Goings On: SXSW, Serra, and More

On Film / The Daily — Mar 8, 2018

Let’s start with some festival news, primarily because a big one, SXSW, is opening tomorrow in Austin. Jay Duplass is on the cover of the new issue of the Austin Chronicle, which features a whopping preview package. “Few filmmaker names are as synonymous with SXSW as Duplass,” writes Richard Whittaker. “Jay and his brother Mark (alongside the Zellners, Austin's most famous movie siblings) helped shape the tone of indie cinema when they became part of the class of 2005. That was the year mumblecore blew the doors off the festival, with Andrew Bujalksi's Mutual Appreciation, Joe Swanberg's Kissing on the Mouth, future mumblegore pioneer Ti West's The Roost, and of course the Duplass' lo-fi road trip, the audience award-winning The Puffy Chair. Duplass said, ‘Ten- and fifteen-thousand-dollar movies were being written up in the New York Times, and that's because of that quote-unquote movement.’”

Duplass stars in two SXSW 2018 films, Zeek Earl and Chris Caldwell’s Prospect and Lynn Shelton’s Outside In. Shelton hails from Seattle, so Jake Uitti gets to talk with her for the Stranger. That’s Edie Falco and Duplass in Outside In in the image at the top.

Again, the Chronicle’s SXSW preview is extensive, but other publications are also writing about their most anticipated films in this year’s edition: Filmmaker, IndieWire (previewing TV events as well), the Playlist, and ScreenAnarchy.

The Tribeca Film Festival, whose seventeenth edition runs from April 18 through 29, has not only announced its features lineup, but it’s also presented the lineup for its Tribeca Immersive program. “As one of the first festivals to champion VR as a dynamic form of storytelling, this year’s offerings include thirty-three virtual reality (VR) innovative exhibitions and experiences from top creators.”

Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You will screen at the 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival as a special Centerpiece event.

More Goings On

New York. “In 2006, French filmmaker and polymath Jean-Luc Godard was commissioned to curate an exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, devising a series of 18 maquettes—nine large, nine small—as a plan for Collage(s) de France: Archaeology of the Cinema,” writes Leo Goldsmith for Art Agenda. It “would be a kind of funhouse excursion through the director’s major themes and obsessions: cinematic and media images, the patrimonies of Europe, Hollywood, and their cultural and ideological peripheries.” But that never happened. What we have are the maquettes, now the basis of Memories of Utopia: Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘Collages de France’ Models, on view at Miguel Abreu Gallery through Sunday. This “aborted exhibition—Godard’s encounter of cinema, painting, atrocity, and literature within an “imaginary museum”—takes up an instructive position alongside his cinematic work.” More from Anne Doran (Time Out), Amy Taubin (Film Comment), and Dennis Zhou (Hyperallergic).

William Klein, the “photographer-turned-filmmaker, whose ninetieth birthday arrives in April, is being feted with The Eyes of William Klein, a retrospective at the Quad,” writes Abbey Bender in the Village Voice. “Klein’s work includes fiction and documentary, often blurring the boundaries between the two. The series is well positioned to cater to a variety of tastes: Klein’s nonfiction subjects include the French Open, Handel’s Messiah, and the social unrest of the late Sixties; his fiction films range from sci-fi to political satire. Klein’s oeuvre also offers particular appeal to fashion enthusiasts: Alongside Mode in France, Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (1966), and In & Out of Fashion (1998) combine to make a stylish and irreverent cinematic triptych.”

For Hyperallergic, Steve Macfarlane has called Klein at his Paris apartment, and finds that he “can’t dismiss the eighty-nine-year-old interviewee’s constant admonitions of ‘so what?’ and ‘what about it?’ as outright as I’d like, for these are indeed questions every critic should be asking themselves; Klein’s images have always spoken best for themselves anyway.”

Ongoing: Rendez-Vous with French Cinema 2018.

Los Angeles. Nathaniel Bell covers the highlights of the next seven days for the LA Weekly.

Berlin. “Shapeshifting in both form and function, the work of Catalan filmmaker Albert Serra extends far beyond the cinema,” writes Jordan Cronk for frieze.Liberté, the director’s first large-scale work for the stage, confirms less a disciplinary reappraisal than a formal reallocation by other means. . . . Set in 1774 on the eve of the Revolution, Liberté follows a group of French ex-patriots (comprised of an assortment of notable stage and screen performers, as well as a number of first-time actors) on the run in Germany, where they hope to spread a philosophy of moral, political and sexual indulgence. Led by Duchesse de Valselay (Ingrid Caven), this motley crew soon sets up camp in a lakeside clearing where an encounter with the aging German lothario Duc de Walchen (Helmut Berger, out of semi-seclusion) will encourage the group in their campaign of carnality, which includes the seduction of sexually curious townsfolk and the recruitment of vestal virgins from the local convent.”

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