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★★★★☆ The construction of a narrative may not be the first thing that comes to mind when one considers the beguiling cinema of Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Indeed, such matters seem irrelevant and even a little uncouth when contemplating his particular form of poetic transcendence - but when 'Joe' started out, the construction of narrative was his opening premise. Adopting the surrealist storytelling game of the exquisite corpse, he set about travelling Thailand to stitch together something approximating a shared national dreamscape, something that he continues to pursue to this day.
- CineVue UK
Since any New York cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.
- Nick Newman
Rushes collects news, articles, images, videos and more for a weekly roundup of essential items from the world of film.NEWSThe great avant-garde filmmaker and musician Tony Conrad has died at the age of 76.If you're sending mail in Austria, now you can creep your family and friends out with an image of austere art-house task-master Michael Haneke on your stamps.A terrific-looking new book "by" Jean-Luc Godard is out via Contra Mundum Press: Phrases features the texts contained within several of Godard's films, including Germany Year 90 Nine Zero, Forever Mozart and In Praise of Love. After his feature documentary Junun and music video for Joanna Newsom, Paul Thomas Anderson is returning to the music world, having reportedly shot a video for Radiohead.Recommended VIEWINGFilmmaker (Traveling Light, Here's to the Future!) and Notebook contributor Gina Telaroli has shared online an exquisite new video work, Starting Sketches: Theresa and Jeanne. »
As a new 4K restoration is released today, Criterion's posted Michael Sragow's essay on Howard Hawks's Only Angels Have Wings. Also in today's roundup: The Paris Review on Charles Chaplin becoming overwhelmed by fame in 1921, a new open access book on the work of Joris Ivens, an interview with Apichatpong Weerasethakul, a primer on Jerzy Skolimowski, the story behind Walt Disney's first adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, a lecture on Jean Genet, a conference on Sergei Eisenstein and news of forthcoming films from Steven Spielberg and Barbra Streisand. » - David Hudson »
Famous for lyrical movies featuring reincarnation and talking apes, the Thai director of Uncle Boonmee also has a political side – now he is taking on Thailand’s generals with a film about sleeping soldiers
Apichatpong Weerasethakul has just stepped off a flight from Bangkok and, while he betrays no obvious signs of jetlag or exhaustion, apologises for any potential lethargy. He has come to Tate Modern for a three-day retrospective of his multifarious moving-image work – feature films, shorts, promos – the bulk of which was screened continuously for 14 hours overnight on 9 April to mark the reopening of the gallery’s Starr cinema auditorium. Weerasethakul, a charming, unfailingly polite and very neatly dressed 45 year old, says he doesn’t mind in the least that his delicately composed, subtly atmospheric films should be exhibited in such an environment; it is, he says “a celebration, a big party”.
Related: Everything is possible – five things »
- Andrew Pulver
A retrospective celebrating the Thai director at Tate Modern, London, opened with a 14-hour screening of his films. It revealed him as a tireless creator like no other
A few years ago, a career retrospective of Louise Bourgeois displayed her enormous statues of spiders alongside smaller artefacts such as her woven figures. Her parents were weavers by trade and the spider is a weaver of webs: the whole exhibition uncovered fascinating connections in her work but also showed her constantly busying herself with the act of creation. The Apichatpong Weerasethakul all-nighter did this, too: presenting him as a true artist with a rich and varied body of work, whose short films and experimental commissions return to and refine the same themes as in his feature films. The event reinforced a sense of him as a tireless creator.
Continue reading »
- Caspar Salmon
Winner of the Best Emerging Director and Best First Feature at Locarno International Film Festival, Bi Gan‘s Chinese drama Kaili Blues will finally land in U.S. theaters next month thanks to the newly launched Grasshopper Films. Telling the story of a doctor’s journey to find his brother’s abandoned child, it’s been praised for its beautiful cinematography and one can get a glimpse with a new U.S. trailer.
We said in our review from New Directors/New Films this year, “Like Kelly Reichardt or Tsai Ming-Liang, Bi finds a majestic intimacy and wonder in stillness. The camera will often languorously pan in a room, only to settle and observe some small action (e.g. women pouring boiling tea into a small kettle), or, in the most casually surrealistic moment, a projection of an upside-down train that appears to crash through a small apartment like Lumière in miniature. »
- Jordan Raup
Photo by Sophie BeeIn the display window of a used record store, you can see covers for albums that don’t exist. They bear titles like Flaming Creatures or Heaven and Earth Magic, familiar to aficionados of experimental film, alongside lurid designs by local artist Tom Carey. This exhibit can mean only one thing: the film festival has come to Ann Arbor. Just down the block is the Michigan Theater, which has been operating since 1928. For one week every spring, its spacious main auditorium and cozy screening room host an intimidating array of avant-garde programming. The selections are eclectic in subject matter, submitted from all over the world, and interspersed with recently restored prints of older works. This practice means that no presentation is predictable. The only constant that carries across the festival is the artists’ collective push against the traditional boundaries of their medium.An example of this ethos »
- Alice Stoehr
Engram of ReturningThe selection at this year’s installation of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Art of the Real film festival, an annual showcase dedicated to conveying the spectrum of nonfiction filmmaking, are an intriguing bunch culled from a variety of seemingly opposing cultures, yet still exhibiting a fascination with interrogating the past. That this fixation is explored through a miscellany of aesthetic methods is only testament to the veracity of the festival’s undertaking.As this year’s sidebar retrospective of avant-garde giant Bruce Baillie’s work evinces, the nuances and vagaries of the term ‘“nonfiction” allow for fruitful pairings of works that continue the lineage of the abstract, non-narrative work that comes to define our idea of the American avant-garde with those of more familiar documentary tendencies. Daïchi Saïto’s superlative Engram of Returning, playing as part of the second shorts program,is certainly the film »
- Eric Barroso
Cannes — Strand Releasing has acquired all U.S. rights to French master Andre Techine’s subtle coming-of-age drama “Being 17,” which world premiered in competition at Berlin.
Sold by Paris-based Elle Driver, “Being 17” has earned a warm critical welcome, with Variety‘s Peter Debruge describing it as Techine’s most youthful film and his strongest in years.
Set against the Pyrenees mountains, “Being 17” charts the burgeoning and complex relationship of two young men, 17-year-old classmates Damien and Thomas, who start off as enemies before developing romantic feelings for each other.
The film was penned by Techine and Celine Sciamma, a talented writer-director who has explored adolescence and sexual identity in her own movies — “Water Lily,””Tomboy” and “Girlhood.”
- Elsa Keslassy
Ten Asian films will be screen during the Istanbul Film Festival here is more information about them.
The 35th Istanbul Film Festival (Iksv) will take place from April 7th to the 17th in Istanbul (Turkey). Sadly this year there will be no Asian movie present at the International Competition. Two Asian movies will be screen at the “Human Rights in Cinema” section, one in the “From the World of Festivals” section, one in the “Young Masters” section, five in the “Mined Zone” section and one in the “Hidden Gems” section.
Human Rights in Cinema
This section is dedicated to raises public consciousness and sensitivity to human rights related issues.
Behemoth (Bei xi mo shou) by Zhao Liang – China | 2015 – 90 mim
In the Old Testament, the mountains are the domain of a monster named Behemoth; in modern times the vast mining industry has taken the monster’s place. With a violent roar, »
- Sebastian Nadilo
At its heart, Gan Bi’s Kaili Blues is a meditation on the struggle between traditionalism and modernism. Through the story of one man’s journey through Chinese cities — Kaili to Zhenyuan — Bi focuses on characters who lament the people and ideas that they’ve lost as the world’s changed around them. But this is not just another screed against contemporary life; it finds a cruel beauty and gentle soul in the transition between elemental landscapes and the unfinished, industrialized future. And there’s personal serenity for some of these characters in being able to leave behind their old lives.
The cities of Kaili, Dang Mai, and Zhenyuan don’t look like man-made places as much as the inevitable outgrowth of the land. These places are littered with structures that meld organic and inorganic materials. They’re places of endless anachronisms as metal, earth, and wood glom together into an unholy mess. »
- Michael Snydel
Dailies is a round-up of essential film writing, news bits, videos, and other highlights from across the Internet. If you’d like to submit a piece for consideration, get in touch with us in the comments below or on Twitter at @TheFilmStage.
The software used by Studio Ghibli will be free and open source starting on March 26th, Wired reports.
Explore the symmetry and camera movement in Amélie:
RogerEbert.com‘s Steve Erickson on the current state of foreign-language film distribution:
There’s no end to the essays by baby-boomers recalling the golden age of art cinema from the ‘50s to the ‘70s, many of them proclaiming the death of the movies in the present day. I was born in 1972, so I missed out on personally experiencing this arthouse heyday; my earliest exposure to world cinema came in the late ‘80s, when its Us distribution was at an unprecedented nadir. »
- TFS Staff
Apichatpong Weerasethakul's.Cemetery of Splendour.
Tomorrow, March 17, will see the presentation of the 2015 Asia Pacific Screen Awards prize of Best Feature Film Award to renowned Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul for his film Cemetery of Splendour.
Marking their tenth year in 2016, the Apsa awards acknowledge excellence in the world.s fastest growing film region: comprising 70 countries, 4.5 billion people, and responsible for half of the world.s film output.
In 2015, 39 films from 22 Asia Pacific countries and areas received award nominations.
Weerasethakul will be presented with his award at Sydney's Carriageworks at 10am tomorrow, after which there will be a preview of the filmmaker's most recent installation work for Sydney's Biennale - Home Movie.
Apsa also nominated Downriver's Reef Ireland for Best Performance by an Actor, Molly Reynolds' Another Country was nominated for a Best Documentary Feature Film prize (won by The Chinese Mayor), and Blinky Bill The Movie was nominated for Best Animated Feature. »
- Staff Writer
“Todd Haynes‘ filmography is often overwhelming in its intellectual acumen and emotional devastation,” we noted upon the release of his latest film this past fall. “This is true of Carol, which is at once a return to the deconstruction of femininity, social mores, and mild anarchy of privilege, as well as an honest and heartbreaking story about falling in love and the trepidation therein.” Over 100 film experts, ranging from critics to writers to programmers, agree on the emotional power of the drama, as they’ve voted it the best Lgbt film of all-time.
Conducted by BFI ahead of the 30th BFI Flare: London Lgbt Film Festival, they note this is the “first major critical survey of Lgbt films.” Speaking about leading the poll, Haynes said, “I’m so proud to have Carol voted as the top Lgbt film of all time in this poll launched for the Fest’s 30th edition. »
- Jordan Raup
Neon Bull has received almost nothing but fine notices in its lead-up to a theatrical release, over the past few months earning plaudits for its vision of non-masculine lifestyles and aspirations within the ostensibly macho world of Brazilian bull-handling and rodeos. Along with posting a complimentary, if not slightly hesitant, review out of last fall’s Hamburg Film Festival, we named it one of the 50 best 2016 films we’ve already seen.
Being that Kino will begin releasing Gabriel Mascaro‘s picture next month, a domestic trailer has arrived. We think it’s worth taking note of, at least when our review says, “[Even] within this loose storytelling structure, Neon Bull still functions as a casually transportive experience and a compelling investigation of masculinity in modern-day Latin America. Driven by Mascaro’s freely associative direction that draws heavily from the physicality and animalistic nature of rodeo races, the film approaches human sexuality »
- Nick Newman
Stylistically eclectic and impressively prolific, Brazilian auteur Gabriel Mascaro made the jump to narrative filmmaking in 2014 with “August Winds,” after directing several documentaries exploring his homeland’s class divide. His latest fictional work, “Neon Bull,” received wide acclaim after it premiered at the Venice Film Festival and Tiff 2015.
Shot my Mexican cinematographer Diego García, who also recently lensed Apichatpong Weerasethakul's “Cemetery of Splendor,” Mascaro’s film follows a cowboy who works at a local rodeo and spends his days among bulls. But when he becomes fascinated with creating colorful and sensual clothing items, the protagonist finds himself caught between the life he has always known and the passion that has opened new possibilities.
Take a look at the U.S. trailer above.
Kino Lorber will release "Neon Bull" theatrically in NYC on April 8th at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the film will also be featured in the upcoming New Directors/New Films series.
The Film Society of Lincoln Center will also screen a retrospective of the director's work titled 'Gabriel Mascaro: Ebbs and Flows,' which will take place April 15-21 and will give audiences a chance to see his diverse oeuvre.
The official synopsis reads as follows:
Wild, sensual and utterly transporting, Brazilian writer-director Gabriel Mascaro's second fiction feature unfolds within the world of the vaquejada, a traditional exhibition sport in which cowboys try to pull bulls to the ground by their tails. "Neon Bull" explores the vaquejada through the eyes of Iremar (Juliano Cazarre), a handsome cowboy who works the events. While he's not afraid to get his hands dirty, Iremar's real dream is to design exotic outfits for dancers. Synopsis courtesy of the Toronto International Film Festival.
Check out the mesmerizing official poster below »
- Carlos Aguilar
Rushes collects news, articles, images, videos and more for a weekly roundup of essential items from the world of film.NEWSThe Academy of the MusesThe announcement for what films have been selected for the Cannes Film Festival won't come for more than a month, but early speculation is rife. Critic Neil Young not only has a prediction of what'll be in this year's festival, but also the odds on which of those films will win the coveted Palm d'Or. Currently in the lead? Argentine director Lucrecia Martel's long-awaited Zama.For those lucky enough to be able to afford to live in London (or travel to it), the Tate Modern will host A Night with Apichatpong Weerasethakul, a 14-hour event with the director in person featuring "ghosts, dreams, stillness and sleep." We'll certainly dream of attending.The latest issue of Film Comment is on newsstands, and some of it has been posted online, »
There are few filmmakers working today who are like Thai auteur Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Besides having a name that leaves writers waking up in cold sweats, “Joe” as he lovingly goes by is the resident surrealist poet of Thai cinema, as interested in striking tones and moods as he is sending his films off into lands of wookie-like specters and fish with, ahem, oral capabilities, all while keeping them grounded by genuine human discussions about everything from grief to sexuality.
And then there’s Cemetery Of Splendor. Arguably the director’s most accessible work to date, relations can be made to previous Weerasethakul films, particularly Tropical Malady and the hospital-set pair of narratives in Syndromes and a Century, but this is a beast of an entirely different color. Khon Kaen is the setting of this film, specifically a former school that has become a clinic housing and healing military types who »
- Joshua Brunsting
Guadalajara – Confirming its status as Mexico’s major arthouse buyer, Nd Mantarraya, a joint distribution venture of Carlos Reygadas’ Nodream Cinema and producer partner Jaime Romandia’s Mantarraya, has sealed Mexican rights on seven Berlin Fest titles, including “Fire at Sea,” “Hedi,” “Youth” and a Le Pacte-sourced duo, “Irreplaceable” and “Saint Amour.”
Acquisitions underscore Berlin and Cannes’ paramount importance as arthouse distributors’ favored hunting ground with companies often buying the lion’s share of their annual art title trawl at two events.
They also come as Mantarraya preps its first period drama at its commercial label Cadereyta, “Nahui Olin,” with Daniel Jimenez Cacho (“Bad Education,” “Zama”) in the role of the celebrated model-poet’s lover, Doctor Atl.
Mantarraya buys take in two big Berlin kudos hits: “Fire at Sea,” Gianfranco Rosi’s Golden Bear winner, and Mohamed Ben Attia’s “Hedi,” another competition entry which snagged best actor (Majd Mastoura »
- John Hopewell
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