13 items from 2014
Editors Adrian Martin and Girish Shambu have begun rolling out the fifth issue of Lola, wherein you'll find essays on European directors in Hollywood in the 1940s and 50s (Michael Curtiz, Anatole Litvak, Ernst Lubitsch, Billy Wilder, Curtis Bernhardt, William Dieterle, Fritz Lang, Otto Preminger, Robert Siodmak and Fred Zinnemann) and more. Also in today's roundup of news and views: Greil Marcus and Don DeLillo on Bob Dylan, an interview with Manoel de Oliveira, a 1963 essay by Gregory J. Markopoulos, an oral history of Philip Kaufman's The Right Stuff, David Lynch's lessons on filmmaking and more. » - David Hudson »
Arts Spotlight: Given the chance, what would Philip Roth change about his classic Portnoy’s Complaint? Is there something more Patti Smith wanted to say in Just Kids? How did Robert Caro feel revisiting The Power Broker for the first time in forty years?Pen America has asked 75 of America’s greatest writers and artists to annotate a first edition of one of their classic works to be auctioned by Christie’s on December 2nd. Proceeds from First Editions/Second Thoughts will benefit the mission of Pen to promote freedom of creative expression worldwide.Paul Auster, Don DeLillo, Barbara Kingsolver, Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, Stephen […] »
- April Neale
In David Cronenberg’s world, sex hurts so good; it’s innately disgusting and primeval but at the same time beautiful and becoming. (Kind of like sex in the real world, when you think about it.) Bodies degenerate and mental states corrode under the influence of lust, and yet something new is engendered by the collision of bodies, bodily fluids, the ripping of flesh and the mangling of organs. Through the carrion of ugly comes the attractive flesh, the new flesh. Videodrome, as Jonathan Lethem once quipped, remains Cronenberg’s most penetrative film; he creates a world at once rooted in modernity circa 1983–a world afraid of the advent of television usurping our humanity, over-stimulated times ushering in the end times–and existing in a timeless, placeless vacuum. It’s vast and claustrophobic, prescient and paranoid, of the same lineage as early James Cameron »
- Greg Cwik
American literary titan Philip Roth, the Gojira to Don DeLillo’s Mothra, is one of those few famous writers largely untroubled by Hollywood. Until now, that is. Phillip Noyce is working to bring one of his greatest books, the Pulitzer Prize-winning American Pastoral, to the screen and has added Dakota Fanning to a cast roster than already includes Ewan McGregor and Jennifer Connelly.Set during the Vietnam War years, American Pastoral follows Seymour ‘Swede’ Levov (McGregor), a once all-conquering high-school athlete, who’s married to a beauty queen (Connelly) and runs the business he’s inherited from his dad. All seems well in Swede’s world until his daughter Merry (Fanning) joins the countercultural clamour of the time, signing up as a revolutionary and committing a fatal act of violence that throws all their lives into chaos.Noyce, who inherited the project from Fisher Stevens (Stand Up Guys), has been »
★★★★☆In Don DeLillo's Cosmopolis, the dutiful limo driver of billionaire asset manager Eric Packer coldly describes how the traffic before them "speaks in quarter inches". The same could be said of the stars of French-Taiwanese collaboration Journey to the West (Xi You, 2014), the experimental new film from Stray Dogs director Tsai Ming-liang, featuring Denis Lavant and Lee Kang-sheng as a Buddhist monk. A pristinely shot, provocative meditation on humankind's rapidly quickening tempo of life, Journey to the West's central conceit was perfectly illustrated by the walkouts of those viewers too impatient to 'waste' 56 minutes of their time at its Berlinale unveiling earlier this year. »
- CineVue UK
The duo will present six films, focusing on new ideas and overlooked titles. As with the rest of the lineup, the names will be unveiled on opening day.
“Guy and Kim have long been a part of Telluride,” said Telluride Film Festival executive director Julie Huntsinger. “There was no question that they were the perfect choice for this year’s Festival. Their energy, knowledge and enthusiasm is a winning combination – our audience will benefit from that when their selections are unveiled at the Festival!”
The duo told Variety that they have already selected the six films, which include one restored print.
“What we particularly like about Telluride is that they’re willing to take a chance,” Maddin said. “We want people to be »
- Dave McNary
This must be how people escape the pull of the earth, the gravitational leaf-flutter that brings us hourly closer to dying. Simply stop obeying. Steal instead of buy, shoot instead of talk.
–Don Delillo, White Noise
Sometimes while looking through my old notebooks and blogs, I wonder what kind of picture the media would paint of me if I ever committed an overly violent act. I’ve spent many years gushing over horror films, playing violent video games, indulging in various mind-altering substances, and writing about the ways in which I’m frustrated by society. So in other words, I’d be up shit creek – destined to go down as one of society’s crazies. Never mind that I am cognitively sound and have never displayed any tendencies of antisocial behaviour; yet I’d be made into a monster simply for the benefit of keeping up appearances. I mean, ‘normal »
- Griffin Bell
Exclusive: Veteran producer to adapt Joseph Conrad’s novel.
Written in 1897 and drawing on his own experience in the Congo, it deals with two European men who are assigned to a trading post in a remote part of the African jungle. But as isolation demoralises the pair and diseases weaken them, the story ultimately ends in tragedy.
The film will shoot in Angola, close to the location in which Conrad wrote the story, and will be directed by Hugo Vieira Da Silva. The cast is led by Nuno Lopes. It will be made through Leopardo Filmes and Amour Fou Vienna as a Portuguese-Austrian coproduction.
Meanwhile, together »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Geoffrey Macnab)
The dialogue, the soundtrack, the sheer directionless excitement Tarantino's thunderclap of a thriller is just as brilliant as it was two decades ago
Twenty years on, Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction has been rereleased in cinemas, and it looks as mesmeric and mad as ever: callous, insolent, breathtaking. The icy wit, the connoisseur soundtrack, the violence (of which the N-bombs are a part), the extended dialogue riffing, the trance-like unreality, the inspired karmic balance of the heroin scene and the adrenalin scene, the narrative switchbacks that allow John Travolta to finish the film both alive and dead, the spectacle of him being made to dance badly, but also sort of brilliantly above all else, the sheer directionless excitement that only Tarantino can conjure. In 1994 it broke over my head like a thunderclap, and in 1990s Britain this touchstone of cool seemed to extend its dangerous influence everywhere: movies, fiction, journalism, »
- Peter Bradshaw
With only hours ago before the official selection for the Main Competition is announced, we’ve narrowed our final predictions to the following titles that we’re crystal-balling as the films that will be included on Thierry Fremaux’s highly anticipated list. Despite an obvious drought of Asian auteurs (we’re thinking the rumored frontrunner Takashi Miike won’t be included in tomorrow’s list) who’s to say there won’t be some definite surprises, like Jia Zhang-ke’s A Touch of Sin last year.
Several hopefuls appear not to be ready in time, including Malick, Hsou-hsien, Cristi Puiu, and Innarritu, to name a few. But there does appear to be a high quantity of exciting titles from some of cinema’s leading auteurs. We’re still a bit tentative about whether Xavier Dolan’s latest, Mommy, will get a main competition slot—instead, we’re predicting another surprise, »
- IONCINEMA.com Contributing Writers
“I made Mama think I was depressed – or maybe I was depressed. I don’t know. I felt like I was pretending to be depressed to avoid having the talk. But maybe I was really depressed and just thought I was pretending.”
After reading the film’s synopsis— “17-year-old Jackie is in distress as her older brother Matthew gets his first girlfriend and prepares for college. Though Matthew does not share her incestuous desire, Jackie resists the intrusion of reality on her idyllic childhood world.”—The Unspeakable Act sounds like your typical, American indie filled with moments of pseudo-psychology, overly clever dialogue, and exaggerated self-importance. But it is one of the most assured and insightful films of 2013 – and one of the least-seen. Despite a glowing review from Film Comment’s Jonathan Robbins and a spot on Ignatiy Vishnevetsky’s ‘best of’ list, the film has yet to gain the type of recognition it deserves. »
- Griffin Bell
Feature Ryan Lambie 9 Jan 2014 - 06:25
It really doesn't seem that long since David Cronenberg completed his Don DeLillo adaptation Cosmopolis, and subsequently found himself without a project to direct. He had plenty of projects in mind - Eastern Promises 2, a sequel to The Fly, and a satire named Maps To The Stars - yet bizarrely, he simply couldn't get the financial backing to make any of them.
Happily, Cronenberg's fortunes have changed since, and in November 2012, he finally got the financing he needed for that latter project. Written by Bruce Wagner (of Wild Palms fame) it's described as a drama, thriller and satire. And from production company eOne's brief summary alone, it sounds brilliant:
Led by the loathsome yet funny and touching child-star Benjie, we »
The following is a powerful excerpt from the influential postmodern scribe and great mind, Don DeLillo, vividly illustrating man's paramount prerogative of lacanian fantasy and psycho-hygiene concealed in the inherent virtue of homo sapiens in the novel White Noise. "How much pleasure did you take as a kid, Lasher said, in imagining yourself dead? Never mind as a kid, Grappa said. I still do it all the time. Whenever I´m upset over something, I imagine all my friends, relatives and colleagues gathered at my bier. They are very, very sorry they weren't nicer to me while I lived. Self-pity is something I've worked very hard to maintain. Why abandon it just because you grow up? Self-pity is something that children are very good at, which...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
13 items from 2014
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