Daily Briefing. Oberhausen Manifesto @ 50

The DailyOberhausen Manifesto press conference, 1962

Alexander Kluge speaks at the Oberhausen Manifesto press conference 1962

For all the news tumbling out of Rotterdam and Berlin over the past couple of weeks, we don't want to overlook a couple of pretty major announcements coming from other festivals regarding their upcoming editions. Starting with this one: "The 58th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Oberhausen Manifesto (February 28, 2012) with a large-scale thematic program entitled Provoking Reality: Mavericks, Mouvements, Manifesto. To honor the anniversary of the Manifesto, perhaps the single most important group document in German film history, the festival has compiled a selection of films of the signatories, many of which have not been shown for decades and had to be restored expressly for the program."

In addition to the inevitable panel discussion, there'll also be a double DVD from Edition Filmmuseum and, in German, a collection of essays. Before moving on, this bit from the press release is worth a chunky blockquote:

The central question of all programs will be what the manifestos of the past can teach us about the present-day state of art and cinema culture(s). In 1959 the Balázs Béla Stúdió was founded in Hungary as a field for experimentation beyond the official cinema; the New American Cinema Group around Jonas Mekas, in its First Statement in summer 1961, demanded radical change in the US cinema; in April 1964 more than 80 Japanese filmmakers came together to establish the Eiga geijutsu no kai (Film Art Society) in an effort to reform documentary film from the ground up. As early as 1953, the Groupe des Trente in France published its manifesto in defense of the short film, while in the late 1950s in Sweden a cohort rallied around museum founder and curator Pontus Hultén, whose efforts to link the visual arts with experimental film are just as pertinent today as they were then.

[Update,1/15: The new issue of the German film journal Schnitt features a special section on the Oberhausen Manifesto. Update, 1/17: Via Christoph Hochhäusler, a new site dedicated to events marking the anniversary.]

On a related note, as part of its year-long celebration of the upcoming 50th New York Film Festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center will be screening "three masterworks of the New German Cinema movement from consecutive years at NYFF, 1974 - 1976": Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, Werner Herzog's The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser and Wim Wenders's Kings of the Road. And on an unrelated note, the FSLC will present its 39th Chaplin Award to Catherine Deneuve in April.

Locarno has announced that the retrospective for this year's edition, the 65th, will be dedicated to Otto Preminger. They'll be screening "the director's entire body of work: forty films screened in the best 35mm prints available." Further reading: Locarno artistic director Olivier Père on Preminger.

Lists and awards. 23 top-of-the-line critics comment on their favorite DVD and Blu-ray releases of 2011 in Sight & Sound's latest poll.

Cinema Scope has posted a simple list — images and titles, that's it so far — of its top ten, plus nine special mentions. #1: Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb's This Is Not a Film.

Reverse Shot contributors, having written up the best and written off the worst films of 2011 are now dreaming up all sorts of other awards, e.g., "Worst Ending to a Good Movie" and so on.

Paul Matwychuk and Heather Noel discuss and list their top films of 2011.

Steve James's The Interrupters, snubbed by the Academy, has won Best Nonfiction Film and Best Director from the Cinema Eye Honors; Daniel James Scott has a full report at Filmmaker. What's more, James is one of five nominees for the DGA's Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary award. The other four: Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, jointly, of course, for Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, James Marsh (Project Nim), Richard Press (Bill Cunningham New York) and Martin Scorsese (George Harrison: Living in the Material World).

"Guillaume Schiffman, AFC (The Artist), Jeff Cronenweth, ASC (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Robert Richardson, ASC (Hugo), Hoyte van Hoytema, FSF, NSC (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), and Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC (The Tree of Life) have been nominated in the feature film category of the 26th Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Outstanding Achievement Awards." The ASC Award will be presented on February 12.

Aki Kaurismäki's Le Havre leads the nominations for Finland's Jussi Awards, reports Jorn Rossing Jensen at Cineuropa.

At the Alt Film Guide, Steve Montgomery has the nominees for and winners of the Critics' Choice Awards.

In the works. Isabelle Huppert will take the lead in Catherine Breillat's Abus de faiblesse (Abuse of Weakness), "based on a book detailing her relationship with conman Christophe Rocancourt, who claimed to have embezzled as much as $40 million from the rich and famous over the years," reports Oliver Lyttelton at the Playlist. More from Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa.

Ondi Timoner has scored a $15K grant from the Tribeca Film Institute that'll go towards the making of her Mapplethorpe biopic with James Franco. Austin Dale has details on the other nine grantees at indieWIRE.

Paul Thomas Anderson is shooting The Master on 65mm, evidently. Jen Yamato explains at Movieline.

Los Angeles. Alan Rudolph's The Moderns screens tomorrow as part of the Getty Museum's series Dream a Little Dream: Artists in Film and, in the LA Weekly, Mark Olsen explains why, in his humble opinion, it's a better film than Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris.

Seattle. In the Stranger, Charles Mudede recommends Sam Fuller's House of Bamboo (1955), screening for one week at Northwest Film Forum, and David Schmader's going to be at In Dreams: The Films of David Lynch all week at SIFF.

New York. Global Lens 2012 is on at MoMA through January 28.

Browsing. Stephen Wildish's Film Alphabet Quizzes.

Viewing (22'37"). SlantCast 1.2: "The Oscars & Joe Swanberg."

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