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Tours and Sighs

Joanna Kulig in Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War (2018)

Some of the most notable reading and viewing to take with you into the weekend:

  • If you haven’t yet seen Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War, save Raymond De Luca’s essay for Bright Lights Film Journal until you do catch up with it. The gist of the piece is that the film, one of last year’s critical favorites, is a musical tour of both sides of the Iron Curtain spanning fifteen years and beginning in 1949. From folk through jazz to the birth of rock and roll, Cold War “musically charts the ruined map of its postwar setting in a way that resembles Europe’s own crumbling cityscapes of that era,” writes De Luca. “It’s a sonic stroll through the rubble of World War II.”
  • For six days, starting tomorrow, New York’s Museum of the Moving Image will be presenting a retrospective encompassing all five of Carlos Reygadas’s features as well as a selection of short films. The occasion is the upcoming theatrical run of Our Time, a film that, as described by José Teodoro in the introduction of his interview with the Mexican director for Film Comment, “captures the turmoil and ardor of marital upheaval, and the tranquility and violence that occur in places where the domestic and natural worlds meet.” The conversation is a deep dive into the film’s origins, its production, and its daring interplay between the narrative and the real lives of Reygadas and his own family. “In my cinema,” he says, “the actual unfolding of events is what matters, so things must be shown, rather than alluded to. This goes for the way people eat, talk, sit in cars, have sex and go around living their life.”
  • “Sigh . . . ,” Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin’s latest audiovisual essay for De Filmkrant, focuses not only on the brilliance of Robert Mitchum’s unique acting style but also on the ways that it created a “syntax” for nearly every aspect of a film he cowrote, coproduced, and starred in, 1958’s Thunder Road.
  • In the run-up to the Chicago Film Society’s screening of a new 35 mm print of Hal Hartley’s Trust (1990) on Monday, Julian Antos talks with  the director about the hows and whys of retaining the rights to his own films. The American distributor of Trust, for example, “demanded I never refer to Godard or Fassbinder again in interviews,” he recalls. And in his conversation with Ray Pride in Newcity Film, Hartley talks about some of the influences on his early work, especially Peter Brook’s 1967 adaptation of Peter Weiss’s play Marat/Sade, which was instrumental “to my writing and my conception of blocking and everything. I discovered it a year before I made The Unbelievable Truth [1989]. It’s come back again and again, and I watch it like every year.”
  • The most entertaining read of the week, hands down, is the exchange between Elaine May and Kenneth Lonergan that Vulture has posted leading up to Sunday night’s presentation of the Tony Awards. May is up for best actress for her performance in Lonergan’s The Waverly Gallery, and the play itself is in the running for best revival. “The truth is,” writes Lonergan, “sometimes I wish we had met when we were both a lot younger, and other times I feel like there’s no way it could possibly have worked out, and maybe I just dodged a really big bullet. Maybe we both did.”

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