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Spirit Awards, Cineaste, Film Comment

The Auteurs Daily


It's a stretch, and probably pointless, but maybe we can draw a few connections from the 25th Spirit Awards to the new issues of Cineaste and Film Comment. Woody Harrelson won Best Supporting Male for his performance in The Messenger, and lo, Dan Lybarger interviews director Oren Moverman for Cineaste. Plus, A Serious Man's on the cover — and it's won the Robert Altman Award, presented to one film's director (Joel and Ethan Coen), casting director (Ellen Chenoweth and Rachel Tenner) and its ensemble cast. But the big winner last night was, of course, Precious, taking Best Feature, Best Director (Lee Daniels), Best Female Lead (Gabourey Sidibe), Best Supporting Female (Mo'Nique) and Best First Screenplay (Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness, Gary Magness). As Peter Knegt — who's got the full list at indieWIRE — points out, Precious "debuted more than a year ago at the Sundance Film Festival before it was embraced by Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry and was then acquired by Lionsgate." Could a similar 14-month-long trek be taken by a film first seen at Sundance 2010? There may be one lurking in the roundups from this year's edition in Film Comment by Amy Taubin and Laura Kern.

Also in the March/April 2010 issue of Film Comment: Andrew Sarris remembers Eric Rohmer, Chris Chang hopes The Red Chapel finds a buyer, Paul Fileri tells the story behind FIPRESCI's online magazine, Undercurrent, Scott Foundas reviews Noah Baumbach's Greenberg, plus Paul Brunick on Glenn Ficarra and John Requa's I Love You Phillip Morris, Nicolas Rapold on Bahman Ghobadi's No One Knows About the Persian Cats, Megan Ratner on Bong Joon-ho's Mother and "Short Takes" on Brooklyn's Finest, The Eclipse, The Good Heart, Mid-August Lunch, Prodigal Sons and The Secret of the Kells.

Online exclusives include the results of the best of '09 and the 00s readers' poll — the Top 50s and a big collection of comments — a "Trival Top 20®" expanded to 40, "The Best Performances by Children 12 and Under," Roger Smith at length on Avatar and David Ehrenstein's uncut review of Robert Hofler's "highly readable guilty-pleasure" Party Animals: A Hollywood Tale of Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll Starring the Fabulous Allan Carr.

"Cineaste, like all serious film magazines, prides itself on being a forum for film critics, scholars, and enthusiasts of all stripes, all of whom work tirelessly to sustain a vibrant and vital film culture by studying films and filmmakers in depth and by seeking out the best of world cinema, both past and present. Rarely represented in these pages though, or in similar magazines around the world, are another breed of film devotee, closely related but often laboring (sometimes happily) behind-the-scenes: those responsible for curating and organizing film programs at repertory cinemas, film societies, and other screening venues." Hence: "Repertory Film Programming: A Web Exclusive Supplement to a Critical Symposium." The participants: Robert Cargni-Mitchell, Bruce Goldstein, Gary Meyer, James Quandt and Jackie Raynal.

Martha P Nochimson visits one of the world's most famous studios: "A German director who films international commercials at Cinecittà... claims to feel the presence of ghosts when he works there. A similarly unnamed, but well known I am assured, Italian director likes to walk around Cinecittà for the 'vibes,' and Dario Argento has said that he considers 'Cinecittà a "mythic zone," the core of my film-loving dreams.' But the majority of responses to this studio suggest a sense of comfort rather than the occult, a feeling conducive to creativity. The most striking of these endorsements comes from Marcello Mastroianni, who has been quoted as saying that 'Cinecittà is a symbolic and beautiful fortress: outside is Hell, while inside its walls fairy tales are told, sometimes sour, sometimes sweet, sometimes funny.'"

Also in the Spring 2010 issue of Cineaste: Kevin B Lee on Lu Chuan's City of Life and Death, David Sterritt on Peter Greenaway's Rembrandt's J'Accuse and Adrian Martin dispatch from the Thessaloniki International Film Festival.

DVDs: Royal S Brown on the Jean-Jacques Beineix Collection, Michelle Kelley on the Kino collections How to Be a Man: Instructions for Proper Male Behavior from Classroom Films of the 1940s-70s and How to Be a Woman: Instructions for Proper Female Behavior from Classroom Films of the 1940s-80s, Deirdre Boyle on Pepita Ferrari's Capturing Reality: The Art of Documentary and Chris Fujiwara on Masters of Cinema's Complete Fritz Lang Mabuse Box Set.

Books: David Greven on David Thomson's The Moment of Psycho: How Alfred Hitchcock Taught America to Love Murder and John Fidler on Earl J Hess and Pratibha A Dabholkar's Singin' in the Rain: The Making of an American Masterpiece.

The March 2010 issue of the Brooklyn Rail is up and includes Thomas Micchelli on William Kentridge, Sarahjane Blum on Spartacus: Blood and Sand and Bruce Bennett on the Red Riding trilogy.



The 13th Annual European Union Film Festival opened at the Gene Siskel Film Center yesterday and runs through April 1. CINE-FILE and the Chicago Reader have notes on the films screening during the first week and the Reader's JR Jones has several more notes on goings on in Chicagoland.

We've mentioned the ongoing series Rotterdam@BAM in New York but should also add that the 20th Festival del Cinema Africano, d'Asia e America Latina in Milan will be presenting the national premiere of a selection of films from Rotterdam 2010's Where is Africa? program.

Back to NYC. Atom Egoyan will be at the Apple Store Soho tomorrow to discuss his latest film, Chloe, opening in the States on March 26. It opened in the UK yesterday and the papers offer very, very brief reviews: Peter Bradshaw (Guardian), Wendy Ide (Times), Anthony Quinn (Independent) and Tim Robey (Telegraph). Critics in Toronto had much more to say.

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Everyone needs to read what James Quandt wrote about DVD vs. Film viewing in the Cineaste Symposium.

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