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Zellneroids! Plus ND/NF and Other Fests and Events

The Auteurs Daily


"Austin's most prolific fraternal pairing, the Zellner Bros, are men of many accents," writes Kimberley Jones, introducing her brief interview for the Chronicle. "In their ridiculously funny short films, they've played poncy Brits dueling over a primate's hand in marriage, a Kiwi man of the cloth and the nonbeliever he mowed over on a bender, and a Scottish thug delivering a deathbed speech to his dog. On April 12, the brothers will presumably be speaking their native Texan, as they showcase their many short films in an Alamo Drafthouse show called Zellneroids!" The image above: Flotsam/Jetsam.

"The deadpan-comic sci-fi of Tom Schiller's 1984 film, Nothing Lasts Forever, unfolds in an alternate universe," writes Karina Longworth, introducing her interview with the director for LA Weekly. "California is in ruins after a major earthquake, general strikes have prompted the New York Port Authority to assume martial control of Manhattan, and the moon is now a secret shopping destination for the elderly, who get there via an intergalactic bus operated by Bill Murray. Never theatrically released and still unavailable on DVD, Nothing Lasts Forever — a restored, never-before-seen print of which screens Thursday night [tonight!] at the American Cinematheque — is the only feature-length work made by Schiller, now a commercial director." Related: Site for Nothing Lost Forever, Michael Streeter's book on Schiller.

"The Piazza at Schmidts is about to become, of all things, an arthouse cinema," reports Molly Eichel in the Philadelphia City Paper. "Every Friday starting this week, the minds behind the Philadelphia Underground Film Forum (PUFF) will take over the Piazza's massive screen to program something of a free summer-long film festival, beginning with Slamdance Film Festival audience award-winner Mind of the Demon: The Larry Linkogle Story (April 2) and Tom DiCillo's Johnny Depp-narrated Doors doc When You're Strange (April 9)."

Jewishfilm.2010 runs Wednesday through April 18 at Brandeis University and the Boston Phoenix's Peter Keough has a preview.

In Pittsburgh? Then you'll want to see Andy Horbal on Indies for Indies.

Brian Darr sorts out his priorities for the 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival. April 22 through May 6.

The cinetrix is heading to Atlanta. April 15 through 23.


ND/NF 2010

New Directors / New Films lines up four first screenings for tomorrow, starting with I Am Love. Melissa Anderson in the Voice: "As unrepentantly grandiose and ludicrous as its title, Luca Guadagnino's visually stunning third narrative feature suggests an epic Visconti and Sirk might have made after they finished watching Vertigo and reading Madame Bovary while gorging themselves on aphrodisiacs."

I Am Love

"Guadagnino's story of familial shenanigans would be a fest highlight even if it didn't give Tilda Swinton the desire-driven grande dame performance of her career," writes David Fear in Time Out New York. More from Simon Abrams (New York Press), Stephen Holden (New York Times), Megan Ratner (Bright Lights After Dark) and Andrew Schenker (Slant). Earlier: Reviews from Venice and Toronto; and Adrian Curry on the poster (plus a guided tour of Tilda's career in movie posters). This, by the way, was not the poster.

Viewing. Guadagnino and Swinton talk to the Guardian.

In Frontier Blues, director Babak Jalali "exhibits assured command in crafting his portrait of four citizens of the Northern Iranian province of Golestan, interconnecting the stories of his protagonists in ways that never feel contrived or excessively strain to underline their significance." Nick Schager in Slant: "Rather, he employs fixed-camera shots and the sporadic strain of melancholy strings to aesthetically emphasize what his sparsely scripted tale depicts — namely, that life in this remote region of the world (which borders Turkmenistan, and is the director's birthplace) breeds loneliness and longing, often created by loss." More from Stephen Holden (NYT).

Amer is "a feature-length homage to giallo with an aggressive sound mix," writes Ed Champion, "a commitment to crazed closeups and Ginsu-style cutting, and a panache for primitive semiotics that serve as crass conceptual catnip for wild-eyed film nerds. Yes, filmmakers Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani have demonstrated that they can mimic Dario Argento's gel-centric lighting. They have paid attention to the way that Mario Bava has cut with cars and motorcycles. Like every film student on the planet, they have seen Un chien andalou. But do they really have anything new or fresh to say? Not really."

"Even before the film progresses to its third set piece..., the film has long exhausted us with its crazy distillation of the giallo genre's stylistic hiccups and psychosexual fixations, feeling too calculated, almost academic, in its collision of signs to be truly enjoyed," finds Ed Gonzalez in Slant. More from Stephen Holden (NYT). Earlier: Donato Totaro in Offscreen, where Simon Laperrière interviews the filmmakers — and so does indieWIRE.

Beautiful Darling

More from Ed Gonzalez: "[I]f Beautiful Darling: The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Andy Warhol Superstar, like Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film and Superstar: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol before it, teaches us anything, it's that Warhol's greatest talent was his disturbing need to surround himself with people who, like himself, had an almost pathological gift for hiding their true feelings.... Settling for easy sentimentality throughout, Beautiful Darling in a roundabout way reveals how Warhol made ghosts of all his superstars, unknowable then and unknowable still to us now." More from Ed Champion and Jesi Khadivi (Interview). IndieWIRE interviews producer Jeremiah Newton.



Alan Sepinwall remembers David Mills: "He was an Emmy-winning writer and producer who'd worked on shows like NYPD Blue, Homicide, The Corner and his own Kingpin, and who was helping to run the writing staff of HBO's Treme, which debuts in a week and a half. He was also a kick-ass blogger who ran the very entertaining Undercover Black Man blog. He was also my friend..."

The new issue of Indian Auteur is up, featuring a special focus on Sion Sono and Devdutt Trivedi on Fassbinder.

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