- Dennis Lim is the new year-round Cinematheque programmer for the Film Society at Lincoln Center. Not too long ago we reported Robert Koehler had taken the position, but due to family health issues, he has stepped down. We congratulate Dennis Lim and our thoughts are with Robert Koehler.
- He may not be a household name, but he meant a lot to those who knew him: Ric Menello passed away at the age of 60 last week. Menello is known for co-writing Two Lovers and Lowlife with James Gray, and for directing this. Take a look at the Ditmas Park Corner blog's remembrance of Menello.
- Editor of The Chiseler and Notebook contributor Daniel Riccuito has a new book coming out, and it's a humdinger: The Depression Alphabet Primer, with illustrations by Tony Millionaire. You can find a sample of the delights within by carefully searching through The Chiseler's archives, in which I found, for example, the entry defining "Hoover Flags."
- It sounds like Steven Spielberg, who was recently announced as the Jury President at Cannes this year, is not done with unrealized Stanley Kubrick projects. Apparently Spielberg is thinking about developing Napoleon into a mini-series.
- Kambuzia Partovi, the co-director and star of Closed Curtain, along with co-star Maryam Moghadam, have had their passports seized by the Iranian government upon returning home from their trip to Berlin for their film's premiere.
- The Tribeca Film Festival has unveiled the lineup for its upcoming edition in April, consisting of the Documentary Competition Section, World Narrative Competition Section, and the Viewpoints Section.
- Ciné-Tamaris has turned to Kiss Kiss Bank Bank to crowd-fund their restoration of Jacques Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. The details are only available in French, but that shouldn't keep you from pitching in if you so choose (some goodies are up for grabs if you do).
- For his blog, David Bordwell writes on his history of collecting prints in light of the rapidly shifting landscape of film formats:
"My film collecting started with 8mm. Not super-8; that was invented later. (Imagine how old I am.) I made my own movies in 8, but I also bought, from the venerable Blackhawk Films of Davenport, Iowa, copies of films in that format. Most memorable was the Odessa Steps reel from Battleship Potemkin, which I projected often on my bedroom wall.
Not until I went to college and joined a film club did I lay my hands on 16mm. I suppose if you start out handling 35mm, 16 looks skinny and 8 looks like a toy. But moving from 8 to 16, I could see only improvement. You could, with the sharp eyes of the teenage geek, actually see the image on the strip. I projected many films on our JAN surplus projectors, and one weekend I hauled a print of Citizen Kane to my apartment to watch several times. Do I need to add that all this was in the 1960s, long before films became available on videotape?"
- Above: via everyday_i_show, Frederick Wiseman photographed by Patrick Swirc. Visit the link for photos of Christopher Walken, David Lynch, Marion Cotillard, Charlotte Rampling & many others.
- For Interview Magazine, artist Aïda Ruilova talks to Abel Ferrara about his life, career, upcoming projects on Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Pasolini and whatever comes up:
"RUILOVA: Do you really think there's a dialogue between the two—a link between violence in film and violence in reality?
FERRARA: What the fuck you think? I mean, what's the new Stallone movie? Fucking Shoot to Kill/Kill/Murder Me/Shoot Me/Blow Me Up/Blow My Fucking Brains Out/Kill Me, Kill You, Kill Your Fucking Mother? Come on, are you kidding me? King of New York is so lovely. We only murder every motherfucker in that movie. Because when I made that film, that's how I felt. I felt just like that kid, okay? I was high as a kite and figured, How the fuck do I take all that anger and put it on the screen? And now I've got to live with that. You can talk about honesty in filmmaking. What honesty? It's not the films, man. It's the life you lead and the passion that you've got to live with. "
- Via Moving Image Source, Max Goldberg interviews Ernst Karel, the man behind the sound design for the Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab (Sweetgrass, Foreign Parts, Leviathan, Yumen, and more):
"[GOLDBERG:] One of the interesting things about [Leviathan] is the way it frames recording technology as allowing us access to places we couldn't otherwise go but at the same time confronting us with radical limitations of perception.
[KAREL:] It wasn't only limitations: the technology also gave gifts. For instance, there were these weird resonances that would come through on these microphones. They're not a faithful representation of, say, the engine sound, but somehow—and I don't know exactly how this was happening—between the engine sounds, the camera enclosure, and the microphone itself, these weird resonances would emerge that seemed motivated by all of the above but not the direct result of any one of those things. We would exaggerate some of these emergent tones tones by using a filter to exaggerate a little peak frequency. There were a couple of shots where there would be a couple of frequencies that would be happening, and so I would exaggerate a different frequency in each channel to create an unsettled feeling."
- Above: a commercial for Galaxy chocolate starring a CGI-resurrected Audrey Hepburn. No comment.
"PIPOLO: When did you become interested in making films? Were you always drawn to the avant-garde, or did you consider making narrative films on the Hollywood or independent model?
KLAHR: I wanted to make narrative films but found the Hollywood and independent models too intimidating. I first encountered avant-garde films in January 1977, through a four-week course I audited at SUNY Purchase, a touring exhibition organized in part by New York University. I swallowed the arc of American avant-garde film whole. I had favorite filmmakers—Kenneth Anger, Ken Jacobs, Joseph Cornell, Jack Smith, Andy Warhol, and Bruce Conner—but was more smitten by the continuity of all the different periods. I was excited by how intimate and accessible this world was, and I felt this was something I could try."
From the archives.
- Above: an episode from the late Ric Menello's "That Menello Show" on YouTube.