"After the involvement of 217 actors bringing to life over 400 pages of script across a 142-day shoot, we are now less than two months away from the return of David Lynch's Twin Peaks," begins Jordan Raup at the Film Stage, pointing us to the new cover package from Entertainment Weekly, of all places. "'It’s a feature film in 18 parts,' Lynch tells the magazine." And it begins airing on Showtime on May 21.

Online from EW, we find nine photos, Jeff Jensen's speculation as to whether or not David Duchovny will be playing DEA agent Denise Bryson again and a video (39'03") in which the cast tells us how terrific it is to be reuniting after 25 years.

Once you've zipped through all that, slow down for Sean O'Neal's profile of Lynch for GQ. "He commands such devotion because he is the rare filmmaker who exerts incredible control without being a huge dick about it. Whose collaborators trust him because he gives them a safe place to exorcise the darkness hiding in the daylight of their lives. And yeah, because he’s one of the most skilled filmmakers ever—a visionary who can take something as terrifying as fatherhood and turn it into Eraserhead, a magical, crowd-pleasing romp in which a lady in a radiator tap-dances on sperm."


Speaking of which, the Guardian's Danny Leigh revisits that landmark midnight movie, forty years on: "The thing about Eraserhead is that it never gets less disturbing, never loses the sense of a small but indelible psychic trauma. 'A dream of dark and troubling things,' Lynch called it, and it was and is, a film people view as a demarcator. There is life before you see it, and life after."

For more on Lynch, Twin Peaks, Lost Highway (1997) and Mulholland Drive (2001), see last month's entry.

MORE READING


"Generally speaking," writes Brad Stevens in Sight & Sound, "we are encouraged to see films ‘as a whole,’ appraising details in a larger context. Yet the great auteurs preferred exploring themes in microcosm to declaring them in broad strokes. Which perhaps explains why, during a recent viewing of All That Heaven Allows (1955), I found myself focusing not on the more obvious, and frequently analyzed, aspects of Douglas Sirk’s mise en scène—color, camerawork, composition—but rather on the movements of the actors, those tiny gestures which define their relationships."

At Wellesnet, Ray Kelly talks with surviving members of the cast and crew who worked with Orson Welles on The Other Side of the Wind from 1970 through 1976 about how they're greeting the news that the pieces of the puzzle are finally coming together so that a restoration will be made available to over 90 million Netflix subscribers.

"Berlin, to Christopher Isherwood, meant boys—but not exclusively. It also meant forbidden films." Writing for the TLS, Henry K. Miller tracks Isherwood's passion for cinema from his first infatuation with German Expressionist classics through to his days, decades later, in Los Angeles.

Writing for the New Statesman, Ben Myers argues that, in England, there's a "sense of a nation in spiritual crisis that makes Bruce Robinson's] Withnail & I [1987] resonate today. After last year’s EU referendum, metropolitan liberals laid the blame for the result at the feet of thick voters in the provinces and rural communities. This was born of a historic misunderstanding that the film explores, in which country folk distrust the elitist power base in the capital, while urbanites patronize their country cousins."


Jamie Hewlett's 360 video for Gorillaz, a preview of the forthcoming album, Humanz


Jonathan Rosenbaum's posted a piece that ran in the Winter 2008-09 issue of Film Quarterly on John Gianvito’s Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind (2007) and The Mad Songs of Fernanda Hussein (2001): "Both films are the poetic and pantheistic expressions of a committed leftist, a fiercely determined independent ready to brook all obstacles, and a passionate cinephile with an extensive curatorial and programming background, known particularly for his work at the Harvard Film Archive."

"Of all the directors whose careers are considered in some way emblematic of 1970s Hollywood, Hal Ashby is the only one whose résumé conforms perfectly to the contours of the decade," writes Mark Harris. "Ashby may have been a symbol of the New Hollywood, but his ethos was also rooted in the professionalism and craftsmanship of an earlier era. What he brought to the table from his mentors and colleagues when he finally got the chance to direct was Wyler’s precision and Stevens’s grand-scale humanism, combined with Jewison’s progressive politics and the forward-looking visual style and innovation of cinematographer Haskell Wexler, his close creative partner on several films."

Criterion's also posted Nick Pinkerton's essay on Shirley Stoler's performance in Leonard Kastle's The Honeymoon Killers (1969): "This is the rage of a woman who feels herself unjustly denied the impassioned clutches and the rug rats that she believes she deserves."

"Now would be a really good time for a new John Waters movie," suggests Keith Phipps at Uproxx. "The madness of the moment, with its naked reemergence of racism, sexism, and homophobia, its normalization of cruelty, and its unexamined pieties, calls out for the distortion of a funhouse mirror that makes everyone who peers into it a little ill at ease."

"I’m Texas born-and-raised—there, free-floating libertarian paranoia is a standard component of the mental backdrop." Vadim Rizov: "In high school I’d listen to Alex Jones on late night talk radio warn that black helicopters were hovering over central Texas waiting to take us all to the concentration camps. It wasn’t at all surprising that he was in Richard Linklater’s Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly. They’re Austin movies; why wouldn’t he be?"

Also in the Voice, Joyce Millman previews To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters, airing Sunday on PBS: "It's a bracing gale of a film, swirling with complicated sibling feelings of jealousy, dependency, and affection."


"Both the 1991 animated Beauty and the Beast and the live-action remake that came out last week seem to provide a preview for the events of [Jean Cocteau's La Belle et la Bête (1946)]," writes M.C. Myers. "But if the events of Disney’s story are the skeleton of any of its adaptations, imagine that skeleton posed in a drastically different view for Cocteau. Imagine it poised with tragic poetry and longing, lit by the suppressive light of a Dali painting. Put another way, Disney strives to make the disappearing bird believable—Cocteau strives to make you believe that it’s magic."

Also in Bright Lights, Manisha Ganguly interviews Nick de Pencier, whose documentary Black Code (2016) "exposes the abuse of surveillance technology by governments and state institutions to monitor citizens working with human rights," and Vlad Dima on James Mangold’s Logan.

INTERVIEWS


Back to the Voice, where Bilge Ebiri talks with Gina Prince-Bythewood, who "has directed two of the most devastatingly romantic films of this millennium—Love & Basketball (2000) and Beyond the Lights (2014)—so it might seem odd at first to see her at the helm of a TV show about police violence, unsolved murders, and race relations. But with its sober, gripping storyline and its nuanced, all-too-human characters, Shots Fired..., proves very much in line with the filmmaker’s previous work."

For Sight & Sound, Tom Graham talks with Kleber Mendonça Filho, who suggests that "Aquarius and Neighboring Sounds are brother and sister. I prefer the suggestion of something unsettling that might or might not happen, and in most cases doesn’t."

Philip Oltermann opens up a profile for the Guardian: "When Lars Eidinger first appeared as a careerist Nazi officer in the BBC’s recent TV show SS-GB, some drama critics snapped their pencils in despair. Here was one of Europe’s finest young actors, already hailed as one of the great Hamlets of the 21st century, cheapening himself as a cartoon Nazi, complete with creaky leather trench coat, shiny boots and skull-and-crossbones cap…. But by last Sunday’s final episode of this alt-history of the second world war, something had changed. Eidinger’s SS officer, Oskar Huth, who had stormed into post-Battle of Britain London as a snappy workaholic, had quietly transformed into a world-weary existentialist, overcome by the futility of it all yet stoically refusing a blindfold as he faces the firing squad. It was an audacious heist of a performance."

The Guardian's Xan Brooks talks with Ben Wheatley about Free Fire: "People have said: ‘Oh, is this film an attempt to be more commercial? But they’re all commercial, or are meant to be.”

For the Notebook, Adrian Curry talks with John Calvert of Empire Design about that eye-catching poster for Park Chan-wook's The Handmaiden (2016).

GOINGS ON



New York. Ed Halter for 4Columns on the Japan Society series Beyond Godzilla: Alternative Futures & Fantasies in Japanese Cinema, opening today and running through April 8: "As its title indicates, the program showcases lesser-known examples of Japan’s robust tradition of tokusatsu, or special-effects-driven films, a genre that came into its own with the international success of [Ishiro] Honda’s Godzilla, and argues that these films contain significant traces of political consciousness, wrapped within ostensibly escapist fantasy."

Agnès Varda is on view at Blum & Poe through April 15. "The exhibit is kind of like a second or third victory lap for this acclaimed filmmaker and artist in which her tendency to reduce, reuse, and recycle is on display," writes Tanner Tafelski for Hyperallergic.

The Tribeca Film Festival's announced the lineup for Tribeca TV: "Each episode will be followed by captivating talks with series creators, writers, producers and stars including Jessica Biel, Titus Burgess, Tina Fey, Ron Howard, Matt LeBlanc, Elisabeth Moss, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Samira Wiley, and more." The 2017 edition runs from April 29 through 30.

Boston. "This weekend," writes Sean Burns for Metro, "Coolidge After Midnite presents two of [Werner] Herzog’s [Klaus] Kinski collaborations to remind us what a dangerous director everybody’s kooky Teutonic uncle once was. Friday at midnight brings 1979’s Nosferatu The Vampyre, a despairingly haunted remake of F.W. Murnau’s 1922 classic…. But the main event arrives Saturday at 11:30, with a long-awaited 35mm screening of the director’s legendary Fitzcarraldo, a great movie with a production so arduous it inspired an equally great documentary. (That would be Les Blank’s Burden of Dreams, required viewing for anyone who likes to watch Germans scream in the jungle.)"

Little Rock. "Inspired by Richard Linklater’s work for the last 32 years with the Austin Film Society, writer-director Jeff Nichols (Loving, Midnight Special) wants to build a cinephile organization in Arkansas that is just as impressive," reports Anne Thompson.

Toronto. With Not Reconciled: The Films of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet on at TIFF Bell Lightbox through April 2, Andrew Tracy talks with artist Sam Lewitt about "the duo’s challenging cinema and the contemporary art world."

TIFF’s retrospective All About Almodóvar is on through April 4 and, also in the TIFF Review, Bruce LaBruce writes: "Performativity is always taken to its limits in Almodóvar’s films: characters often play different versions of themselves, or of each other, as if in a hall of mirrors."


Trailer for Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, starring Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Abbie Cornish, Caleb Landry Jones, Kathryn Newton, Peter Dinklage, John Hawkes and Lucas Hedges


London. The Essay Film Festival, presented by the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image and the Institute of Contemporary Arts, is on from today through April 1. Whether or not you can attend, take a look at the tumblr.

IN THE WORKS


Rebecca Miller (Maggie’s Plan) will write, direct and produce She Came to Me, starring Steve Carell, Amy Schumer and Nicole Kidman, reports Screen's Jeremy Kay. "The story of family and the complexities of modern life weaves together love stories and plays out against the world of contemporary opera and tugboats."

Schumer, in the meantime, "has pulled out of the title role of Sony’s upcoming live-action Barbie film, citing 'scheduling conflicts,'" reports Steph Harmon at the Guardian.

"Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman have acquired movie rights to Lincoln in the Bardo, the bestselling novel from George Saunders," reports Deadline's Patrick Hipes. "The pair will produce the adaptation with Saunders, and no director or cast has been set."

Also, Life director Daniel Espinosa and star Jake Gyllenhaal "have optioned rights to Seth Harp’s Rolling Stone article 'The Anarchists Vs ISIS' to adapt into a movie. Gyllenhaal is expected to star."

"Shawn 'Jay Z' Carter and the Weinstein Company are partnering on an ambitious series of film and television projects about Trayvon Martin." Justin Kroll and Brent Lang have more in Variety.

James Franco and Seth Rogen are "developing a 90s teen drama with author and social media personality Kelly Oxford," reports Elizabeth Wagmeister for Variety. "The hourlong series is currently untitled."

"Kristen Wiig is joining Cate Blanchett in Where'd You Go, Bernadette?, Annapurna Pictures' adaptation of the Maria Semple bestseller." The Hollywood Reporter's Borys Kit has more.


Trailer for Kitty Green's Casting JonBenet


"Fox Searchlight is closing a deal for distribution rights in the U.S., Canada and UK to The Old Man and the Gun, the David Lowery-directed drama that teams Robert Redford and Casey Affleck," reports Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr. "Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tiki Sumpter and Isiah Whitlock are also set and Tom Waits and Elisabeth Moss are negotiating to join a film that begins shooting April 3 in Cincinnati."

OBITS


"Chuck Barris, the Gong Show creator, songwriter and novelist who sought to add to his already eclectic résumé with a made-up—or was it?—story about being an assassin for the C.I.A., died on Tuesday," reports Neil Genzlinger for the New York Times. In 2002, George Clooney directed Sam Rockwell as Harris in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, based on Barris's 1984 book, "a supposed autobiography."

"Robert Day, the veteran British director who in the 1960s worked on five Tarzan movies and guided Peter Sellers in the delicious comedy Two-Way Stretch, has died. He was 94." The Hollywood Reporter's Mike Barnes: "On Two-Way Stretch (1960)—a comedy about prisoners who escape jail, commit a robbery and then break back into jail—Sellers sent Day into a state of panic when he walked off the picture halfway through filming. 'I couldn’t believe it but kept on working, shooting around him as best I could,' he recalled. 'Once I finished doing that, I didn’t know what to do…. Well, after about a week or 10 days, the producers and executives of the company financing the film finally persuaded Peter to return and finish the movie. As a result, Two-Way Stretch was a huge box-office hit and made a ton of money. However, getting to the finish line wasn’t easy.'"

"Versatile Cuban-American-Italian actor Tomas Milian, known for the intensity he brought to disparate roles, whether in dramas by directors like Bernardo Bertolucci and Steven Soderbergh or as the Roman lowlife character that made him a household name in Italy, died Thursday," reports Variety's Nick Vivarelli. "He was 84."

VIEWING + LISTENING


Première has posted video of Françoise Dorleac and Catherine Deneuve rehearsing for Jacques Demy's The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967) (3'12").

A new BFI Podcast (19'07") features Martin Scorsese discussing the films that have impacted him as well as Paul Schrader and Robert De Niro talking about working with "one of the most precise directors in film." In the second of two parts (20'39"), the focus is on Raging Bull, Goodfellas and Scorsese's four-decade-long collaboration with editor Thelma Schoonmaker.

Then "Sight & Sound production editor Isabel Stevens guest hosts on an episode [19'30"] about the history of all-female director-actor partnerships, from Frances Marion and Mary Pickford's box office busting silent films to Michelle Williams and Kelly Reichardt's collaboration, which has produced films like Wendy & Lucy and Meek's Cutoff—stories of women challenging patriarchal assumptions about their place in society."


Criterion's Penelope Bartlett on Sergio Oksman's A Story for the Modlins (2012)


Margaret Barton-Fumo, Michael Koresky, Nick Pinkerton and Violet Lucca discuss "coming-of-age horror" on the latest Film Comment Podcast (70'36").

On the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Close-Up (46'47"): "In response to the disillusionment and frustration currently felt worldwide, directors Emmanuelle Bercot, Bertrand Bonello, Mira Nair, and Ira Sachs discussed how films can address political turmoil or social unrest and operate as whistle-blowers." Dennis Lim moderates.

The Talkhouse Film Podcast features Tim Heidecker's conversation with Adam Curtis (46'21"). They discuss "tropes in current pop music (and how dull music in docs is), Donald Trump, how John Oliver and Jon Stewart contributed to Trump’s success, the power of storytelling in politics, and much more."

Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers talks with Jon Else about his new book, True South: Henry Hampton and Eyes on the Prize, the Landmark Television Series that Reframed the Civil Rights Movement (35'05").

Alice Lowe (Prevenge) is Sam Fragoso's guest on Talk Easy (64'12").

Illusion Travels By Streetcar #136: 5ive Cartoons By Hayao Miyazaki (1988-2013) (83'10").

ENDNOTE


The new site for Stockholm My Love, the film directed by Mark Cousins, shot by Christopher Doyle and starring Neneh Cherry, is one to explore. Designed by, among others, Ehsan Khoshbakht.