Starting today, we’re reviving a popular feature, Did You See This?, a collection of pointers to items of interest that haven’t otherwise been covered here during the past week. Look for a fresh round of five each Friday.
- Five years ago, Taschen, the publisher of coffee table books you actually want to pick up, page through, and read, commissioned renowned film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum to write about the work of Jacques Tati for a forthcoming publication. Over the past couple of few weeks, Rosenbaum, who worked for Tati as a script consultant in the early 1970s, has posted what amount to richly informative primers on each of Tati’s features: Jour de fête (1949), Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday (1953), Mon oncle (1958), PlayTime (1967), Trafic (1971), and Parade (1974).
- The Believer, the magazine founded in 2003 and originally published by McSweeney’s, has made its fifteen-year archive freely accessible online. Where to begin? An obvious entry point would be the special Film Issues that appeared in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014. Another way in would be the list of over thirty interviews with filmmakers such as David Fincher, Agnès Varda, Werner Herzog, Todd Haynes, Steven Soderbergh, Nicole Holofcener, Harmony Korine, and Kogonada. And then there are the essays by filmmakers, such as Michael Almereyda’s on William Eggleston and Vladimir Mayakovsky or Guy Maddin’s on music. Novelist Jim Shepard had a good run in the mid-2000s, writing about films viewed within the context of an America governed by the Bush administration. And the Notebook recommends “what might be the definitive essay on the films of the late Jerry Lewis,” B. Kite’s two-parter, “The Jerriad: A Clown Painting.”
- The TIFF Cinematheque has been posting relatively short introductory essays on the directors and actors featured in its ongoing series Summer in Japan. You’ll find James Quandt on Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune, Yasujiro Ozu (see, too, Adam Kuplowsky on Ozu’s poetry), Kenji Mizoguchi, Mikio Naruse, Nagisa Oshima, Kon Ichikawa, and Yasuzo Masumura; and Azadeh Jafari on actresses Setsuko Hara, Hideko Takamine, and Kinuyo Tanaka.
- The current issue of the Brooklyn Rail features Rona Lorimer’s outstanding piece on Jean-Luc Godard, his press conference at Cannes this year, May ’68, and what we can glean about the current moment from a short film attributed to Godard that turned out to be a hoax.
- Girish Shambu, a leading film blogger and the author of The New Cinephilia, has launched a new monthly feature gathering “recent, particularly interesting reads about cinema, feminism, and politics.” And soon, we can look forward to more when Girish joins Film Quarterly as an editor, overseeing Quorum, an online column focussing on current issues and debates in film culture.
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