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The Noteworthy: The Fassbinder Collection, The American West of John Ford, "Pamphlet for Activist Film Criticism"

Critics Round Up falls and rises, Film Comment releases a digital Fassbinder anthology, Bong Joon-ho on genre, and more.

Edited by Adam Cook

  • Renowned Swiss artist and set designer H.R. Giger, best known for his incredible work on Ridley Scott's Alien, has passed away at the age of 74.
  • Oscar-winning filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul (Searching For Sugar Man) has shockingly been found dead in his home at the age of 36.
  • We've been big fans of Critics Round Up, an alternative aggregator for movie reviews, so we were pretty choked to hear it was shutting down...But now it appears, in Lazarus-fashion, the site will be sticking around.
  • Above: Film Comment has made available (for 99 cents!) a digital anthology that "collects 35 years of analysis of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's films and profiles of his closest collaborators." This coincides with the "Fassbinder: Romantic Anarchist" retrospective at the Film Society of Lincoln Center starting May 16th. If you're lucky enough to attend, you may want to grab one of these. Check out the series' trailer:

  • For Cinema Scope Online, Adam Nayman writes on Matt Porterfield's I Used to Be Darker, and he opens the piece in a distinctly Naymanesque way:

"If Matt Porterfield were a basketball player, he’d be the skinny two-guard who curls stealthily off of screens and puts up quality shots, who you don’t even notice has eighteen points until it shows up in the box score. What I’m saying is that the 36-year-old Baltimore native is skilled in a way that’s very subtle—too much so “for his own good,” according to the New York Times. This means that his movies welcome underestimation from viewers inclined to idolize filmmakers with flashier games."

  • Above: Cinema Guild Home Video have generously made their impressive archive of essays available online.
  • Paweł Pawlikowski's Ida is getting a lot of acclaim, but The New Yorker's Richard Brody has a bone to pick:

"Despite the intense emotionalism that Pawlikowski milks, the movie is a history lesson in editorial form, a thumbnail sketch of a textbook illustration of Poland’s litany of horrors, affixed to characters but set forth without the benefit of any first-person experience."

  • Above: David Davidson has assembled the covers of Cahiers du Cinéma during "the Stéphane Delorme years" and offers some insight into the editor's style and impact.

  • Above: also via Davidson, The American West of John Ford, an hour-long documentary on the filmmaker's career.
  • A few months ago, Bong Joon-ho shared his thoughts about his "his fascination with 'crime and creature' films and what they tell us about human nature" in Oyster Magazine:

"I don’t feel particularly well-adjusted to society. I’m afraid of it. When you’re afraid of something, you’re inclined to be more observant of that thing and express your feelings towards it in a more powerful way. For example, if you were afraid of women you would be inclined to express that. If you were afraid of monsters, then you would be inclined to express more about that. Since I have this fear of society, I’m interested in expressing that in my work."

  • Above: Open Culture has shared this excerpt from Anne-Marie Miéville's We're Still Here in which Jean-Luc Godard reads from Hannah Arendt‘s essay “On the Nature of Totalitarianism.”
  • The "Pamphlet for Activist Film Criticism" was written in Oberhausen and has been signed by dozens of critics. It has now been translated into English and can be read here.
  • Above: via Rob Baker, "Chaplin addressing the crowd outside the Ritz in 1921. It was his first visit to to London after becoming famous."
  • Lastly, via our official Tumblr, an interview with Eric Rohmer from 1977:


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