5 items from 2017
Ben Rivers' The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (2015) is showing on Mubi from September 6 - October 6 and Oliver Laxe's Mimosas (2016) from September 7 - October 7, 2017 in the United Kingdom as part of the series Close-Up on Oliver Laxe.MimosasBoth Mimosas and The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers mirror each other in many different ways: they both take place in the same geographical space, the south of Morocco, they were filmed at the same time, have some of the same people in them, and are filmed in 16mm. But these are only apparent similarities that veil deeper discussions between both films. Director Oliver Laxe stands behind the camera in Mimosas, he is observed from the distance in the first part of The Sky Trembles, and finally ends up crossing the invisible wall »
3 September 2017 9:02 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Among the inspirations acknowledged by the eternally curious subject of Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda are the organ chorales of Bach, the films and photographs of Andrei Tarkovsky, the spoken words of Paul Bowles and J. Robert Oppenheimer and a range of environmental sounds gathered first-hand from places as far-flung as an Arctic Circle glacier or Lake Turkana, Kenya, where the world's oldest human remains were discovered. Made over a five-year period during which the Japanese composer was diagnosed and treated for stage 3 throat cancer, this is a gentle, reflective portrait that seldom gets personal and yet somehow feels quite candid.
- David Rooney
Shot with non-professionals on location in the Atlas mountains, this dreamy, beautifully shot parable has been compared to Aguirre: The Wrath of God
Recently, British director Ben Rivers made a deeply strange Morocco-set movie, inspired by a Paul Bowles story, entitled The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers. It featured a director making a film with non-professionals on location – and for these shots Rivers used a real director and (as it were) real non-professionals making a real film: this film, in fact, from 35-year-old French-born director Oliver Laxe.
Mimosas is a challengingly static, dreamily mysterious and beautifully shot film about two disreputable Moroccan men who, as part of a caravan of travellers, accept the task of carrying the dead body of a holy man, the “Sheikh”, across the Atlas mountains to be buried in his home village. They receive help from a »
- Peter Bradshaw
Each month, the fine folks at FilmStruck and the Criterion Collection spend countless hours crafting their channels to highlight the many different types of films that they have in their streaming library. This July will feature an exciting assortment of films, as noted below.
To sign up for a free two-week trial here.
Saturday, July 1 Changing Faces
What does a face tell us even when it’s disguised or disfigured? And what does it conceal? Guest curator Imogen Sara Smith, a critic and author of the book In Lonely Places: Film Noir Beyond the City, assembles a series of films that revolve around enigmatic faces transformed by masks, scars, and surgery, including Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face (1960) and Hiroshi Teshigahara’s The Face of Another (1966).
Tuesday, July 4 Tuesday’s Short + Feature: Premature* and Ten*
Come hitch a ride with Norwegian director Gunhild Enger and the late Iranian master »
- Ryan Gallagher
Few acting resumes include as many visionary, boundary-pushing auteur filmmakers as Chloë Sevigny’s. A selected list of the directors she’s worked with could easily fill an IndieWire top ten: Harmony Korine, Vincent Gallo, Lars Von Trier, Whit Stillman, Kimberly Peirce, Olivier Assayas, and David Fincher — to name a few. In fact, as IndieWire co-founder Eugene Hernandez put it at a sit-down with the actress at the Provincetown International Film Festival last weekend, Sevigny was at the epicenter of the independent film renaissance of the late 1990s and early 2000s that inspired IndieWire’s creation in the first place.
“It was the work of Chloe and so many of her collaborators…that inspired the site we created. So without even knowing it, Chloe, you were part of what helped inspire us to do what we did at IndieWire,” said Hernandez in his introduction.
Sevigny was in Provincetown showing her short film, “Kitty,” the actress’ first foray into directing. It’s a visually lush and fantastical film based on a short story by Paul Bowles, whose work once led her to travel to Marrakech with Korine in the mid-’90s, “Just kind of following in his footsteps.” As the festival presented her with their Excellence in Acting Award, Sevigny and Hernandez sat down for a career-spanning talk that included some eyebrow-raising anecdotes from her days working with indie cinema’s most lauded (and eccentric) directors.
Here are seven things you may not have known about Sevigny’s most memorable films, and some of the greatest (and most controversial) indies of the last twenty years, according to her:
“Drew Barrymore had actually approached Harmony and she wanted to play [Brandon Teena] and she wanted me to play Lana in her version. There were some weird initial meetings around that, which obviously didn’t go very far. She sent in these kind of Herb Ritts photos of herself done up as a boy. She looked really attractive, but it wasn’t gonna work. And then I actually went and auditioned for the [Brandon Teena] part. Kimberly Peirce said, ‘You’ve never wanted to be a boy, have you?’ And I said, ‘No,’ and she was like, ‘Why don’t you come back in and try out for the other part?’ So I did, and I got it.”
“I only got the part because Sarah Polley passed. That happened to me a lot in the ’90s. She got a lot of parts that I wanted.”
3. The reaction to that infamous blow job scene in Vincent Gallo’s “The Brown Bunny” still haunts her.
“I thought it would just kind of play to an art house audience, I don’t know why I thought it would just go under the radar. Vincent’s a real character. I love ‘Buffalo 66.’ I put my faith in him, believed in him. He’s also very seductive, as you can imagine… I think it was a way of kind of reclaiming myself, which sounds odd, but after the celebrity and stuff, being like: ‘No, that’s not who I am, I’m this other thing, and this is what I stand for.’ Or wanting to push the envelope. Like John [Waters], who’s here.” Sevigny gestured to Waters, who called out from the audience: “I loved the ‘The Brown Bunny’! The insects on the windshield…”
4. “The Brown Bunny” didn’t hurt her career, but it did hurt some relationships.
“I got my first studio film after that. I’d never been offered a studio film. It was ‘Zodiac.’ I don’t think it really hurt me, necessarily. I mean, it hurt me, in a lot of ways… Some relationships have had trouble with it. Of course, my mom and I don’t talk about it.”
5. Whit Stillman is terrifying.
“He’s very precise, and he also likes to do things a lot… It becomes surreal. Not as much as Fincher — he does full takes. Whit just wants you to say one line or one word again and again and again in a series. It’s terrifying. So scared of that man. And yet I keep going back. Glutton for punishment.”
“I think that Lars tortures the main actresses, and the supporting players get a free ride. He was really into spanking me. But in a playful way. He’d always tease me, like I had to be punished. And he knew I was into Black metal so he was always teasing me about like going off and burning churches. We had a funny rapport. But I think he was harder on Nicole [Kidman].”
7. The Chloe videos hurt her feelings.
“Ugh, I have a really complicated relationship with those. I don’t want to say I’m offended, ’cause that’s such a strong word. But I don’t enjoy them. I think because he’s a comedian. If he was more of a drag performer, I would feel like less – they hurt my feelings. Maybe I should be tougher, I don’t know. But they do.”
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- Jude Dry
5 items from 2017
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