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Filmadrid & Mubi: The Video Essay—"Solar Quadrant"

The Video Essay is a joint project of Mubi and Filmadrid Festival Internacional de Cine. Film analysis and criticism found a completely new and innovative path with the arrival of the video essay, a relatively recent form that already has its own masters and is becoming increasingly popular. The limits of this discipline are constantly expanding; new essayists are finding innovative ways to study the history of cinema working with images. With this non-competitive section of the festival both Mubi and Filmadrid will offer the platform and visibility the video essay deserves. The six selected works will be shown during the dates of Filmadrid on Mubi’s cinema publication, the Notebook. There will also be a free public screening of the selected works during the festival. The selection was made by the programmers of Mubi and Filmadrid.Solar Quadrantby Luis LechosaSolar Quadrant reflects on the gaze of the sun in cinema.
See full article at MUBI »

Filmadrid & Mubi: The Video Essay— “Crossing of Time: Marker and Mizoguchi's Ghosts”

The Video Essay is a joint project of Mubi and Filmadrid Festival Internacional de Cine. Film analysis and criticism found a completely new and innovative path with the arrival of the video essay, a relatively recent form that already has its own masters and is becoming increasingly popular. The limits of this discipline are constantly expanding; new essayists are finding innovative ways to study the history of cinema working with images. With this non-competitive section of the festival both Mubi and Filmadrid will offer the platform and visibility the video essay deserves. The six selected works will be shown during the dates of Filmadrid on Mubi’s cinema publication, the Notebook. There will also be a free public screening of the selected works during the festival. The selection was made by the programmers of Mubi and Filmadrid.Crossing of Time: Marker and Mizoguchi's GhostsVideo essay by Diego Cepeda, Toni González,
See full article at MUBI »

A Strange Autumn: João Moreira Salles Discusses "In the Intense Now"

Mubi is exclusively showing João Moreira Salles In the Intense Now (2017) from May 3 - June 2, 2018 in the series May '68: When Everything Seemed Possible.João Moreira Salles’ essay film In the Intense Now is playing on Mubi as part of a May ‘68 double-bill alongside Romain Goupil’s Half a Life. Salles’ film explores the implications of well-known revolutionary images; questioning the familiar calling cards of May ‘68’s political upheaval. A meditative film that stands out against the familiar narrative, In the Intense Now focuses not only on the events in France, but on other political events of the same milieu: those occurring in Prague, Beijing and Rio de Janeiro. The film’s necessary pessimism calls the past as we know it into question, reminding viewers that we often experience these events second-hand via a series of provided images and figureheads that might require re-assessment. On the other hand, the
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Iff Panama: U.S. Panama Invasion Pic ‘Diciembres’ Embraced at World Premiere

Iff Panama: U.S. Panama Invasion Pic ‘Diciembres’ Embraced at World Premiere
Panama City — The 7th Iff Panama includes a record number of Panamanian films – over 10% of all films screening at the event.

On Saturday night the red carpet was rolled out for Enrique Castro Rios’ “Diciembres,” (“Decembers,” formerly “Sultan”), about the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama and its aftermath, which screened in the fest’s 2016 “Primera Mirada” pix-in-post sidebar, and won a $5,000 grant for post-production.

The film is set in December, 1989, during the U.S. invasion, and 10 years later, in December, 1999 when the ghost of a photo-journalist, who died during the invasion, returns to try to heal rifts in his own family.

“Diciembres” blends together archive footage and fictional scenes – using a poetic style that viscerally recreates moments from the invasion. The audience at the world premiere, including several people who experienced the invasion first hand, were visibly moved by the film. Some had tears in their eyes when the lights came up.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Robert Beck Memorial Cinema: 1998 Screenings

This is Part Two in a series of articles on the Robert Beck Memorial Cinema (Rbmc). As detailed in Part One, the Rbmc was an experimental film screening series in New York City, started by filmmaker Brian L. Frye.

Frye programmed the first screening on May 12, 1998 at the Collective Unconscious theater space. The screening included the feature-length documentary Underground by Emile de Antonio about the left-wing militant group the Weather Underground, and a kinoscope of Richard M. Nixon’s infamous “Checker’s Speech.” At the screening, fellow media artist Bradley Eros introduced himself to Frye and the pair co-programmed the Rbmc together for several years.

The goal of the screenings was to present work that typically wouldn’t be projected anywhere else, such as small gauge film formats and expanded cinema performances. The Rbmc would also host filmmakers in town for larger shows elsewhere in the city and asked them to screen their older,
See full article at Underground Film Journal »

Slamdance Review: ‘Human Affairs’ Has Trouble Evoking Emotion From a Complicated Situation

Charlie Birns’ Human Affairs is a film about the desire for human connection within a story about surrogacy, a situation that’s intimate by nature but requires an emotional disconnect. As one character points out, the surrogacy process needs women willing to relinquish the child they’ve carried over to its parents without any “emotional complications.” Birns’ feature debut deals with one of those complicated situations, where surrogate and intended parents find themselves unable to deal with the strong, unexpected feelings springing up from the situation they’ve put themselves in. But Birns, like his characters, is out of his depth emotionally, as he’s only able to evoke any emotion from his drama in brief snippets.

Taking place over five days, Human Affairs follows surrogate mother Genevieve (Julie Sokolowski), a young French woman living on a farm in Vermont, as she arrives in New York City to stay with
See full article at The Film Stage »

Movie Poster of the Week: 60s Verité

  • MUBI
Above: French poster for Chronicle of a Summer (Jean Rouch & Edgar Morin, France, 1961). Design by Raymond Gid.There is an essential and vital film series opening today at Film Forum in New York: a survey of 1960s Cinema Verité productions which brings vividly to life a decade of instability and protest as well as a new era of introspection. While this survey of posters doesn’t give a complete look at the series—“more than 50 modern classics which not only changed the recording of social history, but revolutionized filmmaking itself”—since many of the films are not feature-length (some of the shows pair an hour long film with a 30 minute short) and thus were not theatrically released. But those that I’ve gathered do convey the urgency of the movement as well as its seat-of-the-pants guerrilla style of film marketing as much as film making.I’ve not included the
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Dan Talbot, In Memoriam: Exploring His Incalculable Legacy

  • Indiewire
Dan Talbot, In Memoriam: Exploring His Incalculable Legacy
Daniel Talbot, a distributor and exhibitor of enormous influence over specialized exhibition and distribution as well as the international film world, died Friday in Manhattan. He was 91. A memorial was held Sunday, December 31 at the Riverside Memorial Chapel with a capacity audience including many leading New York specialized players. Talbot’s wife and business partner, Toby Talbot, as well as daughters Nina, Emily and Sara attended the memorial, where the family spoke fondly about Talbot’s love for the comedian W.C. Fields.

Another more public post-holiday event marking the closing of the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas is scheduled on January 28 in New York. The last few weeks have seen Talbot’s legacy celebrated with reaction to the unexpected announcement that the six-screen Upper West Side theater would close at the end of January, at the expiration of its lease. Milstein Properties, who have been the Talbots’ co-partners in the theater since
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Film Review: ‘Rat Film’

Those expecting to learn much about rodents may smell a rat after seeing “Rat Film.” Theo Anthony’s documentary is ostensibly about the unpopular pest, but really just uses that hook to draw us into something entirely about humankind. This nonfiction collage is part early Errol Morris-like appreciation of a community (namely Baltimore) through a few of its more eccentric residents, and part film essay a la Chris Marker, indicting historic civic policies that have kept the underprivileged from improving their lot.

Artfully assembled and often entertaining, the diverse whole nonetheless doesn’t quite gel, with the film finally coming off as somewhat pretentious and heavy-handed. Still, its scattered critical plaudits on the festival circuit will help draw curious viewers to Cinema Guild’s limited theatrical release.

“It ain’t never been a rat problem in Baltimore; it’s always been a people problem” says Harold Edmond, a garrulous, personable government
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Experimental Film Coalition: The Monthly Screenings

This is Part Two in a series about Chicago’s Experimental Film Coalition; and covers their screening series. You can read Part One here.

Formed in 1983, the Experimental Film Coalition started holding regular monthly screenings starting in 1984. The screenings brought to Chicago the work of independent, experimental filmmakers across the country, as well as screening local work.

Screenings were held at the Randolph Street Gallery, an alternative performance and exhibition space located at 756 N. Milwaukee Ave. The Gallery eventually closed down in 1998 and donated their archives to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; which exhibits some of the Coalition’s flyers on their website.

Below is a sample of screening information culled from those archives, listed in chronological order:

1984

March 23

2 Razor Blades, dir. Paul Sharits

Make Me Psychic, dir. Sally Cruikshank

Unsere Afrikareise, dir. Peter Kubelka

Roslyn Romance, dir. Bruce Baillie

Musical Poster #1, dir. Len Lye

April 27

Rainbow Dance,
See full article at Underground Film Journal »

Foreplays #7: Jean-Luc Godard & Anne-Marie Miéville’s "Liberté et Patrie"

  • MUBI
Foreplays is a column that explores under-known short films by renowned directors. Jean-Luc Godard & Anne-Marie Miéville's Liberté et Patrie (2002) is free to watch below. Mubi's retrospective For Ever Godard is showing from November 12, 2017 - January 16, 2018 in the United States.I. One of the most beautiful essay films ever made, Liberté et Patrie (2002) turns out to also be one of the most accessible collaborations of Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville. The deeply moving lyricism of this short may astonish even those spectators who arrive to it casually, without any prior knowledge of the filmmakers’s oeuvre. Contrary to other works by the couple, Liberté et Patrie is built on a recognizable narrative strong enough to easily accommodate all the unconventionalities of the piece: a digressive structure full of bursts of undefined emotion; an unpredictable rhythm punctuated by sudden pauses, swift accelerations, intermittent blackouts and staccatos; a mélange of materials where
See full article at MUBI »

The Tree of Life: On Darren Aronofsky’s "The Fountain", A Decade Later

  • MUBI
Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain (2006) is showing on Mubi from November 12 - December 12, 1017 in the United Kingdom.“Finish it.”The exhortation is an integral part of the texture of The Fountain as a work of art, but it also refers, obliquely, maybe unconsciously, to all the toil and trouble that surrounded its six-year path to the big screen and its controversial reception. Darren Aronofsky—a headstrong filmmaker if there ever was one—could have simply shelved the project indefinitely after his original lead, Brad Pitt, bailed out prior to the start of the production. But, like the words that Izzi says to Tom and that echo throughout the film’s three interconnected timelines, he didn’t. He had to “finish it.” So Aronofsky did, regrouping, downsizing, rethinking a film that was inspired by both the out-there genre twisting of The Matrix and his own experiences with death. What emerged was
See full article at MUBI »

November 14th Blu-ray & DVD Releases Include George A. Romero Between Night And Dawn Collection, Hellraiser SteelBook, The Paul Naschy Collection II

  • DailyDead
We have another busy week of home releases to look forward to, with an array of films that hit a bunch of different subgenres. For those who may have missed it in theaters earlier this year, you can now catch up with Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde this Tuesday, and if you missed seeing it online this fall, Amityville: The Awakening hits both Blu-ray and DVD as well.

For you cult cinema fans out there, I hope your wallets are ready for some serious damage, as there are a ton of great offerings coming home on November 14th, including the gorgeous limited edition Hellraiser Steelbook, The Paul Naschy Collection II, J.D.’s Revenge, and Arrow’s stunning Blu-ray set honoring one of horror’s true greats—George A. Romero—that features HD releases of Season of the Witch, There’s Always Vanilla, and The Crazies.

Other notable
See full article at DailyDead »

A Critic’s Appreciation of Agnès Varda, New Wave’s Leading Lady

A Critic’s Appreciation of Agnès Varda, New Wave’s Leading Lady
In his book “The Judgment of Paris,” art historian Ross King points out that in the 1860s, France’s most esteemed artist was a man named Ernest Meissonier, a celebrated painter of horses and military tableaux whom few recall today. By contrast, many of the Impressionists whose genius we now celebrate were not properly recognized until after their deaths.

It’s a lesson worth remembering when thinking about contemporary cinema, in which pop entertainment earns instant praise, while the work most likely to endure a century from now a century from now goes relatively unrecognized in its time. French director Agnès Varda is the kind of filmmaker whose oeuvre is sure to stand the test of time — because it already has, holding up brilliantly since her 1955 feature debut, “La Pointe Courte,” about which Variety condescendingly wrote, “Main aspect of this film is that it was made for $20,000 by a 25-year-old girl.”

With her tiny seaside romance,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Very Eye of Night: Carole Roussopoulos

  • MUBI
The Very Eye of Night is a series of columns on non-binary and female avant-garde film and video artists. The title refers to Maya Deren’s last completed film. Anthology Film Archives in New York presents a five-program retrospective of Carole Roussopoulos’s videos from November 7–9, 2017. The screenings will be introduced by Nicole Fernández Ferrer, director of the Simone de Beauvoir Audiovisual Center.Carole Roussopoulos, 1970. Photo by Guy Le Querrec.Jean-Luc Godard wrote a letter to Carole Roussopoulos in 1979 for Cahiers du cinéma in which he reflected on the motivations behind making films, and inquired: “Sometimes I wonder what has happened to all you have filmed in the four corners of France and the world… And I wonder why people in cinema want to film others with so much frenzy.” As Nicole Brenez recalls, the Swiss filmmaker responded to him: “to privilege the approach of those without a voice.” Carole Roussopoulos
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Crypt of Curiosities: The Short Films of Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani

For my money, Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani are two of the best genre directors working today. Their two feature-length gialli, Amer (2009) and The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears (2014) are among the greatest "throwback" films of all-time, taking the vocabulary and iconography of the giallo and twisting it into something new and exciting, all while playing with the cinematic form with a barrage of close-ups, split screens, and Chris Marker-esque jump-cut slideshows. The only downside is that, as of the time of this writing, only the aforementioned gialli are available for viewing, while their latest film, Let the Corpses Tan, won’t be released stateside until this summer. So what’s a fan of hyper-stylized neo-gialli to do? Why, turn to their shorts, of course!

Like many filmmakers, Cattet and Forzani honed the aesthetic they’d use in their later films through their early shorts. Unlike all filmmakers,
See full article at DailyDead »

International Newswire: HBO Nordic, Turner Launch New Ott Toonix Brand

In today’s International Newswire, Turner and HBO launch a new Ott family brand in Scandinavia; Lionsgate UK re-teams with Noel Clarke; and as the TV industry builds up for mid-month’s Mipcom trade fair, Keshet Intl. revealing its Mipcom slate, a report suggests television remains the preferred screen of choice for viewing programs.

HBO Nordic, which operates in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, has launched Turner’s brand-new children and family Ott service Toonix. Created by Turner Emea, Toonix is targeted at 3-12-year-olds and their families. The service will offer a mix of kids’ series and movies, including popular content from Turner’s Cartoon Network Studios and Warner Bros. Animation. Among its key shows are “The Amazing World of Gumball,” “Lego Ninjago,” “Looney Tunes” and “The Powerpuff Girls,” all of which are fully localized, with offerings in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Finnish. Toonix will be available for consumers on www.hbonordic.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Forms of Memory: Close-Up on Chris Marker’s "Level Five"

  • MUBI
Close-Up is a feature that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Chris Marker's Level Five (1997) is playing September 17 - October 17, 2017 in most countries around the world as part of the retrospective Chris Marker: An Essayist from the Future.Midway into Chris Marker’s Level Five (1997), Laura (Catherine Belkhodja) ponders aloud what ethnologists of the future might think of the video diaries she makes throughout the course of the film. Answering to their presumed curiosity, she tells those future detectives, “Yes it was customary for such tribes to address a familiar and protective spirit known as a computer…They’d consult on everything, it kept their memory. In fact, they no longer had a memory. It was their memory.” If one had to make a sweeping statement about this dense, multivalent film, one could do worse than suggest that Level Five’s subject is this externalization of memory into media addressed by Laura,
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Exclusive ‘Rat Film’ Trailer: Baltimore’s History Runs With Rodents

There are few things more unpleasant than an encounter with a rat. However, the rodents are just as much a part of the urban fabric as anything else, and that’s particularly true in the fascinating documentary “Rat Film.” And today, we have the exclusive trailer for the film.

Directed by Theo Anthony, and featuring a score by electronic music wizard Dan Deacon, the film — “working in the spirit of Chris Marker, Agnès Varda, and Werner Herzog” — takes a look at the complex relationship between rats and the city of Baltimore.

Continue reading Exclusive ‘Rat Film’ Trailer: Baltimore’s History Runs With Rodents at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

Locarno Critics Academy 2017: Meet This Year’s Aspiring Film Critics

Locarno Critics Academy 2017: Meet This Year’s Aspiring Film Critics
The 2017 Locarno Film Festival recently wrapped its 70th edition, where several aspiring film critics participated in the latest edition of the Locarno Critics Academy, an international workshop to educate promising writers in the craft and discipline of contemporary film criticism. This year’s participants will contribute essays on highlights from the festival. Here’s an overview of their backgrounds and interests.

Name: Jaime Grijalba Gómez

Age: 27

Twitter handle: @jaimegrijalba

Home: Santiago de Chile, Chile.

Cinematic area of expertise: Chilean cinema, film festivals, horror cinema

Best movie you’ve seen in 2017: El mar la mar

Favorite book (or piece of writing) about film: Bresson’s “Notes on the Cinematographer”

I’m taking part in the Locarno Critics Academy because… I want to think that criticism today still has a role that goes beyond those interested in film or in making them. It has a role in society, and I want to find it.
See full article at Indiewire »
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