Let’s take a quick break from the Cannes Film Festival to make note of a bit of reading we might take into the holiday weekend. There’ll be much more in a roundup to come, but for now, this entry will point to a few new issues of notable publications, both online and off.
The new Summer Issue of Cineaste is out, and a bit of it’s online, accompanied by a few “Web Exclusives.” And by “a bit,” I mean “previews,” generous excerpts from articles in the printed issue. Matthew Harle, for example, examines the role of Ayn Rand, and specifically, The Fountainhead and its 1949 adaptation (image above), in “the culture of ‘Trumpism.’”
Adrian Martin reviews Alain Bergala’s book The Cinema Hypothesis: Teaching Cinema in the Classroom and Beyond, originally published in French 2002 but out now in English from the Austrian Film Museum and Columbia University Press. “‘Initiation’ is a word that resonates like a mantra in the book because, for Bergala (as for many visionary educators), ‘only desire truly initiates learning.’”
Jonathan Murray reviews Danny Boyle’s T2 Trainspotting, in which “middle-aged men make a movie about middle-aged men hating the fact that they’re men and middle-aged.”
Those “Web Exclusives”:
- Robert Cashill on Don Chaffey’s One Million Years B.C. (1966) and Val Guest’s When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970).
- Rodney F. Hill on Ismael Merchant and James Ivory’s Maurice (1987), newly restored and back in theaters.
- David Sterritt on Leos Carax’s The Lovers on the Bridge (1991), “a sophisticated essay on the dialectics of actuality and artifice” starring Juliette Binoche and Denis Lavant.
- Darragh O'Donoghue on Bells Are Ringing (1960), Vincente Minnelli’s “unapologetic apologia for the musical as the pre-eminent movie form.”
- Aaron Cutler on Tibetan filmmaker Pema Tseden’s Tharlo (2015).
- Herb Boyd on Ousmane Sembene’s Black Girl (1966).
- And Darragh O'Donoghue’s report on this year’s Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival.
A new issue of the multilingual journal La Furia Umana is up and, in English, we find:
- Paul Douglas Grant’s conversation with Jean-Pierre Thorn about his film Oser lutter, oser vaincre, “an opening salvo of a certain tendency of cinéma militant during the events of May 1968.”
- Jane M. Gaines and Debarati Sanyal on Sylvain George’s black and white documentary Paris est une fête – un film en 18 vagues (2017).
- Marta Bałaga’s talk with Hal Hartley “about his love for slapstick, the importance of dialogue, and Molière.”
- Alfredo González Reynoso on Sacrificio: Who Betrayed Che Guevara (2001), a film by Swedish journalists Erik Gandini and Tarik Saleh: “Its purpose is not to repeat tradition, but to refute it, to betray it.”
- And from Stephen Broomer, “Strange Codes: Notes for the Preservation of the Canadian Underground Film.”
And Reverse Shot has posted a second round of contributions to its ongoing symposium, Executive Orders, in which writers respond just about any way they like to one of our current president’s many EOs. The latest additions:
- Daniel Witkin: Robert Kramer’s Ice (1970) “belongs to a small group of films that one might refer to generically as the revolutionary procedural, encompassing such works as Herbert Biberman’s Salt of the Earth (1954) and Sergei Eisenstein’s Strike (1924), which concern themselves with the practical side of resistance.”
- Jackson Arn on Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (1985): “If, as David Foster Wallace posited, the Lynchian consists of ‘a particular kind of irony where the very macabre and the very mundane combine in such a way as to reveal the former’s perpetual containment within the latter,’ one could start to get a sense for Gilliam’s worldview by substituting ‘historical’ for ‘mundane.’”
- Julien Allen on Terrence Malick’s The New World (2005), which “retains a steadfast sense of historical detail, such that the terrible, irresolvable dichotomy of what the British first brought to America (entrepreneurship and subjugation) is shot through the film like tracer iodine in the bloodstream.”
- And Mark Asch on Joan Micklin Silver’s Hester Street (1975), which “shows Jewish immigrants in the process of becoming full-fledged Americans whose descendants will be in the position in which we now find ourselves, empowered to ‘open or close our doors’ to today’s outsiders.”
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