10 items from 2010
Is it a revelation or a revolution? It’s both! The Revelation Perth International Film Festival is tackling the theme of “Revolution” when its 13th annual edition begins violating Australia on July 8-18. Get set for 11 days filled French zombies, Belgian cowboys, outer space outlaws, Beat poets, cat ladies, gospel musicians and other revolutionaries.
Actually, one of the main features of the festival this year is a slew of music documentaries, mostly spotlighting both American and Australian music. On the U.S. side of things there’s Wheedle’s Groove, a look at the history of Seattle funk; Rejoice and Shout, which examines gospel music’s impact on African-American culture — and vice versa; Tom Dicillo’s Doors documentary When You’re Strange; plus The Family Jams and 72 Musicians. And, from Australia, there’s Megan Simpson-Hubberman’s classic concert film The Night of the Triffids.
There’s lots more than music docs, »
- Mike Everleth
Los Angeles may be considered the film capital of the world, but what is “film” these days anyway? A new L.A-based festival has just popped up that addresses and celebrates all of the unique forms that visual storytelling can take in our new media world.
The inaugural New Media Film Festival will run the course of one weekend, June 11-13, at the Downtown Independent theater and show a mix of Internet-based short films, “webisodes,” documentaries that deal with the way media influences and is influenced by real world affairs and feature films in which new media figures as a major story element.
While the festival is strictly concerned with new media, I do want to note that there is a slight “underground” connection. While the fest was founded by Susan Johnston, the event’s Artistic Director is David Kleiler, who founded the Boston Underground Film Festival way back in 1998. Plus, »
- Mike Everleth
While Hollywood continued to have one its slowest summer box offices in recent memory ("Shrek Forever After" topped the charts for a third weekend in a row with just $25 million), Indiewood didn't fare much better. Of a small batch of openers, only three reported estimates early today - none of which were particularly earth shattering. Johan Grimonprez's Hitchcock/Cold War documentary "Double Take" grossed $5,000 from its exclusive engagement at New »
Johan Grimonprez’s Double Take is an ambitious essay-film, examining Cold War paranoia through the prism of Alfred Hitchcock’s films and TV shows from the late ’50s to the mid ’60s. With no narration (outside of vintage radio broadcasts and some recitations by a Hitchcock impersonator) and very few on-screen titles, Double Take relies heavily on old news footage and Hitchcock promotional appearances, mixed in with some new day-in-the-life scenes featuring a man who looks a lot like Hitchcock. Grimonprez’s associations are loose, but clear. He’s illustrating how Hitchcock fed on—and fed—the atmosphere of suspicion »
"Cinema is the art of appropriation — whether taking that which is before the camera or that which has already been filmed." J Hoberman in the Voice: "We'll never know who first discovered the possibility of re-editing existent footage, but, as Jay Leyda noted in his pioneering Films Beget Films, 'We can be sure that the practice is as old as the newsreel itself.' These days, film history is a hall of mirrors in which not just film footage but filmmakers may be incorporated in other filmmakers' work. Johan Grimonprez's Double Take gives Alfred Hitchcock a new role; Chuck Workman's Visionaries popularizes a persona invented by Jonas Mekas." »
Hitchcock's Psycho gets a welcome cinematic rerelease, accompanied by the fascinating Double Take, which plays upon the Master's preoccupations to illuminating, often hilarious effect, writes Philip French
Eleven years after the celebration of his centenary, 30 years after his death, 50 years after the appearance of his most sensational movie, Hitchcock remains a subject of inexhaustible interest to critics, artists and fellow film-makers. The latest are Don DeLillo, whose novel, Point Omega, features a man obsessed with Douglas Gordon's art installation, 24 Hour Psycho, and the Belgian artist Johan Grimonprez whose Double Take, a fascinating film about Hitchcock, fear and the Cold War, is going around the country with the rereleased Psycho.
Grimonprez's movie is a riveting montage (and sometimes collage) of clips from Suspicion, Psycho, North by Northwest, The Birds, Topaz and the Master's often wildly funny trailers and introductions to his TV series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents. They're accompanied by unintentionally »
- Philip French
Now that the likes of Batman and Spider-Man are risk-averse, broad-spectrum cash juggernauts, it's refreshing to see a comic-book movie that doesn't play by the rules. Like a spoilt brat, this is foul-mouthed, hyperactive, extremely violent, and all the better for it. And despite dealing with the pitfalls of becoming a real-life vigilante (with no super-powers), it successfully segues from teen loser comedy to full-on action fantasy without losing its stride, just as it straddles the divide between fan-friendly cult material and mainstream crowd-pleaser.
Clash Of The Titans 3D (12A)
So much state-of-the-art technology and A-list talent has been thrown at this sword-and-sandals epic, some of it is bound to stick. And if the 3D looks like a hurried afterthought and the story a bit of a Greek salad, there's always another giant scorpion, »
- Steve Rose
Tom McCarthy, who wrote Double Take for director Johan Grimonprez, based his screenplay on a story by Jorge Luis Borges called August 25th, 1983, in which the author encounters and talks with his 83-year-old self on his deathbed as a slightly younger man, on the date specified. Quite apart from the wittily Hitchcockian weirdness that Grimonprez has confected in his movie (the Master Of Suspense as ranting, paranoid cold war commentator developing his end-of-the-world masterpiece, The Birds, hardly begins to convey it), I'm grateful to McCarthy for alerting me to a hitherto unsuspected, but actually quite obvious kinship between the Fat Man and the Blind Man.
Just the title of Borges's story puts one in mind of the opening caption in Psycho: "Friday, December the Eleventh," and the doubling of authors »
- John Patterson
Celebrating its 40th anniversary, New York's Film Forum has announced its summer 2010 slate, which includes Dover Kosashvili's "Anton Chekov's The Duel," Jessica Oreck's "Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo," Emmanuel Laurent's "Two In The Wave," Johan Grimonprez's "Double Take," Kate Davis & David Heilbroner's "Stonewall Uprising," Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio's "Alamar," Vikram Jayanti's "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector," Tamra Davis's "Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child," Marco Amenta's "The Sicilian Girl," and »
One of the buzz-words of Sundance 2010 is "rebel," conveniently usable as either a noun or a verb. Of the six movies I saw on Friday (Jan. 22) -- a number I have no intention of equalling in the days to come -- no film fulfilled that edict to be rebellious with as much zeal as Johan Grimonprez's "Double Take," part of Sundance's New Frontiers program. I could write thousands of words trying to explain how "Double Take" is structured and it functions, but at 1 a.m. that might not be a good idea. Suffice to say that almost no simple »
- Daniel Fienberg
10 items from 2010
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