The 30 films comprising the main slate of this year's New York Film Festival have been announced, including Alfonso Cuarón's autobiographical, Mexico-set film Roma, Mariano Llinás's fourteen-hour "adventure in scale and duration" La Flor, and Alex Ross Perry's '90s rockstar melodrama Her Smell. "The unifying thread is their bravery," says Festival Director Kent Jones. "The bravery needed to fight past the urge to commercialized smoothness and mediocrity that is always assuming new forms."
Festival president Marco Solari and Vice President Carla Speziali of the Locarno Film Festival—which is currently ongoing until August 11—have agreed to sign a pledge "ensuring gender equality and inclusion in programming". The initiative was organized by members of the Swiss Women’s Audiovisual Network (SWAN), including filmmaker Ursula Meier, and joins a number of pledges to diversity including the "50/50 by 2020" pledge at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and TIFF's pledge to allocate 20 percent of its press credentials to "under-represented writers."
The volatility of the late German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and the tension of his film sets, has been well-documented. However, Catalan director Albert Serra will be bringing the chaos of Fassbinder's off-screen life to the screen with Personalian, which follows Fassbinder during the tumultuous preparations of a Berlin-set play that strains his relationship to the actor Günther Kaufmann.
We're relieved Moonlight director Barry Jenkins is already back with a new film—what looks to be a graceful, galvanizing James Baldwin adaptation. Thanks for not keeping us waiting too long, Barry.
"If the Great Wall was made of celluloid, a few dozen miles would belong to him." So states the Locarno Festival regarding Jia Zhangke, who is this year's head of the Concorso internazionale jury. At the festival, Jia speaks on the importance of film festivals for both audiences and filmmakers in a video interview, found here.
We're entranced by this video which re-arranges every shot from Dziga Vertov's soviet classic Man with a Movie Camera, in the form of a moving mosaic of .gif's.
We previously used the word galvanizing to describe Barry Jenkins' If Beale Street Could Talk, and the same applies here: M. Night Shyamalan addresses Drexel University with a lucid speech regarding systemic racism and its terrible obstruction of artistic creation. Conversely, just in case you missed it here's the trailer for Shyamalan's Glass.
Avant-garde cinema streaming platform Kinet has released a shapeshifting trailer for its August 2018 program, which includes new films by Andrew Infante, Jessica Johnson, Carmen Spoto, and Miguel Mantecon. The program will be available to view online (for free!) as of August 14th.
The great American actress Kathleen Turner (Peggy Sue Got Married, Body Heat), offers the utmost candid reflections on her career and craft, from working with a young and "difficult" Nick Cage, to dealing with chronic illnesses whilst being an artist, in an altogether refreshingly honest interview on the subject of Hollywood filmmaking.
Valerie Massadian's poetic and somber Milla opens this week at Anthology Film Archives. In an interview with MUBI contributor and programmer Darren Hughes for Filmmaker Magazine, Massadian outlines the trajectory of her life, including a childhood between Paris and Japan and a stint as set designer for François Rotger and Michelange Quay. Responding to Hughes's comment on a recent surge in "observational" cinema, Massadian states, "The only judgment I will have on a film is political: the position of the person filming. What is your position?"
The prolific cinematographer Agnès Godard, best known as a collaborator of Claire Denis on such films as Beau Travail and her most recent Let the Sunshine In, has provided a list of her ten favorite films of the last decade to Grasshopper Film. Godard specifies that she has selected "five recent releases and five that 'go through time intact'”, from Alan J. Pakula's Klute to Lee Chang-Dong's Burning. Elsewhere, in a new interview with Film Comment's Yonca Talu, Agnès Godard discusses her changing relationship to over-the-shoulder shots, the "participatory presence" of Claire Denis—"something that almost resembles those relay races where the runners pass batons to each other"—dance, music, the texture of images, and actors.
Kathleen Collins' Losing Ground.
Considered one of the first feature-length films directed by a black woman, Kathleen Collins's Losing Ground will be showing on August 10 at New York's Brooklyn Academy of Music, accompanied by fellow trailblazer Julie Dash's Four Women, as part of the program Women at Work: Radical Creativity. For Lit Hub, Danielle Jackson reviews Collins's oft-overlooked book of essays, Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? and her life as a "feverishly hard working polymath": "Years before the Cosby Show’s debut or Spike Lee’s first feature, She’s Gotta Have It, Collins was here, mining stories of the black middle class for inspiration."
Rob Tregenza, writer-director of the newly-released film Gavagai,discusses what he refers to as "dependent cinema", or a "safety net of relationships and addictions, that provide a continuity for [the] style and life" of "well-established artists", as gleaned from his experiences working with auteurs like Jean-Luc Godard and Béla Tarr.
Over at Curtsies and Hand Grenades, Willow Maclay and Caden Gardner continue their invigorating and always erudite contemplation of transgender cinema, this time focusing on the contentious use of cisgender actors in trans roles.
RECENTLY ON THE NOTEBOOK
Filmmaker Gina Telaroli provides a lively guide with illuminating image essays and capsule texts encapsulating the 16 film Republic Pictures retrospective programmed by Martin Scorsese's for New York's Museum of Modern Art.
The first batch of Notebook editor Daniel Kasman's reports from the annual Locarno Film Festival. Gems discovered include Richard Billingham's Ray & Liz—"undeniably attractive and with a profound and ungraspable odd-streak running through it"—Jodie Mack's "giddy, materialist" The Grand Bizarre, and a retrospective of works by Leo McCarey, a "genius of comedy and romantic coupling."
Village Voice critic Bilge Ebiri has penned a heartwarming thread on the analog cinephilia of his father's movie obsessed journals, starting in the mid 1950's.
When he was around 9 or 10 years old (in the mid-1950s) in Istanbul, my dad started keeping detailed, typed notes of every film he saw. The notes reached back all the way to the first film he saw, THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (when he was 4), and he kept the notes going for years. pic.twitter.com/RYF6ftekPd
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