- From Terry Gilliam's Facebook page comes some of the unlikeliest news in the history of cinema: "After 17 years, we have completed the shoot of THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE. Muchas gracias to all the team and believers." We'll believe it when we see it, but boy do we want to see it!
- In other long-in-making news but from the other side of the film industry, American avant-garde filmmaker Nathaniel Dorsky has revealed that he has edited old footage shot on the now-discontinued Kodachrome 16mm film stock into five new films (!), including "a document from the weeks that Stan Brakhage was dying..." Hopefully we will get to see these in the festivals and venues for alternative cinema where Dorsky's fans usually savor his work.
- The New York Asian Film Festival, the United States's best venue for premiering Asian cinema, has revealed its huge program for this June and July, including recent films by Ann Hui, Takashi Miike, Miwa Nishikawa, and Mikhail Red.
- Did anyone believe Steven Soderbergh when he said he had retired from feature filmmaking? With Southern heist film Logan Lucky—starring Adam Driver, Channing Tatum and a Southern-accented Daniel Craig—coming to cinemas this summer, and his TV show The Knick ended after the second season, perhaps he's "back"?
- The new, full trailer for Krisha director Trey Edward Shults's much-anticipated second film, It Comes at Night.
- Martin Scorsese has written an article for the Times Literary Supplement forcefully called "Standing up for cinema," partially in response to a review of his film Silence in the same publication by Adam Mars-Jones:
“Even the most relentless book filters diffusely into the life of the reader”, he writes, “while a film suspends that life for its duration.” I know for a fact that this isn’t true, based on my own experience. First of all, it seems to me that we all want to surrender ourselves to art, to live within a given film or painting or dance. The question of how an artwork is absorbed in time, whether we’re standing before it in a gallery for a matter of minutes, reading it over a matter of weeks, or sitting in a dark theatre and watching it projected on a screen for two hours, is simply a condition, a circumstance, a fact. So yes – when I’m really watching a film from beginning to end, I’m not stopping it to make a phone call and then starting it again. On the other hand, I’m not letting the film override my existence. I’m watching it, experiencing it, and along the way seeing echoes of my own experience illuminated by the film and illuminating it in turn. I’m interacting with the film in countless ways, great and small.
- A bit of self-promotion in case you missed it (though how could you?): with 26 film reviews, 10 director interviews and 4 filmmaker Q&As, we've wrapped our coverage of the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.
- "It's hard explain Poppy to the uninitiated," Lexi Pandell says in her Wired profile of the mysterious YouTube phenomenon Poppy, "but I’m going to try." It's a portrait of the confusion surrounding a hyper-modern version of the celebrity star:
Poppy is built to be mesmerizing. Hers is a new brand of celebrity at the nexus of one-off meme maker, legitimate pop star, and avant-garde artist. The more you learn about her, the harder it is to tear your eyes from your screen as she pushes you to follow, to comment, to subscribe. And so you do, hoping that maybe it will bring you one step closer to understanding her. This is the magic of Poppy, a star for today’s internet, exquisitely designed to dig her pink fingernails into your brain.
- Kent Jones has written again in praise of "the quietest, least trumpeted, and most enigmatic" creative surge in cinema in the last 30 years, that of the Kazakh New Wave. Specifically, for the Criterion Collection, on Ermek Shinarbaev's 1989 picture, Revenge. The writing is so beautiful it is worth quoting in length:
The structure of the film allows us to feel revenge as a force that slices through vast swaths of time, enormous distances, and unstable historical circumstances: we see its mythical origins in ancient Korea, its reanimation (and, by implication, its eternal recurrence) with the murder and its aftermath, and its blind devastations in the spectacle of a beautiful boy, wrenched from the arms of his loving birth mother, who grows up to become a warped young man in whom the seed of vengeance has grown like a cancer. But what finally gives Revenge its power as a film is its employment of and awed respect for the sheer presence of light, which offsets and finally dissolves the grave momentum of the action. Shinarbaev and the cinematographer, Sergei Kosmanev, have made four films together, all of them visually powerful, but here every image—the serene young mother sitting with her baby on a mountaintop, the young man hemorrhaging blood in his bed in a work dormitory, an apocalyptic truck with an iron container chained to its bumper rolling monstrously into the frame—is impregnated with pure radiance. The film embodies the sense of a benign universe far greater than the rancid confusions of human beings.
- Every time Andrei Tarkovsky's polaroids surface online, it makes us happy.
- With two films premiering in Cannes (Claire's Camera, starring Isabelle Huppert, and The Day After in competition), the often cagey Hong Sang-soo has given an intriguing interview with The Hollywood Reporter about his current working process:
“I make use of the things that come to me while shooting as I incorporate them into an evolving whole... I don’t even know what I know about a given actor. And I don’t try to organize or explain what I know. But on the day of shooting, the particular situation and the conditions of the film come together to create a kind of pressure. That pressure allows a few things among the many thoughts and feelings I have about this actor to come out. I write them down.”
- A new book in Italian dedicated to Pedro Costa, Questi fiori malati. Il cinema di Pedro Costa, is soon to be published by Notebook contributor Michael Guarneri. The author chatted with critic Patrick Holzapfel about his approach and how punk and post-punk music influenced the director's work.
- Next up on the docket for the brilliant revivalist vinyl label Waxwork Records is Joseph Loduca's score for Sam Raimi's Evil Dead 2.
- Speaking of Hong Sang-soo, the South Korean star Kim Min-hee, who was in Park Chan-wook's The Handmaiden as well as one-two-three Hong films in 2017, was photographed by Stephan Vanfleteren for Le Monde. It's part of an incredible photoshoot of talent at the Cannes Film Festival, including Pedro Almodóvar, Michael Haneke, Juliet Binoche and Rungano Nyoni.
- In Cannes, Moonlight director Barry Jenkins and Claire Denis, whose film Let the Sunshine in premiered in the Directors' Fortnight, were photographed sharing—what else?—a bottle of red. Be still our beating hearts!
- Another dreamy duo: Taiwanese directors Edward Yang (left) and Hou Hsiao-hsien (right). They worked on several films together, most notably Yang's Taipei Story (1985), in which Hou starred.