The April 2012 issue of frieze is out and artist Lis Rhodes has taken on the "Life in Film" column. Also: Jonathan Griffin reviews work by Alex Israel, who "claims to believe in the 'stardust' of Hollywood, in the magic that transforms an object just through its appearance on film, pictured in association with a star whose image is just as fictitious as the movie itself."
"In the mid-1980s, film novelizations were messages in bottles for those without video recorders or access to a cinema," writes George Pendle. "Even if you had seen the film in question, these novelizations acted as memento vidi, forceful reminders of what you had seen." And yet, they're still being written:
In his 2005 essay "Novelization, a Contaminated Genre?," the cultural theorist Jan Baetens declares novelizations as a unique, if non-canonical, genre: "Novelization does not so much aspire to become the movie's other as it wants to be its double," he writes. A novelization is not an adaptation of a film but "an anti-adaptation — defined as an adaptation that strives to deny itself as an adaptation and to deny the ruptures every adaptation necessarily supposes." Baetens posits that the film novelization is a hybrid of the visual and the textual, "a monster, simultaneously anachronistic and innovative, both cinematographic and anti-ekphrastic." The argument is a persuasive one, since monstrosities are all too common when discussing novelizations.
More reading. Reverse Shot's Michael Koresky on The Sugarland Express (1974): "There would never be another Spielberg movie that feels less dreamlike."
"Do all cinephiles dream, like me, of being in charge of programming on long-haul plane flights?" asks Adrian Martin in de Filmkrant.
In other news. Jason Reitman's final live stage-reading of iconic screenplays at LACMA will happen on Thursday, reports Entertainment Weekly's Anthony Breznican. The screenplay: The Big Lebowski. And the first three actors lined up are Nick Kroll, Patton Oswalt and Hank Azaria.
In the works. David O Russell will direct American Bullshit, "which follows a con artist who works with the FBI in a far-reaching corruption case that stretches from Atlantic City to Washington, DC," reports Variety.
Catherine Hardwicke will likely direct Diamond, "a gangster pic set in 1960s London," reports the Playlist's Kevin Jagernauth. Also: Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska will soon be making their directorial debuts, taking on segments of an omnibus-like adaptation of Tim Winton's collection of stories, The Turning.
Shepard Fairey has evidently been "instrumental" in nudging along another adaptation of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Borys Kit has details in the Hollywood Reporter.
San Francisco. SFIFF has announced that it'll be presenting the Mel Novikoff Award this year to Pierre Rissient "for his tireless work behind the scenes on behalf of international cinema… Following the award presentation and an onstage interview with independent scholar/author John Wranovics (Chaplin and Agee), Fritz Lang's gothic noir House by the River (1950), a film that Rissient was influential in bringing back to the public eye, will be screened." So, too, will Todd McCarthy's Pierre Rissient: Man of Cinema (2007).
Boston. The Phoenix's Peter Keough previews the Boston Turkish Film Festival, opening today and running through April 8. And at indieWIRE, Aaron Bogart has the lineup for the Independent Film Festival Boston, running from April 25 through May 2.
Los Angeles. In the Weekly, Ernest Hardy previews FUSION: The LGBT People of Color Film Festival, running today through Saturday.
Prague. Among those attending and presenting work at Febiofest, opening this evening and running through March 30: Nanni Moretti, Andreas Dresen, Lech Majewski, Sandrine Bonnaire and Agnieszka Holland. Viktor Palak has details at Cineuropa.
Oberhausen. The program for the 58th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen is set.
Eindhoven, the Netherlands. …and Europe will be stunned, a trilogy of films by Yael Bartana, opens Saturday at the Van Abbemuseum, where the installation will be on view through August 26.
Obit. At We Are Movie Geeks, Tom Stockman reports that Robert Fuest has died at the age of 84: "It's a shame this skilled and stylish director wasn't a bit more prolific as his The Abominable Dr Phibes (1971 — and its 1972 sequel Dr Phibes Rises Again) exhibited a great sense of flair and pop art flamboyance and provided Vincent Price with one of his most beloved roles."