This Must Be the Place, one of the finest tumblrs out there for cinephiles (and let me hasten to add that there are more than a few!), has just wrapped an intense week-long special focus on Akira Kurosawa. Take a look at these paintings set next to their realizations on screen. In fact, just start by clicking on the Akira Kurosawa tag and take a leisurely weekend stroll through stills, animated gifs, quotations, posters and more.
Reading. At Movie Morlocks, David Kalat argues that another Kurosawa, Kiyoshi, is responsible to a considerable degree for a revival of interest in Japanese cinema in the West in the late 90s; the turning point, he argues, is Cure (1997).
René Clément's Gervaise (1956), an adaptation of Émile Zola's 1877 novel L'Assommoir, "is a masterpiece," argues Mark Le Fanu in Sight & Sound, "as good an example as one can get of the 'tradition of quality' that exemplified post-war French cinema before it was attacked (and effectively destroyed) by the hostility of the nouvelle vague."
Three more, via Criterion: The New York Times' City Room becomes mildly obsessed with Hollis Frampton's Surface Tension (1968), James Heartfield reviews Roman Gubern and Paul Hammond's Luis Buñuel: The Red Years, 1929-1939 for Spiked and, in the Boston Review, Jonathan Kirshner considers Roger Ebert, Pauline Kael and American movies in the 70s.
In other news. "Variety, Hollywood's oldest entertainment industry trade publication, has been put up for sale," reports Ben Fritz in the Los Angeles Times. "Dutch and British conglomerate Reed Elsevier, which acquired the weekly publication and its Daily Variety newspaper 25 years ago, announced Friday that it was seeking a buyer for the 107-year-old brand, which has 61,000 combined weekly, daily and online subscribers." Anne Thompson's assessment: "Several factors led to its decline, from weak leadership to a failure to understand and adapt to the changes in media coverage brought by the Internet."
"Animator Glen Keane, a 38-year veteran of the Walt Disney Animation Studios who worked on such classics as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, announced Friday that he is leaving the company." Gregg Kilday and Borys Kit have more in the Hollywood Reporter and Cartoon Brew's Amid Amidi has Keane's letter to his Disney co-workers.
In the works. Melissa Leo is joining Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Andrea Riseborough and Olga Kurylenko in Joseph Kosinski's Oblivion, reports Sophia Savage at Thompson on Hollywood.
William Monahan, who won an Oscar for his screenplay for Martin Scorsese's The Departed (2006), will make his directorial debut direct Mojave, a thriller he's written and will co-produce, reports TheWrap's Brent Lang.