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The Noteworthy: Cinemateca Portuguesa Under Threat, Varda Goes "From Here to There", Fincher's Favorites

The Cinemateca Portuguesa needs your help, Varda goes viral, the trailer for Paul W.S. Anderson’s Pompeii, Fincher’s favourites and more.

Edited by Adam Cook


  • The Cinemateca Portuguesa needs your help: the institution is under threat unless the state steps in. There's a petition online where you can sign and voice your support. 

"The Cinemateca Portuguesa in Lisbon runs the risk of closing 'if there is no injection of money' soon by the Secretary of State for Culture, the Cinemateca director, Maria João Seixas, announced today.

'We need to have a decision by the end of the month,' the director warned, stressing that what's at stake is the conservation of the heritage of Portuguese cinema, the archives in Bucelas (Loures), the salaries of 71 workers, the programming, and the other operations of the Museu do Cinema." (translation by David Phelps).

  • Jumping to the top of our list of most anticipated films is Agnès Varda freshly announced five-part documentary From Here to Now, which will be released via VOD later this year. Here's a brief tease of the film's contents:

"Each of the five episodes is 45 minutes in length, totaling 225 minutes of glorious Varda documentary-making. The insatiable and indefatigable filmmaker and new Academy member, now 85, hits locales as diverse as Los Angeles and St. Petersburg, Lisbon and Mexico. She talks with Russian director Alexander Sokurov (Russian Ark), eats with sculptor Christian Boltanski and partner artist Annette Messager, and dances with Portuguese filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira (Eccentricities of a Blonde-haired GirlThe Strange Case of Angelica)."

"If you want to organize a screening in your city let us know! All you need is a projector, some speakers, a screen (or wall), seats, and a public space--it doesn't need to be a fancy cinema, just a place people can gather and watch a movie. There's no need to wait for someone to bring the movie to you, bring it to yourself!"

"Immediately after the opening ceremony (pictured) in a Songzhuang cafe-cinema, which was attended by directors from as far afield as Iran and Sweden, the assembled crowd were informed that the planned screenings would not be taking place as scheduled.

In a repeat of last year's event, the crowd dutifully filed over to the nearby Li Xianting Film Foundation, newly rebuilt with a three-storey screen, for what most assumed would be a private screening. Unfortunately, any plans for such an event were scuppered when police arrived with an official notice from on high and set up surveillance teams to quash any illicit viewing."


"In short: this is no typical survivor tale, rejecting talking head experts, manipulative tear-jerking moments and celebratory swelling musical scores. Indeed, the forced positivism of feel-good cinema is undermined from the outset, as Pinto overlays an X-ray of his decaying teeth on the road he and his partner are driving down. "So", Pinto narrates, "I'm starting with a smile." The surreal image not only lays bare Pinto's candid and dark humour which infuses the film, but also neatly sets up the What now? Remind Me's focus: the intersection between the physical body (those rotting incisors) and the limits of expression (the ghoulish grin)."

  • Above: we've made a point of expressing our Paul W.S. Anderson love in the past and we're not stopping now. The teaser for Pompeii only gives us a fleeting taste of the "Vulgar Auteur"'s new film, but his style is nevertheless immediately recognizable.

"Affable and relaxed though still an imposing figure, the khaki-clad Mr. De Palma sat down recently in the back of a Greenwich Village restaurant to watch and discuss sequences from his own oeuvre that informed Passion.

Originally invited to view classical films that influenced Passion, he responded playfully: 'I could only refer to my own films. Nobody does this but me.'

Thus began the ultimate De Palma experience: watching a master of cinematic voyeurism watch his own films."

From the archives.

Hi… it’s the Beijing Independent Film Festival being scuppered; the “Beijing Film Festival” would be the shorthand for the state-sponsored juggernaut/spectacle that is the Beijing International Film Festival. (Mixing them up will be doing the Beijing indie festival injustice…) Also the Varda serial is already out on DVD in France, individually or as part of a beast of a complete Varda box set (which literally comes in a box, at a cost of about 120 euros).
Don’t want to jump on the Fincher hate bandwagon, but that’s one of the most boring Greatest/Favourite Movies lists I’ve seen in a while. Only one foreign and one pre-1950s? That list makes the AFI 100 look inspiring.
Always excited to hear about more Varda. I’ll make a point to track that box set down ASAP. Fincher’s list is boring, but it’s still comprised of pretty solid films. It also makes sense coming from him.
I’m surprised Fincher thinks so little of European and Asian cinema. He needs to widen his horizons.
predictable list there from Fincher. do people really still consider films like Terminator and Jaws “great” films? :S
Boa noticia! (Good News!)
interesting list for Fincher(some that i would also put in my own top 50). and im in agreement 100 Percent with Jonathan Cribbs opinion.
In answer to adam_cross: Yes.
Fincher’s list is predicatble, and goes a long way to explaining why, with the exception of Zodiac, his films are always so middlebrow and not nearly as good or innovative as he thinks they are. He’s a technical genius with the taste of a slightly enlightened frat boy, Richard Kelly without the cheap-grass philosophizing.

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