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The New York Film Festival is finally about to begin and here is Glenn on one of the must-sees of the fest, Jean-Luc Godard's Goodbye to Language.
Much like the film itself, you’ll have to bear with me here. If I get lost or end up on tangents then don’t worry – it’s not only to be expected, but probably the intent. This will probably be messy, but this is a film titled Goodbye to Language so I feel it’s a safe zone, yes? You see, there is a lot to talk about. How about the use of 3D that is perhaps the best I have ever seen. And then there’s the bravura directions that director Jean-Luc Godard goes even once you think you may have his shtick down. And that’s before we get into the concept of subjectivity of ideas. For all I know, »
- Glenn Dunks
30. Conspirators of Pleasure (1996)
Directed by: Jan Švankmajer
We’ve already seen two films from Jan Švankmajeron the list, but this elaborate movie about a number of separate, but connected people takes the cake. Conspirators of Pleasure follows six people, each with their own incredibly unsettling fetish. A letter carrier ingests dough balls every night before bed. A clerk is obsessed with a new anchor and creates a machine that pleasure him while he watches her. That anchorwoman has an odd obsession with live carp. One customer of the clerk’s practice paper mâché voodoo with a chicken costume and a doll resembling his neighbor. The neighbor has a doll of him that she brutalizes. Finally, the anchormwoman’s husband rubs homemade contraptions to rub all over his body. Conspirators could simply be a character study that, while still strange, would not be nearly as creepy. Švankmajer’s known for his animation and puppetry, »
- Joshua Gaul
Highlights of the 52nd Vienna International Film Festival (Oct 23-Nov 6) have been unveiled, including buzz titles from Cannes and Sundance as well as a tribute to actor Viggo Mortensen and a retrospective on director John Ford.
The feature film programme includes Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language 3D, Olivier Assayas’s Clouds of Sils Maria and the Dardenne brothers’ Two Days, One Night. Other titles include Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash, Ruben Ostlund’s Turist and Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank.
In the documentary line-up, highlights include Nick Cave doc 20,000 Days On Earth, from directors Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard; Frederick Wiseman’s National Gallery; and Tessa Louise Salome’s Mr Leos Carax.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
The first Sarajevo Film Festival was unlike any other festival. Portable generators provided power to the projectors in a city devoid of electricity. Directors Alfonso Cuaron and Leos Carax entered the besieged city by riding in armored cars over the surrounding mountains and then carrying their film canisters through a tunnel dug beneath the airport. With no usable currency, organizers asked moviegoers to donate a cigarette in exchange for a ticket to any of the 37 films. And now, two decades after its beginning in the four-year siege of Sarajevo during the Bosnian War of Independence, the festival is back »
- Steve Pond
In the moviegoer’s hierarchy of needs, a PG-13 “Expendables” is about as essential as a Joel Schumacher remake of “Tokyo Story.” Or, to put it in terms more appropriate to its target audience: You need “The Expendables 3” like you need a kick in the crotch, and while this running-on-fumes sequel may not be quite as painful a thing to experience, it will waste considerably more of your time. From train-crashing start to back-slapping finish, Lionsgate’s latest and longest showcase for Sylvester Stallone and other aging slabs of B-movie beef — the marquee names this time around include Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford — smacks of desperation and teen-audience pandering, from the literally bloodless action to the introduction of a younger, hotter backup team of fighters (call them the Hip Replacements). It’s an obvious, half-hearted ploy to keep the beleaguered series going, when it would »
- Variety Staff
Earlier this summer, Mirsad “Miro” Purivatra, director of the Sarajevo Film Festival, got a phone call from the new head of Ukraine’s Odessa Film Festival, who wanted to know how to stage such an event in the middle of a civil war.
Purivatra is, unfortunately, an expert in such matters. He launched the Sarajevo fest in 1995, toward the end of a four-year siege by troops from Bosnian Serbia, with snipers and artillery positions in the hills overlooking the city.
One of the buildings destroyed was city hall, which housed the national library. Purivatra recalls the ashes of books — including what had been rare manuscripts — drifting through his window.
“It was one of the saddest moments in my life,” he says. “How could someone … destroy such heritage, something of such cultural value, everything that a nation, a civilization has?”
As an act of defiance, and an affirmation of the redemptive power of culture, »
- Leo Barraclough
Leos Carax’s debut film Boy Meets Girl (1984), now beautifully restored and showing at the Film Forum from August 8th (as part of a larger Carax retrospective), is a manual on egocentricity. Posturing as a story of heartbreak, love and finally tragedy, Boy Meets Girl is in fact a soapbox for young Alex (Denis Lavant) to explain his extended ontology and the distended sense of its worth. Alex’s disinterest in cooperating with the world is matched only by his insistence to control it. What we are left with is transcendent self-involvement through time, space and person: otherwise known as being in your twenties. Shot in black and white and set in the Paris of anytime, Carax with one hand tips his cap to love story nostalgia and with the other fondles the petty egoism of love.
As the title suggests, boy does indeed meet girl. Alex is our boy, »
- Cuyler Ballenger
Wandering aimlessly around the noirish streets of Paris, Alex (Denis Lavant) is still recovering from the painful demise of a tumultuous relationship. A disheveled dreamer, Alex's tousled hair and lack of ambition gives him the allusion of being much younger than his actual age of 22, while his world weary persona suggests that he is an old soul. Obsessed with love, Alex finds himself forever haunted by the fatalist notion of the hopelessness of relationships. In one particularly poignant moment, Alex stumbles upon a couple in the midst of their own venomous break-up via an apartment intercom. As with Alex's break-up, which was conducted via telephone, writer-director Leos Carax visually suggests the physical separation between the once lovers; while both exchanges feature one partner verbally berating the other, suggesting that when communication dies, so does love. »
- Don Simpson
The 8th annual Sydney Underground Film Festival is a power-packed event featuring outrageous cult films, provocative documentaries and wild short films that will run September 4-7 at its usual haunt, The Factory Theater.
Opening Night: The fest opens with Housebound, a New Zealand horror comedy by Gerard Johnstone about a woman in trouble with the law who comes to believe that her family home is haunted. The film will be preceded by a performance by Renny Kodgers and a free pizza party; and followed by an after party.
Closing Night: The fest will close with the controversial German teen sex comedy Wetlands directed by David Wendt. The film will then be followed by a late-night after party.
Highlights: Usama Alshaibi‘s must see documentary American Arab — an intimate, socially relevatory and essential film — screens at 4 p.m. on Sept. 6. Read the Underground Film Journal review of American Arab.
- Mike Everleth
Last year, Carlotta Films sent a new restoration of Leos Carax's Mauvais Sang (1986) on a coast-to-coast tour, and now it's Carax's debut, Boy Meets Girl (1984), making the rounds. For Time Out's Keith Uhlich, the "film’s genius blooms especially bright in this new digital restoration." We gather fresh reviews, a new trailer and another trailer for Tessa Louise-Salomé's documentary, Mr X, which, Kyle Burton put it at Indiewire when the film debuted at Sundance, ""doesn’t evade the self-congratulatory aspect of exploring an artist at work, but it remains a mesmerizing experience thanks to the appeal of modern cinema's most enigmatic auteur." » - David Hudson »
It premiered at the International Critics' Week at the Cannes film festival, and it hit the French cinema like a lightning bolt — sudden and electrifying. The film concerns an aspiring young filmmaker, a glum twentysomething named Alex (Denis Lavant), abandoned by one girlfriend and entranced by another. He spends his days shoplifting records and devising titles for movies he hasn't yet made, while at night he drifts through the streets in headphones, on a vague quest for meaning. He seems, not insignificantly, like a hero Godard might have created.
Carax, of course, has long been regarded as the »
★★★★★French critic and auteur François Truffaut's tone and style have been both successfully and unsuccessfully mined by numerous directors over the years, including the likes of Wes Anderson, Richard Ayoade and Shane Meadows. Never as knowingly hip and revolutionary as others, his cinema belongs to Renoir and Vigo, and is carried on by that doomed depressive Leos Carax. Truffaut claimed that if he walked into a casino, his first instinct would be to master the rules. Godard's first instinct, Truffaut added, would be to invent new ones. With his second and third films, Shoot the Pianist (1960) and Jules et Jim (1962) - both rereleased this week - we see a true master at work.
- CineVue UK
The son of scuba-diving instructors, Luc Besson came of age exploring the depths of the ocean floor and inventing stories out of the debris he would find along the shore. Some 50 years later, he is still playing with rocks in the sand — only now his shoreline is the river Seine and his castle a 667,000-square-foot film studio called Cite du Cinema (literally Cinema City). Built from the shell of a 1930s thermal power plant in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis, the sprawling complex — which includes nine soundstages, a 500-seat auditorium and a full-service restaurant — is headquarters for Besson’s prolific production and distribution outfit, EuropaCorp, plus a host of affiliated vendors and two film schools.
On a recent Friday afternoon, despite a bank-holiday weekend in France, Cite du Cinema was a hive of activity as editors, sound mixers and visual effects artists readied two new EuropaCorp productions for their »
- Scott Foundas
Ana Lily Amirpour, Jodie Mack, Dustin Guy Defa are among the directors who've made Filmmaker's annual list of "25 New Faces of Independent Film." The new issue of The Seventh Art features video interviews with Bruce Labruce, Don McKellar, Erik Skjoldbjaerg and Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez. Also in today's roundup of news and views: David Bordwell on Wes Anderson, Jonathan Rosenbaum on Leos Carax, Vadim Rizov's interview with Jafar Panahi, the first review of Glenn Kenny's book on Robert De Niro and more. » - David Hudson »
★★★★☆The French title of Leos Carax's Mauvais Sang (1986) - released in the UK as The Night is Young, although the closest translation is "Bad Blood" - derives from the narcotic-laden second part of Arthur Rimbaud's bracing prose poem A Season in Hell, a work which captures a frenzied conversation between the poet and his 'other'. In that regard, it's an apt reference point for the director's oeuvre that's filled with wildly imaginative works of sub- conscious projection. In Carax's films, the act of creation cannot be divorced from autobiography; his work is populated with his other selves, from tortured artists to mute children. And, more often than not, the indomitable Denis Lavant is Carax's unbridled id.
- CineVue UK
Above: Leos Carax has a new short film, Gradiva, made in conjunction with the opening of Galerie Gradiva. Watch it here! Only a few hours remain to help fund Fireflies, a new film zine, on Indiegogo. They've put up a preview of their interview with Apichatpong Weerasethakul:
"Gmc: You also revisit certain techniques, for example the Pov shots from inside moving cars. One of our contributors [Vadim Rizov] wrote a lovely text about those shots, actually. What is it you so like about them?
Aw: It’s just that I really like straight angles. I don’t like angles from the diagonal, so I mostly shoot from the side or the front. And for me, the driving of the car, this direct perspective, really accentuates the frame itself. It creates a journey where you almost feel hypnotised. That’s the basic purpose of cinema, to hypnotise, and I think this direction works best. »
- Adam Cook
Galerie Gradiva, a swanky, new Parisian gallery, hired Leos Carax to fashion a promotional riff on Boy Meets Girl ahead of its opening on May 28th. Shooting within the newly furbished space, Carax crafts a cutely subversive portrait of man and woman as nude model (Nsfw?) and legendary sculpture. Fed up with his status as gallery poster boy, Rodin’s “The Thinker” airs his grievances to his partner, as Carax animates the bronze with both dialogue and camera movement. The miniature of Rodin’s masterwork is just one of many notable pieces in the gallery that features Dali, Picasso, Kandinsky, Matisse and so forth. Watch it […] »
- Sarah Salovaara
‘Maps to the Stars’ trailer and clips: Julianne Moore goes ballistic after losing a role, Robert Pattinson learns that Mia Wasikowska’s parents are brother and sister (photo: Robert Pattinson in ‘Maps to the Stars’) The Hollywood satire Maps to the Stars, the second David Cronenberg-Robert Pattinson collaboration to be screened in competition for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival — following Cosmopolis two years ago — is one of the most anticipated films at the festival for obvious reasons: although an international box office disappointment, the brainy, stream-of-consciousness Cosmopolis earned a number of enthusiastic reviews and was the runner-up (trailing only Leos Carax’s fellow white limo movie Holy Motors) on the list of Best Films of 2012 compiled by the prestigious Cahiers du Cinéma. Check out below the "international" (as in, with French subtitles) red band trailer for Maps to the Stars clip, and you’ll »
- Andre Soares
2012 saw her win critical acclaim in Leos Carax's surreal fantasy-drama Holy Motors, while this year sees her reunite with Nick Cave (listen to their ballad 'Where the Wild Roses Grow' here) for 20,000 Days on Earth.
Kylie spoke to Digital Spy about her new Cave collaboration and why she feels like "Kylie with lights on" when she's performing.
And Street Fighter? We didn't dare go there!
Additional reporting by Rob Copsey »
One of the great performers in cinema in the past 30 years, the acrobatic, elastic, kinetic Denis Lavant has defined some of the best films from the world's best filmmakers. Appropriately associated with the films of Leos Carax, in which he has appeared in 4 of 5 features (as well as a short), and one of the greatest endings in movies, the dance sequence of Claire Denis' Beau travail, the stage and film actor is something of an idol of cinephiles, almost exclusively lending his talent to auteurs. Now, Lavant can add another master to his resume: Taiwanese master Tsai Ming-liang, with whom he made Journey to the West—which we've already covered in Notebook here and here—a film that again takes advantage of the actor's physicality, but in a new way.
Adam Cook: You're best known for your physical presence in your movies, but there is also a strong »
- Adam Cook
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