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Film Foundation, Offscreen, Lists, More

New York's Film Society of Lincoln Center is celebrating 20 Years of Martin Scorsese's Film Foundationwhich, it should probably be noted, is not to be confused with his World Cinema Foundation, launched at Cannes in 2007 (and, full disclosure, we're a partner). The older non-profit organization has raised funds for the preservation and restoration of over 500 films, eighteen of which will be screening in this series through January 2.

Steve Dollar in the Wall Street Journal: "If you haven't caught them on a big screen recently, here's a chance to see Luchino Visconti's historical epic Senso (1954), with Alida Valli and Farley Granger as war-torn lovers in 1860s Italy, and Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), the ultimate spaghetti Western, with a villainous Henry Fonda, a buxom Claudia Cardinale, and Charles Bronson as 'Harmonica,' all in brilliant Techniscope. There's plenty more, from Kubrick, Hitchcock, Hawks, Losey, Cassavetes, Ophüls and Renoir. Plus," on January 1 and 2, "a special 40th anniversary screening the subversive sensation Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, pitting writer-director-star Melvin Van Peebles against The Man. Mr Van Peebles will be on hand for questions."

Bonjour Tristesse (1958) screens tomorrow and Thursday, and for the New Yorker's Richard Brody, the "spare, cynical story gives rise to some of Preminger's most ingenious stylistic flourishes."

The latest issue of Offscreen to go online focuses on silent cinema, beginning with Simon Brown examining whether the roots of British horror can be traced back to the silent era and, more specifically, whether the experience of WWI had the impact it had on American and German cinema. Editor Donato Totaro pays tribute to Charlie Chaplin. Peter Rist reports on October's Pordenone Silent Film Festival (Le Giornate del Cinema Muto), focussing on Yasujiro Shimazu, Hiroshi Shimizu and Kiyohiko Ushihara. And Alireza Vahdani looks into the impact of Kabuki theater on Akira Kurosawa.

 

LISTS


Animation historian and critic Charles Solomon has drawn considerable commentary to his Anime Top 10 list for the Los Angeles Times. Derek Kwok's Gallants tops Milky Li Hoi Ching's list of the top 5 films out of Hong Kong this year for Ioncinema. At Cinematical, Scott Weinberg revisits the "Top 10 Horror Movies of 2010," his #1 being Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. And contributors to the Arts Desk look back on the best and worst of the year.

For the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, France soared while Hollywood belly-flopped this year. Their #1: Joann Sfar's Gainsbourg (vie héroïque).

Novelist Dennis Cooper lists his "favorite fiction, poetry, albums, films, visual/live, and internet of 2010."

Adam Cook's #1 is Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives: "Apichatpong's Palme D'or winning masterpiece isn't just the best film of 2010 but like each of his last three features stands among the best cinema has to offer in this young century, which laden as it is with syndromes, is blessed by these works which offer us the serene and the strange in equal and copious measure."

 



J Hurtado's at Twitch: "Enthiran was an event film of the highest magnitude. The highest budgeted film ever made in India. Superstar Rajinikanth inspires such devotion that nothing I've seen in my life compares to the mania that preceded and followed this film's release.... Most of us cannot even imagine the kind of insanity a new Rajinikanth film inspires, let alone his biggest film ever." Hurtado and his wife caught a screening in Dallas that "had been sold out for a week, and there was a line out the front door of the theater for ticket holders. All I can say is that if you missed this, you missed the film event of the year. When Superstar Rajni's credit [appeared] (before the production company or any other credits) the house exploded, confetti rained down from the upper rows of the theater, and whistles, cat calls, and shouts of 'Thalaivar!' (Rajni's nickname to fans) drowned out the soundtrack completely through the opening credits and music. Then the film started, and it only got better...." A terrific related read: Grady Hendrix back in September for Slate on the Rajinikanth phenomenon. Meantime, back at Twitch, Niels Matthijs's "Discoveries of 2010."

Viewing (57'10"). Seattle critics Jim Emerson, Robert Horton, Kathleen Murphy and Andrew Wright discuss the year in film.

More viewing. With clips to back up her choices, Tracey Ullman tells the Daily Beast about her favorite British performances of all time.

 

IN OTHER NEWS


"Oh, to catch Bud Greenspan's eye and then turn up in one of his Olympic documentaries," writes the AP's Jim Litke. "For many athletes, from the famous to the obscure, the honor ranked just behind winning a medal. The filmmaker, whose riveting tales soared as triumphantly as the men and women he chronicled for more than six decades, died Saturday at his home in New York City of complications from Parkinson's disease, companion Nancy Beffa said. He was 84."

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