3 items from 2011
Each year New York residents can look forward to two essential series programmed at the Film Forum, noirs and pre-Coders (that is, films made before the strict enforcing of the Motion Picture Production Code). These near-annual retrospective traditions are refreshed and re-varied and re-repeated for neophytes and cinephiles alike, giving all the chance to see and see again great film on film. Many titles in this year's Essential Pre-Code series, running an epic July 15 - August 11, are old favorites and some ache to be new discoveries; all in all there are far too many racy, slipshod, patter-filled celluloid splendors to be covered by one critic alone. Faced with such a bounty, I've enlisted the kind help of some friends and colleagues, asking them to sent in short pieces on their favorites in an incomplete but also in-progress survey and guide to one of the summer's most sought-after series. In this entry: what's playing Friday, »
Illuminating the Shadows: Film Criticism in Focus is a free three-day event kicking off this evening at the Block Cinema at Northwestern University when Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips introduces a screening of Errol Morris's Tabloid (2010). The panels start rolling out tomorrow when Nick Davis moderates a discussion of the history of film criticism with Farran Smith Nehme (whom many will know as the Self-Styled Siren), Jonathan Rosenbaum, Fred Camper, Dave Kehr and Gabe Klinger.
Dave Kehr will then introduce a screening of Raoul Walsh's Sailor's Luck (1933). When he presented the film at the Museum of the Moving Image last month, Moving Image Source ran the essay on Walsh that appears in Kehr's new book, When Movies Mattered: Reviews from a Transformative Decade: "I can think of no other case of a filmmaker whose work was so widely, and rightly, perceived as important, but yet received so little intelligent attention. »
Two days ago, David Phelps and I had the privilege to sit down and talk to Dave Kehr, who we consider to be one of America's best film critics. Luckily for us all, Kehr is still writing criticism; he currently writes regularly for the New York Times and casually hosts a small and impassioned film discussion community on his website, davekehr.com. He is now publishing a wonderful book of his criticism from the 1970s and 1980s in a collection called "When Movies Mattered: Reviews from a Transformative Decade", which includes terrific pieces on City of Pirates, Raoul Walsh (re-printed here), Risky Business, Carl Th. Dreyer, When a Woman Ascends the Stairs, and many more. It is essential reading: crisp, clear prose that leads the reader through a film or a filmmaker's work, characterizing and encapsulating, providing evidence simply, accurately, and expressively. On the occasion of the book's publication, the »
3 items from 2011
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