"The restoration of this hefty, propulsive, and preposterous 1928 film comes with an irresistible tag of relevance. The story - 'inspired' by Emile Zola's 1891 novel of the same name - concerns catastrophic financial malfeasance and corrupt stock-market maneuvering, played out alongside more intimate varieties of betrayal and deceit. The more startling fact is that L'Argent displays, in every shot and scene, the outsize talent of its writer-director, Marcel L'Herbier, whose reputation on English-speaking shores has been largely misplaced in the shadows of French film history."
That's Michael Almereyda on one of the films screening at this weekend's Telluride Film Festival, where audiences will also be hearing the world premiere of a new score written and performed by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. This newly restored version will head to MoMA in November and is also available on DVD from Masters of Cinema.
Also in the new September/October issue of Film Comment: Larry Gross on Lars von Trier's Antichrist, Andrew Sarris on Michael Mann's Public Enemies, Paul Fileri on World Picture Journal, Chris Chang on Sion Sono's Love Exposure, Melissa Anderson on Guillermo Arriaga's Burning Plain, David Zuckerman on the omnibus film New York, I Love You and another Trivial Top 20: "Best Acting Performance by a Musical Performer." In the top slot: Mick Jagger in Performance.
Catherine Grant's alerted us to the new issue (#25) of Screening the Past, devoted to Harold M Shaw's The Rose of Rhodesia (1918), "one of the earliest remaining feature films shot in Africa.... Essays by specialists in an array of fields situate the film in the context of South African cinema history, silent film conventions, performance styles, popular literature, imperialism, and political struggle in Zimbabwe today. Guest-edited by Stephen Donovan and Vreni Hockenjos, and in collaboration with the Nederlands Filmmuseum, this special issue includes a streamed version of the restored print of The Rose of Rhodesia."
Offscreen's latest: "Philosophy and Horror," with Daniel Garrett on Daniel Shaw's Film and Philosophy: Taking Movies Seriously and Richard A Gilmore's Doing Philosophy at the Movies, Michael Bloom on Andrei Tarkovsky's Mirror, Irini Stamatopoulos on "Time as visualized by the cinematic medium" and Donato Totaro on Jonathan Levine's All the Boys Love Mandy Lane. Totaro also talks with Maurice Devereaux about "his independently financed survivalist horror film, End of the Line."
Today, the Wide Screen Journal editors point to Silhouette, "a lively film magazine with a range of interesting articles published from Kolkata (Calcutta)," and, in the new issue of Bookforum, Nathan Heller reviews Emilie Bickerton's A Short History of Cahiers du Cinéma.
Now then. The third issue of Cargo has just hit the stands and subscribers' mailboxes. Yes, it is in German, and while you may not read German, you may want to know that it is also a thing of beauty, as you can see here. Among the many hallmarks of this new issue, such as a special section on China featuring a layout of photos by Agnès Varda, there is also a genuine coup. How often have you seen a newspaper treat an article in a film magazine as a newsworthy event? Yesterday, in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Fritz Göttler considered a piece in Cargo on Antichrist by none other than Elfriede Jelinek, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2004 and, of course, the author of The Piano Teacher - her most widely known work primarily because it was adapted by Michael Haneke.
That film starred Isabelle Huppert, who headed up the Jury at Cannes this year, where Antichrist premiered (along with Haneke's The White Ribbon, which, you'll remember, won the Palme d'Or) and rattled audiences with one scene in particular (you know the one) that had some recalling similar, if tamer scenes in The Piano Teacher. None of that actually means anything or has any bearing whatsoever on Jelinek's essay, but, having blogged all these years, I've developed a habit of making such associations, whether or not they're at all useful.
At any rate, other newsy bits via @theauteursdaily: Both Ramin Bahrani and Kelly Reichardt are working on westerns, notes Eric Lavallee; Dave Kehr in the New York Times on Jacques Demy's "strange, sad and beautiful" Model Shop (1969); the lineup for the Vancouver International Film Festival's Dragons & Tigers program, "one of the pre-eminent showcases of East Asian films in the world"; Whit Stillman's top ten Criterions; "Verso authors, including John Berger, John Pilger, Fredric Jameson, Mahmood Mamdani and Slavoj Zizek have signed an open letter to the Toronto Film Festival in protest against their decision to host a celebratory spotlight on Tel Aviv, arguing that such a move makes it complicit in the Israeli propaganda machine"; Ed Champion talks with Dick Cavett; Scott Foundas in LA Weekly on the LACMA brouhaha; Saki Knafo's big NYT Magazine cover story on the making of Where the Wild Things Are.
Update, 6/9: The new September issue of the Brooklyn Rail features Phong Bui and Carol Becker's interview with Shirin Neshat, whose Women without Men is screening in Venice, David Wilentz's interview with Sion Sono, Thomas Micchelli on Dormitorium: An Exhibition of Film Décors by the Quay Brothers, on view at the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery of the Sheila C Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design through October 4, David N Meyer on Inglourious Basterds and Passing Strange, Sarahjane Blum on District 9, Tessa DeCarlo on Julie & Julia and Mary Hanlon on Moon.