Giving us a first peek at the winter festival season, Rotterdam announced a first round of titles on Wednesday. Selections range from festival favorites, such as Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria and Audrey Diwan’s Golden Lion winner, Happening, to world premieres in the Bright Future program dedicated to young and emerging talents like Alberto De Michele and David Easteal. The fifty-first edition will open on January 26 and run through February 6.
- Ultra Dogme editor Maximilien Luc Proctor has posted a delightful conversation with artist and filmmaker Jerome Hiler, who has been living and occasionally working with Nathaniel Dorsky since the 1960s. “Nathaniel and I are very similar people,” says Hiler. “I’ll leave it at that. There is too much to go into.” Stan Brakhage “had a very strong influence on my generation. He was an impossible model to have in one’s imagination. He not only re-made the very idea of what a film was, but he was driven by the most colossal ego the American continent could withstand. As a quiet sort of guy, that shoe didn’t fit, but, still, some light from his star gleamed into my imagination.”
- Brakhage, Gregory Markopoulos, Peter Kubelka, Hollis Frampton, and Ernie Gehr are among the filmmakers who thrived during what artist and critic Fred Camper called the “individual period”—1946 to 1966, to be precise—in his 1986 essay “The End of Avant-Garde Film.” Camper argued that “academicization and institutionalization” was snuffing the art, and in a new introduction for Caesura, he notes that the essay “attracted some attention and protestations” at the time—and may well again. Regardless, it remains “a plea to artists: accept the responsibility to make a truly original work that can engage any viewer's senses and mind with emotion, thought, and vision.”
- The new Brooklyn Rail features Ksenia Soboleva’s brief but beautiful piece on Tell me there is a lesbian forever . . . , an exhibition devoted to the life and work of the late filmmaker Barbara Hammer. Curated by Tiona Nekkia McClodden and opening Company’s new space on Elizabeth Street in New York, the show is centered on The Lover, off the road (after Barbara) (1972–2021), a motorcycle—a BMW R75/5—that McClodden spent six months preparing as a tribute. There are, of course, films as well, including one “clever” triptych in a black box that “allows the opportunity to take in the full scope of Hammer’s aesthetic strategies, revealing an elaborate use of layering and an ethnographic approach that are very much informed by Maya Deren—a reference that McClodden confirms she shares as well.”
- Leos Carax’s Annette opened Cannes, Jon M. Chu’s In the Heights opened Tribeca, and Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story will open next month. “Movie musicals are back in vogue,” writes the New Yorker’s Richard Brody, introducing his annotated list of thirty musicals that are “all, first and foremost, cinematic experiences in which a concept of music is realized through images.” Brody rolls out his selections chronologically, actually beginning with a silent movie—“but it is a virtual musical nonetheless”—Ernst Lubitsch’s The Oyster Princess (1919). Satyajit Ray’s The Music Room (1958) is “a rapturously filmed treasure trove of great performances of Indian classical music and dance,” Richard Lester’s A Hard Day’s Night (1964) is “a cheerful romp,” Tsai Ming-liang’s The Wayward Cloud (2005) is an “astounding fusion of exuberance and melancholy, exaltation and despair,” and Bruno Dumont’s Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc (2017) is an “extravagant, audacious rock opera.”
- Let’s wrap with a nod to Noirvember, “a month to give thanks for cigarettes and chiaroscuro lighting, for sardonic voice-overs and unhappy endings, for doomed detectives and frisky femme fatales,” as Sean Burns writes for WBUR in his overview of the current seasons at the Brattle Theatre and the Coolidge Corner Theatre. Since mid-September, filmmaker, preservationist, and lecturer Stephen Broomer has been presenting Detours, a series of video essays “on the bruised soul of film noir . . . Taking our name from Edgar G. Ulmer’s Detour (1945), one of noir’s essential nightmares, we are following in the tracks of his hero, Al Roberts, thumbing a ride straight into the broken heart of postwar American cinema.”