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On Napoléon, Ozu’s Pillow Shots, a Highsmith Series

Short Takes — Dec 30, 2016
  • Richard Adams, the author of the beloved 1972 children’s novel Watership Down, passed away this week at the age of ninety-six. Adams’s best-selling book, which grapples with themes of political upheaval and ecological destruction through the story of a band of rabbits, provided the source for Martin Rosen’s animation classic of the same name.
  • Vulture dives deep into another dystopian literary adaptation, Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men, a film that “seems like a documentary about a future that, in 2016, finally arrived.”
  • Abel Gance’s 1927 epic Napoléon depicts history as hovering “between forceful individual action and sheer seething mess.” Read Michael Wood’s appraisal of this silent masterpiece, now screening in a new digital restoration at the BFI.
  • Over on the BFI’s site, Leigh Singer spends some time with Yasujiro Ozu’s famous pillow shots and a selection of films that evoke the master’s distinctive approach to framing.
  • In a conversation with Interview, Jim Jarmusch discusses the parallels between cinema and poetry explored in his latest film, Paterson.
  • Critics Michael Sicinski and Jordan Cronk survey the year in avant-garde cinema, highlighting works by artists such as Laida Lertxundi, Kevin Jerome Everson, and James N. Kienitz Wilkins.
  • This month, MUBI’s ongoing column on film music details the way Michel Legrand’s score accompanies the titular protagonist in Cléo from 5 to 7.
  • For the Paris Review, Amy Gentry hails Max Ophuls’s 1949 noir The Reckless Moment as the apex of a wave of domestic thrillers that emerged in the 1940s.
  • In anticipation of a Patricia Highsmith series opening at New York’s Metrograph theater in January, screenwriter Phyllis Nagy remembers the great novelist’s mixed responses to film adaptations of her work.

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