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Rushes. Asian Film Awards, James Gray, Anatomy of a Gag, Agnès Varda

This week’s essential news, articles, sounds, videos and more from the film world.
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NEWS
Lam Suet
  • This year's Asian Film Awards are most notable for giving beloved Hong Kong character actor (and Johnnie To axiom) Lam Suet the award for Best Supporting Actor (for Trivisa). We were also happy to see that Tsui Hark (still madly inventive with this year's Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back) was given the Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Chinese actress Li Li-hua has died at the age of 92. While not very well known in the West—except perhaps in the obscure Frank Borzage film China Doll (1958)—Li's work for the Shaw Brothers studio and, later, Golden Harvest, minted many classics, including Li Han-hsiang's The Magnificent Concubine (1962), and Storm Over the Yangtse River (1969), as well as King Hu's The Fate of Lee Khan (1975).
  • For those who aren't able to travel to the Locarno Film Festival but are able to travel to (or live in) Los Angeles, the new venture Locarno Festival in Los Angeles will give audiences a taste of the boundary-pushing cinema on display at the Swiss event that all-too-rarely makes it to West Coast cinemas, including the latest films by Matías Piñeiro, Angela Schanelec, and Radu Jude.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING
  • Daughter of the Nile, Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-hsien's 1987 film made right before his international breakthrough, A City of Sadness, has hitherto been quite rare to see. Newly restored, it's headed to home video courtesy of the Masters of Cinema series.
  • With James Gray's adaptation of The Lost City of Z headed to cinemas next month, the American director took part in a long discussion La Cinémathèque française about the film.
  • The new feminist film journal Another Gaze has produced a video interview with influential film scholar Laura Mulvey, best known for her groundbreaking essay, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema." The magazine will be hosting a screening of Nelly Kaplan's A Very Curious Girl (1969) on March 28 in London, to be followed by a discussion with Mulvey.
  • For the Criterion Collection, a new video essay about Notebook columnist David Cairns look at the (anti-)gag comedy of Hal Ashby and Peter Seller's classic, Being There.
RECOMMENDED READING
Peele knows his genre mechanics. Get Out synthesizes elements of Rosemary’s BabyThe Stepford Wives, and the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers the movie which more or less introduced the idea of the alien possession in an alienated America. In a sense, Get Out marries Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner to another, far greater movie from the late 1960s, George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. The most graphic imaginable representation of American society devouring itself, the Romero film is also, whether by design or (as the director has always asserted) fortunate casting, a vision of a black man trapped in a world of white hysterics, shoot-to-kill cops, and flesh-eating zombies. It was also a movie that encouraged its audience to cheer when the black character shot and killed one particularly obnoxious but unarmed white man; Get Out ultimately has no sympathetic white characters.
  • A new issue of Senses of Cinema is out, with a hefty section devoted to the films of 1967, including PlayTime, Branded to Kill, In the Heat of the Night and The Jungle Book.
RECOMMENDED LISTENS
  • Oh yes: the Talkhouse has a new podcast episode featuring Agnès Varda in conversation with Cameraperson director Kirsten Johnson.
EXTRAS
  • And with Varda in our minds (and our hearts), here is the grand dame rolling a beach ball through the streets of New York City. (Via.)
We all need a daily dose of Agnès Varda

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