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The first time I saw anything from a Godard film, I hated it.
My first encounter with his work was perhaps appropriately abrupt and fragmentary. I was in my first year as a Film Studies major, in an introductory class about the French New Wave. Having grown up on a steady diet of Hollywood classics, I was hoping this would be an exciting new discovery. Mid-lecture, the professor showed a clip from the near the end of Tout va bien, his 1972 film co-directed with Jean-Pierre Gorin. The scene was the famous ten-minute-long tracking shot in which the camera moves laterally along a supermarket’s checkout aisles as student demonstrators wreak havoc. Going in, the professor warned us that we would likely find the scene annoying and overlong, and that that was “the point.”
I watched. I waited for enlightenment.
I was unimpressed.
I did not get it, but I was a quiet, »
- Mallory Andrews
Tambay Obenson has been after me to write about something that I love. My writing for Shadow and Act has focused on criticism. I write in the tradition of George Bernard Shaw, Bertolt Brecht, James Baldwin, Francois Truffaut, Alice Walker, Pablo Neruda, Jean-Luc Godard, etc. These folks deconstruct the culture as they create their Art. It has taken me a minute to think of a subject that I love that connects life and Art. The subject that I am choosing, today, is Black men. As one can tell, I favor Art that parodies, examines, critiques or deconstructs culture. In relationship to African-American culture, this has been in short supply. And, as readers of varied »
- Tanya Steele
We all know that the Rotten Tomatoes rating system isn’t entirely reliable – as an aggregator website which decides whether or not a film is fresh or rotten based on general approval or otherwise by the critics, a film’s rating isn’t always a guarantee of its actual quality, and just as some great films can find themselves with a lower rating than they deserve, so too can average or even terrible movies come out as freshly rated.
With that said, if you take a look at those films which have been certified 100% fresh it’s clear that, for the most part, these are truly exceptional films. There are plenty of cinematic masterpieces represented, from Citizen Kane and The Godfather through to the arthouse cinema greats including Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai and Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows. Indeed, the vast majority of the titles »
- Andrew Dilks
It was a very special occasion for me to talk to Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa. He is one of the last rock stars in directing today, a maverick in the tradition of a craft orientated directing style but like with the great filmmakers of former times his films are still full of poetry and personality. His latest film Horse Money was screened at the Viennale and it is a beautiful work of tense tenderness and vibrating observations. As a young cinephile I could not help to imagine an interview with one of my big idols (though I only had 30 minutes before the next one came in) as my personal Peter Bogdanovich meets John Ford, François Truffaut meets Alfred Hitchcock or Olivier Assayas meets Ingmar...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
François Truffaut was a big fan of Luis Buñuel films; he had always admired him as one of the greatest auteurs of cinema and in fact they managed to meet each other many times, starting in 1953. But before talking about their meetings, let’s see what Truffaut has said and written about Buñuel.
In his book The Films in My Life, Truffaut wrote: “Luis Buñuel is, perhaps, somewhere between Renoir and Bergman. One would gather that Buñuel finds mankind imbecilic but life diverting. All this he tells us very mildly, even a bit indirectly, but it's there in the overall impression we get from his films.”1
Truffaut also met Buñuel in 1957 when he and Jacques Rivette were doing a series of interviews. In addition to that interview request letter, Truffaut wrote letters, or at least one, to him dated 1963 and closed it as follow:
“I have heard from Jeanne Moreau »
- Hossein Eidizadeh
They often get quite a bit less attention than their fictional brethren, and it doesn’t help that many films fly under the radar while development and filming is underway. To chart this course with a little more precision, I’m launching Ioncinema.com’s latest feature, What’s Up Doc?, our monthly Top 50 Most Anticipated films, a sort of hitlist and/or snapshot of the most alluring, the most promising documentary film projects from the established documentarian guard, the new crop of future voices or the fiction filmmakers who on occasion dip their toes in the form. Curated by me, Jordan M. Smith, you’ll find docu items that are in their beginning stages to being moments away from their film festival berth. Like any such list, we can expect film items to fluctuate in ranking, with the cut-off being publicly items — such recent examples include Laura Poitras’s white hot Edward Snowden project, »
- Jordan M. Smith
The most popular poster I’ve posted on Tumblr in the past three months—and actually the second most “liked” poster I’ve posted in the three years I’ve been doing this—was this Italian design by the great Luigi Martinati for a lesser known Lauren Bacall vehicle, but one in which the late star was unusually front and center. (You can see more of Bacall’s posters here.)
The rest of the top twenty are a wild variety of old (three for films from the 1920s, no less) and new (two 2014 releases). I was especially pleased to see Dorothea Fischer-Nosbisch’s superb 1967 design for a Festival of Young German Film get such attention. A lot of other design greats are featured: Saul Bass, the Stenberg brothers, Macario Gomez, Karl Oskar Blase and Josef Fenneker. And »
- Adrian Curry
Marie Dubois, actress in French New Wave films, dead at 77 (image: Marie Dubois in the mammoth blockbuster 'La Grande Vadrouille') Actress Marie Dubois, a popular French New Wave personality of the '60s and the leading lady in one of France's biggest box-office hits in history, died Wednesday, October 15, 2014, at a nursing home in Lescar, a suburb of the southwestern French town of Pau, not far from the Spanish border. Dubois, who had been living in the Pau area since 2010, was 77. For decades she had been battling multiple sclerosis, which later in life had her confined to a wheelchair. Born Claudine Huzé (Claudine Lucie Pauline Huzé according to some online sources) on January 12, 1937, in Paris, the blue-eyed, blonde Marie Dubois began her show business career on stage, being featured in plays such as Molière's The Misanthrope and Arthur Miller's The Crucible. François Truffaut discovery: 'Shoot the »
- Andre Soares
I've made no secret when it comes to my love for the work of Federico Fellini's films, especially his classic La Dolce Vita, which was the first entry in my Best Movies section earlier this year. For the longest time I've owned the Koch Lorber, 2-Disc DVD edition of La Dolce Vita, continuously awaiting the day Criterion would be given the chance to add it to their esteemed collection with a transfer the film most definitely deserved. I speculated as to whether it would finally happen once Paramount had been granted exclusive rights last June and lo and behold, it is finally here and the result is exactly what fans of this film have been waiting for with visuals and sound so rich it will be almost as if you are seeing it for the first time. When it comes to the film itself, I'll point you to my »
- Brad Brevet
Steven Awalt – author interviewed by Todd Garbarini
“Well, it’s about time, Charlie!”
Dennis Weaver utters these words in my favorite Steven Spielberg film, Duel, a production that was originally commissioned by Universal Pictures as an Mow, industry shorthand for “movie of the week”, which aired on Saturday, November 13, 1971. The reviews were glowing; the film’s admirers greatly outweighed its detractors and it put Mr. Spielberg, arguably the most phenomenally successful director in the history of the medium, on a path to a career that would make any contemporary director green with envy. Followed by a spate of contractually obligated television outings, Duel would prove to be the springboard that would catapult Mr. Spielberg into the realm that he was shooting for since his youth: that of feature film directing. Duel would also land him in the court of Hollywood producers David Brown and Richard Zanuck and get him his »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Adieu au langage - Goodbye to Language
A Works Cited
From its bluntly political opening (Alfredo Bandelli's 'La caccia alle streghe': "Always united we win, long live the revolution!") to its hilarious fecal humor and word play—with 3D staging that happily puts to shame James Cameron and every other hack who's tried their hand at it these past several years—Adieu au langage overwhelms us with a deluge of recited texts, music and images, hardly ever bothering to slow down to let us catch our breath. Exhilarating and certainly not surprising—this is the guy who made Puissance de la parole after all!
The release of a new Godard film or video means a new encounter with texts, films and music often familiar from the filmmaker's earlier work—reworked and re-contextualized—as well as new discoveries to be sorted through and identified. This life-long interest in quotation »
- Ted Fendt
'Emmanuelle' movies producer Alain Siritzky dead at 72 (photo: Sylvia Kristel in 'Emmanuelle' 1974) Emmanuelle franchise producer Alain Siritzky died after what has been described as "a short illness" on Saturday, October 11, 2014, at a Paris hospital. Siritzky, whose credits include dozens of Emmanuelle movies and direct-to-video efforts, several of which starring Sylvia Kristel in the title role, was 72. Ironically, Alain Siritzky didn't produce the original, epoch-making 1974 Emmanuelle. He became involved in that Yves Rousset-Rouard production via his Parafrance Films, which distributed Emmanuelle in France. 'Emmanuelle': 1974 movie sensation A couple of years after the release of Deep Throat and The Devil in Miss Jones (not to mention Boys in the Sand and Eyes of a Stranger), and the year after Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider sparked a furor by having simulated sex in Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris, the 1974 French release Emmanuelle still managed to become a worldwide cause célèbre. »
- Andre Soares
“Is cinema more important than life?” That question was once asked by Francois Truffaut, the former Cahiers du cinema critic and pioneering member of the French New Wave who directed over twenty-three feature films over the course of his long and fruitful career. His pictures range from coming-of-age dramas (the immortal “400 Blows”), jazzy gangster noirs (“Shoot the Piano Player!”), evocative slices of 1960’s Bohemian life (“Jules and Jim”), light comedy (“Stolen Kisses,” “Bed and Board”), fantastical childhood yarns (“Small Change,” “The Wild Child”) and many more. His understanding of the language of cinema and how genre could ultimately be utilized to service a story that addressed universal concerns was eclipsed only by his deep and unrelenting love for his characters. Truffaut was, above all, a consummate humanist and his devotion to sincerity above all things has put him at a point of contrast with many of his contemporaries from the »
- Nicholas Laskin
Valérie Donzelli, the actress-turned director who we most recently caught as a supporting player in the garishly dressed Saint Laurent, Bertrand Bonello’s stylized biopic might have found a taste for risky content as cameras are set to lense next week on her fourth feature film. The Cineuropa folks report that Donzelli has completed the casting on Marguerite et Julien, a project that François Truffaut flirted with but ultimately passed on. Completing the cast we find Aurélia Petit (The Science of Sleep), vet thesps Sami Frey and Geraldine Chaplin, reuniting with her fellow Declaration of War‘s Frédéric Pierrot and Bastien Bouillon who join the previously announced duo of Anaïs Demoustier (you can find her in Ozon’s latest, the recently acquired Cohen Media’s The New Girlfriend) and Jérémie Elkaïm (full-time collaborator with Donzelli who we also discovered in Declaration of War). Rectangle Productions’ Edouard Weil (Benoît Jacquot’s »
- Eric Lavallee
The Criterion Collection loves it some Alfred Hitchcock. And why wouldn’t they? The legendary director entertained, thrilled and terrified movie and TV viewers for years, and the company currently has editions of "The 39 Steps," "Foreign Correspondent," "The Lady Vanishes," and "The Man Who Knew Too Much." The director had no shortage of obsessions, and eyes are near the top of that list. In his 1967 book, “Hitchcock,” François Truffaut quoted Hitch as saying, “Dialogue should simply be a sound among other sounds, just something that comes out of the mouths of people whose eyes tell the story in visual terms.” We can see how truly he believed this in a new video by filmmaker :: kogonada. Featuring a score by Rob Cawley, the video essay pays tribute to the way the master of suspense focused on his characters’ eyes to reflect (with no small degree of tension) what was happening in his films. »
- Zach Hollwedel
The Abu Dhabi Film Festival has unveiled a rich lineup comprising eight world preems from the Arab world, including Egyptian helmer Ibrahim El Batout’s organ trafficking thriller “El Ott” and its previously announced opener, Arabic road movie “A to B” by Emirati helmer Ali F. Mostafa, alongside a savvy selection of the cream of this year’s festival season crop.
Co-produced by twofour54, the media hub behind the fest, and by government-backed film and TV outfit Image Nation, “A to B” marks the first time Abu Dhabi, now at its eighth edition, opens with a pic by an Emirati helmer.
“El Ott” (aka “The Cat”) (pictured) is produced by Egyptian star/multihyphenate Amr Waked (“Lucy”), who also stars. It has topical hook since Egypt’s recent political upheavals have left a law enforcement gap in the country, allowing mob-led organ-trafficking rings to thrive, according to reports.
The Arab selection »
- Nick Vivarelli
Adff to present 197 films from 61 countries.
The 2014 Abu Dhabi Film Festival (Adff), backed by twofour54, will present nine feature world premieres, eight of them from the Arab world. The short film sections will host 48 world premieres.
The festival will open with Ali Mostafa’s From A to B [pictured], and festival director Ali Al-Jabri said: “It is the first time in the festival’s history that we opening with an Emirati film and we ares very proud about this landmark event.”
The festival runs October 23 to November 1 and presents 197 films from 61 countries.
For the second year, the festival host the Child Protection Award organised with the Child Protection Centre of the Ministry of Interior, to spotlight films that raise awareness about abused or neglected children. Films competing for that prize include Zerensenay Mehari’s Difret, Albert Shin’s In Her Place, and Cyprien Vial’s Young Tiger.
The Showcase section includes films such as ‘71, A Pigeon Sat on »
- email@example.com (Wendy Mitchell)
François Truffaut's 1975 collection of criticism, The Films in My Life, is being reissued, and Max Nelson reviews it for Film Comment. Also in today's roundup of news and views: Joanna Hogg on Chantal Akerman, Gilles Deleuze on cinema and philosophy, B. Ruby Rich on Roger Ebert, Darren Hughes and Michael Leary on Claire Denis, Matt Connolly on Martin Scorsese, Glenn Kenny's interview with David Thomson and news of forthcoming projects from Julie Delpy, Damien Chazelle, Terry Gilliam and more. » - David Hudson »
Women directors make up 70% of competition films.
Abu Dhabi Film Festival (Adff) (Oct 23-Nov 1) has announced the selection for this year’s Emirates Film Competition (Efc).
The upcoming edition of the competition features a total of 53 films, of which 37 films are directed by women, across a variety of genres.
The line up also features films by Emirati filmmakers such as Nasser Al Tamimi’s Female Scream, Nasser Al-Yaqoubi’s Haneen, Hassan Kiyani’s Marwan The Boxer and Ali Mostafa’s musical Rise. In addition, Sarah Al Agroobi’s Super Lochal is among the selected films.
Desire by Hala Matar (Bahrain, starring Johnny Knoxville) has been selected for Adff’s Short Film Competition along with Koshk, from Emirati director Abdullah Al-Kaabi. These two films will participate in both Efc and the Short Film Competition.
Highly anticipated films from the Gcc region include Now Showing directed by Abdullah Al Daihani (Kuwait), Rainbow directed by Mahmood Al-Shaikh (Bahrain) and 623 directed »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
It would make perfect sense for Charles Aznavour to be giving his farewell concert in New York, as has been advertised for his show Saturday night at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. The French-Armenian singer/songwriter — who was named entertainer of the century in a 1998 CNN poll, beating out the likes of Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan — is, after all, 90 years old. Having written some 1,000 songs, sold over 100 million records and achieved cinema immortality via some 60 films, including Francois Truffaut’s Shoot the Piano Player, he could well afford to rest on his
- Frank Scheck
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