7 items from 2015
Now that the busy winter fest schedule of Sundance, Rotterdam and the Berlinale has concluded, we’ve now got our eyes on the likes of True/False and SXSW. While, True/False does not specialize in attention grabbing world premieres, it does provide a late winter haven for cream of the crop non-fiction fare from all the previously mentioned fests and a selection of overlooked genre blending films presented in a down home setting. This year will mark my first trip to the Columbia, Missouri based fest, where I hope to catch a little of everything, from their hush-hush secret screenings, to selections from their Neither/Nor series, this year featuring chimeric Polish cinema of decades past, to a spotlight of Adam Curtis’s incisive oeuvre. But truth be told, it is SXSW, with its slew of high profile world premieres being announced, such as Alex Gibney’s Steve Jobs »
- Jordan M. Smith
Edited by Adam Cook
The lineup for this year's New Directors/New Films, "presented jointly by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern Art," has been announced. "For the Birds": Richard Brody picks on the Academy Awards. There's an intriguing new film journal on the scene: "The Completist," authored by Rumsey Taylor. Head over to the site to read his "Statement of Intentions". Described as being "roughly quarterly", we're looking forward to future instalments. In Film Comment, Tanner Tafelski writes on the films of John Korty:
"Carroll Ballard, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Philip Kaufman, and Michael Ritchie all are, or were, San Francisco–based filmmakers. Yet none of these people seem to be Bay Area filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Abel Ferrara, or Spike Lee are New York filmmakers. Avant-garde cinema, on the other hand, has a rich history with the West Coast in general, »
Writing for Criterion, Colin MacCabe sketches the evolution of Jean-Luc Godard's thinking and art from 1968 to 1980, the year Every Man for Himself was released. Girish Shambu remembers the late film historian, scholar and critic, Gilberto Perez. Peter Davis, whose mother, Tess Slesinger, was nominated for an Oscar for her screenplay for Elia Kazan's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, argues that Hollywood didn't used to be so male. Also in the Nation, Stuart Klawans reviews Clint Eastwood's American Sniper and John Boorman's Queen and Country. Plus Mark Cousins's 50-week film course and much more in today's roundup of news and views. » - David Hudson »
Viacom18 has pacted with the Film Heritage in association with Martin Scorsese’s the Film Foundation to preserve Indian classics.
As part of this initiative Viacom18 will run a weeklong school Feb. 22-28, with international experts teaching how how to preserve and restore films. The class will include the daily unspooling of a restored classic with a talk on how it was achieved. There is already a movement to restore classics in India.
Besides the Film Foundation, Cineteca di Bologna, L’Immagine Ritrovata and Intl. Federation of Film Archives have partnered on the course, which is certified by Fiaf. Among the program’s advisers are Indian filmmakers Shyam Benegal, Gulzar, Jaya Bachchan, P.K. Nair, Kumar Shahani and Girish Kasaravalli, Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi, critic Mark Cousins, and GianLuca Farinelli of the Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna.
So far students from India, Sri Lanka and Nepal have registered for the course. »
- Shalini Dore
A couple of years ago, at a different film festival in a different country, I had a terrific time with Mark Cousins' engagingly/exhaustingly self-indulgent doodle, "What Is This Film Called Love?" and a tough time trying to marshall my scattered and immensely, consciously subjective impressions into the semblance of a coherent review. So at the Göteborg International Film Festival, I was looking forward to "Life May Be," a similarly personal, intimate, lo-fi filmic essay that Cousins co-directed with Iranian director Mania Akbari, perhaps hoping it would have the same pleasantly discombobulating effect. But "Life May Be," here benefitting from the added interest of a new point of view from Akbari, while just as erudite and idiosyncratic as we might expect from Cousins (seriously, if you are not already a fan, this will not be the film to convince you), felt cooler, less generous with its sensation of wrapping the audience up in. »
- Jessica Kiang
Following in the footsteps of Fruitvale Station and Whiplash before it, the most talked about title in Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s Me and Earl and the Dying Girl claimed both the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and U.S. Dramatic Audience Award. Crystal Moselle’s audience favorite might not have claimed the Audience Award (Meru), but the family featured in The Wolfpack landed a much coveted U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize. Matthew Heineman’s unfathomably constructed Cartel Land landed to Jury Prizes in Best Director and Excellence in Cinematography. In stellar Next, the unique prize went to Josh Mond’s brilliant directorial debut James White. Here is the press release and all the winners.
The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was presented by Gordon Quinn to:
The Wolfpack / U.S.A. (Director: Crystal Moselle)
The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented by Edgar Wright to:
- Eric Lavallee
Arts critics tend to get a rough time of it in the movies. Even looking at this year's awards season hopefuls, Birdman casts a wonderfully scabrous Lindsay Duncan as a theatre critic who is determined to kill the hero's play, and Mr. Turner presents John Ruskin as a lisping, pretentious fop, a representation that has led some to take mild umbrage.
To look even further back, at Ratatouille's sneering Anton Ego, or Lady In The Water's film-savvy 'straw critic', or Theatre Of Blood's gleefully murderous tract, there's not a whole lot of love for critics in film. Any of this might give way to the preconception that critics, especially film critics, don't actually like films and that they're out of touch with both the filmmakers whose works they »
7 items from 2015
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