For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been preoccupied with all the major new films premiering in Venice, Telluride, and Toronto, but let’s also keep in mind that there are several outstanding retrospectives happening right now: Ingmar Bergman at Harvard, Michelangelo Antonioni and Jiří Menzel in Los Angeles, Luchino Visconti and Frederick Wiseman in Berkeley, Angela Schanelec and Peter Watkins in London, Deborah Stratman in Berlin, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder in Vienna. And in New York, the Metrograph is celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the founding of Icarus Films.
For those rare moments between screenings, here are five fine reads from the past seven days:
- New York Times film critics Manohla Dargis and A. O. Scott present a list of “Movie Women You Should Know,” pithy primers on directors Barbara Loden (Wanda), Ida Lupino (Outrage), and Vera Chytilova (Daisies), animator Lotte Reiniger (The Adventures of Prince Achmed), editor Dede Allen (Bonnie and Clyde), costume designer Edith Head (All About Eve)—twenty women in all. Mekado Murphy spotlights screenwriters Leigh Bracket, Anita Loos, and Frances Marion in an accompanying video (1’42”), and Kathryn Shattuck talks with Tilda Swinton, Rashida Jones, Michelle Rodriguez, and others about “the female colleagues they most admire—past or present, relatively unknown or famous in their own right.”
- Agnès Varda and the cast of Lions Love (. . . and Lies) were featured on the cover of the very first issue of Interview magazine in 1969; Andy Warhol selected the photo himself. The magazine closed in May, but it’s back—owner and art collector Peter Brandt has essentially sold it to himself—and Varda’s on the cover again after nearly half a century. Curator Hans Ulrich Obrist talks with her about Warhol, her years in California with Jacques Demy, and women and the New Wave. Interview’s also posted a string of tributes to Varda from Jane Birkin, Ava DuVernay, Isabelle Huppert, Molly Haskell, and others.
- Since 1998, Filmmaker has been introducing its readers to “25 New Faces of Independent Film,” a collection of brief profiles of promising directors, writers, editors, cinematographers, production designers, and actors. Many will have first seen the names Lena Dunham, Ryan Gosling, or Miranda July in the magazine’s pages. This year’s round includes Mariama Diallo, who’s directed four episodes of Terence Nance’s Random Acts of Flyness; Helena Howard, the breakout star of Josephine Decker’s Madeline’s Madeline; Melika Bass, who’s made an extended video for Sigur Rós; and Sky Hopinka, whose work has screened at Sundance and as part of the 2017 Whitney Biennial.
- Renowned film scholar and historian James Naremore has launched a new site gathering essays, interviews, and even two freely accessible out-of-print books. He’s also Peter Labuza’s guest on the latest episode of the Cinephiliacs (70’31”). Topics include Naremore’s latest book, Charles Burnett: A Cinema of Symbolic Knowledge, and Anthony Asquith’s A Cottage on Dartmoor (1929).
- The titles of exhibitions of David Lynch’s artworks are often as foreboding as his films. I Was a Teenage Insect is on view at the Kayne Griffin Corcoran gallery in Los Angeles through November 3, and Someone Is in My House opens at the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht on November 30. ARTnews senior editor Alex Greenberger has called up Lynch for a chat and notes that the artist, “who has often said he doesn’t consider himself all that strange, is content to keep his art mysterious, speaking in oneiric statements that may or may not hint at what’s happening in the work.”
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