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The Noteworthy: JLG Anthology, To Save and Project, Criterion Designs

A Criterion coffee table book, over 50 years of writing on Godard, MOMA's International Festival of Film Preservation, and more.
  • Above: continuing their series of digital anthologies, Film Comment has a new one on Jean-Luc Godard that collects everything the magazine has published on him since 1962 (!). These Goodbye to Language GIFs are just for fun:
  •  For Cinema Scope Online, Angelo Muredda takes down Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman:"While the film is ostensibly an angry manifesto stumping for artistic integrity in the face of a pablum-peddling culture industry that’s traded Raymond Carver for Stan Lee—as well as an illiterate critical class unwilling or unable to cultivate its technical competency—Birdman’s squawk is all but neutralized by its tepid bite. Though it is self-righteously mean in its broad strokes (as all polemics inevitably are), Birdman is also—this being an Iñárritu joint—an overeager, conspicuously crafted art object whose virtuosity is matched only by its digestibility. Snottily sniping at everyone but the exact sort of people who will throw laurels in its path as it makes its victorious procession to the stage of the Dolby Theater in March, Birdman is as hybridized and compromised as its hero: an award-courting schmoozer that disingenuously sings the praises of difficulty."

  • For Movie Morlocks, R. Emmet Sweeney writes on To Save and Project: The 12th MOMA International Festival of Film Preservation, which runs through November 22nd:

"In its twelfth year at the Museum of Modern Art, the series gathers recent restoration projects from around the world, and was organized by film curator Joshua Siegel, adjunct curator Dave Kehr, Adjunct Curator, and curatorial assistant Sophie Cavoulacos. For years a redoubt of celluloid, it has had to bow to the prevailing winds and present digital scans, including this year’s 4K restorations of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and A Fistful of Dollars.  But there are also more heroic instances of digital rescue, like the South African blaxploitation soccer-rigging curiosity Joe Bullet (1971, screening 11/8 and 11/13), banned by the government soon after its release but rescued by the Gravel Road African Film Legacy (GRAFL) initiative. I’ve always treasured the festival more for its oddities than its classics, which would emerge elsewhere anyway."

  • Above: the Criterion Collection has announced its first ever book, the 306-page Criterion Designs, which "gathers highlights from designs commissioned by the Criterion Collection, featuring covers, supplemental art, and never-before-seen sketches and concept art plus a gallery of every Criterion cover since the collection’s first laserdisc in 1984."

"Even though he was a skilled pantomimist, it’s impossible to imagine Jacques Tati as a film artist without his use of sound, and it’s not always easy to imagine his filmic universe minus color: two of his six features exist in black and white, but only the second of these, Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday (1953), was intended exclusively for that format. Tati had a sense of design in terms of both sound and image that expressed itself in painterly “touches”—strategic dabs that informed and inflected his overall compositions. (This shouldn’t be too surprising from the grandson of the man who framed van Gogh’s canvases!)"

  • We are very excited that Christoph Huber has started a new blog, entitled "following film", for the Austrian Film Museum. Huber has already published a mission statement, and a piece on John Ford's The Fugitive. We'll definitely be paying close attention to this space!
  • Lastly, here are some beautiful images from four new films by experimental filmmaker Nathaniel Dorsky via our official Tumblr:

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