• [The Daily] Kehr, Rosenbaum, and More

    By David Hudson


    Dave Kehr’s long reviews for the Chicago Reader, published between 1974 and 1986, comprise “a body of work that, together with Kehr’s columns for Chicago magazine in the 1980s, strikes me as being the most remarkable extended stretch of auteurist criticism in American journalism,” writes Jonathan Rosenbaum in the foreword to Kehr’s new collection, Movies That Mattered: More Reviews from a Transformative Decade. “For the range of films and filmmakers treated, the analytical tools employed, and the intellectual confidence and lucidity of the arguments, Kehr’s prose really has no parallels, which is why so much of it reads as freshly as if it were written yesterday.” Above: Detail of a photograph of Elaine May featured on the cover of Movies That Mattered.

    Rosenbaum’s also recently posted a lecture from 1998: “Since the outset of his career, Godard has been interested in two kinds of criticism—film criticism and social criticism—and these two interests are apparent in practically everything he does and says as an artist.” Also recently up at Rosenbaum’s site is a 2012 piece on programming series of films by Jacques Rivette in the late 1970s to accompany the publication of a collection he edited, Rivette: Texts and Interviews.

    Triple Canopy has posted Jennifer Krasinski’s introduction to Andy Warhol: The Series: “What you hold in your hands are the first two scripts that Hilton Als has written for a television series on the life of Andy Warhol—or rather, on the entwined lives of the artist and his mother, Julia Warhola, née Zavacky.”

    Film Criticism has added two essays to its Fall 2017 issue. Walter Metz writes about Twin Peaks: The Return: “The murder of Laura Palmer has its roots in the creation of American evil, the development of atomic weapons.” Plus, Menachem Rephun on Katheryn Bigelow’s Detroit, whose “interpretation of what took place in the Algiers Motel that night [in 1967] is as cold, insidious, and traumatic as any horror movie.”

    Now, Voyager, directed by Irving Rapper and produced by Hal B. Wallis, “has garnered a reputation as [Bette] Davis’s best performance and a quintessential example of the women’s picture, a proto-feminist subgenre that took shape in 1930s Hollywood that made the interior lives of complex women its terrain,” writes Angelica Jade Bastién for Vulture. “When I watched the 1942 film—which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year—for the first time as a teenager, it wasn’t the glamour or even the stirring romance that captured my imagination. It was the knotted story about Charlotte’s struggle with mental illness that I was drawn to because it offered something I hadn’t seen before or since in cinematic madwomen: hope.”

    Hunter Harris and E. Alex Jung have launched Vulture’s new book club and the first novel everyone’s reading is André Aciman’s Call Me by Your Name, which, of course, has been adapted by James Ivory for the film directed by Luca Guadagnino.

    “Far from the soundstages of Hollywood, Nell Shipman ventured into the wild to produce movies that celebrated independent women in exciting scenarios,” writes Jeremy Geltzer in an excerpt from Film Censorship in America: A State-by-State History now up at IndieWire. “Although Shipman’s name may no longer be familiar, she deserves to be remembered as one of cinema’s important female pioneers.”

    Notebook editor Daniel Kasman looks back on several highlights of this year’s Viennale, a festival that’s had a rough 2017. “Nevertheless, the personality that makes this festival one of the year’s best both in terms of diverse programming and intangible feel—helped in no small part by the charming old cinemas that house the screenings, each a pleasurable walk from another through the old-money-calcified, new-tourist-populated city center—was within easy reach.”

    “A complex film like this deserves an extended commentary,” writes Kristin Thompson of Bill Morrison’s Dawson City: Frozen Time, and so, she presents one—albeit with spoilers, so she recommends seeing the film before returning to her latest entry.

    Sofia Coppola’s “most mundane moments are so saturated with an air of ennui that they barely need to justify their duration,” writes Nadine Zylberberg in the latest entry in Reverse Shot’s symposium on time.

    For Cineuropa, Birgit Heidsiek talks with Vanessa Redgrave about her directorial debut, Sea Sorrow, a documentary on the refugee crisis in Europe. “The [British] government wishes these people would just go away so that they won’t be a problem any more. When people start to think this way about people, soon they start to think this way about their own people—and then we have fascism.”


    New York. For the New York Times, Alexis Soloski talks with Uma Thurman about starring in House of Cards creator Beau Willimon’s new play, The Parisian Woman, opening on November 30 at the Hudson Theater on Broadway: “With a career spent trying ‘to be decent and work hard’ amid what she described as Hollywood’s ‘contempt and dismissiveness toward women of all kinds,’ it comes as a relief to find a role like this one.”

    Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) cemented Peter Weir’s status as a key figure of the Australian New Wave,” writes Stephanie Monohan at Screen Slate, “and also has seen a modern re-emergence of aesthetic influence on elite cultural tastemakers. You’ve seen it everywhere from the films of Sofia Coppola to Vogue fashion editorials, trickling down to the likes of Rookie Magazine and teen girl Tumblr blogs.” Novelist Megan Abbott will introduce tomorrow’s screening at Film Forum.

    Cambridge. Chase Sui Wonders analyses a scene from Max Ophuls’s The Earrings of Madame de . . . (1953), screening Friday at the Brattle.

    Toronto. The TIFF Review talks with Stephen Rea, star of The Crying Game (1992); director Neil Jordan will introduce this evening’s screening.

    Fanta Sylla writes about Danny Glover’s performance in Charles Burnett’s To Sleep with Anger (1990), screening tonight as part of TIFF Cinematheque’s series Black Star, and “no less heightened or poetic than Burnett’s masterful debut Killer of Sheep.

    Montréal. Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything is an exhibition on view at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal through April 9, and the National Film Board has posted four related films to watch wherever you are.


    “Toni Collette is set to star in Wanderlust, a new drama series for Netflix and BBC One that explores the relationships of a multi-generational family,” reports Erik Pedersen for Deadline.

    Babylon Berlin, “set during the Weimar Republic, the chaotic 15-year era that preceded the Third Reich, is widely predicted to become an international television sensation,” reports Siobhán Dowling for the New York Times. “Based on the best-selling novels by Volker Kutscher, the show centers on Gereon Rath, a police detective from Cologne played by Volker Bruch, who arrives in the unfamiliar capital to investigate a blackmail plot involving a sadomasochistic porn film. . . . Work has already begun on Season 3, and there’s plenty more source material to draw on. Mr. Kutscher has already written six Gereon Rath novels and plans another three, culminating with Kristallnacht in 1938.”


    “The Australian writer, novelist, commentator, film festival director and mother Sylvia Lawson has died,” writes Geoffrey Gardner. “Sylvia had a long writing life. History, politics and culture were her fields and she wrote very well. She took particular pride that she was for instance the only Australian to make a contribution to the giant Jean-Luc Godard exhibition catalogue published by the Pompidou Centre. . . . She was a gadfly and a provocateur but always polite and always the writer of very great elegance.”

    “Brad Harris, best known for his work in sword-and-sandal movies, died Tuesday,” reports Rebecca Rubin for Variety. “The actor and stuntman worked in Europe for majority of his career, appearing in over fifty spy films and spaghetti Westerns in the 1960s, including The Fury of Hercules, Pirates of the Mississippi, Black Eagle of Santa Fe, Kiss, Kiss, Kill, Kill, Spy Today, Die Tomorrow, Death Trip, The Mad Butcher, and Supermen.” Harris was eighty-four.


    The Film Comment Podcast’s a special one this week, #101, looking back at highlights for the first hundred episodes before moving on to Violet Lucca’s conversation with Ruben Östlund about The Square (48’52”).


    “Between Two Plot Points” is the new audiovisual essay by Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin for De Filmkrant, and it focuses on a scene in Howard Hawks’s Ball of Fire (1941) (4’05”).

    Film Comment’s posted a gallery of (mostly) handmade posters and flyers as well as photographs from the heyday of the college campus film society.

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

1 comment

  • By Sean Ramsdell
    November 08, 2017
    05:08 PM

    Check out Eric Levy's lists for both Kehr and Rosenbaum