Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
This is the actual view from Savant Central, looking due North.
What a year! I was able to take one very nice trip back East too see Washington D.C. for the first time, or at least as much as two days' walking in the hot sun and then cool rain would allow. Back home in Los Angeles, we've had a year of extreme drought -- my lawn is looking patriotically ratty -- and we're expecting something called El Niño, that's supposed to be just shy of Old-Testament build-me-an-ark intensity. We withstood heat waves like those in Day the Earth Caught Fire, and now we'll get the storms part. This has been a wild year for DVD Savant, which is still a little unsettled. DVDtalk has been very patient and generous, and so have Stuart Galbraith & Joe Dante; so far everything
My new favorite filmmaker is the American animator Jodie Mack. In 2012 I was in the audience at the Views from the Avant-Garde sidebar of the New York Film Festival and had the unexpected experience of dropping my jaw and having it remain fully in that position throughout the surface loveliness and aggregating intensity—both analytic and sensual—of Mack's lace flicker film Point de Gaze. Its young filmmaker has been making films since 2003—several of which are viewable on her website—with a flurrying productivity which belays the painstaking efforts taken to bring her animated films to life. The screening was the revelation of incredible talent, a moving effort of hands and mind, and it promised a great deal for the future.
That promise had already paid off in spades at the 2014 International Film Festival Rotterdam in January, which presented a program of Mack's recent short films not as a profile,
Bombardment: textures. If you, like many, have been waiting so many years for Soviet/Russian master Aleksei German (My Friend Ivan Lapshin; Khrustalyov, My Car!) to finish what, upon the director's passing last year, has ended up being his final film (with finishing touches by his wife and co-writer Svetlana Karmalita and his son Aleksei German Jr.), you will have to embrace muck. You will have to swim in shit, slather yourself with grime, dirt, and water, enrobe yourself in filthy fog, feel roughened leather, splintered wood, caked and hardened cloth, rusted and creaky iron armor; you will have to embrace the damp, dank, dirty opus of cinema that is Hard to Be a God. It is cinematic texture taken to an extreme.
Based on a 1964 novel by the Strugatsky brothers (literary sources for Tarkovsky's Stalker and Aleksandr Sokurov's Day of Eclipse, among other adaptations), its barely sci-fi
Here come the circles, radiating from a single point to fill the screen. They keep on coming. Are they approaching or vanishing? Am I looking up at a dome of light or down into a black hole? Patterns collapse inward, and circles of light turn and turn. Everything spirals and surges with an abstract radiation.
"It's just like Bridget Riley!" someone in the dark gallery at the Eye film Museum in Amsterdam says – but even as she speaks the image has moved on. Spirals, a series of patched-together experiments in abstract animation by Oskar Fischinger, was made in his studio in Munich in the mid-1920s, and comes near the start of a major exhibition of the animator's work.
The first Absolute Must Read is David Bordwell’s essay on how to watch an “art film.” Initially, as a fan of “art” films, this sort of sounded like a strange topic and I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy the article, but — Bang, Zoom! — Bordwell’s analysis of the first 15 shots of the Spanish film Sueño y silencio by Jaime Rosales is an infinitely captivating and intriguing read that had my head swimming with ideas of how to write about films.The second Absolute Must Read is an absolutely fascinating Washington Post profile of Colorlab, the Washington, D.C. area film processing and restoration company. The best part of the article is that in recounting Colorlab’s 40-year history we get to learn how
opens today and runs through May 3.
Bertrand Bonello will preside over the Jury for the Nespresso Grand Prize for La Semaine de la Critique (Critics' Week), while João Pedro Rodrigues will be President of the Jury for the Nikon Discovery Award for Short Film. The awards will be presented on Closing Night, May 24, and, once again, here are the lineups they'll be taking in.
Nina Menkes will not only be on the International Jury at the Jeonju International Film Festival, opening today and running through May 4; she'll also be presenting her 1996 feature, The Bloody Child, one of only five films selected to represent 50 years of the Jeonju sister festival, the Viennale.
Michael Guillén previews the lineup of the International Film Festival of Panama, opening today and running through Wednesday.
"12 projects from francophone Sub-Saharan Africa have been selected for Open Doors, the Festival del film Locarno's co-production lab.
Last year, Cindy Keefer, archivist and curator at Cvm, wrote for Sfmoma, "Jordan Belson is an enigma and a legend of the experimental film world. He has produced a remarkable body of over 33 abstract films over six decades, richly woven with cosmological imagery, exploring consciousness, transcendence, and the nature of light itself.
Sadly, Wavelengths 2011 will be the final year for series curator Andréa Picard.
This week’s Absolute Must Read is an extremely passionate commentary by donna k. on the need for art to speak out on injustice, something she finds lacking today — a subject on which I wholeheartedly concur. It’s an exceptionally well-written, moving piece that I hope inspires a filmmaker or two or more.Tromadance has come and gone and completely terrorized the community of Asbury Park, NJ. Metromix has the wrap up, saying that The Taint drove the audience wild, as it well should have.The website Pyramid Beach posted up Part 3 of their series on avant-garde pioneer Oskar Fischinger. You can go
Executive Director Dominic Angerame has sent "a very serious letter," an open plea for help to the film community in which he outlines the scenario — an overall decline in rentals, sales, distribution fees, bank interest and occasional donations — that has led to the very real possibility that Canyon may
By the mid-’40s, the avant-garde hadn’t taken a strong hold in the U.S. yet, so the majority of the films screened came from Europe, or by Europeans who relocated to the U.S. However, by that time also, the European avant-garde had pretty much completely petered out. Still, Stauffacher wanted to show that there was a continuity to avant-garde film history that, up until that point, had yet to be fully considered.
In conjunction with the series, the San Francisco Museum of Art published a catalog, pretty much like one would find with any major art exhibit.
5750 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Hosted by: Center for Visual Music
The Center for Visual Music — the Los Angeles-based archive dedicated to the preservation and promotion of both classic and modern avant-garde and experimental media — is holding a special benefit to raise money for their Fischinger Preservation and Conservation Project. Tickets can be purchased directly from Event Brite. (To be clear: This event is Not a screening, so don’t go expecting to see a screening of Fischinger’s films. This is simply a benefit.)
The event is being held on the occasion of the 100th birthday of Elfriede Fischinger (1910 — 1999), the widow of experimental animation pioneer Oskar Fischinger (1900 — 1967). There will be paintings and unshot animation drawings by Oskar, but half of the exhibition will be about the life and work of Elfriede. Also, there will be a wine reception and a silent auction.
Despite Renan’s title, he does cover the early European avant-garde, so many filmmakers from England, France, Germany, Holland and Russia — such as Oskar Fischinger, Luis Buñuel, Marcel Duchamp, Len Lye, Joris Ivens, Dziga Vertov — appear alongside the usual U.S. suspects, such as Kenneth Anger, Jonas Mekas, Stan Brakhage, Shirley Clarke, etc.
Actual events are few and far between, but they’re there if you dig around, like the meeting of the International Congress of Independent Film and its swift disbanding; and the formation of the New American Cinema Group. One thing that Renan included a lot of that I like
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.