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Rushes: Todd Haynes's "May December," Complete Edward Yang Retrospective, Revisiting Barbara Loden's "Wanda"

This week’s essential news, articles, sounds, videos and more from the film world.
Notebook
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NEWS
El Conde (Pablo Larraín).
  • Natalie Portman will star opposite Julianne Moore in Todd Haynes's next film, May December, which begins filming later this year. In the film, an actress (Portman) meets with the woman she is due to portray (Moore) in a film that dramatizes her tabloid scandal.
  • After Spencer, Pablo Larraín's next project with Netflix will be El Conde, a pitch-black comedy that will portray Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet as a 250-year-old vampire.
  • Pedro Almodóvar has announced a new 30-minute Western, Strange Way of Life, which he will shoot in August. The short stars Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal as two gunslingers, long separated, who must cross the Spanish desert to reunite. Almodóvar's next feature—an adaptation of Lucia Berlin's A Manual for Cleaning Women led by Cate Blanchett—begins filming early next year.
  • Following the departure of Paolo Moretti, a new artistic director for Cannes' Directors' Fortnight has been announced. Julien Rejlwho, prior to taking on this new role, was in charge of distribution, international co-productions, and international sales at Parisian film company Capricciwill head up next year's edition.
  • The Film Exhibition Fund, a grant-giving organization devoted to celluloid film projection, has announced its first two grantees. The FEF will support New York’s Anthology Film Archives and Microscope Gallery's upcoming projections of films by Andy Warhol, Bradley Eros, Takahiko Iimura, Andrew Lampert, Maurice Lemaître, Mary Lucier, Anthony McCall, Jonas Mekas, and others.
  • Along similar lines (and scratches), the BFI have announced a new celluloid-focused festival for London. The first Film on Film Festival will take place in June 2023 and features a wealth of rarely-seen prints stored in the BFI National Archive.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING
Looking for Langston (Isaac Julien, 1989).
  • Isaac Julien's New Queer Cinema touchstone Looking for Langston is available to watch worldwide via MoMA's website. The museum has also published an interview with Julien to coincide with their online screening.
  • 3 short film selections from Johnnie To's Fresh Wave Film Festival will be available on the Cinémathèque Français' streaming platform HENRI. Currently, Eric Tsang's 2018 Hong Kong protest film The Umbrella and Ren Xia's 2017 sci-fi short Even Ants Strive for Survival can be seen via the free service.
  • Claire Denis's Both Sides of the Blade, one of two new features that the filmmaker has premiered at festivals this year, has an official trailer, courtesy of IFC Films. The film arrives in US theaters on July 8.
  • Clitty Clitty Bang Bang. Sharp Stick—Lena Dunham's first fiction feature since 2010's Tiny Furniture—has a new trailer ahead of its summer US release, embedded below.
  • Krzysztof Kieślowski's Three Colors requires little introduction, but the trailer Janus Films have made to promote the 4K restoration offers a nice entry point for anyone unfamiliar with the Polish filmmaker's seminal trilogy of films. The restorations will screen in the US over the summer, starting in New York in July.
RECOMMENDED READING
Wanda (Barbara Loden, 1970).
  • A particularly excellent edition of Sight and Sound's regular "Endings" column was recently shared online. In the piece, Becca Voelcker examines the ending of Barbara Loden’s Wanda, a film "not about women's liberation but oppression within a system that devalues reproductive labor and pegs women’s market value on their unpaid domestic and sexual services."
  • On the occasion of Robert Kramer's birthday, Ultra Dogme have published Christian Flemm's new translation of a 1978 interview with the filmmaker, conducted by Serge Toubiana, Annie Cot, and Marthe Cartier-Bresson for Cahiers du Cinéma.
  • A new ongoing series on the website of the New Beverly Cinema features "mini reviews" of various grindhouse films authored by Quentin Tarantino, owner and head programmer of the venue. Among the first posts are short texts on Robert Warmflash's Death Promise and Duccio Tessari's No Way Out.
  • "So then: what even is a documentary, in the hands of Todd Haynes? What is the creator of seven fake Dylans, one fake Bowie, and two plastic Carpenters supposed to do with the real Velvet Underground?" In n+1, Phillip Maciak considers The Velvet Underground, "a documentary film by Todd Haynes."
  • "An illusion: this is what the English landscape had always been to me, which is why the English themselves have always been so hard for me to understand." Found on page 42 of the PDF of the literary magazine Five Dials is "Dungeness," in which Kevin Brazil visits the garden of Derek Jarman.
  • Olivier Assayas has been doing the rounds to talk Irma Vep, his new HBO series that remakes and reworks his own 1996 feature film of the same name. Read the lively conversationalist in dialogue with Patrick Sproull in AnOther Mag, with Scott Macaulay in Filmmaker Magazine, or with Nick Newman for The Film Stage.
  • "Love debases us. It does other things, too, but it has a tendency toward mania and self-delusion." For 4Columns, Blair McClendon traverses the tangled affairs and "ruinous love" of Claire Denis’s Both Sides of the Blade.
RECOMMENDED EVENTS
A Confucian Confusion (Edward Yang, 1994).
  • Taipei: Fifteen years after the director's death, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum and the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute will organize a complete retrospective of the work of Edward Yang. Alongside the announcement comes news that they will also be creating digital restorations of two of his films: A Confucian Confusion and Mahjong.
  • Prizren: Kosovo's DokuFest has announced the first part of their 2022 festival, due to take place August 5-13. Titled Double Burdens: Exposures & Expressions, the five-film series, guest-programmed by Dorota Lech, contains retrospective titles from Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, and Hungary.
  • Toronto: Hosted by the Le Labo gallery through July 16 as part of Images Festival 2022, "Sensual Life" showcases the films and videos of artist, writer, and translator Kyoko Michishita. Curated by Jesse Cumming, it is the first North American exhibition dedicated to Michishita's work.
  • Chicago: Between now and September, "Black Actors in Foreign Cinema" runs at the Chicago Filmmakers Firehouse Cinema. Programmer Floyd Webb speaks to the Chicago Reader about the program, including films starring John Kitzmiller, Paul Robeson, Emiko Takahashi, and others.
  • New York: Programmed by critic Kelli Weston, "White Zombies: Nightmares of Empire" starts August 19 at MoMI. The series "will chart the zombie’s propensity to mirror not just the horror of imperialism but also a multitude of its anxieties, from miscegenation to war."
  • New York: Brooklyn microcinema Spectacle has announced a retrospective of work by interdisciplinary artist Isiah Medina, featuring the NYC premiere of his 2020 film Inventing the Future. Medina will appear in person on July 29 and 30, with screenings running through August. (Ahead of the screenings, read James Slaymaker's Notebook essay on the post-capitalist visions of Inventing the Future.)
RECENTLY ON THE NOTEBOOK
Ivana Miloš, A New Fern Is a Fern Is a Fern (2022), monotype and nature print on paper.
  • The latest in Patrick Holzapfel and Ivana Miloš' "Full Bloom" series looks into the ferns that are found in Elaine May's "adorable debut feature" A New Leaf. As well as expounding the virtues of the film, Holzapfel's text considers the problems of trying to classify and conquer nature, proposing instead different ways of appreciating and "approaching what surrounds us."
  • "Life is a river that carries everything along. For a while, you flow together until you lose each other." Sometimes plainly and sometimes poetically, Ramon and Silvan Zürcher introduce their film The Girl and the Spider, the much-anticipated follow-up to their popular debut The Strange Little Cat.
  • A new soundtrack mix from Florence Scott-Anderton explores Tôru Takemitsu’s soundtrack oeuvre over an hour of sounds demonstrating a "spectrum of different emotions and genres."
  • "What is refugee cinema about?" asks Vinh Nguyen in an essay rethinking cinematic representations of refugees, looking specifically at "a group of provocative films that shift their attention to those who exist next to “refugee crises,” who watch and continue to live as refugees undergo forced migration."
  • "Long Live the Old Flesh!" Robert Rubsam lucidly analyzes the "late, cold style" of David Cronenberg, as expounded by Crimes of the Future, the 79-year-old auteur's first film in eight years.
EXTRAS
Limited edition soundtrack for małni - towards the ocean, towards the shore.
  • Produced on a limited run of 300 editions, Grasshopper Film will release the soundtrack to Sky Hopinka's debut feature małni - towards the ocean, towards the shore on a lovely looking turquoise LP.
  • In a surprise public sighting, Maggie Cheung jumped on the decks last week at a Gucci event in Hong Kong.
 
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