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The Noteworthy: "Art of the Real", Remembering Resnais, "Pulverizing Plots"

Dave Kehr on Alain Resnais, images "where nothing happens" from _Seinfeld_, Scorsese's Criterion Top 10, Hoberman on Steve McQueen, & more.

Edited by Adam Cook

  • The Film Society of Lincoln Center have unveiled their incredible lineup for the forthcoming "Art of the Real" series, which includes work from Corneliu Porumboiu, Robert Greene, Thom Andersen, James Benning, and more:

"The thin and often blurry line between fact and fiction will be prodded in the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s revamped Art of the Real, a two-week series (April 11-26) dedicated to an expansive definition of nonfiction filmmaking."

  •  For The New York Times, Dave Kehr remembers Alain Resnais:

"Mr. Resnais had a full head of white hair that the French newspaper Le Monde said he had sported for so long that one could forget he was ever young. He exhibited a youthful energy well into his 80s and was working on drafts of his next project from his hospital bed when he died, the producer Jean-Louis Livi said.

Despite the serious nature of his films, he showed a playful side in recent years and said he had found inspiration in Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” one of his favorite television shows. Another expression of his appreciation for “high” and “low” culture was his interest in cartoons...He told a French interviewer that he wanted his work to have the effect of 'désolation allègre' — 'cheerful desolation'.”

"Lower the camera and the pastoral sprawl is suddenly tangled in barbed wire, memory and cinema are like that. How does one contemplate something like the Holocaust? Tracking shots give modern glimpses of sun-dappled ruins while flickering black-and-white newsreels and stills depict life and death in concentration camps, the tranquil horror of contrasts."

  • Above: eerie images "where nothing happens" from Seinfeld.
  • Martin Scorsese's impassioned Criterion Collection Top 10 is accompanied by some must read blurbs. Here's Marty on Kenji Mizoguchi's Ugetsu:

"Mizoguchi is one of the greatest masters who ever worked in the medium of film; he’s right up there with Renoir and Murnau and Ford, and after the war he made three pictures—The Life of Oharu, Ugetsu, and Sansho the Bailiff—that stand at the summit of cinema. All of his artistry is channeled into the most extraordinary simplicity. You’re face-to-face with something mysterious, tragically inevitable, and then, in the end, peacefully removed. I love all three of these pictures and many other Mizoguchi films as well (including Princess Yang Kwei-fei, The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums, and Miss Oyu, to name only a few), but Ugetsu has the most powerful effect on me. There are moments in the picture, famous ones, that I’ve seen again and again and that always take my breath away: the boat slowly materializing from out of the mist and coming toward us . . . Genjuro collapsing on the grass in ecstasy and being smothered by Lady Wakasa . . . the final crane up from the son making an offering at his mother’s grave to the fields beyond. Just to think of these moments now fills me with awe and wonder."

  • "Pulverizing plots: Into the woods with Sondheim, Shklovsky, and David O. Russell" by David Bordwell.
  • Above: and, speaking of Minnelli, here are images from his abandoned mansion in Beverly Hills.

 "Children say deep things in the films of Philippe Garrel. In Les baisers de secours (1989), little Louis Garrel quizzed his father about why he slept with other women apart from the wife/mother of their close-knit family unit. Twenty-four years later, in Jealousy (La jalousie, 2013), Louis is, in turn, quizzed by his daughter Charlotte (Olga Milshtein) on even more philosophical matters. “You know who Daddy loves more than anyone in the world?”, she asks at the dining table, and then supplies the answer as well: 'His Daddy'. Later, she ponders the fact that, when her Dad was younger, he did clearly did not want to have children – because if he did, he would have had them sooner. So why was Charlotte herself born? He tries to get out of this trap by declaring: 'When I saw you, I fell in love'. She flatly replies: 'Sure, you did'. Charlotte’s logic, and her powers of observation, are unbeatable. So, too, is her understanding of that complex human state we call jealousy."

Seinfeld Screenshots = why the internet is amazing.

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