Goings On: Ebertfest and More

On Film / The Daily — Apr 18, 2018

First up, some festival news. Joining Cate Blanchett, who’ll be presiding over the Jury of the seventy-first Cannes Film Festival (May 8 through 19), will be Chang Chen, who made his acting debut in Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day (1991) and appeared in Wong Kar-wai’s Happy Together (1997), Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), and Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Three Times (2005); director Ava DuVernay (A Wrinkle in Time); director Robert Guédiguian (The Army of Crime); songwriter, composer, and singer Khadja Nin; actresses Léa Seydoux and Kristen Stewart; and directors Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049) and Andrey Zvyagintsev (Loveless).

David Cronenberg will preside over the International Jury at the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival, whose eighteenth edition runs from July 6 through 14. He’ll also be talking about his 2014 novel Consumed and adaptations; and he’s selected four films for his carte blanche program: Jack Arnold’s The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), Hiroshi Teshigahara’s Woman in the Dunes (1964), Ingmar Bergman’s Hour of the Wolf (1968), and from Federico Fellini, Spirits of the Dead: Toby Dammit (1968).

The twentieth edition of Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, known to most as Ebertfest, opens today to run through Sunday in Champaign, Illinois. Chaz Ebert has been writing about the guests—filmmakers, scholars, and a slew of critics—who’ll be on hand to discuss the films.

  • Tonight, director Andrew Davis, talking about his 1993 film, The Fugitive.
  • Tomorrow, physics professors Miguel Alcubierre and Brand Fortner will discuss Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar (2014); Gregory Nava will present Selena (1997); and Amma Asante will be on hand for Belle (2014).
  • Friday begins with the team behind Columbus, director Kogonada and producers Bill Harnisch, Ruth Ann Harnisch, Andrew Miano, and Danielle Renfrew Behrens; the Alloy Orchestra will perform their score for Teinosuke Kinugasa’s A Page of Madness (1926); and producer Ted Hope will join directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini for a screening of American Splendor (2003) with Paul Giamatti as Harvey Pekar.
  • On Saturday, it’s Ava DuVernay with 13th (2016), Julie Dash with Daughters of the Dust (1991), Martha Coolidge with Rambling Rose (1991), and Jeff Dowd, the inspiration for Jeff Bridges’s character in Joel and Ethan Coen’s The Big Lebowski (1998).
  • Alfonso Maiorana, co-director and director of photography on Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, and artist and activist Pura Fé will wrap the fest on Sunday.

The ninth edition of Bif&st, the Bari International Film Festival in Italy opening Saturday and running through April 28, will feature talks delivered by Margarethe von Trotta, Vittorio Storaro, and Bernardo Bertolucci as well as retrospectives of work by Marco Ferreri and producer Franco Cristaldi. Camillo De Marco has more at Cineuropa.

More Goings On

New York. To celebrate the launch in the U.S. of the first print edition of Another Gaze: A Feminist Film Journal, the editors are presenting an afternoon of free screenings and talks on Saturday at the Renee Chaim and Gross Foundation. Claudia Weill, Bette Gordon, Leslie Harris, and Elisabeth Subrin will discuss “female independence, gentrification, precarity, racial segregation, street harassment and how women alone might navigate” New York City; Andrea Luka Zimmerman will present her documentary Erase and Forget; and a panel will discuss works by Naomi Kawase, Gillian Wearing, and more.

In The 10th Victim (1965), screening tomorrow and Saturday as part of the Anthology Film Archives series Beyond Morricone: Piero Piccone and Friends, “violence has become the pillar of world peace, eradicating all wars in exchange for for a television game show legalizing murder,” writes Ryan Kane at Screen Slate. “Rather than paint a bleak dystopian landscape, director [Elio] Petri and frequent Antonioni screenwriter Tonino Guerra opt for the opposite. This is a future that could only be envisioned through the swinging mod and pop-art movements of the 60s—a full color comic strip come to life thanks to the geometric production design of Piero Poletto and space age costumes by Giulio Coltellacci.”

“To place Orson Welles’s A Touch of Evil (1958) and Carl Franklin’s One False Move (1992) together”—as BAMcinématek will do on Saturday—“is to recognize the crucial ways that borders and crossings constitute a central concern of film noir as the history of an idea,” writes Michael Boyce Gillespie.

Los Angeles. The new 4K fiftieth anniversary restoration of Luis Buñuel’s Belle de jour (1967) screens today and tomorrow at the Nuart Theatre.

Chicago. The seventeenth Chicago Palestine Film Festival opens on Saturday and runs through May 3 at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

Chicago Filmmakers will present two works by Amir Motlagh and Charles Borg on Saturday, MAN and Three Worlds, both made in 2018.

Cambridge. The “1930 silent masterpiece People on Sunday [image at the top] is a rare fusion of documentary and narrative genres,” writes Tyler Patterson. “The film’s forerunners include the cinematic paeans to cities such as Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand’s Manhatta, Walter Ruttman’s Berlin: Symphony of a Great City, and, of course, Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera. . . . But what makes People on Sunday stand out is the way in which [directors Robert Siodmak and Edgar G. Ulmer] and scriptwriter Billy Wilder fuse this experimentation, the rigor of Soviet montage techniques, and grand portraits of sprawling metropolises on the one hand; with a fairly straightforward, joke-studded narrative about twentysomethings in Weimar Berlin who embark on a sunny double date to one of the lakes on the outskirts of the city on the other.” People on Sunday screens, naturally enough, on Sunday at the Brattle.

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