Jia Zhangke: A Retrospective opens at MoMA on Friday and runs through March 20. To mark the occasion, dGenerate Films presents "The Age of Amateur Cinema Will Return," a piece Jia wrote in 2003: "The essay amounts to a manifesto on the purpose of cinema in shaping world culture and the significance of 'amateur' filmmaking in opposition to an emerging global aesthetic of commercial professionalism."
"Looking back on the past ten years, cinephiles may very well see them as the decade of Jia," writes Andrew Chan in his overview of the series for L Magazine.
Victor Fleming "neither fit nor broke the mold of a studio director," writes Michael Sragow in the New York Times. "He transcended it. Like Hawks, Vidor and others, including George Stevens and John Ford, he helped establish just how mammoth a creative force a Hollywood director could be in the era when the big studios were erecting their dream factories. The MGM executive Eddie Mannix testified that no one on the lot was more 'exacting'; the producer Pandro Berman averred that no director was more adept at getting his own way. More important, as the retrospective that opens Friday at Film Forum in New York shows, few could match Fleming at putting visual ideas at the service of a story." Through March 18.
"With Bluebeard, Catherine Breillat — perhaps the most willful feminist provocatrice in cinema today, whose stroke in 2004 made her even more determined to keep working — slyly subverts Charles Perrault's gruesome fairy tale about a young bride married to an aristocrat who has murdered his previous wives." Melissa Anderson introduces her interview with the filmmaker for the Voice. The occasion is Bluebeard on Film, a series running at Anthology Film Archives from today through Sunday that includes work by Charlie Chaplin, Fritz Lang, Ernst Lubitsch, Michael Powell and Edgar G Ulmer. Interviews with curator Miriam Bale: Mark Asch (L) and Aaron Cutler (House Next Door).
"This week in Brooklyn, New York, comes one of the best arguments for the newfound portability of festival cinema," writes Daniel Kasman here in The Notebook. Rotterdam@BAM, which opens today and runs through Tuesday, "takes the entire Tiger Competition feature films lineup of the 2010 festival, along with many of its filmmakers, and brings the whole kit and caboodle to our lovely borough." For more on these films, see David Fear (Time Out New York), Brandon Harris, Stephen Holden (NYT), Scott Macaulay (Filmmaker), Benjamin Mercer (L), Nick Pinkerton (Voice) and Michael Tully (Hammer to Nail).
The New York International Children's Film Festival is on formally through March 21, but it's "also expanding the programs it offers outside its annual February-March competition," writes Laurel Graeber in the NYT. "[I]n April it will begin showing movies every weekend, rather than monthly, at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village. It will continue to tour a 'Best of NYICFF' program and is planning a San Francisco event in September. But this year the festival has something unprecedented: its own Oscar nominee." That would be Tomm Moore's The Secret of the Kells. More on that one on Friday.
For many, many more goings on in New York, past, present and future, turn to Dan Sallitt.
"In the spirit of Oscar weekend, LACMA will be hosting our ninth annual Young Directors Night, an event that highlights the emerging talent of the Los Angeles film community, on Saturday night. This year, LACMA received over eighty film submissions — the highest ever in the event's history! From those we selected six shorts that will be competing for the Art of Film award."
"The outstanding Los Angeles-based Cinefamily (which, as noted on their website, is 'devoted to finding and presenting interesting and unusual programs of exceptional, distinctive, weird and wonderful films') is partnering with yours truly and Cinema Eye to launch a brand new nonfiction film series, What's Up, Docs?" announces AJ Schnack. "The first four nights of the program will be Thursdays this month, kicking off this week with 'A Night with TVTV,' a rare reunion of the pioneering, San Francisco-based collective that, in large respects, introduced the comedic documentary form."
"The Los Angeles Filmforum will be hosting the Munich Film Museum's Stefan Droessler on Friday March 12," notes Andre Soares at the Alt Film Guide. Droessler will "present the issues and process involved in their restoration of the pioneering film work of Walther Ruttmann, followed by a presentation of the classic poetic documentary masterwork Berlin: Symphony of a City (1927)."
The SXSW Film Conference and Festival, running March 12 through 20, has announced announced its Film Jurors as well as a couple of new special events. Robert Rodriguez and director Nimród Antal will present a 'First Look' at their upcoming Predators on March 12 and Géla Babluani's 13, a remake of his own 13 Tzameti, will screen the following day at midnight.
"The 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival today announced the films selected for documentary competition during the April 22 - May 6, 2010." Mark Bell has all the info at Film Threat.
The UK's celebration of the work of Sergei Parajanov runs through March 17 at BFI Southbank in London before moving on to the Arnolfini in Bristol (April 2 through 23). The latest appreciations of the filmmaker who risked practically everything to realize his vision in the Soviet Union of the 70s and 80s come from Ian Christie (Sight & Sound) and Oscar Paul Medina (The Hydra).
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