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The Noteworthy: Senses #70, "Cinema and Time", Bordwell on Farber

New online issues of The Seventh Art and Senses of Cinema, two curious film projects, images from _The Immigrant_, and more.

Edited by Adam Cook

  • Above: an excerpt from a video interview with Ramon Zürcher, the co-director of The Strange Little Cat. Head on over to The Seventh Art to check out all the other content from the newly released Issue #19.
  • The most surprising news item in the past week is surely the announcement that Pablo Larrain (No) will be helming a remake of Scarface. Too bewildered to offer an opinion on this, so let's wait and see what develops...
  • Omnibus films are inherently a mixed bag but we'll be keeping our eyes out for this soccer-related project that has such names attached to it as Vincent Gallo and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
  • Above: issue 70 of Senses of Cinema is now online, and includes an excerpt from a forthcoming English translation of Federico Fellini's 1980 book Making a Film:

"From the day I was born to the first time I set foot in Cinecittà, it seems as if my life was lived by somebody else; by someone who, only in brief moments and when I least expected it, suddenly decided to allow me to participate in a few fragments of his memory. Therefore I must admit that my films composed of memories tell completely invented tales. In the end, what difference does it make?"

  • The trailer for the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen is directed by none other than the Quay Brothers!
  • Occasioned by its Criterion Collection release, Jordan Cronk makes a case for Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress:

"Kurosawa and his team of screenwriters keep the characterizations broad, establishing the darkly humorous tone of the film from the very first scene as the peasant duo wanders across a barren desert literally spitting at and insulting one another even as they depend on each other for survival as they dig up corpses and strip dead samurai of their armor. It's this dynamic between the serious and the farcical that's so vital to the film's success. At the same time, these purposefully disarming aspects have provoked volatile reactions; Kurosawa's playful manipulation of his audience's expectations renders The Hidden Fortress casually, paradoxically subversive, and it remains the director's funniest film—perhaps even his most morally acute."

  • For Sight & Sound, kogonada talks to Richard Linklater about "Cinema and Time".
  • Mónica Delgado & José Sarmiento Hinojosa interview Nathan Silver for desistfilm.
  • Continuing his rather incredible series of articles on film critics, David Bordwell continues to shine the spotlight on Manny Farber:

 "In 1942, when both Farber and Agee started writing about films, both faced the same conventions of journalistic reviewing that are in effect today. The reviewer had to sketch the film’s plot (without revealing the ending); dwell on performances; convey something of the film’s look and feel, perhaps with reference to direction, camerawork, editing, and music; and render a summary judgment. For economy’s sake, the writer typically dealt with these matters through a rhetoric of faults and beauties and a selection of a few vivid moments that counted for good or ill.

The challenge to any writer with pride was to do all these things in subtle, engaging ways. The review had to seem less a checklist than a flowing discourse, a controlled literary essay that happened to take a new movie as its pretext. Agee found ways to refresh these conventions, largely by treating the movie’s overall qualities and its striking moments as harboring the sort of power that Romantic aesthetics attributed to poetry."

Larrain has directed a great part of HBO Latin America’s show Profugos. Given the show’s style and thematic concerns I think make him very appropriate for something like the Scarface remake. Be excited!

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