- In his continually eccentric series of extracurricular activities, Steven Soderbergh has posted a black and white version of Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark. Here's what he has to say about why:
"So I want you to watch this movie and think only about staging, how the shots are built and laid out, what the rules of movement are, what the cutting patterns are. See if you can reproduce the thought process that resulted in these choices by asking yourself: why was each shot—whether short or long—held for that exact length of time and placed in that order? Sounds like fun, right? It actually is. To me. Oh, and I’ve removed all sound and color from the film, apart from a score designed to aid you in your quest to just study the visual staging aspect. Wait, WHAT? HOW COULD YOU DO THIS? Well, I’m not saying I’m like, ALLOWED to do this, I’m just saying this is what I do when I try to learn about staging, and this filmmaker forgot more about staging by the time he made his first feature than I know to this day (for example, no matter how fast the cuts come, you always know exactly where you are—that’s high level visual math shit)."
- The 37th Mill Valley Film Festival begins tomorrow (love that logo!) just north of our San Francisco office, much of it taking place at the beautiful Smith Rafael Film Center. We're glad to see many of our year's favorites, including Isao Takahata's The Tale of Princess Kaguya and Dominik Graf's Beloved Sisters playing.
- Above: we already shared the incredible trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice—here also is the incredible poster.
- Exciting David Fincher news on the heels of his Gone Girl premiere: the master filmmaker will be directing an entire season of television for HBO. He'll be stepping behind the camera in 2015 to helm the remake of the UK series Utopia.
- Over at desistfilm, Nicole Brenez profiles and interviews Eric and Marc Hurtado:
"Contemporary cinematic arts continue to provide us with wonders in the intersection of art history and ethnography, this generous crossroad learnt from the most fertile plastics and speculative initiatives since late nineteenth century. One thinks, the day before yesterday, about Einstein and his Documents, yesterday about Jean Rouch, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Raymonde Carasco & Régis Hébraud and today about Tiane Doan na Champassak & Jean Dubrel, Ben Russell or John Skoog. Within this constellation, the work of Eric and Marc Hurtado, separately or together as Etánt Donnes, strikes us for its enchanted character in perpetual search of ecstasy, drawing on centuries of poetry sources from Hesiod to Brion Gysin to Raimbaut of Orange. Writers, musicians, performers, Eric and Marc Hurtado have worked with Alan Vega, Genesis P-Orridge, Lydia Lunch, and Philippe Grandrieux. For decades, they left us thinking that their splendid films in 8mm, pantheistic odes to the intensities of the world, were the fruits of a symbiotic partnership – until they revealed in 2008 that Marc was only the author at the times where Jajouka’s production required a great creative clarity."
- The new issue of La Furia Umana has published a "postcard" Victor Erice wrote to Monte Hellman:
I’ve been asked to write you a postcard. I agree with great pleasure, under the protection, as you can see, of our old mutual friend Boris Karloff, the best possible go-in-between.
A few weeks ago I could finally see for the first time “Road to Nowhere”, in a DVD copy. I enjoyed it very much, and felt very grateful for your quoting “The Spirit of the Beehive” in its images.
I could sense in Road to Nowhere the spirit of a young filmmaker: needless to say, young in spirit, mature in experience, and in full possession of his means. It’s the kind of movie I prefer -a modest production, but ambitious in what is essential: the radical commitment between author and subject. In “Road to Nowhere” the subject is none other than that eternal song, the relationship between film and life." Read the rest here.
- Above: "Eyes of Hitchcock", a new video piece by kogonada.
- The New Yorker's Richard Brody writes on Hong Sang-soo's Hill of Freedom, which he labels a "masterwork."
- Max Nelson kicks off his NYFF diaries with an entry on Matías Piñeiro's The Princess of France.
- Above: Portrait artist Don Bachardy has a new book of work out entitled Hollywood. Above are his drawings of Kenneth Anger and Warren Beatty. Thanks to Dan Callahan for this one!