- The lineup for this year's New Directors/New Films, "presented jointly by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern Art," has been announced.
- "For the Birds": Richard Brody picks on the Academy Awards.
- There's an intriguing new film journal on the scene: "The Completist," authored by Rumsey Taylor. Head over to the site to read his "Statement of Intentions". Described as being "roughly quarterly", we're looking forward to future instalments.
"Carroll Ballard, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Philip Kaufman, and Michael Ritchie all are, or were, San Francisco–based filmmakers. Yet none of these people seem to be Bay Area filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Abel Ferrara, or Spike Lee are New York filmmakers. Avant-garde cinema, on the other hand, has a rich history with the West Coast in general, and San Francisco in particular. Falling somewhere in between is John Korty, a narrative filmmaker who sets his films in the Bay Area and beyond. The city never overwhelms his work, but comfortably appears in the margins. His social and domestic dramas work with small budgets and modest stories."
- Above: the trailer for Guillaume Nicloux's The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq, opening March 20th at New York's Film Forum.
- For The Chicago Reader, Ben Sachs writes on Joe Gibbons:
"Is Gibbons a radical artist or just plain crazy? You might not be able to tell by looking at his movies, as many of them play on this very ambiguity. Since the early 80s, Gibbons has been the star, but not necessarily the subject, of his work, often playing a deranged version of himself. Many of his filmmaking strategies suggest an unstable mind behind the camera as well. Gibbons tends to frame himself in extreme close-ups that seem to shut out the rest of the world, and his nonlinear, deliberately haphazard editing evokes the thought process of someone going mad. Several of his 90s works—among them a series that features Gibbons staging unnerving psychodramas with Barbie dolls—were shot on a Fisher-Price children's camcorder."
- Above: Tony Stella's beautiful poster for Martin Scorsese's Casino. See more of the artist's brilliant work here.
- For his blog, Girish Shambu writes on the late scholar-critic Gilberto Perez:
"One of the things I value most about Perez is that he is a bridge-builder and a master synthesist. Driving these traits is a sharp sensitivity for dualisms. If I had to identify a single thread that runs through Perez’s entire body of work, it is a proclivity for exploring, complicating and dismantling these dualisms. Of these, perhaps the most significant for Perez is the split between theory and criticism."
- Above: incredibly, electronic musician Nicolas Jaar has composed an original soundtrack for The Color of Pomegranates.
- Occasioned by its Best Picture win on Sunday, David Bordwell takes a close look at Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman:
"He was clearly drawn to the virtuosic side of the very long take, and his DP Emmanuel Lubezki had made the complex camera movement his signature with Children of Men and Gravity. After Snake Eyes showed that CGI could stitch together several long takes into a seamless whole, many directors saw that digital filmmaking could extend the shot beyond anything in analog cinematography. A new level of virtuosity was called for, not only the logistics of choreography but the skills of hiding the cuts. Do it right, you might even get tossed an Oscar or two."
- Indiewire has published another exclusive english-translation of a review from Cahiers du Cinéma, in this case one by Serge Bozon of Luc Moullet's Land of Madness.
- In a web exclusive Sight & Sound piece, Isabel Stevens writes on "black movie poster art":
"Foregrounding the back of Martin Luther King’s head, Selma’s poster is an act of protest in itself. But as a recent book on black movie poster art shows, many past poster designs have obscured, caricatured or edited out black actors altogether."
- It's fun to daydream about Scout Tafoya's "50 Week Film School Curriculum" from his blog, itself a riff on Mark Cousins' imaginative and irregular 50 week plan.
- Lastly, a first look at Martin Scorsese working on the set of Silence: