It's Women Writers Week at RogerEbert.com, so let's open today's round with a clip from Sasha Kohan: "'Something happened, something terrible,' Don Draper tells protégé Peggy Olsen in an early episode of AMC’s Mad Men, 'and the way that people saw themselves is gone.' Mad Men is one of many recent works to echo sentiments introduced to us in the work of artists like Antonioni, and remind us that our collective psychology today is not far from what our musical, cinematic, and literary artifacts leave us to understand was the general mentality of the 1960s. Antonioni was one of a few film directors to uniquely capture the feeling of living in this era, and his success was due in large part to the living, breathing embodiment of this indefinable mood—his partner, his muse, the actress, Monica Vitti."

Writing for Criterion, David Forgacs suggests that we might "need to take literally Antonioni’s remark, made to Roger Ebert in 1969, that Blow-Up [1966] was 'not about a murder but about a photographer.'" … Elsewhere, he wrote that the photographer 'wants to see something more closely. But when he enlarges the object it breaks up and disappears. So there’s a moment when one grasps reality, but the next moment it eludes us. This is roughly the meaning of Blow-Up.' These remarks draw attention to an important aspect of the film, but they need not be taken as the last word."

"At its core, Blow-Up may be the ultimate homage to the notion of scopophilic pleasure as depicted in a cinematic medium (even more so than Michael Powell’s pervy Peeping Tom, 1960)," writes Nicholas Bell at Ioncinema.

MORE READING


Sonder Magazine history editor Joseph Barker argues that "the narrative, semiotic and cinematic techniques utilized by [Michael Haneke in Caché (2005)] provide a masterful critique of postcolonial reality through three factors: utilizing the aesthetics of uncertainty; reflections of colonial history; and whether Haneke’s subaltern can speak."


Trailer for David Lowery's A Ghost Story with Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara


"I was thinking today," says Michelle Pfeiffer in Interview, "'Why do I hate being interviewed so much? [Aronofsky laughs] How can I explain this to poor Darren who has to do this dastardly interview with me?' And I think it may be that I have this constant fear that I'm a fraud and that I'm going to be found out."

Cristian Mungiu tells the Guardian's Andrew Pulver that Graduation "developed out of his own reflections on parenthood, and how to gauge the best way forward for his own offspring. He mentions a trip with his kids to a playpark on the outskirts of Bucharest. 'All of a sudden, the polite stuff I told them to do at home didn’t work. It was about who was the toughest. I began to think: maybe I’m not preparing them properly for society. Will they just be losers if I keep telling them to be fair, and respect the rules, if no one else respects them?'"

Ruth La Ferla profiles Shirley MacLaine for the New York Times.

And this is a little odd, but you may want to know about it. Richard Linklater and Spike Lee talk about their first experiences with money. For a Canadian portfolio manager, Wealthsimple.

IN OTHER NEWS


"The Venice Film Festival is launching a competitive section dedicated to films made for Virtual Reality viewing," reports Variety's Nick Vivarelli. The Venice Virtual Reality section will award three prizes, Best VR film, Grand VR Jury Prize, Best VR Creativity Award. Venice's 74th edition runs from August 31 through September 5.

IN THE WORKS


Agnieszka Holland will direct Amber Heard in The Kind Worth Killing, a thriller based on Peter Swanson’s 2015 novel, reports Deadline's Amanda N'Duka. The story "follows Lily, a mysterious and stunning killer who meets Ted Severson on a late-night flight from London to Boston. Ted confesses that he’s had thoughts about murdering his unfaithful wife. Lily offers to help, and the two form a strange, twisted bond while plotting his wife’s demise."


New trailer for Seijun Suzuki's Tokyo Drifter (1966)


Robert Rodriguez will not only direct that remake of John Carpenter's Escape from New York (1981), he's also taking on the animated feature Ugly Dolls, based on, yes, ugly dolls "created by David Horvath via his company Pretty Ugly LLC [that] have taken off in popularity in Asia." Anita Busch reports for Deadline.

"Andrew Garfield has made a deal to star in and produce Black Lion, a drama that Alessandro Camon will write about the memorable life and controversial death of war correspondent Carlos Mavroleon," reports Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr. "Mavroelon was one of the first journalists to discover the link between Pakistan and the Al Qaida/Taliban axis. He was subsequently found dead in a Peshawar motel room days later under mysterious circumstances."

Chris Addison (Veep) will direct Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson in Nasty Women, a remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Frank Oz's 1988 comedy starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin. More from Variety's Justin Kroll.

OBIT


"Darlene Cates, the actress best known for her role as Bonnie Grape in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, died Sunday morning," reports Jackie Strause for THR. "She was 69."

VIEWING + LISTENING


Pieces of Spaces (11'06"), the new audiovisual essay from Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin for De Filmkrant, is a close look at how Sidney Furie’s The Entity (1982) has inspired Peter Tscherkassky's Outer Space (1999).

The Playlist has the first teaser for Michel Hazanavicius's Redoubtable with Louis Garrel as Jean-Luc Godard (0'35").


Trailer for Stéphane Brizé's A Woman's Life


"More famous today for her gruesome car crash death than for any of the movies she made while alive, Jayne Mansfield was in some sense the most successful busty blonde hired by a studio as a Marilyn Monroe copy-cat," writes Karina Longworth, introducing a new episode of You Must Remember This (45'21").

This week's Film Comment Podcast is loaded (74'06"). Following an interview with Albert Serra (The Death of Louis XIV), Violet Lucca talks with New Directors/New Films programmers La Frances Hui and Dennis Lim about how they make their selections and, joined by Nicholas Elliott, the New York correspondent for Cahiers du Cinéma and Contributing Film Editor for BOMB, they discuss a few standouts from this year's edition.

Poster Boys Brandon Schaefer and Sam Smith discuss movie posters of the 90s (181'36").