The Hivos Tiger Awards of the International Film Festival Rotterdam have been announced, with Sanal Kumar Sasidharan's Sexy Durga taking home the Tiger, Niles Atallah's Rey winning the Special Jury Award, and Caroline Leone's Pela janela being picked by FIPRESCI.
New York's Whitney Museum has revealed its full film program for the 2017 Biennial, with a focus on such filmmakers as Mary Helena Clark, James N. Kienitz Wilkins, Kevin Jerome Everson, Eric Baudelaire and Robert Beavers.
The eagerly awaited trailer for Sofia Coppola's new film, a remake of Don Siegel's bizarre and wonderful The Beguiled, with Colin Farrell in Clint Eastwood's role.
The glorious full trailer for James Gray's Amazonia exploration melodrama, The Lost City of Z.
"The screen is a neutral element in the film-going experience. Or is it? It projects dreams but is also the receptacle of our dreams. It’s the vehicle for delivering the image to an audience — but does it also watch the audience at the same time?" The Empty Screen is a new video essay by Mark Rappaport.
[Tsui's first] three films, along with a handful of others released by young directors who, like Tsui, studied film abroad and worked in local television (Ann Hui, Patrick Tam, Allen Fong, Yim Ho), flipped Hong Kong cinema on its ear with a series of low-budget, politically committed reinventions of traditional Hong Kong genre films
... not anti-art in the Duchamp vein, but in the sense of believing that any problematics lurking within a text absolutely negate any of its potential virtues.
We've already gathered up some of the divided opinions on this year's seemingly inevitable Oscar favorite La La Land, but leave it to Girish Shambu to truly finish the job with his wide-ranging piece, "The Disenchantments of La La Land":
Damien Chazelle’s La La Land has turned out to be a fascinatingly divisive film. It has enchanted thousands and swept up a record 14 Oscar nominations. It is – I will readily admit – not without its pleasures. But I nevertheless found myself troubled by it in many ways. My “issues” with it fall into six broad categories. (Sorry – this movie pushed several of my buttons!) These categories, some of which overlap, are: the movie’s masculinism; its view of jazz; the way jazz intersects with race; the movie’s conspicuously individualist view of art-making and success; Chazelle’s directorial personality; and the movie’s nostalgia.
The most virtuosic of the anthologized movies is “Other Men’s Women,” a drama of adulterous passion and crashing locomotives, hyped by its trailer as “Love’s Madness Against a Background of Grinding Steel and Surging Floods!” On one hand, the movie is an industrial-strength ballet mécanique: Wellman stages a number of scenes atop and inside speeding freight trains. On the other, it celebrates the American vernacular in the form of Central California whistle-stops, working-class bungalows and Joan Blondell’s impersonating a tipsy hash-slinger out for a night on the town.
Film Quarterly has once again generously made one of its issues free to the public. In this case, it's the Winter 2016 issue, now fully readable online, and including editor B. Ruby Rich's "Film Criticism in the Era of Algorithms," and a look at Gillo Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers on its 50th anniversary.
More often than not, Johnson’s work takes her to places stamped by violence, death, and destruction, sites of collective grief and dread. Even if the worst of the mayhem has occurred in the past, she’s there to absorb and collect the residue, talking to survivors, bearing witness. Johnson supplies a few grace notes, musical interludes, flashes of scenic splendor, but for a film made by a cinematographer, there are bracingly few images that are merely pretty or picturesque. People are plainly what Johnson cares about most, and in this film she candidly prizes and examines her ability to use her camera to get close to whoever is in the frame.
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