Welles, Maddin, and More

“Orson Welles, a boy from Kenosha, Wisconsin, was one of the most audacious Shakespearians who ever lived,” writes Robert Horton. “He recited soliloquies as a child, wrote a book on the plays as a teenager, and at age seventeen roamed across Ireland before brazenly (and successfully) presenting himself at the Abbey Theatre as a distinguished American actor. Welles also created three of the most ambitious Shakespeare films. As an American pretender, a colonial presuming to re-interpret the greatest British writer, Welles approached Shakespeare with a mix of bravado and insecurity.” Parallax View presents a paper that “explores how Welles’s American nature informs these roles and, especially, his final Shakespeare film, Chimes at Midnight (1965).”

Travis Wilkerson’s Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? is beginning its rollout into theaters, starting with New York’s Film Forum tomorrow. Grasshopper Film has asked Wilkerson to list his ten favorite films of the past ten years. And he does, though most of them weren’t made in the past decade.

If Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance trilogy, “submerged in the stylized muck of underworld suffering, comprises a condemnation of our libidinal urges towards demented violence and blind contempt,” writes Justin Hong for Subtitle, “I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK [2006] is the pastel balm—a story about the possibilities of compassion untethered to the strict moral categories and scientific discourses of modern society.”

Writing for Artforum,Travis Jeppesen looks back on this year’s Berlinale and declares it to be “the worst program in the entire sixty-eight year history of the festival.” He also argues that “the obvious failures of the Berlinale have their roots in the ossified structure of Germany’s cultural bureaucracy, which also accounts for the dismal state of the country’s filmmaking industry, wherein lifelong—or otherwise contractually inflated—jobs are rewarded through nepotism, rather than for talent and vision.”

“Packing at least a feature film’s worth of action into a sleek and compulsively rewatchable nine minutes, Accidence is a witty new short from Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson and Galen Johnson,” writes Jessica Kiang for Variety, where she’s posted this video:

Goings On

New York.Neighboring Scenes: New Latin American Cinema opens tomorrow at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and runs through March 4. For Gay City News,Steve Erickson writes about Anahi Berneri’s Alanis, which “serves up a few very difficult days in a sex worker’s life,” Alejo Moguillansky’s The Little Match Girl, which “has a charm akin to his gay compatriot Matias Piñeiro’s films,” and Niles Atallah’s Rey, whose “political statements about colonial racism stick with one less than its bizarre and imaginative imagery.”

Stewed Angels: Caroliner on Tour is a double-bill of concert footage from the micro-legendary performing group, formed thirty-five years ago in San Francisco during the heyday of art school punk and Subterranean Records,” writes Tyler Maxin. Tonight at Spectacle.

“Kim Longinotto and Jano Williams’s 2000 documentary Gaea Girls, on Japan’s now-defunct pro-wrestling club of the same name, is a slap in the face to conceptions of modern womanhood, and made all the more raw, exhausting, and difficult to watch for the simple reason that it is all true,” writes Jeva Lange, also at Screen Slate. Thursday at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown Brooklyn.

Chicago. The DOC10 Film Festival has announced the lineup for its third edition, running from April 5 through 8.

Dublin. Paul Duane’s While You Live, Shine, a documentary about musicologist Chris King and the music of Epirus in northern Greece, sees its world premiere tomorrow at the Dublin International Film Festival, currently running through Sunday. “I basically didn’t have a clue what I was getting into, which, God knows why, I always find an exciting prospect,” Duane writes at MostlyFilm. “My roadmap out of this situation was the Criterion box set Always For Pleasure, the collected films of the late American documentarian Les Blank. Watching them, I realised that what you need to make a documentary is interesting people doing interesting things. In theory, if you’ve chosen your subject well, everything else will follow.”

In the Works

Denis Côté has begun production on his adaptation of Laurence Olivier’s novel, Répertoire des villes disparues, reports Ioncinema’s Eric Lavallée. Robert Naylor, Josée Deschênes, Jean-Michel Anctil, Larissa Corriveau, Diane Lavallée, and Rémi Goulet have been cast in the story of the aftermath in a small town in Quebec of a car crash that’s left a young man dead.

Also, “child actor Thomas Gioria has been cast in the lead role in the final installment of Fabrice Du Welz’s Ardennes trilogy. Happy End’s Fantine Harduin was identified last November as the new Gloria (a thematic triptych character) with an impeccable cast of Beatrice Dalle, Emmanuelle Beart, Benoit Poelvoorde and Peter Van de Begin on board as supporting players.” Adoration “will explore the boundaries of a maddening, destructive love, but this time: between two children.”

“Antoine Fuqua and Universal Pictures are back in conversations about Scarface, a new version of the classic outlaw tale,” reports Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. “The new film borrows the immigrant rags-to-riches story but presents it in contemporary Los Angeles. The most recent script is by David Ayer, Jonathan Herman and Joel and Ethan Coen.”

Also, Bobby Cannavale and Dallas Roberts are joining Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe, Alec Baldwin, Leslie Mann, and Michael K. Williams in Edward Norton’s adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn.

Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez has signed on to star in and produce Someone Great, a romantic comedy that Jennifer Kaytin Robinson is directing for Netflix.” The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit: “Written by Robinson, the story tells of a woman who, after a heart-wrenching break-up, decides to seek adventure in New York City with her two best friends before she moves across the country for her dream job.”

Jennifer Lawrence has “let it slip that she has partnered with former E! News anchor Catt Sadler on a series project.” Chris Gardner and Sam Reed for the Hollywood Reporter: “One source says Lawrence and Sadler are developing a series inspired by #MeToo, Time's Up and gender wage gap conversations in Hollywood.”


Lewis Gilbert, who directed You Only Live Twice (1967), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), and Moonraker (1979), has died at the age of ninety-seven. “Starting out as a child actor, in 1933’s Dick Turpin, he served as an assistant on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1939 thriller Jamaica Inn,” writes Deadline’s Peter White. “After directing a number of war novel adaptations, Gilbert directed Michael Caine’s Alfie, which was was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture.”


On Saturday, Film Comment editor Nicolas Rapold moderated a free talk on “Race and Representation” (55’59”). Taking part were directors Antonio Méndez Esparza (Life and Nothing More) and RaMell Ross (Hale County This Morning, This Evening) and Racquel Gates, author of Double Negative: The Black Image and Popular Culture.

For the Notebook, Clare Nina Norelli writes about Jon Brion’s score for Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)—and posts a few samples.


David Bordwell notes that there’s a new, thirteen-minute installment of the Observations on Film Art series at FilmStruck in which Kristin Thompson discusses Raymond Bernard’s Wooden Crosses (1932), an “intense World War I drama” that “boasts scenes of Fuller-like frenzy.” Bordwell’s also celebrating the new addition of 600 classic films to the collection and the launch of FilmStruck UK. “I sometimes wonder how I’d have turned out if I’d had so wide and deep an access to films during the 60s.”

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