Daily Briefing. Harun Farocki, Ben Rivers, More

Also: _Ben-Hur_, restored. _Tahrir_ documents the Egyptian revolution. _Patience (After Sebald)_. And Rin Tin Tin.
David Hudson

At the top of its roundup of all things Farocki, Alt Screen notes that MoMA will be hosting An Evening with Harun Farocki tonight in conjunction with the exhibition Harun Farocki: Images of War (at a Distance), on view through January 2. Farocki will then be at Anthology Film Archives tomorrow night for the launch of their retrospective, running through October 10.

Ben Rivers will be at the Harvard Film Archive this evening for a double bill: Slow Action (2010) and Sack Barrow (2011). His latest, Two Years at Sea, premiered in Venice, and Neil Young wrote: "This Is My Land (2006) was an intimate portrait of Jake Williams and his hermit-like existence in the middle of Aberdeenshire's forests, and Two Years at Sea, Rivers's first feature-length work, is a 90-minute variation on similar themes, with only one line of audible dialogue ('chesty cough,' mumbles Jake, examining a bottle of expectorant.) A hoarder of old photographs, Williams seems to have progressed to a point beyond language, exploring his damp surroundings on daily hikes with which the unacknowledged Rivers gamely tags along."

The film screens at the New York Film Festival on Monday, that is, a week from today. R Emmet Sweeney: "Shot in anamorphic B&W (although projected on compressed video, sadly), the film is immersive and cordial…. Filled with flickering light and the squiggles of processing stains, Rivers is playing with the form as well as narrative expectations, mirroring the play of light on leaf with light through film."

A few more NYFF notes. William Wyler's Ben-Hur (1959), now restored and out on Blu-ray, screened on Saturday; for Smithsonian Magazine, Daniel Eagan talks with Catherine Wyler about her father's epic.

AO Scott in the New York Times on one of yesterday's screenings: "Stefano Savona's Tahrir, shot in Cairo this winter in the days leading up to the fall of Hosni Mubarak, evokes the on-the-ground, crowd-sourced video gathering that has become a tool of popular movements around the world. A triumph of tenacious camerawork and nimble editing, Tahrir captures the spirit of the Egyptian uprising with remarkable immediacy. By listening to the voices of participants as they chant, argue and worry about the future, it also opens a window on the tensions and contradictions within the still incomplete revolutions of the Arab Spring." More from Glenn Kenny.

Tom Hall at Hammer to Nail on another: "Grant Gee's Patience (After Sebald) is an essay film that tracks the meaning and reverberations of WG Sebald's book The Rings of Saturn, a nearly unclassifiable text that is equal parts travelogue, memoir, fiction, photographic essay and autobiography, all carefully filtered through a singular literary intelligence. Gee's film works as a form of criticism, an essay about a book that embraces the differences of the literary and cinematic forms while walking the line between documentary and fiction, much like its subject." More from Aaron Krasnov at Twitch. Update: More from Benjamin Mercer at Reverse Shot.

Tomorrow evening, Susan Orlean, whose latest book, Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend, is being received quite well — see, for example, David Thomson (New Republic) and Kenneth Turan (Los Angeles Times) — will discuss Noel M Smith's Clash of the Wolves (1925). Here's Orlean in August:

Image at the top: Still from Haron Farocki's I Thought I Was Seeing Convicts (2001), a two-channel video installation re-edited to single-channel video. For news and tips throughout the day every day, follow @thedailyMUBI on Twitter and/or the RSS feed.


Harun FarockiBen RiversWilliam WylerStefano SavonaGrant GeeNoel M. SmithNYFFNYFF 2011DailyDaily Briefing
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