- The great Jean-Claude Carrière has died. The prolific screenwriter worked across genres and penned scripts from Philip Kaufman's The Unbearable Lightness of Being to Luis Buñuel's The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, and more recently, Philippe Garrel's The Salt of Tears. Revisit Notebook contributor Lawrence Garcia's overview of Carrière's wide-ranging career here.
- Actor Christopher Plummer, one of the last links between Classic Hollywood and today, has also died. Throughout his long and illustrious career, Plummer worked with filmmakers like Nicholas Ray, Sidney Lumet, Anthony Mann, Robert Mulligan, Anatole Litvak, Michael Mann, Spike Lee, Terrence Malick, and Pete Docter.
- The International Film Festival Rotterdam has come to an end, and the winners of this year's awards can be found here.
- The Berlinale is continuing to announce its selection of titles for this year's festival, to be held March 1-March 5, and the lineup now includes new films by Anocha Suwichakornpong, Kevin Jerome Everson, Shengze Zhu, Truong Minh Quý, and many more.
- Cinéma du réel has announced a "singular, unifying and enhanced form for this year’s festival," CANALRÉEL. The online festival will show 21 films by filmmakers like Fern Silva, Mary Helena Clark, and Daïchi Saïto.
- Following the success of Nomadland, Chloé Zhao will be developing a feature film that reimagines the tale of Dracula as an "original, futuristic, sci-fi Western."
- An official trailer for Cathy Yan's (Birds of Prey) daring debut feature Dead Pigs, which will premiere on MUBI on February 12.
- Wong Kar-wai's latest is the 2021 Chinese New Year campaign video for Mercedez-Benz, a sentimental and richly saturated ode to "love and connection" (and cars!).
- Chilean-born, Montreal-based filmmaker Malena Szlam's ALTIPLANO is now screening on the Museum of Contemporary Art's official website until February 11. Read Michael Sicinski's review of the film, which showed at TIFF in 2018, here.
- A number of highly recommended screenings of experimental films are now taking place online: Anthology Film Archive's small series "Anarchism on Film," includes a collection of films by Ken Loach and Želimir Žilnik, and Peter Watkins' La Commune (Paris, 1871), one of the most essential films of the last 25 years, for rent.
- Canyon Cinema Foundation's latest program of experimental shorts, Homed Body, is available for rental on Vimeo. The program includes films by Lynn Sachs, Jean Sousa, and Emily Chao.
- Spanish screening site Xcèntric is currently showing Rose Lowder's exquisite short Bouquets 1-10, accompanied by an introduction from Gloria Vilches, until February 28.
- Over at the newly launched American Masters Digital Archive by PBS, you can find never-before-seen interviews with figures like critic Tag Gallagher, Peter Bogdanovich, Martin Scorsese, Sidney Poitier, and Isabella Rossellini.
- Following in the footsteps of Agnès Varda, Ava Duvernay, Lucrecia Martel, Miranda July, and Mati Diop, Isabel Sandoval (Lingua Franca) will be helming the new Miu Miu Women's Tale, set to premiere on February 23.
- The new music video for Lorenzo Wolff's cover of Judee Sill's "Crayon Angel", directed by the great American animator Lewis Klahr.
- New Yorker critic Alex Ross delves into the "drenching richness" of Andrei Tarkovsky's cinema, his rise as a near-godlike figure of slow cinema, and the ominous tone of his nationalist mysticism.
- Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, video and media arts organization Electronic Arts Intermix has announced a sleek new website. This new site has a Features section with available films (currently, you can watch Aldo Tambellini's The Day Before the Moon Landing (1969)) and an Oral Histories section, where EAI will be publishing a series of oral histories with key figures in media and video art history, starting with documentary filmmaker and artist Susan Milano.
- At 4Columns, Andrew Chan revisits the pleasures of Bill Duke's Sister Act 2, starring a show-stopping pre-fame Lauryn Hill, and the film's lasting mark as a generational touchstone.
- Nick Pinkerton's new essay at Recliner is a sweeping look at the changing landscape for eroticism in narrative cinema, from the rise of "porn chic" and the shifts brought about by #MeToo across the globe, to "a scrupulous avoidance of any discomfiting material whatsoever."
- It's not recent, but we're still delighted by Joe Hisaishi's 2008 Budokan concert commemorating the 25th anniversary of Studio Ghibli!
RECENTLY ON THE NOTEBOOK
- Editor Daniel Kasman reports back from this year's virtual edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, which premiered numerous strong films by Ainhoa Rodríguez, Tim Leyendekker, and more.
- In a new video essay, Michaela Popescu investigates how Nuri Bilge Ceylan shifts and morphs perspective in his film Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. The film is currently playing on MUBI in Turkey as part of the series Nuri Bilge Ceylan: A Soul's Journey.
- Salka Tiziana introduces her film For the Time Being, which is showing exclusively on MUBI starting February 4, 2021 in the series Festival Focus: Rotterdam.
- For the latest entry in our One Shot series, James Slaymaker captures the essence of Michael Mann's magnum opus Heat in one single image. Heat is showing on MUBI starting February 5, 2021 in the UK and other countries.
- Aaron Hunt's Notebook Primer introduces readers to the filmmakers and films of the L.A. Rebellion, the vital Black cinema movement that took place at UCLA during the 60s and 80s.
- Ahead of the premiere of his new film All Light, Everywhere at the Sundance Film Festival, filmmaker Theo Anthony joined Jordan Cronk to discuss authorial bounds of image-making, how archives uphold power structures, creating a body of work, and collaborating with Dan Deacon.
- Thomas Quist provides an overview of the up and down history of American football on screen.
- Leonardo Goi's Close-Up on Werner Herzog's Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin digs into the film's restless and erratic detours. The film is exclusively showing in the United States starting February 7, 2021.