This week has brought the welcome news that Víctor Erice (The Spirit of the Beehive, El Sur) is currently at work on his first feature in thirty years. As Andrew Pulver reports in the Guardian, little is known about Close Your Eyes other than that it will star José Coronado and María León and that we can look forward to seeing it sometime next year.
- Guy Lodge first saw Three Colors: Red (1994) when he was eleven, and he’s since watched and rewatched Krzysztof Kieślowski’s trilogy several times over the years. Blue (1993), “with Juliette Binoche’s precise, porcelain, set-to-shatter performance as a young widow at its center, is the most plainly devastating of the three,” writes Lodge in the Guardian. White (1994), “the scabrously funny one, once left me coolest, though as I aged I came to see the poetry and truth in its revenge-to-ruin-to-reconciliation relationship arc: it’s a romantic comedy of sorts which believes not in soulmates but the mates we’re given. But it’s still Red, if only out of first-love loyalty, that moves me most, its study of unifying loneliness, hope and hard-won, oddly matched friendship as subtly complicated as its rouged aesthetic is saturated and blatant.”
- Binoche returns to theaters around the country today in Claire Denis’s Both Sides of the Blade as a woman torn between a past lover (Grégoire Colin) and her present one (Vincent Lindon). “With Claire, what I love observing is her approach to a scene because she is not mental,” Binoche tells Matthew Eng at Reverse Shot, where writers contributed to a symposium, Binoche Auteur, in 2019. Denis “is not trying to make a scene,” says Binoche. “She’s trying to reach something she doesn’t know yet but that she’s feeling. And often by an emotion [produced] by the actor’s presence.” For more from Binoche, listen to Peter Rinaldi’s hour-long interview for Filmmaker, and as for Denis, Nick Newman has spoken with her for the Film Stage, and Film at Lincoln Center has posted the conversation she had with Jim Jarmusch back in March.
- Valeska Grisebach has received a round of funding and begun work on The Dreamed Adventure, her long-awaited follow-up to Western (2017). Writing for the New Left Review, Julia Hertäg explains the impact of state financing on German cinema, focusing in particular on the so-called Berlin School of the early 2000s—an informal cluster of filmmakers that includes Grisebach, Christian Petzold, Thomas Arslan, and Angela Schanelec—and the “‘Post-Berlin’ cinema of the 2010s and ’20s, including recent films by the School’s founding members.” Grisebach’s “move from Sehnsucht  to Western, eleven years later, exemplifies the new cinema’s broader shift in concerns.” While you’re there at the NLR, click over to the Sidebar for Leo Robson’s piece on Pedro Almodóvar.
- Il Cinema Ritrovato, the festival of restorations and rediscoveries hosted by the Cineteca di Bologna, wrapped this past weekend, and Pamela Hutchinson spent much of this year’s edition “in the 1922 cinematic universe: a world of gorgeous location photography, penetrating psychodrama, impeccable slapstick, and to generalize, a healthy number of female-led films (including a handful of nasty women) . . . You haven’t experienced silent film at Il Cinema Ritrovato to the fullest unless you’ve been to a carbon lamp projection in the Piazzetta Pasolini at least once.” Hutchinson loves the “crackle, the fizz, the whirr, the unparalleled beauty of the light,” and she discusses more highlights with José Arroyo and Richard Layne. On a slightly related note, Hutchinson writes about Mikhail Kaufman’s 1929 celebration of Kyiv, In Spring, for Sight and Sound.
- Minions are overrunning the multiplexes at the moment, but the big earner at the box office this summer remains Top Gun: Maverick. Tom Cruise may own next summer and the summer after that as well, when the first and then the second part of Dead Reckoning wrap up the Mission: Impossible franchise. Twenty-six years ago, screenwriter David Koepp and director Brian De Palma created and then solved a two-pronged problem in a crucial scene in the first film in the series, and David Bordwell traces their steps. “How is it possible,” wonders Calum Marsh in the New York Times, that this film “yielded five sequels, and how is it conceivable that the sequels keep getting better, culminating in Mission: Impossible — Fallout (2018), which is pretty much an unqualified masterpiece?” Much of the credit, Marsh argues, goes to Cruise, who “has all of the qualities you want in a movie star and none of the qualities you expect of a human being. As a screen presence, he is singular; as a person, he is inscrutable. But it’s his inscrutability that has allowed him to achieve a sort of clarified, immaculate superstardom, one that exists almost entirely in the movies.”