- As the remarkably disheartening year of 2016 came to a close, we lost two great figures in the film industry: Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. Revisiting some of their best films over the holidays has given us new fortitude with which to start 2017.
- It looks like we're closer to seeing Terrence Malick's film centering on the Austin music scene. Previously called Weightless, it's now officially titled Song to Song and has a March release date—perhaps premiering at the Berlin Film Festival?
- And news from another of our favorite impressionists: Claire Denis seems to have pushed back shooting her Robert Pattison-starring sci-fi, High Life, to shoot a small movie starring Juliette Binoche, Gérard Depardieu and Xavier Beauvois, Dark Glasses. Whichever we get first, we simply can't wait.
- Near the complete program of the International Film Festival Rotterdam has been announced, including the second year of a lean Tiger Competition (one film competing per day of the festival), a retrospective devoted to Czech director Jan Němec and Taiwanese filmmaker Su Hui-yu, a focus on Palestinian cinema, and more. Meanwhile, speaking of Berlin the initial titles for the Berlinale in February are also trickling in, and include Aki Kaurismäki's The Other Side of Hope.
- The Art of the Title has selected the Top 10 Title Sequences of 2016, a nice list mainly highlighting films with the budget to spend excessively on cool credits.
- The teaser trailer for James Gray's Amazonian adventure-melodrama, The Lost City of Z, which premiered at the New York Film Festivals and will hit cinemas in April. (And speaking of Gray, don't miss Girish Shambu's wonderful A-Z primer on the director for LOLA.)
- We adore the movies of Finnish master of humanist deadpan, Aki Kaurismäki, so the trailer for his latest film, The Other Side of Hope, which premieres next month at the Berlin International Film Festival, is catnip despite lacking English subtitles.
A STORY Someone is given the opportunity to become happy. He is afraid to use it, because he thinks happiness is impossible, and that only a madman can be happy. Circumstances somehow convince our hero to use the opportunity and—by some sort of miraculous means— to become happy. And he goes mad. He is drawn into the world of the insane, who may not merely be mad; they are also able to link up with the world by means of threads which are inaccessible to normal people.
- Above: A heartbreaking and tantalizing excerpt from Andrei Tarkovsky's diaries. More can be found at This Recording.
- “I haven’t done an interview with Film Comment in years… You guys didn’t come around.” That's Martin Scorsese, who talks to Nick Pinkerton about Silence in the latest issue of the magazine:
Such a big part of the film’s central section is the alignment of the camera with these confined subjective viewpoints. You know, it’s like a thriller in an elevator, in a sense. Where does one place the camera? How many angles does that space afford you? What’s in the frame? The frame is his face and his figure. He’s not sitting on a chair, he’s always on the floor level, and that creates a certain kind of mood and atmosphere for me. If you watch it again, you’ll see pretty much every cut inside that cell is a different angle or the angle of the lens is on the ground and another part is through the bars. I always go back to Ozu and Bresson, both of whom I admire a great deal.
- Speaking of new issues of magazines, Cinema Scope #69 is out, with many riches available online, including Roberto Minervini on Trumpland, our own Daniel Kasman interviewing avant-garde maverick Ken Jacobs, Phil Coldiron on Moonlight and Blake Williams talking to Manuela De Laborde, director of one of the very best films of 2016, AS WITHOUT SO WITHIN.
- Film critic and scholar Molly Haskell talks to Matt Zoller Seitz at RogerEbert.com about a new edition of her classic book, From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies:
Where my book actually ran into the most trouble was with the party-line feminists, like Ms. Magazine, which chose not to run an excerpt because of my thesis that women had been better off in movies when the studios ran things. This ran counter to their idea of progress: the belief that women in movies were doing better in the ‘70s. Eventually, everybody saw that they weren’t—that they had more roles, and more interesting roles, in older movies.
- More cinephiles should know the films of Marcel Hanoun, whose work was contemporaneous to the French New Wave yet remains obscure. Hopefully, J. Hoberman's appreciation of a new boxset of films by the director should spark more interest.
- Designer Akiko Stehrenberger's poster for Hirokazu Kore-eda's latest film, After the Storm. We interviewed Stehrenberger, one of our very favorite poster artists, in 2010.
- From our Tumblr, an illustration of Buster Keaton by Pierre Étaix.