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The Noteworthy: L.M. Kit Carson (1941-2014), The "Dying of the Light" Debacle, Polanski Makes "Macbeth"

The loss of a legend, Paul Schrader's plight, a new trailer for "2001", an appreciation of the Farrelly brothers, and more.
  • Above: we're disappointed to hear that Paul Schrader's latest film has been essentially taken out of his hands—in response the filmmaker has disowned the picture.

 "LUCCA: Like your previous work, Force Majeure is intended to foster a philosophical debate about what human behavior means or implies. Do you envision that being more of an internal process, or do you want people to talk it out?

ÖSTLUND: Yeah, in a group. We have to be aware of the roles that we play as men and women, and that we are adapting to those roles—very often, not being aware of it. Those expectations make us unhappy and very confused. It’s so interesting to look at, for example, the history of the nuclear family. The “nuclear family” was a word that was invented in the Forties. Before that, a large family was the norm. We are walking from the large family to the nuclear family and now to the single household. Stockholm has the most single households in the world. This development, this progress, is very connected to the consumer society, because if you are one person living in one apartment, you want to buy one TV, one phone, blah, blah, blah. We’re becoming more and more efficient as consumers, so I think it’s hard for us to separate our wants in life from what we are doing to maintain this kind of lifestyle and this kind of society. So we need to question the strong, fundamental beliefs that we have in the nuclear family, and where we’re heading."

"Following the structure and movements of whatever is on-screen, Beavers' camera whisks up and down and side to side to trace and tease out the (inescapably linear) structure of its subject. The form of its content? In these studies of artistic-manual labor, the composition of the shot, vertically, horizontally, inevitably derives from the composition of the subject, but this isn't exactly some pure artwork attempting to conflate content/form, as in the work of so many other avant-garde filmmakers. In Beavers' older films—as in the recent shorts of Jean-Claude Rousseau—a concretely-still image would suddenly be ruptured by the flick of the camera away from the subject. This sudden flick would seem to suggest not only a camera-pinceau, impressionistically registering the colors of a room through the motion of a darting eye and snapping-wrist, but the absence of any categorically correct perspective onto the scene. What is at stake, in these brush-like movements, is the transformation of an outer reality into a rush of filmic emulsion: the camera follows the form of its subject, but the subject is transfigured by the camera, and even surpassed by it as the camera continues onward. A give and take."

  • In his Home Video column for The New York Times, J. Hoberman writes on Pee-wee's Playhouse, which is being released on Blu-Ray by Shout! Factory:

"Every object was potentially alive: the window, the chair, the floor. The creatures who called the Playhouse home included miniature dinosaurs, sentient machines and a refrigerator of foodstuffs that enjoyed an ongoing fiesta. The mise-en-scène was wildly cluttered, and the show offered a veritable taxonomy of animation styles, combining puppetry, clay animation and video effects, while excerpting Depression-era cartoons on the living TV monitor, Magic Screen."

 "Farrelly Brothers movies are akin to family gatherings. They are filled with extreme neuroses, unexpected violence, and deep undercurrents of affection. Their films are even populated with friends and relatives from their Rhode Island home. Listen to any of their audio commentaries and you’ll find that half the actors are bankers and car salesman who grew up with them back east. Every time I see a Farrelly feature I think of how Manny Farber described Howard Hawks’ “weird mother hen instinct.” The Farrellys have it as well, just weirder. Dumb and Dumber was their directorial debut and an enormous hit, a tale of ignorant male friendship that lowered scatalogical slapstick so far it went below lowbrow and out the other side. It’s also their first attempt at depicting the bonds of brotherhood, in which Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels perform a kind of radical acceptance of each other’s flaws — through complete stupidity, but still (they treated the same theme with greater complexity in Stuck on You, their greatest film and biggest bomb)."

  • Last week, I shared links to David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson's coverage of the Vancouver International Film Festival. Well, there's one last article by Thompson that was published since that can be read here.

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