- We are very saddened by the news that the writer and Japanese film scholar Donald Richie has left us. David Hudson is compiling tributes to the man and his work over at Fandor.
- Pegleg is a terrifically promising new project developed by a friend of the Notebook and recently made public. It is a search engine and an archive that "crowd-sources full-length movies from YouTube." The platform automatically tweets each time a new movie is found by the community, and likewise tumbles. A quick browse of recently added titles reveals the exciting range such a project entails: films by Kieślowski, Miike, Josef von Sternberg, John Ford, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Lubitsch, Akerman, Philippe Garrel and more have been found by the community. Just as important as the utility of the site's search engine is how fun it is to find and add films to its growing list of watchable titles. As the site's About page says, "It's a community-based approach to watching great films and giving back to your fellow cinephiles."
- Jafar Panahi had a new film at the Berlinale this year, Closed Curtain, co-directed by Kambuzia Partovi, and which Adam Cook wrote about during the festival. Like his previous film, this new one was not only not allowed to be made but also not allowed out of the country; Iran, understandably, has responded angrily. The Tehran Times reports, quoting Iran Cinema Organization Director Javad Shamaqdari, "There are some people who make films illegally and submit the unauthorized productions to foreign festivals, but all the cineastes know that producing a film in Iran and screening it in the foreign events must be authorized beforehand."
- We've been impatiently tapping our toes waiting to hear about the next feature film project for Michael Mann after his television program Luck was canceled. Word via The Hollywood Reporter is that that may be a cyberthriller starring Chris Hemsworth.
- The Cine-Tourist offers an engrossing exploration of the origin of Godard's famous remark that D.W. Griffith asserted that what an audience wants from a movie is "a girl and a gun."
- Above: A beautiful and mysterious new video essay by Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin entitled Intimate Catastrophes, published at Transit. It constructs a cartography from Private Fears in Public Spaces, Morocco, Le tempestaire and By the Bluest of Seas. The lengthy introduction is well worth reading, and begins:
"Cinema is a drama of space. Every true work of cinema (to adapt the words of Raymond Bellour) ‘offers an irreducibly singular configuration, in which the singularities of space intersect with the fatalities of time’. Cinema inscribes lines of movement, of direction, of contact. Cinema is intimately architectural."
- Frequent Notebook contributor Ryland Walker Knight has published on his own blog "Critical Precepts for the Writer in 2013." A valuable read for any critic of cinema—and critic meaning a writing critic or simply a thinking viewer:
"Reading the object is the goal because anything you should write should be written to expand the argument of the object, not reduce nor dissect nor even replicate it. And no reading has an end."
- Last week's Noteworthy found paintings by Kurosawa; this week we have, via Buzzfeed, concept sketches by Hayao Miyazaki.
- Steven Soderbergh and Rooney Mara candidly and hilariously discuss life, Hollywood, and everything else other than their new film Side Effects in Interview Magazine.
- "Good movies change people’s view of the world all the time, but how many can say a movie has fundamentally altered their vision forever? One person who can is Bruce Bridgeman. In terms of how he sees the world, there is life before Hugo, and life after Hugo."
The inspiring story of Bruce Bridgeman is explored by Morgen Peck at the BBC.
From the archives.
- Donald Richie was also a respected experimental filmmaker and made several works in the 60s and 70s. Above is his fifth, and now final film, Five Filosophical Fables.