Pierson, Delpy, and More

Let’s begin with a round of interviews. In his latest “Streaming” column in the New York Times,Glenn Kenny talks with John Pierson about Split Screen, the television program that debuted on IFC back in 1997 and is now streaming on FilmStruck. “Over four years he made more than sixty half-hour episodes containing freewheeling informative interviews and video essays covering a wide range of topics in American indie film. . . . An episode from 1999 features Christopher Walken and Julian Schnabel giving cooking tips and sharing a meal with John Ciarcia, known as Cha Cha or the Mayor of Little Italy. The show also made room for, say, a segment in which John Waters exchanged notes with the gore schlockmeister Herschell Gordon Lewis and an entire episode about animals in film.” Says Pierson: “I was beholden to give them opportunities to create segments around stuff they loved.”

Also in the NYT, Cara Buckley interviews Jake Gyllenhaal.

For the Guardian,Cath Clarke heads to Paris to interview Julie Delpy to find her fuming about a “trashy, trashy, trashy” American lawyer who’s pulled the rug out from under her projected sixth film as a writer-director, My Zoe. “This experience with the hateful lawyer has triggered her disgust with the misogyny in the film industry. So, too, has the wave of recent stories of men abusing their power. Delpy doesn’t identify as a victim, but reels off encounters with ‘scumbags’ over the years that have kicked the trajectory of her career off course and slammed doors shut. Shockingly, she claims that, from the age of thirteen or fourteen, ‘creepy directors’ in France warned her that she would never make it if she didn’t go along with the casting-couch culture. Not a chance. She moved to New York at nineteen. ‘It made me really tough.’”

“If I show the mayor to be corrupt, that’s because these people exist,” Andrey Zvyagintsev tells the Guardian’s Xan Brooks. “That’s not because I want to be a dissident, or even because I want to criticize Russia. I’m just telling the stories I see around me. So if I’m a dissident, it’s not on purpose.” Loveless: The World of Andrey Zvyagintsev, a series at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, is currently running through January 24.

For the Notebook, Greg Cwik talks with Blake Williams about PROTOTYPE: “I don’t think it’s about the Galveston Hurricane, that’s just a template setting. It would be just as apt and accurate to say it’s a film about the auto industry, or about the beginning of cinema, or about 3D printing.”

Joshua Encinias talks with Guy Maddin and Evan and Galen Johnson for the Film Stage about The Green Fog. Maddin: “Pretty quickly we realized operating from a position of adapting Vertigo, using footage of other movies shot in San Francisco, gave us the freedom to riff on Vertigo the film, and do the kind of things good cine-essays do without the voiceover of a cine-essay.”

As it happens, Lynn Hershman Leeson’s new installation, VertiGhost, currently on view at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco through March 25, “uses surveillance technologies and 3D printing to place viewers in dialogue with Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece Vertigo (1958),” as Sloan Science & Film’s Sonia Shechet Epstein notes at the top of her interview. Leeson: “Essentially every visitor to the Museum who sat on that bench was re-performing Kim Novak’s role as Madeleine. I was really lucky nobody thought of it before.”

More Reading

Catherine Grant’s tweeted a link to Michael Witt’s 1998 doctoral thesis, which he’s made freely available as a PDF: “On Communication: The Work of Anne-Marie Miéville and Jean-Luc Godard as ‘Sonimage’ from 1973 to 1979.” Witt is the author of Jean-Luc Godard, Cinema Historian (2013) and co-editor of For Ever Godard (2004), The French Cinema Book (2004), and Jean-Luc Godard: Documents (2006).

“Unlike Hollywood, Arab cinema is flush with female directors making films that deal with feminist issues,” writes Nana Asfour in the New York Times.

“Julian Radlmaier’s filmography has thus far demonstrated a fixation with the terminology, the iconography—and the names, and the reference points—of a Marxist culture at once sacred, dogmatic, malleable, popular, misquoted, bastardized, mocked,” writes Michael Pattison in a piece for the Notebook on Self-Criticism of a Bourgeois Dog (2017).

“If Ronald Reagan’s presidency yearned for the age of Norman Rockwell, Donald Trump’s reaches to the era of Dr. Strangelove,” argues Justine Smith at RogerEbert.com. “Kubrick’s darkly prescient satire about America’s military fixation maintains its horrifying relevance as President Trump and Kim Jong-Un engage in a nuclear power struggle played out on a social media stage.”

John Coulthart has notes on the dogs in the work of David Lynch while, at Vague Visages, Tom Williams considers “Various Representations of Dogs in the Horror Genre.” And let’s not forget Girish Shambu’s piece for the TIFF Review on the dogs in Aki Kaurismäki’s films.

In Sandrine Bonnaire’s hour-long documentary on Marianne Faithfull, Fleur d’âme, “whose title both rehearses Faithfull’s florid self-mythology and her ephemeral fragility, Marianne appears to oscillate between a fierce attraction to the spotlight and an aversion to it,” writes Alice Blackhurst at Another Gaze.

In Other News

Claude Lelouch, the director best known of A Man and a Woman (1966), “has been the victim of a robbery,” reports Deadline’s Nancy Tartaglione, “and says he lost fifty years of hand-written observations ‘in ten seconds’ as two of his bags were stolen from outside the Paris office of his production company, Les Films 13.” And “along with the notes was the final draft of his next project, Oui et non. Lelouch said he would now be forced to delay the picture ‘by about a year, the time to put everything back in order.’”


Terence Marsh, “the Academy Award-winning art director and production designer behind Doctor Zhivago,Oliver!, and The Shawshank Redemption,” has died at the age of eighty-six, reports Ariana Brockington for Variety.


The second part of Peter Labuza and Keith Uhlich’s discussion of their favorite moving image work of 2017 is now up at The Cinephiliacs (149’57”).


Sabzian notes that, on the occasion of Jean-Marie Straub’s eighty-fifth birthday, “the Swiss cinémathèque has commissioned 15 friends—including Peter Nestler, Bernard Eisenschitz, Jean-Louis Comolli, Jean Narboni, and Valérie Massadian—to make video tributes. You can watch the shorts on their Vimeo page.

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