• [The Daily] Haynes, Seberg, and More

    By David Hudson


    “The last time I saw Poison [1991] it shocked me,” Todd Haynes tells Rory O’Connor at the Film Stage, “and it demonstrated to me a different side of myself, of my history, of our history as a culture, as a kind of radical, fierce, almost terrorist approach to the language of movies. I think, yes, we completely evolve and change as we mature and grow.” At the same time, “when you are fighting to be alive, let alone be accepted at the table of the normal status quo, you have a different kind of critique, and I think it sharpens your wits and you are more weaponized to change the world and alter the world. I don’t know that that’s sustainable through one’s entire life, and you win victories. . . . But I think you lose things along the way as well. I think being excluded from the society teaches you things that you don’t learn when you’re included in the society.”

    Laurent Kretzschmar has posted another translation of a 1988 column by Serge Daney for Libération, this one on Michael Cimino’s Year of the Dragon (1985). “We remember the ‘controversy’ that greeted the film on its release: was it racist or not? On TV you can see more clearly how much the racism is only a petty rationalization of what Cimino still has it in him to film with the voraciousness and folly which any director worthy of the name can’t but possess, and which always exceeds his ideological limits.”

    The Babadook, 2014’s surprising horror breakout from Australian director Jennifer Kent, wasn’t a fluke,” writes Jordan Crucchiola at Vulture. “Australia’s long had a brand of horror uniquely its own,” and “this year in particular has seen an influx of young Australian horror filmmakers, all making waves internationally by producing some of the genre’s scariest stuff.” Crucchiola talks with four filmmakers, Sean Byrne (The Devil’s Candy), Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome), Damien Power (Killing Ground), and Ben Young (Hounds of Love), “about their new films, why Australian horror is so insanely brutal, and why it does better abroad than Down Under.”

    “Venezuela sits in peril, and ‘The Solitude’ mirrors it microcosmically.” For the Notebook, Matt Turner writes about Jorge Thielen Armand’s debut feature, La Soledad, filmed in the ancient mansion his great-grandparents once called home.

    “Experimental, infectiously rhythmic, hectic and sublime, there was no band quite like Can in the 1970s,” writes Margaret Barton-Fumo.Soundtracks is an uncommon album, a compilation of . . . seven tracks written for five films from 1969 to 1970.” And it “barely represents a third of the band’s output as composers with nearly a dozen more films somewhere out in the ether, their sounds waiting to be rediscovered.”

    Also writing for Film Comment, Steven Mears tells the stories behind Clifford Odets’s None but the Lonely Heart (1944) with Cary Grant and John Frankenheimer’s All Fall Down (1962) with Warren Beatty and Angela Lansbury.


    Icarus Films has announced the forthcoming release of new 2k restorations of eight films by Jean Rouch.

    In the Soup (1992) will be restored; now there’s more to be done

    The Toronto International Film Festival has presented its 2017 Industry Conference program, a six-day conference running from September 8 through 13. “More than 150 guest speakers will take the stage,” notes Greg Evans at Deadline, “including Tim Bevan, Timothée Chalamet, Glenn Close, Denis Côté, Cassian Elwes, Heidi Ewing, Eric Fellner, Rachel Grady, Luca Guadagnino, Armie Hammer, Mary Harron, Armando Iannucci, Franklin Leonard, Brett Morgen, Sam Pollard, Anna Serner, Morgan Spurlock, Syrinthia Studer, Graham Taylor, and Larry Wilmore.”


    Los Angeles. “The Pasadena Museum of California Art and the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG) have teamed up for an exhibition that sheds light on the connection between graphic art, politics and film,” writes Eva Recinos for the LA Weekly. “Featuring about forty posters, Hollywood in Havana: Five Decades of Cuban Posters Promoting U.S. Films will be on display as part of the Getty’s 2017 project, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. The exhibit delves into the work of ICAIC and the connection between Cuba and the United States through film.” Sunday through January 7.

    Toronto. TIFF Cinematheque presents Philippe Garrel’s Les hautes solitudes (1974) tonight and, writing for the TIFF Review, Fanta Sylla suggests that watching “the visual link between Nico and [Jean] Seberg . . . is akin to seeing a Garrelian genealogy taking shape before our eyes—as if Seberg were the matriarch of all the fragile beings that would populate the French filmmaker’s world, or perhaps as if every fragile being in that universe was a reflection or a variation of the American actress.” Sylla’s piece might be read as a sort of supplement to Karina Longworth’s outstanding series Jean and Jane on her You Must Remember This podcast.

    London. Nanni Morreti turns sixty-four tomorrow, so Close-Up will be presenting Dear Diary (1993).


    “My next project will be a Bluebeard movie, about a woman who is married to a dangerous, possibly murderous man,” writes Anna Biller, director of The Love Witch. This new entry at her site is not exactly an announcement, as she’s been working on this project for some time now, but here she fills us in on how it’s coming along and just generally what’s on her mind. She’s “found the perfect novel (as yet a secret),” plans to shoot on 35 mm, and she names several inspirations and gives us a sort of mood board—posters, lobby cards, and pulpy paperback covers.

    Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins is close to signing a deal “which would elevate her as the highest-paid female director in town.” Anita Busch and Anthony D'Alessandro have details at Deadline. With or without her, there will be a sequel to the smash hit.

    Jennifer Yuh Nelson will direct Michael B. Jordan in a remake of Kim Jee-woon’s A Bittersweet Life (2005), reports Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr.

    For Hyperallergic, Alpesh Kantilal Patel reports from the set of Wojciech Puś’s Endless, a “work in progress” that might be “described as non-narrative, exploring trans themes with hints of the psychological thriller genre. Puś’s eclectic points of reference include the 1962 film Last Year at Marienbad (directed by Alain Resnais), Lana Del Rey’s music, and Beatriz Preciado’s 2013 book Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era.

    From Oswald Iten

    Alan Arkin has joined Colin Farrell, Eva Green, Michael Keaton, and Danny DeVito in Tim Burton’s Dumbo, reports Variety’s Justin Kroll.

    Josie Rourke, artistic director of London’s Donmar Warehouse theater, has begun shooting Mary Queen of Scots with Saoirse Ronan in the lead and Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I, reports Edward Douglas at the Tracking Board. Guy Pearce and David Tennant have joined the cast as well.

    Robert Zemeckis will executive produce a live-action series for ABC based on The Jetsons, the Hanna-Barbera animated series that ran on the same network back in the early 1960s, reports Joe Otterson for Variety. Back in May, Variety’s Dave McNary broke the news that Sausage Party co-director Conrad Vernon was developing an animated feature starring George, Jane, Judy, and Elroy Jetson, and of course, Rosie the Robot.


    “Film editor Eric Zumbrunnen, who won an ACE Award for his work on [Spike Jonze’s] Being John Malkovich, has died after a long battle with cancer,” reports Erin Nyren for Variety. Zumbrunnen’s work also included the Jonze’s 2009 film Where the Wild Things Are, Disney’s John Carter in 2012, and Jonze’s acclaimed film Her.” He was fifty-three.


    On the new LRB Podcast (59’41”), Wallace Shawn “talks to Adam Shatz about ‘the thin line between entertainment and cruelty’ in the age of Trump, his childhood fear of almost everything and his realization that humans are probably the worst species.”

    For news and items of interest throughout the day, every day, follow @CriterionDaily.

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