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The Believer, Preservation, Arthur Penn, More

The Believer's 2011 Film Issue is out and not only are there a few texts online in full but you can also sample teensy bits of others, such as David Thomson's interview with Walter Murch, Vendela Vida's with Debra Winger and Jules Moore's "microinterview" with Paul Verhoeven. Among the full texts: Jessica Winter on People on Sunday, written by Billy Wilder, co-directed by Robert Siodmak and Edgar G Ulmer, with Fred Zinneman as assistant cinematographer: "You can trace the DNA of a golden age in American cinema back to this quasi-documentary snapshot of a weekend in Berlin circa 1930."

Mark Oppenheimer's defense of Michael Cera: "He is a character who resonates with a kind of kid — and that kid is everywhere — who turns to movies for reassurance that he is not alone. That boy wears short shorts, and he runs." And Toph Eggers talks with David Wain "about the challenges of switching artistic formats, comedy spawned from happiness rather than pain, and whether or not comedic directors lose their fastball with age."

 

MORE READING


"Clearly you've never been..." is the newish blog from Ben Slater, author of the terrific book, Kinda Hot: The Making of Saint Jack in Singapore. The focus of this new project: "Occasional and illustrated accounts in the elongated and dubiously edited style of the day pertaining to films and television that claim to represent the island-nation of Singapura with rare excursions over the causeway to Johor."

For those who read German, Revolver, Zeitschrift fur Film is now blogging. And for those who'd rather not read at all, Unexplained Cinema has relaunched.

 


FESTS AND EVENTS


Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times: "I've been writing about the incomparable UCLA Festival of Preservation for nearly 20 years, and every time a new edition appears, I fear I'll run out of fresh adjectives to describe the UCLA Film & Television Archive's gift for restoring the widest possible spectrum of fascinating and hard-to-see cinema." The festival opens tonight with Robert Altman's Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. "This year's treats range from silent films such as 1925's The Goose Woman (complete with color tints done the old-fashioned way) to Barbara Loden's ahead-of-its-time 1970 independent drama Wanda. There is even space for an old-fashioned Hollywood crowd-pleaser, 1935's The Crusades, directed by Cecil B DeMille in his trademark combination of raciness and religion… If that isn't unexpected enough, the festival, which spans 23 programs over an entire month, includes a glimpse of Laurel and Hardy acting in Spanish, an in-person appearance by a major silent film star and an adaptation of a Samuel Beckett play that caused star Zero Mostel to puckishly say he 'wished to be re-blacklisted.'"





TIFF Cinematheque's Arthur Penn series is on through April 6 and Bill Ryan puts a few films next to other films. For example: "[W]hen I watch The Left Handed Gun [1958], I see a young Paul Newman who is out of control, as yet unable to keep the lid on his worst instincts, and receiving no direction on how to do so from Penn, so that this great actor instead bounces around and mugs like a cartoon psycho. Meanwhile, when I watch The Missouri Breaks [1976], I see a legitimately mad Brando who towers over everything else, and manages to raise the film up to his lunacy." Or: "I've said before that one of the great tragedies of the word 'mystery' as it relates to genre fiction is that it has come to mean, in most people's minds, 'something that is solvable.' Night Moves [1975] rejects that utterly. This embracing of uncertainty is one reason why Night Moves feels like the film of an adult, or group of adults, rather than a film like Bonnie and Clyde [1967], which was made by people who just wanted to set fire to all the shit that was older than they were."

The True/False Fest opens tonight with Benda Bilili! and runs through Sunday. AJ Schnack has an overview.

"Old Europe still makes new movies like they used to," writes Ray Pride for Newcity Film. "The finance of feature films is troubled in every economy around the world, but judging from the always-indispensable European Union Film Festival at the Film Center, offering up 64 movies from 24 countries, there's hope still. For the 14th annual edition, the entire month of March is given over again to an appealingly curated bunch of films as good as any under any given festival umbrella in Chicago." Opens tomorrow with Szabolcs Hajdu's Bibliothèque Pascal and runs through March 31. Update, 3/4: More from the Chicago Reader and Ben Kenigsberg (Time Out Chicago).

The Films of Manuel DeLanda is a program screening at New York's Anthology Film Archives tomorrow and Saturday. Related reading: Jonathan Rosenbaum. Updates, 3/4: More from L Caldoran in Cinespect. Ed Halter for Moving Image Source: "Shot on Super-8 and 16mm, DeLanda's works occupy a pointedly weird category unto themselves, combining the No Wave's post-Kuchar penchant for manic transgression and pulpy humor with a methodical, theory-influenced dismantling of cinematic language more aligned with filmmakers such as Yvonne Rainer, Trinh T Minh-ha, or Laura Mulvey. His punkish brain-teasers are frequently topped off by an array of hand-drawn or optically printed effects with aggressively jagged geometries, invading the world of the film like signal-jamming transmissions from beyond."

In the New York Times, Mike Hale previews the New York International Children's Film Festival, running from tomorrow through March 27.

For those in Melbourne, Screen Machine has your to-do lists.

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