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Movie Poster of the Week: “Jules et Jim” and an Interview with Designer Christian Broutin

5 May 2012 6:40 AM, PDT

One of my earliest Movie Posters of the Week, a few years ago, was for a stunning poster for Bresson’s Pickpocket. Back then I noted that it was “designed by one Christian Broutin. It turns out that Broutin (who was born in 1933 and only 26 when he designed this) also designed the conceptually similar poster for Jules and Jim, another of my all-time favorite French affiches.” In the comments somebody asked if I knew anything else about Broutin but I did not and could not find out much more on the web other than that he was also a children’s book illustrator.

A few months ago I came across another great poster attributed to Broutin and in my search for a better quality image for the poster I discovered his website (“Welcome to the site of Christian Broutin, maxi-realist painter, illustrator, creator of stamps”) which told me that Christian Broutin is alive and well, »

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Video of the day: Adam Yauch's "Fight For Your Right Revisited"

4 May 2012 3:38 PM, PDT

Beastie Boys co-founder and all around musical mastermind Adam Yauch has passed away from cancer today. Yauch was involved with many creative endevours and causes over the years, and his interest in film saw him co-founding Oscilloscope Laboratories. In 2011 he directed the B-Boys homage Fight for Your Right Revisited, which we're now showing on Mubi for free. Watch it here.

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The Matter of Design

4 May 2012 1:57 PM, PDT

Above: The Penn Station set for The Clock.

"Loving evaluation of texture, the screen being filled as a window is dressed in a swank department store." —Orson Welles

If we accept Raymond Durgnat's theory that in cinema, landscape is the equation of the state of the soul and architecture constitutes an X-ray photograph of the heroes'1, then Minnelli's films, especially musicals and melodramas, can be described as full-color X-ray photography of the inner universe of his characters, with a particular interest in artists, daydreamers, painters and dancers.

Minnelli's films generally happen in strange places. In his musicals the absence of modern urban life (unlike Stanley Donen, for instance) is noticeable. The real is recreated by studio-manufactured settings, where also the unreal, the fantasy, takes place. Minnelli's films are the encounter of two worlds, two parallel lines, which in reality never happen to cross each other. Although it is true that »

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Goodbye, David

2 May 2012 6:32 PM, PDT

David Hudson joined Mubi’s Notebook in July of 2009 and immediately redefined our project with the publication, providing an invaluable service of news finding and curating to present to online cinephiles the most essential and interesting stories of each day.

Despite the section’s name and its up-to-the-minute reporting, the present wasn’t the Daily’s only concern; continuing his work for GreenCine Daily and The Daily at IFC, David strove to build an Internet archive of contemporary film commentary, time capsules of what people were talking about in the cinema world at a precise moment in time. These frozen moments also became stories, as from this archive what often emerged were small narratives as David tracked the commentary that emerged on a single film throughout its varied journey through the world. Discovery, too, is a core element of David’s work, where he serves not just as reporter, curator, »

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The Forgotten: Stain-Resistant

2 May 2012 6:08 PM, PDT

Giuseppe Patroni Griffi deserves attention. His chic revenger's tragedy 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (1971) is one possible way in: you get Charlotte Rampling, an Ennio Morricone score that's just a Jacobean riff on his spaghetti western stylings, lashings of sex and gore, and a design sensibility which pays some kind of lip service to period while being deliriously seventies at all times, so that it would not be too surprising if Oliver Tobias donned a set of sixteenth century tinted shades, or a tie-dyed doublet.

An alternative entry point is Identikit (1974), Aka The Driver's Seat, from the novel of that name by Muriel Spark. It's the tale of a mysterious woman wandering through a nameless city, hoping to rendezvous with "a friend" whom she's apparently never met. In a parallel plot thread, apparently taking place a day or two later, the police are interrogating everyone she's come into contact with. »

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From Dan Flavin to Michelangelo Antonioni

30 April 2012 11:46 PM, PDT

At New York's Morgan Library & Museum is a terrific exhibit on Dan Flavin's drawings, running through July 1, 2012. Drawings are not something I associated with Flavin, and certainly not the three-part assortment the Morgan is exhibiting: art from Flavin's personal collection; the artist's own paintings and independent drawings; and the centerpieces of the exhibit, which are both sketches for sculptural ideas Flavin wanted to produce as well as records of pieces he ended up producing (the exhibit also includes two finished examples of his fluorescent light sculptures).

The reason why I mention this exhibit on the Notebook is that I discovered that Flavin conceptualized a piece after seeing Michelangelo Antonioni's La notte (1961), dedicating it to the filmmaker:

The text on the drawing reads:

This Construction Exposes Anything In Itself (You May Pass Through It) To M. Antonioni For La Notte

The Morgan's note accompanying the piece at the exhibit is »

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Jürgen Fauth's "Kino"

30 April 2012 2:27 PM, PDT

"Mina stumbled and fell headlong into her apartment, smacking her knees and the palms of her hands on the hardwood floor. She bit her lip, cursed, resisted the temptation to cry. Rubbing her bruised joints, she turned to see what had tripped her."

And we're off. Those are the opening lines of Jürgen Fauth's rollicking debut novel, Kino, and the tale, told through lost-and-found journals, frantic emails and late night soliloquies, hurls Mina and the reader from that New York apartment to contemporary Berlin, the Berlin of the Weimar Era, sun-baked Hollywood and a film set on a beach in Mexico where the cast and crew pretty much go collectively insane. What Mina's stumbled over, we learn in a few brisk pages, are canisters containing the reels of a film long thought lost, made some eight decades previous by the grandfather she knows too little about, Klaus Koblitz, known in his day by his nickname, »

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Daily Briefing. Summertime! "Avengers," "Prometheus," Etc.

30 April 2012 11:38 AM, PDT

"Apart from being supersmart, Joss Whedon has the perfect credentials to write and direct a colossal commercial construct like Marvel's The ­Avengers," begins David Edelstein in this week's New York. "He plainly loves the opportunity to put these comic-book icons — Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) — in one room and let them hang out, spar (with words as well as hammers, shields, etc), and weigh the merits of individualism versus teamwork. Really — debate is as important to him as 'Hulk, smash!' The movie would be all over the place if not for Whedon's centrifugal seriousness. And it would be overbearingly pompous if not for his nifty ability to spoof his subjects without devaluing them. Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and other Whedon wonders, The Avengers is both campy and ­reverential."

The Avengers, slated to open in the Us on Friday, »

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Cannes 2012. 7 Films Added to the Lineup

30 April 2012 7:16 AM, PDT

The Cannes Film Festival's just announced that it's added seven films to the lineup of the Official Selection.

There'll be one new Special Screening, Candida Brady's documentary about the world's waste, Trashed. Via Anthony Kaufman, here's the site.

Two Midnight Screenings: Wayne Blair's The Sapphires, about the Australian aboriginal singing group, and Franck Khalfoun's Maniac, a 3D remake starring Elijah Wood.

Three new titles will be screening in Un Certain Regard:

Aida Begic's Djeca. Adam Leon's Gimme the Loot. See the SXSW and New Directors / New Films roundups. Gilles Bourdos's Renoir, to be screened at the closing ceremony.

And finally, György Pálfi's montage film Final Cut (Hölgyeim És Uraim), produced by Béla Tarr and created out of around 400 films, will close Cannes Classics. Trailer at the top.

For news and tips throughout the day every day, follow @thedailyMUBI on Twitter and/or the RSS feed. »

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