- The great avant-garde filmmaker and musician Tony Conrad has died at the age of 76.
- If you're sending mail in Austria, now you can creep your family and friends out with an image of austere art-house task-master Michael Haneke on your stamps.
- A terrific-looking new book "by" Jean-Luc Godard is out via Contra Mundum Press: Phrases features the texts contained within several of Godard's films, including Germany Year 90 Nine Zero, Forever Mozart and In Praise of Love.
- After his feature documentary Junun and music video for Joanna Newsom, Paul Thomas Anderson is returning to the music world, having reportedly shot a video for Radiohead.
- Filmmaker (Traveling Light, Here's to the Future!) and Notebook contributor Gina Telaroli has shared online an exquisite new video work, Starting Sketches: Theresa and Jeanne.
- Before Pixar dominated the animated film world, they made this marketing video in 1990. Courtesy of Cartoonbrew.
- Werner Herzog has been on our minds, what with our documentary retrospective devoted to the director now showing in the US—and therefore so has madman acting genius Klaus Kinski. We caught the above remarkable "documentary" about Kinski's legendary one-man performance as Christ at the Berlinale several years ago, and thankfully it has surfaced on YouTube. A must see.
- Steven Soderbergh may not be making "movies" any more, but he sure is busy. Not only did he recently finish the second season of The Knick, he shot the above music video for band DTCV's "Histoire seule."
- While we sadly wonder if Chantal Akerman's documentary No Home Movie would be receiving the same amount of praise and coverage if its release wasn't punctuated by the director's subsequent suicide, we are certainly very thankful of the moving and explorative writing it has inspired. One of our favorite critics, Michelle Orange, has written about it for The Virginia Quarterly Review:
"In Chantal Akerman’s work the element of paradox is everywhere, fractal, supreme. In this she is an artist of her time and place and perhaps most emphatically her gender: Born in Brussels in 1950 to Polish Holocaust survivors, Akerman’s is a life emerged from the death camps. Raised by and among women who appeared to Akerman suffocated in domestic amber, she rallied for her own freedom, deciding as a teenager besotted by Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le fou to make films."
- Speaking of fiercely independent women in film, actress Jane Fonda has penned "My Convoluted Journey to Feminism":
"I began to identify myself publicly as a feminist, although it would be many more years before I would be brave enough to look within myself and locate the multiple ways in which I had internalized sexism and the profound damage that it had done to me. As the Indian sage Kristnamurti said, 'You think you are thinking your thoughts, you are not; you are thinking the culture's thoughts.'"
- Another of our favorite online critics, Girish Shambu, has written on his year's journey exploring American independent film, in what is an essential guide to recent "micro-budget" cinema from the US:
"And now, a personal confession: I’ve grown a little weary of films that immerse themselves with great relish in detailing “male bad behavior”. Cinema has so overwhelmingly and disproportionately been by and about men that it feels like I’ve seen, by this point in my cinephile life, far too many films on this subject. Now, few subjects are exhaustible in art, I understand this, but nevertheless my level of interest in this one has never been lower. "
- A micro-budgeted filmmaker working in an entirely different culture and industry, Horse Money director Pedro Costa has shared his top ten films of the last ten years with American distributor Grasshopper Film, rich with films by Jean-Marie Straub, as well as ones by Wang Bing, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and Paulo Rocha.
- The New Directors / New Films festival has wrapped in New York, and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, who co-programs the series, has posted a podcast discussion with Bi Gan, director of the Chinese film Kaili Blues, and Gabriel Mascaro, who directed one of our favorite of this year's films, Neon Bull (we talked to Masacaro, as well)
- This year is the 40th anniversary of the release of Taxi Driver, which is inspiring a number of related events, including Waxwork Records' release of the entirety of Bernard Herrmann's iconic score for the first time ever on vinyl (!). Take a (digital) listen below.
- You can't listen to it yet, but prepare your ears for a David Lynch tribute album, featuring Duran Duran, Sky Ferreira, Zola Jesus, and more.
- Via Andy Rector's Kino Slang, "Los Angeles viaduct photographed by F.W. Murnau."