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The Noteworthy: Miyazaki & Takahata, Indiewire's Critics Poll, Changes in Jeonju

Film Comment’s best of the year, Raya Martin & Mark Peranson in Mexico, James Gray on American cinema, and an unexpected Guillaume sighting.

Edited by Adam Cook


"The fiction-documentary hybrid takes place in the context of the pending Mayan Apocalypse, when a filmmaker and his guide traverse the Mexican countryside with the goal of making the last movie, a contemporary update of the acid Western. Alex Ross Perry, Gabino Rodriguez and Iazua Larios star in the project, which takes inspiration from the myths of the American West constructed by filmmakers Sam Peckinpah, Monte Hellman and Dennis Hopper."

  • Indiewire has announced the results of their critics poll (Holy Motors strikes again), with individual ballots from all the voters, though you'll have to do some clicking around on your own to look at those. To help you with some of the navigating, here are links to the participating contributors from the Notebook: Adrian Curry, Daniel Kasman, David Phelps, Michael Sicinski, Gina Telaroli, and mine (you have to scroll down to the bottom to find other ballot entries such as "Best Performance" and "Best Undistributed Film").
  • Some disconcerting news from Jeonju: 8 employees have resigned from JIFF, including Ji-Hoon Jo, the programmer behind the Jeonju Digital Project. The festival appointed a new festival director, Ko Suk-man, a few months ago, and word is that he has a very different vision for the festival, which until now has earned an impressive reputation as a beacon for cinephilia.


  • Above: via Vermillion and One Nights, a "photograph of Cafe Ginza at Buchanan Street in San Francisco on December 9 1941":
"It speaks volumes, many different stories ... the Japanese American Community of the prewar era, the strange calmness of the morning after Japanese attack on U.S. soil, the photographer who took this photograph (John Collier), and the demise that would fall upon the proprietor of the Cafe and the doctor next door in coming years. But for now, we would visit Bukkyo-Kai Hall (Buddhist Temple Hall) and Kinmon Hall (Kinmon is the literal translation of “Golden Gate”) on the nights of 6 and 7 of December, to entertain ourselves with three movies."
  • Via Indiewire, Jessica Kiang interviews James Gray about his new film (apparently reverted back to the title "Lowlife") and the state of American movies:

"[Class is] not discussed in American life very much -- there’s a notion that social or economic class divides don’t exist when of course they do. But that wasn't always true in film -- think of John Ford, it’s always all over his films. The idea of Vertigo is partly genius because of social class -- the idea is he has to make Kim Novak up to the fancier version of Kim Novak in order to rekindle his obsession. So class becomes part of that story. Today, I mean, what social class can you find if someone’s a fucking Spider-Man? What the fuck does that mean?"

From the archives.

"Certain directors of films, whose work André Bazin analyzed so scrupulously, will only remain in man’s memory because their names will be read in his books. Their worth is not in question. To tell the truth, it matters little to me. I’m grateful to them for having inspired a clear poet, an artist who, by dint of objective humility, made his work the moving expression of his generous personality."

I haven’t seen the latest Spider-man, but isn’t the whole appeal of the character that he’s a young wise-cracking middle-class guy who has to deal with things like washing his costume and keeping up grades and part-time jobs? Gray should have picked a more accurate superhero target.
More info on Jeonju plus a personal letter from Yoo Un-Seong, whose dismissal started the situation this summer.
That Renoir quote is great, thanks.

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