Go ahead and tell us you click it for the articles, but there's no shame in admitting that what you're really after are the book reviews. And the new issue of Scope, the online journal of film and TV studies from the University of Nottingham, has ten new book reviews. Sampling from one of them, Daniele Rugo writes, "As the title provocatively announces Dudley Andrew's book What Cinema Is! engages in the complex task of responding to André Bazin's attempt to identify the core of the cinematographic creation…. Andrew develops an inspired and insightful, if perhaps nostalgic, roadmap delineating how cinema should proceed to remain faithful to its origins (or to Bazin's original ideas)." Let Catherine Grant be your guide to the full issue.
The November/December 2011 issue of Film Comment is up, with nearly as many online exclusives as samples from the print edition: Peter von Bagh's uncut interview with Aki Kaurismäki, Grady Hendrix's extensively annotated interview with Tsui Hark, Phillip Lopate's extended review of Brian Kellow's Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark (more here, as you probably know) and Amy Taubin on David Weissman and Bill Weber's "brisk, tender, multifaceted, and deeply moving documentary," We Were Here. In print, Richard Combs suggests that François Truffaut was not as simple as the "Truffaut" we've constructed to set against Godard; plus: Chris Chang on Ruben Östlund's Play and Céline Sciamma's Tomboy, Deborah Jowitt on Wim Wenders's Pina, José Teodoro on Pedro Almodóvar's The Skin I Live In and Jesse P Finnegan on Art of the Title.
In other news. Congratulations to Paul Clipson, winner of a San Francisco Bay Guardian Goldie. Max Goldberg: "His exploratory form of lyricism is composed for Super 8 film. That for is critical, since Clipson shoots with a well-practiced intuition for what shows up as gold in Super 8 (an increasingly rare form of presentiment)…. In the words of Gaston Bachelard, a writer Clipson admires, 'Sometimes the transactions between small and large multiply, have repercussions.' Clipson's intensive approach in both shooting and projecting his work definitely angles towards a repercussive cinema."
The 3rd I San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival opens today and runs through Sunday. Overviews: Cheryl Eddy (SFBG) and Frako Loden (Evening Class).
"Jason Reitman is following up his staged reading of The Breakfast Club at LACMA with a similar event for The Apartment." (Vulture)
"Under fire for, well, being Brett Ratner (and most recently saying 'rehearsal is for fags'), the Tower Heist director has tendered his resignation as a producer of the 84th Academy Awards." (Atlantic Wire)
In the works. Jennifer Vineyard talks with Jonathan Franzen about the work he's putting into turning The Corrections into a TV series for HBO (Noah Baumbach will direct the pilot; Scott Rudin is producing; Chris Cooper and Dianne Wiest are playing Alfred and Enid Lambert): "I conveniently left out stuff that I couldn't imagine, or had no reason to imagine it, and was surprised how much of that, when I do imagine that, actually fits. Minor characters in the book are becoming very substantial characters in the show, too. It's fun. I'm coming back to the book as a stranger, essentially twelve years after I wrote it, and I'm filling in blanks that were deliberately blanks, but I'm having the pleasure of filling them in…. I think it's going to be a different kind of pleasure than whatever shows are out there. That's why I'm involved with the project. It'll be like no TV I've ever seen." Guy Lodge traces the evolution of the project over the years.
Even as Xan Cassavetes wraps Kiss of the Damned (with Joséphine de la Baume, Roxane Mesquida and Milo Ventimiglia caught up in a vampiric love triangle), she's setting up 1000 Days of Rage and Hope, in which "a woman with a radical mentality navigates the complexities of relationships, poverty and dreams in New York City, as she analyzes her own complex and deep seated relationship with capitalism." Her words, via Ioncinema's Eric Lavallee.
Éric Rochant will direct Cécile De France and Jean Dujardin in Mobius (Playlist) and Harold Becker will direct Clive Owen in Recall, an action thriller written by Paul Schrader (FirstShowing).
On Samantha Morton's to-do list: David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis (new photos), Andrew Stanton's John Carter, Steven Bernstein's Decoding Annie Parker and Matthew Thompson's The Mulo, in which she plays estranged twins. (Playlist)
Obit. Nathaniel Rogers remembers costume designer Theadora Van Runkle, whose influential work can be seen in Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Myra Breckenridge (1970), The Godfather: Part II (1974), New York, New York (1977) and Peggy Sue Got Married (1986).