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Rushes. Cannes Official Selection, Documentary Activism, Mike Judge, the Stats of the Furious

This week’s essential news, articles, sounds, videos and more from the film world.
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Kornél Mundruczó's Jupiter's Moon, competing in the 70th Cannes Film Festival
  • In case you missed it, the Cannes Film Festival has announced its Official Selection (the separate but simultaneous festivals of Directors' Fortnight and Critics' Week should reveal their lineup this week). Arnaud's Desplechin's Les fantômes d'Ismaël will open the event, with films in competition by Michael Haneke, Sofia Coppola, Bong Joon-ho, and the Safdie brothers. Hong Sang-soo has two films at the festival, Mathieu Amalric's Barbara will open the Un Certain Regard section (where a Kiyoshi Kurosawa alien film will be premiered), and films by Takashi Miike, Claude Lanzmann and Agnès Varda are scattered through other sections.
  • Across the divide of cinema, many films by the legendary but too often under-distributed and under-seen filmmaking team of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet will soon be much more widely available in the United States, courtesy of the brave new company Grasshopper Film.
  • Janus Films will be re-releasing Andrei Tarkovsky's sci-fi masterpiece Stalker in a new restoration, which also has a new trailer.
  • An abrupt but intriguing teaser for Takeshi Kitano's third Outrage movie, Outrage 0: Coda.
However, after five years of attending each of these events, let me tell you what tends to happen: The same 20 or 30 people show up. I know most of them by name, and they’re generally pleasant and engaged. But they attend nearly everything we do. If the partner organization has a large following or has aggressively promoted the screening, they will likely fill the space with their own followers. The post-film panelists almost always offered useful context, but once the discussion spilled out into the audience, it became clear we were in an echo chamber.
Michael Ballhaus (left) and Rainer Werner Fassbinder on the set of Despair (1978)
Every moment of discovery in The Lost City of Z is a fit of aesthetic rapture, punctuated by a crashing wave or a panther’s sudden roar. The movie overwhelms the senses. Gray’s painterly images are patiently detailed and rendered, as if they’re being painted live, in the moment. Yet, for those pleasures, discovery is of course a vexed concept. It’s necessarily a movie about white colonialism, but it’s also knowingly so.
  • Have you ever wondered about the rise and fall in time spent racing versus time spent chasing across the Fast and the Furious franchise? Or the NOS usage count in each film? Or number of shots of speedometer or tachometers? We hadn't thought about it until Bloomberg published "The Stats of the Furious," and now we're enthralled by the minute changes in the franchise's core stylistic tics across its seven entries (the eighth remains uncounted).
...Judge’s corpus of work cleaves neatly into two pieces. In one, people are driven nearly to ruin in their efforts to escape the crush of immense managerial apparatuses (“Office Space,” “Extract”). In the other, we see the opposite — imbeciles left completely and terrifyingly to their own devices (“Beavis and Butt-Head,” “Idiocracy”). “Silicon Valley,” remarkably, fuses both of these impulses. The tech world it skewers is the most dynamic sector of our economy, possibly representing the greatest concentration of brainpower and capital ever seen in human history, creating products that insinuate their control into every last corner of our lives. And yet it’s nevertheless lousy with man-children who seem to want nothing more than the ability to prolong adolescence, theirs and ours alike, and have the means and the license and the asinine product ideas to do so. If “Idiocracy” imagined that America would one day amuse itself into ruin, then “Silicon Valley” offers a compelling case for how we’ll go about doing it — not in spite of our best and brightest, but because of them.
Barbara Loden in Wanda
  • A film noir wedding cake. Deadly! (Via.)

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