- "Art of the Real" is returning to the Film Society of Lincoln Center with a celebration of Agnès Varda (who will attend!) and more:
"The 2015 edition, taking place April 10-26, will again feature dozens of new works from around the world and in a variety of genres alongside retrospective and thematic selections. Opening Night will premiere new works by João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata (The Last Time I Saw Macao, Mahjong), Eduardo Williams, and Matt Porterfield (I Used to Be Darker), with all filmmakers attending the evening."
- Above: For The Criterion Collection, kogonada's new video essay, "Mirrors of Bergman."
- Abderrahmane Sissako, the director of Timbuktu, will be heading Cannes' Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury.
- In his NY Times home video column, J. Hoberman writes on Richard Linklater's Boyhood and Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg.
"The refined dramatic control of Lee’s craft leads to intensity, the sense of latent and potential violence, of springs coiled and ready to snap, in every shot. It’s more than suspense: it’s the sense of excess, of an outburst that will exceed and even stagger expectations. For Lee, this notion of intensity, of looming violence, has a political aspect, and he aptly studs the script with references to America’s violent history and tendency, as well as to the primal, aestheticized, and spiritualized violence that the Ashanti dagger symbolizes and, literally, conveys."
- Above: James Benning offers some insight into his exhibition "Decoding Fear," which is open right now at Kunsthaus Graz and Kunstverein in Hamburg.
- For Fandor, Max Goldberg writes on a lecture Jean-Pierre Gorin gave at Berkeley recently about the Dziga Vertov Group:
"In striving for possible answers to these questions, the Dziga Vertov Group railed against the complacency of leftist filmmakers drawing upon the bank of imagery associated with the Popular Front as if were 1936 rather than 1968—an elision that implicitly reinforced the idea, anathema to the Dziga Vertov Group, that form is merely the envelope for content. “There was this sense in Godard and in me, that okay, at this point in time what does it mean to make, given the kind of general explosion that we were living in, what does it mean to make a film?” Gorin explained. “There is the idea that forms are not innocent. There is a historicity of forms. You cannot simply grab a camera and go around filming in the streets; there’s something more complicated about it.”
- Above: Matt Zoller Seitz has released a new video essay on Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, which he adapted from his brand new book on the film.
- No details yet, but Michelle Williams and Kelly Reichardt are teaming up for the third time.
- For Movie Morlocks, R. Emmet Sweeney writes on his love for Jason Statham, and his new film Wild Card:
"Since filming The Mechanic (2011) in New Orleans, Statham and his producing partner Steve Chasman have followed the tax credits, forming their movies around which city gave them the best deal to shoot. This economic incentive has made for atmospheric, enclosed action films that allows for such absurdities as shooting Philadelphia-for-New York City in Safe. Statham is asserting more control over his work, and his latest feature, Wild Card, is the first made for his own production company, SJ Pictures. Released day-and-date in late January on VOD and very limited theatrical, it seems to have already disappeared without a trace. But it’s a low key charmer, an episodic tour through the dregs of Las Vegas society (partly filmed in, yes, New Orleans) that’s less action movie than a downbeat character piece with brief flashes of violence to keep the fans happy."
- There is no film in 2015 we're more eager to see than Johnnie To's first crack at a musical, Design for Living. Watch the new teaser trailer here.
- Lastly, we're also excited to see Judd Apatow's Trainwreck, set to premiere next month in SXSW (but it isn't released commercially until July!):