Since January 27, Geoff Manaugh of the widely acclaimed BLDGBLOG has been hosting Breaking Out and Breaking In: A Distributed Film Fest of Prison Breaks and Bank Heists, "an exploration of the use and misuse of space in prison escapes and bank heists, where architecture is the obstacle between you and what you're looking for." The idea is to have anyone and everyone watch the films, wherever we may be, and then discuss them at BLDGBLOG: "It's a 'distributed' film fest; there is no central venue, just a curated list of films and a list of days on which to watch them. There's no set time, no geographic exclusion, and no limit to the food breaks or repeated scenes you might require. And it all leads up to a public discussion at Studio-X NYC on Tuesday, April 24." Discussions opened so far: Renoir's Grand Illusion (1937), Bresson's A Man Escaped (1956), John Sturges's The Great Escape (1963; more) and Stuart Rosenberg's Cool Hand Luke (1967).
Related viewing (16'03"). Flavorwire's supercut, "How to Pull the Perfect Movie Heist."
Reading. "I have a fantasy that someday Errol Morris is going to show up at the door of some old guy no one has connected to the Kennedy assassination before and say, 'I guess we don't have to tell you why we're here.'" For Smithsonian Magazine, Ron Rosenbaum profiles "one of America's most idiosyncratic, prolific and provocative public intellectuals."
The newest issue of Offscreen online, "The Italian Filone Part 2," features Roberto Curti on Brunello Rondi, Marcello Aliprandi and Warren Kiefer, whom many believe to be filmmaker Lorenzo Sabatini, when, in fact, it's the other way around ("Imagine a parallel universe where Stephen King was an aka for Richard Bachman, or that the name 'Jorge Luis Borges' was just a pseudonym conceived by Mr Honorio Bustos Domecq"). Plus: Curti's interview with Francesco Barilli and editor Donato Totaro on Barilli's The Perfume of the Lady in Black (1974) and Pensione Paura (1977).
Catherine Grant alerts us to the new issue of Networking Knowledge, "Girlhood in Popular Culture," which includes Louise Wilks on "Raunch Culture and the British Tween Film" and Sarah E Turner's essay, "Disney Does Race: Black BFFs in the New Racial Moment."
Competition. Young and Innocent is "the first film criticism competition for youngsters (aged between 18 and 28) from the European Union." This'll be happening from March 15 through June 30. The details.
Berlin. Manuel Schubert lines up screenings of silent films throughout March at the Zeughauskino, Kino Arsenal and Filmmuseum Potsdam, nearly all of them accompanied by live music.
Obits. "Mira Hamermesh, who has died aged 88, was a filmmaker of the first rank," writes Jeremy Isaacs in the Guardian. "Several women have made, or are making, superlative documentaries for British television. Hamermesh was of their number. The films were carefully constructed and beautifully composed — the writer Fay Weldon said she had 'a faultless painter's eye.' But they also dealt in ideas; Mira made us think."
Bruce Surtees, cinematographer on more than 50 films, including Bob Fosse's Lenny, for which he nominated for an Oscar, died on Thursday, reports Variety. He was 74. Surtees shot 14 films with Clint Eastwood, including Play Misty for Me. Variety: "Surtees was the son of a cinematographer, Robert Surtees, who won Oscars for King Solomon's Mines, The Bad and the Beautiful and Ben-Hur and was nominated a total of 14 times, including four years in a row in the late 1970s. He died in 1985."