- Zhang Yimou's latest One Second has been pulled from its competition slot at the Berlin International Film Festival. The film's official Weibo account cites "technical reasons," though some have speculated that the Cultural Revolution-set drama may have run into censorship troubles.
- Samuel L. Jackson and Giancarlo Esposito are both in talks to join Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods, about African American veterans who return to Vietnam in search of a body and some hidden gold.
- “'I’ve done everything I need to do, I made a million films, I’ve been around the world,' she told CBS2’s Cindy Hsu. 'It’s been a pleasure to live and living has been terrific.'" One of the great pioneers of queer cinema, Barbara Hammer, speaks to CBS New York about "right to die" laws.
- Little White Lies has composed a brief, precise distillation of the baroque variation and rhythm of color in Barry Jenkins's cinema. Here's our review of his If Beale Street Could Talk from earlier this year.
- Trailers for several promising films premiering at the Berlinale have arrived. First, there's Delphine and Carole, which concerns Delphine Seyrig (Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles) and Carole Roussopoulos' landmark efforts in feminist film and video making.
- François Ozon is back with his annual cinematic concoction—what looks to be a family drama circling around a narrative of abuse, starring Denis Ménochet and Melvil Poupaud.
- From the independent sphere: Canadian filmmaker Sofia Bohdanowicz premiered her latest collaboration with muse Deragh Campbell (I Used to Be Darker) at the Berlinale. Here's our review.
- This week, the Brooklyn Academy of Music continues its essential series "Race, Sex & Cinema: The World of Marlon Riggs." In his overview of the program for the New York Times, Wesley Morris points to Riggs's formal innovations, asking "How could an artist this smart, this prescient, this frank, transparent, curious, ruminative and courageous — this funny — escape your notice?"
- "It’s a joy to contemplate the photography of June Newton, a.k.a. Alice Springs. The Australian-born Springs is the 95-year-old widow of the provocative fashion photographer Helmut Newton, but that’s the least interesting thing about her." Rhonda Garelick provides an essential portrait of the remarkable Alice Springs and her distinct portraiture of stars.
- A new 4K digital restoration of Béla Tarr's Sátántangó will be screening at the Berlinale this year, and for those of us who cannot attend, the Hungarian National Film Fund has documented each step of the film's restoration process.
- In an excerpt from her forthcoming book Females: A Concern, Andrea Long Chu explores the limitations of reading The Matrix as an allegory for gender transition, "for to exit the Matrix is not to know the truth but to discover the poverty of knowledge."
- Taylor Montague of Little White Lies traces the nuances of Barry Jenkins's If Beale Street Could Talk and its depiction of Black life in America, "not just the pain but also the joy."
- "When we speak of 'shooting' with a camera," writes Teju Cole, "We are acknowledging the kinship of photography and violence." Cole reckons with the imperialist legacy of photography and its correlation to the history of human rights.
- A creative producer for the upcoming Alita: Battle Angel, James Cameron discusses the technicalities of "photo reality" behind the film's computer-generated sequences.
- In Steven Soderbergh's High Flying Bird, "the game isn’t being played and the business itself becomes the only real opponent." Adam Nayman's review for The Ringer holds the film up against Soderbergh's continuing self-reflexivity, and his tendency to make "movies on top of movies."
- What does "indie" mean for cinema in "a modern Chinese context"? Variety's overview of Chinese audiences's changing demands and a growing market offers a look into a simultaneous "death and revival" of independent filmmaking in China.
- On the occasion of her receiving a BAFTA fellowship, the legendary editor Thelma Schoonmaker speaks to The Observer regarding the "underestimated" role of women in filmmaking and the erased labor of female editors of cinema's past.
- In a media landscape unfolding in the shadow of #MeToo, Masha Tubitsyn points to a "return of the serial killer" in works like Mindhunter and The Ted Bundy Tapes, that indicate a "troubling resurgence of the psychosexual male panic."
- Jean-Luc Godard's "long and problematic" plans for a 2006 exhibition at Pompidou come to life in three new translations navigating his blueprints for "a utopia that would be unrealizable on film."
- Caden Mark Gardner dissects the enduring, posthumous resonance of James Dean's death, and his legacy as a "multi-faceted" American idol and LGBTQ icon.
- "How can women act as willful subjects while distinguishing their own desires from learned ones like internalized misogyny?" Another Gaze presents a deep dive into the morals and desires of women in the films of Margarethe Von Trotta.
- The late writer and filmmaker Kathleen Collins remains an oft-overlooked figure despite her magnificent contributions to both crafts. Excerpted from a newly released collection of Collins's writings, The Paris Review has published Collins's reflection on her own diary entries.
- On the latest episode of The Cinephiliacs, Peter Labuza speaks with author Maya Montañez Smukler's about her new book Liberating Hollywood, which concerns the few women who carved out and fended for a space for their cinema within New Hollywood.
RECENTLY ON THE NOTEBOOK
- High Flying Bird, Steven Soderbergh's latest exploration of the art of the con, is reviewed by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky.
- A Close-Up on Karim Aïnouz’s Central Airport THF, "an engrossing ode to Berlin’s former airport, and to the refugees struggling to leave it."
- Cristina Álvarez López highlights the free-form "independent sketches" of Dušan Makavejev's Hole in the Soul.
- The career of the coolest man on the planet, Jeff Goldblum, as experienced in the form of movie posters.
EXTRAS AND RE-DISCOVERIES
- From the making of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial...
Steven Spielberg and John Williams composing the score for E.T. This is filmmaking...truly wonderful. pic.twitter.com/aTTBoV4MXd— Dharma Bhagalia (@Kloppholic) February 7, 2019