Radley Metzger, the erotica pioneer who took soft core and hard core to new heights of artistry, has passed away at the age of eighty-eight. The New York Times remembers the director’s career, which began in the early sixties when Janus Films hired him to cut trailers for Michelangelo Antonioni and Ingmar Bergman films.
In her preview of a career retrospective of avant-garde filmmaker Leslie Thornton, playing through early May at Brooklyn’s BAMcinématek, Melissa Anderson calls the word experimental “an adjective that seems too puny and generic for a practice that has incorporated, deconstructed, and refashioned cinema verité, ethnography, science fiction, and Hollywood exotica.”
In other repertory film news, TIFF Cinematheque will be kicking off a series inspired by Paul Schrader’s Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer this Saturday. TIFF senior programmer James Quandt considers the connections among these three masters and tries to pin down the “inchoate and capacious” concept at the heart of Schrader’s book.
Seven-decade film and stage veteran Lee Grant is the subject of a tribute at this week’s TCM Classic Film Festival. Farran Smith Nehme chats with the actor, whose career “bridged a period in cinema history from the studio era to New Hollywood.”
Speaking of Hollywood royalty, Christina Newland digs into Styling the Stars: Lost Treasures from the Twentieth Century Fox Archive, a new book that captures the often unglamorous process of turning actors into luminous screen presences.
Poster art is another indispensible tool of the dream factory. Robert McGinnis, one of the form’s great practitioners, is profiled in this Vanity Fair article, which explores the “pop-culture punch” of his one-sheets for Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Barbarella, and other classics.
Witches have long been a source of fascination for movie lovers. Over at Little White Lies, Elisabeth O’Neill writes on the recent renaissance of supernatural women in cinema and what it says about the “inherent power of femininity.”
For the BFI, Amy Simmons considers the cinematic precursors of David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr., including Gilda, Persona, and Contempt.
Charlie Fox shows love for another American cult auteur, John Waters, whose sophomore feature, Multiple Maniacs, we were thrilled to release last month. “Waters’s characters,” Fox writes, “couldn’t be ‘cured’ by even the most extreme bout of conversion therapy. They revel in whatever makes them evil with a flair that’s at once heroic and heartwarming.”
For the London Review of Books, writer Michael Wood delves into the innovative use of audio in Fritz Lang’s early sound films:
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