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Fresh Reads, Events and News

Time for a quick break from the news coming out of Cannes. With the emphasis on quick, here's a bit on what's going on elsewhere.

First, on the film journal front, Midnight Eye's posted three new reviews and a feature by Mark Player, "Post-Human Nightmares: The World of Japanese Cyberpunk Cinema." The new Offscreen features pieces on Luis Buñuel, Jesús Franco, Wristcutters: A Love Story, A Single Man and 3D. Word from Catherine Grant: "The second issue of the new Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism has just been posted online, with a wonderful looking Lang dossier, a fine tribute to the late Robin Wood, which takes the form of seven of his rarest pieces from the 1960s, 70s and 80s. And there's more besides on Susan Hayward and Vincente Minnelli." Speaking of Lang, you'll want to see David Bordwell's latest entry on how Lang shifts our alignment and allegiance in House by the River (1950). Meanwhile, Issue 29 of Reverse Shot carries on expanding.



Movieline's ST VanAirsdale issues an alert to New Yorkers: "Writer-director and comedy legend Elaine May will appear in person [tomorrow night at the 92nd Street Y] to discuss the never-before-seen director's cut of Ishtar, her infamous 1987 bomb starring Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman. Tickets are going fast, as well they should be." In the Wall Street Journal, Bruce Bennett chats with Charles Grodin, who notes that "if all the people who were snickering had seen Ishtar, it would've been a big hit." At Alt Screen, Sam Wasson argues that this is "a film that needs to be given a chance."

Ken Jacobs in 3 Dimensions! is on at Anthology Film Archives through Thursday. In a terrific piece for Alt Screen, Jesse P Finnegan notes that this is "the first comprehensive retrospective of the canonical avant-gardist's continuing adventures into the unfathomable depths and inexhaustible surfaces of cinematic consciousness." Zack Friedman talks with Jacobs about the series for Bomb and you may also recall Jacobs's piece for World Picture 5, "3D Is Intoxicating."

Blissfully Thai has opened at the Asia Society and runs through June 17. For Michael J Anderson, Pen-ek Ratanaruang's Ploy (2007) finds the writer-director "working at approximately the same higher level of artistry that the filmmaker displayed previously in major-works 6ixtynin9 (1999) and Last Life in the Universe (2003) — and in formal territory that is familiar equally to both." More from Christopher Bourne.


3:10 to Yuma is at Film Forum through Thursday. Stephen Garrett for Time Out New York: "As philosophically complex as it is starkly photographed, Delmer Daves’s ’50s frontier thriller questions heroism — mocks it and subverts it, really — before unveiling courage without celebration." That 1961 poster for the film, by the way, was designed by Jerzy Flisak and comes from a collection at 50 Watts featuring 21 other Polish posters for American westerns.



"On Sunday, [Nancy] Kwan will be honored by the Chinese American Museum at the AMC Monterey Park," writes Susan King in the Los Angeles Times. "The World of Suzie Wong, which also stars William Holden, will screen, as well as the documentary on her life and career, To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen's Journey."

Max Goldberg looks back on the Radical Light Timeline, a gallery show of ephemera relating to the (now touring) survey of the Bay Area's rich history of alternative cinemas." And summing up last month's San Francisco International Film Festival are Fernando F Croce at the House Next Door, Michael Hawley and Jeanette Samyn and Jonathan Kyle Sturgeon for N1FR.



"Jim Jarmusch is set to make a vampire movie starring Tilda Swinton, Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska as his vampires, with John Hurt in a featured role." Geoffrey Macnab reports for Screen.

"Mary Murphy, a film and television actress best remembered for playing the wholesome small-town girl opposite Marlon Brando's rebellious motorcycle gang leader in The Wild One, has died," reports Dennis McLellan in the LAT. "She was 80."

With Cannes on and all, the weekend came and went without one of those "now in theaters" roundups, but if you're like me, you'd rather read Ignatiy Vishnevetsky's new column anyway. Besides, Adam Clark Estes has a very fine roundup at the Atlantic Wire on the most talked about film of the bunch, Bridesmaids.

I do want to mention, though, that the UK's got an interesting week going on with the release of the newly restored Taxi Driver, prompting solid reads from Nick Pinkerton for Sight & Sound and Danny Leigh in the Guardian. Also in S&S is Michael Brooke's rave for Joe Cornish's Attack the Block: "Films this cine-literate are rarely this unpretentiously enjoyable." More from Matt Bochenski (Little White Lies), Peter Bradshaw (Guardian, 4/5), David Gritten (Telegraph, 2/5), Tom Huddleston (Time Out London, 4/5), Jasper Rees (Arts Desk) and Jonathan Romney (Independent). Interviews with Cornish: Matt Bochenski (Little White Lies), Simon Jablonski (Dazed) and David Jenkins (Time Out London).

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