5 items from 2015
Above: Franciszek Starowieyski’s 1970 poster for Mademoiselle (Tony Richardson, UK/France, 1966).In Christopher Nolan’s new short film about the Quay Brothers (titled—with Nolan’s predilection for mono-nomenclature—simply Quay) he gives us a clue to some of the twin animators’ influences in the film’s opening shots. After drawing back the curtains in their curiosity shop of a studio, Timothy Quay opens a glass cupboard to remove a book. Blink and you’ll miss it, but on the shelves are books on Marcel Duchamp, Spanish sculptor Juan Muñoz, Czech artists Jan Zrzavy, Vlastislav Hofman and Jindrich Heisler, and—most prominently—a book on Polish artist Franciszek Starowieyski.I wrote a few years ago about the Quays’ love of Polish film posters and Franciszek Starowieyski (1930-2009) is one of the indisputable later masters of the Polish school. From the mid 50s until the late 80s he produced some 100 film »
- Adrian Curry
In the wake of the wild success of Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, the idiosyncratic French filmmaker was lured by Hollywood move to southern California to produce what would become Model Shop. With his wife and fellow cinematic genius Agnès Varda in tow, they moved to Los Angeles in 1967 where Varda would dive headlong into a series of expressively free form personal projects that would be begin with an adventure North to Sausalito where she would meet a distant relative and the subject of her first film included in Criterion’s wonderful new Agnès Varda in California Eclipse set, Uncle Yanco.
Fitting right in line with the personal essay films that would become somewhat of a signature in her late period output with works like The Gleaners and I and The Beaches of Agnès, Uncle Yanco is an invigorating sun-kissed introduction to the progressive, hippy lifestyle that her »
- Jordan M. Smith
When, in 1967, Jacques Demy asked his wife, Agnès Varda to join him in California, where he was working on his first American feature (Model Shop, released in 1969), she agreed. Turns out, she was surprised to find herself falling in love with Los Angeles the moment she arrived. And she got to work, making three of the films collected in Criterion's box set Eclipse Series 43: Agnès Varda in California; she'd return in the early 80s to make the two others. We're collecting reviews of Uncle Yanco (1967), Black Panthers (1968), Lions Love (…And Lies) (1969), Murs Murs (1980) and Documenteur (1981). » - David Hudson »
Part of a wave of welcome recognition, influential filmmaker Agnes Varda will receive an honorary Palme d’Or at this year’s 68th Cannes Festival. She follows in the footsteps of just Woody Allen (2002), Clint Eastwood (2009) and Bernardo Bertolucci (2011).
The award goes to renowned directors whose works have achieved global impact but who have never won the Cannes Festival’s Palme d’Or, the festival explained, announcing the honor Saturday. Varda will receive the plaudit at the Cannes Festival’s closing ceremony on May 24.
The honorary Palme d’Or follows a tribute at 2014’s Locarno Festival and a lifetime achievement award from the European Film Academy, presented last December at the 27th European Film Awards.
It marks recognition for a figure whose career is often associated with the French Nouvelle Vague but begun a half-decade before with 1954’s “La Pointe Courte,” her first feature film, which starred Philippe Noiret and was edited by Alain Resnais. »
- John Hopewell
Written by Doran William Cannon
Directed by Otto Preminger
Of the nearly 70 films I’ve written about in this column, I would whole-heartedly recommend each without reservation, to not only watch, but to spend good money on. With 1968′s Skidoo, out now on a new Olive Films Blu-ray, I’m breaking that tradition. I wouldn’t suggest anyone purchase this film, though everyone should see it. This is a most unusual, absolutely indefinable, wholly unique motion picture.
I initially viewed Skidoo on the sole basis of its starring Alexandra Hay, who I’ve been smitten with since first seeing her in Jacques Demy’s Model Shop, released the following year. On this point, Skidoo succeeds. Hay is a delightful beauty, charming in a way that is very much of the era. Admittedly unfamiliar with her biography, I can’t imagine why she didn’t have more of a career. »
- Jeremy Carr
5 items from 2015
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