- The news that Francis Ford Coppola was moving back to the Paramount lot was exciting enough, but now it sounds like the director has some big plans in store:
"I have a secret investor that has infinite money. I learned what I learned from my three smaller films, and wanted to write a bigger film. I’ve been writing it. It’s so ambitious so I decided to go to L.A. and make a film out of a studio that has all the costume rentals, and where all the actors are. My story is set in New York. I have a first draft. I’m really ready for a casting phase. Movies are big in proportion to the period. It starts in the middle of the ‘20s, and there are sections in the ‘30s and the late ‘40s, and it goes until the late ‘60s."
- The winners of the annual New York Film Critics Circle Awards were announced, with Zero Dark Thirty taking Best Film, Best Director (Kathryn Bigelow), and Best Cinematographer (Greig Fraser). In a related piece, J. Hoberman takes us behind the scenes of what sounded like an exhausting voting session.
- The Sundance Film Festival has announced its entire lineup, including the US and World Competitions, the Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, and New Frontier sections, out-of-competition Premieres, and Short Film Program.
- Above: in Amantea, a town in Southern Italy, all the movie theaters have closed—but the arrival of La Guarimba International Film Festival next August will see the resurrection of a unique outdoor cinema.
- The Museum of the Moving Image has announced its First Look series (taking place January 3rd-13th, 2013), programmed by Dennis Lim, Rachael Rakes, and David Schwartz:
"The featured filmmakers, many of whom will make personal appearances during the series, include established masters such as Thom Andersen, James Benning, and Bruno Dumont, and such exciting emerging directors as Mati Diop (from France), Eloy Enciso (Spain), Nicolás Pereda (Mexico), and Philip Scheffner (Germany). Among the highlights are Benning’s Easy Rider, a landscape film that revisits the locations of Dennis Hopper’s 1969 movie; a selection of short films by Kleber Mendonça Filho (director of the acclaimed film Neighboring Sounds), and In the Shadows by Thomas Arslan, a major figure in the Berlin School movement."
- Via Serge Daney in English, a recently translated Daney piece on Otto Preminger from a rare English copy of this book, (which was given out in limited copies at the Locarno Film Festival):
"Preminger's art is first and foremost an art of analysis. His point is to show how mechanisms are at work (the script thus turns into a simple role playing situation); his approach is quasi-scientific, and based on observation. The special effects only serve the annihilating condemnation of the enterprise that make his art possible.
This art is not free, nor is it in tune with its time. It is always desperately looking for a place to withdraw into from where it can construct its grandiose architecture. A closed world, an impenetrable milieu are defined by a preoccupation for orderliness, as well as by a desire to keep away from reality."
- Above: from Criterion's Current, Henry Fonda on John Ford and playing Abraham Lincoln in Young Mr. Lincoln.
- Speaking of Lincoln, Ross Douthat of The New York Times offers a distillation of the discourse surrounding Steven Spielberg's latest film:
"In the wide-ranging online conversation about Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner’s Lincoln, it’s been interesting to watch the movie be praised and criticized for the same artistic choice: Its determinedly narrow focus on the month or so of politicking and debate that pushed the 13th Amendment through a reluctant House of Representatives."
- Above: via Cinephilia & Beyond, a 15-minute commentary excerpt featuring John McTiernan on his "filmmaking philosophy."
- In The Hollywood Reporter, David Lynch explains why he hasn't made a feature film since Inland Empire, and why he has no plans to change that:
"The Hollywood Reporter: You haven't made a feature film in a long time. From the outside, it looks like you don’t want to. Is financing the problem?
Lynch: No, no, I have no problem getting financing. I have a problem catching ideas that I fall in love with for the next feature. I think part of the reason ideas haven’t come in is that the world of cinema is changing so drastically, and in a weird way, feature films I think have become cheap. Everything is kind of throwaway. It’s experienced and then forgotten. It goes really fast. And you have to do those things you are just in love with.
There is that expression, “Man has control of action alone, never the fruit of the action.” So you better enjoy the doing of a thing and not worry about the outcome. And I think that somewhere along the line, ideas will start coming and I may make a feature film. But I don’t hold out any hope for an audience. I just make it because I’m in love.
THR: At a time when it was unpopular to “do television,” you were one of the first big feature directors to go there, with Twin Peaks. Why aren’t you in that market now?
Lynch: I’ll tell you. I’m walking down the street. There are people in the street. There is someone you fancy. And you turn a corner. And there she is. No two ways about it. She is the idea. You are in love. And she is the story."
From the archives.
- Above: Tag Gallagher's video essay on John Ford's Mogambo.