Issues: Cineaste, Senses, More

On Film / The Daily — Dec 18, 2017


The new Winter 2017 issue of Cineaste is out and the highlight of what’s online would have to be the interviews, four complete “Web Exclusives.”

Also online from the new issue:

  • Richard Porton on Thomas Adès’s “dazzling, although occasionally puzzling, operatic adaptation of Luis Buñuel’s 1962 film The Exterminating Angel
  • J. E. Smyth on Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’s Battle of the Sexes
  • Robert Cashill on Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049, “as good as any not terribly necessary sequel arriving a tardy thirty-five years later can be”
  • Lawrence Garcia on Call Me by Your Name, “Luca Guadagnino’s most substantial achievement thus far”
  • “But what a little miracle it turned out to be.” David Neary on Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940)
  • Jonathan Murray on Arthur Penn’s Night Moves (1975), “a notably thought-provoking, proto-postmodern American film about an historical American film tradition”
  • David Sterritt on Joseph H. Lewis’s Terror in a Texas Town (1950), “penned by Dalton Trumbo, with screen credit going to Ben L. Perry, one of several fronts Trumbo used during his years on Hollywood’s anticommunist blacklist in the McCarthy era”
  • Robert Cashill on Michael Curtiz’s The Sea Wolf (1941), “a true Golden Age classic restored to its original length (and impact) after seventy years”
  • Isabelle Freda on Film and the American Presidency, a collection of essays edited by Jeff Menne and Christian B. Long
  • Richard Porton and Shaista Husain look back on this year’s Locarno Festival

In the print edition, we’ll find a roundtable on Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit, a symposium on the future of home viewing (I contributed a few words), Robert Koehler on Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, Adrian Martin on Marsha Gordon’s book, Film Is Like a Battleground: Sam Fuller's War Movies, and more.

There’s a new issue of Senses of Cinema up, and it’s a whopper. “Tying in with the centenary of the fall of the Romanov dynasty in Russia and the ensuing October revolution, the centerpiece of this issue is our blockbuster dossier ‘100 Years of Soviet Cinema,’” announce the editors before turning punny. “Come and see an arsenal of more than fifty articles, on individual films stretching from 1924’s Strike [image above] to 2014’s Leviathan, with entries covering works that have been celebrated across the world (even if, at times, their deified directors often found it hard to be a god), as well as those that encountered political repression and critical neglect, and, but for the irony of fate, faced becoming letters never sent.”

“Soviet cinema continues to exist, and will continue to exist for many years to become, for two main reasons,” writes Daniel Fairfax, introducing the dossier. “Firstly, because films made during the Soviet era are still with us, with a few tragic exceptions. . . . Secondly, because, even to this day, the history of the USSR—the boundless optimism it promised and the nightmarish reality it brought about – looms large in the cinema of Russia and the other former Soviet republics.” The dossier at a glance:

Tony Williams on Lev Kuleshov’s The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks (1924)
Lisa K. Broad on Yakov Protazanov’s Aelita: Queen of Mars (1924)
Natalie Ryabchikova on Sergei Eisenstein’s Strike (1924), Kuleshov’s The Death Ray (1925), Mikhail Kalatozov’s Salt for Svanetia (1930), and Esfir Shub’s Komsomol: Leader of Electrification (1932)
Helen Grace on Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Josh Alvizu on Dziga Vertov’s One Sixth of the World (1926)
Cara Marisa Deleon on Vsevolod Pudovkin’s Mother (1926)
Barbara Wurm on Vertov’s Stride, Soviet! (1926)
Shari Kizirian on Boris Barnet’s The Girl with the Hatbox (1927), Eisenstein’s October (1927), and Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera (1929)
Anastasia Kostina on Esfir Shub’s The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty (1927)
John Mackay on Pudovkin’s Storm over Asia (1928) and Aleksei Balabanov’s Brother (1997)
Greg Dolgopolov on Barnet’s The House on Trubnaya (1928)
Miguel Marías on Alexander Dovzhenko’s Arsenal (1929)
Michael Cramer on Grigori Kozinstev and Leonid Trauberg’s The New Babylon (1929)
Julia Vassilieva on Eisenstein’s The Old and the New (1929) and Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan (2014)
Adam Bingham on Dovzhenko’s Earth (1930)
Tadas Bugnevicius on Pudovkin’s The Deserter (1933)
Greg Dolgopolov on Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky (1938)
Andrew Grossman on Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible Parts I and II (1944 and 1958)
Brad Weismann on Mikheil Chiaurelli’s The Fall of Berlin (1950), Kalatozov’s Letter Never Sent (1960), and Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979)
Masha Shpolberg on Kalatozov’s The Cranes Are Flying (1957)
Julia Levin on Grigori Chukhrai’s Ballad of a Soldier (1959)
Viktoria Paranyuk on Marlen Khutsiev’s Ilich’s Gate (1962) and I Am Twenty (1965)
Mihaela Mihailova on Mikhail Tsekhanovsky and Vera Tsekhanovskaya’s The Wild Swans (1962)
Fergus Daly and Katherine Waugh on Tarkovsky’s Ivan’s Childhood (1962)
Daniel Fairfax on Grigori Kozintsev’s Hamlet (1964)
Andrey Tolstoy on Leonid Gayday’s Operation Y and Shurik’s Other Adventures (1965)
Hamish Ford on Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev (1966)
Alena Lodkina on Gennady Shpalikov’s A Long Happy Life (1966)
Paul Macovaz on Artavazd Peleshian’s We (1969)
Rahul Hamid on Sergei Parajanov’s The Color of Pomegranates (1969)
Pasquale Iannone on Aleksei German’s Trial of the Road (1971) and Aleksandr Sokurov’s Russian Ark (2003)
Acquarello on Tarkovsky’s Solaris (1972)
Sam Ishii-Gonzales on Tarkovsky’s Mirror (1975)
Masha Shpolberg on Eldar Riazanov’s The Irony of Fate, or I Hope You Have a Nice Bath! (1976)
Barbora Bartunkova on Larisa Shepitko’s The Ascent (1977)
Olga Kim on Parajanov’s The Legend of Suram Fortress (1984)
Adrian Danks on Elem Klimov’s Come and See (1985)
Daria Ezerova on Vasily Pichul’s Little Vera (1988)
Evgeny Gusyatinskiy on Kira Muratova’s The Asthenic Syndrome (1989)
Jeremi Szaniawski on Sokurov’s Mother and Son (1997) and Aleksei Balabanov’s Cargo 200 (2007)
Greg Dolgopolov on German’s Khrustalyov, My Car! (1988)
Tatiana Efremova on Sergei Loznitsa’s Blockade (2006)
Lukas Brasiskis on German’s Hard to Be a God (2013)

Introducing another dossier that’s come from the recent symposium Screening Melbourne, Sean Redmond and Glen Donnar argue that “there is barely a section of Melbourne that has not been illuminated and transformed by the pulsating arteries and veins of the city’s neon-soaked screen culture.”

There are three interviews, Andrew J. Rausch’s with “1950s matinee idol” Tab Hunter, Emma Westwood’s with Mattie Do, who has “helped create the foundations of a film industry in Laos’ capital of Vientiane” and “made two two impressive feature films that draw from superstition to tell female-centric stories about jealousy and repression,” and Justine Smith’s with Basma Alsharif, whose “filmic style evokes a kind of hypnosis, as her images rarely seem bound by temporal continuity and are linked harmoniously through sound and subtitle in terms of mood rather than narrative meaning. Ouroboros is an elaboration on her stylistic impulses and political ideas so far, representing an engaging and challenging debut.”

Also in the features section:

  • Andrew Northrop’s essay on Agnès Varda’s Jacquot de Nantes (1991), a portrait of her husband Jacques Demy blending fiction and nonfiction
  • Gerard Corvin argues that The Touch (1971) “deserves a place beside [Ingmar Bergman’s] greatest achievements”
  • Seances, a generative work of film and video by Guy Maddin and Evan and Galen Johnson, collides “the old and the new in a surrealist gesture of creating a hauntological history of cinema,” writes Andrei Kartashov, “an endeavor directed toward not an ‘end of cinema’—but rather to a point of departure for the cinema to come”
  • In the first installment of a two-part article, Murray Pomerance writes about “the trope of the gangster in four films shot in Paris in the 1950s, at the dawn of the nouvelle vague movement: Jules Dassin’s Du rififi chez les hommes (1954), Jacques Becker’s Touchez-pas au grisbi (1955), Jean-Pierre Melville’s Bob le Flambeur (1956), and Jean-Luc Godard’s À bout de souffle (1960)”
  • Peter Weir’s The Plumber (1979) “is diabolically charming, yet if one examines the underlying elements, an incisive social commentary is revealed,” writes William “Bill” Blick

There are eleven festival reports, including Darren Hughes’s on the Wavelengths program at Toronto this year and Marco Abel’s piece on how German cinema has kept the Red Army Faction alive as a cultural force; book reviews, including Daniel Fairfax’s on Thomas Elsaesser’s Film History as Media Archaeology: Tracking Digital Cinema; and three names are inducted into the Great Directors collection: Julia Vassilieva writes about Sergei Eisenstein, Jeremy Carr about Max Ophuls, and Luke Aspell about Lindsay Anderson.

Catherine Grant alerts us to a new issue of Frames Cinema Journal. The theme: “Innovation and Iteration: The Potential of Documentary,” addressing “what the studies of prior moments in non-fiction film can tell us about its present and possible futures,” as editors Sophie Hopmeier and Cassice Last explain.

  • Lyell Davies argues that “contrary to common expectations for the documentary . . . , a powerful feature of documentary film viewership can be entering into a state of ‘not knowing,’ as seen in the instances of [Banksy’s] Exit Through the Gift Shop [2010] and [Joshua Oppenheimer’s] The Act of Killing [2012].”
  • Vincent Bohlinger looks into how Emile de Antonio put together Rush to Judgment (1967), a film based on Mark Lane’s 1966 book challenging the conclusions of the Warren Commission, which of course, investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In short, it amounted to “crowdfunding in the age before social media, if you will. De Antonio, therefore, can be seen as not only an innovator in documentary film style, but also as a practitioner of an innovation in film financing, one that he became forced to depend upon.”
  • Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani focuses on Nguyễn Trinh Thi’s Vietnam The Movie (2016), “a collage documentary that combines several excerpts from Vietnam-related movies.”
  • Kim Munro lays out an argument for “decentralizing the role of first person accounts” in nonfiction filmmaking.
  • Liz Miller writes about The Shore Line, her “collaborative web documentary profiling the efforts of educators, artists, architects, scientists, city planners and youth organizations from nine countries taking actions along our global coast.”

This issue also features four relatively brief book reviews.

In the new Brooklyn Rail:

  • “Olivia Ciummo’s films are utterly mysterious to me, both in their thematics and apparent intent,” writes Michael Sicinski. “But I can sort out some very basic elements, things that would probably be apparent to anyone who had the good fortune to view her films.”
  • Alexandra Juhasz talks with Barbara Hammer about “the changing, growing powers of female, queer, and feminist artists.”
  • Z. W. Lewis talks with Michael Robinson about Onward Lossless Follows (2017), noting that “his career as visual cultural critic is at its most disturbing in this latest work as he implements internet culture: stock videos, text chat, and other digital artifacts that feel sharp and hyper-real compared to his usual fuzzy, nostalgic outlook.”
  • Jaime Grijalba writes about the three films Yuzo Kawashima made with Ayako Wakao, whose “performances are greatly enhanced by Kawashima’s audacious sense of where to place the camera, to best express his characters’ psychological turmoil and to search for a new perspective on how Japanese gender roles as well as family structures could be both portrayed and critiqued.”
  • Williams Cole looks back on this year’s edition of DOC NYC
  • And from Sonia Shechet Epstein, “Notes on Science and Film”

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