- The Independent Spirit Awards have announced their nominations—check out the full list here. We're especially happy to see two Notebook favourites getting some love: The Color Wheel (read Ignatiy Vishnevetsky's piece from last year) Starlet (check out our recent review from Celluloid Liberation Front) and Leviathan (our interview with Verena Paravel).
- New word from Robert De Niro on the Martin Scorsese dream project, The Irishman (based on Charles Brandt's I Heard You Paint Houses), that would star De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel, and there was a rumor at one point that Leonardo DiCaprio could be in the mix as well. According to De Niro, it sounds like the project could come to fruition sooner rather than later: "It has to or we all won't be around any more."
- News regarding the lawsuit surrounding Silence, the long delayed Scorsese project, has come out but whether or not he'll direct the film soon (or at all) is neither confirmed nor denied.
"For he is not just a great filmmaker. Once again, he excels at being the filmmaker who expects everything from cinema, including “that cinema should free him from cinema,” to paraphrase Maitre Eckhart. He foils our calculations and disappoints those who worship him too readily; Godard has always kept moving, in every sense of the word, within a film-world that is still big enough to allow you to move about and show your restless energy. He is a philosopher, a scientist, a preacher, an educator, a journalist, but all this is as an amateur; he is the last (to date) to have been the (coherent) witness and (moral) conscience of what’s afoot in cinema."
- Above: via FuckYeahDirectors, Jack Nicholson and Michelangelo Antonioni photographed together in 1975 and 1995.
"Director Michael Cimino was researching the history of barbed wire in the West when he came across the real-life tragedy that would provide the basis for his screenplay for Heaven’s Gate: the bloody 1892 Wyoming range war known as the Johnson County War."
- Above, via everyday_i_show, a photograph by Mary Ellen Mark of "Luis Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carriere discussing the Tristana script, Toledo, Spain 1969." Follow the link to see a gallery of more of her photos, including an unforgettable one of Henry Fonda flipping the bird.
- Geoffrey O'Brian, over at The New York Review of Books, has a very eloquent review of Lincoln:
"Spielberg and Kushner have managed to make a film to the measure of its protagonist by making Lincoln about so much more than its subject. American history films from Griffith and DeMille onwards have in general been tailored for an audience presumed to be incapable of absorbing much information or complexity of motive, and the first casualty of this radical oversimplification has been any attempt to show the glowingly invoked “democratic process” in actual detail...Perhaps it is the era of cable news, with its permanent theater of politics, that has made it possible to engage more vigorously with the kind of historical detail in which Lincoln revels."
- Wondering what to get that cinephile or film buff close to you (or far away, depending on how much they won't stop talking about movies) for Christmas? Farran Smith Nehme over at Self-Styled Siren has an essential list of book recommendations.
- The first of a few items of interest from Film Comment: a review of Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning from Vulgar Auteur specialist R. Emmet Sweeney:
"Hyams has created a truly unique object, a horror-action-flicker film about uniquely expressive bodies haunted by the minds and memories they are forced to house."
- Next, a report on Pordenone's unique silent film festival by Maggie Hennefeld:
"The overwhelming variety of aesthetic modes and sociopolitical contexts on display was unified by a driving curatorial desire to unearth history’s forgotten fragments of the past and revisit them in the light of our present moment."
- Lastly, Jonathan Rosenbaum takes a look at two recent film books, Noriko Smiling by Adam Mars-Jones and Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room by Geoff Dyer and compares their literary approaches to book-length studies of a single film.
- Also: happy b-day, Gloria.
From the archives.
- Below: via Caboose Books, the (Jean Cocteau signed) catalogue from the Festival du film maudit in 1949.