world unlike our own is realized by the director's pushing into new levels of formal experimentation (and like Alphaville, World on a Wire signals futurity through the most alien­ating elements of contemporary design)." More from Steve Erickson in Gay City News and, from last June, Fernando F Croce here in the Notebook. [Update, 1/24: More from Budd Wilkins for Slant, 4/5.]

In the works. "Michael Fassbender has committed to star in The Counselor, the Cormac McCarthy-scripted thriller that Ridley Scott is making his next film," reports Deadline's Mike Fleming. It's the story of "a respected lawyer who thinks he can dip a toe in to the drug business without getting sucked down."

Chris O'Dowd, Aidan Gillen, Kelly Reilly, Isaach de Bankolé and David Wilmot will join Brendan Gleeson in John Michael McDonagh's followup to The Guard, reports Twitch's Todd Brown: "Gleeson will play a priest put upon by the members of his parish."

Obits. "Dick Anthony Williams, a prolific actor who created enduring roles in blaxploitation films during the 1970s while simultaneously securing his reputation on the New York stage with Tony-nominated performances and a Drama Desk Award, died on Thursday in Los Angeles," reports Paul Vitello in the New York Times. He was 77.

Cinematographer Ric Waite, who shot Footloose (1984), 48 Hrs (1982), Red Dawn (1984) and The Long Riders (1980), has passed away at the age of 78, reports Variety.

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“Fassbinder and Fassbender” :) – I always hoped I’d see that in a sentence.
I can’t relax. Is that how they lobotomized her?

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