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The Noteworthy: Fireflies, True History, Bittersweet Reminiscences of "The Life Aquatic"

An exciting new film zine looks to Indiegogo for support, Godard's "Introduction to a True History of Cinema and Television" arrives & more.

Edited by Adam Cook

  • We're very excited that the debut issue of Fireflies, a new print film zine (see above for beautiful Apichatpong-inspired artwork from the mag by Leith Maguire) established in Berlin and Melbourne that we've been eagerly waiting for, is set for release just around the corner—but first, the dedicated cinephiles behind the project could use some assistance with funding. Check out their Indiegogo campaign here. We're also proud to be partnering up with Fireflies in some exciting ways, so keep your eyes pealed!
  • Over at The Talkhouse, filmmaker Sean Baker shares some thoughts on William Friedkin's Sorcerer:

"Cream always rises to the top. A cliché term yes.. but one that I love because eventual victory is assured for those who deserve it. It’s bittersweet because one can imagine the victor thinking 'Finally! They finally get it.' I think many cinephiles, filmmakers and critics knew the term 'masterpiece' applied to William Friedkin’s Sorcerer…. the question was how long it would take for it to be recognized. It’s obvious to me that Friedkin poured his heart in to this film… I can see it in every frame. I’m glad the film’s brilliance has finally been realized during Friedkin’s lifetime so he could revel in its newfound appreciation."

  • The long anticipated collection of Jean-Luc Godard's Concordia lectures, Introduction to a True History of Cinema and Television, has finally arrived. Phil Coldiron reviewed the book for Cinema Scope long ahead of its publishing:

"Introduction to a True History of Cinema and Television is true in many ways: in its schema for an engagement with images, in its own engagement with the work of Jean-Luc Godard, in its explication of the central struggle of the image and the word, and in its understanding of the potential for cinema’s future as learned from its past. And so, if by its very design it can only be a failure, functioning at a remove, pointing toward the real work, capable only of introducing us to the struggle, it is nonetheless essential, very surely the most important book on cinema that will be released this year."

  • Above: incredible photos of Godard and Fabrice Aragno shooting Adieu au langage.
  • For Artforum, Tony Pipolo writes on Manoel de Oliveira's Gebo and the Shadow:

"As if being the oldest living filmmaker in the world were not distinction enough, Manoel de Oliveira may also be the canniest at wresting cinematic gold from the barest of means. Give him a text, a few actors, and a place to set up his camera, and watch the mundane metamorphose into art. His new film, based on a play by Raul Brandao and set in a small Portuguese village in the late nineteenth century, is as minimalist as the situation it depicts. Embracing rather than masking his theatrical source, Oliveira even cuts to an exterior view of the modest house where the action takes place to mark the end of each 'act.'"

  • Above: the soundtrack for Bertrand Bonello's Saint Laurent.
  • R. Emmet Sweeney writes an appreciation for Jim Mickle's Cold in July for Movie Morlocks, and interviews Mickle for Film Comment:

"SWEENEY: Let’s continue talking about your end of the job—the visuals in Cold in July. There are very saturated colors, playing off the red and green of the stoplight. Can you talk about the color scheme you were going for?

MICKLE: ...A big part of that was trying to make the world sexy. Dane’s original life is not boring, but there’s a plainness to it. He has a great moment in a phone booth where it looks like Suspiria—primary yellow, blue, red. Standing on the corner, all of a sudden all these things come at him and shake him up. By the time Don Johnson gets there, we wanted to have a ton of neon: purples, oranges. I wanted to give it an old-school, Technicolor feel."

  • Above: from The Criterion Collection, "Bittersweet Reminiscences of The Life Aquatic".
  • In a Cineaste web exclusive piece, Richard Porton reflects on The Film Society of Lincoln Center's "Art of the Real" series:

"It goes without saying that, ever since Luis Buñuel skewered the po-faced clichés of documentary voice-over in Land Without Bread—and invented the mock documentary in the process—a certain salutary skepticism concerning the supposed “truth claims” of nonfiction cinema has become part of the critical arsenal. The Art of the Real’s blurb trumpeting “a nonfiction showcase founded on the most expansive possible view of documentary film” might well serve as a credo for proponents of doc/fiction hybridism. It remains to be seen if this expanded view will eventually emerge as the new orthodoxy."

  • For New Republic, David Thomson reviews James Gray's The Immigrant. More on Gray's latest: Interiors examines the film's use of space.
  • And finally, Girish Shambu has his first personal roundup of film-reading in a good, long while.

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