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The Noteworthy: New Film Comment, Migrating Forms 2014, “Too Many Cooks”

The November/December issue of Film Comment, this year’s “Migrating Forms” lineup, an early take on Eastwood’s “American Sniper”, & more.
  • Above: the November/December issue of Film Comment is upon us, featuring pieces on Interstellar, Inherent Vice, and Adieu au langage.
  • The full program for BAMcinématek's 6th annual Migrating Forms festival has been announced. Soon-Mi Yoo's Songs From the North will be the opening film (check out our interview with Soon-Mi here), and Notebook contributor and friend Gina Telaroli's Here's to the Future! has its world premiere on December 13th. The full details can be seen here.
  • The first reviews are in for Clint Eastwood's American Sniper. Here's Justin Chang's take for Variety:

"Although Steven Spielberg was set to direct before exiting the project last summer (just a few months after Kyle’s death in Texas at the age of 38), “American Sniper” turns out to be very much in Eastwood’s wheelhouse, emerging as arguably the director’s strongest, most sustained effort in the eight years since his WWII double-header of “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Letters From Iwo Jima.” As was clear in those films and this one, few directors share Eastwood’s confidence with large-scale action, much less his inclination to investigate the brutality of what he shows us — to acknowledge both the pointlessness and the necessity of violence while searching for more honest, ambiguous definitions of heroism than those to which we’re accustomed. In these respects and more, Kyle — who earned the nickname “Legend” from his fellow troops, achieved a staggering record of 160 confirmed kills, and became one of the most coveted targets of the Iraqi insurgency — makes for a uniquely fascinating and ultimately tragic case study."

  • Above: "Figure in a Landscape", images of isolation from the Criterion Collection (Ivan's Childhood, Paris, Texas, The Red Balloon, The Shooting).
  • Scott Tobias takes a look at the developing world of VOD and "The Cheapening of Independent Film" for The Dissolve.
  • In J. Hoberman's Home Video column for The New York Times, he shares some observations on Chris Marker's Level Five:

"Level Five was shot on video and bumped up to 35 millimeter, which is how I first saw it in competition at the 1996 Berlin Film Festival. Revisited on a monitor nearly two decades later, it’s more impressive and less overweening. The computer graphics are touchingly passé rather than irritatingly au courant; Ms. Belkhodja (an actress, an artist and then something of a TV personality) seems less archly smug than tragically chic. And the movie is also remarkably prophetic.

Cyberspace had hardly been conceptualized when Marker made the melancholy suggestion that its glorious promise was already defiled by the lack of civility and spreading disinformation. Even more striking is his argument that Okinawa’s costly, pointless resistance was a major influence on America’s decision to use the atomic bomb a few months later, a point forcefully made in a recent book drawing on Japanese testimony, Ryukyu Shimpo’s “Descent Into Hell: Civilian Memories of the Battle of Okinawa.” One horror led to another."

  • Above: Harry Belafonte, Jean-Claude Carrière, Maureen O’Hara, and Hayao Miyazaki, all recipients of Honoray Oscars at the 6th Annual Governors Awards, via our official Tumblr.
  • For Movie Morlocks, R. Emmet Sweeney sheds some light on the mostly forgotten UHF
  • "Thirza Wakefield revisits a time when Hong Kong was still an exotic novelty for the travelling camera, and vice versa" in this piece for Sight & Sound. 

  • Above: from Otto Preminger's Bonjour tristesse, "Cécile, victim of a melancholic black-and-white present, directly addresses the audience to tell what happened during the previous summer in Côte d’Azur: a colour past, initially happy and ended up in tragedy. A memory which turns into a mirror, reflecting a youth which is no longer there, as in Juliette Greco’s song which Cécile is dancing to." Via MAI + t.
  • Finally, you've already seen it, but just maybe you haven't, so:

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