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DAILY | Briefing: Tarkovsky, Majewski—and Romy Schneider

The top reads of the day would have to be Gabriel Winslow-Yost’s piece for the New York Review of Books on a series of video games based on Tarkovsky’s STALKER and Basia Lewandowska Cummings’s interview for Sight & Sound with Lech Majewski, who has an installation in London made in conjunction with his gorgeous film, THE MILL AND THE CROSS. In other news, a series of films featuring Romy Schneider prompts a career overview from Dan Callahan at Alt Screen.

Zona, Geoff Dyer‘s recent book about Andrei Tarkovsky‘s masterpiece Stalker, has been much discussed for its almost comically thorough dissection of the stately 1979 film,” begins Gabriel Winslow-Yost in a new piece for the New York Review of Books. “In both the book and the deluge of Stalker coverage its release has occasioned, perhaps the most crucial, and most popular, part of the film’s afterlife has gone entirely unremarked: the video game version.” No, really. A series of three games by the Ukrainian developer GSC Game World has been “absurdly successful”; several million copies have been sold around the world. Winslow-Yost: “While they all have the elements of a standard action game—guns, monsters, missions, traps, loot—much of the player’s activity is oddly in keeping with Stalker‘s spirit, sometimes even managing to expand upon it.” Relatedly Fandorific: Jonathan Marlow‘s interview with Geoff Dyer and, to watch now, Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice and Michal Leszczylowski‘s Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky.

The Mill and the Cross

A still from Lech Majewski's 'The Mill and the Cross'

For Sight & Sound, Basia Lewandowska Cummings talks with Lech Majewski about his Moving Walls installation, currently on view at The Wapping Project in London through May 13: “The images I’m projecting are from Bruegel Suite, which I made alongside my film The Mill & the Cross, a film that took four years to ‘build up.’ I use that term because each shot required an enormous amount of construction—there were at least 40 layers in any of the images, and up to 147 in some places. Every layer was shot separately against a green screen, then landscape filters were added, then fog filters, then different angles were included. We had to reflect the fact that Bruegel’s paintings were composed of seven contradictory angles in a single landscape, so we were trying to replicate a very magical trick.”

In other news. The Los Angeles Film Festival‘s unveiled its full lineup and Brian Brooks has got it at Movieline. This year’s edition will open on June 14 with the North American premiere of Woody Allen’s To Rome with Love and close on June 24 with the world premiere of Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike.

Alain Delon and Romy Schneider

Alain Delon and Romy Schneider

New York. The current CinémaTuesdays series at the French Institute Alliance Française is Romy Schneider: Empress of the Screen and it’s on through June 26. “Schneider’s movie stardom arced across three distinct periods: teenaged German ingenue turned overnight national icon; all-purpose Euro superstar on jet-setting international co-productions; and, finally, worldly grand dame of French cinema, her hair pulled severely back from her face,” and Dan Callahan walks us through all three. Related: A gallery of photos of Alain Delon at everyday_i_show.

Also at Alt Screen: a roundup on Robert Bresson’s Four Nights of a Dreamer (1971), screening tonight as part of BAMcinématek‘s Bresson retrospective.

Tonight at Exit Art: Digimovies Plus: Curious Cabinets.

Before They Were Famous: Behind the Lens of William John Kennedy, an exhibition of rediscovered and newly printed photographs of Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana, is on view at Site/109 through May 29.

Frankfurt. Nippon Connection opens today and runs through Sunday.

Obit. Variety reports that Patricia Medina died this past weekend at the age of 92: “Medina played Kitty in the 1948 version of The Three Musketeers that starred Gene Kelly and Lana Turner, starred opposite Donald O’Connor in 1950′s Francis, the first in the talking mule comedy film series, starred with Karl Malden in the Edgar Allan Poe-based mystery horror film Phantom of the Rue Morgue (1954) and was the female lead in Welles’s 1955 Mr Arkadin (aka Confidential Report).” She also “had an interesting supporting role as a dominatrix in Robert Aldrich’s controversial 1968 lesbian melodrama The Killing of Sister George.”

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