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Rushes: Herzog's First Novel, Best of 2021, Gordon Parks, "Bye Bye Bye"

This week’s essential news, articles, sounds, videos and more from the film world.
Notebook
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NEWS
  • Werner Herzog is set to publish his first novel, a semi-fictional retelling of the story of Hiroo Onda. A friend of Herzog, Onda is a former Japanese soldier known for spending 29 years in the jungle on an island in the Philippines, refusing to surrender at the end of World War II. (He is also the subject of Arthur Harari's recent Un Certain Regard premiere, Onoda — 10,000 Nights in the Jungle.) Penguin Random House states that the novel is written in "an inimitable, hypnotic style—part documentary, part poem, and part dream."
  • Following his erotic nunsploitation film Benedetta, Paul Verhoeven is making the erotic political thriller Young Sinner. The film, according to Verhoeven and RoboCop co-writer Edward Neumeier, will take place in Washington DC and focus on a young staffer "drawn into a web of international intrigue and danger." As this is a Verhoeven film, Neumeir promises that there will be "also be a little sex."
  • Dave Bautista will be starring in M. Night Shyamalan's next film, entitled Knock At The Cabin. Unfortunately little else is known about the film, which is currently set for a February 3, 2023 release.
  • As we approach the end of the year, more top ten lists have arrived. Joanna Hogg's The Souvenir Part II takes the number one spot for Sight and Sound, and at the New York Times, Questlove's Summer of Soul tops A.O. Scott's list and Drive My Car is Manohla Dargis's #1 choice.
  • Mark your calendars: On December 23, French film historian, scholar and curator Nicole Brenez’s State of Cinema will be streamed for free on the Sabzian website. Brenez will be focusing on Florent Marcie's film A.I. at War (2021). The talk will be preceded by the publication of a dossier of texts by Brenez on December 15.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING
  • You can now watch the David Fincher-produced series Voir, a collection of video essays celebrating the history of cinema, on Netflix. The series includes episodes on Steven Spielberg's Jaws, Park Chan-wook's Lady Vengeance (by Every Frame A Painting's Tony Zhou!), and Walter Hill's 48 Hours.
  • Ryūsuke Hamaguchi's Touching the Skin of Eeriness (2013) is now streaming at the Cinémathèque française website. The film follows a young man who moves in with his half-brother and half-brother's girlfriend, and becomes fixated on performing modern dance with his classmate.
  • Another Screen is currently screening two films by American filmmaker Fronza Woods, Killing Time (1979) and Fannie's Film (1981). As Yasmina Price points out in a must-read essay that accompanies the two shorts, "Woods creates cinematic frames in which Black women, 'real' and 'fictional', can freely appear as themselves."
  • MUBI's teaser trailer for Sebastien Meise's Un Certain Regard Jury Prize winner Great Freedom, starring Franz Rogowski. Opening in cinemas and on MUBI next year.
RECOMMENDED READING
Above: Gordon Parks filming The Learning Tree (1969) (Courtesy of the Gordon Parks Foundation)
  • "Parks is relevant because his work is excellent, because the image of twentieth-century America cannot be thought of without him, and because we are not back at all." Blair McClendon writes on the illustrious career of Gordon Parks, the subject of the ongoing retrospective “The World of Gordon Parks" at Anthology Film Archives.
  • In a conversation for Interview Magazine, Columbus director Kogonada reunites with John Cho to discuss hanging out in secret bars, finding core values beneath identity, and escaping your past.
  • A transcript of Isiah Medina's lecture, "Towards a Theory of Film Production," hosted by The Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, is now available online. The lecture includes analyses of films like D.W. Griffith's Intolerance, Lav Diaz's A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery, and George Lucas' Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
  • Glenn Kenny has written a challenging and nuanced essay on documentary ethics and "re-recorded" conversations in the film Speer Goes To Hollywood.
  • For Edge Media Network, Sam Cohen interviews Ask Any Buddy podcast host and queer film historian Elizabeth Purchell about the issues facing the restoration and preservation of queer films.
  • Ben Pearson of SlashFilm investigates why "movie dialogue has gotten more difficult to understand," with sound editors, designers, and mixers offering reasons that range from acting styles to the poor treatment of sound teams on set.
RECOMMENDED LISTENING
  • From the soundtrack of Sean Baker's new film Red Rocket, a cover of NSYNC's "Bye Bye Bye" performed by Suzanna Son, who plays Strawberry.
RECENTLY ON THE NOTEBOOK
  • Andreas Fontana's Azor is exclusively showing on MUBI in many countries in the series Debuts. In her Close-Up, Jessica Kiang writes on the "milky middle" of evil and moral decay depicted in the film.
  • To mark the exclusive release of Leos Carax's Annette on MUBI in many countries in the Luminaries series, Ruairi McCann writes on the relationship between cinema and opera, and draws comparisons between Leos Carax and Sparks' film and Robert Ashley's 1984 TV opera Perfect Lives.
  • "...for us the art of filmmaking has to do with opening questions, breaking things, showing images that awaken ideas and sensations." Cristóbal León & Joaquín Cociña introduce their animated film The Bones, which is exclusively showing on MUBI in the series Brief Encounters.
  • Joshua Minsoo Kim interviews Rhayne Vermette about her circuitous path to filmmaking, the collectivist making of her debut, and Indigenous storytelling.
  • Christopher Small reports from Doclisboa, where three films dared to return to the origins of cinema to chart a path forward.
  • Steffanie Ling investigates the complex characterization of labor in Anders Edström and C.W. Winters's The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin). The film is exclusively showing on MUBI in the U.S. in the series MUBI Spotlight.
  • In a conversation with Beatrice Loayza, Amalia Ulman discusses her film El Planeta, about a mother-daughter pair who maintain upper-class appearances as they fall deeper in debt.
  • For the Current Debate column, Leonardo Goi assembles many takes on Licorice Pizza's shagginess and the meandering structure of Paul Thomas Anderson's new movie.
EXTRAS
  • Arbelos Films has announced that Béla Tarr’s original 35mm workprint of Sátántangó (1994) comes to auction this weekend, on December 12. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Freeszfe Society, an organization of students from the University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest advocating for academic freedom and independence.
  • Take a quick break from your busy day to enjoy some pictures of Tilda Swinton... as libraries. (Courtesy of Jude Atwood on Twitter.)

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RushesNewsNewsletterVideosTrailersWerner HerzogPaul VerhoevenRyusuke HamaguchiGordon ParksKogonadaIsiah MedinaSean BakerBéla TarrFronza Woods
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