- We must of missed this news earlier, but nevertheless we're super jazzed about a brand new Super 8 camera from Kodak coming this fall. Not unexpectedly, the company is trying to make this analog technology digitally convenient:
- With the next part of our Werner Herzog retrospective now playing, we've been eager for any news for the director's next film—no, not the Sundance-premiering documentary, Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World, which we are also excited to see, but rather his next fiction feature, his "environmental thriller" Salt and Fire. Now word has come it will premiere at the Shanghai International Film Festival in June, an odd venue for such a major filmmaker. But perhaps the tepid response to his last drama, Queen of the Desert (read our take), at the 2015 Berlinale has altered the director's festival cache.
- Fireflies magazine, whose unique focus targets only two filmmakers per issue, is following up its Jia Zhangke / Claire Denis dossier with a request for submissions for issue #4, dedicated to Portuguese director Pedro Costa and British artist Ben Rivers:
When you purchase film you will be buying the film, processing and digital transfer. The lab will send you your developed film back and email you a password to retrieve your digital scans from the cloud so you can edit and share in any way you choose. We print responses to cinema that are personal, daring and that wouldn’t necessarily be found in other film journals: short fiction, visual art, poetry, memoir, comics, and creative non-fiction that experiments with multiple forms.
- Speaking of Werner Herzog's documentary about the Internet (!), Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World, here is the trailer.
This book is intended as a reference work for film lovers who are navigating Mikio Naruse’s long and long-inaccessible career.
- We can recommend nothing more fervently than the new release of filmmaker (and Notebook contributor) Dan Sallitt's online monograph dedicated to Japanese master Mikio Naruse, A Mikio Naruse Companion: Notes on the Extant Films, 1931 - 1967. It's an immense work of criticism about a filmmaker all too rarely talked about in the English language—and it's free. What more can you ask for? Bravo, Dan!
- One of our favorite films, remarkably woefully under-appreciated at the time of release, has been treated properly by the Library of America, in a new article dedicated to the adaptation of The Night of the Hunter into Charles Laughton's sole directorial effort and sublime masterpiece:
Directors often talk, sincerely or not, about their respect for the book on which a film is based. Laughton meant it, and he and Grubb maintained a close working relationship throughout the making of the film. Couchman’s book includes a selection of the drawings that Grubb made when Laughton asked him to illustrate how he’d imagined certain scenes. As it happened, Grubb could draw, and Couchman points out the similarities between his drawings and those of William Blake and the German Expressionists. Several of these drawings made it into the final cut...
- At Lit Hub, novelist, screenwriter, graphic novelist, et al. Neil Gaiman writes on his favorite horror film, The Bride of Frankenstein:
The Bride of Frankenstein doesn’t romp. It’s oneiric, a beautiful, formless sequence of silver nitrate shadows, and when it ends I wonder what happened, and then I begin to rebuild it in my head. I’ve seen it I do not know how many times since I was a boy, and I’m almost pleased to say that I still can’t quite tell you the plot. Or rather, I can tell you the plot as it goes along. And then, when it’s done, the film begins to scum over in my mind, to reconfigure like a dream does once you’ve wakened, and it all becomes much harder to explain.
- Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien, whose most recent film, last year's The Assassin, is most assuredly one of the best of the decade, seems an inexhaustible topic. Scholar David Bordwell has written on his work extensively, and has (digitally) penned a new piece about two of Hou's under-discussed earlier films, before he was an international art-house director:
In making these early films Hou discovered techniques that not only suited the stories he had to tell but also suggested more unusual possibilities of staging. He pushed those techniques further in his later films, with powerful results. The charming early films show him developing, in almost casual ways, techniques of staging and shooting that will become his artistic hallmarks. One basis of his approach, I argue, is his adoption of the telephoto lens.
- The Paris Review has a wonderful article on the "anticriticism" of Lithuanian-born American independent filmmaking legend Jonas Mekas, whose writing has been collected in a recently re-issued book, Movie Journal: The Rise of a New American Cinema, 1959–1971:
Movie Journal is a dense book, but as you might expect, it’s decidedly not a book of criticism. Indeed, Mekas practiced a kind of anticriticism, a bombastic evangelization more concerned with gleefully picking fights and snuffing out apathy than passing judgment on a film or serving as a consumer-guide reviewer.
- Via Dangerousminds, we've discovered a series of stunning fan art posters by Fernando Reza for films that were never made, like Stanley Kubrick's The Aryan Papers and David Lynch's maybe-it-will-see-the-light-of-day comedy, Ronnie Rocket.
- The poster for the 43rd Telluride Film Festival, designed by Yann Legendre.