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Rushes. R.I.P. Jonas Mekas, Shyamalan’s Resurgence, New Trailers

This week’s essential news, articles, sounds, videos and more from the film world.
Get in touch to send in cinephile news and discoveries. For daily updates follow us @NotebookMUBI.
NEWS
Jonas Mekas (1922 — 2019)
  • "I have never been able, really, to figure out where my life begins and where it ends. I have never, never been able to figure it all out, what's all about." We're sad to say that Jonas Mekas, considered the "godfather of avant-garde cinema," has passed away today at the age of 96. The Lithuanian filmmaker leaves behind a legacy of film criticism, programming, and lovingly, meticulously crafted cinema, often confronting and splicing through his own biography as a refugee and artist. In April of last year, Mekas was "rediscovering Virginia Woolf," and working on a compilation of 50 years' worth of diaries. After a number of health scares in the summer, he informed The New York Times that death is a "normal transition [...] It’s where the mystery begins, where it becomes interesting."
  • Yes, the Oscar nominations are finally here, with both surprising and sadly unsurprising sweeps all around.
  • We reported earlier that the controversial film-sans-television project (and social experiment) Dau, by Ilya Khrzhanovskiy, is finally complete. The event, described now as an "experience," is set to premiere on January 24 in Paris, running non-stop until February 17.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING
  • After last year's pulpy Unsane and the interactive cinema app Mosaic, Steven Soderbergh returns with a new trailer for High Flying Bird, which ventures into the inner world of the basketball industry.
  • The winner of Cannes Critics' Week Grand Prize—the pitch perfect satire Diamantino gets a sparkling new trailer. We interviewed the directing duo Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt at last years' Cannes Film Festival.
  • Yann Gonzalez boldly queers the giallo film in his ecstatic sophomore feature Knife + Heart. Here's the new trailer:
  • Iconic American auteur Gregg Araki is back with another queer, apocalyptic comedy—this time in the form of a series entitled Now Apocalypse for STARZ.
RECOMMENDED READING
  • M. Night Shyamalan: Maligned genius? It may be more likely than you think. Justine Smith writes that Shyamalan distinguishes himself by "[portraying] trauma as the root for dangerous and destructive behaviour." Adam Gaines also points out that Shyamalan's admirable "resurgence" is entirely self-financed by his loans and earnings.
  • The Atlantic has released a long brewing piece regarding Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer—surfacing new accusations from alleged victims as well as linking the allegations to alarming themes in Singer's filmography.
  • Vincente Minelli's Tea and Sympathy, and its still-resonant "expression of outsiderness" is the latest subject of Michael Koresky's Queer & Now & Then column.
  • Behold, Joseph Egan's thoroughly-researched website dedicated to Orson Welles's 1942 The Magnificent Ambersons, which includes the film's final shooting script and storyboards.
  • Once the "ultimate prize" of Hollywood, Paramount Pictures faces millions of dollars in losses, forcing the studio to ask a number of "uncomfortable questions" for the future.
RECENTLY ON THE NOTEBOOK
  • Kelley Dong kicks off a new column on children’s cinema, and the relationship between art’s abstractions and cognitive development.
  • A new retrospective on the career of Elaine May sheds light on the ways her "female lens [observes] how male characters see the women in their lives."
  • Jordan Cronk reviews Music From The Films Of Bertrand Bonello, which provides an overview of the "rich matrix of sonic markers" that define Bonello's filmography.
EXTRAS AND RE-DISCOVERIES
  • In an extensive thread on Twitter, Rooney Elmi looks back at the definitive music videos of 2018, particularly those directed by women directors for women musicians.
  • An adorable poster announced for Stephen Chow's upcoming The New King Of Comedy!
  • Finally: the first poster of Harmony Korine's long awaited Spring Breakers follow-up, The Beach Bum.

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