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- This week, we’re remembering the iconoclastic, anti-capitalist filmmaker Jean-Marie Straub, who has died at the age of 89. In the course of revisiting Christopher Small’s Straub-Huillet Companion column, we were moved by this quotation from Straub, from a 1974 edition of Jump Cut:
The revolution is like God’s grace, it has to be made anew each day, it becomes new every day, a revolution is not made once and for all. And it’s exactly like that in daily life. There is no division between politics and life, art and politics. I think one has no other choice, if one is making films that can stand on their own feet, they must become documentary, or in any case they must have documentary roots. Everything must be correct, and only from then on can one rise above, reach higher.
- Linked here is a new, 14-minute interview with Tsai Ming-liang for TaiwanPlus, covering his career to date and plans for the future. (Glossy title card above.)
- One trailer you shouldn’t miss…80 for Brady. Set adjacent to the Book Club cinematic universe, this is a rambunctious period piece set way back in 2017, following Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Sally Field, and Rita Moreno—all Patriots super-fans—to the Super Bowl. Along the way, they encounter the titular QB and several Guy Fieris.
- Have you ever wondered about the Film Forum concessions sign advertising Jacques Derrida’s love of their banana bread (above)? For Screen Slate, Mark Asch contributes intrepid reportage on the full story.
- In Harper’s, Rachel Kushner writes on Robert Frank’s Cocksucker Blues and Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All. Another must-read, and a rare treat from one of our best contemporary novelists.
- “If Tony Leung Chiu-wai has been praised for his ability to act with his eyes—there exists a YouTube video essay on the subject with over a million views—Tang Wei, in her explosive acting debut in Lust, Caution (2007), shows an uncanny ability to embody that ineffable state of being looked at.” So writes Phuong Le for the Metrograph Journal, tied to the theater’s Tang Wei retrospective surrounding her role in Decision to Leave.
- Adam Piron crafts a beautiful essay for the Criterion Current on the once-lost silent film The Daughter of Dawn (1920), whose cast was made up entirely of Indigenous non-actors. “Much of the film’s power,” says Piron, “comes from what it inadvertently documented: the performance of Kiowa and Comanche customs dating back to before the reservation period.”
- “It’s not uncommon for artists to learn to see by going down into the inferno.” On Verso’s blog, an excellent career-spanning essay by Greg Gerke on Ryusuke Hamaguchi.
- Finally, for New York’s newest alt-paper Hell Gate, Max Rivlin-Nadler speaks to James Gray about Armageddon Time, with a particular focus on the local context in Queens.
- Brooklyn: Don’t miss Light Industry’s study in the art of skate videos on November 29, Skate Parts Worth Watching.
- Porto: For Portugal-based readers, Porto/Post/Doc runs through November 26. Peruse the cultural collective’s documentary-focused lineup here.
RECENTLY ON NOTEBOOK
- Our official Cinephile Gift Guide is now live! Peruse our second-annual, film-themed guide to the holiday season.
- In a new interview, Maya Binyam speaks to Martine Syms about her debut feature The African Desperate, now showing exclusively on MUBI. “Some part of Palace knows she has to go to the party,” Syms tells Binyam. “The part I like to call my chaos muppet.”
- Simran Hans guides us through Charlie Shackleton’s new piece As Mine Exactly, a VR-based performance that aims to create a new kind of connection.
- Notebook editor-in-chief Daniel Kasman talks with the indefatigably creative Jerzy Skolimowski about EO, and the peculiar poetry of bonding with a donkey on set.
- The newest Soundtrack Mix from Florence Scott-Anderton focuses on the films of Steven Spielberg, who specializes in a cinema of “emotional symphonies.”
- In this month’s Full Bloom column, Patrick Holzapfel climbs the trees of two 1930s films by Hiroshi Shimizu, both of which which capture the escape, hopefulness, and rebellion of youth.
- Our friends at Screen Slate recently had their DCA funding cut. Please consider supporting their Patreon if you are able.
- Alex Ross Perry has written and directed a Pavement “jukebox musical”—Slanted! Enchanted!—which is scheduled for two workshop performances in New York next week.