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The Noteworthy: Bright Lights, Apatow on 40, Peter Nestler & Simplicity

A new issue of Bright Lights Film Journal, an interview with Judd Apatow, David Lynch meets Vincent Price, Griffith in France & more.

Edited by Adam Cook


"During World War 2 he was assigned films to photograph about the war effort. One of these films was called Steel.

Steel was made in 1945 as World War 2 was approaching its end. Shot in several locations around England, this beautiful film shows the process of making steel chronicling the journey from the iron fields to the steelworks.

This 30-minute film uses the American process of Technicolor to spotlight some of the highly skilled craftsmen who for generations devoted their working lives to steel.

It’s an incredibly fascinating piece of film making which shows amazing footage of blast furnaces and forges in a time when protective clothing consisted of a pack of cigarettes and a pair of sunglasses. For these people it’s not only their industrial heritage, it's their family history."

  • The next project is an effort to fund The Roxie Theater in San Francisco's "transition to becoming a sustainable non-profit" organization. Check out John Waters' endorsement below:


  • Scott Foundas interviews Judd Apatow (pictured above with Leslie Mann, his wife and the star of This is 40) about his new film for Film Comment:

"[FOUNDAS:] You started your movie career with a film about someone losing his virginity at 40, then went on to a movie about childbirth and another about thinking that you’re dying, only to arrive back at 40 and what could be called your mid-life-crisis movie.

[APATOW:] It may be that I’m in the middle of an eight-year nervous breakdown; I can’t get out of this feeling. I think the idea of time and how we make choices based on our feelings about our limited time has always fascinated me. There are these different periods in your life during which you’re supposed to act a certain way. But people get stuck, so with The 40-Year-Old Virgin, he’s fighting time by not growing up. He’s afraid to take a risk, he’s afraid to find out if he’s lovable or not, so even though he’s 40 he’s acting like he’s 15 or 16. He’s stuck in that pre-sex terror.

We all pace ourselves in some way—this is when I’m supposed to get married, this is when I’m supposed to have kids—and it doesn’t usually work out the way you want it to, because then you get older and you still feel young, and how are you supposed to behave? Am I not allowed to go dancing at the nightclub just because I’m in my late thirties?"

  • Above: The Criterion Collection shares a brief clip "from the recent documentary A Testimony as an Image, which reunites members of the Rashomon crew nearly sixty years after Akira Kurosawa’s epochal film was made." The full doc is included with their new release of the film.


  • Above: we posted the unsubtitled teaser for Johnnie To's next feature, Drug War,  a couple months back. Now we have a proper trailer with subs for your viewing pleasure.

"Simplicity may not be the first quality that springs to mind when thinking or writing about Germany cinema – it is, to borrow a phrase from Brecht, an ‘easy thing so hard to achieve’. It is, however, the elusive goal documentary film-maker Peter Nestler has been striving for since his first short film exactly fifty years ago (Am Siel [By the Sluice Dike], 1962). It is also the quality, perhaps, which goes some way to explaining the unwarranted neglect that Nestler’s fifty or more films have suffered both in Germany and abroad – and that, despite the now famous claim of Jean-Marie Straub, in 1968, that Nestler was ‘the most important film-maker in Germany since the war’."

  • Above, via Andy Rector, "David Wark Griffith in France, 1917." Head over to Kino Slang to see the image crucially paired to this great find.
  • Two things by way of Filmmaker Magazine. Firstly, Celluloid Liberation Front asks Paul Verhoeven five questions about his new film Tricked, which just played at the Rome Film Festival. Secondly, Michael Nordine covers the AFI Fest in two installments.

  • For ARTINFO, J. Hoberman writes on Looking at Bruce Conner by Kevin Hatch:

"Amazing to me that, outside of university film studies departments and the self-contained avant-garde film world, the artist Bruce Conner (1933-2008) isn’t the house-hold name that he deserves to be."


  • I didn't even realize Takashi Miike had yet another new film playing festivals. Is anyone else getting frustrated with trying to keep up? Watch the trailer for Lesson of the Evil below:

From the archives.

If you care at all what Judd Apatow has to say about anything please do yourself a favor and hit yourself in the head as hard as you can five times with a stapler.
I attended some of Nestler’s films projections at the Tate Modern, it was highly interesting. Especially the one on Glass.
That Lana Del Rey/Beasts of the Southern Wild mash up is disturbingly brilliant.

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