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The Noteworthy: LOLA 5, First Look 2015, Herzog on Les Blank

A new issue of LOLA, David Bordwell on forking narratives, Calum Marsh on Cassavetes & Pialat, CineFamily's Robert Downey Sr. Retro, & more.

Edited by Adam Cook

  • We're very excited that LOLA, one of our favorite film journals, has started to roll out its 5th issue entitled "Shows." The pieces published so far include Joe McElhaney on German filmmakers in Hollywood, Lesley Stern on the "Ghostliness of Gesture", and Dorian Stuber & Marianne Tettlebaum on To Be or Not to Be. Still to come: "essays on Claire Denis, Eduardo Coutinho, anime, Blade Runner, the filmic object, film criticism, and more ... plus a special interview with James Benning."

"An ideal romantic comedy doesn’t ignore reality; it converses with it. The Depression may be softened by moonlight and shining eyes, but it is everywhere visible in It Happened One Night, from the woman on the bus who faints from hunger to the freight car full of hoboes who wave back at a joyous Pete as he races to propose to Ellie. One of the loveliest shots in the movie is the exquisite track that follows Ellie as she makes her way to the autocamp’s communal shower, while children chase each other and weary adults prepare to get back on the road." 

  • In addition to making "Film Futures," an essay from his book Poetics of Cinema, available, David Bordwell writes on "what-if movies" for his blog:

"I think that probing this body of film shows the value of systematically studying narrative formats of any type. We’re used to talking about genre as a fluctuating body of conventions, but we should also study conventions that cross genres—conventions of story worlds, plot structure, and narration. These conventions can prod us to execute some unusual mental moves. Filmmakers are practical psychologists, and they’ve learned how to tease and tickle our minds. What-if movies are just one example of how norms and forms guide our understanding of story."

  • Above: you'll be able to buy this wonderful Pulp Fiction poster by Laurent Durieux between November 28th & December 1st from Mondo.
  • For Sight & Sound, Nick James reports on Doclisboa:

"If I say that the aim of my first-ever trip to Lisbon – and to the very serious-looking Doclisboa festival – was to find a slow pulse of melancholy, I don’t mean that in a personal sense. It’s more that I was pre-sold, through my experiences of Portuguese cinema and literature, on the idea of saudade as Lisbon’s cultural life-blood – that said-to-be untranslatable concept that mixes ennui and a longing for something vanished that’s unlikely to return."

  • Above: the trailer for CineFamily's four-day Robert Downey Sr. retrospective, "Truth and Soul", hosted by Louis CK, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Robert Downey Jr.
  • In his home video column, J. Hoberman writes on Jack Webb's Pete Kelly’s Blues and Daniel Schmid’s Tosca’s Kiss.
  • Been to indiancine.ma? It's an annotated archive of thousands and thousands of Indian films.
  • How's that savings account looking? Cinema Guild is having a 50% off sale on all their DVDs & Blu-Rays for Black Friday weekend.

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