8 items from 2016
For as accomplished as Joel and Ethan Coen’s debut film Blood Simple comes across to any viewer, like any director, they can’t help but recognize their flaws. That’s not to say their newly restored first film, now available on The Criterion Collection, doesn’t look and sound gorgeous — every bead of sweat dripping down M. Emmet Walsh’s face and every gun blow feels like you’re right there in the sweltering Texas landscape — but there’s an undeniable charm in their recounting of the making of the film.
With it being the first time most of the major talent involved was doing their specific job, it was a learning experience through and through, which makes the special features on new release all the more informative and entertaining. The most substantial feature on the disc is a 70-minute discussion with the directors and cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld as »
- Jordan Raup
Dailies is a round-up of essential film writing, news bits, videos, and other highlights from across the Internet. If you’d like to submit a piece for consideration, get in touch with us in the comments below or on Twitter at @TheFilmStage.
Watch Fandor’s tribute to Lgbtq cinema:
Our friends at Screen Slate, the top resource for NYC repertory screenings, have debuted a slick-looking new website.
Baumbach, working with the late cinematographer Harris Savides, shoots Gerwig with a kind of watchful affection, getting in close as she drives around doing work errands, a hazy Los Angeles sun hitting the windows and Steve Miller Band’s “Jet Airliner” playing. “Are you going to let me in?” she asks another driver in talking-to-herself tones. This is one of the first shots of the movie, which follows Florence for a full eight minutes before introducing Stiller’s title character. In retrospect, it seems like Baumbach is tipping his hand about his interest in Gerwig. His instincts are dead-on; putting Gerwig at the front of the movie allows a hesitant character to make a vivid impression before smashing her into Stiller’s prickly garden of hang-ups and neuroses. Their romantic scrabbling, including a profoundly unsexy sort of sex scene, maintains the uncertainty of mumblecore but with a more articulate form of mumbling.
New York Times‘ Nina Siegal on how Robby Müller created the look of indie film classics, plus watch a masterclass from the director:
For Mr. McQueen, Mr. Müller developed a visual language to capture what appear to be men falling to their deaths in slow motion — a reference to the 1651 suicides of Carib Indians who leapt off a cliff rather than submit to their French colonizers on the island of Grenada, where Mr. McQueen’s parents were born. “Caribs’ Leap’’ is included in the exhibition.
The New Yorker‘s Richard Brody lists his 50 favorite foreign language films of the 21st century:
Ultimately, the movies on the list point forward to the future of the art, even if some of that future has already slipped into the past. The Chinese cinema has experienced, in this century, an outpouring of creative energy, thanks to the films of Jia Zhangke and other independent filmmakers there. I hope that the independent Chinese cinema will survive the government’s current wave of censorship and repression. In the Portuguese cinema, the baton has passed from Manoel de Oliveira and João César Monteiro to Pedro Costa and Miguel Gomes; the Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, a one-man wave, has been followed by Jafar Panahi and Samira Makhmalbaf. It remains to be seen whether Romania’s one great filmmaker, Corneliu Porumboiu, will be able to coax that country’s rising industry away from its run of script-bound, Euro-generic social realism; whether Hong Sang-soo, currently the subject of a complete retrospective at Museum of the Moving Image, will inspire other filmmakers in South Korea; whether the Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako (who has worked often in Mali as well) and the Chadian director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun will inspire a younger generation of filmmakers in those countries; and whether Germany, which saw its modern tradition broken by the death of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the emigration of Werner Herzog, and the self-diminution-through-cultural-ambassadorship of Wim Wenders, will again become a spawning ground for daring young filmmakers.
Watch a video featuring BBC’s 100 greatest American films:
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- The Film Stage
A major talent of the New German Cinema finds his footing out on the open highway, in a trio of intensely creative pictures that capture the pace and feel of living off the beaten path. All three star Rüdiger Vogler, an actor who could be director Wim Wenders' alter ego. Wim Wenders' The Road Trilogy Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 813 1974-1976 / B&W and Color / 1:66 widescreen / 113, 104, 176 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date May 30, 2016 / 99.95 Starring Rüdiger Vogler, Lisa Kreuzer, Yetta Rottländer; Hannah Schygulla, Nasstasja Kinski, Hans Christian Blech, Ivan Desny; Robert Zischler. Cinematography Robby Müller, Martin Schäfer Film Editor Peter Przygodda, Barbara von Weltershausen Original Music Can, Jürgen Knieper, Axel Linstädt. Directed by Wim Wenders
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
Phedon papamichael might not have the name identification of such fellow directors of photography as Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki or Roger Deakins, but his status among his peers is no less elite. He has brought out the best in directors like Alexander Payne, James Mangold and Gore Verbinski. And he has demonstrated a mastery of several genres, from psychological thrillers to dramedies, from biopics to Westerns, from arthouse curios to mega-budget blockbusters.
If cinematographers like to think of themselves as chameleons, Papamichael prides himself on an oeuvre in which no two movies look alike.
“It’s not really applying a style, it’s really adjusting to the story,” says Variety’s latest Billion Dollar Cinematographer. “Not just that, it’s really saving all those decisions — (involving) the performances and locations and actors — until you have all the elements unfold in front of you the moment you’re about to do it. »
- Steve Chagollan
If you've had the privilege to see a film lensed by D.P Adam J. Minnick, you'd have recognized an eye disciplined by the story it's telling rather than by personal inclinations or some sybaritic style that steals from the story. Buzzard, was shot super raw and cold on a 5D, The Alchemist Cookbook was shot formally composed with a warm palllete on an Alexa, and Actor Martinez (Us Premiering this April at Tribeca) was shot with Altman inspired slow zooms on a Red Epic Dragon. The aesthetic decisions and stories speak for his adaptability and understanding of the form. And, his latest release, The Alchemist Cookbook, which hit SXSW hard when it world premiered, has audiences, critics, and filmmakers predominately sitting on the 'loved it' side of its divisive disposition.
We were fortunate to talk with the cinematographer on how the hell the team pulled it off.
Could you »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Aaron Hunt)
Could you give us a general overview of your working relationship with Joel?
Joel and I are first and foremost friends...he's always been one of my closest. We've been making music, watching films and making little movies together starting in high school. He and I were really the only two buddies in our tight group that pursued visual arts of any sort through college and beyond, so it made sense that one day we could ultimately work together on a professional level, too. There's a trust that I can't really put into words, but we know that it's there. The Alchemist Cookbook was a new endeavor into a different filmmaking experience for both of us, and his trust in me as an image maker was very clear from the beginning. As far as collaborative art goes, I've never been more aligned with anyone, so I consider myself very fortunate »
- email@example.com (Aaron Hunt)
Wim Wenders goes neo-noir in this wonderfully moody character-driven crime tale. Soulful art framer Bruno Ganz is the patsy in a murder scheme, but Dennis Hopper's sociopath / villain has a change of heart and befriends him. This modern classic looks great and features movie directors Nicholas Ray and Samuel Fuller in major guest roles. The American Friend Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 793 1977 / Color / 1:66 widescreen / 127 min. / Der Amerikanische Freund / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date January 12, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Dennis Hopper, Bruno Ganz, Lisa Kreuzer, Gérard Blain, Nicholas Ray, Samuel Fuller. Cinematography Robby Müller Art Direction Heidi & Toni Lüdi Film Editor Peter Przygodda Original Music Jürgen Knieper Written by Wim Wenders from the novel Ripley's Game by Patricia Highsmith Produced by Renée Gundelach, Wim Wenders Directed by Wim Wenders
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Fourteen years ago Anchor Bay released a Wim Wenders DVD collection with excellent extras provided by the director himself. »
- Glenn Erickson
Sam Shepard's influence before he worked with Volker Schlöndorff on Max Frisch's Homo Faber (Voyager), Peter Carey and the script, Yasujiro Ozu actors Chishû Ryû and Kuniko Miyake, Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and The Man Who Knew Too Much, Chen Kaige, Robby Müller and Vermeer, Yohji Yamamoto, Notebook on Cities and Clothes, Lord Byron and much more are inspected here.
Until The End Of The World stars Solveig Dommartin, Max von Sydow, William Hurt, Jeanne Moreau, Rüdiger Vogler and Sam Neill and an extraordinary soundtrack featuring Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, U2, Julee Cruise, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, Crime and the City Solution, Neneh Cherry, R.E.M., Patti Smith, Daniel Lanois, T-Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, Jane Siberry, k.d. lang with uncredited performances by David Byrne with Talking Heads, Tom Waits »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
8 items from 2016
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