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Weekly Rushes. 6 January 2016

New bits from Jerry’s “The Day the Clown Cried,” Vilmos Zsigmond leaves us, Iñárritu talks to Mann, and the year the studios got it right.
Rushes collects news, articles, images, videos and more for a weekly roundup of essential items from the world of film.

Vilmos Zsigmond
NEWS
  • Vilmos Zsigmond, 1930 - 2016: In December we lost Haskell Wexler, and now another one of cinema's great photographers has passed. Zsigmond was paramount to such films as Altman's McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Spielberg's Close Encounter of the Third Kind, Cimino's Heaven's Gate, De Palma's Blow Out, and many more. Keyframe has a roundup.
  • After many, many years under construction the new home of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) will open in Berkeley, CA on January 31. "For the first time in sixteen years, BAMPFA film screenings will take place under the same roof as the institution’s art galleries." Included in the announcement is the terrific news that the PFA "will expand the number of film screenings it presents, hosting programs 52 weeks per year." Retrospectives devoted to Maurice Pialat, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, and Jean Epstein will lead the year, with Seijun Suzuki, Wim Wenders, Straub-Huillet, and others planned for the 2016 calendar.
  • Spotlight, Carol and Mad Max: Fury Road lead the best films of 2015 as named by the National Society of Film Critics. Visit the organization's website for the full awards listing.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING
  • Any tickle of information about Jerry Lewis's legendary self-suppressed film The Day the Clown Cried resounds with us, so this documentary by David Schneider, which includes never before seen images from the shoot, is essential.
  • Director Alejandro González Iñárritu is in conversation about one of the most over-discussed films of 2015, The Revenant, with Michael Mann, director of one of the most under-discussed, Blackhat.
  • John Woo's Lost in Space? Ignatiy Vishnevetsky points us to the unaired 2004 pilot for The Robinsons: Lost in Space, directed by none other than the Hong Kong action maestro.
  • Video essayist Tony Zhou has another essential entry in his Every Frame a Painting project, this time focused on Bong Joon-ho's use of ensemble staging in his 2003 masterpiece Memories of Murder.
  • A wicked trailer for "Friends with Benefits," a new series coming to New York featuring the work of Gabriel Abrantes, Daniel Schmidt, Benjamin Crotty, and Alexander Carver.
  • The Salt Lake Tribune is hosting the trailer for Werner Herzog's Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, due to premiere at Sundance this month.
  • We're not sure this is recommended perse, but for those who always have wondered what The Wizard of Oz would look and sound like re-edited so that all words and sounds are presented in alphabetical order, well, here is Of Oz the Wizard.
RECOMMENDED READING
Straight Outta Compton
  • "The Year the Studios Get It Right": a provocative title to Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott's dialog in the New York Times about big budget movie making in 2015:
"Critics like to complain — with ample justification — about the soullessness of sequel-driven commercial cinema. We also like to be surprised, and maybe what surprised me most in 2015 was how much risk, heart, imagination and relevance could be found in large-scale, big-studio releases."
  • Speaking of studios, the New Yorker has a long, revealing profile of a new "studio," STX Entertainment and its chairman Adam Fogelson:
"A sequel like last May’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” from Marvel, is less a self-contained film than a loose amalgam of ongoing stories. The film lays track for two future sequels and allots significant screen time to each of the film’s fourteen main characters so they can serve as calendar reminders of forthcoming spinoffs and other ancillary products, including, of course, TV shows. The film is essentially a two-hundred-and-fifty-million-dollar episode of a television drama that airs every few years."
  • Babette Mangolte, who shot Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dieman, 23 Commerce Quay, 1080 Brussels, among other Akerman films, has written for Artforum yet another essential text dedicated to the much-missed Belgian filmmaker:
"We discussed what we could and should do, and articulated the need to invent our own language devoid of references to a world dominated by men... "
In Jackson Heights
  • We know, we said no more "Best of..." lists, but there still remain some venerable publications that now in the New Year are finally revealing the results of their polls. Let's be honest: any "Best of..." that comes out in mid-December must surely be missing some films that have yet to be seen by its participants. We want to point you to Reverse Shot's stellar annotated list, which is topped by Frederick Wiseman's much-deserved In Jackson Heights:
"It’s not just about Jackson Heights. By casually burrowing into a concentrated area in which 167 different languages are spoken—the most diverse single community in the world—he has made a film, probably the film, about our country now..."
  • The annual Slate Movie Club has convened and is currently publishing its correspondence about the year between critics Dana Stevens, Amy Nicholson, Mark Harris and David Ehrlich, to whom Stevens addresses these questions in the first entry:
"What is Quentin Tarantino’s game these days? Who is he making movies for? Is it only my fun-hating prudishness that makes me regard this historical-revenge-fantasy bender he’s been on since Inglourious Basterds as ineffably evil?"
  • The Criterion Collection has published Howard Hampton's appreciation of the Lady Snowblood series:
"With three minutes of off-the-cuff cinematic shorthand, a strange, precarious universe is born: a mind-melting witches’ brew of Rosemary’s Baby, Lady Macbeth, and 'Snow White.'"
EXTRAS
  • "NOTES: TEAR STAINS." A make-up test for Vivian Leigh in Gone with the Wind. To see more, visit our Tumblr.

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