Back in a Bit

On Film / The Daily — Apr 22, 2018

We’re going to be doing a little renovating around here, so this will be the last Daily post for about a week or so. It’ll be worth the wait. You’ll see.

In the meantime, let’s have a quick look at the week ahead, then remember Nelson Pereira dos Santos (see below), and add a few notes on items that have appeared since yesterday’s big roundup.

Goings On

New York. One of the main events of the coming week will be Art of the Real, opening Thursday at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Here’s an overview.

Canyon Cinema turned fifty last year and, to celebrate, one of the leading distributors of experimental films anywhere sent a program of its films out on tour—a tour that’s is still rolling. From Friday through Sunday, Anthology Film Archives will present four separate programs and, as Michael Sicinski writes, it’s “a retrospective that is sprawling and alive, forward-looking and forward-thinking. It seems like every couple of years, someone declares the avant-garde (or film in general) ‘dead.’ And yes, it’s not as easy to work in celluloid as it used to be, although it was never exactly easy. But Canyon 50 is a perfect example of old and new, tradition and innovation, mutually informing one another.”

From Friday through May 10, the Quad will present Alan Rudolph’s Everyday Lovers. “This first ever retrospective of his work incorporates the U.S. premiere of his first feature in fifteen years, Ray Meets Helen. Prepare for sudden romance, shady doings, flights of fancy—and a wealth of cool musical accompaniment both on-screen and on the soundtrack.”

The BAMcinématek series of documentaries New Voices in Black Cinema opens on Thursday and runs through Sunday.

On Friday, ArteEast will present Films, Facts and Fiction, a program of short films by Michael Rakowitz, Basim Magdy, Roy Samaha, and Oraib Toukan.

On Tuesday, May 1, at the New York Public Library, Paul Schrader will talk with Rachel Kushner about her new novel, The Mars Room.

Los Angeles. The TCM Classic Film Festival opens on Thursday and runs through Sunday. The theme this year: “Powerful Words: The Page Onscreen.”

The UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema begins on Saturday and runs through May 19.

Chicago. This week’s Cine-List features Ben Sachs on Hiroshi Teshigahara’s The Face of Another (1966), screening Thursday at Doc Films, and Rashid Masharawi’s Writing on Snow, Thursday at the Gene Siskel Film Center; John Dickson on Eric Rohmer’s Boyfriends and Girlfriends (1987), Thursday at the Film Studies Center; Alexandra Ensign on Xavier Dolan’s Laurence Anyways (2012), tomorrow at Doc Films; and more.

Cambridge. On April 30, the Harvard Film Archive presents Giuliano Montaldo’s Sacco and Vanzetti (1971), “newly topical in its depiction of immigrant radicals accused of terrorism,” as J. Hoberman writes for the New York Review of Books. “Ennio Morricone composed the score. Spaghetti western star Gian Maria Volontè appears as Bartolomeo Vanzetti; Riccardo Cucciolla won an acting award at Cannes for his powerfully understated portrayal of Nicola Sacco.”

Austin. New French Cinema Weekend actually begins on Wednesday to run through Sunday. The Austin Film Society has a few questions for Xavier Legrand, whose Custody screens on Friday, and in the Austin Chronicle, Josh Kupecki previews Custody, Hubert Charuel’s Petit Paysan, and Léonor Serraille’s Montparnasse Bienvenüe.

London. On Tuesday, Rita Tushingham will be at BFI Southbank to talk about her debut performance in Tony Richardson’s A Taste of Honey (1961), screening as part of the BFI season Woodfall: A Revolution in British Cinema. “The themes of unwanted pregnancy and abortion come up time and time again in British New Wave cinema, but typically these issues are considered from the perspective of a male protagonist,” writes Stephen Puddicombe for Little White Lies.A Taste of Honey crucially adopts a woman’s point of view, focusing our attention on Jo [Tushingham] and the emotional ups and downs she experiences while contemplating what her future might look like with a child.”

Paris. The Cinémathèque française’s William Wyler retrospective opens on Wednesday and runs through May 28.

Lisbon. This year’s IndieLisboa runs from Thursday through May 6.

Berlin. The thirteenth Polish Film Festival opens on Wednesday and runs through May 2.

Reading

Jonathan Romney’s interviewed Claire Denis for the Observer and he’s caught her at a moment when “her mood is on the testy side.” She’ll talk about Let the Sunshine In, her new film with Juliette Binoche, but she “couldn’t care less about the Weinstein affair”: “‘That’s a discussion that’s only being had in rich countries.’ . . . When it comes to debates on sexual power, she argues, the benchmark was set by the 1976 Japanese film In the Realm of the Senses: ‘A master oppresses his female servant and she finally kills him through sex. In the west, the real problem is the class struggle; that’s where all the sexual problems come from.’”

As for High Life, Denis’s film with Robert Pattinson that is evidently not going to be ready for Cannes, Romney suggests that what we can expect, “once she’s finished the special effects, is anyone’s guess. What we do know is that the English dialogue is not, as was reported, written by Zadie Smith and Nick Laird; Denis didn’t see eye to eye with them. ‘We don’t have the same philosophy of life.’ Conversely, she got on famously with Olafur Eliasson, the Icelandic-Danish artist behind the legendary Tate Modern ‘sun’ installation, whose signature yellow light somehow feeds into High Life’s overall concept.”

Obits

Nelson Pereira dos Santos, a key figure in Brazil’s Cinema Novo of the 1960s and 70s, has passed away at the age of eighty-nine. Writing for Senses of Cinema in 2011, Hudson Moura called him “the most important living Brazilian filmmaker. In his quintessential career, his films have influenced directors and cinephiles for over fifty years. Of the most influential Brazilian films of the past five decades, at least one was directed by Santos in each decade. These influential films include Rio, 40 Graus (Rio, 100 Degrees F., 1955), Vidas Secas (Barren Lives, 1963), Como Era Gostoso o MeuFrancês (How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman, 1971), Memórias do Cárcere (1984), and Casa-Grande e Senzala (2000). Santos’s impact on Latin American cinema cannot be overstated.”

“Verne Troyer, best known for playing Mini-Me in the Austin Powers franchise of films, has died,” reports William Hughes at the A.V. Club. “Troyer, who also had a role in the first Harry Potter film as Griphook the Goblin, was forty-nine.” In the Guardian, Ryan Gilbey notes that Troyer worked with Terry Gilliam twice and that his “appearance in Werner Herzog’s My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (2010), executive-produced by David Lynch, was ‘nonsensical’ according to Variety magazine, and only one of the many bizarre elements in this tale of a man who slays his mother with a sword.”

Eye Candy

For the Guardian, Kathryn Bromwich introduces a gallery of Russian movie posters “made between 1957 and 1966” that “roughly coincide with the ‘Khrushchev thaw,’ a period of increased liberalism that followed Stalin’s death.” The posters from the collection of the Moscow Design Museum are featured in the new book, Designed in the USSR: 1950-1989.

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