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Rushes. "Blade Runner 2049," "Twin Peaks," Machine Learning Filmmaking, "Akira" Art

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  • The first full trailer for Blade Runner 2049, Denis Villeneuve's sequel to Ridley Scott's original starring Ryan Gosling alongside Harrison Ford, looks like a storyboard come to (digital) life.
  • An all-too-brief look at some kind of footage from the new Twin Peaks, with Everett McGill, Harry Dean Stanton, Grace Zabriskie, Harry Goaz, Michael Horse, and Kyle MacLachlan looking like figures in an eerie waxworks.
  • Milestone will soon be theatrically releasing a new restoration of Billy Woodberry's debut film, Bless Their Little Hearts (1983), written and shot by Killer of Sheep's Charles Burnett.
  • Philippe Garrel meets David Lynch? Indeed! In a new video essay, Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin look at the "holy family" (mother, father, and child) in early experimental films by each director, Lynch's The Grandmother (1969) and Garrel's Le révélateur (1968), the latter of which is now playing on MUBI.
  • And speaking of experimental film, Damien Henry has made a short feature that is "100% generated by an algorithm in one shot. No edit or post-processing." In the video description, he goes into more detail about the process:
I used videos recorded from trains windows, with landscapes that moves from right to left and trained a Machine Learning (ML) algorithm with it.

First, it learns how to predict the next frame of the videos, by analyzing examples. Then it produces a frame from a first picture, then another frame from the one just generated, etc. The output becomes the input of the next calculation step. So, excepting the first one that I chose, all the other frames were generated by the algorithm.
“I built [‘Twin Peaks’] to be on the big screen. It will be on a smaller screen, but it’s built for the big screen..”
For almost 20 years, I've been thinking of Elián González. He is, after all, a kindred spirit. I, too, escaped to this country across the Straits of Florida, though I came here as part of the Mariel boat lift, which was a controlled enough social experiment to almost guarantee that my four-year-old anemic self would be alive by the time he reached Florida. I lost iron getting here, while Elián lost his mother. He was the only survivor of a group of 13 Cubans to make it to the U.S. when he was found clinging to an inner tube off the coast of Fort Lauderdale in late 1999. Later, he would say that dolphins periodically kept him afloat whenever he started to lose strength.

I don't remember hiding in a field with my mother while proponents of the Cuban revolution threw rocks at our home and screamed, “Gusanos!” Nor do I remember being pelted with eggs as my grandfather walked with me off a bus and toward the port of Mariel. Those are truths I've received over the years from family. Because of that lack of remembrance, I've always felt removed from my experience, but it's a disconnect that might be preferable to what seems like Elián's curse of being unable to resurrect an authentic memory because of the way the dueling sides of the seemingly eternal U.S.-Cuba conflict mediated the trauma of his own youth for political leverage.
Robert De Niro (left) and Michael Mann (top right) behind the scenes of Heat.
"I didn’t set out to do a genre piece that would conform to a set type. It’s not a cops-and-robbers film. To me, it’s human drama, period. And it’s a very ambitious film, but in its ambition it was to be two things. One was kind of a counterpoint: Could I pull off a very contrapuntal film in which there are really only two protagonists? The second was that I wanted to dimensionalize everybody — that everybody should have a life."
  • Subject 28 is a must-follow Tumblr featuring "original production art used in the creation of Katushiro Otomo's Akira."

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