Ousmane Sembene - News Poster


Movie Poster of the Week: The Posters of Dan Talbot’s New Yorker Films

  • MUBI
Above: illustration by Jean-Marie Troillard.When the great arthouse impresario Dan Talbot passed away last week, just two weeks after the announcement of the closing of the Lincoln Plaza, his flagship Upper West Side multiplex, it was a double-blow to the New York film community. To me and to a number of my friends and colleagues it was also a deep personal loss. Dan had given me my first job in New York in 1990 at his distribution company New Yorker Films, hiring me first to type up their annual catalogue and then to be an assistant to himself and his right-hand man, Jose Lopez. Ironically, it was a New York Times article about the closing of another of Dan’s theaters, the Cinema Studio, that alerted me not only to Dan and to New Yorker Films, but also to the whole concept of film distribution. Dan took a chance on
See full article at MUBI »

Dan Talbot, Influential Art-House Exhibitor, Has Died

Dan Talbot, Influential Art-House Exhibitor, Has Died
Daniel Talbot, the renowned art-film exhibitor who ran New York’s Lincoln Plaza Cinema, and a longtime independent film distributor, died Friday morning in New York City. He was in his early 90s.

Ewneto Admassu, the longtime manager of the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas, confirmed the death to Variety.

“He was like a father to me. It is a huge loss,” Admassu said.

Talbot’s death comes two weeks after it was first reported that the Lincoln Plaza Cinema was at the end of its lease and scheduled to close in January.

The six-screen Lincoln Plaza theater, which opened in 1981, is jointly operated by the building’s owner Milstein Properties and the Talbots. The facility is located in the basement of a residential building on the corner of Broadway and 62nd Street.

Milstein Properties, which has been the Talbots’ co-partners in the theater since its opening in 1981, stated earlier this month that it hoped to reopen the theater
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Re-Thinking the Canon

Monsoon Wedding

My recent tweet storm about the need to re-think the (overwhelmingly white and male) canon led The Guardian to invite me to elaborate on my thoughts. They’ve used my piece as an introduction for a feature that asks writers, directors, producers, actresses, and other women in the industry to imagine a new, more inclusive canon.

The Guardian sourced contributions from women like Lynne Ramsay, Gurinder Chadha, and Amma Asante, whose respective picks are Claire Denis’ “Beau Travail,” Mira Nair’s “Monsoon Wedding,” and Barbra Steisand’s “Yentl.” This is what the canon looks like when women have a voice.

Head over to The Guardian to check out the feature. I’m really excited about how it turned out, but I’m even more excited by the reaction it’s causing. This was intended to be a conversation-starter, and people are talking. I’m receiving lots of tweets about what the canon could and should look like.

Here are some of the suggestions:

The Piano” — Directed by Jane Campion

Pariah” — Directed by Dee Rees

Born in Flames” — Directed by Lizzie Borden

Clueless” — Directed by Amy Heckerling

“Girlhood” — Directed by Céline Sciamma

“Eve’s Bayou” — Directed by Kasi Lemmons

“Raw” — Directed by Julia Ducournau

Middle of Nowhere” — Directed by Ava DuVernay

Black Girl” — Directed by Ousmane Sembene

Strange Days” — Directed by Kathryn Bigelow

The Elements trilogy (“Earth,” “Fire,” and “Water”) — Directed by Deepa Mehta

I’d love to hear from more people and to expand this important list. Please tweet me your picks @melsil. As more titles get added we’ll compile them and make a permanent home for this radical new canon, a celebration of the films that have been undervalued for far too long.

Re-Thinking the Canon was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Relive the Year That Gave Us ‘Suspiria,’ ‘Saturday Night Fever,’ ‘Eraserhead,’ and More — Watch

Relive the Year That Gave Us ‘Suspiria,’ ‘Saturday Night Fever,’ ‘Eraserhead,’ and More — Watch
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more seminal year in movie-going history than 1977, which unspooled such game-changers and genre-benders as “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Saturday Night Fever,” “Airport ’77,” “Sorcerer,” and many, many more.

In honor of the fortieth anniversary of one of the wildest years in recent cinema history, The Film Society of Lincoln Center has programmed their ambitious ’77, a 33-film series surveying the sweeping cinematic landscape of a prolific year in cinema, in the United States and around the world.

Read MoreHow ‘Jaws’ Forever Changed the Modern Day Blockbuster — And What Today’s Examples Could Learn From It

While the debut of George Lucas’ original “Star Wars” is likely the most notable name in a long list of ’77 titles, the year also played home to “Jubilee,” “Eraserhead,” “Hausu,” “Wizard,” and “Smokey and the Bandit.” That startling breadth of film options speaks to the changing times — both
See full article at Indiewire »

Artificial Eye co-founder Pamela Engel dies aged 82

  • ScreenDaily
Engel also co-founded UK distributor New Wave Films.

Art-house “trailblazer” Pamela Engel, known for co-founding distributor Artificial Eye and programming London cinemas including the Lumiere, Chelsea Cinema, Camden Plaza and the Renoir, has died aged 82.

A huge figure in the UK’s independent film business, Engel’s death has sparked messages of praise across the distribution and exhibition sectors.

Born Pamela Balfry in 1934, the UK executive started out in the late 1950s as a secretary for then Sight and Sound editor Penelope Houston.

She would go on to work as an assistant to Richard Roud at the London and New York Film Festivals before joining Derek Hill’s art-house venue Essential Cinema in the late 1960s.


Balfry and first husband Andi Engel established distributor Artificial Eye in 1976, thus “beginning an odyssey of distribution and exhibition unlikely ever to be surpassed,” in the words of former London Film Festival director Sheila Whitaker.

Despite separating
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Arik Reviews Ousmane Sembène’s Black Girl [Criterion Collection Blu-ray review]

This is film as revolutionary act. Sembène was not coy about his intentions. This is a story of a black woman. It’s a story of neocolonial slavery. It’s a story of racism. It’s also a story of spirituality. Of modernity versus tradition. It’s an act of courage, and an attempt to speak to a specific, and largely non-commercial, group of people. This is an attempt to change the world. It’s also trying to just be a good film. It’s a heady mix.

The film is based on a true story that its director, Ousmane Sembène, saw in a newspaper while living in France. An unidentified African woman had been found dead of suicide, in the apartment of her employers. Sembène was disturbed by the story for a decade, and eventually he wrote a short story, attempting to tell the tale of this unknown woman.
See full article at CriterionCast »

Sundance Film Review: ‘The Wound’

Sundance Film Review: ‘The Wound’
Ever more generously represented on the festival circuit, the coming-of-age drama has developed as clearly inscribed a template as any genre in the contemporary filmmaker’s playbook — growing up, after all, is only surprising to those who haven’t yet done it. So it’s to the credit of “The Wound,” a stark, stirring variation on the form from a little-filmed corner of South Africa, that it should prompt at least one outright gasp as it details the fallout of an age-old initiation ritual for adolescent boys in the rural Xhosa community. It’s not the boys, however, whose growth is of primary interest in John Trengove’s tough-minded, sharply shot debut; rather, it’s their nominally adult mentors who are shown to be wrestling most nervously with still-inchoate masculinity, as personal and sexual insecurities come violently to the surface. Universally identifiable but rooted in fascinating indigenous tradition, “The Wound
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Blu-ray Review: Criterion Enshrines Ousmane Sembène's Black Girl

After years of having it on my watchlist, I caught up with Senegalese director Ousmane Sembène's Moolaadé last year and enjoyed it a great deal, leaving me hungry for more. The Criterion Collection has conveniently sailed in to quench the thirst, with its January 24 release of Sembene's first feature film, Black Girl, which joins the collection at spine #852. Black Girl saw its 50th anniversary last year and was restored by the World Cinema project in 4K resolution, the transfer that has been used for the disc here. The results are, predictably, terrific: aside from a handful of shots which still retain some visible spots in places, the digital print is crackling sharp, keeping its beautiful grain alive while betraying none of the gorgeous...

[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

The Criterion Collection Announces January Titles: ‘His Girl Friday,’ ‘Black Girl’ and More

The Criterion Collection Announces January Titles: ‘His Girl Friday,’ ‘Black Girl’ and More
The Criterion Collection has announced its slate for January, 2017, with offerings from Howard Hawks (“His Girl Friday”), Rainer Werner Fassbender (“Fox and His Friends”), Jack Garfein (“Something Wild”), and Ousmane Sembène (“Black Girl”). Check out the covers for the films below as well as synopses provided by the Criterion Collection. For more information on the special features and technical specs of each of these films, visit the Criterion Collection website.

Read More: The Criterion Collection Announces December Titles: ‘Heart of a Dog,’ ‘The Exterminating Angel’ and More

His Girl Friday” (Available January 10)

One of the fastest, funniest, and most quotable films ever made, “His Girl Friday” stars Rosalind Russell as reporter Hildy Johnson, a standout among cinema’s powerful women. Hildy is matched in force only by her conniving but charismatic editor and ex-husband, Walter Burns (played by the peerless Cary Grant), who dangles the chance for her to scoop
See full article at Indiewire »

Sembène! review – legacy trumps scrutiny in Senegalese director doc

This respectful documentary stays faithful to Ousmane Sembène’s iconoclastic legend, leaving questions and contradictions by the wayside

You only need to watch 1966’s domestic-maid exposé Black Girl or 2004’s Fgm polemic Moolaadé to see that Ousmane Sembène’s iconoclastic power went undimmed throughout a 40-year directing career. This rather respectful documentary, co-directed and narrated by the director’s amanuensis, Samba Gadjigo – a part, like those earlier two films, of a new national touring programme of the man’s work – majors in the Senegalese’s trailblazing; most notably the fact that he was responsible for the first film shot by a black African. (Black Africans were banned from film-making in French colonies.) It certainly makes an easy enough case for him as directorial griot, fearlessly telling truth to power. But legacy trumps intensive scrutiny. Contradictions – such as how a former Marseille dockworker whose sworn aim was to represent his people
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

trinidad + tobago film festival 2016: one on ones

trinidad + tobago film festival 2016: one on ones
While we eat “doubles” we talk one on one with selected filmmakers…

Great to be back for my fourth year at the Trinidad + Tobago Film Festival.

Jamaicans going to watch Jamaican shorts. Photo by actor director Tony Hendricks

My first night, I went with my new favorite delegation, whom I already wrote about in my Tiff It’s a Wrap blog, the group of Jamaican filmmakers to see their five shorts showing here at ttff as part of the Jafta Propella initiative to put money into the production and distribution of shorts (rather than in yet-another film festival). The range of stories and storytelling styles was a tasting menu of hors d’oevres for the festival.
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Kirsten Johnson Talks ‘Cameraperson,’ the Art of Interviewing, First-Person Cinema, and Selling a Movie

I’ve spoken to many accomplished artists, but there are perhaps none who bear the same extent of experience as Kirsten Johnson. Don’t worry if the name doesn’t ring any bells: she’s built her repertoire as a documentary cinematographer by working with and for the likes of Michael Moore, Laura Poitras, and Jacques Derrida, and the things she’s seen have been funneled into Cameraperson, a travelogue-of-sorts through Johnson’s subconscious.

Her time as an interviewer, or at least a companion to interviews, came through when we sat down together at Criterion’s offices in New York last month. Never have I been more directly forced to think about my work than when she turned the tables on me — all of which started with some complementary danishes left for us in the room. It’s a level of engagement that befits one of this year’s greatest films,
See full article at The Film Stage »

The 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century: BBC Polls Critics From Around The Globe

The 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century: BBC Polls Critics From Around The Globe
Last year, the BBC polled a bunch of critics to determine the 100 greatest American films of all time and only six films released after 2000 placed at all. This year, the BBC decided to determine the “new classics,” films from the past 16 years that will likely stand the test of time, so they polled critics from around the globe for their picks of the 100 greatest films of the 21st Century so far. David Lynch’s “Mulholland Dr.” tops the list, Wong Kar-Wai’s “In The Mood For Love” places second, and Paul Thomas Anderson and the Coen Brothers both have 2 films in the top 25. See the full results below.

Read More: The Best Movies of the 21st Century, According to IndieWire’s Film Critics

Though the list itself is fascinating, what’s also compelling are the statistics about the actual list. According to the the BBC, they polled 177 film critics from every continent except Antarctica.
See full article at Indiewire »

Mullholland Drive tops critics' list of best 21st century films

Ryan Lambie Aug 23, 2016

A critics' survey puts Mullholland Drive at the top of the list of the best films since 2000. Did yours make the cut?

Movie critics love Linklater, Studio Ghibli, the Coens and the surrealist stylings of David Lynch. At least, that's if a newly-published list of the 100 greatest films of the 21st century is anything to go by.

BBC Culture commissioned the poll, which took in responses from 177 film critics from all over the world. As a result, the top 100 includes an eclectic mix of the mainstream to independent movies, from dramas to sci-fi and off-beat comedies. Feew would be surprised to see things like Paolo Sorrentino's handsome Italian confection The Great Beauty propping up the lower end of the list, or that such acclaimed directors as Wes Anderson or the aforementioned Coens feature heavily.

What is pleasing to see, though, is how much good genre stuff has made the cut,
See full article at Den of Geek »

The 21st Century’s 100 Greatest Films, According to Critics

Although we’re only about 16% into the 21st century thus far, the thousands of films that have been released have provided a worthy selection to reflect on the cinematic offerings as they stand. We’ve chimed in with our favorite animations, comedies, sci-fi films, and have more to come, and now a new critics’ poll that we’ve taken part in has tallied up the 21st century’s 100 greatest films overall.

The BBC has polled 177 critics from around the world, resulting in a variety of selections, led by David Lynch‘s Mulholland Drive. Also in the top 10 was Wong Kar-wai‘s In the Mood For Love and Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life, which made my personal ballot (seen at the bottom of the page).

In terms of the years with the most selections, 2012 and 2013 each had 9, while Wes Anderson, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Christopher Nolan, the Coens, Michael Haneke, and
See full article at The Film Stage »

Why 2016 Is a Great Moment For Black Film History

Why 2016 Is a Great Moment For Black Film History
As #OscarsSoWhite fades into last Oscar season’s news, change is in the air: There’s a bevy of black films coming in the second half of this year, movies that tell the stories of African chess champions and American slave rebellions. The narratives speak to a black identity that’s multinational instead of monolithic: Nate Parker’s Sundance-winning “The Birth of a Nation,” the interracial romance “Loving,” and Denzel Washington’s fifties-era race relations drama “Fences” are all going to be a part of the conversation this fall.

But there are also a host of older films finally hitting coming out that should expand that picture.

So often black movies are historical, telling the stories of larger-than-life icons we ought to have grown up hearing about. At best they’re biopics that give behemoths like Martin Luther King Jr. or Ray Charles a granular humanity; at worst they’re
See full article at Indiewire »

Joshua Reviews Ousmane Sembene’s Black Girl [Theatrical Review]

The word masterpiece is thrown around a lot these days. Hell, I’m as guilty of maybe having a little bit of hyperbole in my reviews as anyone. However, when one is ostensibly slapped in the face by one of the true titans of cinema history, there are few better words to describe it.

That’s the response one has when they revisit (or see for the first time) a film like Ousmane Sembene’s Black Girl. Now 50 years old, Sembene’s first feature length film garnered much acclaim upon its initial release, but thanks to Janus Films Sembene’s greatest and arguably most poignant work looks, sounds and feels like a film that’s truly timeless.

Black Girl introduces us to Diouana, a Senegalese housemaid who travels to France to work for a bourgeois white family. Sembene is best known as a filmmaker but as seen throughout his politically-charged
See full article at CriterionCast »
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