• [The Daily] 1967, Scorsese, Dash, and More

    By David Hudson

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    The fifty-fifth edition of the New York Film Festival opens tomorrow and runs through October 15. In his latest “Cinema ’67 Revisited” column for Film Comment, Mark Harris looks back at the fifth edition, noting that “Susan Sontag began her decade-long stint on the selection committee in 1967. Sontag’s appreciation of film was passionate, her tastes were austere, even severe, and her certainty that politics belonged on the screen and in the festival was intractable. So it’s not surprising that 1967’s opening-night selection was Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers—nor was it a shock that of the two dozen movies chosen for that year’s lineup, three were directed by Jean-Luc Godard.” Namely, Les Carabiniers (1962), Made in U.S.A. (1966), and Far from Vietnam (1967; image above), “an antiwar documentary he made with five other directors (including Agnès Varda, the sole member of the class of ’67 to be represented in the 2017 festival as well).”

    NYFF 2017 will also be presenting a Robert Mitchum Retrospective and, on the latest Film Comment Podcast (55’15”), Imogen Sara Smith, who has a piece on Mitchum in the current issue, NYFF director Kent Jones, FC contributor Steven Mears, and digital producer Violet Lucca each bring to the table “a Mitchum performance to delve into.”

    MORE READING

    “Here’s a picture of my scribbly index card.” Jeff Malmberg, director of Marwencol (2010) and co-director of Spettacolo (2017), is the latest filmmaker to write up a list of ten favorite films of the past ten years.

    Aleksandar Hemon, author of the novels Nowhere Man (2002) and The Lazarus Project (2008), has been brought on to write the second season and he forthcoming series finale of Sense8 along with the Netflix series’ co-creator Lana Wachowski, J. Michael Straczynski, and novelist David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas). Writing for the New Yorker, Hemon notes that he’d never been interested in writing for television, “even though I had come to believe that American television had overtaken narrative literature in its ability to deal with contemporary realities. No novel has addressed the Bush years’ crypto-fascist notion of ‘leadership’ with the same clarity of thought as The Sopranos. If you wanted to understand the waste laid by the so-called War on Drugs, you wouldn’t read a novel—you’d watch The Wire. Television, in other words, offers opportunities to confront and report from the world as it changes.” Hemon goes on to describe the emotional roller coaster the Sense8 team (which has already been cooking up a “New Project”) has been riding since the series’ cancellation and semi-revival with that upcoming two-hour special wrap-up episode.

    “Throughout a long career that flowered in the fertile age of Seventies American cinema, [Ellen] Burstyn has played many roles and taken many chances,” writes Dan Callahan in his profile for the Village Voice, “but she had never done Shakespeare professionally until director John Doyle offered her the male role of Jaques in a production of As You Like It at Classic Stage.” That production opens tomorrow and runs through October 22.

    RogerEbert.com has posted an overview of and a few excerpts from Annette Insdorf’s forthcoming book, Cinematic Overtures: How to Read Opening Scenes.

    F. X. Feeney’s Harris Kubrick: Genius Takes Two

    Jerzy Skolimowski’s Moonlighting (1982) “sticks so well to reality that it benefits from its energy,” wrote Serge Daney for Libération in 1989. “The Polish reality being, rightly, sinister, the film itself is not joyful, even if it’s funny.”

    Filmmaker Jesse Noah Klein (We’re Still Together) at the Talkhouse Film: “I don’t remember when I first saw [Elaine May’s] Mikey and Nicky [1976] but in all the times I’ve seen it since—and I lost count long ago—every viewing has felt like the very first.”

    The new issue of View focuses on the “History of Private and Commercial Television in Europe.”

    IN OTHER NEWS

    A statue of Brigitte Bardot, measuring just over eight feet tall, will be unveiled in St. Tropez tomorrow, her eighty-third birthday, reports the RFI. “Bardot became synonymous with the town after she helped put it on the map in her breakthrough role in the 1956 film And God Created Woman.

    GOINGS ON

    New York. The Theirs/ours/yours: Queer Art & Film Fest is on from tomorrow through Sunday and, on Friday night, “Dirty Looks returns to New York with our most popular L.A. event—Sesión Continua! Part marathon screening, part installation, our 24-hour porn theatre works to recall the queer porn storefronts that proliferated our city before the advent of home video.” At Hyperallergic, Benjamin Sutton notes that “visitors will be able to pay a one-time admission of $12 and come and go as they please to the string of uninterrupted screenings at the 25-screen nonprofit cinema Video Revival.

    Chicago. Tomorrow, the Chicago South Asian Film Festival will present the local premiere of Jennifer Reeder’s debut feature Signature Move, and, introducing his interview with Reeder, Michael Smith calls the film “a crowd-pleasing rom-com about a Pakistani Muslim lesbian lawyer who attempts to hide her love life and interest in lucha-style wrestling from her conservative, live-in mother. This special preview screening takes place at the Music Box Theatre one day before the film’s theatrical run begins and will feature a private meet-and-greet with legendary Indian actress Shabana Azmi as well as a Q&A with Azmi, Reeder and the film’s producer, writer and star, Fawzia Mirza.”

    IN THE WORKS

    Martin Scorsese will direct Leonardo DiCaprio in Roosevelt, a drama about Teddy, the twenty-sixth President of the United States, who served from 1901 to 1909. Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. notes that Scorsese and DiCaprio are still developing The Devil in the White City and Killers of the Flower Moon, “both based on critically acclaimed books.”

    According to Oliver Lyttelton at the Playlist, Scorsese may also be working on a documentary about Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue, “a series of theater shows that the music legend played in 1975 and 1976 with people including Joan Baez, Roger McGuinn, the late Sam Shepard, Allen Ginsberg, T. Bone Burnett, and others.” Lyttelton emphasizes that this project is not a sure thing, but he shows us the dots he’s connecting that seem to map out Scorsese’s involvement in some form or other.

    Back to Fleming, reporting that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie) “have signed on to develop to direct Artemis, the novel by The Martian author Andy Weir.” The story “centers on Jasmine Bashara, aka Jazz, just another too-smart, directionless twentysomething chafing at the constraints of her small town and dreaming of a better life. Except the small town happens to be named Artemis—and it’s the first and only city on the moon.”

    Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust) has signed on to direct an upcoming biopic on Rosa Parks, which will center on the decade before her seminal moment on a Montgomery bus, when Parks, already an activist of her time, sought justice for 24-year-old wife and mother Recy Taylor, who was brutally gang-raped by six white men in Alabama in 1944,” reports Amanda N’Duka for Deadline. Based on Danielle L. McGuire’s book At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance—A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power, “the film will not only center on Park’s efforts, but also the many other female activists who banded together to defend Taylor and demand justice for the crime (the perpetrators were never arrested, and Taylor’s case was dismissed).”

    Michael Goi (American Horror Story) will direct Gary Oldman and Emily Mortimer in Mary, the story of “a couple facing financial struggles who buy an old ship at auction with the hope of starting a charter business, only to discover her horrifying secrets on the isolated open waters,” reports Deadline’s Anita Busch.

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