- Rafiki director Wanuri Kahiu has announced her latest project, an adaptation of Octavia Butler's 1980 Wild Seed, produced by Viola Davis and written by novelist Nnedi Okorafor. Butler's novel follows two immortal African beings whose tumultuous rivalry takes them across pre-colonial West Africa to a plantation in the American South.
- From March 20–April 2, Vdrome is screening Adam Khalil and Zack Khalil's documentary INAATE/SE/ [it shines a certain way. to a certain place/it flies. falls./]. The film "imagines new indigenous futures, looking simultaneously backward and forward."
- The new trailer for Hong Sang-soo's Grass is at once simple and cryptic, conveying one of many mysteries encountered by a young writer observing intimate interactions in a bustling cafe.
- The dreamy, video game-inspired images of Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel's Jessica Forever come to life in a new trailer. Read our interview with Poggi and Vinel here.
- A legendary figure nearly forgotten by present-day audiences, Lois Weber joins many other women in cinema whose achievements were likewise "swept aside when men took over Hollywood." Caryn James details Weber's controversies and contributions during decades of change.
- The latest issue of Film Comment is now available, wherein the frequently underestimated Jerry Schatzberg, auteur of such films as The Panic in Needle Park and Scarecrow, offers an enlightening interview on filmmaking in New Hollywood and beyond.
- In the event of its streaming premiere, Nathan Smith highlights Michael Mann's groundbreaking yet near forgotten TV show Crime Story and its "documentary tactility."
- The remarkable, singular, and undefinable musician Scott Walker has died. His music wove its way through cinema, and eventually he composed film scores for the likes of Leos Carax, and most recently, Brady Corbet’s Vox Lux. Dozens of contemporaries remember Walker and his art at The Guardian. Further, deserving of resurfacing is this piece by Margaret Barton-Fumo which considers Walker's forays into film music composition.
- The cover for the newly-released issue of Cinema Scope features actor and filmmaker Deragh Campbell in Sofia Bohdanowicz and Campbell’s MS Slavic 7, a film Adam Nayman deems "intricately conceived and densely packed." The issue also includes a consideration by Courtney Duckworth of Barbara Loden's Wanda and critics' misreading of both the director and her fictional character.
- K. Austin Collins navigates the “nativism” of S. Craig Zahler’s “exciting, provocative, and more than a little phony” Dragged Across Concrete.
- "There was a layer of subtext to [The Matrix] that I certainly didn’t latch onto at the time," writes Leigh Monson, referring to the film's themes of transgender self-discovery, made increasingly apparent in the two decades since its release. For the Notebook, Caden Gardner points out that the "trans aesthetics" of The Matrix are defined by the fluidity of the Wachowskis's digital film framework, comprised of the "omnipresence of an impossibly moving camera and characters who are moving at impossible angles and speeds."
- Wang Bing (Dead Souls) guest stars on the latest episode of 10 Things That Scare Me, drawing attention to the uneasiness he feels throughout daily life as a documentary filmmaker, whether considering his future and going home to family or passing through customs.
RECENTLY ON THE NOTEBOOK
- A look at the role of the amateur sleuth, or the armchair detective—present in titles like Burning and Blue Velvet—in David Robert Mitchell's Under the Silver Lake, which is currently showing on MUBI in the UK from March 15 – April 13, 2019.
- In his review of S. Craig Zahler's Dragged Across Concrete, a film laced in racial stereotypes and fundamentally conservative ideas, Lawrence Garcia considers whether there is "room for [...] movies that want to alienate an audience" by provoking "bad-faith criticism."
- Ela Bittencourt provides an overview of the "thoughtful and yet agile" lineup for this year's New Directors/New Films Festival, which includes Camille Vidal-Naquet’s psychologically complex Sauvage and Burak Çevik’s noir Belonging.
EXTRAS AND RE-DISCOVERIES
- Starring sixteen students and using props and costumes made up of only recycled materials, North Bergen High School's production of Ridley Scott's Alien—titled Alien: The Play—is really a sight to behold.
I love that north bergen high school did alien last night as their school play, so I’m gonna keep tweeting about how great it is..everything was made from recycled materials .. so nuts amazing I’m so proud of my hometown pic.twitter.com/EEMEbankDz— Andrew Fernandez (@bhsdrew) March 23, 2019