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Rushes. Asian Film Awards, James Gray, Anatomy of a Gag, Agnès Varda

19 hours ago

Get in touch to send in cinephile news and discoveriesNEWSLam SuetThis year's Asian Film Awards are most notable for giving beloved Hong Kong character actor (and Johnnie To axiom) Lam Suet the award for Best Supporting Actor (for Trivisa). We were also happy to see that Tsui Hark (still madly inventive with this year's Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back) was given the Lifetime Achievement Award.Chinese actress Li Li-hua has died at the age of 92. While not very well known in the West—except perhaps in the obscure Frank Borzage film China Doll (1958)—Li's work for the Shaw Brothers studio and, later, Golden Harvest, minted many classics, including Li Han-hsiang's The Magnificent Concubine (1962), and Storm Over the Yangtse River (1969), as well as King Hu's The Fate of Lee Khan (1975).For those who aren't able to travel to the Locarno Film Festival but are able to »

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The Nature of Borowczyk’s Passion: Close-Up on "The Beast"

21 March 2017 12:32 PM, PDT

Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. The retrospective The Many Sins of Walerian Borowczyk is showing February 12 - June 18, 2017 in the United States and in many other countries around the world.As the reverberation of horses fervently neighing and clomping their hooves begins to permeate the opening credit soundtrack of The Beast, one may recall the similarly orchestrated donkey brays that introduce Robert Bresson’s Au hasard Balthazar (1966). Or, given its title, and the very basic concept of a young woman becoming enamored with an savage creature, one may be tempted to compare this 1975 feature to the many variations of Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s classic fairy tale, La belle et la bête. One would be more than a little confounded, however, by making either inadequate association. If Walerian Borowczyk’s semi-porn-semi-art-semi-monster movie bears any resemblance to another film or story, it would be »

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What I Did Last Summer: Close-Up on Takeshi Kitano’s "Kikujiro"

21 March 2017 12:11 PM, PDT

Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Takeshi Kitano's Kikujiro (1999) is showing March 23 - April 22, 2017  in the United Kingdom in the series Kitano x 3.1With each viewing, Takeshi Kitano’s Kikujiro becomes increasingly porous. The gaps are clear: though the film is the story of Masao, a young boy searching for his estranged mother, and Kikujiro, the former yakuza forced to accompany him, they and the strangers they encounter exist without much background. The sleepy-eyed Masao (Yusuke Sekiguchi) speaks only in short murmurs. Meanwhile, Kikujiro (Takeshi Kitano) spends most of the film gambling off the two’s spending money at the track cycling racetracks, only to develop a compassion so subtle that he himself does not notice it. Simply put, the film is a blur, or a series of blurs.But these lacks of interconnectedness are why Kikujiro has only gotten better with age, »

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Reappearing Fireflies: Bruce Baillie in Vienna

20 March 2017 8:20 PM, PDT

Bruce Baillie. Courtesy of Lux. The first time he saw Bruce Baillie, a fiery Peter Kubelka recounted in front of an amused audience at the Austrian Film Museum, the American filmmaker was pulling off a headstand in a classroom before taking his students out on the campus to collect garbage. In the filmmaking of Baillie and his organization Canyon Cinema, which was showcased from January 30 to February 3 in five programs curated by Garbiñe Ortega, ideas of life and community are transformed into sounds, colors and film. Sometimes those ideas exceed the films. As Mr. Baillie has put it himself in an interview with Richard Corliss in 1971, “I always felt that I brought as much truth out of the environment as I could, but I’m tired of coming out of. . . . I want everybody really lost, and I want us all to be at home there. Something like that. Actually I am not interested in that, »

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Journal (6.6.16 - 1.10.17)

20 March 2017 8:00 AM, PDT

The latest installment in the filmmaker's series of journal-films combining iPhone footage and sounds and images from movies. A diary penned with cinema.Journal (6.6.16 - 1.10.17)feat. additional footage from Masha Tupitsyn and Isiah MedinaMy journal-film series (of which this is the third installment) came to be as a means of resolving the points of convergence and departure amongst the environments I occupy and those which I encounter in cinema. I like to view these films as a method of managing the images that take up my thoughts and memories into a new continuity, one in which the distinction between images seen on-screen and those personally experienced is no longer absolute.    In dissolving this partition, these films provide a vector for the animation conceptual concerns through cinema - montage fulfilling that which language can only formally describe and vice versa. The following essay outlines some of the concerns this film attempts »

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Playthings Playing Things Straight: Close-Up on Anna Biller’s "Viva"

20 March 2017 6:49 AM, PDT

Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Anna Biller's Viva (2007) is showing March 7 - April 6, 2017  in the United Kingdom in the series 7 Women.“Wait! I’m not through with promoting you yet!”— Mr. Humphreys, Viva “What you’re describing sounds kind of dark.”—Sheila, Viva It’s 1972, the opening voiceover tells us. It’s Los Angeles, too. “And the people, ordinary.” In sunny suburbia—detached homes, long lawns, pools out back—Barbi (Anna Biller) visits her neighbors, Mark (Jared Sanford) and Sheila (Bridget Brno), to express her boredom in light of husband Rick (Chad England) doing a stint of overtime at the office. Mark and Sheila live the life: liquor before noon, dialogue quoting from advertising slogans, sexual innuendos. Mark marvels over his latest purchase, a camera, citing its technical features like a salesman: “Nd filters—now that’s a professional camera!” It isn’t long, »

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