The event of the week in film criticism is the arrival of a new issue of Senses of Cinema, featuring a transcript of a talk Tsai Ming-liang delivered last year, "On the Uses and Misuses of Cinema." Also: a collection of dispatches on movie-going from around the world, Nicholas de Villiers on Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Michael J Anderson on Ernst Lubitsch, Gabrielle Murray's interview with Catherine Breillat, Pedro Blas Gonzalez on Lewis Allen's The Uninvited (1944) and the omnibus film Dead of Night (1945), Joseph Natoli on Joel and Ethan Coen's True Grit and Moira Sullivan on Maria Schneider — whose recent passing has prompted Ed Howard and Jason Bellamy at the House Next Door and Bilge Ebiri to revisit Last Tango in Paris; and speaking of which, you may have heard of Bernardo Bertolucci's preparing a 3D project.
At any rate, there's more, too, to this issue, including Linda C Ehrlich's preview of the traveling exhibition Todas las cartas, a collection of filmed correspondences inspired by "the original videocartas exchanged between Víctor Erice and Abbas Kiarostami which were exhibited in Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, and Melbourne, Australia between 2006 and 2008. This time the specific dyads of 'paired' directors from a host of countries include: Kawase Naomi (Japan) and Isaki Lacuesta (Spain), Wang Bing (PRC) and Jaime Rosales (Spain), Jonas Mekas (US) and José Luís Guerín (Spain), Albert Serra (Spain) and Lisandro Alonso (Argentina), and Fernando Eimbcke (Mexico) and So Yong Kim (US/Korea). In all cases the directors share certain characteristics (year of birth, approach towards filmmaking, etc.) but they are also from geographically distant worlds. All of the directors are experimenting with unclear boundaries between documentary and fiction. Previewing many of the videocartas last May in Barcelona, I found connecting threads between the disparate films: a consideration of the familiar and the distant, an homage to the history of the cinema, the constant awareness of death, a focus on shadows, humour, skin, memory, isolation, textures…"
IN NEW YORK
Auto-Remakes. The term, as Nick Pinkerton explains in the Voice, is "defined by Anthology Film Archives as a director's repurposing his own previously used plot in a new movie (no director's-cut dickering, more common today). Eighteen films, principally the works of studio filmmakers, are arranged as flawed mirror images of auteur careers in different phases." Nicolas Rapold in the NYT: "While contemporary examples have included Michael Haneke's Funny Games and the Pang brothers' Bangkok Dangerous, the Anthology lineup favors heavyweights of the repertory canon — Hitchcock, Ford, Hawks, Ozu — whose robust styles and long filmographies already invite auteurist contemplation." See, too, Adrian Curry's selection of posters for films in the series. Through March 31.
"The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Subway Cinema are partnering with The Japan Society to donate 10% of the ticket sales to all screenings in the Takashi Miike retrospective, Shinjuku Outlaw: 13 From Takashi Miike, to the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, to support relief and recovery for the 2011 Tohoku - Pacific Ocean Earthquake." Through March 21.
Karina Longworth: "Critics' Week — aka la Semaine de la critique, the Cannes Film Festival's emerging-filmmakers sidebar responsible for providing early international exposure to filmmakers as diverse as Guillermo del Toro, Miranda July, Wong Kar-Wai and Kevin Smith — is coming off a banner year. In 2010 it hosted the international premiere of killer-tire exploitation sensation Rubber, and with Danish Afghanistan war documentary Armadillo gave a nonfiction film a competitive slot for the first time — and watched it walk away with the grand prize. As Critics' Week heads into its 50th installment, LACMA salutes the sidebar with a two-weekend, six-film series emblematic of its diversity."
Also in the LA Weekly, David Cotner previews the Spaghetti Western Festival, happening today (Saturday) and Phil Coldiron lists other local goings on.
On Sunday at the Echo Park Film Center: Composite Histories: The Films of Cathy Lee Crane.
International House Philadelphia and the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia present, as part of the Cherry Blossom Festival, Kenji Mizoguchi's Sansho the Bailiff tomorrow night. All proceeds will be donated to the Philadelphia Japan Disaster Relief Fund.
The Chicago Reader and CINE-FILE preview the third week of the 14th Annual European Union Film Festival. The Boston Globe's Ty Burr picks out the area's highlights for the weekend and beyond. Cinefest 31 is on in Syracuse through Sunday.
The Guardian's Steve Rose has the week's main events in the UK. Screen Machine rounds up happenings in Melbourne. Criterion gathers yet more from around the world.
The Rome Independent Film Festival is on from today through March 24 and Vittoria Scarpa has a brief overview at Cineuropa. On view at the Jeu de Paume in Paris through May 8: Aernout Mik, Communitas.
Looking back on this year's True/False Film Fest: Eric Hynes (Cinema Scope), Dennis Lim (Artforum), David Moats (Quietus) and Vadim Rizov (House Next Door).
The NYT's Dave Kehr on Fernando Di Leo: The Italian Crime Collection: "Mr Di Leo is far from being a meticulous craftsman, but these movies have a rough immediacy and emotional amplitude (not to mention the peculiar delights of Italian interior design of the period) that make them compelling. Mr Di Leo is fascinated by structures of power, carefully describing a hierarchy of authority that ranges from the lowliest mafia foot soldiers, through the midlevel gang bosses and princely godfathers who control them from lushly upholstered offices, to the cops and commissioners who have profitably learned to look the other way, and finally up to the unseen deputies and ministers who sponsor and support the entire system. Italy may be a republic in name, Mr Di Leo suggests, but the country still functions as a feudal society." More from Sean Axmaker.
As Robert J Flaherty's Man of Aran is out again in the UK, this go round from Park Circus, Sight & Sound runs Paul Rotha's original review from 1934. For Neil Young, the film is "more of a curio than a time-capsule, but has nevertheless enjoyed a recent vogue as inspiration to practitioners in other artistic fields."
DVD roundups. Sean Axmaker, Mark Kermode (Observer), Harley W Lond (Cinematical), Paul Matwychuk and Heather Noel, Stephen Saito (IFC), Nigel M Smith (indieWIRE) and Mike Wilmington (Movie City News).
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