9 items from 2014
Above: a production still from the set of Manoel de Oliveira’s new production O velho do restelo, via our new Mubi Tumblr! Sight & Sound is poised to unveil a Best Documentaries of All Time list and Richard Brody has unveiled his ballot in advance, with annotations:
"...The history of documentary filmmaking isn’t the fact of capturing events on the wing but the idea of doing so, not the invention of investigative recording but its reinvention. That’s why, for this list, I selected movies that open new vistas for documentary filmmaking, which imply vectors of activity and thought that are still being realized today by the era’s best documentarists—and why, in mentioning these films, each of them implies many others that they have inspired. "
Above: Nathan Silver is turning to Kickstarter to fund his next project, Stinking Heaven. Keep your eyes out for his brilliant film, »
- Adam Cook
The Cannes Film Festival unveiled this year's poster today in Paris. Conceived by Hervé Chigioni and graphic designer Gilles Frappier of the Lagency creative studio, the poster features Marcello Mastroianni based on a photogram taken from Federico Fellini's 8 1/2, which starred Mastroianni and was presented in the festival's Official Selection in 1963. The Oscar-nominated Italian actor, who passed away in 1996, was cast in many of Fellini's film, including La Dolce Vita. He was the perfect actor to play the director's complex, tortured leading men. His final film, Manoel de Oliveira's Voyage to the Beginning of the World, was released in 1997. Hit the jump for more. "The way he looks at us above his black glasses draws us right into a promise of global cinematographic happiness," Chigioni told French cable news channel Bfmtv. "The happiness of experiencing the Cannes Film Festival together." Actress Chiara Mastroianni, whose mother is Catherine Deneuve, »
- Talia Soghomonian
Mon oncle d’Amérique
Written by Jean Gruault and Henri Laborit
Directed by Alain Resnais
To wax in a state of eulogy about Alain Resnais is to have reviewed his last few features at the times they premiered. With Wild Grass, You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet, and the incredibly recent Life of Riley, reviewers understandably noted his age. Resnais was in his late eighties and early nineties, still producing films containing a youthful charm, his resolution on the festival circuit as firm as ever. Perhaps then, it still came as a surprise that at the age of 91, Resnais had passed, leaving a remarkable six decades of major work behind, rivaled at this point only by 105-year-old arthouse compatriot Manoel de Oliveira. Surprising, yes, thanks to his experimental shock to the film world in Last Year at Marienbad and Hiroshima, mon amour being equaled by his recent output, a promising second wind. »
- Zach Lewis
Above: Trás-os-Montes (1976)
The origins of "Harvard at the Gulbenkian - Dialogues About Portuguese Film and World Cinema" lie in a series of influential programs and events organized by the Harvard Film Archive that together introduced Us audiences to the incredible richness of Portuguese cinema. Of special importance among these was "The School of Reis," a 2012 Harvard Film Archive program which explored the legacy of the late António Reis by grouping major works by Reis' students and collaborators together with the pioneering films that he directed, both alone and together with Margarida Cordeiro. "The School of Reis" was critically acclaimed not only in the Us, but also in Portugal where it was appreciated as an alternate way of historicizing the radical approaches to narrative cinema embraced by so many of the greatest Portuguese filmmakers.
Seeking a different approach to the work of those Portuguese filmmakers considered earlier by "The School of Reis, »
- Cinema Dialogues: Harvard at the Gulbenkian
When I awoke this morning to the unhappy news that Alain Resnais, the French director of "Last Year at Marienbad," "Hiroshima, Mon Amour" and "Night and Fog" among many, many others, had passed away at the age of 92, my first thought was how different the moment felt to most other announcements of veteran artists' departures -- more sorely immediate than the usual solemn, remove-your-hat mourning. Most nonagenarian directors who die do so with their life's work complete; Resnais's certainly wasn't lacking, but the man wasn't finished either. Only three weeks ago, Resnais premiered his 19th feature, "Life of Riley," in Competition at the Berlin Film Festival to warm applause and even a couple of trophies. The jury awarded him the Alfred Bauer Prize for "a film that opens new perspectives on cinematic art" -- an award that, at first blush, seems an odd fit for one as comfortingly seasoned and familiar as Resnais, »
- Guy Lodge
There is no need for you to leave the house. Stay at your table and listen. Don't even listen, just wait. Don't even wait, be completely quiet and alone. The world will offer itself to you to be unmasked; it can't do otherwise; in raptures it will writhe before you."
—Franz Kafka, "Reflections on Sin, Suffering, Hope, and the True Way."
Above: Director Vítor Gonçalves
Behold the Palace Square in Lisbon—or rather, Praça do Comércio, where the Royal Ribeira Palace stood for nearly two hundred years. In the 18th century, the palace was destroyed by the Great Lisbon Earthquake, never to be restored (instead was built a new one, though, not for the King to live) hence the new name—The Square of Commerce. Here, in the seat of Fascist power, tens of thousands people would gather to listen to Salazar's orations (see Brandos Costumes by Alberto Seixas Santos); then came the Carnation Revolution. »
- Boris Nelepo
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Writer: David Nicholls
U.S. Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures
The literature of Thomas Hardy seems to be receiving a sort of cinematic revival, mostly thanks to Michael Winterbottom, who recently re-tooled Tess of the D’ubervilles with 2011’s Trishna (he also directed a version of Jude, 1995, and his 2000 film The Claim was based on The Mayor of Casterbridge). Now we’ll have Danish auteur Thomas Vinterberg revisiting Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd, which was famously adapted in 1967 by John Schlesinger, featuring Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Peter Finch, and Terence Stamp. So, there are some huge shoes to fill. We’re curious to see what Vinterberg does with the material, especially with Mulligan (who seems to be attracted to literary adaptations) filling in for Christie. »
- Nicholas Bell
The Church of the Devil
Director: Manoel De Oliveira
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
Portuguese director Manoel De Oliveira is the world’s oldest living filmmaker, and the past several years has seen the filmmaker engaging in an incredible amount of output, his last title being 2012′s Gebo and the Shadow, which has yet to see a Us release. While his past several titles have been set in Portugal or France, he moves to Brazil with this latest, based on short stories of Machado De Assis, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest writers of Brazilian literature. Needless to say, a glance at the vague description provided has us hooked.
Gist: Three connected stories set in Brazil following a visit of devil to earth, »
- Nicholas Bell
Looking back over the year at what films moved and impressed us, it is clear that watching old films is a crucial part of making new films meaningful. Thus, the annual tradition of our end of year poll, which calls upon our writers to pick both a new and an old film: they were challenged to choose a new film they saw in 2013—in theaters or at a festival—and creatively pair it with an old film they also saw in 2013 to create a unique double feature.
All the contributors were given the option to write some text explaining their 2013 fantasy double feature. What's more, each writer was given the option to list more pairings, with or without explanation, as further imaginative film programming we'd be lucky to catch in that perfect world we know doesn't exist but can keep dreaming of every time we go to the movies.
9 items from 2014
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