Article Archive for April 2012
Happy 95th, Maya Deren. Scholar Livia Bloom offers thoughts on Deren’s legacy and MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON.
Reuters reports that the two Cuban UNA NOCHE actors who went missing after landing in Miami en route to the Tribeca Film Festival have confirmed that they are seeking political asylum in the United States. Actress Anailin de Rua tells reporters, “It never entered our minds that we would get to travel because of the film. We never imagined that it would go this far.”The film won prizes at Tribeca for best cinematography, best actor (split between leads Dariel Arrechada and Javier Núñez), and best new narrative director (for Lucy Mulloy).
Indiewire’s Peter Knegt reports that Linklater’s limited opening of BERNIE was a rousing success: “On three screens…the film took in $90,438, averaging a stellar $30,146. That’s the best indie debut of 2012.”
Alloy Orchestra, forged in Boston’s post-punk club scene, travels the world with wildly original accompaniments to revivify unique silent films.
A busy week of Cannes updates comes to a close with announcements on the La Semaine de la Critique jury and the Cannes Classics lineup. HOUSE OF PLEASURES director Bertrand Bonello will serve as president for the features side of the Critics’ Week, while Portuguese auteur João Pedro Rodrigues heads up the shorts jury. The most anticipated event of the Classics selection is likely a 4K Film Foundation restoration of Sergio Leone’s gangster epic, ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, featuring 25 minutes excised from the original release. Other highlights include restored versions of Agnès Varda’s groundbreaking debut, CLEO FROM 5 TO 7; Roberto Rossellini’s modernist landmark, VIAGGIO IN ITALIA; and Steven Spielberg’s signal blockbuster, JAWS.
Fandor’s curator and a team of Keyframe writers offer notes on the San Francisco International’s in-progress 55th.
Legendary New York film impresario Amos Vogel died two days ago. He was 91. Perhaps the most succinct tribute comes from the Brooklyn experimental film venue Light Industry’s Twitter feed: “Rest in peace, Amos. We owe you everything.” Eugene Hernandez quotes from Martin Scorsese’s statement to the Film Society of Lincoln Center: “If you’re looking for the origins of film culture in America, look no further than Amos Vogel…Between Cinema 16 (which he ran with his beloved wife Marcia and which opened our eyes to Maya Deren, Stan Brakhage, Bruce Conner, Kenneth Anger, Cassavetes’ Shadows, and hundreds of other visionary films and filmmakers), The New York Film Festival (which he co-founded with Richard Roud), and his book Film As a Subversive Art, Amos opened…
The 10th annual Independent Film Festival Boston gets underway tonight with a screening of SLEEPWALK WITH ME with co-writer Ira Glass in attendance. Ty Burr and Wesley Morris begin their coverage for The Boston Globe, “A little over a decade ago, two Boston movie fanatics named Jason Redmond and Adam Roffman ran into each other at the Sundance Film Festival and wondered why there was nothing remotely like that back home. Thanks to them, there now is.”
Another day, another announcement from Cannes: this time it’s the full Directors’ Fortnight lineup. The section includes new work by Michel Gondry and Ben Wheatley, Raúl Ruiz’s final film, and Rodney Ascher’s acclaimed documentary investigation of the manifold interpretations of Stanley Kubrick’s THE SHINING.
Watching two short documentaries from Sam Green’s once-live UTOPIA IN FOUR MOVEMENTS performance online makes one viewer wonder: Is utopia a state of mind?
Slant’s Ed Gonzalez describes UNA NOCHE, a Havana-set film that made its North American premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last Thursday, in this way: “Granted unprecedented and unbelievable access to shoot in the city, New York filmmaker [Lucy Mulloy] uses a small army of nonprofessional actors, the very pawns of Fidel Castro’s revolution, to tell the story of three disillusioned teenagers who make the fateful choice of leaving their homeland behind, to make the treacherous 90-mile journey from Havana to Miami with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a sack full of stolen food.” That story has taken on added resonance now that only of those three actors ended up in New York for the festival: the other two appear to have defected once arriving in Miami.
Roger Ebert’s annual showcase of independently minded films rescues unfairly forgotten gems.
The Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente (BAFICI) wrapped over the weekend, with the award in the International Official Selection going to the Israeli film POLICEMAN. The critics’ FIPRESCI award went to Céline Sciamma’s TOMBOY, which also nabbed Best Actress for Zoé Heran’s performance.
The Los Angeles press has been rehashing Rich Ross’s resignation as chairman of Walt Disney Studios. “Smart as he is, Ross’s learning curve was just too steep,” writes Anne Thompson for Indiewire. She goes on to describe JOHN CARTER as “a tsunami disaster that no studio chief could survive.”
Sam Green uses visual poetry and other universal languages—music, gesture, and movement—to tell the story of Esperanto.