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3 items from 2014

The Noteworthy: Dwan Dossier, Remembering Rooney, 100 French Films

9 April 2014 11:25 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

The full, 462 page English version of Allan Dwan: A Dossier, published by LUMIÈRE, edited by David Phelps and Gina Telaroli, and translated with Ted Fendt and Bill Krohn, is now online for free! Farran Nehme, the "Self-Styled Siren", has some lovely words on the recently departed Mickey Rooney:

"Few terms are crueler than has-been. A has-been is Norma Desmond rattling around an empty mansion. Avoiding strong light like a vampire, bitterly dishing old enemies to skeptical interviewers. So focused on looking back that you never move forward.

Mickey Rooney was never a true has-been in his life, not with 90 years of work. Shorts and features, A pictures and B pictures, star turns and character parts. Social dramas, musicals, an impressive run of noirs, comedies, Emmy awards, sitcoms, a hit Broadway show. The Siren spotted him in The Muppets in 2011 and heard a college-age woman whisper to her companion, »

- Adam Cook

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Movie Poster of the Week: Ernst Lubitsch’s “Broken Lullaby” and Other Auteurs Gone Wild

21 March 2014 6:18 PM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Above: Swedish one sheet by Gösta Åberg for Broken Lullaby (Ernst Lubitsch, USA, 1932).

This rather unusual Swedish design, a mélange of various type and illustrative styles, is a poster for one of Ernst Lubitsch’s lesser known and most atypical films: Broken Lullaby (a.k.a. The Man I Killed). A dark film about a French soldier tormented by the memory of a German soldier—and fellow musician—whom he killed in Wwi, it screens this weekend and next in New York at Anthology Film Archives as part of "Auteurs Gone Wild," a tantalizing series programmed by Notebook contributor David Phelps.

The series includes nine refreshingly less-than-obvious works—all on 35mm—by such canonical figures as Hitchcock, Chaplin, Cukor, Capra, Lang and Von Sternberg. Phelps has chosen to shine a light on these authors’ least representative films: films that have been overlooked because they don’t fit the mold, because »

- Adrian Curry

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Program Notes Gone Wild

20 March 2014 11:36 PM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

A 9-film series of not-quite-classics (on 35mm), "Auteurs Gone Wild" runs at Anthology Film Archives from March 20-30, 2014; what follows are the director's cut of the program notes (with production stills of the auteurs themselves, mid-wild)—


If the Hollywood auteurs were the ghosts in the studio machine, what would they look like exorcised? Rather than author, the word "auteur" might have referred to a kind of rhetorician working within genre codes that, once decoded, would only reveal his own commentary on them. But what would happen if this auteur cleared his throat, managed a sip of water, and tried speaking in his own tongue? Typically, the critics who had authored the auteur as a placeholder and retroactive justification for their own generic interpretations would have to snub such attempts to break out of genre molds to go strange, personal places. For the irony is that these works, kind of laboratory »

- David Phelps

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