6 items from 2012
For the tenth edition of Film Art: An Introduction, David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson are partnering with Criterion to present Connect Film, an hour-long set of twenty videos on various aspects of filmmaking addressed in the now-classic textbook. Above: "Elliptical Editing in Vagabond (1985)." Kristin Thompson: "Most of the other Connect examples illustrate the chapters on the four types of film technique: mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing, and sound. There's also a short documentary about digital animation."
More books. You may remember that Dave Kehr is quite an admirer of the writing of Arlene Croce, a dance critic for the New Yorker from 1973 to 1998. She's also the author of The Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers Book and, in the new issue of the New York Review of Books, she reviews Todd Decker's Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz and Kathleen Riley's The Astaires: Fred and Adele. As the Boston Globe's Mark Feeney writes, »
DVD or Blu-ray? Redbox or Netflix? Streaming? Whatever your poison, we've got the highlights and lowlights on the week's new releases -- as well a double-shot of exclusive Clint Eastwood clips from the new release "J. Edgar" and the 20th anniversary Blu-ray of "Unforgiven." Moviefone's Pick of the Week "Puss in Boots"(Friday, February 24) What's It About? Antonio Banderas' fan-favorite feline from the "Shrek' series gets his own movie. With Humpty Dumpty and the mysterious Kitty Softpaws at his side, the swashbuckling cat attempts to steal golden goose eggs from a giant's castle, and creates a whole new set of fractured fairy tale adventures. See It Because: Even if the "Shrek" series has worn thin, "Puss" has enough lively charm to feel like something new; the voice cast plays their parts with a lot of loose, madcap energy and the animation is wonderfully imaginative. Also Available On Redbox »
- Eric Larnick
You have to be 18 or older to see You Killed Me First, which, according to the Kw Institute of Contemporary Art, is the first exhibition on the Cinema of Transgression. There'll be a talk with Nick Zedd on Tuesday evening, followed by another with Richard Kern on Wednesday. The exhibition's opened this weekend and will be on view through April 9.
Also in Berlin, and starting tomorrow, the Arsenal will be screening a selection of titles from the Forum program at this year's just-wrapped Berlinale. Eleven films over eleven evenings, beginning with the three films by Yuzo Kawashima, The Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate (1957), Suzaki Paradise: Red Light (1956) and Between Yesterday and Tomorrow (1954), and ending with the two restorations of films by Shirley Clarke, Ornette: Made in America (1984) and The Connection (1961).
Next week, the Arsenal wraps its series of films by Ulrike Ottinger by screening her Berlin Trilogy »
"The miracle of Lionel Rogosin's apartheid drama Come Back, Africa isn't that it's a solid, affecting artifact of a cruel society, but that it exists at all," begins Bill Weber in Slant. "In the wake of his debut film, the New York skid-row chronicle On the Bowery, Rogosin set out in 1957 for Johannesburg, and for months laid the groundwork for surreptitiously shooting a follow-up that would lay bare the pain and humiliations of black South Africans subjugated by the white majority, enlisting native writers Lewis Nkosi and Bloke Modisane to collaborate on the scenario. Mixing documentary-like footage with scripted scenes as he had in his first feature, the filmmaker heavily features music and dance by throngs of street performers, a diegetically captured salve for the wounds of extreme poverty and social oppression — and an ideal camouflage of his critical agenda from the South African authorities, who were persuaded that »
by Vadim Rizov
Come Back, Africa's primary intent is explicitly polemical: to depict apartheid in action and show the world what it was condoning through inaction. After premiering at the 1959 Venice Film Festival, director Lionel Rogosin couldn't find a distributor and opened his own theater in New York* in 1960. By the time the film opened there, the Sharpeville massacre—in which South African police opened fire on a crowd and killed 69 Africans—had taken place, so his message came through amplified.
When evaluating revivals of socially important documents, a standard critical fallback is "flawed but powerful," a grudging assessment inadvertently implying worthy intentions trump bad filmmaking; such caveats don't help anyone and wouldn't get at what makes Come Back, Africa interesting. A few years ago, Film Forum's revival of Rogosin's 1954 On the Bowery unexpectedly drew sell-out crowds eager to soak up his non-judgmental, flavorful portrait of the long-gone bars and bums of Bowery St. »
Two of my favorite new posters right now, for two films opening within the next few weeks in New York, are both designed by one of my favorite designers, Scott Meola. I wrote about Scott’s work before when I featured his poster for On the Bowery back in 2010. Come Back, Africa, which Milestone Film is opening in New York next Friday, was Lionel Rogosin’s follow-up to Bowery, a film shot clandestinely in the townships of Johannesburg, South Africa in 1959. The film’s pointed condemnation of apartheid and joyful celebration of township culture is hinted at in the accidental split-screen image of the poster’s photograph, with its busking children below scornful onlookers (I love how Meola zeroes in on the prime representative of this police state within the middle C of the title).
The poster for Béla Tarr’s The Turin Horse, which opens on February 10th, (and which, »
6 items from 2012
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