Selections from the November/December 2009 issue of Film Comment have been posted along with a few online exclusives, among them, the full uncut version of Alexander Horwath's interview with Michael Haneke: "It took several major awards at Cannes, for The Piano Teacher (01), Caché (05), and now The White Ribbon, for the Austrian public to accept Haneke, at age 67, as one of 'their' pre-eminent artists. He'll never turn into a king of hearts, nor - as he explains in the following interview - did he ever remotely strive for that role in the cultural card game. But in the private hunchbacked world of his garden, he appears as a much more relaxed, funny, and pleasure-embracing human being than his public persona would ever seem to admit."
This conversation and Kaleem Aftab's piece on Haneke in today's Indepedent both serve well as an update to Monday's entry, "Debating Haneke (and Brecht)," so while I'm at it, I'll go ahead and mention a few other updates, too - starting with another Film Society of Lincoln Center production (like Film Comment, that is), the New York Film Festival. If you go to the index for this year's edition, you'll see that I've finally wrapped coverage of the coverage. Also updated: The entry on La Danse and The Red Shoes; and yesterday's roundup of reviews of this week's theatrical releases now sports a good dozen or so new names pointing to more opinion and Qs and As, so if, for whatever reason you're obsessively interested in one of those films, there's that.
But back to Film Comment. Andrew Sarris reviews Corneliu Porumboiu's Police, Adjective, arguing that "the New Romanian Cinema has become a searchlight illuminating not so much our immediate fears as our eternal doubts." Earlier: the NYFF entry.
Chris Chang hopes someone will pick up Shirin Neshat's Women Without Men. Earlier: reviews from Venice and Toronto.
Paul Fileri asks managing editor David Sorfa about Film-Philosophy, online in some form or other since 1996. As it happens, Sorfa has co-edited a collection coming out from Wallflower Press next year, The Cinema of Michael Haneke: Europe Utopia.
Scott Foundas: "By far [Jason] Reitman's most accomplished film to date, both in terms of craft and its stealth avoidance of typical Hollywood flight patterns, Up in the Air is not (early indicators to the contrary) a redemptive fable about a soulless corporate shill who gets his comeuppance by seeing how the other half lives, or by falling into the arms of a good woman." Earlier: reviews from Telluride and Toronto.
Laura Kern reports that the Reykjavik International Film Festival, "though still a fledgling, is a refreshing surprise."
For fun, there's Film Comment's Trivial Top 20®, expanded this time to 40: "Most Memorable Instances of People Playing Themselves."
Unfortunately, the cover story, Kent Jones's piece on Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr Fox, is not online, but on top of the London Film Festival roundup, we do have a fresh entry from David Cairns, who argues that it's "Anderson's best film for some time." For Doug Cummings, it's one of the "Stop-motion Triumphs" at this year's AFI Fest.
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Image: Once again, The White Ribbon.