- Say what? The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius is slated to make a drama out of the relationship between French New Wave master Jean-Luc Godard and his actress/muse-one-time-wife Anne Wiazemsky around the time of Godard's 1967 film, La chinoise. Sounds potentially horrible, but it is officially based on Wiazemsky's memoir Un an après. In a bizarre generational echo, Louis Garrel, so well known for embodying his father, director Philippe Garrel, in is set to star as Godard.
- We keep waiting, and waiting, and waiting for Terrence Malick long-in-the-making IMAX documentary, Voyage of Time. Now The Film Stage has found reference to an October theatrical release date. We'll believe it when we see it, but here's hoping.
- After Gavin Smith left editorship of Film Comment magazine, the Film Society of Lincoln Center has been on the hunt for new editorial positions. They've now been filled by Michael Koresky (as Editorial Director) and Nicolas Rapold (as Editor). We're excited to see what they have in store for the venerable publication.
- A Kickstarter has been launched to "preserve and share Bruce Baillie’s films and legacy." The goal is modest, the filmmaker a master, the cause just and necessary. You know what to do.
- We're starting to see some of the effects of essential online film publication IndieWire being purchased by Penske Media, as reputed sub-site The Playlist has now broken off on its own. Update your feeds and bookmarks!
- What, precisely, a director "does" is pretty well hard to describe, let alone quantify. But the Directors Guild of America has done just that, selecting "the 80 best-directed films," which include three by Francis Ford Coppola, three by Martin Scorsese, a whopping five for Stanley Kubrick...and one directed by a woman. Suffice to say, the list could be more diverse.
- Above, one of three clips shared by The Playlist from Jim Jarmusch's upcoming new feature, Paterson, starring Adam Driver and premiering in Cannes.
- The trailer for Philippine director Brillante Mendoza's Ma' Rosa, which will also premiere in competition in Cannes this month.
- After last week's The Shining-referencing video for Aesop Rock, we now have another cinephilic music video drop. Radiohead's "Burn the Witch" nods to 1960s stop-motion TV and movies, The Wicker Man and...is that Blue Velvet at the end?
- Richard Brody at The New Yorker has written a welcome attack on the problems both of film criticism and film distribution:
"The very concept of “limited release” as a criterion for review has become absurd now that viewers nationwide can get hold of a new film at the touch of a button. The ongoing distinction between a theatrical release and home viewing is in effect a protection racket for movie theatres as well as for big-budget producers and distributors, and it’s hard to know why critics and editors go along with it."
- As if channeling the same cine-spirit (or living in the same cine-city...New York), A.O. Scott and Manhola Dargis at the New York Times share a dialog called "In an Era of Streaming, Cinema Is Under Attack":
"For the studios, DVDs were a boon to the bottom line, and to consumers they were collectible tokens of movie love. In any case, they didn’t last long and are now increasingly niche items rather than commodities for mass consumption. Why clutter your shelves with special editions of last year’s blockbusters when a whole mobile cinematheque is a few clicks and swipes away?"
- We're headed to the Cannes Film Festival next week for the year's most exciting (and intense) set of film premieres. Roger Ebert's 1987 book about covering the festival, Two Weeks in the Midday Sun, is getting re-released at the same time, and Martin Scorsese has penned a new introduction:
"And a certain madness sets in. The journalists and critics rushing between screenings, maybe stopping off at the press room or their hotel room to file. The meetings, meetings and more meetings happening in cafés and restaurants, up and down stairways and on line for movies, in corners, anywhere you can find a place to sit or even stand. The crowds, thronging the streets by about six to get a glimpse of this actor or that director being driven to the Palais for their walk up the red carpet (the "marche rouge"). The paparazzi, shouting out the names of those actors and directors as they're led up the stairs, one at a time, directed by their press teams to turn this way and then that way for the cameras. The fireworks. The announcements over the PA accompanied by blaring music. And the people, people, and more people."
- The New Republic has re-published the stunning 1941 article by great American critic Otis Ferguson on Orson Welles's Citizen Kane. It's balance of praise and complaint is refreshing (and a reminder of Ferguson's influence on critic Manny Farber):
"The picture. The new art. The camera unbound. The picture is very exciting to anyone who gets excited about how things can be done in the movies; and the many places where it takes off like the Wright brothers should be credited to Welles first and his cameraman second (Herman J. Mankiewicz as writing collaborator should come in too). The Kubla Khan setting, the electioneering stage, the end of the rough-cut in the Marsh of Thyme projection room, the kid outside the window in the legacy scene, the opera stage, the dramatics of the review copy on opening night—the whole idea of a man in these attitudes must be credited to Welles himself.
And in these things there is no doubt the picture is dramatic. But what goes on between the dramatic high points, the story? No. What goes on is talk and more talk."
- Bret Easton Ellis has selected his top 10 releases from the Criterion Collection, which include Jean-Luc Godard's Contempt, Robert Altman's Nashville, and Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby:
"A perfect horror film and, except for one bloody mess glimpsed early on and a few sexy scratches from Satan himself, no blood spilled."
THE WARRIORS will come out to play next week. We can't wait to show you what's in store. pic.twitter.com/QaCoD57mVb— Waxwork Records (@waxworkrecords) April 29, 2016
- We seem to be living in a new Golden Age of Vinyl Soundtrack Re-ReleasesTM! Waxwork Records, who we recently featured here for re-releasing Taxi Driver's creepy-sultry Bernard Herrmann score, has announced an exquisite looking new version of the score to Walter Hill's 1979 urban favorite, The Warriors