- Austrian director Michael Glawogger has tragically died at the age of 54 while shooting in Africa. For more on this brilliant director and his working method read Daniel Kasman's interview from Venice about Glawogger's last film, Whores' Glory (2011). MUBI US is in the middle of a 30-day run of the director's Workingman's Death (2005).
- Above: Omar Ahmed's brief video essay on Michael Mann's Thief.
- For Cinema Scope Online, Kiva Reardon writes on the Images Festival:
"Offering streaming links to almost their entire programme, the festival can be consumed from a couch, in sporadic order and with no regard for curatorial intent, which beggars the question: Is a collection of Vimeo links really a film festival? Should this sound like an ontological foray into digital existence, apologies, but the issue is not going away; Hot Docs likewise offers a multitude of link-based screeners to accredited journalists. It is a less than ideal scenario for a myriad of reasons, the first and most obvious being that no matter how big televisions get or how awe-inspiringly loud a home theatre is, there is no replacement for leaving a private sphere for a public one to watch projected images in the dark. This is especially true of the festival at hand, which highlights the avant-garde, installations and the intersection of art and film—works that often require immersive viewing experiences."
- Above: James Gray's beautiful (self-cut) trailer for The Immigrant.
- For Film Comment, Genevieve Yue on the films of Mati Diop:
"The films of Mati Diop conjure faraway places. Characters both fictional and quasi-documentary long for locales beyond their reach, or sometimes, as if in a trance, they drift magnetically toward them. No matter where the films take place, there is always the specter of somewhere else, and, perhaps with it, the possibility of a different life."
- In his NY Times DVD column, J. Hoberman writes on Abel Ferrara's Ms. 45 and Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy.
- Speaking of Ferrara, here's an old piece by Kent Jones on the notorious filmmaker.
- A gorgeous first look at Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boys.
- Writing for arts meme, Robert Koehler champions William Wyler's The Heiress.
- In The Front Row, Richard Brody writes on Godzilla:
"Monsters are the realm of the child’s psyche, the projection of inchoate fears in concrete, quasi-personified forms, and even the ones that are meant for adults resonate with the unconscious. Incomprehension battles with comprehension, the unexpressed conflicts with the desire to see, the near-ridiculous and the audaciously comical arise from the gravest horrors and the deepest fears. That’s why the tabloid hysteria of drive-in sci-fi and the inspired regressiveness of Jerry Lewis and Frank Tashlin make for fifties monsters of unabated fecundity and enduring power."
- Courtesy of the artist himself, a selection of works by James Benning are online for free.
- "I acknowledge that what I have done with this film is both immoral and illegal"—so begins Steven Soderbergh's cut of Heaven's Gate. Yup.
- Above: via Movie Poster of the Day, a gorgeous poster for Kon Ichikawa's Fires on the Plain.
- Lastly, David Bordwell wraps up his epic, brilliant series on film criticism in the 1940s:
"The other risk I’ve run is attributing too much to critics, here or elsewhere. If there hadn’t been films that pushed the boundaries of cinematic storytelling, even the cleverest reviewers couldn’t have written so fruitfully. Without Sturges and Welles, Huston and Wyler, Hitchcock and Wilder, Wellman and Walsh, Lang and Preminger, Mankiewicz and Val Lewton; without perversities like The Portrait of Dorian Gray and Salome Where She Danced and Turnabout; without ambitious pictures like Citizen Kane and The Story of GI Joe alongside dozens of sturdy programmers, the Rhapsodes would have had little to work with. The cascade of overpowering, exuberant, piercing, and crazy films of the 1940s surely pushed them to go all out. Great criticism can flourish, it seems, when there is great cinema."