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Weekly Rushes. 21 October 2015

Christopher Doyle shoots Tilda Swinton, Sam Mendes asks better directors questions, Jean-Pierre Léaud as Louis XIV, "Carrie"...knitwear?
Rushes collects news, articles, images, videos and more for a weekly roundup of essential items from the world of film.

  • Above: Tilda Swinton, a short video portrait of the actress (and Shanghai) by cinematographer-turned-director Christopher Doyle.
  • Over at Empire, mediocre director Sam Mendes sends questions and gets answers from directors far more talented than himself, including David Fincher, Steven Soderbergh, Sofia Coppola and more.
  • Speaking of mediocre directors, scholars David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson have posted online their analysis of The Prestige, probably the best film by Christopher Nolan.
  • Above: a tantalizing picture of Jean-Pierre Léaud in costume on the set of Albert Serra's new film, Last Days of Louis XIV. Via Cineuropa.
  • We can't say there's much newly revealed in this interview at the New York Times by Bret Easton Ellis of Quentin Tarantino, by why not give it a try regardless?
  • If you want really good interviews, how do these names strike you: Jean-Luc Godard, Philippe Garrel, and Jacques Demy. Master cinematographer discusses working with all those and more in a lengthy n a video interview at Web of Stories.
  • Above: the full trailer for Frederick Wiseman's masterful documentary In Jackson Heights, far and away one of the best films of the year.
"In the absence of the project’s director, in the absence of material, in the absence of any apparent will on the part of our hosts to put forward topics of conversation, I tried delicately to ask why and how Dau’s backers were providing a five-storey office building in one of the world’s most expensive districts for the sole purpose of curating an artistic project that had yet to be put before an audience, four years after filming wrapped in Kharkiv.​"
  • Above: James Meeks at the London Review of Books follows-up (or tries to follow-up) on one of the largest, strangest, and most mysterious projects in the history of cinema: Ilya Khrzhanovsky's second film, Dau.
  • The Criterion Collection's January titles have been announced, and include Bitter Rice, Inside Llewyn Davis, The American Friend, and more. Also at Criterion: a new interview with Arnaud Despleschin (who recommends a scene from Notting Hill as a meta-cinematic highlight!).
  • Above: James Gray on the set of his upcoming The Lost City of Z.
  • Over at the Criterion Collection, Hou Hsiao-hsien describes films that have changed his life, including Mikio Naruse's Floating Clouds:
"The story is just so bleak and so touching at the same time. As a director, Naruse has the ability somehow to depict how human emotions in a relationship change because of society, in this case after the Second World War, with the sense of hopelessness. And these characters are portrayed so delicately and movingly on-screen."
  • Below: "Carries" by Solène Lebon-Couturier, found by @A24.
  • Oh right, there's a new trailer "everyone" is "talking about": No, not the new Andrzej Żuławski trailer...this one.
I don’t understand. Mediocre directors ??? Please, you could be more polite. In your opinion is better Denis Villeneuve, for example, than Mendes or Nolan ?
I 100% agree. Could you be any more pretentious? And from a site that seems to publish plenty of “writers” who have barely developed thoughts on cinema, except from what they learned from an intro to film class and hours of recycling ideas from Ignatiy’s writing.
I usually love this Weekly Rushes, as well as the little blurbs that come along beside them, but most of these seem filled with (needless) hate. Was this written by a different person? or was the author just really angry at the world today? Anyway, I hope this doesn’t become the norm.
Even though I actually agree on both remarks (Mendes is awful, and The Prestige is Nolan’s only great film), the casual VA fanboyism displayed here is just embarassing. Someone please just bring Ignatiy back.
Alex
Yeah, wow, rude.
Yeah, not a huge fan of how this week’s was written, these work tremendously as impartial mini news bulletins, not as ways to force opinions onto others…
The „Carrie” knit ware above actually follows a design by Malika Favre. http://malikafavre.com/carrie
COUNTERPOINT: I’d like to take my hat off to you for the ‘mediocre’ thing. This lot should stop moaning.
I like American Beauty and Memento. Mendes and Nolan may not be visionary directors, but those two films should earn them some respect. Most people who want to make movies never come close to those achievements. BTW, the impartial comments are fine. Readers of the Notebook can always disagee…
IN RESPONSE TO COUNTERPOINT: It annoys me because it creates this foolish ivory tower mentality to cinephilia. I realize most casual film-goers are not visiting MUBI very often—or at all—but when they do they don’t need some pompous writer telling them the director they admire is crap, especially in a situation where there is no need for it. If you want to write an insightful article detailing why you think Mendes or Nolan is overrated that’s one thing. But to be snippy just because you can is not what a site like this should be about—especially in a situation where there is no author named.
Alex
I think I’ll take a director who can change gears as well as Mendes has (American Beauty to Skyfall? Jarhead to Away We Go?) over a one tone pony like the “far more talented” Fincher, who has himself been lambasted on this very blog as hollywood garbage, lol.
Lol at the butthurt. As much I liked Skyfall and quite a handful of Nolan’s films, I’ll be the first to admit that they are quite obviously mediocre directors. I have yet to read a decent defense of these two on aesthetic grounds. No discernible mise-en-scene or unique cinematic philosophy or vision. They make successful entertainment. That’s it. Thank you, Mubi, for having the balls to stick to your values. Blah blah blah pretentious blah blah blah ivory tower blah blah blah elitist. Last time I checked having a brain and standards was a good thing. Mendes and Nolan are the very definition of middlebrow, bourgeois, and ordinary, and the beneficiaries of the contemporary malaise of elevating all that isn’t special by loud fanboys.
I don’t believe it. I was speaking about politeness and Nicole B (?) now speaks about balls (really ? The MUBI’S balls ? Great !) and would have the last word about blah blah. Thank you for your great contribution. You are overrating yourself and above all your cheer MUBI. My luck is that I’m not curious to know your taste and your favorite movies.

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